91.9 F

Davis, California

Monday, June 10, 2024

UC Davis lecture halls: the good, the bad and the ugly

Criteria includes comfy seating, aesthetic, lighting and more


By MAYA KORNYEYEVA — mkornyeyeva@ucdavis.edu


Ah, a lecture hall. The setting of so many power naps, failed microphones, unexpected quiz announcements and powerful waves of midterm stress. 

Beyond being the central setting for learning, a lecture hall should be designed for comfort for both the lecturers and the students and serve as a place that inspires creative thought and conversations. With this in mind, here are some of my thoughts, critiques and compliments regarding some of UC Davis’ most famous lecture halls. 


Rock Hall: This one holds a surprising amount of students, which is achieved by trading in comfort for the capability of squishing as many STEM majors into a single room as possible. The lecture hall contains a classic “slope down” seating arrangement, where about 400 student eyes are directed downward onto the (poor?) professor. Arrive early, because getting a seat right before the start of class will mean clambering over a whole row of annoyed students. Lastly, bring only the essentials, as there’s no way you’ll be able to fit your coffee, computer, notebook and phone onto the teeny tiny desk. 4/10.


Art Building: The best graffiti on campus (the talent level is insane) and great proximity for a ruminative stroll through the Arboretum (extremely necessary when your art final gets heavily critiqued in front of the entire class). 8.5/10.


Cruess Hall: I may be biased as a design major, but this is one of the best halls on campus. Featuring a mini design museum curated by students as well as a makerspace and tool room (with everything your creative soul could ever hope for), Cruess is catered directly to students working in the arts. The two main lecture halls are brand new and are relatively spacious with great projection screens and interior lighting. It’s like sitting in a movie theater! Finally, there are “Cruess Tattoos,” the adorable wall decorations that adorn the Cruess walls, ceilings and floors. Start exploring and you won’t be disappointed. ∞/10.


California Hall: So incredibly big!! So spacious!! So difficult to hear the professor when the mic goes out!! The best part of the hall is the two long vertical windows at either end of the room out of which you can watch clouds float by (while listening to the lecture obviously). 7/10.


Ann E. Pitzer Center: Just seats, no desks, but audio quality slaps. Very theatrical lighting. A perfect place for professors to invite guest speakers. 7.5/10.


Giedt Hall: You can’t get lost, but you may fall asleep because it does get pretty dark and dreary in there. 6/10.


Teaching and Learning Center (TLC): Recently built, this hall contains both classrooms and lecture spaces that are designed for students by students. It includes unique study areas scattered throughout the building and lots of outlets to plug in your devices, and there’s plenty of natural lighting. The architecture and color choices are inviting and thought-provoking, and the location is also pretty much perfect — situated right next to the Silo Bus terminal, the Silo, Latitude and the food trucks. 10/10.


Olson Hall: During orientation all those (two) years ago, I was told that Olson Hall had ghosts. Can confirm. It’s basically a maze of cement and poorly maintained classrooms: one of the windows of my discussion classroom remained broken and boarded up for the entirety of the quarter. 2/10.


The Death Star: Speaking of a maze of cement, that’s exactly what this is. Avoid having a class here unless you love getting lost or feel like wandering around in circles endlessly. The architects who built this place obviously had ulterior motives. -3/10.


Student Community Center (SCC): Personally a big fan of the computer lab and South Coho. A great place to chill and watch whatever cooking show is on the big TV on the first floor. 9/10.


Wellman Hall: This is your standard lecture hall: the water filters are always on red, the bathrooms are mid and the lighting is best fit for corporate offices. “Well man, I don’t know how to break it to you… but this one’s pretty average.” 5.5/10.


Written by: Maya Kornyeyeva — mkornyeyeva@ucdavis.edu

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by individual columnists belong to the columnists alone and do not necessarily indicate the views and opinions held by The California Aggie.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here