The ECC study room is one of the quietest spots on campus, but Kim Hye-sung (English, 2) is thinking about finding a quieter place to study. Kim is irritated by the beeping sound from the entrance gate located near her seat.
“I have no idea why the noisy machine is placed inside the library, not outside,” said Kim.
As midterms are approaching, more and more students are studying inside libraries on campus. However, more and more students are voicing the opinion that the libraries are becoming too noisy.
The study room in the ECC is known for its broad space and brand new facilities. However, students are annoyed by the constant beeping sound coming from the ticket gate whenever students place their ID cards on the machine.
The entrance gate was built inside the room and is only about two meters away from the study seats. “I visited Harvard during summer vacation and studied in the university library. The library had similar entrance gate as ours, but no noise comes out after students place their ID cards. A red light just blinks as a sign of approval. I was impressed with the consideration shown by the school to the students,” said Kim.
Another noise comes from students wearing high-heeled shoes. As students walk around the study room to find their seats, the heels they are wearing keep on bumping against the hard floor. “Something has to be done about high-heeled shoes inside the reading rooms. The shoes make such a huge sound. As the number of students visiting the reading rooms increase, the noise is also getting louder,” said Lee Shin-young (Humanities, 1).
The sound is especially loud in Ewha since it is a women’s university, in which a great number of women students wear heels. However, a similar trouble exists in other universities too. Yonsei University has laid mats on the floors of some reading rooms to reduce the sound of heels. “I only study in the place where mats are laid on the floor. I can’t concentrate with the sound of heels,” said Lee Bo-hyun (Yonsei University, 2).
After receiving numerous complaints from students, Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) has also changed their floor materials into an EQ floor, a newly developed material which greatly reduces the noise by absorbing shocks. “We also laid mats in reading rooms to eliminate any sound that distracts students and to make the best environment for studying,” said a staff member of the administrative office of SKKU.
“When I checked the ECC library right before it opened, I was greatly worried that students might be affected by noise from heels and the machine,” said Chung Rack-choon, the director of the Centennial Library. “The school is already talking to the company that installed the machine to reduce the volume of the beeping sound," said Chung. Yet, Chung says that laying mats on the library floor is not an option due to the possibility of aggravating allergy problems.
Many students say the ultimate solution lies with them and their fellow students. Lee Hye-jin (Sociology, 4), who studies at the Centennial Library, says noises made by students disturb her the most. “The noise made by opening and shutting the door and talking over the phone, or by the vibrations of mobile phones, are always disturbing,” said Lee.
She is not alone. Several notes on the library notice boards urge other students to reduce noise. “Despite the notes on the board, the situation does not get better. Students need show more consideration towards others,” said Lee.
“The school cannot take care of all the noise. Walking with consideration for others, and turning off your mobile phone in the study room is the best way to reduce noise. If students just give it a second of thought, this can be easily done,” said Chung. “I hope Ewha students use the reading rooms with good manners to create a decent environment for other students to study in.”
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