Xavier University: Return the Conaton Learning Commons to 24/5 Hours of Operation
Dear Father Graham,
Just under four years ago, I sealed an envelope containing a deposit check that would confirm my enrollment in the Xavier class of 2014. My reasoning was simple: Xavier was an academically rigorous school with an excellent reputation and an outstanding mission. I made the correct choice, and I cannot imagine going anywhere else. These past three years I have grown as a person and as a student, being constantly challenged in my scholastic pursuit to complete a biology major along with chemistry and peace studies minors. Earning a bachelor’s degree in science is difficult as is, but the added necessity to balance several non-major required classes really increased the educational ante. This is not to complain; I firmly believe every class I have taken at Xavier has improved me as a person in some way, shape, or form. But nonetheless, no course load at this University, regardless of the major, can be considered “light.” The wonderful thing about this school, though, was that it provided ample study space for students attempting to prepare for major class milestones. The Conaton Learning Commons was an invaluable resource for students who needed a quiet study space, regardless of the time or day. That is why I was severely disappointed to find out that the University had made the decision over the summer to stray away from the 24/5 policy that has worked beautifully in the past. The extreme reduction in library hours is incredibly stressful, burdensome, and inconsistent with the University’s academic mission. A University that claims to be academically challenging but fails provide its students with enough resources to tackle those challenges is doing a disservice to its students and faculty. As an upperclassman, I am fortunate enough to live off campus where I have my own room to study in. However, freshmen and sophomores living in on-campus dorms will be especially affected by this new policy. Freshmen who live in expanded occupancy rooms cannot be expected to effectively study in dorms with two other roommates present. Any late-night group projects are simply out of the question. There are currently more students on campus than at any other time in the University’s history and a further reduction in study space is absurd. A claim made by the University was that the library needed to make $35,000 worth of budget cuts. This was done by eliminating the late night work-study jobs available to students at the CLC. The University stated that students would be better off finding off-campus jobs that pay more. This statement entirely dismisses the issues of job flexibility and transportation that drew students to on-campus jobs in the first place. Students who then have to move off campus for employment are forced to work odd hours; I myself typically work until 11 PM, returning to campus around 11:30 which allows me one and a half hours in the CLC before it closes. The $35,000 in forced budget cuts also is questionable considering Xavier’s recent conference move from the Atlantic Ten to the New Big East. It was unquestionably a milestone for the University and a huge step in the right direction. However, while in the A10, the University’s TV deals brought in approximately $350,000 dollars a year. The new estimated TV deal revenue for the Big East is between $2,000,000 and $3,000,000 a year. Conservatively, Xavier is looking at a $1, 650,000 increase from television deals alone. I am positive we will also see an increase in ticket revenue as well. If none of this money is allocated to aid the majority of the student body study, Xavier’s message is clear: “Money and athletics come before the students and academics.” I humbly ask that Xavier reallocates funds to return the Conaton Learning Commons to 24/5 hours of operation. Our faculty contains some of the brightest business minds in the state and I know an intuitive solution can found.
With best regards,
Andrew G. Elluru
Xavier University 2014
Students, faculty, and friends and family of both, please sign to show support of this simple petition. As a student, I firmly believe that myself, as well as the entire Xavier student body, will benefit from a 24 hour study facility.
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