The new CAS chairs: A scathing review

Emily Bush • Staff Writer

CAS 106 is flooded with these uncomfortable chairs, and there are too many in proportion with the amount of students in the class. Pictured: Bethina Nunn. Photo courtesy of Emily Bush.
CAS 106 is flooded with these uncomfortable chairs, and there are too many in proportion with the amount of students in the class. Pictured: Bethina Nunn. Photo courtesy of Emily Bush.

The CAS building got renovated recently. While that's amazing and a great opportunity to push the Arts and Sciences department one step forward, it came at the cost of something I had taken for granted until the change happened.


The chairs.


The chairs, at least in both of the classrooms I frequent this semester, have changed from the traditional chairs with cloth cushions to movable desks with the same amount of absurdity as a clown car.


These chairs are overall uncomfortable to sit in. Since they’re made fully out of plastic, they aren’t flexible to the posture of every student.


Sitting up straight feels too rigid in these chairs because of the arch in the back, but sitting another way results in an eventual pain in the rear from the interestingly-shaped divot in the seat.


The supposed “arm rests” are also a pain, as they are in a weird spot on the chair itself. As well as this, it feels like they are only halfway done, stopping right at the point where someone with even semi-lengthy arms has trouble resting their elbows.


The desks themselves on these chairs feel almost worse than the traditional chairs. Don’t get me wrong; I hated the desks on the old chairs because of their lack of space. However, I feel like these new desks don’t solve the problem at all.


They feel slightly bigger than the old ones, but the lip at the top feels like it inclines too soon and impedes the way that I am used to putting things on my desk.


Reject modernity. Embrace the old desks with no room. Image courtesy of UT Tyler Archives and Special Collections Department.
Reject modernity. Embrace the old desks with no room. Image courtesy of UT Tyler Archives and Special Collections Department.

Also, with how much the desk moves, your belongings are never quite safe. If you make one wrong move, your water bottle is sent to the other side of the room.


Another point against these chairs is the fact that they are unsanitary.


Of course, cloth chairs also attract bacteria, and food and drink can get stuck in the seat. Though, the basket in the bottoms of these chairs attract a considerable amount of dirt and grime, which can get onto your legs or your own bag if you aren’t careful.


There are also just too many of these chairs overall, so when you try to walk into the classroom and find a chair, you have to either squeeze through groups of them or move them around, causing them to bump into one another and cause a chain reaction for the next person.


If they could be organized into rows like traditional seating, they would give us less trouble. Though, because of the sheer amount of chairs flooding both of the classes that I frequent, that dream is impossible.


One thing that I do admire about these new desks is the capability to enable group work. With the wheels and how far the chairs spin, discussion and group work has been more beneficial and much easier in the classroom.


I no longer become uncomfortable turning around in the stiff old chairs to speak to someone across the room. I can also just scoot towards the people I want to talk to, and maintaining a social distance is much easier.


None of this makes up for the fact that I miss the old seating. Despite the flaws of traditional desks, I want to go back to them because they feel more comforting.


No matter how “fancy” and “new” this upgraded seating is, I will always miss the days of cushioned chairs and zero desk space.


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