Students protest Library hours through sit out
Published: Friday, August 30, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 30, 2013 08:08
Near the vending machine room, freshmen Samuel Waters, a biomedical sciences major, and Cassidy Den, a marketing major, sit with blankets and books and talk amongst themselves.
"They didn't lower our tuition, in fact, it went up," Waters said. "I don't see the point of reserving our money to use at a later date when we can be using it now, on our library hours."
"I personally think it's bad business for USF to promise us something and not deliver," Den said. "It just looks bad on the university to be promising us something and then not deliver... It's just not fair for us as students to not to be able to use our library hours as promised."
Den and Waters said they were able to use the library during 24/5 over the summer term when they arrived at campus, but were surprised when they changed the hours when fall semester came along.
The gym opening earlier than the library also came up in conversation.
"That just makes it seem like USF is more interested in their athletics than their academics," Den said.
"Being a big research school, you would think they want to focus more on their academics than their football team or extracurriculars," Waters said.
Thunder can be heard in the distance as raindrops start to fall from the sky. It's a light drizzle, but most students are under the covered area right outside the library's front doors, so not too many are inconvenienced by the weather.
A few students sprawl out on their blankets and take a nap.
Garzon asks others where the nearest bathroom is, and is given directions.
"I was told it's in the breezeway, so I'm going," she said. "I feel raindrops."
A delivery truck pulls up outside the library. Students who are still awake get up and contemplate what the man heading their way is delivering.
The man walks toward the vending machine room and begins restocking the machines. Gregory Fulton, a senior majoring in psychology, was charging his laptop at a power outlet behind the vending machine area, one of the only few outlets available for use. He is told by the delivery man that he needs to get through, and Fulton leaves the room, unsure of what to do next.
Between five classes, two jobs, a girlfriend and everything in between, Fulton said he has no other choice than to take advantage of the late night hours at the library.
"This was my home away from home," he said. "I would come here, I'd have it all planned out, I would literally just camp here for the first initial days before classes started and just plan out my semester... and then I would finish my homework here. They took that away from me, and that's just not going to cut it. That isn't going to work."
After his laptop died, Fulton said he began talking with other students at the protest and hearing their thoughts on the issue.
"My honest opinion, I don't know where the money went, it's not my place to know," Fulton said. "All I know is this is all I've got. If I don't have this, I can't pass. I can't graduate. This is really determining my school years, I'm going to be here for awhile. If I don't have this, I can't graduate. It's that simple."
Another media van arrives, this time Fox 13. Students applaud as the van parks outside the library.
Garzon returns. She said the breezeway restroom was locked, so she walked to Juniper Poplar hall, where she knew a restroom would be open.
The group of protestors gather around the news reporter and cameraman from Fox 13 to explain their cause and why they're outside at 4:00 a.m. in the rain.
The deliveryman continues loading snacks into vending machines, weaving in and out of the crowd with his cart.
After a few interviews, Fox 13 thanks the students and they applaud.
A student walks up to the window by the library's front doors and writes "24/5" into the condensation. Others jokingly warn about vandalism.
Students discuss the different floors of the library, and joke about how the higher the floor, the more quiet you have to be.
"If you're on the sixth floor, and your phone even vibrates, you might as well be dead," one student said.
Empty water bottles pile on the pillar outside the library. A student sits at a picnic table eating McDonalds for breakfast.