Views expressed in opinion columns are the author’s own.
As finals week approaches, students must dramatically increase their studying efforts. With a plethora of assignments due, followed by an onslaught of exams and final papers, many of us have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time.
For many students, the library is a sanctuary for getting work done. Our bedrooms are where we relax, sleep and watch Netflix. Our living rooms or common areas are where we eat and socialize. Those spaces are for time with friends. So, for our studying needs, students seek out the library.
However, the libraries are not always open. McKeldin keeps limited hours every weekend while classes are in session, even the weekend before final exams. Many students use that time to get a jump start on their long papers and challenging exams. Nevertheless, McKeldin closes its doors, and students have to find another place to study.
This should not be the case. Especially in the time leading up to finals, McKeldin needs to stay open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Such a policy would let students focus on studying, instead of worrying about where they can work.
But even when McKeldin is open, our studying woes aren’t solved. More than 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students attend this university. McKeldin is the only library ever open past 11 p.m. It is also the largest library and located right in the center of campus. Thus, students naturally flock to it, especially when they anticipate studying well into the night.
But if you’ve ever tried to use McKeldin as finals season approaches, you know the library is a scene of overcrowded chaos. There are nowhere near enough study spaces for all the students who wish to use the library during this time. Some students even sleep at McKeldin to avoid losing their study spaces.
There are many other libraries on campus, but they are open significantly less often than McKeldin. On the weekends, these hours are even shorter. For most people trying to work for a long span of time, McKeldin is simply the only viable option. This university needs to change that.
This university needs to pay workers to keep other libraries open for longer hours, especially during finals season. If other libraries stayed open later, students would not feel a need to coalesce at McKeldin. They could use different study spaces instead of sleeping in their spots at McKeldin.
With a series of high-pressure exams occurring in rapid succession, this university must provide ample space and time for students to prepare. This university must prioritize its students’ academic success by giving them every opportunity to work hard and succeed during this stressful time of the semester.
Mitchell Rock is a senior government and politics and physiology and neurobiology major. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, a previous version of the headline on this column implied McKeldin was not open 24/7 during final exams. The library opened Sunday at 11 a.m. and will not close until finals have completed. Due to a columnist error, a previous version of this column also incorrectly stated McKeldin has limited hours every weekend. The limited weekend hours are while classes are in session. The headline and column have been updated.