Students needing a break from studying now have the opportunity to de-stress in a new way.

Paul Wong
Art and Design sophomore Toria Marquard uses a computer yesterday at the opening of the new Cyber Lounge in the basement of the Michigan League.<br><br>DEBBIE MIZEL/Daily

Yesterday marked the grand opening of the University”s first Cyber Lounge in the Michigan League Underground.

Designed by students from the School of Architecture and Urban Planning, the lounge hosts several gaming stations that are open to students, faculty and staff.

“The purpose is to provide the students with a place that offers relief from the stress of academic life. The Cyber Lounge is a cool place for people to do that,” League Program Coordinator Benita Murrel said.

As the University”s first non-academic computing site, the Cyber Lounge represents a significant cooperative effort amongst the Michigan League, Information Technology Central Services and University students, League Director Bob Yecke said.

Bill Niester manager of campus computing sites said the University maintains more than 1,800 computers in almost 50 computing sites, all intended for academic use.

But the Cyber Lounge consists of 18 gaming stations that contain no educational software.

“We want the kids that play games to come here. And if you want to do academic work, Angell Hall is not far away,” Yecke said.

LSA junior Peter Kim said he uses the Cyber Lounge to get away from his schoolwork.

“I was done with all my papers today and I needed a place to unwind. The lounge is close to where I live so it”s very convenient,” he said.

Though the lounge is still in its fledgling stage, LSA sophomore and League employee Sahil Gupta said they already have game tournaments lined up.

“Since we get a big group of kids every weekday, we”ve organized a Quake 3 tournament for March 13,” he said.

Based on the success of this site, the University will consider opening other cyber lounges in other heavily student-populated areas such as the Michigan Union and Pierpoint Commons.

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