I walked in and heard a roar. People jumped to their feet, hands thrown in the air, shouting and screeching. I’m not talking about a game-winning field goal at Muddy Waters Stadium, or the Dawn Tib­betts Potter Arena erupting when a Charger hits a three-pointer. Unfor­tu­nately, I’m talking about a typical day in the Mossey Library.

For some, Hillsdale’s library is a hangout spot, a place to meet friends, and goof around for the evening. Hillsdale’s library culture must change: The library should be a place to study.

One night during finals week last semester, a friend and I hit the library to study after dinner. We sat down, pulled out our books, and heard an explosion of noise from across the room. Was some­thing wrong? Was someone injured, or having a heart attack? It turned out to be a group of stu­dents crowded around a table having a grand old time.

My friend threw on his Bose noise-can­celling head­phones — a $200 piece of tech­no­logical excel­lence — and started blaring music. But not even Tchaikovsky could cover up the ruckus. About 30 minutes later, he looked up and said, “This debate is the worst.” And he was right: The freshmen had begun debating lib­er­tar­i­anism versus con­ser­vatism, treating the library as their stage and its patrons as their audience. There are few things worse than lis­tening to first-semester freshmen debate political phi­losophy.

To my right sat another table of library groupies. One whipped a massive knife out of his pocket and slapped it down on the table. “I carry this bad boy with me at all times,” he pro­claimed. Across the room, one of my friends sat at a table trying to study. She had head­phones on, but also clasped her hands tightly against her ears in a futile attempt to drown out the noise. I texted her later that night about our shared misery. “I had to leave,” she replied. “It was just too loud.”

In a way, it’s con­fusing: Hillsdale College boasts a beau­tiful campus with a bustling student union, numerous dorms and dorm lobbies, off-campus houses and easily acces­sible class­rooms, all of which are per­fectly appro­priate spots to spend time with friends. But even with these great alter­na­tives available, some stu­dents — pri­marily freshmen, but not exclu­sively — still treat the library like Simpson’s lobby or A.J.’s Cafe.

Some­times studying ought to be social. Working through study guides as a group or running through flash­cards is a great way to learn. Hushed dis­cus­sions which remain con­sci­en­tious of others are just part of the nature of the first floor, and right­fully so. But that’s dif­ferent from freshmen guys com­peting to impress the girls at their table, each of them forcing the next per­former to raise the volume, while the girls giggle and egg them on.

This is by no means a unique phe­nomenon. My friends seem to share my com­plaint.

“The library is unbearable,” one friend told me at lunch. “I can’t even go there to study anymore,” said another.

“Library” comes from the Latin word “librarius.” It means “relating to books.” As for the screams and shouts, Hillsdale stu­dents ought to save those for the bas­ketball games.