Student Government wants to put six benches and three tables on two patches of grass to the north of the Library, said Justin Hall, Director of University Affairs for SG.
There is a patch of grass just to the northeast of the entrance, near a row of bike racks and a brick installation, which is surrounded by small benches. According to SG’s plan, in this space, two benches will face the parking garage and two others will point toward the Library’s entrance. Two tables with four seats each will be enclosed in the middle.
Opposite this are two existing tables set along the sidewalk. SG will also put two additional benches and one table on the sloping grass below.
The new benches and tables will be similar to those found outside Cooper Hall and elsewhere on campus.
Though the SG Senate has yet to formally approve the budget request, the project will be funded with Activities and Services fees. Students pay the fee each semester. Hall said the Library might cover a fraction of the cost, but this could not be confirmed by press time.
Barclay Harless, Student Body President, said students have expressed a desire for more seating outside the Library in the past. Hall, who is managing the project, said he picked it up because, as a student, he doesn’t always want to work inside the Library.
“No matter what they study, all students can benefit (from this),” Hall said. “It gives students an opportunity to be outside. We’re trying to improve the quality of life on campus.”
Reception to the idea among students was mixed.
Jassim Aldeen said he doesn’t want to see the area littered with trash, and was concerned constant foot traffic in the proposed area could kill the grass.
He said he enjoyed the view in front of the Library and hoped the benches don’t spoil it.
Theresa Vergo, a junior, doesn’t think it’s a bad idea. She used to study outside when the weather was nice, but she said it’s hard to find a free table outside at neighboring Cooper Hall during the day. She would use the benches to study if they were available and the weather was cool.
Lilia Rivera, a freshman biomedical sciences major, said she prefers to study outside and welcomed the idea of more seating. The heat doesn’t bother her, she said, because she was raised in the hot climates of Puerto Rico and Israel. Still, she feels the area outside the Library is too loud to serve as a study space.
Hall said SG is trying to drive the project’s completion by the end of September, though plans are dependent on the Physical Plant for the labor. That department is surveying the area before accepting the job, Hall said.