Oilers need more 24/7 study spaces

Limited hours and locations restrict academic work

By Sarah Stubbs

I am full of Oiler pride and love my decision to attend The University of Findlay. However, I have been frustrated lately with the lack of 24-hour study spaces and I’m quite jealous of bigger institutions and their 24-hour libraries and student unions.

Being the bookworm that I am, I frequent Shafer Library often. When I’m not working in the Pulse office or in my bedroom, I’m in the Learning Commons. I love the Learning Commons space because it provides an environment for individual and collaborative work, however, anytime I really get into the groove, they are closing down.

I have a lot on my plate this semester with 19 credit hours, an internship, the Pulse, my serving job at Dark Horse, and other various student groups I’m involved with. I don’t sleep much and I have an odd schedule – much like the average college student.

This semester in particular I am waking up early and going to bed late. On Friday nights, I don’t have to serve at Dark Horse so I use that time to get ahead (or caught up) on all of my assigned readings. My house is never quiet on Friday nights so I’m always wishing I was lounging in Shafer Library, soaking up silence and focusing on my work. Sadly, Shafer shuts down at 6 p.m. on Fridays.

Monday through Thursday, Shafer is open from 8 a.m. to midnight. On Saturday, it’s open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday, Shafer is open noon to midnight.

Geyer Lounge is a 24/7 study space. However, the room is small and fills up fast. I find that it becomes claustrophobic and packed with students who are not working quietly.

I know that the AMU is an option, but I find the music that is sometimes played over the loudspeakers (usually contemporary country – not my cup of tea) is distracting and there are almost always events or collaborative work and/or socializing going on. People are constantly passing through and the open atmosphere is not conducive for silence. I simply can’t get into my academic zone in the AMU like I can in Shafer.

Davis shuts down at 2 a.m., but is a place that I don’t frequent because it too is a place where a lot of collaborative work goes on among students in the health sciences.

There are hardly any college students who have the privilege of living a 9-5 lifestyle – even at little ol’ University of Findlay. So why don’t we cater to the masses?

During the long weekend we had a couple weeks ago because of MLK Jr. Day, I was excited to catch up on work and get a few good workouts in. However, the rec center was closed most of the weekend and the library had limited hours again.

A lot of students who would typically go home for long weekends start to stay in Findlay when they get into their sophomore, junior, and senior years because they have job or internship obligations.

I think that our rec center has awesome hours and I love that I can workout at 10 p.m. if I want to (on a normal school day), but I find it disconcerting that with a school with a large population of international students who do not go home on the weekends, students who stay on-campus, and students who rent nearby are limited with around-the-clock study space options and a closed rec center.

UF has traditionally been a commuter school. However, the University recently announced that enrollment has been increasing consistently for the past seven semesters. If much of these new students are international students and freshman who will be on campus often (since they have to live on campus), I hope that the University officials are already discussing how we can make shared spaces, like the library and the student union, more accommodating.

I’ll be graduated by the time the new College of Business and Student Life building is built, but I hope that the University considers providing students with a 24/7 space to get away from their dorms and college houses and really get some work done.

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