NEWS

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October 20, 2006

Crerar puts A-level die-hards to test

[img id="80087" align="alignleft"] For students accustomed to the 3 a.m. din on the A-level of Regenstein Library, the move of the all-night study space to the first floor of Crerar Library has made all-nighters a more unpleasant experience.

During peak nighttime hours when students would have thronged to the A-level, Crerar’s first floor remains practically empty.

“The A-level used to provide camaraderie, a familial atmosphere even,” said third-year in the College Patricia Dwyer. “I actually made friends on the A-level. Crerar just doesn’t have the same crowd.”

The John Crerar Library is a pristine, silent science library, predominantly serving students from the medical school and science divisions. The first floor, which now accommodates all-night studiers, is outfitted with computers and large, open tables like those in Regenstein.

“The appeal of Crerar is that no one goes there. It’s very quiet,” second-year Alexandra Frons said.

“People grimace at you in Crerar if you so much as move your chair,” third-year Linda Wu said. “In the A-level, you could talk. You need to be able to laugh at yourself when you’re up all night working, and it’s not allowed at Crerar.”

The A-level had a certain mystique among late-night studiers, attracting students who never left Regenstein as well as those who rarely opened their books.

And the study space offered a prime opportunity to see and be seen.

“I’d wear lip gloss,” second-year Alyssa Rosen said about her frequent visits to the A-level during finals week, one of the study space’s busiest times.

“[The A-level] was great for things that are best done in groups,” said Rosen, who refuses to go to Crerar. “I miss having a place where I can do homework in a semi-social setting.”

For the same reasons, Frons is optimistic about Crerar as a study space. “There are very few distractions,” she said. “It’s a very intense space in which to study. It’s just easier to concentrate.”

Second-year Preetha Rajamani recounted what some might consider an A-level rite of passage: falling asleep on the study space’s floor, beneath a desk.

“I dropped something and I went under the table to get it,” Rajamani said. “I was so deliriously tired: I leaned my head on my arm and fell asleep for a few hours. I opened my eyes because I heard the sound of someone using a vacuum cleaner next to my face.”

While Rajamani called the A-level “very ugly,” she said it still has a place in her heart. “I have very positive memories of it, like being helped out by friends and Bart Mart runs,” she said. “I’ll miss it.”