Suzana Carroll | Guest Contributor
We all know someone that does their best work late at night, but does Western accommodate them? Hamersly Library closes at 12 a.m., and does not reopen until 7:30 a.m. the next day, with only one small space open for 24 hours. Students who live on campus have the lounges in their respective dorms that are available to them at all hours, but what about those that cannot focus in the lounges or at home?
There needs to be more 24-hour study space available to individuals that live both on and off campus. There does not need to be an entire building dedicated to being open 24 hours but there definitely needs to be more than one room that is available; perhaps the bottom floor of Hamersly Library, so students can have tables, whiteboards, books/computers available to them and most importantly, a place where they feel they can focus and be productive.
By opening a bigger study space more student jobs could be created, and it would cater to those students who are more functional in the night hours. It would also allow for them to work on whatever they need to get done. Western has approximately 6,000 students, and only having one small 24-hour study space is very limiting and does not seem very inclusive to those who need to leave their living space to do their homework during night hours.
With Monmouth being a small town, late-night study spots are very limited. I interviewed a student who I saw was working in the 24-hour room and they said, “We need a bigger space on campus that can hold more than 30 people maximum because sometimes it gets pretty loud in the room and it becomes harder to focus on what I need to get done”.
The 24-hour room is open to anyone in the Monmouth/Independence area who wishes to use it. Opening a larger space would ensure that everyone who needs to use the resources that Western provides has a chance to and does not feel that the hours limit their abilities. Like most things, opening a space for a longer period of time results in higher costs. However, the library lights do stay on all night long, and the 24-hour room does not have constant supervision. While there would probably be added costs to student payroll to keep the floor supervised, it would only add up to about $80 per shift before taxes. There are many students that are night owls and would love to make the extra money while being able to do their own work. This idea has been implemented at various state universities such as Portland State, Oregon State and University of Oregon.
While there is a higher cost for student employment, keeping a larger study space open for 24 hours will most likely benefit and accommodate a large population of students and others who utilize the Western Oregon library because it allows for those individuals to have a quiet, constructive study space at night.
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