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Game Over. Continue as Club Room?

Imagine a place on campus where you could relax on a couch while you watch TV. Maybe you want to play a video game or a good old fashioned game of chess. Perhaps none of that sounds appealing and you just want to fall into a massage chair and have your problems massaged away.

There once was a place on campus with all these features. Penguin Union Building 162 was once known as the game room, a place where students could go to relax and play games of all sorts.

On March 15, 2018, Sarah Gruhler, the director of student life, announced in an email to ASCC staff that PUB 162 would be closed during Spring quarter.

In the months leading up to the closure of the room, the ASCC received complaints from various students that individuals were behaving inappropriately in the game room. Two incident reports were generated in the five months prior to the closure of the game room, describing harassment and lewd actions, respectively. 

The first report, from November 2017 described an individual using threatening vulgar language. The last line of the report read “due to prior history involving [name redacted] it was pertinent to generate this report.”    

The second report described an incident in which an individual intentionally exposed their rear end to the other game room occupants. The report classified the conduct as disorderly, lewd and discriminatory.

The responding security officer spoke to four witnesses, who all said that they were not offended by the individual’s actions. However, due to numerous redactions in the report, it is unclear how many people were in the room when the incident occured.

The report indicated that the individual’s actions did violate the student code of conduct and would be reported as a lewd act.

“When you’re at Clark we want students to feel welcome and safe on campus,” Gruhler said.

PUB 162 was reopened as the club room in Fall 2018. According to current ASCC President Bryce Regian, the decision allowed the ASCC to reopen the space for student use without having to remodel.  

Before the club room was established, club members and staff had to share the same spaces and book the same rooms for events.

“It was just kind of a big mess,” Richards said. “Clubs often didn’t get to meet at the times they wanted to meet.”

During Fall quarter, three clubs made use of the PUB 162 for weekly meetings, with a fourth club using the space during Winter quarter, Richards said.

The use of PUB 162 as a club meeting room is only temporary as the ASCC decide what to do with the space, Regain said.

“We have a couple of ideas on what to do with that space,” he said. “And how to maybe recreate some form of a game room somewhere on campus.”

The ASCC has to seek approval from various campus departments before any decision is made public. If the game room is brought back, the ASCC want the atmosphere to be open and welcoming to students, Regian said.

Today, PUB 162 looks the same as it did when it was the game room. The same mural of penguins playing poker adorns the wall and the TV sits amid a ring of chairs, along with the massage chair.

Students can rent board games from the student life desk, although the video games are currently unavailable. Gruhler hopes to bring them someday, she said.   

For now, though PUB 162 will remain the club room.

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