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August 14, 2013 - Page 3

Opinions

Best study spaces on campus By Erica O’Neal Opinions Editor

opinions@mercercluster.com

Welcome to Mercer freshmeat! I mean... freshmen! You’ve made a successful leap from high school bores to college adventures! Now while you’re making new friends, and settling into your new dorm, it’s important to explore campus and find potential study places. Trust me, you will get a boat-load of school work, you will realize quickly that your bed is NOT a good place for productivity and you will be searching for a new study spot. No worries! Here you will find a list of study spaces that have certainly helped me: 1. The Co-op. I just call this the coop (like a chicken coop). I’m sure it’s already been pointed out to you, but just so you know, the coop is located in the Connell Student Center outside Bear Necessities (you have to go through the coop to get there). I love to study in the upstairs part of the coop on the wooden benches and tables. It’s very focus-friendly up there, and I can usually find a table to myself to spread out my laptop and books. The coop is also very useful for studying in a group. Piece of advice: Be sure your laptop is fully charged before you go study here because unfortunately there are no power outlets (or just bring an extra long extension chord to plug in downstairs). 2. Study Rooms in Tarver Library. Study rooms are excellent places for

concentrating on your work. They are quiet, brightly lit and there’s a dry erase board in each room. You can also choose which level of the library you want to study in based on whether you want background noise. I know I can’t focus on writing unless I’m listening to music. If you’re the type that needs absolute silence, than go to the third floor and you can practically hear your blood flowing. 3. Jittery Joe’s. This is a fantastic place to study and get absorbed in a focus bubble. Grab a coffee, choose a table and hit the books! Usually you can find a table to work on your own or with a group of friends. However, it can be difficult to study here sometimes because it’s a high traffic area for students. You’re bound to get caught up talking to some friends who stopped by for coffee. Just be careful you actually study while you’re there. 4.Engineering Building. Yes,

Study where? 1. The Co-op

Patrick Hobbs / Cluster Staff

Jittery Joe’s in Mercer Village.

Cozy couches in the co-op. even if you’re not an engineer, you can still take advantage of the empty classrooms available. The big dry erase boards and large rooms are perfect for studying in a group. It’s also quiet enough to study on your own. 5. University Center. The UC has plenty of cozy couches and tables to sit and study. I enjoy sitting on the couches overlooking the pool. It’s also very convenient for getting meals while you’re studying. Chick-Fil-A, Subway and Burger Studio provide a variety of food for you to choose from. The UC stays open until midnight every night so you can study late. So now you have an idea of where to study and do work on campus. Time to flutter your wings little chickadees and explore all the great spots off campus in Macon! Flip to the local section for a guide on your off campus adventures. Have fun!

because of that school, and the town has used that knowledge to flourish; many shops and restaurants use the Gator image as a marketing technique. It is a direct impact on society, both financially, and towards the image. Does Macon boast a similar story? In many ways, it does. When Mercer University moved to Macon, Georgia in 1871, the town was naturally much different than it is today. It was a growing town, and the campus helped to move that along. Today we see that still – one example being the Mercer Village expansion, just a few years ago. That movement alone brought a lot of business to this side of town, and offered many more reasons for non-students to be on this side of town.

While Mercer does offer its mix of activities open to the general public, the new campus will most often be barren of visitors, and will therefore remain almost exclusive to Mercer students. This is a shame because many students are going to prefer campus to Tatnall Square Park, across the street. Non-students are going to prefer Tatnall. This was similar to previous years, but with the nicer campus, there’s going to be even less motivation to visit the city park, and the rift will be even more apparent. The campus changes are a long time coming, and are extremely welcome by all. It is going to lead to a great improvement on the image of both Mercer University, and Macon itself. Like a ripple, the quality of

Patrick Hobbs / Cluster Staff

2. Tarver Library

3. Jittery Joe’s 4. Engineering Building 5. University Center

Mercer’s student perspective: Cruz Plaza By Jacob Missall Contributing Writer

jacob.c.missall@live.mercer.edu

It really is spectacular just how much of a difference these last six months have made to the school. From the fountains, to the renovated Porter Patch, the modifications make a striking impression on anybody who looks at them. To somebody who knows nothing about Mercer University, the new campus would make it obvious that great things are done here, and a visitor would immediately recognize this as a high-class institute that puts a strong emphasis on education and quality of life. The focus on the appearance of campus reflects a high importance of student life, and one would gather a great idea of what it’s like to be a student here. What about the image of Macon? Do the changes to the campus affect the community as a whole, or does it affect nothing further than the borders of the campus itself? Would a visitor to the town see it as a nice change to campus, or a nice change to the town itself? Overall, schools do make up a large part of the communities around them. Whether by student involvement, or by citizen interaction with campus, schools and cities are very much linked to each other. In some places, cities are built around the schools in them. Gainesville, Florida is very well-known as a college town. It is, of course, Gator country – Home of the University of Florida. Many people all over the country know that town solely

Erica O’Neal / Cluster Staff

Mercer University campus during construction.

campus is going to raise the quality of the surrounding areas and eventually the entire town. However, I just don’t see a direct influence to the people of Macon. There is an invisible wall around campus in the form of train tracks and overpasses, and it really puts a damper on human interaction. People only grow when they interact with unlike-minded people, and I just don’t see these offering that. Is that a bad thing? Of course not; that was not the purpose of the changes. They were meant to make campus a relaxing place for students to learn and study, and they do a wonderful job of that. We just need to remember that we have an obligation to the people around us. We are scholars, students, and good neighbors, and we can’t forget that.

Patrick Hobbs / Cluster Staff

Mercer campus as it looks today.


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