OPINION | A Quad needs more study spaces

Phoebe Hurwitz, Views Editor

(Brina Salazar and Kat Morris)

Tulane University has no shortage of beautiful study spaces, both indoors and out. Students can be found doing work at the tables in between the A.B. Freeman School of Business and Monroe Residence Hall or sitting at the tables in the courtyard next to the Lavin-Bernick Center. From Newcomb Hall to the Cassatt Courtyard outside of the Commons, if the weather is nice, students can likely be found at any outdoor table with their computers open in front of them. 

A sunny spring has sprung here in New Orleans, and now more than ever, students may be looking for a nice outdoor space where they can study and also replenish their Vitamin D. 

Students in the business school, for instance, can step out of their indoor study rooms to enjoy the nice weather at one of the numerous outdoor tables in the back or on the left side of the building. 

On the other side of McAlister Way, orange umbrellas provide shade for several clusters of high and low-top tables outside of the LBC in Pocket Park. But the LBC’s outdoor seating options don’t stop there as several more tables host busy students outside of the Commons. 

The seating options seem almost endless, not to mention the various indoor seating choices at the B-school and the LBC. 

Howard-Tilton Memorial Library is arguably the most obvious location for indoor study spaces. With several floors for silent study, students can find a table, cubby or booth to set up for a few hours to complete some work.

Additionally, the coveted B-school study rooms are another location where busy students can enjoy a quiet space to study. 

The library, the B-school and the LBC together make a powerful trifecta that provides a majority of the indoor and outdoor study spaces for students on Tulane’s campus.

There are many students, however, who may have some or many of their classes across Freret Street on Tulane’s Academic Quad, better known as “A Quad.” Compared with the heavily populated tables seen on the other side of campus, A Quad can seem like the forgotten cousin. 

Those who spend more time on A Quad may know where to find a few outdoor tables scattered throughout the expansive and beautiful area. However, unlike its counterpart across the street, students mostly experience A Quad in passing. 

A Quad is home to many important buildings for various areas of study at Tulane. For instance, the Boggs Center for Energy and Biotechnology is located on A Quad, and many liberal arts classes are hosted there as well as in buildings like Gibson Hall or Norman Mayer. Moreover, the Newcomb-Tulane College Academic Advising center is located on A Quad in Mussafer Hall. 

Not to mention, this area of campus is stunning and peaceful, situated on St. Charles Avenue right across the street from Audubon Park. The St. Charles Avenue entrance to A Quad is where the notorious Tulane University sign is located, as well. A Quad is quintessential Tulane.

The indoor spaces on A Quad are mostly classrooms and office spaces. Certainly, these spaces are necessary, and if it is not possible to include more independent study spaces in these buildings, then at least the outdoor space is yet to be developed.

This is all to say that, evidently, students do, and have reason to, spend much of their time on A Quad. Why, then, are the indoor and, especially, outdoor seating options so limited?  

A Quad is one of the most picturesque areas of Tulane and likely the favorite part of campus for many students and faculty members alike. Unfortunately, however, students do not have the same ability to make this space their own as they do on other parts of campus. 

If students were able to find a peaceful outdoor space to set up their work on A Quad, arguably many would. 

Moreover, extending the outdoor study areas across Freret might make students who spend a majority of their time there feel less isolated from the remainder of campus. 

Tulane students are fortunate for all of the wonderful indoor and outdoor seating spaces that the university already provides. However, Tulane students should be able to utilize all the beautiful parts of their campus to study, not just a fraction of them. Tulane does its students a disservice by not encouraging more time spent on A Quad.