Gwendolyn Wu
Executive Content Editor

Students lean against bookcases waiting for people to pack up in the library. Crowded lines stretch for caffeine at the coffee carts and campus cafes. Fights break out to get a seat at Caje in Isla Vista.

University of California President Janet Napolitano made a noteworthy promise to enroll more students in one of America’s biggest public university systems, and UCSB students are certainly feeling the effects. While these long lines are normal during midterms and finals seasons, some students have complained of overcrowding since the first week of school.

“I definitely notice that there are a lot more students than previous years,” said third year mathematics major Andrew Okeh. “UCSB is building more housing, but they’re not adding classes and it’s a problem.”

Other students agree with Okeh, especially when it comes to studying on campus. While many students study at night due to daytime work and class commitments, for those able to squeeze in an hour or two of homework between classes, there are still places to go on campus to do so.

“Finding a place to study on campus is kinda difficult because the only place open after a certain time would be the library,” said second year environmental studies major Miso Jang. “There’s a overcrowding problem at the library. But during the day, there’s plenty of places to study.”

Traipsing through each floor of the library only results in broken hearts nowadays, and everyone’s favorite chairs on the new side of the library (where the wifi and electrical outlets appear to be notably better) are occupied. What’s a UCSB student to do when the library no longer seems to be the best place to study?

Here are UCSB’s best study spots, for rain or shine:

Student Resource Building

The SRB is a solid choice for students who live in Isla Vista due to its proximity to Pardall Tunnel and ample bike parking in front of the Theater and Dance buildings. During sunny days, two outdoor patios on the third floor provide a view of the bike paths and surrounding buildings along with some wifi connectivity. For outlets or a warm space on cold days, the inside couches and occasionally-empty CLAS classrooms also provide for a good studying atmosphere.

Among its amenities are a coffee cart outside and printing lab during traditional business hours. Although the SRB closes at midnight Monday through Thursday, at 6 p.m. on Fridays and all weekends, staff keep it open during finals week virtually 24/7.

Music Library

Rafael Smith/The Bottom Line
Rafael Smith/The Bottom Line

There are perhaps quieter libraries to study in on campus, such as the Music Library next to the UCen bike racks. Filled entirely with music-related books, microforms, videos, and much more, students rarely venture into this space. The entrance to the Music Library is hidden among more popular spots such as Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall and the Music Bowl, a miniature outdoor amphitheater home to performers from around the world.

“I like the music library because it’s quiet and most people don’t know about it,” said fifth year art major Annie Fong. Although Fong says she doesn’t study there anymore, it was her go-to spot during most of her undergraduate years.

Humanities & Social Science Building

Rafael Smith/ The Bottom Line
Rafael Smith/ The Bottom Line

Most students visit HSSB to attend section discussions and visit professors’ offices, but a small part of the student body uses classrooms on the lower floors at night. Maintenance locks the doors later on in the night, which allows for many to stay in until a reasonable hour.

“There are open classrooms on the first and second floors sometimes,” said David Rower, a second year physics major.

If you’ve ever seen “TAKEN – 10/19” plastered on one of the HSSB doors in chalk, it’s likely due to a study group claiming the space for the night. Its chalkboards and strong wifi connectivity make it an ideal place to study when the library gets too full.

Coral Tree Cafe

This cheery, at-times-crowded coffee shop is located between popular buildings on campus such as North Hall and Campbell Hall. A mix of outdoor and indoor seating make it a good place to catch up on readings in any weather. Although lunchtime crowds might cause the cafe to get busy, it’s fairly quiet between classes.

Coral Tree Cafe is also the place to be if you’re looking to run into professors as they wait for the Soup Guy’s daily offerings. If you’re craving lunch and a break from the books, Coral Tree Cafe also sells sandwiches and hot, fried foods such as chicken tenders.


Oct. 21, 3:45 p.m.: Previously, a quote was attributed to ‘Annie Phong.’ Annie Fong spoke to the reporter in the story.