EDITORIAL: Studying knows no closing time 10

By Huntingtonian editorial staff

Looking for a quiet place to study and do research after 11 p.m. at night? You could be hard-pressed to find it.

For a student who works after classes, or is doing a group project with someone who does, a place to go once lounges close is a must. Other students prefer studying at late hours. The 24-hour study room might seem like a good solution to this, but it isn’t as helpful as it seems.

Since there is not an on-campus location for students to hang out after lounges close, this room is often filled with people who play music and talk, an environment many students cannot study in. Also, even if only quiet studiers used the study room, the space is not large enough to accommodate multiple groups.

The 24-hour study room does not provide access to vital resources. While some books can be checked out, some of the most desirable resources are in the reference section and cannot be checked out.

Many larger universities have 24-hour libraries, but we realize this may not be necessary or feasible for us. However, if the library hours would extend until 2 or 3 a.m., it would be a great asset.

Only minimal staff would be needed for these hours, and it would fill a need and increase the appeal of the library as a whole. It would provide more hours for work-study students.

Members of the board of trustees have discussed extending library hours. Let’s make it happen, even if it requires a larger supply of library coffee.

The 2013-2014 editorial staff

The 2013-2014 editorial staff

The Huntingtonian editorial is written by the editorial staff: Jared Huhta, Laura Good, Alex Hoffman, Brooks Hooley, Michelle Embree, Jaime Hillegonds and Breanna Amico. It reflects the viewpoint of the editors only and does not represent the viewpoint of Huntington University. The staff can be reached at huntingtonian@huntington.edu. 

10 thoughts on “EDITORIAL: Studying knows no closing time

  1. Reply Brad Barber Oct 24,2013 5:44 pm

    I wouldn’t say that a 24-hr library is not feasible for HU. The points that this opinion brings up supports that it would be feasible — HU is small, the late-night activity would be minimal (but enough), the staff expenditure would probably be less than the electricity to run the building if the library changed its policies and allowed only 1 worker for the overnight shift.
    As a late-night worker myself, there are too many students who study later at HU not to have a 24 hr library. I worked in my room — often to the distracting sounds of people staying up for the fun of it and not caring about sleepers or studiers. Why then is there not one and this opinion had to be written? HU is worried that the library would turn from a study spot to sex spot if it were open all night.

  2. Reply Kris Burgess Oct 25,2013 3:47 pm

    Yea, sadly, in order to sell a 24-hour library idea to HU backers, minimal staff is not going to cut it.

    What I find sad: HU is letting the chance of consenting adults breaking the law get in the way of the academic success and or spiritual growth of other students.

    College-age students are going to have sex – that’s the reality that exists today. Regardless of what anyone believes, it happens all the time at Christian schools as well as secular schools. This should not be a driving factor of academic study policy and academic resource access policy at HU, and I hope that it truly is not a large consideration.

    However, something I find interesting – sex in the library between two persons over the age of 18 is a Class C Misdemeanor in Indiana – http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title35/ar45/ch4.html.

    Forget any spiritual motivation for making the library a place that shall not be desecrated by sexual activity. If students want to risk getting caught in the act and as a result risk a class C misdemeanor on their record, that is their prerogative as consenting adults. Sure, this will break the community life agreement, but it would have anywhere else – dorm room, F lot, JJs, etc. Why then is it so much worse that students might have sex in the library?

    I would guarantee that if HU opened up the library to be 24 hours, and made every student aware of the criminal consequences of sexual activity in public, HU would have about as normal amount of sexual activity in the library as any other school with a 24-hour library. It is not like making the library a 24-hour study area makes it an automatic sex haven.

    All this to say: (1) I would be interested in hearing all the reasons opposing a 24-hour library at HU; (2) college students will have sex, regardless of a 24-hour library or not; (3) students having sex in a library is not any better or worse than any other on-campus location; (4) the mere possibility of undesirable behavior should not prevent other students from getting the most out of the student’s education at HU, not to mention the most out of the student’s, the student’s parents’, or the gov’t’s $; and (5) the desire of HU to ensure that all students are adhering to the community life agreement should not override any interest in the right of individual students to use the resources that respective students have paid for in their own right.

