Photo: Laura Navalta and Clare Calvert

Petition Launched to Return Sofas to the Library

We want our sofas back.

A change.org petition has been created, in an attempt to get sofas back on the ground floor of the library.

The petition, that merely started off as a joke, is now more than half way beyond its ultimate goal. Students Laura Navalta and Clare Calvert initially wrote a complaint to the library staff, asking why the sofas had been removed over the summer. The response they received from the library staff only further questioned the unjust removal of this social area.

A library staff member explained to them via an email that the removal of the sofas was due to the service desk staff being unable to “have a conversation with students because they can’t hear them properly.” The staff member further went on to admit that removing the sofas was more or less a temporary experiment to see if there will be “no positive differences to noise levels,” and that the library staff will “take into account any further feedback that we receive from students and other users.” Hence the creation of this petition.

Photo: Nicoll Russell Studios

The ground floor of the library has often become a social hub for students, rather than an academic one; leading to noise, clutter, and disturbance. However, many students would agree that this is a necessary area, in order to create a balance between studying and relaxing. As noted online, the petition page references scientific research that values such places as a need for “achieving productivity, success, and a positive outlook on the future.”

The girls both argue that “surely if you force all students in the cold winter months to congregate in that small area to the left, this will cause more of a noise problem compared to spreading out the noise levels throughout the entirety of the bottom floor.” They go on to further explain that although only a slight difference, the plants; which provide “a source of extra oxygen;” could still benefit one’s studies.

Photo: University of St Andrews Archives

Navalta and Calvert will take further action when a minimum of 500 signatures has been reached online, and therefore are asking for further help in convincing the library staff that what was once a “silly little petition,” is now students “taking a stance against this injustice.”

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