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If you've ever noticed a throng of students walking aimlessly around Butler, chances are they're looking for an empty study carrel. These (occasionally) exist, and once you finally find one, you'll never want to let it go.

But how will you make sure that nobody jacks your spot when you need to go to class, grab a Westside salad, or hit the gym?

How will you protect your prime library real estate? Here are some decor ideas to give your empty study carrel some personality.

The Minimalist

Simple, yet elegant. A couple of crumpled papers pulled from your backpack, a pen, and a highlighter lined up alongside them shows the—oh, who am I kidding. If you do this, you're an asshole.

The Clutterer

Hopefully, you're going out to buy a garbage can, because your desk is more trashed than that group of first years at 1020. (You know, the ones that made you regret your life choices?) And speaking of regrettable decisions, you probably should've started to organize your notes two months ago.

The Big Assignment™

You have a 25-page paper due on Monday and need to find out if your professor wants MLA or Chicago style. You sprint across campus to Schermerhorn. Back in the Butt, the stack of books taller than a grown man show everyone that you mean business. The post-it note "art" screams "don't fuck with my desk."

The “I Haven’t Slept in two Weeks” Starter Pack

Name a more iconic duo than midterm stress and 2 a.m. breakdowns? Go ahead, I'll wait. The assignments may be never ending, but so is the caffeine. The blue light emanating from your computer at night is the only thing keeping you sane. Please take a nap.

Living on a Prayer

If you are going to pass all of your classes this semester, you are going to need help from up above. There's nothing like a 3 a.m. seance as a last-ditch effort to appease the Columbia gods enough to eke out a B- on your orgo exam and your Lit Hum paper. Just don't try to bring in a live goat to sacrifice in Butler; security got angry at me when I tried.

Home Sweet Home

You know the names of the Blue Java employees and their shifts so you can flirt with the cute baristas. Your default address on Seamless is set to Butler. Your roommate has filed a missing persons report. All things considered, you might as well just move in. The only reason you aren't at your desk right now is because you realized you haven't seen natural sunlight in five days.

Are you a Butler desk-hogging asschild? Comment down below to gloat, Tweet us, or Snapchat us your desk set-up at @CUspectrum.


Miles Greenspoon is a GS/JTS junior and a trainee Spectrum staff writer. He is afraid to leave his belongings unattended in Butler for more than twenty minutes. Reach him at


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