EMU Board: Take That Piano Out of the Taylor Lounge

EMU Board: Take That Piano Out of the Taylor Lounge

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Matthew Eggiman started this petition to EMU Board

It was January 29th, 2020, and I had just arrived at the EMU after riding my bike for miles through the pouring rain. I had two essays due the next day, so I needed to find a place to study. The EMU was particularly crowded that morning, so it was difficult to find an open seat anywhere. I searched high and low, and like a Bedouin nomad arriving at a desert oasis, I found the perfect spot in the Taylor Lounge. I began to work, but within two minutes of my arrival, studying became impossible. Someone had sat down at the lounge’s piano and started hammering out a sloppy rendition of Beethoven’s 5th.

This incident was not the first time that piano had impeded my academic progress. Last year, my classmates and I were filming a video for our Arabic class in the Taylor Lounge. Halfway through the shoot, piano music filled the room and muffled any dialogue we tried to record. We politely asked the pianist to give us a few more minutes to film before he started playing, but he was relentless. Because this piano continues to menace students in the Taylor Lounge, the EMU must remove it immediately. 

Despite these harrowing stories, one might still be skeptical of the pressing need for its relocation. Couldn’t you just study somewhere else? Well, if you’ve ever been to the EMU you know that the building is bustling with people, which makes it a fairly noisy environment. However, the Taylor Lounge is often an island of peace and quiet amongst the din, and is one of the few study spaces students can count on to be free of distractions. Despite it’s convenient placement near the main entrance on the first floor, there is little foot traffic through the lounge, which helps cultivate a peaceful, focused environment. Additionally, the room contains 54 comfy seats (I counted), which can make an hours-long study session a little more tolerable. That is, until someone starts playing the piano. Because there’s such a scarcity of quiet spaces in the EMU, it makes no sense to put a noise-making machine in the largest and most accessible quiet space in the building.

In fact, several students I’ve spoken to have voiced concerns about this instrument. “When I try to study, I find live music six feet away from me distracting,” said Conrad, a senior at the university. “It would be nice if people wouldn’t be playing music in the common area,” he continued. Brittany, another student, voiced her concerns: “Sometimes when someone starts playing really loud, I get distracted.”

Now, does this mean that the EMU must be piano free? Not at all. The EMU is generally a pretty noisy place, so there’s no shortage of space where live music might be appreciated. Indeed, the common area on the second floor directly above the lounge is a prime location for a grand piano. If placed here, the piano could serenade those in the adjacent art gallery while students work in a distraction-free environment in the room below. Please sign the petition, liberate the Taylor Room, and make this vision a reality.

 

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