Western Michigan University has many hidden spots around campus that are ideal places to study, chat with friends, or just take a rest between classes. Instead of finding a vacant bench around campus, here is a tour guide of some of the more out of the way, quieter spots on campus:
Many students studying environmental related fields are familiar with the Finch Greenhouse located on the first floor of Wood Hall. If you’re not looking for the Greenhouse, the fairly nondescript doors are easy to miss. Once you find the double doors, step inside to see a warm world, flooded with golden light and plants everywhere. Even if you don’t know all the names of the plants, take a seat on a bench with a book and just enjoy the smells and bathe in the warmth of the greenhouse.
Sprau Tower 10th floor:
This is a favorite spot for communications students to study or watch the sunrise before a day of classes. At the very top of Sprau Tower, the entire main campus and parts of Kalamazoo are laid out for all to see, offering up a new perspective. In addition to the view, the top of the tower is outfitted as a quiet study room so grab a coffee from the downstairs cafe, ride the elevator to the top, and study away.
Dinosaur park behind Lee Honors College:
While the park is located behind the Lee Honors College, it is not exclusive to just Honors students. The area behind the building features velociraptors and a stegosaurus and a nice place to sit and study, picnic, or just lay on your back and watch the clouds in the spring, summer and fall. As far as visiting the park in the winter, it offers wonderful and unique photo opportunities no matter the month.
Rare Book Room:
On the third floor of Waldo Library, there is an abundance of quiet zones and places to study, but the real draw is the Rare Book Room. The room boasts a collection of about 41,000 rare books including medieval manuscripts, poetry books and many more. Do be advised, however, that due to the nature of the collection, books are not available to be checked out and must be enjoyed in house and the Rare Book Room is only open on weekdays from 9-5.
Schmaltz Geology and Mineral Museum:
Located in Rood Hall, the Mineral Museum presents a wonderful look into the studies of Western’s Geology department. The illuminated display cases show off the variety of interesting minerals and fossils including The Kelley Collection of fossil and modern shark teeth, a Michigan copper boulder, an augmented reality sandbox and many other fossils and mineral collections from around the state and the world. The museum hours are from 8-5 during the week and they ask that you be considerate of classes in session.
Richmond Center for Visual Arts:
While this entry isn’t as hidden as many of the others in this list, it is still a must see that can get overlooked. The Richmond Center houses three galleries that contain permanent exhibits, student exhibits and temporary exhibits. The exhibits lend to a contemplative atmosphere where students can go to view works from their peers as well as from other notable artists.