The University Union is a unique social hub at here at Sacramento State, offering options for students and faculty that run the gamut from quiet rooms to provide solace for those who just need a nap, to large venues for loud, rocking events that bring life and color to our school. But it’s most valuable functions by far are as a place to both hang out with friends and to study, and sometimes those two functions tend to clash with each other. If you’ve ever tried to study in the Union during the annual Phlagleblast, you understand what I mean.
In my four years at Sac State I’ve come to prefer studying in the Union over the library, and I’ve found plenty of things and behaviors that have proved to be common and reoccurring annoyances. Here’s five of them.
Though the Union has come a long way in providing electrical access in the common areas of the union, outlets are still often hard to come by, especially if you are planning a six hour study and essay writing session and having your laptop and six weeks worth of lecture notes strewn across your lap while you sit on a outlet sofa doesn’t sound very appealing. And while it is very possible to just ask a lone person sitting at an outlet table if you can join them to use it, sometimes it just feels strange and intrusive; “You’re sitting next to electricity that I need, can I sit here with you even though we don’t know each other?”. So if you have the fortune to come by an outlet table and all you plan on doing is catching up on your reading or to kill a wait time between your classes with a game of Flappy Bird, consider leaving it for someone else!
2. When people play their music. Loudly. And without headphones.
I bet your musical taste is wonderful, really, I honestly do. Music is great; I wouldn’t have become a DJ here at KSSU if I didn’t like music. But I don’t need to hear your EDC hype playlist from all the way across the room. If you absolutely need to rock it out with the volume on full blast to help kill some stress or put some life back into your post-midterm shell of a body, the Terminal Lounge on the 2nd floor provides private, sound muffled rooms for free to use on an hourly basis. While your time may be limited during the day due to request reservations, the evening sees less Union traffic overall, so you ostensibly could stay and rock out longer.
3. Playing musical instruments.
Seriously. Don’t be that guy. Don’t be that “anyway here’s Wonderwall’ guy. If you need to practice your playing, consider looking into using practice rooms in Capistrano, or the Terminal Lounge. If the Union is deserted, by all means play on. But I come to the Union to study and eat unhealthy food, not for open mic night.
Ew. Do you know how disheartening it is to set down a pristine printout of your midterm paper for a split second and pick it up to find the ink of your conclusion smudged by water rings or grease? You are all adults, and the Union staff are not your maids. Please clean up after yourself.
5. When large congregations of friends hanging out block walkways.
No one is saying that you and your squad can’t chill for hours in one large area, it’s your Union too. But when piles of backpacks and hordes of rolling chairs start making it hard for other people to get around to the bathrooms and the stairways and walkways, that’s just being inconsiderate.
The Union is a shared space for both work and play, if we are all considerate and respectful of each other and each other’s space, it makes the unique experience of the Union all the more pleasant for everyone.
Kiki is a DJ with KSSU Sacramento States only student run radio station.