Standing Desks Will be Installed in CLICS

Zilber estimates that there would be only between three and 10 total standing workspaces in a new CLICS lecture hall. These standing workspaces are individual podiums where students can stand and take notes during a lecture instead of at traditional sitting desks. They are meant to aid students with disabilities. CLICS was shut down June 10, 2011 after $3 million in library budget cuts.

Zilber said that there are health benefits for users of standing work spaces.

“The issue of standing desks came to my attention around a year ago when there was a major study that came out that came to the conclusion … that [said] the amount of time that a person spends sitting has a strikingly large effect on a person’s mortality,” Zilber said. “The data suggests that people who sit more than six hours a day have an increased rate of mortality of around 30 percent.”

After assuming his position as AVP of Academic Affairs, Zilber  began bringing up the standing desks idea in meetings with the University Registrar, heads of the Academic Senate and the AVP of Undergraduate Education, only be told that there was likely not enough funding for wide-scale implementation of standing workspaces.

Zilber then took the idea to the Office for Students with Disabilities, which was planning to build more standing desks in response to the American Disabilities Act’s Standards for Accessible Design. The ADA’s standards code, enacted last year, calls for the availability of such seats.

Zilber said that while the reasoning for his advocacy for the desks is health-based, students with disabilities would be priority.

“It’s unclear whether this would be strictly a disability-based thing or if there would be a number of standing desks that people could use,” Zilber said.

CLICS is undergoing the transition from a resource center to a complex that includes a new lecture hall. According to a Sept. 30 A.S. Council press release, the new hall is expected to be complete by Fall 2012.

Classroom Space Advisory Committee undergraduate representative Sammy Chang said that the new lecture hall in Galbraith will be more comfortable.

“The new lecture hall will hold about 400 seats and will be more accommodating to disabled students,” he said.

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