POOL TABLE IN THE HUDDLE?
AGAINST: The Huddle is for work, not play
Let me ask you a question. Why do you go to the Huddle? I go to the Huddle for a variety of reasons: to meet up with friends, to catch the occasional out-of-dining-hall-hours meal, but most importantly, to study. As a senior, I have spent countless hours studying in the Huddle, so much so that I have a signature spot familiar to my friends and to the Huddle staff. The sudden appearance of the pool table, though, changes everything.
Have you ever seen a pool table at a coffee shop? I haven’t. Pool tables are only appropriate in bars or the Back Alley, not where people want to sit down and have an actual conversation over coffee or to put their heads down and get some reading done. I love studying in the Huddle because I can freely discuss my problems with my friends without having to whisper and because I can occasionally get some study snacks. It used to be a very study-friendly environment.
I wonder what the reason behind the pool table is, because simply put, it’s not even that popular. I have only seen people play on it twice since it appeared in the Huddle, and both times were equally loud and disturbing. I am not a quiet person by any means, but the crowd that this pool table has attracted to the Huddle has been incredibly distracting to people who actually need to get things done.
Moreover, there’s never enough space in the Huddle. Just stop by on a Thursday night during midterms week and you’ll know what I mean. And that was last year.
Now, with this huge pool table in there, there’s even less space. Will people want to be playing pool when they have a 20-page research paper due the following day? I hope not.
I would rather have the round table back in that corner where people could find six or more seats.
FOR: Relaxed vibe builds community
Finally, some swag has descended upon the Augustana Commons buildings. The addition of the pool table to the Huddle is a nice change of pace, and makes our second dining option feel more like a swanky club than just a place to grab a quick bite to eat or do some studying.
At Augustana, we have more than enough places where serious studying can take place: the library and the Siverson Lounge to name a few. Since the Huddle has always been the liveliest of our study and eating options, the pool table only enhances that feeling of a vibrant community filled with students who can work hard and play hard.
Playing pool is also a form of exercise, and like any other form of exercise, it is a proven stress reliever. Therefore, a pool table is the perfect addition to any study spot on campus. After taking a break to play pool, students will be more able to focus on their course work and reenergize during their day.
The other pool tables on this campus are tucked away, either in recreation rooms in the residence halls or beyond the bar in the Back Alley. The Huddle pool table is easily accessible and is great for building a community vibe in a place that otherwise might not have it. It’s easier than ever to find someone to play pool with now. Your days of awkwardly inviting someone to play are over!
In short, the pool table in the Huddle can and should be a welcome addition. Use it as a study break, a way to meet a new friend or simply as something to make you feel infinitely more awesome. Good call, Augustana. Good call.