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Honnold vs. Mudd: A Battle for the Best Study Spot

Scotland Carter ’24
Staff Writer

You can expect to find your average Claremont student cramming for exams, bustling papers, or quickly writing reading responses on any given Sunday. Honnold/Mudd is the hub of academic socializing, and, for many students, it gives the ambiance they need to foster academic success. As most of us know, the Honnold/Mudd Library has two sides, The Honnold & The Mudd.

Most Claremont students would say the Honnold side is more popular than Mudd’s. In an Instagram survey — I conducted via the poll tool on my Instagram story — of 38 students, 60% stated that they preferred the Honnold side over the Mudd. As you walk onto the second floor, you see the collaborative commons, brightly-colored chair-like benches, and two sides TV monitors. The second floor of the Honnold side is more of a hang-out and study spot, almost like a cafe near a college campus without eating or drinking.

Between the Honnold and the Mudd sides is the bridge that connects them. There are no solid walls on the bridge, but rather windows through which students can look at the scenery outside of the library. It’s a refreshing view for when you need a break from staring at your computer screen. The second and fourth floors have standing desks that allow students to get their steps in while doing homework. The Mudd side, however, doesn’t have any of this. Which leaves me to wonder — why would anyone want to study in a space composed of pale walls and windowless study spaces?

Truthfully, Mudd does have some good features to offer. The second floor, for example, has the Collaborative Commons, which are study rooms that Claremont students can typically access without a reservation. Most students like this space because it fosters collaborative learning; “Mudd has better collaborative spaces, while Honnold is a better study space when you want to buckle down and study by yourself,” Hannah Lebow ’23 said. Lebow believes this is a fundamental part of the 5C experience since most of our assignments are not collaborative enough to solely rely upon group-centered study spaces.

The Mudd side also has a series of tables on the third floor that seat up to four people, beside windows that let in the natural light. The third floor of the Mudd side strongly resembles Honnold, in my opinion, so much so that my suitemate and I had a very in-depth conversation about whether or not this part of the library belonged to Honnold or Mudd. Although we agreed that this side remained Mudd’s, that still left us to question why most of the Mudd side is so bland, with dull colors and wooden desks in solitude from each other.

Nonetheless, the Honnold/Mudd library is still a popular study space for Claremont students. Between the study rooms, you can reserve the Collaborative Commons and the little pockets of desks hidden within corners and geometrically aligned walls. Honnold/Mudd gives students the option to mix up their study setting without escaping the relatively calm environment that fosters effective studying.

Image Source: Chloe Gorman ’22