Professors and students have noticed a great amount of noise caused by lawnmowers, trucks or construction that has been interrupting classes. The noise drowns out voices in the classroom, forcing professors to have to keep their windows shut despite the uncomfortable humidity that stays trapped inside buildings.
According to several students, the work usually happens at times that are inconvenient for classes.
“I have a class in [Chapin Hall] in the afternoon, and we frequently have to pause because of the lawn mowers,” Greg Johnson ’14 said. “We brought in a fan as a solution to the heat after closing the windows, but it doesn’t seem to help.”
Professor of History Sean Redding has also noted the noise pollution around campus.
“It can be annoying,” said Redding. “We usually shut the windows.”
“This time of year it is a problem because of the heat,” said Redding, but added that she had no overt complaints “because once it gets colder, as it already has, it won’t be.”
Another student taking a class in Chapin also complained about the noise.
“The room gets really hot, so we have to open the windows,” Madeline Marucha ’14. “But when we do, we can’t hear the lecture over the sound of the lawn mowers, so it kind of presents a difficult choice, between not being able to hear the lecture and having to bear the heat.”
Yasmina Martin ’14 also complained of the sound of lawnmowers in her classes in both Chapin and Barrett Hall. She said that the disturbances usually occur during her 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. classes.
“It’s pretty distracting because someone either has to get up and close the window, or no one ever does and they keep going by,” Martin said.
Director of Facilities Jim Brassord said he was aware of the issue, as it arises every year.
“[Noise pollution] is not entirely avoidable given the fact that the operations of the College must continue to be able to support the enterprise,” said Brassord. “But it is a problem that can be minimized.”
Brassord explained that steps have been taken to minimize noise, including scheduling activities such as mowing and leaf removal closer to dormitories during class time, and maintenance around academic buildings during morning hours when classes are not taking place.
Despite Facilities’ attempts to schedule mowing at later times, some students, like Diwa Cody ’14, a Resident Counselor at South Dormitory, complain of waking up between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. to the noise of lawnmowers.
Other students, like Emma Hickman ’15, have also experienced disruptions in Converse Hall.
“Every single class, the lawnmowers are going off, and it’s very annoying,” Hickman said. “The professor tries to talk louder, but she’s not a loud speaker.”
“If we are causing disruption, we are eager to work with faculty and students to minimize it,” Brassord said.