NAIT students are often disappointed when they attempt to use the Business Tower Lounge, often finding it closed for private events. Being that it is the only non-computer lab common space in the tower, any business student looking for a space to study or work on a group project would turn to the eighth floor.
“It pisses me off,” said Lorisa Goertz when asked about the near constant closures. “It’s annoying, I came up one day at 9 o’clock to get some work done and a woman came in who was very rude to me. She told me to get out and acted appalled that any student had the nerve to be in the tower when she had it booked. There are not many places for business students to go.”
Goertz was not the only student who attempted to use the Tower Lounge that day, with other students reporting that they also were turned away in a less than polite fashion, and some said that they didn’t even see the customary notices to confirm the closure. Normally, there will be notices posted at the elevators so that students looking for a place to study don’t waste their time or become frustrated when they reach the eighth floor only to find it closed.
NAITSA President Hasib Baig clarified that there are blackout periods for booking both the Tower Lounge and the NAITRIUM based around high-useage times, saying, “(The) Tower Lounge and NAITRIUM should be available to students one week prior to midterm/final exams and also during both exam weeks.” Baig was careful to specify that the space is only used for student events and NAIT related events and that there are no fees for booking them.
“We don’t make any revenue from the bookings for NAIT and Club events. Both spaces are shared spaces with the institution but Mary (NAITSA’s office co-ordinator) is the only one who can confirm and make the bookings,” says Baig.
Baig also mentioned that he had recently been working on a new set of procedures for booking the student spaces, with guidelines including a minimum number of attendees to book, a three-day notice period for students prior to closures and a rule against the Tower Lounge and NAITRIUM being booked simultaneously, unless it is after 1:30 p.m. on Fridays, which is a low usage time.
Baig is also excited about additional student study spaces that will be provided in the new Centre for Applied Technologies.
“The CAT will provide more student study spaces, which will enhance the student learning experience. The new study areas are designed to cater to the needs of the students and to benefit them the most.”