One Last Dance, Pizza and Senior Hour

Most students regretted the loss of their social space, but saying goodbye to Ryley Room was especially difficult for Seniors, who have called Ryley their own from 10 to 11 p.m. on Fridays. “At the Senior hour on Friday night, everyone was crying, ” said Caitlin Feeney ’08. But many underclassmen were excited about the renovated Ryley Room, and all grades are curious about Underwood’s success as a Ryley replacement. “I have mixed feelings toward the Ryley renovation: I adore Ryley as it is…On the other hand, I am thrilled about what is to come,” said Emily Hutcheson-Tipton ’10. Mary Doyle ’08 said, “[Losing Ryley is unfortunate] for Senior year, but I’m eager to see what the Underwood Room holds for us.” Students have expressed appreciation for future changes to the old décor. “It is like a cave down there,” said Lily Schaffer ’10. “I…hope that improvements are made to make it more comfortable, and I hope the new Ryley will be cleaner and a little less seedy,” said Audrey Adu-Appiah ’10. Several students said that the space could be better utilized if it were brighter and more spacious to prevent crowds from forming, especially at Ryley dances. “With such a large student body, more space could really accommodate our needs better,” said Alexander McHale ’09. With Ryley no longer available as a hangout, students have different ideas about where they will spend their free time. “I am sad that Ryley is closing, and I now do not know what I will do with my conference period,” said Taryn Ferguson ’10. Most students interviewed said that they will spend more time in places that they currently hang out in besides Ryley, like dorm common rooms and the library. Some students said that Underwood may be an acceptable replacement for Ryley. Other students said that they did not use Ryley as a social hangout. “I never actually hung out in Ryley very much besides getting food down there,” said John Turiano ’10. Faculty members said they will not be directly affected by Ryley renovations, but they sympathized with students’ uncertainties about their future social setting. Lixia Ma, Instructor in Chinese, said, “I am concerned for students in the dorm who need a place to relax.” Teruyo Shimazu, Instructor in Japanese, said, “[I won’t be affected], but now I have to go to CVS to buy a pint of ice cream. “Students can socialize anywhere. [The renovation] gives students a chance to be creative and make the most out of their resources,” she said. Kristen Johnson, Instructor in Biology, said, “I don’t think students will have sufficient socializing space during renovations, particularly on weekends. During the weekdays, Seniors will not have the Ryley Room during study hours, which used to be a special place for Seniors only.” Uncertainty about Underwood’s success as a replacement for Ryley begs the question as to whether there will be an increase in rule-breaking activity. Johnson said, “There will not necessarily be an increase, but students may resort to activities not as healthy as hanging out in Ryley Room.” Andrew Housiaux, Instructor in Philosophy and Religious Studies, said, “I’m concerned about the library becoming more of a social place that may tax the resources of the library.” Catherine Roden, Instructor in Biology, said, “I think there are lots of spaces on campus. Students will have to be adaptable and find other places to hang out.” Ma said, “[The renovations] should be worthwhile, though it is definitely inconvenient for people.” Roden agreed that the renovations are necessary and said, “I think it will create a better atmosphere.”