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Study spaces at MacEwan

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MacEwan University is as unique as the students that get to call this school home. In knowing this, we see that study spaces at MacEwan are also unique to each student. Each department offers different study spaces that students can explore. The study spaces are designed to accommodate many students and since last year, they have been enhanced to ensure social distancing and safety for students. 

From Building 6 to Allard Hall, MacEwan has many study spaces to offer. Depending on your class and study schedule, it’s easy to tailor your study needs to the school’s study spaces as there are so many to choose from. 

Let’s explore some of the best study spaces here at MacEwan.

1. The John L. Haar Library

Most students are aware of the library and have probably even been through first year orientation where they have seen it. Named after the University’s first president John Haar, 1971–1981, the library is loved by many as a place that students can come to for information, and many people from the wider Edmonton community also access the library.

The library on campus is a place that brings students together from every department, and the design of the library accommodates many students. There are spaces that have natural light, such as the desks located near the library windows, and there are open spaces in the middle of the library and behind the library shelves for anyone wishing to study. 

The librarians are very helpful, and they are always willing to help students with whatever they may need. The library also has a space for printing papers and has computers that students can use to study for classes. 

The library usually opens at 7:30 a.m. and closes at 11:00 p.m. on weekdays. On weekends, the library is open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. During exam periods, the hours might change to accommodate students studying for longer hours. Because of the many spaces available at the library, students can feel safe and comfortable knowing that the library has many policies in place for social distancing, which include wearing a mask at all times within the library, sitting a safe distance from other people when using the library, and disinfecting surfaces before and after use.

Borrowing books and chargers is easy and fast, and all you need is your physical student ID card or the student ID barcode that you can access from the library website. The library also gives two-hour loans for textbooks, so if you’re on a tight budget, this is the perfect way to study for your classes. 

The library website also offers holds for books that may or may not be readily available on the website. They offer to bring books from other university libraries to MacEwan’s library for most books that aren’t available there. The library has assigned assistance that can help students from various disciplines find what they need, no matter how specific. 

The only issue you might have with the library is the room booking system: it’s nearly impossible to book a room the day of. Quick tip: make sure to book a few days ahead of time to significantly raise your chances of finding a room. A private study room is ideal if you’re looking to watch a live lecture or have a group discussion with your fully vaccinated friends.

2. Allard Hall

Allard Hall is named after the Allard family who have contributed greatly to MacEwan’s growth and development. The arts student building, as many know it, is the fairly new green building that is located just across from MacEwan Residence. 

It contains a gallery and a theatre which both feature works from various artists including current and former MacEwan students. If you have time, you can access both of these facilities from the first floor of the building.

Within the building, there are tables and chairs for students to unwind and study. If you’re lucky, you might get to hear a musical performance from some of the music students. One of my favourite study spaces is the third floor, which has fewer students and bigger tables to work on.

Allard Hall also has a technology centre which students can use to access computers and printers. The only drawback to Allard Hall is that there aren’t that many plug-ins to charge your devices. 

The second and fifth floors of the building tend to have some of the best study spaces as they’re usually quiet, although this is dependent on what time you arrive to study. Noon to 4 p.m. is usually a very busy time for many of the students, so spaces fill up quickly.

3. SAMU Building

This is the recently opened building dedicated to the Students’ Association of MacEwan. The building features vendors such as a Chachi’s that is located on the second floor, and the building also houses an RBC branch which offers services to students. Before COVID, the building also had an open area where students could heat up their food and eat. 

The building also features open spaces where movie nights and club events are held. Most of the study spaces are located on the second and third floor of this building, with some study spaces on the staircase between the first and second floors. 

The study spaces on the staircase are a great place for those who love open spaces. Some drawbacks of this study space are that the chairs on the third floor are a bit higher than most chairs and the staircase chairs are not the most comfortable. This place gets the most sunlight out of all the buildings mentioned here, so vampires beware!

One thing to note is that the SAMU building is also home to MacEwan’s student representatives and all things student life. Feel free to drop by and voice your concerns as a student.

4. The swimming pool balcony

Located by the pedway between Building 8 and the SAMU Building, this is one of the more unconventional study places. The balcony is behind the glass doors where you can catch a glimpse of the swimming pool, and if you look hard enough, maybe even the fitness centre. As a side note to study spaces, MacEwan’s swimming pool is open from 6:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sundays. They also offer swimming lessons for those who are interested.

The swimming pool balcony is a place where you can kick back and read those research papers you’ve been meaning to work on. The smell of chlorine is very strong, but if you want to feel like you’re by the beach, this is the perfect place to be.

5. Building 7 first floor

Building 7 is probably the building that most students know about, since it is the location of the bookstore. You can also find many pop-up stores at the main entrance of this building, depending on the day. So what makes Building 7 a good place to study? 

Well, Building 7 has a cafeteria, and there are many study spaces on the building’s first, second and third floors. However, some study spaces may be restricted due to COVID. The cafeteria, located on the first floor of Building 7, is the perfect place to study, as you have access to the bookstore and other food places. 

The only drawback to these study spaces is that there are many people who come here to study and enjoy the perks of Building 7, and rightly so. You may want to bring headphones as it tends to get very noisy.

Image credits: Brett Boyd

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