The apartment complex I live in is only for students, both graduate and undergraduate. There is one communal room, labelled "Business Center" that I like to go in and do my work. It has whiteboards, power hookups for computers, free printing, and screens so that you can magnify what's on your laptop. There are two tables whose seating is centered around the two magnification screens.
I typically take my things and study at one of the tables, leaving the other three seats open at the table for other people to sit down and study at. Last night at the second table, two girls sat down and started talking. And talking. And talking. Then their friend joined them, and they kept talking instead of studying. Normally people talk quietly as they work, but these three were having a social conversation punctuated with several loud laughs and I couldn't study, even with earplugs in.
My question is this: I know how to politely say "could you please lower your voices, I am trying to study" but I'm unsure if I have the right to ask them to do so in this communal space or if it would be appropriate. If you were them, would you think the request is a valid one? Would I be out of bounds in asking them to be a little quieter?