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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Observer

The best outdoor study spots on campus

September. South Bend’s annual thirty days of perfect weather is finally here! It’s the best time of year to study outside and soak up some Vitamin D before the permacloud sets in. If you are like me and have a very particular taste in study environments, this presents the challenge of finding the ideal outdoor study spot. A picnic blanket out on the quad simply isn’t going to cut it. I need shade, a desk or table to work at, low pedestrian traffic, few distractions, excellent scenery and a convenient location. We all know about the tables outside LaFortune and on Library Lawn, but there are plenty of more secluded spots that are perfect for the outdoor study enthusiast.

Here's a list of these hidden gems.

  1. Malloy Hall/Decio Hall courtyard: Is Library Lawn too public, too sunny or just not to your taste? Just a few yards away, tucked between Decio Hall and Malloy Hall, is a beautiful courtyard with ample study space. Head over for an excellent outdoor alternative to the library. 
  2. Behind Remick Family Hall: If you haven’t yet discovered Remick and its free Keurig, you are missing out. Tucked right behind the Dome and the Basilica, Remick has a lovely yard with tables in the shade. Head just around the corner to the Grotto or walk around the lakes for a peaceful study break.
  3. Hesburgh Center patio: Located right on Notre Dame Avenue, the Hesburgh Center has a spacious patio complete with large tables and adjustable umbrellas. If you live on South Quad, grab some Garbanzo and enjoy this shady study space! 
  4. Stayer Center: You probably haven’t heard of the Stayer Center for Executive Education, but this building on the south end of DeBartolo Quad boasts a large patio with lots of outdoor seating. This quiet spot is perfect for a study session after class in Mendoza or the Stinson-Remick Hall of Engineering.
  5. Hayes-Healy/Hurley courtyard: If you don’t have classes in these buildings, you’re missing out on a lovely – and usually empty – courtyard with plenty of tables to work at. This courtyard is fully enclosed by the building and enjoys a convenient location just a few yards from LaFortune. Like the Snite, this courtyard is only accessible while the building is open.
  6. Hammes Bookstore: The tables outside of the bookstore are packed during game weekends, but on a regular school day, they are up for grabs! Stop for coffee at the Gilded Bean and buy some new pens for a productive afternoon.
  7. Dorm patios: Each dorm has its own outdoor study features, so try exploring some other residence halls for a new study spot! My personal favorites are the patios outside Morrissey Manor and Lewis Hall because they both have lake views and a fireplace.
  8. The Snite Research Center courtyard: This one deserves an honorable mention. Head through the lobby of the Snite Research Center and out back you’ll find a beautiful courtyard with outdoor artwork, tables to work at and high walls to block the wind and sun. Best of all, you’ll probably have the whole place to yourself! Unfortunately, you can only access the courtyard when the Snite is open and the center is currently closed to the public.
Rose is a senior from Buffalo, NY with majors in Economics and the Program of Liberal Studies. Her writing interests include ethics, campus culture and the intersection of economics, politics and philosophy. When she's not writing, you can find her reading on the tenth floor of the library, losing intramural basketball games or working at the Law School.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.