Final exams push students to find new places to study, nap

Students crowd the rooms of Coffman, looking for peace and quiet.

Amber Schadewald

As finals loom closer, it becomes time for students to put their social lives on hold and start spending some quality time with their textbooks.

Whether it’s at home or on campus, finding the right place to study can be the difference between a productive or frustrating study session. But more study opportunities are available than many students think.

On any day of the week, masses of students can be found both lounging and reading on the first floor and ground level of Coffman Memorial Union. But those couches and study areas can get cramped quickly, making it necessary to find other study areas.

The second floor of Coffman is home to many of the University’s cultural student groups; spacious offices filled with comfy couches, computers and the occasional candy dish.

With open doors and signs like the one in front of the Disabled Student Cultural Center that reads, “Quiet place to study. Come on in – Everyone is Welcome,” the groups encourage nonmember students to use their space.

The Black Student Union also is helping out, implementing “quiet hours” halfway through the semester as a compromise between students who want to study and those who want to socialize.

For students who prefer to hit the books in a quiet place and close vicinity to the stacks, both Walter and Wilson libraries will be open 24 hours during finals week starting Dec. 13. Coffman will also extend its hours to 1 a.m. starting Dec. 14.

Samy White, a computer engineering and American Indian studies senior who works in the American Indian Cultural Center, said people who are not in the group regularly come in their office to use the free printer, read and take naps.

On early Monday evening, most of the rooms on the floor were fairly empty, and even at the noon hour on Tuesday, when the rest of Coffman was packed with students, most of the student group offices still had available couch and table space.

Warming her toes by the fireplace, University sophomore Becky Hirn cuddled up with her “History of Rock and Roll” textbook Monday night on the first floor of Coffman.

She said she likes to study in Coffman because she “never gets anything done” in her apartment.

Hirn said she has never been up to the second floor and, like many students, didn’t even know the cultural centers existed.

Grace Rivard, a dental hygiene senior and member of the DSCC, said her group is always looking for more people to come into their office.

Many people think because they don’t have disabilities, they shouldn’t come in.

“I’m not disabled and I hang out here,” she said. “When I’m not in class, I’m here.”

Rivard, who lives off campus, said the center has not only been a great study space, but a way to meet people outside of class.

“When you’re at the library, you can’t just lean over and start up a conversation,” she said.

Wilfried Zehourou, a genetics and cell biology junior, used a computer in the Black Student Union Monday night to finish up a lab report.

He said he regularly studies there or in one of the other cultural centers because he likes the environment.

“It’s my home away from home,” he said.

Ije Omeoga, an African American and Global Studies junior, said she usually comes to the student union to hang out with friends, but depending on her homework, she’ll study there too.

“I can do math here, but not reading,” she said, explaining that for some subjects she needs total silence.

Visual arts sophomore Peter Browne concurred. He said he avoids using any part of Coffman as a study spot, preferring to work at home.

“I get too distracted by people-watching,” he said.