Off-Third: Bobst Library needs a slide

The title says it all. NYU can do more with Bobst Library. Put a slide in it.

Jules Roscoe, UTA Staff Editor

The installation of solar panels on the roof of Bobst Library is a welcome move by a university that has faced substantial environmentalist criticisms. But sustainability isn’t enough. We need whimsy.

There is an overall sense of stress among students that NYU has continuously failed to address. COVID-19 restrictions change weekly, accommodations are notoriously hard to come by, and the famously astronomical cost of our education is often at the forefront of our minds. Fortunately, there is a quick, cost-effective solution for the university to improve student morale. 

We need to put a slide in Bobst.

Bobst Library is NYU’s hub for studying and research. Its main atrium is a sight to behold that ought to be graced with a slide. (Staff Photo by Luca Richman, Staff Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

A slide would be a great way to liven up the library’s atmosphere and would be far more effective than Bobst’s current mental health measures. The gold suicide barriers are a noticeably sinister reminder of the undue stress and pressure NYU students undergo. The marble floor, too, is designed with a stereoscopic pattern — the tiles are intended to increase depth perception, so that the floor seems farther away and the thought of falling seems even more daunting. But NYU’s preventative methods only address the symptoms, not the cause.

Beyond floors and walls, mental health resources are scarce at NYU. The Wellness Exchange is not effective for the kind of stress students are facing, and appointments can be few and far between. Many students have also experienced long delays with requests for accommodations from the Moses Center for Student Accessibility, whether mental health-related or otherwise. 

Inserting a slide into the library is a great first step toward quick stress relief for students. 

And it’s not like space is a concern: The atrium spans all the way up to the 12th floor, forming a cube of emptiness. There is more than enough room to incorporate this mental health apparatus. In fact, Bobst is currently space-wasting. A Tandon sophomore with experience in urban planning said it hindered student experience. 

Space, whether used effectively or not, is something that NYU is deeply invested in — it’s practically a degree-granting real estate company. In 2018, the university was listed as one of the 10 biggest landowners in the city. Since then, it’s undertaken massive expansion, constructing new buildings in Manhattan, such as 181 Mercer Street, and dramatically increasing its Brooklyn footprint. NYU spends all its time ogling new property, but then doesn’t do anything with it once they own it. Building a slide in Bobst is a good first step toward changing that.

There are clearly multiple irrefutable arguments for why a slide in Bobst is not only beneficial but necessary. But the cherry on top is student opinion. Support for the idea is overwhelming. I have pitched this project in every one of my classes, and each time students have responded with unbridled enthusiasm. 

“That is fantastic,” an LS sophomore said. “I think they should implement it immediately.” 

 “You’d need someone to direct when people can go down the slide,” a junior added, “and that would create on-campus student jobs. So, why not?” 

Clearly, putting a slide in Bobst is the best available course of action for the university. As such, I’ve included my design proposal for the slide as inspiration for the administration. I propose that it should be a tube slide, in a wide spiral counterclockwise from the 10th floor all the way down to the lobby. It should be a pallid, almost-greenish yellow. This is because yellow is the color of happiness. The slide should also be perpetually warmed to a temperature of 96.69 F — this added heat will loosen spare electrons and maximize static production as students go down the slide, in order to ensure an energized student body. Finally, NYU should rename Bobst to the NYU Slidebrary. 

I look forward to working with the university’s building administration team and putting this plan into action.

Off-Third is WSN’s satire column.

Contact Jules Roscoe at [email protected]