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Big man on campus can't fit in classroom

By Miles Bett, Columnist

A week into this spring semester and I am wondering why, when I applied to Hofstra, they didn't ask what kind of torture I prefer, whether it is water, heat, small spaces or light deprivation. I would, being tall, large and incredibly handsome (a taller more dashing James Bond) take the torture for hours until I finally cracked and spilled my inner most secrets. I'm better looking, but I'm not as brave.

This is of course a round about way to bring up a serious, well at least to me, problem I am facing this semester. No, I'm not tied to my chairs in class and beaten with a length of rope by the teachers until I can dictate everything they have spent the last hour teaching. My point is subtler than that.

Over half of my classes, five to be exact, are in the basement of the academic buildings that dot the opposite of campus. In general this wouldn't be an awful thing, I even have a certain fondness of being underground, but when you spend three hour stretches or more sitting under artificial light in an off-white cube staring at a white board, that gets to be a bit much. Again though, that isn't the meat of the problem.

My real problem resides in the classrooms that are neither off white nor nicely lit. In one of my classes there are roughly 30 students plus a teacher. We're crammed into a room that would only comfortably fit half. It of course gets rather warm quickly and there are AC units in the windows that get dripped on.

Throughout the entire class, which is on war for those not immune to irony, we can hear a loud, well thunk is too low and ping is too high, but some noise in between. The room is small enough that it sounds like a hammer fall and all but bounces off the close walls. Every class this semester so far we have had to listen to this perpetual dripping.

You combine the cramped spaces; my knees actually push the seat in front of me forward or would had it anywhere to go, the stagnant air that is warmed by thirty some bodies and the constant clap of water on metal and you are all but asking for a revolt.

I understand that not all classrooms can be airy and pleasant, not all can be bathed in glorious sunshine or smothered in sweet chlorophyll splendor come spring but please for the love of our sanity and more importantly our grades (how sad is that admission) can we at least, if we are to be crammed into caves, have just a few less students.

Now if you will excuse me I am going to stretch my legs.

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