Haley Center Chair Challenge

Posted on November 13, 2019 by Jack Wilbanks

by Barrett Irmscher

This year, the Haley Center celebrates its 50th anniversary on Auburn’s campus, serving thousands of students each day and housing classes from nearly every department on campus. Since its construction, many of the desks in the Haley Center have never been updated or replaced—leading to many uncomfortable students.

Dr. Wiebke Kuhn, associate director of the Biggio Center, aims to replace around 1600 of these tablet chairs. She sees this project as necessary because humans have grown by an inch and 35 pounds over the past fifty years, leading to desks that are not the optimal size for the modern-day student. To decide which new desks would be implemented, the Haley Chair Challenge was launched. Three different options for chairs were set up in the Learning Resource Center (Haley 3140) and the Coliseum for anyone to test out and give their opinion on which was the most comfortable or most user-friendly.

With larger desks does, of course, come the issue of room capacity. Dr. Kuhn explains that she and her team want to ensure that each student seat is provided with as much square footage as possible, ideally around 18 to 20 square feet. Even with this plan, the number of seats in each classroom will decrease in implementing new desks. 

Ginny Anne Pinson, director of facilities projects for SGA plans to work with Dr. Kuhn to gather survey information and run data analyses to determine the results of the survey efforts.