Initiation By Fire: The Levels of Lau

The Levels of Lau

Maybe you find Lau endearing – its white cinderblock walls, mysterious plethora of locked doors, and lack of windows inspire productivity in you – or maybe you can only be lured in by study groups unwilling to relocate to more scenic locations. In my first four weeks on the Hilltop, I have learned – through trial and error (mostly error) – the distinct personalities that characterize the five floors of the sprawling, Brutalist concrete monstrosity that is Lauinger Library.

Level 5

If Level 4 is already a quiet floor, what purpose does Level 5 serve? What kind of desire for concentration merits walking up two flights of stairs to get to 5? I have dared to venture onto this floor solely for the investigative purposes of writing this (highly informative) article.

Some helpful tips:
Talking: punishable by death
Using a computer keyboard: warrants dirty looks
Owning devices that emit beeps: unacceptable
Breathing: begrudgingly allowed

2

Level 4

The true quiet floor. The arrangement of red chairs near the elevator attempts to create a cozy aesthetic, but don’t be fooled by this homey illusion. Two weeks into the semester, I learned that NSO was indeed over when, whilst QUIETLY talking to my friend, I was asked to leave the fourth floor. To this studious upperclassman, whom I continue to see all too frequently, I am both apologetic – and still offended.

4E 1

Level 3

In terms of quietness, level 3 provides the perfect environment in which being a functional human being (breathing, moving, etc.) is acceptable, and loudly gossiping about someone else’s Friday night escapades is not.

However, the level three reading room presents two critical issues:

  • Memories of the hot sweaty awkwardness of Club Lau must be suppressed.
  • One must accept that this room is a fishbowl visible to any and all onlookers outside of Lau.

Level 2

Level two is a floor of temptation and lack of productivity. This floor is conducive to group “work” (collective procrastination) and is home to Midnight MUG, luring students away from their studies with the bait of sugary, caffeinated beverages. Floor two features an uncomfortably open space that raises dilemmas such as: is walking to Midnight MUG worth having EVERYONE stare at you?

Level 1

So far, the only useful thing here is that there is a bathroom that everyone didn’t just see you walk into (unlike Lau 2) or can hear you in (unlike all other floors).

“Basement”

The fact that Lau has a dungeon should be surprising to no one, considering the general level of enthusiasm that surrounds spending the day at Lau and the uncanny resemblance our library bears to a bomb shelter. This floor is surreptitiously referred to as “LL” in the elevators and is presumably where people who spill coffee, deface cubicles, and loudly eat chips in the third floor reading room are held captive.

It's basically a bunker...
It’s basically a bunker…

Images: giphy.com, blog.thehoya.com 

Sarah Reuter

Sarah Reuter

Sarah is a freshman in the college. This Seattleite appreciates rain, recycling, and trail mix's ability to make one feel healthy whilst eating chocolate. Her hobbies include taking Buzzfeed quizzes, color-coding to-do lists, and having impromptu dance parties with her "80s Cardio" Pandora radio station.
Sarah Reuter

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