Study space hours extended for finals

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The University recently announced a plan to help alleviate one of the biggest stress factors of finals time-finding quiet place to study on campus.

From Dec. 2 through Dec. 17, building hours have been extended and new places opened to students on the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses as part of the University’s Study Zone initiative. Duques Hall and spaces in the Marvin Center will have extended hours and in the Marvin Center, the Great Hall, Columbian Square and common areas, student organization offices and meeting rooms on the fourth floor will be open until 7 a.m.

On Mount Vernon, Eckles Library, Ames Pub and the GDub Java Lounge will be designated 24 hour study areas.

Study Zone is part of a larger initiative under the Campus Space Working Group that is looking at the use of campus space in the long term, Matt Cohen, Coordinator for Strategic Initiatives in Student and Academic Support Services, said in an e-mail. The group is working to streamline space reservation systems and make space available for individual and group study on a regular basis.

Associate Vice President of Student and Academic Support Services Peter Konwerski said in an e-mail the initiative has been shaped in response to student feedback.

An analysis of foot traffic through Gelman Library during the month leading up to exams last year, collected through the GWorld system, allowed administrators to see the need for increased study space in the last few days before the end of classes. The initiative started three days earlier this year.

“As a result of this working together and hearing directly from student leaders who have brought some of these issues to our attention, we believe we will continue to enhance and refine our approach to providing more space at the most appropriate times,” Konwerski said.

Study Zone partnered with the Student Association and the Marvin Center Governing Board to market the availability of study space to students. Senior Ethan Elser, chairman of the MCGB, said in an e-mail that the MCGB and the SA worked to lobby the committee based on student feedback.

“I think that Study Zone is a good first step in dealing with the concerns of the student body. The program is still relatively new but I believe that the expansion and better marketing efforts will make it more utilized. The committee, MCGB and the SA are dedicated to providing solutions to the space issue,” he said.

Cohen said the marketing of the space will prove beneficial to students.

“The greatest advantage of Study Zone beyond the availability of additional study space during finals is the enhanced communication about what spaces are available and when. Communicating this specific information to students makes it less stressful to find a place to study during what is already a stressful time for our students,” he said.

Freshman Ariel Bachar said the places he likes to study, such as the Thurston basement and Gelman Library, are often overcrowded and he hopes the University can find solutions to that problem.

“I think keeping places open later will definitely help, but I think there should be more spaces in the library. Some places could be converted into more space, like the big couches could be turned into desk space,” he said.

Konwerski said the University is open to hearing student thoughts on evaluating the availability of study space.

“We have done as much as we can to not only survey students about these issues and regularly analyze the process at the end of each interval, but we are also active in working to stay open to emerging student feedback. The most important aspect in our planning is to have students sitting around the table with us, the administrators, helping shape these decisions,” he said.

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