The classroom that used to be the bio lounge. Nolan Ryan | Col­legian

For more than a decade, Hillsdale College’s biology majors have enjoyed the ability to study and hang out in their own lounge in the Stro­sacker Science Center.

With the expansion of the core cur­riculum in which non-hard science majors must take a full semester of biology, physics, and chem­istry, however, the college has trans­formed the biology lounge into another classroom to provide needed extra space, Dean of Natural Sci­ences Chris Van Orman said. It cleared the fur­niture from the room during the fall semester and is being used for instruction this semester.

“The biology lounge was the best and least expensive option to turn it back into a classroom,” Van Orman said. “That classroom can hold 36 stu­dents and was out­fitted with the most current tech­nology by the IT department.”

Several biology pro­fessors are teaching classes in the room this semester.

In the 1990s, SSC 202 was a classroom, and it became a biology student lounge during Strosacker’s ren­o­vation in the early 2000s, according to Van Orman.

“The room was a place that biology majors could go to study or work on their projects,” he said. “They also had tutoring for all the biology classes in that space, as well.”

The biology lounge was a special room set aside for the exclusive use of biology majors, though it was used more in the evening and less heavily during the day, Van Orman said.

“The bio lounge was a quiet place for science majors to hang out and study,” senior biology major Megan Arm­strong said. “There were some com­puters and a printer that were for bio majors only, a fridge to store snacks, and a few coffee makers.”

For now, the chem­istry lounge in SSC 302 and the physics lounge in SSC 122 are safe, Van Orman said.

“At this point, we have no need to convert either the chem­istry or physics lounges into class­rooms,” he said. “The chem­istry lounge has been a small seminar room and an office in the past, so that could be an option again in the future.”

Biology majors like Arm­strong, however, said they miss their favorite study spot.

“I under­stand that there was a need for more class­rooms, but I feel that the lounge would be kind of cramped as a classroom, espe­cially for a large class size,” Arm­strong said. “I know a lot of bio majors were upset, me included, that we were losing the lounge. It was a nice quiet place to study.”

New biology majors said it dis­ap­pointed them that they missed out on the space and that it is harder to find a biology tutor, though the department moved the tutoring station to the bridge between Stro­sacker and the Dow Science Center.

“I was dev­as­tated, when I found out,” sophomore Andrea Wallace said. “I hurried to declare my bio major in order to spend time in the lounge, and it was repur­posed the first semester I could have used it.”

Arm­strong and Wallace said they now study in the bridge between Stro­sacker and Dow or in the aquatic research lab.

“I don’t think I would have been as upset, if we were offered a replacement quiet study place, and I know some other bio majors feel the same way,” Arm­strong said.