News | Student Life

Barnard opens new study spaces for students

  • A SPACE FOR US | Rivka Holzer, BC '15, Barnard's Student Government Association representative for community programming, uses one of the new study spaces in Barnard Hall.

New classrooms in the Diana Center and Barnard Hall are now available to students as after-hours study spaces.

The initiative to open more late night rooms, approved by Barnard’s Student Government Association earlier this semester, allows students to reserve and use these rooms as alternatives to the Barnard library and the Diana Center public spaces.

Last semester, SGA did a test trial for the initiative, and members said that it proved successful enough to continue and expand the effort. Now, select rooms in lower levels of the Diana as well as rooms on the fourth and fifth floors of Barnard Hall are available to students as study spaces.

Students can reserve the room by using a sign-up sheet posted on the door, or by simply walking in and using the space. Julia Kennedy, BC ’13 and vice president of SGA, said that the sign-up system reflects the relaxed nature of the procedure.

“There’s some flexibility with some structure, so students know they can study there if they want to,” she said.

Early last semester, Barnard administrators announced that the library would return to closing at midnight, from Monday to Thursday, two hours earlier than before. After many students voiced their concerns about the lack of available study space, SGA members came up with the initiative.

Students said that they were happy about the new study spaces, especially because of the large tables available in Barnard Hall classrooms.

Delaney Wing, BC ’15, said that while she loves the Diana for its big windows and ample natural light, the building’s tables are only practical for individual work.

“When I’m trying to do a group project with four people, this tiny circular table is not going to be big enough for all of our computers,” Wing said. “So that’s when having a classroom space would probably be to our advantage.”

She added that access to certain classroom materials, like projectors, might also be useful.

Katie Barrand and Rory Vinokor, both BC ’16, said they have been using the Barnard Hall rooms to meet with classmates from their weekly lab and spread their work on the tables.

“It’s nice and quiet, it’s not distracting at all, and it’s just like a nice study space to be in,” Barr said. “And it’s also like a classroom, too, so it keeps us focused.”

Shin Feng, BC ’15, said she is often in search of extra study space on campus.

“Sometimes the Diana Center is too crowded, and the library is too cold,” she said.

Michele Spitzer, BC ’13, said she doesn’t feel the need to stray from her usual study areas.

“I already like where I am. I like these spaces, I like libraries,” she said. She added, however, that she could see how other students, especially groups, might like to take advantage of the extra space.

Kennedy said that while there are still issues with student space for clubs and other events, students need to be flexible with what is available to them.

“We’re on a small campus and we’re only four acres of space,” she said. “I think it depends on what your needs are and how you learn to adjust to those restrictions.” | @ColumbiaSpec


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