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ASI administration seek alternatives to reopening art lockers

Art students hoping for some relief in their backs and arms will have to wait longer.

The art lockers, which once provided storage space for art studrents, will not reopen, according to School of the Arts Director Jay Kvapil.

The College of the Arts (COTA) and Associated Students Inc. are looking into other solutions, such as an outdoor locker area or integrating lockers into classrooms, according to Kvapil.

The art lockers, which closed at the beginning of the semester due to safety concerns, will be converted into needed classroom space, Kvapil said.

COTA originally set aside $100,000 in 2010 as part of a one-time $10 million restoration fund to Cal State Long Beach from the state to provide a new locker area for art students. When state support was cut in the following year’s budget, the money was relocated to fill funding gaps.

“We’re deep in discussion with several administrators about possible solutions,” Kvapil said. “We have assembled a team to look into solutions, and we met last week and revisited the possibility of outdoor lockers, and the fiscal planning team is looking into that.”

ASI will vote on a resolution to officially support efforts to reopen the art lockers on Wednesday. ASI Senator Kalifa Sprowl said COTA officials are helping student efforts to reopen the art lockers.

“Both our deans and the school of art director acknowledge the effort that has been placed within this resolution, and they are working with us to help advocate this need,” she said.
Kvapil said that although decorating and painting the lockers acted as a rite of passage for art students, it became a problem as off-campus groups began tagging the lockers.

When students started complaining about suspicious people in the locker room at night, Kvapil said closing the lockers became necessary.

“We heard students were feeling unsafe,” he said. “We can’t in good conscious allow the locker room to stay open.”

Talks of closing the lockers are nothing new, according to Kvapil. He said the issue was first discussed more than 15 years ago, and a plan to relocate the lockers was being worked out several years ago.

“It’s quite amazing to walk into it because it’s the most amount of graffiti you’ll ever see in one place,” Kvapil said. “It went from being art students writing clever things to tagging and from tagging to gangs.”

 

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