Everyday begins with a shower, a toothbrush, a bar of soap, a shave, and inevitably the lighting of an LED torch, the “on” light for the internet connections that will burn throughout the day and night.

Few students, however, take the time to even think about what allows them to download those coveted mp3s, movie trailers, and screensavers of their personal computers. That is, of course, until a glitch arises, and the songs, movies, and on screen decorations are suddenly beyond reach.

It is at this moment that affected students, if they reside in the Quad, turn to a light in the distance and residents of the Dolan dorms turn to the light next door.

As announced in a campus-wide email over the summer, the office of Computing and Network Services (CNS) has made the move, albeit temporary, to the Dolan Commons.

CNS Director Don Adams, who began his tenure at Fairfield in April 2002, explains that the move to the commons was a way in which to consolidate more of the personnel who were scattered in offices throughout the campus.

Under this new configuration, the commons now houses 20 Computing and Network service workers and seven Systems and Computing Technology consultants. In addition, all CNS managers have been grouped together in the commons, making it easier for Adams to stay in touch with them.

But the newly renovated CNS office in the commons is not merely a room of computers and help desks. It’s a room of computers, help desks, support staff, CNS administrators and yes, those temporary walls popularized by Dilbert comic strips: cubicles!

According to Support Services Manager Diane Dains, since the university planned on the commons as a temporary office for CNS, administrators saw cubicles as their best option.

“They said this was temporary, but temporary could be three or four years, and they didn’t want to ruin the terrazzo floor,” said Dains.

“They installed the carpet files over this floor, but if they built walls, it would ruin the floor.”

Now, instead of being filled with students in lunch lines or pews, the vaulted ceilings of this once quaint chapel reign over a vast expanse of monitors, computer towers, and oh so many cords, running like vines among some computers.

The raised altar that once held a tabernacle or crucifix, now filled with desks and support staff, evokes images of the chapel it will always be, structurally speaking. The religious presence that the chapel exudes almost makes you feel guilty, or more likely, out of place, for not genuflecting as you cross the office.

In reference to the potentially long walk that now faces many residents of the Quad in order to arrive at the CNS office, most Dolan Hall residents are indifferent.

“Personally I have to make the trek everyday, and there’s always the bus,” said Elizabeth Ferris, 05. “One ten-minute walk won’t kill them.”

For better or worse, the long and short of this issue remains that the office change is, for the time being, only temporary and that in addition, most students’ computer problems can be solved over the phone or over the internet via a friend’s functioning computer.

For now, Quad residents face a long walk to the Dolan campus if viruses strike or pipeline accounts fail to cooperate, but maybe for once, these residents have seen what it’s like to be on the wrong side, or rather, long side of this ten-minute walk.

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