Marvin Center hours extended

Parts of the Marvin Center will be open until 2 a.m. daily for study space starting Monday, the Marvin Center Governing Board and Student Association announced last week.

The program, “Marvin Center Late Night,” will run on a trial basis through the end of the 2009-10 academic year. The ground floor, Great Hall, Columbian Square and the entire fourth floor – including all meeting rooms and student organization offices – will be open for use.

“This is important for students because there has been so much talk that Gelman isn’t adequate, and there is an additional demand for space. This program is a great way to meet or study in a quiet environment,” Ethan Elser, chairman of the Marvin Center Governing Board, said.

The second and third floors of the Marvin Center will not be a part of the new late-night-hours program.

Elser’s goal to increase Marvin Center operating hours and study space aligned with the goals of the Student Association, and they have been jointly working on this initiative since the summer.

“We’re doing this until end of the year, and will be looking at numbers, usage, cleanliness, and make sure it’s something that people want. There are people sitting in the halls of Gelman when they could be sitting in a chair somewhere,” said Julie Bindelglass, Student Association president.

Elser said MCGB and the SA felt the fourth floor would be the most beneficial study area for students, and was also the easiest to implement from a Marvin Center security perspective.

“The fourth floor is the student hub. It has a large number of meeting rooms and small student organization rooms. It’s a great first starting point. We are going to track how people use it,” Elser said.

The rooms will stay set up how they were set up from previous meetings so students will be able to use the space for the maximum amount of time possible. Students are free to change the set up of the room if they wish.

“We are really looking to see how many use it and when. I would consider any number of people in there a success because it means less people crowding Gelman,” Elser said.

MCGB and the SA have not set guidelines regarding silent areas or group areas on how students should use the newly available space.

“It’s going to be self-selecting. We’ll see where people naturally utilize the spaces. It will be self-enforced and self-patrolled. It’s all open space,” Bindelglass said.

The University Police Department will be monitoring the second and third floors during the late operating hours of the other floors, and ensuring that students leave the areas included in the program by 2 a.m.

The student organization offices will still be open only to members of those specific student organizations. The first-floor areas and the general meeting rooms on the fourth floor will be open to the entire student body.

MCGB and the SA welcome feedback from students on how the pilot program is going.

Last year during finals period, the University increased operating hours of six campus buildings to accommodate students, including Duques and Funger Halls, which were open until 1 a.m. on weekdays of the exam period.

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