Barnard Has a Mancave?

by Laura K. Garrison

You! Stop that studying!

Gone are the awkward hexagonal blocks and shiny yellow panels of The Hive, once known as Altschul Atrium. The new “Fun Zone,” lovingly referred to as “The Mancave” by some Barnard students, is a reworking of a relatively ignored space across from the bank of elevators on the first floor of Altschul. The futuristic Kindergarten-theme of The Hive has been replaced by sleek modern furniture, large bare light bulbs hanging from the ceiling, and a smattering of plants along the large windows. The new décor plays upon the room’s strengths, allowing natural sunlight to open and brighten the space for an airy atmosphere.

It may not be a Mancave in appearance, but the Fun Zone is certainly stocked like one. Air hockey and foosball tables flank the large flat screen television, which is hooked up to a Wii system and DVD player (rumor has it that huluPLUS is also available). Wii controllers and board games can be picked up at the Diana Center Front Desk with your ID as collateral. A large magnetic Scrabble board is also in the works for a real life Words with Friends against the entire Barnard campus.

Despite the numerous signs that remind us that This is not a study zone! and encourage students to Have fun!, it appears most Barnard students haven’t gotten the memo. The few people who use the Fun Zone are often reading or working on laptops, oblivious to the true purpose of the room. Liz’s place has also been allocated to a zone devoted to “fun,” but this has done little to defer students from studying.

I think it’s great that Barnard has dedicated an area of campus to trivial pursuits (I can’t count how many times I’ve gotten thrown out of lounges by annoyed studiers and loud bakers), but the Fun Zone may be headed towards the same fate as The Hive. Enjoy it while you can!

Laura Garrison is a sophomore at Barnard College and Managing Editor for The Nine Ways of Knowing. She’s really excited about the air hockey table.

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