There are hundreds of classrooms at Swarthmore. While all of them are used to hold class at least once or twice a day, they are all available for student use if not occupied otherwise. None of the rooms are locked either so we can just go in after hours and use the space freely. Thus, I present to you the many ways that Swatties use a classroom beyond having class there.
This is probably the most obvious answer, but Swatties do study a lot and one place we do that besides in the library, dorms, or a lounge is an open classroom. On many occasions, I have taken up a room in Kohlberg or Trotter, put my earbuds in, and gotten to work on annotating a reading or writing an essay.
In addition to studying in classrooms, I will often find myself buying lunch at Sci Cafe and then taking my lunch with me to an empty classroom in Sci Center. Other instances include me having already studied in a classroom for a few hours in Sci but going to the Cafe to grab a late night meal to bring back and eat. Many clubs at Swarthmore will also hold events with free food in classrooms too.
3. Movie Nights
Since every single classroom at Swarthmore has a projector, it makes them the perfect place to have movie night with friends. In fact, the first time I watched Mamma Mia! was actually in a Sci classroom on a Saturday night where we all brought snacks to enjoy.
4. Having Debates
If you don’t already know, the number one trait that all Swarthmore students have in common is being passionate. Everyone has their own take on a subject matter. Thus, this often leads to healthy debates where we might go back and forth for hours. Additionally, one of my favorite traditions called the Bathtub Debates, where three professors representing each of the academic divisions come together and argue which division is best equipped to solve a hypothetical issue, happens every year in Sci 101, the largest lecture hall on campus.
5. Getting a Haircut
This one is a little out there, but I had a friend who actually cut her hair in a classroom in Beardsley Hall. It was the most random thing to do, but it definitely happened. From what I heard, it was nice to get a fresh cut. 🙂
6. Birthday Parties
Having birthday parties in classrooms is actually much more common than you think. Classrooms are a centralized space that already have tables and chairs readily available. They also have projectors, which gives us the opportunity to present slideshows on embarrassing pictures of our friends. While my birthday party this past year was held in a lounge in my dorm, I’ve hosted and been to a few parties in places like the Scheuer room in Kohlberg.
While this might happen when you’re at a birthday party in a classroom, it can also occur in other instances such as during the middle of exam season. This past Spring semester, my friends and I were tired of studying one night and actually ended up blasting a music video on the projector screen and singing along to Olivia Rodrigo in Trotter 201. We even rolled up part of our notes to simulate a microphone.