By SAMANTHA BENNETT
Built in 1940, Trinkle Hall is one of the oldest buildings on campus at University of Mary Washington. While the large rotunda and the seal of the university on the lobby floor are reminders of UMW’s rich history, the new Zen Garden outside is a symbol of inclusiveness and modernity. The old library-turned academic building is undoubtedly beautiful, but its aesthetic alone isn’t enough for students to want to take courses in Trinkle Hall. Trinkle has a big problem that is affecting students and their ability to succeed in class: the small desks.
“Trinkle is the most beautiful building on campus. The rotunda is gorgeous and I love walking by the seal on the lobby floor. The reading room was my favorite place to get my work done,” said UMW Alumni Nikki Ferrell. “However, I never liked having a class in Trinkle. The desks were super uncomfortable and the classrooms made me claustrophobic. The university just tried to fit too many desks into a classroom.”
Ferrell isn’t the only student who has felt uncomfortable in the Trinkle classrooms. “Being a bit overweight, the desks that are in most of the classrooms are too small and uncomfortable to sit in,” said a senior student, who wished to remain anonymous. “I feel like half of my rear end is hanging off the chair.”
Weight isn’t the only issue with the sizes of the desks. Junior psychology major Alyssa Titzer said that her height is an issue as well. “I’m very tall, so my legs don’t fit under the tiny desks in Trinkle, so I’m very uncomfortable when I have a class there,” said Titzer.
Senior and English major Sarah Petty agreed with her fellow students on the desperate need for up-to-date furniture. “I would keep the old structure of the building, but change out the desks and upgrade the technology in the building. The building has terrible wifi and it makes it difficult to complete school assignments in the building. Also, the elevator is scary and should be updated. I feel like it’s just going to stop at any moment.”
Petty went on to comment about the remarkably small desks. “Replacing the desks should be a priority. I feel as though I do not take as many lecture notes as I should because the tiny desks are very difficult to write on,” said Petty. She also said she tries her best to avoid enrolling in classes that are taught in Trinkle.
Overall, Trinkle is a landmark to the university and a home to many departments. While the school is able to pay for AC units and the Jepson addition, I think it wouldn’t be too much to ask for new desks and chairs for students in Trinkle, especially when it hinders their learning experience. Students should feel comfortable taking classes in any building, and the desks should be replaced so that students can focus on learning rather than their discomfort.