Letter: Paresky tunes not music to our ears

I have a confession to make: I am a Pa-Rat. That’s right, I am a member of the select few Ephs who spend all day and into the wee hours of the morning in Paresky “social studying.” You might ask yourself why we prefer Paresky as our eatery/study spot/meeting place of choice, but I’d like to remind you in the words of the brilliant Frosh Revue song – “Paresky’s our new home!” Many of us Pa-Rats have noticed a not-so-subtle change in the usually welcoming environment of Paresky as of late, in the form of background music that doesn’t really stay in the background at all. The blasting sounds of the Paresky music system occur at seemingly random hours of the day and night at any one of many seemingly arbitrary volumes, ranging from loud to louder to loudest. Having to scream over peers to discuss Kant or leave with my ears ringing is contrary to the hospitable, social environment one would typically expect of a student center.

In addition to volume, song selection is also a hotly debated issue surrounding Paresky’s music. While there are arguable educational merits to the Jackson Five classic “ABC,” they definitely shouldn’t compete with studying one’s biology textbook in the Paresky quiet room. Numerous students have complained that not only is the music inappropriately loud for a multi-purpose environment intended for both socializing and academic pursuits, the limited range of music constantly on repeat becomes quickly irritating. Besides, Paresky is definitely not a discotheque.

Should music in Paresky be banned entirely? It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have some background music now and then, but the hours, volume and maybe even variety of music should be selected more judiciously. Playing music at a reasonable volume during more social hours like lunch times would be better for all students than on Sunday nights, preventing the ability to think in the upstairs study spaces. Others have suggested opening music choices to interested students, or even playing the College’s radio station instead of a limited mixtape – (Tito El Bambino’s “Flow Natural,” anyone?). Either way, something should be done about the music in Paresky, and it would be nice for the opinions of students to be considered about the music playing in our own home.

Sara Harris ’11