Open Classrooms

It is not an uncommon sight, especially around this time of year: depleted pens strewn undiscarded, loose papers askew on tables, comatose laptops left half-open, abandoned bookbags defending scarce seat spaces, the crack of dawn breaking on a jam-packed library, and (of course) the ubiquitous legion of napping student

It is not an uncommon sight, especially around this time of year: depleted pens strewn undiscarded, loose papers askew on tables, comatose laptops left half-open, abandoned bookbags defending scarce seat spaces, the crack of dawn breaking on a jam-packed library, and (of course) the ubiquitous legion of napping students. Once again, the throes of midterms season is upon us. 

That means, once again, the school has become a battleground–one of fiercely staking out territorial claim on that hard-earned seat with the handy outlet plug, of unspoken alliances forged among cramming students along one continuous cantilevered counter, and the nomad’s fruitless sojourn past the library, lounges, and alcoves, all in search of a vaguely horizontal ledge on which to rest for five minutes. 

The above scenario may strike a chord for upperclassmen especially. Regarding the seating availability during some periods last year, in part due to a previous policy of closing classrooms at 22:00, Olivia Olek ‘22 says, “Students had to either get [to the Academic Building] super early or resort to studying in their dorm or off-campus.” 

But owing to the joint efforts of Student Government and the Department of Public Safety, past precedent may yet avoid a repeat. Vittoria Vitucci ‘20, the Director of Student Life and Residence, explains how opening the second floor classrooms later than usual will benefit students, “[a]s the library may be full during these exam periods, the 2F class rooms provide an alternative for multiple individuals to study in a space or for groups of students to review together.” 

She has also added that Student Government has implemented the initiative before, and the process of securing the deal starts with negotiations with the Department of Public Safety: “After a short discussion of which classrooms would be opened, we decided on the second floor. It was also agreed that if students were using the classrooms and using them effectively, i.e. having more than one person or group studying in each classroom, more spaces could be opened.” 

Through recognition of the problem and active cooperation, the student representatives have acknowledged student complaint and have worked to address the problem. They express this year that they hope to continue to serve the student community’s interests by emphasizing accessibility.

This article was written by Michelle Li. Please send an email to managing@oncenturyavenue.com to get in touch.
Photo Credit: Michelle Li

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