Staff Editorial: Better workspaces needed for students

As classes begin to increase the workload for students this fall, BSM hour comes as a vital time for students to organize and get work done throughout the day. However, the work spaces available for students during the school day inhibits them from getting actual work done.

After checking in for BSM hour, students have two options for where to work––the library or the commons. These options, however, only accommodate the students on two sides of the spectrum––those who don’t want to work and others who need silent study spaces. Students in the commons talk loudly and eat food, leaving this space too noisy as well as uncomfortable for those who want to focus on their work, but the library only provides a completely polarized option with the inability to talk while working.

The lack of a space for anyone in the middle of the spectrum––those who like casual chatting while working or working on group projects––leaves many unable to find a work environment that fits their situation to work in during their BSM hour. BSM needs to, in the long term, build more work spaces for students to be productive and increase the ability for students to work during the school day. Students want to use their time wisely and get work done during BSM hour, but with the current situation students often can’t find the right space to work effectively.

Creating more work spaces would also help with the aesthetics of BSM––helping the school attract more enrollment in the future. When entering many other prestigious high schools in the Minneapolis area, such as Blake and Breck, one finds numerous couches, fireplaces, and other common spaces for students to work and hang out. This aesthetic appeal alone initially attracts many to these schools. BSM doesn’t necessarily need extravagant common spaces, but as another top high school in the Minneapolis-area, the school needs to keep up with these other schools to keep high enrollment.

In order to build more work spaces for students, BSM could include new common rooms in their project design for the next decades of the school. Open spaces outside, such as outside of the freshmen hallway and near the link, as well as other open areas surrounding the school, could be built into to create new comfortable and inviting common rooms for students.

While building new work spaces would be a long-term project, there are short-term solutions that would help students focus as well as provide more space during the day. While on occasion the library conference room can be used for work, many other spaces are not utilized that could be group-workspaces during BSM hour. Opening up areas such as the upper conference room or empty classrooms during each specific hour would make a big difference for students. Even just by breaking up the masses of people in the commons and library by offering other work spaces, noise level and concentration for students could be much more controlled.