After appearing at the start of the semester, the lawn chairs throughout Main Campus quickly became a part of campus culture.
New, 100-percent-recycled lawn chairs are everywhere. The 120 chairs have spread like a rainbow-colored rash of outdoor furniture, and it’s difficult to deny the impact they’ve had on Main Campus life.
The chairs coincide with Temple’s efforts to be more environmentally friendly. They’re made from recycled material and are recyclable when their pristine status fades away.
Purchased during the summer by the facilities management department, the lawn chairs have encouraged students to venture outside more instead of sulking in their rooms.
“I think they’re great,” said Hayley Hall, a freshman elementary education major. “They’re really convenient and better than the ground for sitting, [doing] homework or sleeping, like that guy over there just was.”
She said eyeing down the studs on campus is an added benefit of the chairs.
Hall, along with others, was unaware that the chairs were a new addition to the grounds.
“I did hear that they were new,” said Lee Tomassetti, a sophomore film major. “They’re nice. I wasn’t here before them, though.”
Those who roamed through Main Campus during the dark ages – when one had to recline against a tree, wall or backpack – can see a definite change in the outdoor atmosphere.
“They’re a great addition to the outside,” Alexis Parent, a junior early childhood education major, said. “They’re just a good place to study and relax.”
“Before, people always sat in the grass,” Adrian King, a junior kinesiology major, added. “I sat in this chair today because it looked convenient and luxurious, but I do think that they are representative of a further disconnection from the earth – as humans tend to do.”
While the chairs may detract from the bohemian charm of sitting on the ground, for many they help bridge the gap between the largely indoor-focused city and the outdoors.
“I dig ‘em,” said Max Raymond, a senior finance major. “I like to sit outside in the grass, but not on the floor, so I like the chairs.”
The overall reaction to the chairs has been overwhelmingly positive. Wherever they’re located on Main Campus – from “Beury Beach” to the patches of grass by Ritter Annex to the Mezzanine deck of Anderson and Gladfelter Halls – there are many satisfied sitters. The people sleeping in the chairs were some of the chairs’ most appreciative patrons.
“You actually get people to use more of the green space we haven’t been using,” Tina Rosan, a geography and urban studies professor, said as she sat in one of the chairs for the first time, doing work. “People complain about Temple not having enough green space, but the chairs bring attention to some under-used areas all around.”
Emily Heller can be reached at email@example.com.