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Student Services Center Grows, Forcing Relocation of Fishbowl

By RussellS. Light
Associate night editor

The planned expansion of the new Student Services Center into Building 11 will trigger a series of relocations across the Institute. The most visible result will be the relocation of the Fishbowl Athena cluster to a nearby location, although the new location has not been determined.

In addition, Athena User Accounts and Online Consulting, currently located near the Fishbowl, will be relocated into the fifth floor of the Student Center.

The changes were triggered by the recommendation of the Financial and Academic Services Transitionre-engineering team that a Student Services Center be created to consolidate a variety of student services into a convenient and centralized location.

Center to cause major relocations

Currently in its pilot phase, the center took over the old Registrar's Satellite Office in 3-123.

Staffed by employees of the Registrar's Office, Bursar's Office, and Student Financial Aid Office, it serves as a central location for students to access frequently requested services of those offices, including checking financial and academic information, signing loans and scholarship checks, and filing certain common forms. For other matters, students still need to go to the main offices.

As part of the project's next phase, the center will provide additional services from the three main offices. "We'll take the core services and build on them," said Hillary H. DeBaun, the center's team leader, although she added that the details have not been decided.

In addition, the center will be expanding into the first floor of Building 11, forcing Information Services to vacate that area. IS is planning to relocate the servers in the machine room behind the cluster on the fifth floor of the Student Center, allowing it to house several services displaced from Building 11, including Athena User Accounts and Online Consulting, said Vice President for Information SystemsJames D. Bruce ScD '60.

IS is expected to have moved out by the summer, allowing renovations to begin at that time, said Director of Administration and Operations Stephen D. Immerman. The enlarged center is expected to open around the middle of July, he said.

Several locations are being considered for a new cluster to replace the Fishbowl. "There's a firm commitment to build a new cluster in the central area of campus," Bruce said. The new location will be in the main complex of buildings, "not too far from the current area," he said, although he declined to discuss specific locations.

As the final implementation phase of the center, the Registrar's Office, Bursar's Office, and Student Financial Aid Office will vacate their current offices and move to the second and third floors of Building 11 currently occupied by IS, Bruce said.

This will "bring together student services activities" and move them close to other offices in Dean for Undergraduate Education Rosalind H. Williams's area, he said.

Although the details of the move have not been finalized, "most of the services which require quick access will be on the first floor, and more complicated services or those that require privacy will be available on the second and third floors," said Bursar Carolyn Bunker.

She said that she also expects that housing, dining, andMIT Card services will eventually move to the center.

IS to vacate Buildings 11, E40

As a consequence of the center's expansion into the second and third floors of Building 11, IS will be forced to vacate those areas.

In addition, IS is being forced to vacate the basement and third floor of Building E40, which it currently occupies on a temporary basis.

Once the bridge to the Tang Center opened, "the only question was when it would happen," said Naomi B. Schmidt, manager of educational planning and support for academic computing. Together, these moves will cause the relocation of the vast majority of IS personnel.

Most displaced IS personnel and services are slated to move into Building N42, which previously housed Graphic Arts. However, other locations will be needed as well because of insufficient space in N42, Bruce said.

One benefit to the relocations is the centralization of IS personnel from different areas of campus working on similar tasks, Bruce said. "This gives us an opportunity to reorganize IS staff to get more synergy by having people together," Bruce said.