The Invasion of Marston 302

Written by Amber Christofferson; Media by Erica Siddle & Kelsey Kuethe

Photo from FastCompany

They came in a few weeks ago and left only recently.  They were simple, plastic, and gray, seemingly harmless and maybe even a little bit of fun.  They moved every direction you could think of, contained a storage compartment in the bottom, and even a cup holder on one.  What are these strange things invading Marston 302?

Well, some call them desks, some call them fun, and some call them a nuisance.  These desks invaded one classroom in Marston for a few weeks and caused disruption.  Dubbed “spaceships” by Dr. Lesley Allen, they seemed to be a good idea in the beginning.  The desks are very versatile and move every direction you could possibly imagine. The writing surface will go in front of you and you can decide how far away you want it or how close. They also slide to the side and allow you to use it in a different way that some students enjoy.  All of the desks employ the same system of wheels on the bottom, allowing you to move to wherever you want. Each desk also contains a spot for an average-sized backpack on the bottom connected to the desk, and if you were that lucky one person, you even had a cup holder.

Photo from FastCompany

While these desks scream of their versatility, are they really necessary?  The regular desks, while admittedly a bit chunkier and harder to move, were perfectly acceptable. We’ve sat at those desks for years, from elementary and up. We’ve adapted to this style of desk and made it work. As technology advances, however, we seem to feel the need to update everything, including our desks.

The desks that were in Marston 302 drew a lot of opinions.  Most people chose a side and either liked or disliked this change to our environment. There were even the few who didn’t really care what kind of desk they sat in. These desks, however, were a nuisance to me. My first encounter with these desks was a disruption to my class. My professor told everyone they had five minutes to play or wheel around and then we had to focus and get to class work.  All during the weeks these desks were present, my classes were distracting. People were constantly moving around, side to side, front to back, or even just shifting the flexible back of the desk. No one could sit still. The desks could also never be organized into straight lines by the time people left, always leaving the room a mess.  While versatility is a good thing, you have to ask yourself if it is always a productive thing. We’re college students—we get distracted enough in class. If we pay about $500 a class, do we really need to have another distraction?
Photo from SJSU
Photo from UDEL


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