We should make better use of the outdoors

Many can agree that Saginaw Valley arguably has a wonderfully beautiful campus that many take advantage of daily within these fleeting warm days.

It always makes me smile passing from meeting to meeting or class to class to see many RSOs, friends, and study dates occur within the paved spots on campus.

These sorts of things seem to beg the question, why do there only seem to be only so many spaces that students are doing this in?

Being here for the last four years, both through the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing normalcy of post- pandemic college living, there still seem to be a few very central locations students are within their downtime between classes: Brown Annex, Outside of the Gazelle fountain, within the library, the commons, the Cafe, or within many of the various study halls on campus.

It seems that Saginaw Valley is often sort of ‘boxed’ in with the centralization of campus– of course, this isn’t something that could be described as one particular person’s fault, though.

I would like to think that these things were hindsight by the originators of Saginaw Valley, as starting a college would be enough work as is.

As we seem to begin to stretch outward into different parts of campus, like the Gilbertson and Bachand Halls, there almost seems to be a slight bit of isolation or may seem daring for those who need to walk from one part of the campus to the other for their first time.

Again, I feel as though I should disclose that I seriously do love the uniqueness our campus has– from being able to see people fishing in the ponds between classes for fun, popping over to Yogurt Yeti with a friend after classes to get a snack at the end of the week, or even goofing around in a study room in the Carmona College of Business with friends after we finish our work.

But I also would like to argue that we would maybe benefit from more places to sit, study, and walk around on campus.

I feel as though sometimes students feel as though there aren’t many options besides these centralized areas already described.

I’m someone who prefers to study in a quiet and private location, but sometimes this won’t be an option because of bookings already being full for study rooms.

When in these large study spaces, like the Commons for example, on occasion can feel very packed– because you may be stuck sitting elbow-to-elbow with someone.

It also feels like the only picnic tables outside are located outside of the marketplace, the fountain/the cafe, and outside of Gilbertson.

Though it may not look well in other locations, or it may be difficult to fit in without it being a larger overhaul, it also would be cool to have more picnic spaces (and without wasps, but that’s for another writing another day) available.

The benches work for the most part but being able to not be hunched over while trying to write an essay outside, only because I needed to get a little sun would be fantastic (plus, sometimes if you try to sit by the bell tower while it goes off, it might sometimes startle you while studying).

Overall, again, our campus is beautiful, with the variations of places we have on campus, our wonderful museums, and unique buildings, but I feel as though we could all benefit from a little bit more space outdoors.

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