Stop the destruction of the R-block undergraduate study space (R-211)

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Undergraduate study spaces are few and far between at QUT, particularly in the SEF faculty. SEF postgraduate students have access to numerous communal working and social spaces to help foster community and productivity. 

The R-Block study space - Room 211 - has provided this space for undergraduates, and is the only space where EEBS students (Earth, Environment and Biology) can access for study within the building. The computers in this lab are specifically configured with discipline specialised programs which facilitate learning not possible in other communal study spaces on campus. In addition, R-211 is a 24 hour lab, this makes it invaluable in providing equitable learning opportunities for those students with diverse life commitments.

There have been discussions in the last two weeks regarding the conversion of this space to a soil laboratory. This would mean the exclusion of students from this space, to the detriment of their studies. Despite this impacting students learning, undergraduates have not been consulted or informed about this change. No comparable alternative has been proposed for undergraduates to make use of, and we fear that pushing students out of this room will necessarily push them away from R block, creating further barriers between teaching and learning. 

Science is about collaboration. This space is not just important for working on individual and group assignments, but it is also the heart and soul of R-block for students to form lifelong friendships. Considering the small size of the EEBS undergraduate cohort, this is an even more important reason to keep this space for undergraduates.

An alternative space has been proposed for this new laboratory, also in R block (level 1), which we feel will have a much lower impact on student learning and the EEBS culture.