Gaming Alcove, a Less-Than-Friendly Environment

By Nicolas Cottone
A new identification card check-in policy for Video Gamers in the Ammerman Campus’ Babylon Student Center is being challenged by some student gamers and student services employees.

“Students always just walk out without signing out like they are supposed to, and we need to keep better track of who comes and goes, and the times that people stay. Just in case of a fight or an emergency of some sort, we need to know who was in here when something happens,” said Jacqueline Vuturo, a student-worker who frequently runs the sign-in desk in the gaming alcove.

In 2004, renovations in the cafeteria building left administrators with an empty room, now called the Alcove. Students were surveyed on what they would like to use the space for and the majority ruled for a Gaming Room.

The room provides students with TVs and a ping pong table to use for console gaming and ping pong respectively, as well as being used by the campus activities administration to hold events.

As of last week, employees who sit at the desk by the entrance are required to keep the ID and log the attendees’ student ID numbers in a book. 

“Sharon Silverstein, and I wrote the rules for the Game Room after consulting other colleges to see how they each had set up their gaming areas,” said Jo Fleming, the Campus Program Coordinator

“Many students dislike some of the rules, but they need to understand that not everyone in the room likes the same music that they do, and that just because they like to use ‘four-letter-words’ doesn’t mean that it’s what other people in the room want to hear,” Fleming said when asked about how students felt about some of the rules that had been initially instated. Playing music and using foul language are prohibited. 

According to other desk workers on campus, and Dr. Fleming, the new ID system was put in place in order to force students to sign out.

“I really don’t like the new ID system. It’s pretty horrible. It causes way too much congestion in the entrance way to the game area; it takes forever to locate each ID for each student, especially when several students want to sign out at once in order to make it to class on time. Many students are late to class due to the tedious process of searching through a pile of ID cards,” said Sara, an employee and former student of the college.

Many students often disregard some of these volume rules and become loud, using offensive language with no consequence.

“I’ve seen some people get kind of rough with each other in here, but they may have been just fooling around and being childish,” said Emma DeLuca, a frequent attendee of the game room.

According to the desk employees, each time there is a major issue in the gaming area; the employee that was present must file an Incident Report Sheet to catalog the details of the event, and must submit the sheet to Fleming.

“Though there has not been any major issues in the last few semesters, there has been one Incident Report sheet filled out by an employee named Deardra ¬¬who had to kick a student out of the game room for being disrespectful and cursing at her when she told the group of students to stop playing a game called Slaps,” said Vuturo.

Slaps is a loud and violent game where players hit each other’s’ hands until the other players give up. 

Deardra, who no longer works in the Gaming Alcove due to frustration from the belligerent students, was unavailable for comments.

Fleming stated that, though there hasn’t been any major issue over the past few years, four years ago there was a major fight between two members of rival gangs.

“Fortunately, the gang violence that occurred was only for that one year. This incident was completely unrelated to the gaming area and happened in several places on campus,” said Fleming.

“If we all feel that this ID system needs to be stopped, we would need to have another meeting about it,” said Sara Comaianni and another employee who was standing nearby. 

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