featured-column / News

Music rooms used for everything except music

An unoccupied music room that’s easily accessible despite the locks outside.

In an attempt to reclaim the college’s practice rooms for the right purpose, the Music Department added a special access swipe for music majors on the outside of every room. But the locks don’t work as expected, and students say the rooms are continually occupied by non-music majors, making them almost unusable.

Instead, amidst the bustle between classes, students perch on the aging benches in the hallways of Hunter North with guitars in hand or the Skywalk, better locations than the practice rooms, which they say are just not that pleasant.

“The rooms are dirty, some of the equipment is broken, and they get hot—quick,” said Katherine Abaño, a music minor. She says that although the rooms are a good idea in theory, they aren’t in good enough condition to be useful nor can you ever find one that’s free to use. “Besides, they’re almost always occupied so even if you want to use them, it’s pretty hard to get one.”

For some music majors, however, the hallway option is just not possible. “I mean, yeah, the guitar players can probably practice elsewhere but I can’t just drag a piano into the school, prop it in the middle of the hallway and practice there,” said Claire Lee, a fourth-year student. “This whole situation is ridiculous.”

The access swipe and schedule outside one of the practice rooms.

Not only are the music students affected, it seems that incoming students have something to say as well. “I was planning on majoring in music in the fall of 2019, but my older brother told me about the condition of the Music Department, and I’ve been having second thoughts ever since,” said Kayla Maldonado, who is currently a high school senior who is planning to attend Hunter in the fall.

A representative for the Music Department said that there were new locks installed in order to regulate student usage of the rooms. In an effort to keep the rooms in better condition and unoccupied by students that may not need to use them urgently, they’ve also placed a sheet with appointed times for students who sign up to use the rooms.

The empty hallways show the lack of movement in the area.

However, according to pupils, non-music students still find a way to access the practice space and hang out due to the lack of movement in the area. Sarah, who refused to give her last name for security purposes, said that her friends always hang out in the first room on the left. “There’s space there since it’s the biggest room and we usually sit there for hours during our breaks. No one says a thing,” she said.

“We do bring food in there and I guess we leave containers or something around and maybe we should try to pick up after ourselves more often, but you forget. We have to rush to class and have more important things to worry about anyways,” said Sarah, in an annoyed tone. “We’re not the bad guys here,” she added.

Although these students see no harm in using the rooms, the music students don’t like it one bit.

“Dude, they’re always in there,” said Abaño. “Every time I try to use one during my break, I see students just sitting around on their phones either talking or eating—or both! And then once they leave, there’s wrappers and food left behind. It’s disgusting.”

Despite the department’s attempt to keep order, the students still aren’t satisfied.

“I don’t know why they can’t just have someone monitor the area. They do it for the language lab so why can’t the music department get the same sort of attention?” asked Abaño.

 

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