What Grinds Our Gears: Aesthetically-pleasing seating that further wrecks my spine

I just want a place to sit and cry about my thesis instead of crying in pain

This is not the chair I choose to die on. Illustration: Marissa Ouyang/The Peak

By: Gabrielle McLaren, Editor-in-Chief

I don’t know how everybody else teaches themselves entire classes off of Canvas syllabi or churns out essays, but I prepare for war. 

I sit down with my coffee, my playlist, a pile of library books, and a selection of pens. When I flip to a new page in my notebook and open a fresh Word document, oh, it’s on. I will sit down for hours and hours and work obsessively until I’ve made some decent headway. The problem with this set-up is that if you’re stuck with uncomfortable seating, you will never get up again after your mental marathon. 

For whatever reason, Burnaby campus is plagued with savvy-looking but uncomfortable seating. What’s with all the trendy stools that leave my feet hanging? What are these low-sofa situations? Why are the chairs in the James Douglas Study Area just confused patio furniture? What’s with all this seating with no back support? How did this chair even get broken? And who decided on those weird furniture combos where you can’t reach the table when you sit on the chair? 

These questions keep me up at night and also come up time after time as I search for the promised land of “more student spaces” that gets whispered about every now and then . . .  only to find study areas that look cool, but don’t provide a comfortable and usable space. If study places aren’t comfortable spaces for me to sit and work, how am I supposed to use them to study? 

While lack of study space is itself a huge problem on campus, I think that a lack of comfortable and functional study spaces is just as problematic. I don’t personally have any accessibility needs, but I can see a lot of these study spots being inaccessible as well, which ultimately is an even bigger concern than this grandma’s whining.