ACLO music keeps students up

A new sound system at the ACLO centre near the train station is supposed to resolve the noise pollution experienced by the students who live upstairs. ‘Other people only work out for an hour, but we live here 24/7.’
By Tamara Uildriks / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

Student Taylor Barda, who lives at international student house Frascati, is often kept awake by loud music pumping into her room from below. She often gets up and makes her way downstairs to ask them to turn it down. ‘The instructors would turn the music down for maybe ten minutes, only to turn it back up so it would bother us again.’

She and her fellow students live right above the large gym at the ACLO Station location. The gym is open five days a week, and workout classes are taught from nine in the morning until ten at night.

Stichting Studenten Huisvesting (SSH) offers the residents of the building an ACLO subscription to compensate for the noise, but the students don’t think that’s enough. It’s not just the music that’s an issue; students have also have to listen to the instructors yelling instructions. Barda: ‘It’s impossible to study or sleep when you keep hearing “One! Two! Three!” all the time.’

Complaints

The complex has been housing students since September of 2015, but initial complaints about the noise mostly dropped off after the first six months. ‘So the new complaints came as a surprise to us’, says ACLO president Pieter van Koningsveld. He sympathises. ‘I’m a student too, and I prefer to study in silence as well.’

But he also thinks the people working out should be taken into account. ‘Group classes like bodyfit should have that joyous feeling. That means we play music that gets the athletes worked up. It’s important to find a middle ground, a solution that both the Frascati residents and the people coming to work out can agree to.’

A new sound system will distribute the sound around the space better. That means the music from the speakers in the front of the room won’t have to be turned up as loudly to reach the people in the back of the room. Koningsveld: ‘We also adjusted the maximum music volume to produce less sound.’

Stimulate

This means the music and the commands from the instructors are suddenly much softer. Instructor Viriginia Kui has a hard time getting used to it. ‘It can be a problem because in classes like bodyfit we try to stimulate people by giving the instructions loudly. I sometimes wonder if the people in the back can even hear me.’

Kui understands the noise can be a nuisance to the people living upstairs. ‘I try to keep them in mind sometimes and turn the music down. But then people start e-mailing me to say it’s too soft.’

Since the installation of the new sound system, the students have noticed a difference. Student Alicia Hughes-Evans: ‘We didn’t have to go downstairs at all last week, which was nice.’

But the problem still hasn’t been resolved entirely. Koningsveld: ‘We’re planning a sit-down with the sports centre and the Frascati residents to see what other solutions we can come up with.’

Nederlands

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