Loker Will Get TV Lounge, Couches

Addition Expected Within Two Months

In an ongoing effort to revive dwindling undergraduate use of Loker Commons, members of the Memorial/Lowell Hall Advisory Committee announced yesterday the upcoming addition of a television lounge complete with a 33" TV and couches.

The lounge will be located in the front room of Loker that currently houses a flower shop and a book swap. Both the flower shop and the book swap will be relocated to other parts of the complex.

The changes come in response to what Loker consultant Kathleen I. Kouril '82 called "overwhelming response" in favor of more social spaces on the recent College-wide Loker survey.

"In every category [asking about televisions in Loker], the people in favor of it overwhelmingly outnumbered those who didn't want it," said Kouril, a former Crimson editor.

The final results of the survey will be released Friday, she said.

The survey garnered a 10 percent response rate, according to Eric C. Engel, the director of the Memorial/Lowell Hall Complex.

Lamelle D. Rawlins '99, the president of the Undergraduate Council, said she was optimistic about the results of the survey.

"[Ten percent] is really high, especially since it was such a lengthy survey," said Rawlins.

However, the results may not be an accurate gauge of student opinion, Engel said.

"It still means that 90 percent of students did not respond. There is still this great unknown out there, who might be ambiguous about the changes to Loker," Engel said. "That's a good reason for moving forward one step at a time."

The approximate cost of the TV and couches will be less than $8,000, according to Kouril. Although College officials have not made the final decision on purchases, Engel estimated that the changes would be implemented in four to seven weeks.

However, several members of the Loker Committee expressed concern about limited space in the lounge.

The floor plan of Loker is not conducive to TV viewing, Kouril said.

"Everyone agrees it's too small. But everyone agrees that this is just a first step," she said. "There aren't that many places that can accommodate a TV viewing area... That's not to say this idea won't expand. There may be more couches coming."

"I think the space is ideal. It's highly visible, comfortable, convenient space," said Thomas P. Windom '00, the Undergraduate Council representative to the Loker Advisory Committee.

Members of the committee also emphasized that this would be only the first of several changes resulting from the survey.

"It represents our desire to respond to a variety of uses for Loker," said Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III.

Members of the Advisory Committee will reevaluate the success of the change after a few weeks.

"We can always change and expand accordingly," Windom said.

Many undergraduates using Loker yesterday said they liked the idea of a more social atmosphere in Loker, though they were not sure if they would use the lounge.

"I don't use Loker that often, but it would be more to the point of a student center," said Daniel S. Passman '97. "Loker and the Science Center are the only places that I do run into people."

Keith J. Santiago '00 said he would use the lounge to get together with friends to watch sporting events.

"It would have kind of the sports bar atmosphere with a bunch of guys sitting around talking and watching TV," he said.

Others expressed concern about the possible negative effect a TV would have on the study atmosphere. Many graduate students said they use the space to eat and study.

"I guess if it made it really a lot more noisy, I wouldn't like it," said Audrey J. Marcus, a first-year student in the Divinity School.

Carey J. Bollinger '98 said she likes the current combination of a study and social atmosphere.

"You can stop and talk for 10 minutes and then study. I kind of like it how it is," Bollinger said