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Following a year-long process to develop an online room reservation tool for the College, the Undergraduate Council officially launched “UC Rooms” this week, a Web site that allows student groups and individuals to book common spaces on campus.
UC Rooms allows users to search for available rooms by room type, capacity, capabilities, location, and restrictions on who can reserve the space.
In December, the UC had released a public spreadsheet of common room information that—according to UC Vice President Eric N. Hysen ’11—was “a big step forward” but still needed to be organized into a more easily navigable database.
The UC hired student programmer Punit N. Shah ’12 in December to develop a user-friendly site with an estimated launch date of Feb. 2010.
“What we’ve now done is taken all the spreadsheet data—which wasn’t in the easiest format to use—and put it into a really powerful yet simple search engine,” Hysen said.
According Student Life Committee Chair Senan Ebrahim ’12, the tool attracted over 400 hits the day of its release on Tuesday and received positive feedback from student groups, including the Chinese Student Association, the Harvard Opportunes, and the Harvard Black Student Association.
BSA President Spencer H. Hardwick ’11, an inactive Crimson news editor, said reserving a room as a student organization had traditionally been a “very time-consuming and meticiulous process” and a “huge hassle.”
In the past, Hardwick said that he usually had to reserve rooms for BSA-run events multiple months in advance in order to navigate the complicated reservation system.
The new Web site, Hardwick said, would alleviate much of the frustration that many student groups previously faced.
“It’s really refreshing to see, and it’s a really huge boost for us,” Hardwick said. “It’s one less thing to worry when you’re trying organize an event.”
Hysen hailed the room reservation tool as a step to address issues raised from the student body.
“This tool is a really good example of what is feasible for the UC to do short term, making students lives eaiser now while also working on even bigger changes for the long term,” Hysen added.
—Staff writer Janie M. Tankard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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