This post was co-authored by Thrill Editor-in-Chief Chris Raffa and Thrill Editor-Emeritus (Grandma) Sarah Hoffmann.
None of us quite understand the Mods. They are in some ways unknowable, these brutalist beasts whose very existence is contradictory. They are simultaneously buildings and trailers. They are Schrodinger’s study space, both library and not. They are one and three at the same time, and also there might be one of them up by Watson according to legend, though no one’s ever made it that far North and lived to tell the tale. Whereas Olin was so old that it was erected the last time the Mets won a World Series, the Mods have not yet had the proper amount of time to establish their own culture of practice and etiquette. Not everyone is sure what each Mod is for, what their vibe is, what kind of music they like, or even what their astrological sign is. Most importantly, people aren’t sure how to behave in each Mod. While Olin’s third floor silent policy, for example, was baked into campus culture, those days are gone. Olin’s dead, baby. The New Ways are king, and it’s the Wild fucking West. So here at the Thrill, we’ve elected to suggest some guidelines for how to go forth in the Mods for the rest of their time with us.
- When It Comes to Volume, Read the Room. It’s not entirely clear, but we can lay it out for you here. None of the Mods are strictly 24-hour quiet spaces. Mods A and C are quiet spaces in the evenings and on weekends, and Mod B is technically never a quiet space. Trust us. Now philosophers and nihilists reading this can debate the definitions of “evening,” “quiet” and “space” while laughing entirely too loud at their cleverness, but here’s the Thrill’s tip on navigating this. Read the room. If you can feel the stress-fueled quiet weighing the room down, maybe don’t talk above a whisper. If there’s light conversation, feel free to talk, but keep it civil. This isn’t Delt Division, thank God. Conform to the noise level around you, and keep yourself at a discrete volume that is maybe restrained but ultimately polite.
- Use the Printer by Research and Reference. This one is more of a tip than etiquette, but there are actually two fully functional (usually) printers available for student use in Mod B! The one by Helpline gets more use because most people either see it right when they walk in, or they assume that the other printer is only for Research & Reference use. It’s not! The printers in Mod B are both for students, so instead of creating a line in the already-cramped Helpline space, try the other printer. There’s also a public printer in Mod A, so why not go nuts and take advantage of our free printing by printing all of your Christian Mysticism reading for the semester in one go.
- Be Nice to Library Staff. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve had an overwhelmingly negative attitude towards the Mods. And I think that attitude is totally fair: they’re ugly, they’re the same brand of trailer in which I had my seventh grade Spanish class, they eat up half of the precious green space in the middle of campus, and they’re super fucking ugly. We’re all righteously annoyed, but the tricky part is to avoid misdirecting our complaints. Library staff, who now work full-time in the Mods, aren’t responsible for the way they look or the fact that they exist. They’re working really hard to make our time in the Mods the best it can be, by keeping up library services, efficiently using the space, and making thing run as smoothly as possible. Chances are, they’re not thrilled about being stuck in the Mods either, so we need to accept our shared inconvenience and be cool to them.
- Please For the Love of God Do Not Take a Shit in a Mod Bathroom. Is this a bold statement? No. In Olin, we were afforded so many bathroom-related pleasures. There were the formal ones by the entrance, the second floor’s bathroom, the ones by the music section on the third floor, and in the reference corner past the periodicals, and the hidden solitary booth in the bowels of the first floor. We didn’t know how good we had it. Every mod has one or two bathrooms. They are not tucked away, they are not out of view. They are front and center and small and everyone in the building has to use the same one. Do not shit in a Mod bathroom. Please. We all have to share this fake book house, treat us with respect. We are all just trying to get through the day.
- Be Conservative When Taking Up Space. To quote a friend, “there really do be no study space on this campus huh.” There is significantly less study space in the Mods than there was in Olin, so the days of having a whole five-person circle table to yourself are long gone. You don’t have to snuggle up to somebody at a table just because, but if it’s crowded, be nice and make room.
- Actually Don’t Take Your Shoes Off. It was gross in Olin, it’s insanely fucking gross in the Mods. Stop it.
In summary, treat each Mod like an airplane. We’re all closer together than we’d like to be, we’re more exposed than we’re used to, and we’re all subject to the same smells. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t do in an airplane bathroom, and we’ll get through these two (hopefully) years together.