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Students need socializing spaces to avoid library gatherings 

Jumaane Millette

The William and Anita Newman Library conducted a survey and found that two out of three students think that the noise level in the building is an issue. CUNY students are used to hearing the slogan that “the city is our campus,” although it can be more of a detriment to college life than a boost. Without appropriately sized spaces for students to gather and converse, students will be forced to take spaces designated for other activities.

Library staff posted a sign on the outside of the entrance and around the campus. The sign stated, “We’re working on new policies to ensure more quiet spaces can be found in the library.”

In a social media post from a student-run account, the comment section was filled with complaints from fellow Baruch students. Someone claimed that the library sounds “like a zoo in there sometimes” and another jokingly suggested to “Just soundproof the entire library to the point where you can hear your blood pump.”

Students expressed doubt about finding a solution, and rightfully so — the high levels of noise library are an all-too-common problem.

Furthermore, this exposes a larger problem at Baruch College, which is the campus’ overcrowding of student-centered spaces. According to the 2022 Faculty Senate Meeting, there has been a rise in enrollment among undergraduate students, increasing from 14,574 in the 2018 fall semester to 16,242 in 2022.

This enrollment growth must be proportional to the increase in spaces where students can socialize. In recent semesters, the library has become the dominant place for students to gather, leading to the rise in noise levels. As a way to combat the loudness, Baruch must consider creating more social spaces so that students don’t resort to the library where other students want to study.

Student spaces within the Baruch buildings such as the cafeteria and Bearcat Den are often overcrowded with students, forcing those who don’t make it to these spaces before peak times to sit on hallway floors. Additionally, the Clivner=Field Pedestrian Plaza will not be able to offer students a place to sit and enjoy a snack since the weather is getting colder.

Moreover, Baruch staff and faculty should consider designated socialization areas in the library as a solution. There can be two floors reserved as completely quiet zones, for students who wish to study in silence, while the other floors can be designated to students to socialize with their peers.

The Bearcat Cafe started offering temporary seating in spring 2023 but has stayed empty this fall. This is a valuable space that should become an additional socializing area, equipped with tables and chairs for students to eat, talk and enjoy their time with others. 

By utilizing spaces that the campus already has and making those more hang-out friendly, students wouldn’t have to flock to the library where others are studying for midterms and finals.

The city can be CUNY students’ campus, but more importantly, Baruch’s campus should be accommodating for its large enrollment.

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Jumaane Millette
Jumaane Millette, Photography Editor
Jumaane Millette is the Photography Editor for The Ticker.
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