Places to study on campus

Zaria Johnson

When making plans to reopen in the fall, common spaces across the university had to make big changes to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff, but that doesn’t mean welcoming study spaces aren’t available. Here are a few locations to consider when looking for a place to get some work done while on campus this semester. 

Residence Halls

For students living on campus, the lounge and studio spaces in residence halls may offer a good study environment, while staying close to your dorm room, said Marianne Warzinski, the academic program director for the College of Communication and Information [CCI].

“Studying close by your room is convenient because you still have your amenities, … but you’re also putting yourself in a different environment,” Warzinski said. “When you’re in the [CCI Commons Design] Studio, … you have other people around, and you have an opportunity to share and ask questions.”

Although seating in lounge and studio spaces in most residence halls have dropped to 25 percent capacity, on campus residents will still have access to these spaces, which will be monitored by hall staff to ensure physical distancing. 

“There will be places marked where you can and can’t sit,” Warzinski said. “Returning students will notice that there aren’t as many students allowed in a certain lounge space, and that when they do use a lounge space they have to wear their mask and be physically distant from each other.”

It is important for students to ensure the safety of themselves and others when using these spaces, Warzinski said.  

“We’re really counting on students to follow [the protocols],” she said. “We really need the students to realize that based on the space that you have a room, only fourteen people can be in there, and people need to be spaced out.” 

University Libraries

While University Libraries may be known for its lively bustling environment and 12 stories of diverse working environments, the Kent State University library and its four branches across campus are undergoing several changes. 

The computer area will likely be limited to every other seat, and study rooms will only allow one person at a time. Dean of University Libraries Kenneth Burhanna said the library staff will be monitoring closed spaces to ensure these rules are being followed.

“What we’ve been asked to do by public health officials is to monitor the areas where people could get together in smaller spaces,” he said. “The library’s environment for this fall is going to be safe and focused on the health of students, staff and faculty.”

The library will also be operating under new hours this fall being open from 8 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday, and closing at 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday for cleaning. These hours can be adjusted according to future student demands, Burhanna said.

Additionally, students will be limited to only the first four floors when looking for a place to study. All higher floors will be restricted to staff, and elevators are limited to one person per car.

“By keeping it open to four [floors], we hope we’re providing a safe pathway for students to [walk] up the stairways,” Burhanna said. “There’s a way to request books online, and certainly our librarians can help you select books that will be brought down to the first floor for pick up.” 

Curbside pickup will also be continued into the fall semester, Burhanna said. 

“[It’s] been running throughout the last month,” he said. “You can select books, park behind the library and the books will be brought out to you.”

Services held within the library, such as Student Accessibility Services (SAS), One Stop for Student Services and the IT Help Desk will be available to students both online and in person, but the Writing Commons and library tutoring will be operating entirely online.

The library is working on implementing new software that would allow students to access library computer software, such as the Adobe Suite, from their own personal laptops. 

“We’re working on a possibility where you can log in to one of our computers remotely — from your apartment or dorm room — to access one of our software packages,” Burhanna said.

To ensure cleanliness and safety between uses, students are encouraged to use the university-provided cleaning materials to sanitize work stations before and after use and to follow other university guidelines regarding safety and cleanliness, Burhanna said.

“We’re looking for students to follow the Flashes Safe Seven,” he said. “Especially the wearing of face coverings and social distancing.”

Regardless of these changes, the main library will still work to ensure that students have a safe, yet enjoyable experience, Burhanna said. 

Center for Undergraduate Excellence 

While it will remain open for students, the Center for Undergraduate Excellence [CUE] will be operating under similar guidelines. Masks will be required, seating will be limited and many resources, such as the Academic Success Center scheduled tutoring program, will be entirely online. 

According to the Faculty and Staff Related FAQ, changes have been made to bathroom cleaning routines.

“Restrooms and classrooms will be deep cleaned twice daily by custodial staff,” the FAQ stated.  “In addition to enhanced cleaning, public/shared restrooms … will be provided with signage and foot handles for the entrance door.”

Academic Common Spaces 

Many academic buildings offer common areas that can serve as a refreshing study environment, such as the seating in the Center for Architecture and Environmental Design.  Like all other common spaces across campus, students are expected to follow the Flashes Safe Seven when entering these areas.

According to the General FAQs Related to Reopening, the university will not be removing furniture from these areas, but will be “providing signage in common spaces … to encourage physical distancing.”

Students are expected to wear masks and practice social distancing in all academic buildings. 


When the weather is favorable, consider studying outside. Students can find a relaxing spot at one of the many outdoor tables across campus or lay out a blanket right outside of their residence hall. 

“The outside tables, or just getting a blanket and studying outside is also a great idea that students don’t always think about,” Warzinski said. “Mixing it up a little bit and studying outside would be a great option this fall.” 

Around campus, especially near residence halls and the Student Center, there are a variety of seating options, including park tables, swinging benches, and grassy areas. Taking time to study outside might even allow you to take in the sights, Warzinski said. 

“You can spend a lot of time inside when you’re a college student,” she said. “It’s nice to take the time to realize we have a beautiful campus and there are plenty of places to study.”