Keep Huntsman Hall Open 24/7

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Closing Huntsman Hall at 2 a.m. is not the way to improve student wellness. If anything, it hurts student wellness.

Each student at Penn has a different schedule with different demands. Closing a building that provides a safe and well-equipped space for students to study forces students to find other locations to do their late-night studying. The only other “official” study space open 24/7 is the Undergraduate Lounge on the bottom of Van Pelt. However, its size cannot accommodate the demand that Huntsman can satisfy and the space itself is not as well equipped as Huntsman is. With this in mind, students will be forced to study in their rooms or the already crowded lounges that student housing provides. Many students who have roommates will have issues if they are forced to study in their cramped rooms, adding undue stress which this initiative is apparently trying to eliminate.

A 2 a.m. Huntsman closure hurts students who come from less wealthy backgrounds. Some students who are financially strained must work part-time jobs or work study jobs on the side. Inflexible work and class schedules may make it impossible for these students to shift their study hours earlier to accommodate this 2 a.m. closure. Certain projects require specific resources that will be limited with a 2 a.m. closure. For example, some student projects require use of the Adobe Creative Suite. The main locations with this resource are the Design School, F75 in Huntsman Hall, and Van Pelt. Students not taking a design course will be forced to fight for the limited computers in the Van Pelt Study Lounge after 2 a.m. The Adobe Creative Suite is too expensive for a financially strained student and it is also not available on the Wharton VMWare Horizon Client for remote use. This creates additional stress for students.

Huntsman provides a sense of community for some. Many times, there are projects that require late nights. Being in a place like Huntsman where you get to see other students working hard provides a lot of motivation to do well and keep going. Now, students may be going home to work alone where they don’t have that kind of support around them.

These are only a few reasons why Huntsman should remain open 24/7. However, it should be clear that closing Huntsman at 2 a.m. does not reduce the workload of students. It does not “fix” the culture at Penn. It only adds more stress to the situation. Sign this petition to tell Dean Geoffrey Garrett that we need Huntsman Hall open 24/7.