OPINION: Students need to maintain stricter silence on top floors of library

Despite the USF campus’ library maintaining a rule of silence for the fifth floor, students fail to keep the peace and quiet. ORACLE PHOTO/LEDA ALVIM

Students need to maintain silence on the top floor of the library so as to not disturb their peers who go there to study.

Recently, students have been complaining on social media platforms such as the USF sub-reddit and on Instagram accounts like USF confessions about the excessive noise observed on multiple occasions on the fifth floor of the library — which is a designated quiet floor.

The first four floors of the library allow students to collaborate and talk with their friends. In contrast, the fifth floor is dedicated to letting students do their work in silence. 

“The fifth floor is the quiet floor, a no talk zone. Even in the study rooms, people should be at a low level,” said Marie Camacho, a library student assistant, in an interview with The Oracle on Feb. 2. “We have gotten a lot of noise complaints this school year. I get about two to three a day.”

Sometimes it is people whispering to each other nonstop and listening to music and videos without using their earphones. Other times, it’s people having loud conversations on their phones.

This noise issue may be caused by some students who are new to USF or are on campus for the first time after the quarantine period and are unaware of the library etiquette.

The library has put effort into enforcing the golden rule of silence on the top floor of the library. Students who have reported this issue to the library staff have been directed to a website to file this complaint form.

After the form is submitted by students, the library floor monitor gives students a warning. If the same behavior is continued, they are asked to leave — an appropriate response to the complaints.

There is a sign at the entrance of the top level of the library that indicates that it is the quiet floor. Yet the problem persists because of students who ignore the rules.

Some students have also mentioned the study rooms also cause disruptions to the quiet atmosphere on the fourth and fifth floors of the library, since a lot of people have loud discussions, and the rooms are not soundproof.

Students can feel demotivated and annoyed when such noise interrupts their studying, especially in a library where it is meant to be quiet and there are plenty of other places on campus for socializing.

USF students should be more considerate toward others while they are trying to study, and not do things that discourage their peers from studying. The first four floors of the library are open to conversations and discussions, but the fifth floor should be maintained as the quiet floor.