Flex­i­bility is the theme of the Center for Stu­dent Involvement’s new Pro­gram­ming Lab. The newly ren­o­vated space pro­vides leaders of Northeastern’s 331 stu­dent groups a one-​​stop-​​shop for infor­ma­tion on how to effec­tively operate their organizations.

Located on the second floor of the Curry Stu­dent Center, the Pro­gram­ming Lab is a space where group leaders can meet, brain­storm ideas and uti­lize resources from the Center for Stu­dent Involve­ment. “When you come here during office hours you will have the resources you need,” said Jason Campbell-​​Foster, director of the Center for Stu­dent Involve­ment. “It is really going to be a people space.”

Ren­o­va­tion work started this summer, and the lab offi­cially opened its doors last week. Mobile plasma mon­i­tors that can con­nect to Skype are avail­able to stu­dents so groups can hold vir­tual meet­ings. And Mac com­puters will be equipped with Adobe Design that stu­dents can use to create mate­rials to pro­mote their groups and events.

Over the years the space became a storage facility for stu­dent groups rather than a place to cre­atively work, Campbell-​​Foster said. So last year, Stu­dent Involve­ment and the Stu­dent Gov­ern­ment Asso­ci­a­tion reached out to the stu­dents to find out what they would want most from the space.

He said over­whelming stu­dents wanted a place that encour­aged flex­i­bility, where they could drop-​​in and get the infor­ma­tion or help they need.

Kate Chan­dley, a third-​​year stu­dent and former vice pres­i­dent of stu­dent involve­ment for the Stu­dent Gov­ern­ment Asso­ci­a­tion, said it was impor­tant to try and meet the needs of all the university’s stu­dent groups, which is no small task.

I think this pro­vides a great oppor­tu­nity,” Chan­dley said.

She added it also offers meeting space for newly-​​formed groups that could have trouble finding rooms to reserve on campus.

The lab will host Stu­dent Orga­ni­za­tion Advance­ment Resources, or SOAR, which are training ses­sions on topics such as how to moti­vate group mem­bers, tips on be fis­cally respon­sible and how to effec­tively run meetings.

We’ve increased its usability,” Campbell-​​Foster said. “We are really putting our assets for stu­dent groups into one cen­tral location.”

The lab also has crew mem­bers who are stu­dents CSI hires through work study or intern­ships. Campbell-​​Foster said stu­dent group leaders can meet with the mem­bers for guidance.

That peer inter­ac­tion, Campbell-​​Foster said, gives the stu­dent employees an expe­ri­en­tial learning opportunity—the cor­ner­stone of Northeastern’s edu­ca­tion model that gives stu­dents an advan­tage in future endeavors through real-​​world experience..

We really want to put stu­dents at the fore­front of what we are doing,” he explained.

In addi­tion to a con­fer­ence room, there are smaller tables with white board tops that stu­dents can write ideas on.

And the lab’s storage capacity was not com­pletely elim­i­nated. It now offers long-​​term and short-​​term storage options for stu­dent groups.

The CSI Pro­gram­ming Lab is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and is closed on Sat­urday and Sunday. Campbell-​​Foster said office hours could change based on demand.