UoB students reviewed the Teaching and Learning Building, and they had a lot to say

From awkward stairs to elitist phone chargers

There is one thing to say about all university students: we are very opinionated! Whether it’s about the Spar opening times, the lack of a functioning clocktower (we miss you Old Joe) or the overcrowding of Tiverton gym, we have something to say about it.

We are approaching the one-year anniversary of the opening of the Teaching and Learning Building. As a result, it’s time to reflect on the year that has passed. 2020 has brought a lot with it and has given us every right to have a moan, which means no uni building, halls or chicken shop is safe.

The T&C building opened with the promise of providing a bright, sustainable, contemporary study space. It showcases beautiful large lecture theatres that don’t have the same dusty smell as Arts lecture room B. It houses hundreds of seats so that you no longer have to race people out of the library lift to get a desk. Some would say it’s got it all…

We posted a poll on The Birmingham Tab Instagram page and we heard you loud and clear: 83 per cent said they loved the building, whereas only 17 per cent hate it.

You’d expect with this kind of response that we’d only have good things to say, but as previously stated, we like to moan. We asked UoB students their thoughts on the building and this is what they had to say:

The infamous stairs

They wanted to put me on the cover of Vogue, but my legs were simply not long enough for the Teaching and Learning stairs. Students have a lot to say about the strangely designed stairs, not short enough for one step on each, but too long for two steps.

This problem will go down in UoB mythology. We hope that one day a hero will rise, who will actually be able to walk normally down them. But until then, we will continue to awkwardly run down hoping not to trip while everyone stares.

“The phone chargers are elitist!”

All in all, the phone chargers have created a divide down the university. Many people love the snazzy wireless chargers. A step towards the future, a world of air pods and hover cars.

When the building first opened, I even went there solely to test out the charging ports. However, final year History student Orla Felcey labels them “inherently elitist, any phone below an iPhone 8 cannot be charged”, she told The Birmingham Tab.

For those missing out on the wireless experience, we are sorry, and we hear you.

Having to work out which floor you’re on to go to the loo

One overtired final year student told The Birmingham Tab, “omg those toilets stress you out. Are you in men’s or women’s!?”

One of the actually good features of the Teaching and Learning building is the inclusion of gender-neutral toilets. However, there’s also only one set of main loos for each floor.

This mixed with the minimalist design of the toilet signs has the potential to lead a tired, hungover student into some very awkward situations.

The nightmare that is the bottom floor

The bottom floor gets “absolutely freezing” according to final year History student Milly Aylott. If you’re preparing for a study day in the T&C building, we’d recommend bringing a coat and hot chocolate.

The windows are usually open, rain or shine transforming the ‘calm’ and ‘relaxing’ study space into the artic circle. If you’re planning on sitting by the main door, maybe borrow your mates Brumski gear.

The walk of shame

We all agree that we need to follow covid guidelines and measures. The one-way system that’s been introduced into the T&C building makes sense and we’re glad the uni is actually doing something. But that doesn’t make it any more embarrassing when the scary security guard comes up to you with the disapproving shake of the head because you accidentally went down the wrong set of stairs.

Love it or hate it, at least the Teaching and Learning building gives us some space now that getting a slot at the library is as difficult as getting a slot at Tiverton gym.

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