If you’re looking to avoid Lauinger Library, there are several attractive alternative study spaces on campus. But as it stands, Intercultural Center Galleria would hardly be considered among them.

The space is unlit in the evening and there are limited tables and outlets. While it could be argued that this is because the Galleria was intended as an open atrium rather than a study space, the high number of students sprawled on the ground near outlets at peak hours indicates that demand for study space exceeds supply. A campaign initiated on IdeaScale by the School of Foreign Service Academic Council to add tables and lighting to the galleria raises the question of whether this space could be better utilized. This effort represents a laudable attempt to maximize space efficiency on our already cramped campus.

With a significant number of classrooms, departmental offices and professors’ offices, ICC is a hub on campus and a natural venue for meetings with teaching assistants, individual studying and relaxation between classes. Adding tables, lighting and seating would go a long way toward developing ICC Galleria into a more vibrant center of student life.

The addition of tables and chairs to the Galleria certainly has the potential to make the airy space feel cluttered or cause a disruption to those faculty members whose offices are situated around the Galleria on the third floor of ICC. However, if implemented thoughtfully — perhaps with longer tables down the center of the atrium — the Galleria could maximize its potential without compromising any current functions.

More Uncommon Grounds, the ICC Galleria coffee shop operated by Students of Georgetown Inc., would stand to benefit from potential expanded use and is poised to serve the student community in later hours. More importantly, the SFS Academic Council’s proposed changes present a great opportunity to foster a student-friendly atmosphere on campus.

The Galleria needs to move past its current role as an entryway. The university should jump at this chance to make a small investment with a large reward in student life.

Editorial Board member Sam Rodman, director of More Uncommon Grounds, did not participate.

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