Once every week on alternating Mondays and Tuesdays from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., an average of about two dozen students gather in room 104 of the Mason Library for studying, food and trivia.
Educational counselor from the Aspire program, Mark Schmidl-Gagne said in addition to getting real work done, students have an opportunity to goof around and talk. “It provides a wonderful community,” said Schmidl-Gagne. “It provides that connection [between] staff members and faculty members [and] the students who may not be finding it out on the intramural field or within a student organization. To find that here within an academic pursuit is really cool.”
Students feel they get much more work done in this community atmosphere. Keene State senior Sarah McVey said, “I’m definitely more apt to be productive [at study night] because I feel less comfortable watching my Netflix with everyone to see it too, so I have less distractions.”
Other students go to study night for different reasons. KSC sophomore Katelynn Kaimi said, “I still have the same distractions; I watch Netflix or whatever. I come for the food. I’m still as productive, I can work kind of anywhere, but they feed me, so that’s great.”
On Tuesday, Sept. 19, Kaimi and other students enjoyed Chinese take-out as they worked on assignments.
“We always have some level of food or snack here,” Schmidl-Gagne said.
In addition to the food, Kaimi added that she appreciates the atmosphere. “It’s pleasant. Everyone’s nice and… willing to help you. [The faculty is] always there to help with whatever problems you have, and so it’s super helpful,” Kaimi said.
McVey added to Kaimi’s statement and said, “Even if it’s not like a study night question, even if it’s not homework, you can just go up and talk to them. They’re really helpful. Really, any point that you could possibly get to, you always know that they’re there. So if you ever have any questions, then you can just pop into study night. It’s really chill. It’s very nice.”
Schmidl-Gagne said he feels that many other students who frequent study nights share McVey’s sentiment. “The fact that [a group of students] chose that tonight’s [trivia] question would be about ‘How many ties does Mark have?’ tells me that they recognize sort of who I am and what I am and that we have that connection.”
The student who guessed closest to the number of neck ties Schmidl-Gagne owned won a $5 gift card to Cumberland Farms, which, Schmidl-Gagne said laughingly, “Ought to be attraction enough [to come to study night].”
The number of students attending study nights are tracked and, as a result, so is the approximate number of hours spent studying. According to Schmidl-Gagne, there were about four hundred thirty-six (436) students tracked during the 2017 spring semester, and a total of over five hundred (500) hours of studying.
Upcoming study nights are Tuesday, Oct. 3, and Monday, Oct. 9. Schmidl-Gagne said he encourages all students to come.
Kalila Brooks can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org