Matt Flocco

In this week’s edition of “The Freshmen Fifteen,” Matthew Flocco offers some insight into the do’s and don’ts of the TECH Center.

In light of the recent arrival of midterms, which you are either in the middle of, just starting or just finishing, today you will be provided with a little guide as to how to use the TECH Center.

For those who do not know already, “Club TECH,” as it is classily dubbed on Facebook statuses, is Temple’s mega-computer lab. It comes fully equipped with Macs and Windows galore, editing rooms for video and music, sound studios, breakout rooms and, of course, the over-priced Starbucks.

Unlike Paley Library, which for some reason is a hub for conversation rather than studying, the TECH Center actually remains pretty quiet during all hours of the day. Following this simple etiquette will help you not look like a jerk.

It is pretty simple–keep talking to a low. Actually, try not to speak at all. If you have to talk on the phone, go out into the lobby area. People will glare at you. I have had it happen to me. Also, make sure your phone is on vibrate or silent. People don’t care about this as much, but you will be so embarrassed and feel awkward when everyone starts hearing Ke$ha blaring from your backpack.

Other TECH Center etiquette includes using headphones and giving up your computer if you see that someone else needs it and all you are doing is Facebook stalking.

And for the love of God, I understand that you may be bored while doing your business in the stalls, but the high school graffiti has got to stop. If you absolutely have to do it at least write in pencil, be creative and use correct grammar.

The rest of the guide is a sort of trick to the trade as to how to best utilize the space, for better or for worse.

Use Starbucks. I know it’s overpriced, but the coffee is obviously great and it is a nice place to take a break after spending countless mind-numbing hours staring at a computer screen. The fuzzy chairs are the comfiest around. Starbucks is also a great place to have a date.

The best chairs to sleep in are upstairs before you get to the computer lab.

Reserve breakout rooms early, especially during finals week. You will be so pissed when you don’t get one of those, especially if you have a group project.

Take the shuttle, TUr Door, home. It takes you from the TECH Center right up to your front-door step. Just make sure you bring your iPod, because you will most likely be the last stop. Don’t ask me why, it just always happens.

Finally, remember the TECH Center really is a place to commune. It is a sort of heaven and hell in itself. A full night at Club TECH is like a Vegas casino. You lose sense of time because there are no windows, it can be so much fun when you are in the action, but it feels awful the following morning.

Matthew Flocco can be reached at


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