Silent Zones Are a Much-needed Space for Concentration and De-stressing


Annie Qiao

The Learning Commons staff takes measures to manage the space, such as encouraging all students to find a seat and asking students to refrain from being a distraction to other students.

Ki Joon Lee, Co-Sports Editor

As learners utilize the Learning Commons to collaborate with others on school-related work or to socialize in between classes, the spacious area has evolved into a social academic hub for students. Consequently, however, talking sounds and sporadic loud noises make it difficult for some students to solely focus on an assignment.

If we have quiet, it kind of gets you a little bit more in-tune with what is going on with you emotionally”

— Maureen Muir

To embrace students’ different work environment preferences, the school should create a silent space available for anyone looking for a place to solely concentrate on work or take refuge in peaceful quietness amid the increasingly crowding campus.

“If I want to study for something I need to collaborate on, it would be better to be in Learning Commons where I could actually talk to someone I know, but if I want to focus on something I want to do by myself, I would go to a silent area,” junior Jeheon Kim said. “When there’s people talking about their experiences at school I feel like I can’t really focus when I really want to study.” 

Currently, students seeking silent spaces do not have many options. Some students resort to spaces on the exterior parts of campus, such as second floor hallways of the 900 or 1000 buildings, but working conditions are less than ideal due to the lack of tables and chairs or intense sunlight. Some teachers open their classrooms during lunch, but the availability is not consistent enough for students to depend on.

“I don’t think we have enough silent space during lunch or office hours,” Kim said. “So after classes end, I sit outside the room, which is quiet, but I don’t think those conditions are ideal though.”

In a designated silent room, students will productively complete tasks in a quiet atmosphere. The space is a much-needed solution to the lack of both independent studying environments and a place for a sensory break on our campus.

According to research by Dr. Irene van Kamp of the Dutch National National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, a quiet environment is an important factor for mental restoration, reducing the impacts of urban work-related pressures and daily stressors. 

The first floor common area of the 600 building could be a viable location for a silent space, already equipped with desks and chairs. Students could silently listen to music or to take a short nap, taking a brief break that could replenish energy and better their mental health.

“I think a quiet zone is a good idea because nowadays students and adults just have so many distractions and different things that are constantly coming at us,” wellness coordinator Maureen Muir said. “I do think quiet is important in our lives. Going back to the brain, quiet can help us process so many things, whether it’s like information coming at us in a classroom or even just dealing with our thoughts and feelings. If we have quiet, it kind of gets you a little bit more in-tune with what is going on with you emotionally.”