New study space in Plourde
Studying and exercise are two terms most people try so hard to bring together, but do not always know how. Typically, people try their best to stay healthy while also getting work done. Therefore, the age of multitasking is in full swing.
However, it can be difficult for people to get work done on a traditional bike or elliptical machine; and what about if friends want to workout and do homework together? Thankfully, there is one place on Assumption College’s campus that allows both groups and individuals to work and play in the same space: the exercise room of the Plourde Recreation Center.
The Plourde Study Space is located in the back of the upstairs exercise room that overlooks the pool. Students may not have noticed this space before because it was not previously being used for anything. Mike Rodier, Director of Campus Recreation, said the space was open for students to stretch, but most did not want to do so while behind a line of other students riding bicycles. Thus, the study space is, in Rodier’s words, “a really good use of our space, use of what we had. I think it’s going to be a need for students.”
The idea behind the space came from Rodier attending a conference for the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) in late October of last year. He said that nobody else he had spoken with had a space like Plourde’s before.
“[In a] couple of sessions we were talking about how working out, and how what can be healthy can be good for your brain and be good for your academics,” said Rodier. So he decided to create the study space.
In the past, students would often read flashcards and textbooks while on elliptical machines or treadmills, which is difficult to actually complete work. Now this study space, as Rodier was quoted saying, “allows you to actually bring a book and do more work.”
The space is designed to accommodate both individual and group work. Rodier repurposed preexisting bikes that were previously in storage. He bought new and more comfortable seats to be used in the study space. Buildings and Grounds even had their part in creating space, as they built the countertop positioned above the bicycles.
The space features a Smart television with Internet connection. Students can watch Netflix, Hulu or even a certain TED Talk they may have to report on for class. The TV also has an HDMI cord to attach laptops, so an entire group can look at the screen while working on projects.
The space also includes a white board for students to take notes as they work. “We’ve already seen some students up here individually,” said Rodier, “We’ve seen some groups up here. Early in the semester we see a lot of group projects.”
Students can even book the space ahead of time either through a Plourde student supervisor or professional staff member. There is even a schedule on the wall in the space, so students are aware of its availability.
Plourde’s study space follows a similar operation as other study spaces for that reason. Similar to when students go to the library looking for a study space, Rodier wants the campus body to know that another space is now available – one that also allows a workout.
Rodier has even begun talking to the Academic Support Center and the library about getting the word out about the space. “The library has spent a lot of time and money over the last year/year and a half to reinvent its study spaces, so this is just another use for it,” explained Rodier.
In the future, Rodier has some plans for perfecting the study space. “We have talked about maybe getting some cubical partitions,” he said. This would close off the space from the surrounding area and provide more privacy. This would also cut down on the noise from the background.
Overall, Rodier was quoted saying that as a staff, “We’re interested to see how well this takes off.” He encourages students to stop by the Plourde and ask more about the study space. Rodier hopes students will utilize the space for individual and group projects the next time they workout.
David Cifarelli, a senior, studies English and Italian. He is the Editor-In-Chief of Le Provocateur.