Reclaiming the libraries
Although the UB libraries are supposed to be a peaceful place for students to study, many have been interrupted by rowdy students. Fortunately for library-goers, a new group has been formed to combat this problem.
Ryan Schaub, a senior electrical engineering major, got the inspiration for the Quiet Study Program when he was working late at night in Lockwood Library.
"There was a guy sitting in the next cubicle over, talking really loudly on his cell phone about what a terrible hangover he had," Schaub said. "After a few minutes of this, I was so annoyed that I just got up, walked over and punched him in the face."
A nearby student was so grateful that he handed Schaub $5, which gave Schaub an idea.
"I figured that I could make some money in my spare time by beating up annoying and stupid people," Schaub said.
Schaub recruited two of his friends – Tim Hoth, a senior anthropology major, and Lee Spengler, a senior chemical engineering major. Together, the three of them formed the Quiet Study Program.
"It's been working out really well so far," Hoth said. "People who are being disturbed while they're trying to study call Ryan's phone to tell them where they are and what offense is occurring. Ryan calls Lee and me, and we go as a group to silence the person."
The Quiet Study Program's territory includes all libraries on North Campus, as well as study areas such as the Blake Center in Ellicott and the Jones Center in Governors. The cost is $5 for each person that needs to be silenced. For an additional $3, they will also insult the person. So far, the trio has earned $352.
"Most people are willing to pay the extra $3 to have us insult the person before we silence him or her," Spengler said. "My favorite one to use is, ‘Your mother Susan is a whore.'"
Schaub, Spengler and Hoth feel that the Quiet Study Program is an excellent use of their time and are pleased to be able to contribute to making North Campus a more pleasant place to be. They have received many requests since the program's inception, but some days are busier than others.
"Business was really booming during midterms. In two hours alone, I
silenced fifteen people in the Jones Center," Hoth said.
Since the response to the program has been so positive, Schaub is considering branching out and allowing students to contact him with requests to punch any nearby dim-witted or aggravating person on North Campus.
"Sometimes you're just trying to eat lunch and have a conversation with a friend, but then you hear someone at another table say, 'Face the facts – 90 percent of this campus cares more about petty topics than bigger issues.' A comment like that can't go unpunished," Schaub said.
However, due to the hectic schedules of the members of the Quiet Study Program, Schaub is unsure of how soon this will become a reality.
"We really like what we do, but we're trying to limit our exposure to these people," Schaub said. "With finals and graduation so close, we really can't afford to catch the dumb."
The Quiet Study Program can be contacted at 716-359-1644 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.