Saving Silent Study Spaces

By Jo Cavallaro | Contributing Writer

3 mins read
person with tattoo on arm holding pen writing on white paper
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woman in red shirt holding pen writing on white paper
Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

The library at Drew is one of the most widely used student resources on campus. Built in the 1930s, the library has been serving students for decades and contains enough books to cover several miles. The library offers services such as: student research support, tech support and private group study rooms. With seven floors, the library has an environment for every type of student. However, one of the most advertised and important aspects of the library is the all silent floor on Level E. The Cornell and Pilling Rooms are perfect for students to complete their assignments without distractions. 

Recently, the Center for Academic Excellence announced expansion into the Pilling Room to create the University Writing Center. While the Center is an amazing help service to better a student’s academic performance, introducing a hub of idle chatter eliminates a necessary silent study area. While students are still allowed to use the Pilling Room to study, working amongst talking students eliminates the appeal of Level E’s quiet zone. Additionally, if the Cornell Room — a mere 10 steps away from the Pilling Room — remains a silent area, students inside will be able to hear the tutoring happening next door. The current system the library uses, which is the ground floor acting as the designated area for talking and receiving services, works perfectly. Trying to expand into established studying areas opens the door for more changes that decrease the areas students can find comfortable, quiet areas to study. If the Center for Academic Excellence takes the Pilling Room, who’s to say the Cornell Room would not be used next for another service?

That being said, there can be a compromise for the Center for Academic Excellence to expand their operations. There are many other spaces they can convert: the classroom in the basement of the library, the Kean Room next to the Center for Academic Excellence or the sudo-classrooms on the ground floor. While these spaces are used for multiple purposes, a block schedule system can be used to fulfill both functions. Expanding the functional space of the Center is important, but sacrificing silent study areas cannot be the way it happens.

Jo Cavallaro is a sophomore double majoring in psychology and gender studies.

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