Socially Distanced Study & Lounge Space

In response to the ongoing coronavirus surge and concerns about the omicron variant, the University announced that it would delay the resumption of in-person instruction and postpone Move-In by one week. In acknowledgement, University Life has developed an initiative (among others) to support the mental health and wellness of our students during this time.

Considering the amount students who share rooms/living space, as well as to align with university and public health guidance, University Life has designated socially-distanced study and lounge space within the Student Center at Houston Hall and the Arts, Research, and Culture House (ARCH).
All Penn students can make use of the socially distanced study and lounge spaces. There are currently 27 designated spaces (25 in Houston Hall and 2 in the ARCH).

To use the spaces, please visit Houston Hall/the ARCH during operating hours. There currently is no reservation process, so students are free to take any spot that is not already occupied.

Hours of Operation for Houston Hall and ARCH

  • All visitors must adhere to the University’s public health guidance.
  • PennOpen Pass is required for entry into Houston Hall and the Arch.
  • Masking remains a key mitigation strategy. All members of the Penn community in campus buildings will be required to double mask (layering a cloth mask on top of a disposable mask) or to wear a KN95 or N95 mask.
  • 13 spaces located in the Reading Room (Houston Hall – 100 level)
  • 2 spaces located in the east lobby near Benny’s Cafe (Houston Hall – 100 level)
  • 8 spaces located in the main lobby of the 200 level (Houston Hall – 200 level)
  • 2 spaces located right outside of the Office of Student Affairs (Houston Hall – 200 Level)
  • 2 located in the ARCH main lobby (ARCH – 100 level)

For more information

Please direct questions/concerns to Patrick Faulk, Associate Director of Operations for University Life Space and Events. To learn more about outdoor space reservations, go to the University Life Space and Events website.