  3. Reply Jack Heller Oct 26,2013 9:16 pm

    I must have missed the part of the article which says that concerns about students coupling is the reason for not keeping the library open for later hours. I rather think student coupling to be an unlikely problem for the library. If it were to be attempted, it would certainly be noticed. As for the rate of coupling on the Huntington campus, I would refer readers to Sarah Johnson’s article of few years ago. http://www.huntingtonian.com/?p=4316

  4. Reply Anonymous Library Worker Oct 27,2013 7:58 pm

    As a current library worker, I cringe at the idea of the library staying open until 2 or 3 in the morning. First of all, the possibility of only one worker for the late night shift is never going to happen, for many reasons, including safety, the library will always have at least two staff members at all times. So for the library to stay open 3-4 hours later every night, that would involve hiring a two new workers. That, in addition to the expenses of keeping the building open (electricity, heat/air condition) would add up to be more money than is worth it for the few students who would use the library. I know all of the claims are that there’s so many students who study late at night, but where are they when we’re open until midnight on Wednesdays or the week before and during finals. Every time we attempt to keep the library open a little later to accommodate students, there are rarely enough students to make it worth it.
    I’m fine with the library staying open until midnight or even 1am every night but I think asking students who may not be night owls to stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning while only making minimum wage is going a little too far. Maybe the solution is creating another space on campus for students to “hang out” late at night so that the after-hours study room can be used for it’s intended purpose. Also maybe updating the study room to make it more conducive for multiple groups and quiet study areas. I think there are many possibilities that would better serve ALL of the students (including the library workers).

  5. Reply Brad Barber Oct 28,2013 10:52 am

    This isn’t an article, it’s an opinion piece. The staff didn’t give the reason most likely due to word constraints, but also because of administrative backlash if they did and probably not all of the editors felt comfortable calling out HU. As a former editor, I know these are probable reasons, but I cannot say they are the correct ones. I’d bet that if you polled the writers of this opinion and asked them why we don’t have the policy, lack of sufficient interest and coupling would be the two most prominent reasons stated.
    Lib Worker,
    Generally I don’t respect anonymous opinions, but I understand your reason for concealing your identity — your job could be affected. While this opinion supports a student-run night shift, I would expect a 24hr library to have a townie third shift crew — whether it be 1 person or two. Third shift hours do usually pay more (by like a dollar or two/hour), and I don’t think it would be difficult to find enough willing staff amongst the student and city populations. I think we can find the money to support a 24hr school year library considering we can find the money for Frontline Foresters and the like.

  6. Reply Jack Heller Oct 28,2013 3:46 pm

    I haven’t commented either in favor of or opposed to the Huntingtonian editorial itself. I will point out that the university has a policy intended to protect the content of student publications. I know, because I helped to write the policy.
    I see speculation occurring in these comments. That speculation might very easily be resolved by inquiring of the library administration itself of the reasons for or against keeping the library open for longer hours. The Huntingtonian has offered a proposed change to the university’s current practices, and it would be a natural follow-up, if the editorial staff is interested, to investigate the feasibility of the proposal. Meanwhile, I would not worry about an administrative backlash at all.

  7. Reply Cary Brown Oct 28,2013 9:42 pm

    Put locks on the stairwell doors and only open the main floor for late night studying. Compromise is key at HU if you want any chance at moving forward. Also, I would see it an even easier possibility that the HUB was open 24 hours. Campus Police can just walk through once an hour. If both were open (which I know is doubtful for anytime soon), it would help separate the studiers from the talkers.

  8. Reply David Schell Nov 17,2013 4:33 pm

    I thought the lounges on each floor were open 24/7 basically. Did that change since I left?

  9. Reply Anonymous Library Worker Nov 17,2013 8:10 pm

    The Lounges on the floors are open 24/7 and if they are too loud, then ask your RA of RD to enforce quiet hours. The library closes at 11 and that’s when quiet hours start. Also the idea of a “townie third shift crew” would not work. Library workers actually are trained to do our jobs… not just anyone can walk in and do it just because they volunteered. Only opening one floor doesn’t really solve the problem either, if we’re going to stay open then it makes sense to have all the floors open. We’re not really worried about people having sex in the library… we give HU students a little more credit than that (not saying we’re naive enough to think they won’t have sex someone else, but we do believe they have some decency). That’s just not the problem with this idea. The problem is cost, paying late-night students more money makes this whole thing way more expensive and I highly doubt enough students would come in to make any of it worth the cost. And quite honestly, I think Huntington had WAY better things to spend their money on
    p.s. the library does check out reference books overnight…. I commend the editorial staff for taking a stand on this issue, but please check your facts first!

  10. Reply Anonymous Library Worker Nov 30,2013 9:54 am

    I have turned a complete 180 and now support the idea of a 24hr. library facility. The more I think about it, the better it seems it could work out. I myself would be more than willing to work the late shift if it meant I made more money, but added incentives must be given to become an attractive option.

    On a separate note, why is everyone so concerned about sexual activity in the library when they allow the apartments in Forester Village. You see more alcohol and sex there than you do in the movies…

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