Designate an Actual Library as UF's 24/7 Study Space
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On July 3, 2018, the University of Florida’s Student Government announced via its Facebook page that Newell Hall was selected to be funded as UF’s 24/7 study space for Fall 2018.
The decision caught the Student Body and Student Senate by surprise—last December, now-Student Body President Ian Green and then-Student Body President Smith Meyers requested a campus-wide survey that led them to select Library West as UF’s 24/7 study space for Spring 2018.
In this survey, students were asked to designate their preferred overnight study space: 66% of UF students stated that they preferred Library West and only 11.85% stated that they preferred Newell Hall (the survey didn’t include an option for Marston). The survey also allowed students to mark their reasons for not using Newell Hall; two of the most popular responses were that Newell is “[a] space not conducive to studying” and “too noisy.”¹
Further, Laura Spears, Ph.D., Assessment Librarian for the George A. Smathers Libraries, organized a Spring 2018 study on student usage of Library West and Newell Hall. The study culminated in a declaration that “Newell Hall alone is insufficient to meet the current demand for overnight study space.”²
An overnight study space should provide access to computers, textbooks, and a quiet environment. Adding computers and furniture to Newell Hall still won’t fix the most prominent issues observed in the surveys or provide students with access to the same resources offered by campus libraries (such as scooter parking, textbooks, graduate-only study areas, and more). Rather than investing more money in Newell Hall, Student Government should utilize already existing spaces that have been proven to meet students’ needs.
We’re asking that Student Body President Ian Green and the Student Government Executive Branch work alongside Provost Joseph Glover to secure the funding required to open Library West or Marston Science Library 24/7. Student Government exists to represent the students, and that’s why we, the Inspire Party Student Senate Caucus, are asking you to join us in calling on the Student Body President and Provost to ensure that students have access to the academic resources they need.
¹ Spears, Laura. “Use of Library West and Newell Hall as Overnight Study Space.” December 4, 2017.
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