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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

Getting Wofford In The Great Outdoors

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Jordan Willey ‘23 sits at one of the portable picnic tables.

Campus Union delegates champion effort to help students study safely outside

When the decision came down the line from administration to allow students to return and live on campus as well as to attend in-person classes, students and faculty understood that it would not be without challenges. The questions of where to hold classes, how to do so safely and what student life would look like lingered, even after the current academic year began.

Another issue students faced was where to study, and finding a balance between isolation in one’s room and the often oversaturated spots such as the library—which closes several hours earlier during the school week than last year—and Miliken was pertinent for many. This dilemma partially inspired Jordan Willey ‘23, who, along with Woods Wooten ‘23 and Cameron Beckum ‘23, wrote a Campus Union proposal requesting funding for portable picnic tables that students could utilize for studying or for recreational purposes.

Willey explained the appeal that the authors of the proposal saw in this sort of investment, saying “We figured with these being portable, you can go anywhere on campus with them and put them wherever you want, sit wherever you want.”

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The tables are made of real wood with metal fixtures and fold out legs with four individual seats, each of which can support up to 400 pounds. These were an upgrade from the first version of the proposal, which included cheaper plastic tables.

“It went through a lot of different revisions,” said Willey. “We were going to do the plastic ones, and that was approved by facilities and all that, but whenever we were looking at it again, the plastic ones didn’t have the best reviews, and we wanted something that would last beyond just this year’s use, so we figured the wooden ones would be better.”

The total budgeting of $864.38 for the tables included a five-year protection plan.

To check out one of the 7 tables, students can go to the game room in what is now the Mungo Student Center (formerly the Campus Life building) and write their name, Wofford email, the date, and check in/out time on a sheet in a binder located by the tables.

So far feedback has been positive. Willey told me, “All the students that I’ve talked to have been blown away by it, really liked it a lot.” Usage hasn’t been limited to just study sessions, he added. “Some of the outside classes are using those…and this is good be- cause they can work on their laptops instead of being on the ground.”

While extremely useful given the adverse circumstances caused by COVID-19, Willey pointed out that he noticed last year how students lacked a variety of places to sit outside. By that same token, he expressed hope that they will serve useful even beyond times dominated by worries over coronavirus, and will provide students with a tool for getting into the great outdoors, whether for work or leisure.

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