If you’ve been in the lower level of the Barone Campus Center lately, you may have noticed something new. Or maybe you haven’t.

A new, 60-inch television, which was installed at the beginning of the semester, is accessible to all students for general use, but has been going unnoticed.

“Where?” several students replied, when asked about the new TV.

The set was placed in the lounge area to the left of the ramp that leads to the elevator and stairs, and if you don’t keep your eyes peeled when walking by, it’s easy to miss.

“The campus center being the hub of all activities, we felt it would be a good idea to have it here,” said Jim Fitzpatrick, assistant vice president of Student Services . “Its size made sense for that location.”

According to Fitzpatrick, the campus center graduate assistants spent a great deal of time researching different types of televisions and possible locations for its placement.

“That seemed like a great place off to the side where people can gather,” said Bill Bordak, one of four graduate assistants involved in the decision.

Bordak added that putting the TV more in the center of the lounge area may have been a distraction for the various lower level offices.

Another, smaller TV set is located in the commuter students’ lounge, but is intended for use specifically by commuters. There is a large-screen TV in the Stag Diner as well, but it is usually tuned only to CNN or a sports channel.

There has been talk amongst some students that the area may be labeled as a Beach Students’ Lounge, but Fitzpatrick dismissed this rumor as false. The new set can be used any time by any student, whether an on-campus resident, beach resident or commuter.

“We wanted to do it originally when the building opened, but we didn’t have the funds,” said Fitzpatrick, who added this particular TV cost slightly more than $5000, and was funded with programming money.

Those students who have discovered the new TV are pleased.

“I like it,” said Tim Khenmy ’05, a commuter student who has used the large TV to play video games with his friends.

But will the TV be safe in this location? Many students will remember the large TV set which was in the gaming room on the third floor of the campus center, but which was stolen. Like that TV, this one is chained to deter theft.

“It’s as secure as it can be, but we are looking into other deterrent systems,” said Fitzpatrick.

Other plans for the campus center include the addition of free daily newspapers. Currently, the Connecticut Post is available in the lower lounge.

Fitzgerald, who noted how difficult it is for students to maintain awareness of world news, said there are plans to incorporate the New York Times and USA Today into the free newspaper plan.

“A student’s life is so discombobulated in terms of time schedules,” said Fitzpatrick, “that if we want make students aware of what’s going on in the world [by offering access to free printed and televised news], it helps.”

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