Beardsley Hall: Swarthmore’s One-Stop-Tech-Spot!

Beardsley Hall is one of Swarthmore’s many academic buildings, housing the Art and Art History Departments and lots of our IT-related offices! The bottom floor of this building has some of the coolest rooms on all of our campus, at least, in my opinion, as a student who works in Beardsley Hall during semesters.

Specifically, I work over in the Media Center, which runs color printing services for all Swarthmore students, some of which come from the upper floors to print out painting scans or photography work, while a majority of students I help during my shifts need their research posters printed. These are often for the natural sciences, like physics and biology posters, but others want to present their projects in the humanities and social sciences as well. Some of these printed works are even on the walls throughout the Media Center! This space not only has a huge poster printer, but also a smaller printer/copier for people to print out their worksheets, sheet music, or readings! I usually work there two days a week, each day having about a 4-hour shift. I can even do my homework when I am not helping anyone, which is an opportunity I am very grateful for!

Another awesome room further down the hallway in Beardsley is the Idea Lab. This place has everything a tech-savvy student could want! There’s a full green screen taking up a corner of the room for student video projects (video camera and photo camera rentals can be taken out from another room on the same hallway), a VR headset station with comfortable couches and futuristic-looking student-designed furniture, as well as a working flight simulator! The flight simulator is great for those interested in aviation and was recently upgraded; it basically has a supercomputer powering it at this point. If any of these features sound interesting to you, know that as soon as you step foot on Swarthmore’s campus as a student, you have access to them (since Swarthmore only has college students, all resources are made with new college students in mind)!

The final room I want to talk about in Beardsley Hall is right across from the Media Center. This is probably the most famous bathroom on our campus! It has such a mythical reputation among students because inside on the wall, there is a box labeled “PARTY MODE,” the old project of a since-graduated engineering student. This box has a key, and if you turn it, green text lights up on the box saying “ACTIVATED.” Attached by a dramatic metal chain is another box with a button on it. If you push this button after activating the system, a ceiling tile lowers from the bathroom ceiling with a disco ball, and 80s pop music begins to play as the room lights up with rainbow colors. What an incredible feature to have right next to the Media Center, right?

If you are attending Swarthmore in the next few years, definitely stop by the Media Center and say hello, take advantage of the Idea Lab’s awesome tech, or just try out that elusive disco bathroom! Thanks for reading!

By ssimon2