Foisie Space for Students

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The $49 million, 78,000-square-foot Foisie Innovation Studio building, which opened in 2018, hosts a student dormitory (Messenger Hall), laboratories, maker spaces, and classrooms.

The non-dormitory section of the building is always used by individual students looking for a quiet place to study and do work on campus, other than the library, and by project and assignment groups looking for an open space to complete their coursework together. It is always difficult to find an open table in the center section, and the classrooms fill up quickly as well, especially during midterms and finals week when students form study groups.

Aside from the handful of classrooms in Foisie, there barely enough space is allocated for WPI students to study - the Campus Center is always loud, and the library doesn't offer many areas for group work. And because of this, many students choose to study and do work in the I&E Center (the large room located behind the screen on the second floor), as it has a lot of natural lighting, and has tables that allows students to choose whether they want to work alone or in groups. 

However, on Monday, September 9th, Worcester Polytechnic Institute students received an email from the I&E Team from the Foisie Innovation Studio, stating that the I&E center would no longer be open to the general public:

"As of Monday, September 16th, the I&E Center ... will be permanently closed to public access. While we understand this may be frustrating, it was never meant to be an open study space.... The I&E Center will be home to ventures and projects apart of the Tinkerbox, Goat Tank, Tech Advisors Network, I-Corp..." "Only teams apart of these programs will have access. The I&E Center will act as a incubator space where teams can work and meet with mentors."

The 4,600+ students at WPI deserve more spaces dedicated to their success as opposed to large spaces being taken away and instead given to a select few. WPI students need more options for where they'd like to study, outside of the crowded and noisy Campus Center, and a space that fosters more collaboration than the library. Closing the I&E Center does not help achieve this.

We ask that the WPI I&E team keep the I&E Center open to public access. 

 

Picture from wpi.edu