The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is taking heat over a recent debate concerning the Student Union and noise levels. Some students have voiced concern over the grand pianos located throughout the Union, which can be distracting when played poorly.
“I go to the Union to study,” said freshman marketing student Dan Daniels. “I don’t go to the Union to hear some idiot butchering ‘Chopsticks’ on the piano. It’s a distraction and, quite frankly, a disgrace to the university. Grand pianos have no place in my study space.”
In response to heavy criticism from students, UNL officials have decided to ditch the grand pianos and replace them with harpsichords. A harpsichord is very similar to a piano, but the sound mechanism works slightly differently. “These instruments are very complicated to play,” said music professor Hans Hansiels, who has helped facilitate the harpsichord replacement. “But with hours upon hours of dedication, any student can learn to play the elegant instruments beautifully.”
Others were not as opposed to the pianos being stationed in the Union. “I thought the grand pianos were fine,” said senior biological systems engineering major Jan Janiels. “It serves as good background for when I’m trying to look at the front page of Reddit instead of working on that honors thesis that I should probably get started on.”
Nebraska Union maintenance crew members estimate the project will cost the university around $80,000 and will take until the end of the 2017-18 school year to complete. A construction crew will be working around the clock to replace the grand pianos, which will require heavy machinery to move. “The quietest setting on the machinery we will be using to replace the grand pianos is 130 dB, or about as loud as a jackhammer,” said UNL Head of Maintenance Stan Staniels. “We hope this won’t be an inconvenience to students trying to study in the Union.”