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Are You Read for Some…Table Tennis?

Pop-pop, Pop-pop. The repetitive sound can be heard ringing through the first floor halls of the law school. Not a dripping water fountain or the click of dress shoes in preparation for on campus interviews; it’s a highly competitive ping pong match taking place in the newly revamped student activities room. 

From fire safety to fledgling idea…

Thanks to the collaborative efforts of Student Bar Association (SBA) President Antonio Mazzaro, Assistant Dean of Facilities and Finances James Schoenfeld, and Executive Assistant to the Dean Sharon Leigh, Room 112 has been reborn into the familiar scene from years past. The space, which was being used as a storage area before the recent transformation, was just another locked room on the first floor until Mazzaro had an idea.

After using SBA funding to buy a new grill for student use, he knew it needed to be stored in a safe place. “I brought the fire safety inspector over to figure out where to safely store the new grill and when we toured the storage rooms on the first floor, it seemed like 112 was just a random collection of junk and a ping pong table,” he said. “It just so happened I was to meet with Dean Schoenfeld and Sharon Leigh that day.”

When Mazzaro asked about the use of the room prior to it’s current state, Schoenfeld and Leigh indicated that it was formerly used as a recreation room but had slowly been converted into storage. “Do you want it to be a rec room again?” Leigh asked to which Mazzaro replied enthusiastically “Ummm, yes!”

Hatching a plan…

The next step was formulating a plan; a few students and staff would enjoy a day of casual dress to clean out what Mazzaro lovingly referred to as the “law school’s junk repository” and reclaim the space for student use.

A group effort…

“Clean up was a massive effort, and everyone chipped in,” said Mazzaro. From fourth floor staff like Faculty Secretary Huda Kebede to Urban Morgan Institute Administrative Assistant Nancy Ent, the group put in about six hours of work before the day ended. “In the process, we’d unearthed not only a wonderful space for student recreation, but also some treasures from the last 20 plus years of school,” noted Mazzaro. “We were able to snag a composite photo from almost every incoming 1L class since 1984,” he added. Those photos will soon be posted in the recreation room. 

Down the road…

Future plans for the room include additional seating options to allow students to watch ping pong matches, a dart board and a cable television hookup. Even without the additions, students are already clamoring to use the room. John Hagan, a 2L, has already tested the room and has some ideas for additions of his own. “I used the room moving back and forth between ping pong and foosball with five of my friends. It makes for quite a workout and relieves a lot of pent up stress,” he said. His suggested additions would include two more ping pong paddles to for playing doubles and “a fan to keep all the competitors dry.” 

Another 2L, Edward Hyde, shares Hagan’s enthusiasm for the new room. “I think the room is a great idea!” he said.

Giving thanks…

Most importantly, Mazzaro noted, “major props” were due to Dean Schoenfeld and Sharon Leigh for all their hard work. “They replace shelving and desk units and helped get the room painted and the floor cleaned, buffed, and shined for our arrival,” said Mazzaro. “Without them that room would still be a home for old coffee mugs, broken binders, and outdated stationary!”