Gaining the quiet solitude of a personal study room was a privilege in Kalamazoo College library lore. It meant you respected your time when you had the chance to occupy such a sought place. Not having the foresight to check out a room far enough in advance meant having to find the passive aggressive courage to fight for the last singular cubbie on the third floor. No longer is this the case, as the new relaxed policy for using the library study rooms is allowing the student body to find liberal, inventive ways to take advantage of the once-most-cornered spaces on campus.
“It was just too good of an opportunity to pass up,” said Kira Sandiford ‘15 a trip leader in the Kalamazoo Outing Club (KOC). “The rooms are a great place to hold after hours of camping sessions. For learning how to set up the perfect tarp covers, we have used a room on the second floor to outfit an entire camp site scenario.”
While passing by the shelves of the second floor, students should keep their eyes peeled for the emerging tent city. “We want to use the newly opened space as best we can, and to show those students who are not usually engaged with the K.O.C what sort of techniques you can learn from getting involved,” Sandiford said. “We are going to start holding Wilderness First Responder training sessions once a week in the rooms.”
Drew Hopper ’15, organizer of the Kalamabrew Society on campus, sees the rooms as a way to move production to a closer space on campus. “The best has definitely been invading the library. These fancy new study rooms have many convenient uses,” Hopper said. “There are windows, which we can ‘open’ to vent out the burnoff carbon monoxide. There’s a table, excellent for using gravity to siphon our beer for us. Next stop will be the reading room.” It was not said if there would be free samples of the brews to relieve stress off of those in the library.
The study rooms have attracted athletes as well, helping to combine two spaces, the gym and the library, into one. On the third floor, Hornet basketball player Hannah Maness ’15 helped to set up a weight room in a study room. “The team moved some of the machines into a room to help cut down on time going to the gym,” Maness said. “It was a pain to move them, but now it’s perfect for us. We can lift and then study as a team. We even have a fridge full of muscle milk for after workouts.”
Those students who used to study on the third floor of the library, on the other hand, are now using the weight room in the gym as a quiet space on campus despite the smell and lack of chairs.
The Index will be on the lookout should the library make a move to revert the new policy to restrict these developments. Until then, the shenanigans will continue.