Spaces for Secluded Study During COVID-19

Work spaces in the Mudd Library are placed six feet apart from each other to encourage social distancing. Many places on campus previously created for group study have been transformed to reflect social distancing measures (Photo by Samantha Semerau).

As a part of Albion College’s Together Safely plan for the Fall 2020 semester, administration made many adjustments to promote social distancing on campus. One of these adjustments includes socially distant study areas. . 

One of these study spaces includes a lounge chair and desk concealed behind a pillar in the Science Complex Atrium. The Atrium offers multiple options for private study (Photo by Samantha Semerau).

Whether it is an old space that has been updated or a new space that has just been introduced, there are numerous spaces on campus where students can get out of their dorm, put on a mask and get some studying done. 

Science Complex Atrium

At the crossroads of what used to be four individual buildings, Norris, Putnam, Kresge and Palenske make up the Science Complex Atrium. The atrium offers multiple spaces for students to study safely with its large open space and natural lighting.. In addition to  large gaps between  study spaces, chairs and tables are placed against walls to limit the number of close passerby.  

The Science Complex, including the atrium, is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday. 

Among the many seating options in the third floor Kresge hallway longue space are a loveseat, a lounge chair and a lab table with desk chairs. The hallways connecting Kresge to Putnam feature small lounges on multiple floors (Photo by Samantha Semerau).

Kresge Hallway Lounges

In addition to the atrium, the Science Complex has other study spaces to offer, some of which can be found in the hallways connecting Kresge to Putnam. Like the atrium, these spaces existed before the Fall 2020 but have been slightly adjusted to reflect social distancing. 

Though these lounges receive heavier passerby traffic than the atrium and offer less space to socially distance, the cozy atmosphere and scenic view of campus offer a peaceful spot to get work done. The available outlets in the lab table also gives students the opportunity to work while plugged in.  

The Science Complex, including the hallway lounges, is open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday. 

The Stockwell-Mudd Library Bridge

An isolated study pod occupies the now-distanced Stockwell-Mudd Library bridge study area. Previously a site of group study sessions, the bridge has been updated to encourage solo studying (Photo by Samantha Semerau).

The bridge connecting Stockwell Memorial to Mudd in the Stockwell-Mudd Library was previously a site supporting both group and solo study sessions. In the age of COVID-19, the bridge looks much different

In the spaces where four person booths used to occupy, there are now single booth seats facing the wall to limit any potential contact between studying students and passerby. Similarly, tables that once held two chairs now only host one seat. 

In addition to these adjusted seats is the isolated study pod, which was moved from Mudd to the bridge. The pod contains a seat surrounded by plastic barriers to minimize distractions, an adjustable table top, a desk lamp and outlets. 

The Mudd library, including the bridge, is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.;  Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.  

There are multiple single seating options for students to choose from on the first floor of the Mudd Library. The first floor of the Mudd library contains much of the same set up but has been adjusted to feature single seating options almost exclusively (Photo by Samantha Semerau).

Mudd Library First Floor

Another classic study space that has been adjusted to reflect social distancing is the first floor of the Mudd library. Like the bridge, this space was previously an area suitable for large group study and individual study. 

For the Fall 2020 semester, seating options have been removed and furniture has been distanced to accommodate secluded studying. A set of four campus computers are still available for use but are offset on table islands from each other to maximize distance between students. 

Though this is a popular space for studying, the large space and distanced furniture ensures safety while studying, even during the library’s busiest times.  

The Mudd library is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Serra Dow Center

Lounge chairs and loveseats intended for studying were added as a part of the recently expanded Serra Dow Center. In addition to a new fitness center, new study spaces were added in the project that was completed for the Fall 2020 semester (Photo by Samantha Semerau).

New to campus this semester is the Serra Dow Expansion of the Dow Center. In addition to a new fitness center, wellness center and multi-purpose gym, the Dow now houses a study lounge consisting of tables and chairs, booths and lounge chairs. 

Stickers are placed onto sofas to indicate that they are off limits, a single chair is placed for every table and only two students are allowed per booth to facilitate social distancing. 

Though the space offers easy access to study areas for athletes active at the Dow, all students are welcome to take advantage of the new resources. 

The Serra Dow Center, including the study spaces, is open Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

About Samantha Semerau 15 Articles
Samantha Semerau is a junior at Albion College from Oakland Twp., Michigan. She is double majoring in English and History. She is also member of the Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program and is involved in many organizations on campus. Following graduation, Samantha intends to enter the field of editing and publishing.

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