Students protest Library hours through sit out
Published: Friday, August 30, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 30, 2013 08:08
Warmke said he is here to support the protest, and is in full support of restoring the library hours.
"As an individual, I am here to endorse and support the students," Warmke said.
Coming out to the Library and engaging with students who use the library late at night has been enlightening, he said. Having used the library during extended hours himself, Warmke said he finds it important that students make sure they have their voices heard.
"I hear very different perspectives, different stories, but at the end of the day, each student has their own story," he said. "They may be here working a job, or because they have night classes or they're supporting a family — I think it is important to hear from all the students and to recognize the need that we need 24/5 hours at the library, that they've provided the last four years and have suddenly cut. I think they should find the money."
While Warmke said his meeting with the Provost wasn't "necessarily productive," he said it was informative.
"One thing the Provost did commit to is having the hours extended again during midterms and finals week," Warmke said. "That was a major concern that we were worried about, at least until some sort of agreement has been reached."
McKenzie Step, a sophomore majoring in English, sits outside the Library reading a textbook for her New Media class. She said she has already made it through four chapters of the text during her time outside the library.
"The only difference has been the lack of outlets and air conditioning," Step said. "But it's been pretty much the same."
Being outside with other students in support of the same cause has been encouraging, Step said.
"I live here," Step said. "I do all of my studying here. I live in an apartment with seven other people, so I need to concentrate here and I just feel like students paying so much in tuition, and us being a priority of the school, focusing on our grades and our success... so I think the library is very vital."
Cell phones and laptop batteries are beginning to lose power as students have been outside for more than two hours. As they search for power outlets that the Library has offered them during their protest, students are realizing the only ones available in the area are behind vending machines and near the designated smoking area on the side of the building.
"The library used to be open 24/5," Larry Roop, a freshman on the pre-nursing track said to Garzon and Step. "Why would they need power outlets outside?"
"Look at this," Step said as she points the the inside of the building. "The lights are still on inside."
Brookes and his friends depart from the library to catch some sleep, and he wishes the remaining students good luck. About 30 students remain outside the library, carrying on as they have been for the past few hours.
"Hey!" a student shouts. "The gym opens at 6 a.m."
The library doesn't reopen until 7:30.
Kyle Kowal, a junior majoring in biomedical sciences, said he worked in the library for more than a year. His job, part of the work study program, was to swipe ID cards of students who entered the library after midnight.
"There's always some interesting stories," Kowal said. "I actually worked on Halloween night, and people would come in in ridiculous outfits, but they're still studying... At the end of the day — no matter what — they're still students."
Kowal said he also recorded numbers on how many students entered the library during his shift. Through this data collection, Kowal noticed students were definitely using the library between the hours of midnight and 7:30 a.m., and that the numbers only increased as the semester went on.
"In the beginning of the semester, there's not really going to be a lot of people who go to the library," he said. "Granted, classes have starrted, but they haven't started to the point where students need to be here until 4:00 a.m."
As a semester progressed, Kowal said he saw between 500 and 600 students coming to the library each night. During finals week, that number reaches more than 1,000 students every night.
"Finals week? You can't go in (the library) and find a spot," Kowal said. "Everyone's here, and they're all studying. Some people just don't have a place at home where they can study effectively."
Kowal's shift would go from 11:30 p.m. until 3:30 a.m. each night, and after his shifts, he said he would stay at the library after work, find a corner upstairs, and do his school work for his upcoming days of classes.
"Studying's not going to stop," Kowal said. "Obviously, the studying still has to happen, but will it be as effective studying? Sometimes you need the environment of everyone around you also studying, and you need to buckle down."