By Rebecca Mesure
Living in a suite-style dorm with seven other suitemates does not provide an ideal place to study. Neither does living in a traditional hall where you can hear everything that goes on in the hallway. We should have a place next to or in our dorms where we can study in peace.
To find out if I am alone in holding this opinion, I conducted a survey of 77 students to see what their experiences have been. The results show that 83 percent of students think there should be a quiet place to study next to or in the resident halls. When asked what their ideal study environment was, 70 percent of students said mostly quiet, 20 percent of the students said silent, and 10 percent said moderately noisy. None of the students said that a very/extremely noisy environment would be ideal for them to study.
I asked if a quiet place to study was made, how often students would use it; 39 percent of students said sometimes, 29 percent of students said most of the time, and 13 percent of students said never. The survey asked if this place would encourage or discourage students to spend more time on school work. The results showed that 53 percent of students would be encouraged. With 83 percent of students wanting a quiet study place near or next to the dorm, 75 percent of students planning to use this place at least sometimes, and 53 percent of students being encouraged to spend more time on school work, it is clear that this place will benefit a majority of the students.
In the open ended sections of the survey, it became clear that not everyone saw this place as necessary. One student said, “You can just go to the library.” However, going to the library can prove to be challenging for people.
One student said, “Sometimes the library gets crowded especially [sic] during mid/finals week, so it would help with the availability of study spaces.”
Another student said, “The library is pretty far from the dorms and might be a struggle in the wintertime.” Other students pointed out another issue that the library creates: safety. One student said, “The library is kind of far and I don’t like walking alone, especially late.”
Personally, I agree strongly with the students who presented the safety issue. Being a small, young lady myself, I do not feel comfortable walking to the library and back by myself when it is dark. Other students suggested the “SUB” or “outdoors”. However, they present the same issues. The SUB is the same distance, if not further, than the library and studying outdoors is not going to be appealing when it is 20 degrees outside and snowing.
Another student who is opposed to creating this place said, “There are places in the Residence Halls, lounges, conference rooms, computer labs.” Other students pointed out, “lounges can be noisy” and “lounges are for people to hang out.” According to the KU Housing website, “Most residence halls have a main lobby, a TV lounge, a recreation area, and a study area, which are open to students 24 hours a day. Some restrictions may apply on the usage of these facilities”. This means that not all of the residence halls have all of the places that the student suggested.
I am clearly not alone on this. The results show that a majority of students would like a quiet place to study next or in the dorms and would utilize it. I ask you, the readers, to take all of this information into consideration when deciding the next investment for our school and seriously consider adding a quiet place to study for the students.