Posted by The Editorial Board
Case Center, though often praised for its convenience, is rarely mentioned as a desired destination for many students. For example, in a 2007 sociology study done by a Skidmore student none of the students she interviewed cited the facilities available at Case Center as a primary draw. Despite its lack of appeal in some regards it serves many useful purposes, like supplying students with a place to hang-out in between classes and giving students a place to study into the late hours of the night when the library closes. In this sense, Case serves as a "gateway" center for students traveling to class and to their dorms. But with a few quick fixes Case could be considered not merely a stop along the way but a destination that students seek out, much like D-hall.
Firstly, the most obvious aspect of Case that could be utilized is what once was called "The Student Entertainment Lounge", which housed computers, comfortable seating, and games, but now is an empty room serving no purpose. The lounge was transformed into offices during the Starbuck renovations but has been left vacant since Starbuck was reopened. According to students, when the "entertainment lounge" was still in service it was a somewhat successful space. This room was predominantly used by clubs who held meetings in the lounge.
Another idea floating around is to turn the space into a coffee shop where students could work in a relaxing environment. The difference between Burgess and this coffee shop is that unlike Burgess, where people are constantly running in and out grabbing coffee or snacks before their next class, the coffee shop would serve as a relaxed study space with an added bonus of specialty coffee drinks--think a much smaller scale Uncommon Grounds. This would mean likely mean moving Burgess to the ex-game room, which is a better choice than creating a third cafe.
The Spa should also be exploited more. As a large space it can host many events such as Lively Lucy's which is currently held at Falstaffs. The Spa's projector screen should also be utilized during the day, tuning into the day's news with captions so students can still study but others will have something to watch while grabbing a quick snack or relaxing for a few moments. At night it can air films or sports games, much like D-hall. Although there is a television screen on the second floor of Case, it solely provides a montage of events pertaining to Skidmore and some news coverage, but mostly goes unnoticed.
Another aspect of Case that could be improved is the presence of the printer. Although there is a printer in the room next door from the SGA desk many people don't know about it because of its concealed location, and are forced to walk to the library to print something. Having printers in a more conspicuous location, like by the computers near Burgess, would not only make Case more convenient but give students good reason to do their work there.
Lastly, many people have complained about the lighting of Case. Especially at night when there is no natural lighting coming in from the windows, Case can feel a lot like a cave. Changing the severe lighting to something more subdued and relaxing would solve this problem.
These are small suggestions that take into account the major renovations Case will be undergoing within the next five or so years. Despite the minimal degree of these changes (although creating a coffee shop in the ex-game room is a more ambitious enterprise), together they may make the difference that can truly turn Case into the "center" of Skidmore.