The gaming room was designed to be removed, according to Gordon Price, COCC’s director of student life. The campus center was designed with expansion in mind; and with the arrival of the new residence hall and 300 students who now live on campus, it made sense to turn that space into additional seating, storage and office, according to Price.
Despite the reasoning behind these changes, some students are disgruntled about the removal of the gaming room.
“It (the removal of the gaming room) didn’t really add that many more seats. It (the room itself) already had several tables and couches, so they sacrificed a really nice place on campus for only a few more seats,” Tyler Lall, president of the Gaming Club, said.
Raven Cook, vice president of the Gaming Club, shares these feelings: “I’ve never seen that lunch room full at peak lunch hours and to take that away to add four tables is kind of uncalled for.”
Several students tried to sign a petition to keep the gaming room, but the campus closed off listening to the opinions of the student population, according to Cook.
While Lall acknowledges the space is nice for the kitchen and the office, he believes the school lost something that was loved by many students on campus.
“Students found that niche and it was a well-used space,” Price said. “Unfortunately we had to take it away.”
Replacing the game room is still in discussion, although the challenge is finding a location to replicate what the gaming room offered, according to Price. Faculty plan on potentially reconfiguring offices in order to bring back a gaming room.
A replacement gaming room is not limited to the campus center. Faculty members are also taking a look at converting other spaces into a replacement gaming room. According to Price, the fireside room in Grandview is a strong candidate, although he is wary of displacing students who currently use that space.
“There are equivalents to that (the gaming room) on campus, but none of them are near the cafeteria. You have to grab your lunch and go way over to the science building in the study rooms,” Lall said.
“They robbed something that I held special. That was my place to go and talk to my friends,” Cook concluded.
In the interim, Price encourages students to join the Gaming Club, which meets from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every Friday. The meeting locations are still to be determined.
Additionally, students can rent rooms through Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College (ASCOCC). According to Connor Westover, president of ASCOCC, all a student would have to do is get in touch with ASCOCC, request a room, and then ASCOCC will make sure that that particular room is available for that student.
Tim Cachelin | The Broadside