Aesthetically boring


For any fourth- or third-years at the University, the days of Club Clemons seem to be a distant memory. For second-years and classes to follow, they will never know the affinity of upperclassmen for Club Clemons. These students perhaps do not know what the idea of Club Clemons is even in reference to, and for these students I offer an explanation. Clemon's fourth floor, before the entrance of the class of 2012, used to have a more open floor plan. This open floor plan made it easier for groups to converse and also served as a place to hang out in between class without being in a place centered around food or being confined to a dorm. The existence of a social space in Clemons allowed for the second and third floors to be quieter then they are now. This new floor plan encourages silence and focus, taking away from the social reason why we once frequented the fourth floor of Clemons, as well as making the second floor at times equivalent in noise level to the fourth floor. In addition, the individualized seating that the fourth floor now contains detracts from the ability of Clemons to be a good place for groups to meet at busy times. Clemons Library for so many has been a place to relax from the stress of being a student at the University, and the loss of the social space affects not only the student who needs to unwind between class, but it also affects the student who wishes for a quiet place to study on the second or first floors.

The first thing that is rather peculiar about this new set up is the abundance of places for people to sit to "focus" on their work. There are two areas that flank the center group work cubicles for people that wish to concentrate on their work. This brings up the question, Why would someone be on the fourth floor to concentrate to the point that they need individual seats to accomplish this? It seems to be an oxymoron; they are the same concentration blocks from the second and first floors only with a less rigid construction. If a student needed an environment fit for that level of concentration, one would go downstairs in a quieter area. Even if there are students that are anomalies and go to the fourth floor of Clemons to focus, it is no secret that the window booths and the group cubicles are the most popular. They are always the ones to fill up first, and they always have someone's seemingly abandoned things on them as if they were guarding a precious resource. No one guards the individual seats, quite frankly because no one wants them.

The individual seating has another unforeseen effect. The individual seating has taken away from the availability for group space. Not every group meeting is serious enough to request a group room; however, they would still like to sit together. Because people come to fourth floor Clemons to be with their friends, they unnecessarily fill up the group work section. Some of us sit there so we can look around the library without feeling trapped, looking at uninteresting things like the cubicle walls. Even though there are signs that say "Please leave this space for group work," who is honestly going to ask a fellow Wahoo to move, especially since we all suffer from this new floor plan and can relate? For those who like quiet work, and still see no problem with this arrangement, they too are hurt by the layout. After all where do these forlorn groups go? The lack of group work sections causes groups that would have been on the fourth floor to migrate to the second floor, and because of this, the second floor is much louder than it had been before the layout. Now the second floor, which used to be a room where one should whisper, and the first floor, that was a kind of quiet comparable to Alderman's McGregor room, are too loud for the students who once frequented them.

However, students have lost the most in that they lost a place to hang out and de-stress. To quote the book "College rules!: How to Study, Survive, and Succeed in College" on stress, "find out what [your] stresses are, because academic stress is different from other stresses you will experience. Wise students make changes to minimize their academic stress whenever possible." This is clearly how the students of the University used the fourth floor. This is best evidenced with the two Clemons raves that occurred last year during finals season. Clemons was once a relaxed place where one could do work, but now it is not unusual for someone to try to hush you. Clemons used to be an overflow room for Alderman Caf

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