I’m conflicted on this one. I am very sentimental toward incoming freshmen– we definitely want them to have a positive experience during the orientation process. All of our incoming students use the Library to register for classes, giving us great exposure: they get to see all the computers, the cafe, the space, the possibilities.
In the past we’ve closed a portion of our main lab to accommodate this process, however next week we’re closing our entire lab to current students in favor of incoming students. Sure there are other locations on campus as well as within the Library for current students to use computers (and technically they are required to own computers) but I hate displacing them. Next week is the week before finals, so you can imagine they will be a little stressed.
It’s an interesting question of priority. Do you favor the incoming students, making sure that their initial experience on campus are very positive, make them feel welcomed, be accommodating, or… do you take care of the students who are already here, who are in class, and who have already paid tuition?
We’ll see how it shakes down. Last week we closed half of our main lab for orientation and the side designated for current students was filled– so I anticipate many students feeling slighted in favor of incoming freshmen– it’s a matter of seniority, and this time baby brother won out. This is what Tech students commonly refer to as "the shaft" — the administrative fabric of the campus (including us) purposefully aiming to make the experience as difficult and inconvenient as possible.
Like I said, I’m pretty torn on this decision. One thing I do like though is that when students go to register they keep parents away– all those Helicopter Parents just want to cry as their son goes off on his own– it’s kind of fun to watch actually.