We All Scream for Ice Cream!
CSE’s newest social space hosts its first event
By Alexandria Black, Student Writer
The BEACH hosted its first event – an ice cream social – on Thursday, March 9th. The event’s sponsor, Professor Laurent Michel, joined lifeguards, faculty and over 35 CS and CSE undergrads who enjoyed more than 8 pints of ice cream and every topping they could imagine. The BEACH, which is open Monday through Friday from 4-8pm, held the social to encourage students to see the space as more than just a place for homework help.
During the social, students engaged in an introduction to the room, games, getting-to-know each-other activities, and a suggestion session on how to further use the room to reach students’ needs.
WHAT is the BEACH?
The BEACH, which stands for Belonging, Engagement, Affinity Computer Hangout, is an initiative led by members of the CSE Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, Lara Chiaverini and Dr. Qian Yang.
After an intense search process to hire and train “lifeguards,” the doors to the BEACH officially opened on January 23rd. The vision behind the space was to encourage community building interactions between all levels of students, fostering rapport beyond the common major. The department hopes the space will encourage safety in sharing identities, particularly for students from underrepresented groups.
The BEACH has seven Lifeguards who are resources for students in the space. The Lifeguards themselves are undergraduate students. This decision to have students facilitate the room was to encourage a more organic connection and comfort for both social and academic growth.
Since its opening, the BEACH has seen an average of 40 students a week. As to what brings students in, some say the steady flow of snacks, the homework help from peers, the comfortable chairs, and some say all of the above.
The BEACH is looking forward to hosting more student centered events throughout the semester. Workshops led by the SOE assistant director Theo Menounos and a student-led workshop sharing new projects by computer science undergraduates are currently scheduled for March and April, with more added every week.
All students are invited to visit the BEACH (ITE 360), Monday through Friday from 4-8pm. Visit the CSE website for more updates regarding programming in the BEACH!