University providing additional 24-hour study space during finals week

A resolution has been brought to the floor of the Academic Senate calling for Sonoma State to extend library hours, particularly during weeks of high volume study such as finals week.  The Associated Student Senate supports the Extension and Expansion at of 24 Hour Study Space to all three floors of the library during finals week, and the student union urges the administration of Sonoma State University to allocate adequate funding to the Office of the Library to operate the Charles Shultz Information Center for the duration of finals week each semester to follow.

The resolution was brought forward by Kate Chavez, executive vice president, after multiple meetings with Dean Schneider and Library Operations Manager Mike Kiraly in September.Although the proposition was just recently heard, the original idea has a longer past stemming back to the student government retreat in August.

“The resolution spells out the foundation for this request of the university as well as what action exactly is being asked for,” said Brandon Mercer, president and CEO of Associated Students of Sonoma State University.

According to the Quiet Study Space Interim Report put out by University Library Dean, the A&F agreed to a two-week trial period during finals week in December 2015 where Charlie Brown's Cafe will support additional seating between midnight and 7:30 a.m..  The administration also noted in the report that opening up Charlie Brown's for food services during this time will prove to be too challenging, so food and drink will not be sold during the hours of study extension.  A major part of Chavez's reasoning behind advocating for this resolution was the observation of overcrowding on the first floor of The Jean and Charles Information Center.

"We are not opening other floors in the library, due to the many challenges this present,” said Schneider, “But we worked with A&F to provide 125 more seats.”

The allowance of food service while Charlie Brown's is open after hours is to logistically complicated and too expensive to staff workers for those who work graveyard shifts.  Although the cafe will not be open, the library is offering to investigate the possibility of placing vending machines in the library, enabling students to catch up on late night fuel to propel them to retain what they study.

The heavily populated first floor of the library proved to be very counter-productive to the original purpose of creating a better study environment.  The 125 seats will aid in creating a less dense area so students are able to study more comfortably and effectively.  

“The students will receive more room to study in a quiet environment, hopefully making finals week less overwhelming to the students on our campus.” said Chavez.

Students can expect more study space come finals time, something that Weston Henry, sophomore physics major at Sonoma State University, feels is of great benefit to the university community.

“The library can tend to get crowded, but having more seats for people will make studying there more a viable option,” said Henry, “now students will find it more appealing, making it useful for groups to study together.”

Adding extra study area for 125 people presents some challenges for administration; one of the biggest challenges being keeping an eye on all of those bodies.  According to Schneider, the library wil hire a security guard during the two weeks of 24/7 coverage, specifically on duty over the Charlie Brown's Cafe area from midnight to 7:30 a.m..

“We [the library] are here to serve students and help them along their walk through their journey at SSU.” said Schneider.

With this being a test run to see how smoothly and efficiently the extra space goes during the stressful finals week, ultimately the student voice and the administrative allowance will have to achieve a balance.

“The lack of adequate study space is a very popular subject,” said Chavez, “Our dity is to support the students.  The resolution is supporting the student opinion.”

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