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By Kitrick McCoy ’19 | Photo by Theodore  Liu ’18

Take a tour of the most beloved and new spaces where students gather to study, snooze or defy gravity.

While Geneseo has evolved, one thing hasn’t changed: a desire for student study and community space. Join us for a walk-through and sample some of Geneseo’s tried and true — and new — favorite study and gathering spots on campus. 

Bailey Hall main lobby 

The sweeping renovations on the 1966 Bailey Hall included much needed updates to classroom and lab space for the psychology, sociology, anthropology and geography departments. The 2014 project also included a new gathering area in the main lobby. The lobby offers plenty of natural light and space to collaborate and study in booths or at tables. 

Notable are the full wall of color photographs depicting people from various cultures that students might learn about in anthropology department courses, and a full-sized replica of the Emperor Ying Zheng’s terracotta soldiers that stands in a glass case beside the portraits. Professor Emeritus of Anthropology Ellen Kintz had the 445-pound figure shipped from China in 2006. 

“I’m only in here once a week for a club, but I’m always cheered up because this is the most interesting thing in the building,” said Juniper Tremper ’20. “It really connects to my studies, too.” 


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Photo by Theodore Liu ’18

The Spun Chairs

Charles “Chip” Matthews, director of student life, first spotted the oddly shaped “Spun Chairs” in New York City’s Time Square. He saw lines of people having fun while trying them out. Matthews found a distributor for the funky chairs and ordered them for the College Union. 

The stout, barrel-shaped chairs are flared, resembling a spinning top — on both ends. You feel like you may fall, but the chair rotates with your weight, keeping you in the seat. Students can often be seen taking videos of themselves while spinning in the chairs.

“One spin and you will feel energized,” said Matthews.

Fraser Study Center 

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Photo by Theodore Liu ’18

Before Milne Library opened in 1966, students studied in the library in Fraser Hall. It served as the campus library. More than half a century later, students still find quiet at tables between the stacks in the library’s old space.

“I remember going into Fraser Library as an upper-classman,” said Stephanie Brown ’04, who is on the SUNY Geneseo Alumni Association (SGAA) Board of Directors. “It was pretty quiet. It is awesome that it is still there.”

The former Fraser Library has offered generations of students a quiet space for serious studying. Today, Fraser maintains a dedicated following of students who study amongst the College’s New York state government collection. The old library setting still retains it’s original chairs, desks and some of the original overhead lighting.

“Fraser is the more laidback version of Milne,” said Selin Erdogan ’18. “It’s a nice atmosphere and it is just so calm.” 


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Photo by Annalee Bainnson ’19

The Quiet Study Room

Although the MacVittie College Union may have dance groups performing upstairs, a long line of patrons at Starbucks, and a packed lobby, it’s always “quiet time” in room 134. With its soft, tan color scheme and comfortable seating, it’s been a popular study place since the early 2000s.

Jangmu Sherpa ’19 and Sonam Lama ’19 are among the room’s most frequent visitors. “We spend more time here than our real home,” Sherpa said. “We usually leave our laptops and bags all day because at least one of us is always here.”


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Photo by Annalee Bainnson ’19

Sleeping Pods

Studies show a 15- to 20-minute power nap can boost work and academic performance. Wouldn’t it be nice to take one?

Students can do just that in the Union’s former commuter lounge. The two separate compartments are stacked like bunk beds, each with a privacy panel so students can snooze, read a book, or relax. 

Joon Yun ’18 stops between classes. “It is way easier just to come here rather than walk all the way to back to my room,” Yun said.