When it comes to places on campus where male and female students can come together to work on group projects, homework, or to socialize, space is extremely limited past a certain hour.
Upperclassmen, in particular, face a new set of struggles when considering the lack of co-ed spaces on campus; we are faced with longer, lengthier projects, the need for deeper relationships, and the need for more time to discuss pivotal events surrounding final exams, graduate requirements, and entering the real world.
In fact, there is only one major place on campus that is available for 24 hours: Spange Parlor. Spange Parlor is currently the only place where members of the student body can be together without a time limit. Recognizing that having one 24-hour space is better than having no space at all, Spange Parlor still does not appeal to all, or function as an appropriate 24-hour space for everyone on campus.
First, Spange Parlor serves as a connecting point for the Spangenburg and Williamson dorms which means that the space usually becomes the common place for underclassmen to congregate. Upperclassman feel that if they don’t live in either dorm, the space does not belong to them as much, and they are less welcome. Upperclassmen also vary in their maturity, concentration level, and tolerance level from lowerclassmen, and most often, want their own space.
Though there may not be a certain time when the Dugout or Hebrews closes, and there is the 24-hour room in the library, these places don’t always create an environment where people would want to spend their free time, or to hang out and socialize. Limited space means limited activities, and limited fun. Students who aim to work together on projects and students who aim to socialize should not be given the same, small 24-hour spaces since their activities will be so different. Trust me, upperclassmen have spent enough time in Hebrews and the Dugout that we need a relaxing, comforting atmosphere.
There is plenty of underutilized space on campus for upperclassmen to congregate. Though we have open dorms, perhaps places like Munro Parlor or the lounges on each of the floors could have extended hours for people to work on class projects, or where they can just spend time together. This creates ample space for the community to grow, while still respecting roommates and their need for sleep, privacy, and relaxation.
Having a community where all students can form relationships without regard for age is important; yet it is also important that upperclassmen have a separate space where they can be comfortable discussing the unique challenges that come with their age on this campus. Finding more 24-hour spaces on the ENC campus aimed toward upperclassmen would benefit many of the students who attend the college.