SGA pushes for new desks in Tator Hall

By on November 16, 2016

Students may soon see a major change in Tator Hall: the addition of new desks.

Student Government Association hopes that the new desks will be more inclusive of all students.Hannah Feakes /CHRONICLE

Student Government Association hopes that the new desks will be more inclusive of all students.

The Student Government Association (SGA) is currently seeking to get replacement desks put in Tator Hall. Allison Kuhn, sophomore class representative for SGA, explained why SGA is seeking to implement the new desk initiative.

“The goal is to get seats that are more inclusive to students who may be overweight, pregnant or don’t feel comfortable in the chairs,” Kuhn said. “We don’t believe the chairs are great for the learning environment.”

Kuhn said SGA has a particular product in mind for more student friendly desks.

“I have suggested a type of chair called the Node chair,” Kuhn said. “They’re very expensive, but they have a lifetime warranty. They’re great for group work, they have wheels on them and backpacks would fit under the desks.”

A website that sells the Node chairs explained the many benefits the product provides to students.

“The Node school chair is mobile and flexible. It’s designed for quick, easy transitions from one teaching mode to the next, unlike traditional school desks and chairs,” according to Steelcase. com.

The website explains that key benefits of the Node chair include allowing students to shift their focus around the room, additional room for students to place their backpacks and providing students with a clear line of sight within the classroom. The Node chair generally costs upwards of $300, according to the website.

However, despite the Node chair representing a specific idea of what would benefit students, SGA is not limiting their options.

“We’ve had suggestions about tables or just a better setting than having to squirm back into your desk,” Kuhn said.

Freshman Paul Kruger said he believes the current desks are less than ideal for the classrooms.

“They’re pretty small. I’m in economics, so we have to have a laptop and folder up when we do quizzes, so sometimes it’s hard to maneuver with all that on the desk,” Kruger said.

Junior Ryan Sheehan agrees that having new desks in Tator Hall will make for a better learning environment for students.

“I would say that they would benefit a little bit,” Sheehan said. “It’s always nice to have more space to put your notebooks and computer on when you’re trying to work in class, so I’m not opposed to the addition of new desks.”

Kuhn said SGA sought out student opinions in a recent survey regarding the desks.

“SGA sent [a survey] out, and students were in favor of the new chairs. Students felt that new chairs – bigger, nicer chairs – would help them in the classroom,” Kuhn said.

Kuhn said she also personally feels that new desks would be beneficial to the learning environment.

“This all started for me when I had an open book test, where I couldn’t fit my laptop and an open book, and I did poorly on the test,” Kuhn said. “I was getting frustrated because I would’ve done better on the test with a bigger desk.”

SGA’s movement for the new desks has garnered the support of many professors who teach in Tator Hall, according to Kuhn.

“The classrooms in Tator Hall are not equipped for 21st century learning. The rooms with their small desks are designed for lecture-style classes where students are taking written notes in notebooks. This may have worked in the 1970s or 80s, but it definitely doesn’t work today,” Lisa Burns, a media studies professor who teaches in Tator Hall, said.

Burns said the ways the classrooms are not conducive to modern learning.

“It is very difficult to do group work, hands-on activities and other high-impact learning practices in these old-fashioned classrooms. And the desks are horrible. They can’t even accommodate students’ laptops [or] tablets,” Burns said.

Despite the active movement, there is currently no direct time-line for the implementation of the new desks, according to Kuhn.

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Associate News Editor
Email: jeremy.troetti@quinnipiac.edu
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Year: 2019
Major: Journalism