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Spaces. Programs. Events. Clubs.

the C.A.V.E (Collaborative Academic Versatile Environment)

The C.A.V.E. (Collaborative Academic Versatile Environment) is located on the second floor of the Hill Center Annex in Room 252.  Part of the Computer Science Instructional Labs, the CAVE was designed to allow students to create their own atmosphere for collaboration and group projects. 

At the CAVE, students can hang out between classes and meet other students in CS, receive tutoring for most CS classes. The CAVE is also the meeting locations for many of the CS clubs.

Mission Statement:

  • We gather all students at Rutgers who are interested in pursuing a journey in Computer Science or in related fields
  • to create learning and career opportunities between peers, meet new friends who share similar interests, create a 3rd place for students to break away from daily responsibilities
  • so that people feel prepared for their next life journey and can rely on a community of peers after graduation

While anyone is in the CAVE, they are held accountable to the CAVE Code of Conduct.

Violators will be warned and further action may be taken if necessary.

The CAVE is maintained and run by our terrific iLab Assistants. The iLab Assistants are in charge of maintaining the CAVE and enforcing all of the above, such as the mission statement and everything under What To Do in CAVE. 

Say hello and get to know our current 2023 Roster of iLabs Assistants:

  • CAVE Manager: 
    • Pedro Pajarillo
  • iLabs Assistant:
    • Bhavesh Narala
    • Elizabeth Laub
    • John Y Choi
    • Kusum Gandham
    • Michael Lee
    • Nicole Hsieh
    • Rushd Syed
    • Shatakshi Ranjan
    • Sibi Tiruchirapalli
    • Mary Buist
    • Sanvi Patel

If you’re interested in working at the CAVE as an iLab assistant, applications typically come out in Spring semester. Check the CAVE for announcements when the application process will begin.

CAVE is available throughout for summer sessions from May 28 – August 14:

  • Mon – Thurs: 1-6pm 

CAVE hours for Fall and Spring semesters:

  • Sun
    • 3 pm – 11 pm
  • Mon – Thu
    • 1 pm – 11 pm
  • Fri
    • 1 pm – 6 pm
  • Sat
    • Closed

Tutoring Options

Tutoring is available whenever the CAVE is open! Check out the “Hours of Operation” tab for current hours. 

Tutoring Guidelines

  1. A tutor’s core responsibility: To answer specific questions that help clarify students’ code logic or understanding of a specific lecture topic. The tutors are NOT to fix, debug, or write any code into any student’s assignment(s).
  2. Tutoring expectations: Tutors expect students to explain (in plain English) what they are trying to accomplish with a certain piece of code. Then, the tutor can advise the student on whether or not the code achieves what it’s intended to do. 
  3. Tutors can conditionally deny support: If the student cannot explain their code logic in plain English OR the student is simply regurgitating code, THEN the tutor does not need to offer any help until the student is able to do either the former or latter.
    1. Tutors are here to assist those genuinely putting effort into their coursework. If you demonstrate a commitment to completing the assignments honestly, our tutors are more than willing to provide support. However, assistance will not be extended to those attempting to cheat their way through the course via AI chatbots or other methods.

      // TL;DR Tutoring Guidelines
      while ( student.askingQuestions() ) {
            if ( student.cannotExplainInPlainEnglish() || student.isRegurgitatingCode() )
                  tutor.denyHelp();
            else
                  tutor.answerQuestions();
      }

 

The CAVE’s biggest goal is to create a 3rd place for students. Check out this Wikipedia article on 3rd places for more information. As summarized in the article, “your third place is where you relax in public, where you encounter familiar faces and make new acquaintances.” Below is a summary of core components of a 3rd place and relevant to the CAVE:
  • Neutral ground – all are able to come and go as they please

  • Leveled environment – one’s background and status do not matter. There are no prerequisites to come. 

  • Accessibility and accommodation – basic space needs are fulfilled and the space is consistently, readily accessible 

  • The mood is playful – The tone of conversation and activities in third places are never marked with tension or hostility. Instead, third places have a playful nature, where witty conversation and frivolous banter are not only common, but highly valued.

  • A home away from home – Occupants of third places will often have the same feelings of warmth, possession, and belonging as they would in their own homes. They feel a piece of themselves is rooted in the space, and gain spiritual regeneration by spending time there.

In addition to being a 3rd place for many individual students, many clubs make use of the CAVE as a meeting place.

Below are the current hours that clubs meet in the CAVE for Fall 2023:

  • Ethitech – Thursdays 9pm -11pm
  • RUSEC – Tuesdays 7pm -9pm
  • RUSLUG – Tuesdays 9pm -11pm
  • USACS – Thursdays 7pm -9pm
    • Hacker Hour – Mondays 7pm – 9pm
  • WiCS – Wednesdays 7pm -9pm
In addition to socializing, the CAVE is used for various academic reasons:
  • Get tutoring – While the CAVE is open, the iLabs Assistants are available to answer basic questions from earlier classes in the CS major, such as CS111, CS112, CS205, and CS211. 

  • Use iLab machines – the physical iLab machines are available in the CAVE and the 2 rooms adjacent. These useful machines to work on class assignments or for general use.  

  • Collaborate with peers – The CAVE has whiteboards all throughout where you and friends or group mates can collaborate together by teaching each other concepts, do interview prep, and much more.