Study spaces tucked in alcoves, nooks and crannies

Grinnell, as intensely academic as it is, offers a variety of places with different environments and settings for students to study in. While many choose quiet libraries, others find it comfortable to work amidst the crowd of the Grill. However, there are other areas on campus that could be a perfect setting for students to study in, but are absolutely underused.

The Black Cultural Center (BCC), serving as an off-campus house for Gina Physic ’11 and Alexis Castro ’09, has a study space with computers. “It has a nice library space for anyone who would like to study in a quiet environment,” Physic said. “Although the library needs renovation, there are many resources available there. If you want to work on a paper or something, it’s a good place to work at,” she said. She also said that the school needs to advertise the place more in order for people to even know that the BCC has such a nice studying area.

However, places like the fireplace lounge fly under the radar of most students. On any given day, one can walk in to the fireplace lounge to find quite a few students studying there. Although it is right outside the dining hall, it’s usually silent, and thus it has its advantages. “I like the chairs here, they are very comfortable. If you are reading, this is a nice place to be at,” said Liz Dreier ’11.
But when it comes to hours of working, Dreier prefers the library because of the resources available there. “When it comes to doing math problems, I go to Noyce because of the white boards available there,” she said.
Similarly, Andrea Leiser ’11, a circulation desk monitor at Kistle, said she goes to Burling when she needs to study for a long time. “Apart from the fact that there are more resources there, I feel much more comfortable studying there,” she said.

Kistle has more students studying in it than the lounge. “We have a lot of people studying here,” Leiser said. “It’s never really full, but the only times we feel like we are in full capacity are when both the computers are being used, and there are people waiting.” Leiser felt that the only time the library seemed to have been “underused” is when people leave their bags on desks or study rooms indicating that the area is already “occupied” and don’t come back for a long time.

While Kistle is bustling with students and study groups, places like the BCC need awareness on campus. “One of the reasons, apart from the lack of awareness, for the BCC not having too many students studying in it, is its name,” said Physic. “Because it’s called the Black Cultural Center, many students who are not black feel like they cannot come. But that’s not true, everyone’s welcome.”