A Student's-Eye View
What do students think of the new Life Sciences Building?
By Emily Ellsworth
View from north end of the third level, LSB. Photo by Savanna Sorensen.
For many students, the beginning of Fall 2014 Semester was their first glimpse at the new Life Sciences Building. Nearly three years of watching its construction certainly built anticipation about the new structure and the changes it would bring to not only classroom instruction but also to other facets of education for life sciences majors. It was clear for the first few weeks that students were both awed and overwhelmed by the space as they looked at maps trying to find their classrooms.
However, after a few weeks into the semester, the newness and the complexity of the Life Sciences Building has eased and students are eager to begin utilizing the building to its full potential. One of the most popular features is the study areas. “It’s a lot more convenient to study here than in the Widtsoe; it’s off from the crowds,” said Arthur Silva, a neuroscience major. “In the Widtsoe, you’d get this dreary, no-light feeling. Here there is a lot of natural light and it’s more open.” Alli, a biological science education major, also noted the abundance of natural light. “I like the natural lighting,” she said. “If you are tired of reading, you can look up and see the mountains and sky.” However, students aren’t just excited about the light and aesthetics of the building. It’s clear that the building is more practical and modern. Many students remarked that the laboratories were much cleaner. Spencer Gunnell, a biophysics major and research assistant in Dr. Sterling Sudweeks’s lab, said, “Our lab is a lot bigger and cleaner. It’s a better atmosphere.” The teaching labs are also an improvement, according to Nathan Sabin, a microbiology major. “The quality of labs is much better,” Sabin said. “Everything was falling apart in the Widtsoe. Here, everything is more uniform . . . there are enough materials for everybody to get stuff done.” The labs, classrooms, and study spaces are all components of a building that fosters learning and growth. No longer do students have to leave the building to gather in groups or even find a quiet place to do work on their own. “I use the tutorial labs, study areas, and classrooms” said Matthew Evans, a physiology & developmental biology major. “In the evenings I will often use an empty classroom to review lecture slides, and solve problems on the whiteboard.”