Silence in the library: a necessary measure

Excessive noise on the quiet floors of the library has caused an uproar.
Excessive noise on the quiet floors of the library has caused an uproar.

By Ellie Schuckman Opinions Editor

If you have spent any time on the third and fourth floors of the College’s library within the past few weeks expecting to work in a quiet, relaxing environment, you have probably struggled to do so as noise violations have become an issue.

It has long been assumed that the higher the floor number, the quieter the floors are supposed to be, thus allowing adequate working areas. However, certain individuals and groups have made the “quiet” floors anything but silent.

Contrary to how it is supposed to be, there have been many complaints from students about individuals abusing the study rooms on higher floors and being obnoxiously loud and disrespectful.

Just last week, an email was sent out from Bethany Sewell, chair of the Library Building and Safety Committee, warning students of a newly proposed policy, designed to benefit all involved. It was stated that loud conversations are not permitted in open study areas. Also, cell phones should be turned on silent or off, and noise from headphones must not be audible to others. It was also noted that “groups or individuals being disruptive or noisy will be asked to move to a different area of the library.”

While this problem won’t be solved by one simple email, it should be used as a wake-up call for individuals to begin thinking of other people around them.

Although the policy stated in the email affirms that the quiet floors are indeed meant to be quiet, the fact that this note had to be sent out is appalling.

As legal adults in college, there should be a certain maturity among students, a certain level of common respect and courtesy. Everyone is here at the College for the same reason — to get the best education possible. Any hindrance of doing so should not be tolerated, yet when that hindrance is caused by students themselves, it is simply disrespectful.

Naturally, there will not be perfect silence on the top floors of the library. However, that doesn’t mean large groups need to be obnoxiously loud. It is easy for those wishing to work together to use the private study rooms on each floor of the library while still keeping their voices at a low volume. After all, the rooms aren’t soundproof, either.

If the only thing that can prevent loud noises are the eventual implementation of penalties, students who are being loud should be ashamed. It is embarrassing that college students, preparing for careers in the “real world,” need to be reprimanded for being too loud.

The solution is quite simple — show common respect and courtesy for your peers who are trying to learn and take the loud conversations elsewhere.