With winter being well behind us, now is the time when students start to take advantage of the nice weather by taking our studies outside. One of my favorite spots to study is the Academic Quad, as it’s close to where I live, having plenty of space and is simply a nice place to unwind at. However, as we get closer and closer to the summer, the intensity of the heat continues to grow, and on a very hot day, the sun can be downright unbearable. This is why I think it would be a smart idea to add some kind of structure, like a gazebo, to provide shade for students who are studying.
I realize that there are plenty of indoor locations to study as well as places where there are trees to provide shade, such as Lancaster Walk, but the Quad really is one-of-a-kind when it comes to Drexel University’s campus. There have been several times when I’ve walked by the Quad and seen a temporary tent-like structure that had been put up to provide shade for the people attending an event. It would be great if this tent could be left up all summer long, but I suppose it’s not designed for that. Not to mention, it’s not the most attractive thing in the world.
Regardless, something really does need to be added to provide shade, as the location is a real hotspot for students. On some evenings, the grassy area is nearly filled with people hanging out, playing sports and studying, among other things. I suppose this is partly because people are less busy during the evenings, as not many classes are going on late in the evening and students on co-op are home from work for the day. However, I don’t think it can be denied that the nicer weather in the evening is the biggest factor that draws students to the spot.
People are less likely to subject themselves to the sun’s rays, especially at its peak. According to the American Skin Association, the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Their “Sun Safety” page also says the time during which Ultraviolet exposure is the most likely to be strongest is during daylight savings time, late spring and early summer in North America. These rays aren’t necessarily weaker when it is cloudy out.
For someone like myself whose current schedule consists of classes that take place in the early morning or in the evening on most days, I’m pretty much out of luck. I never have class between 1-5 p.m., but I have class in the evening and at noon three times a week, so the only time I can really go to the Quad on weekdays is during the time when the sun is at its strongest. So I usually just end up studying in my room or at the library.
Even putting up a few of those outdoor patio umbrellas wouldn’t be a bad idea. Just some kind of protection from the sun is needed, aside from us taking as many precautions as we can to keep ourselves safe from exposure to the sun. The temperature doesn’t always permit wearing dark colored long-sleeved shirts and long pants as the The American Skin Association’s “Sun Safety” page suggests.
I don’t think we’ll be seeing any structures added to the Quad that will provide students with any substantial safety from the sun in the near future, but later down the line perhaps, something will be built. In the meantime, it’s up to us to be mindful of the weather and how much we expose ourselves to the sun. And most importantly, stay hydrated.