What grinds our gears: A lack of campus study spaces

Imagine having consistent access to a great study spot

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A study room, as described in the piece. The table is broad, and a window looks out from the side of the room.
Rooms like this one scatter the library, but are often booked or inaccessible. Photo: Jacob Mattie / The Peak

By: Craig Allan, Peak Associate; Jacob Mattie, Opinions Editor

As a student whose home has more distractions than it does workspace, I usually come to school to get my work done. My favourite place to work at the SFU Burnaby campus is the fifth floor of the library. It has these cozy little enclave desks that you can set up in, and work in what feels like your own private space. However, recently I found one of the study rooms on that same fifth floor with an unlocked door; containing the study area of my dreams. A private room with actual windows! Such a space is much better than a boxed-in desk. Of course, it’s not for my use, as these rooms are reserved for graduate students.

But this got me thinking. Why is it so hard to find a good study spot? SFU has well over 20,000 undergraduate students alone, and nowhere near as many desks. If they’re forcing us to return to in-person classes, it’s only right that we have somewhere to actually work. Burnaby campus is often packed, and finding a peaceful space is difficult enough without having to worry about social distancing. Surrey and Vancouver campuses aren’t better. The Surrey Library won’t even book study rooms to single students!

For all the time SFU encourages us to study, they really should offer us some facilities in which to do so.