Students need more study areas

My mother always tells me that I am in college to study, not to fool around. If she only knew what it is like to go to school here, I’m sure she’d change her tune.

I mean, after all, studying just doesn’t seem to be much of a priority at this university, and our campus gives poignant testimony to this ironic fact. Think about it. How many quiet places are there on campus where students can go and read, or meet with a group of friends and quietly discuss the poetry of John Milton over their frappucinos? I can name only one: the Otto G. Richter Library.

The University of Miami is currently going through a major face-lift. An ambitious plan is in place to create new parking, a new patio has been created in front of Eaton, and more patios may be put in around the music school and the other dormitories so that students can have more places to hang out.

However, in all of these big plans, I see no provisions for the most important part of student life, the reason we are here: studying. Maybe they figured that with all the “hanging out” that we will be doing around these new patios, we won’t have much time to study.

Feeling unable to deal with such a huge problem by myself, I once again put my faith in the student body. I asked a simple question: Are there enough places to study on campus? The answer I received was an overwhelming “no!”

Numerous times I heard students complain that the University Center is always too loud to concentrate because of the television and the constant stream of students passing through. The patio and the cyber cafe faced the same criticism.

These aggravated students further explained that the study rooms in the dormitories were satisfactory if they were alone, but once other students came in, even those rooms became cramped and noisy.

The library, and especially the study rooms in the library, seemed to be the only place to go to get some peace and quiet.

All of these student testimonies led me to ask one question: If the university feels such a strong need to create multiple patios where students can hang out, why don’t they feel as strong a need to create more quiet places where students can study in between hanging out?

Why does the social aspect of student life seem to take such heavy precedence over the academic aspect?

I personally cannot answer these questions. However, I would like someone to answer them. What do the bigwigs have to say about such a mix-up of priorities?

I challenge them to make more places for us to study and eagerly await their answer as to why they haven’t done so already.

Travis Atria is a sophomore majoring in English literature.

March 1, 2002


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