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ILC running smoothly despite equipment shortage

EMILY REID/Arizona Daily Wildcat

Management information systems freshman Harry Xenophontos, right, and business sophomore Giannis Tofarides study in the courtyard of the ILC yesterday afternoon. The ILC has been highly used by students since it opened in January.

By Rachel Williamson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday Mar. 4, 2002

Two months after opening, center is highly used by students

Keeping away from the rush of students above ground, Viral Laliwala hides away in the ILC courtyard to study for his next class.

"It's a nice place to study and to keep yourself warm," said Laliwala, a management information systems freshman.

Despite a delayed opening and cutbacks in high-tech equipment, the Integrated Learning Center has run smoothly since its January opening and seems to be a popular study area for UA students.

The $20 million underground center - equipped with computer labs, advising services, lecture halls and classrooms, is functioning well, said Janet Fore, head of the library's undergraduate services team.

That success has come without the center's technological apex - the Media Center, an area where instructors would have been able to catalogue their classes through the use of high-tech equipment.

The Media Center did not open this semester because of state-mandated budget cuts.

Hiring of Media Center technicians has also been put on hold until the system can be implemented, Fore said.

But even without the cutting-edge Media Center, the ILC's facilities are heavily used by students.

"I think it has been very successful for something very new to us on campus," Fore said. "It's a different kind of thing we've never done before."

The ILC's Information Commons area, which has more than 200 flat-screened computers, is busy around the clock, Fore said.

The commons replaced an older, smaller computer lab on the main floor of the library.

"The expansion to UA is worth the money because a lot of (classrooms) are falling apart," said Ron Rachlin, a criminal justice sophomore.

Most people using the ILC since it debuted two months ago are not feeling the effects of the budget cuts, said John Warnock, a professor of English who teaches in ILC.

"We'll probably feel the effects next year," he said. "If there are any more budget cuts, we'll feel them for many years after that."

Kris Maloney, team leader of the library information systems, said the Media Center's opening is budgeted for next year, but until the state finalizes cuts in the university's budget, it is unclear how the center will function.

Randy Richardson, vice president for undergraduate education, could not be reached for comment, but has said he is committed to seeing the Media Center open.

Fore said that even if the Media Center does not open - or if the ILC faces more budget cuts - the underground facility will continue to function.

"We'll see how we handle that sort of change in our future," Fore said. "I think it can be successful, but different. We'd have to create success in a different way."


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