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Fishbowl Move Will Progress Despite Student Reaction

By Zareena Hussain
Associate News editor

Although students have voiced disapproval over losing the Fishbowl Athena cluster, there are no plans to end the relocation plan that will expand the StudentServices Center into the Fishbowl's space in Building 11.

"It's not at a point where we can turn back," said Hillary H. DeBaun, a team leader in the Office for Undergraduate Education and Student Life who heads the Student Services Center project. "The decision has been made."

On Monday, a group of hackers left a trail of footsteps from several fish in the Fishbowl to a collection of sushi in front of the pilot Student Services Center in Building 3 to protest the forthcoming closure of the Fishbowl.

"I thought it was very witty," DeBaun said.

Move was not taken lightly'

The large number of administrators involved in making space decisions is one reason that the proposed moves cannot be changed, DeBaun said. "All space decisions at MIT are driven by the top administrative ranks at MIT," she said. "It's not a decision that's taken lightly."

"The thing I find difficult to explain to people is the care that went it to making this decision," said Director of Administration and Operations Stephen D. Immerman.

The decision was neither arbitrary nor capricious, Immerman said. "It was really a difficult thing."

The completed Student Services Center, which administrators hope to have in operation by mid-August, will host many more services that are currently scattered throughout campus.

Among the services that will be located in the expanded Student Services Center are the MITCard Office, federal work-study information, cash advances and account refunds from the Bursar's Office, promissory note signing, enrollment certification, and loan entrance counseling for Perkins, Stafford, and Technology loans, DeBaun said.

The Student Services Center, currently operating in its pilot phase fulfilled 8,578 requests for services during the months of December and January, according to logs of the center. During that time, 105 students were referred to other offices because their requests could not be processed in the center.

ISrelocation to begin in March

IS will have to move out of Building 11 in order to accommodate the new Student Services Center.

Some relocation may occur as early as next month, said Vice President for InformationSystems James D. Bruce ScD '60. "The plan is for the Fishbowl to move during spring break. Other functions may move earlier if the space for them is ready."

The Fishbowl cluster will be replaced with a new cluster in Building 12, Bruce said.

The Athena servers currently located in the basement of Building E40 will also be moved to a new location.

While Building N42 will be exclusively for IS, additional space is still required to make up for space lost in moves from Building 11 and Building E40. "The Planning Office and I are still working to identify the additional space required," Bruce said.

"We do not yet know what the time frame is for the E40 move nor do we know where the people and hardware would move to," said Tom Coppeto, a systems programmer with IS.

"My understanding is that it will definitely not be before October,"said Naomi B. Schmidt, manager of educational planning and support for IS.

"I am hoping to get an answer to this soon so we can begin the necessary planning," Coppeto said.

Among the facilities that will need to be moved are the mail servers, file servers, Zephyr servers, and license servers for the Athena computing system, Schmidt said.

ISexpects that Athena users will not experience any trouble as a result of the move. "My guess is that network services would remain available throughout any moving operation," said Network Manager for ISJeffrey I. Schiller. "The trickiest part is moving the Athena fileservers and even this can be done without interruption, if we have the right resources and the timing is right."

This is not the first time IS has had to move hardware, Schiller said. In 1983, the servers in Building 39 were relocated to Building W91.

Services were interrupted during that move. However, "the downtime was short, on a weekend and after the term was over," Schiller said.