Letter to the editor

Study spaces inadequate

Imagine it’s a Friday night and you have a major project due the following week. Though most of your friends are planning to take the night off, you make the responsible choice to study for the evening. There’s only one problem: Every library on campus is either closed or overcrowded.

Though Leavey Library is open 24 hours a day, the combination of the dismal wall color, fluorescent lighting and monotonous color scheme hardly composes an inviting workspace. Not to mention how crowded Leavey becomes during exam season.

Aside from Leavey, there is no facility on campus for studying after 5 p.m. on a Friday evening. Therefore, students are left to plead with their roommates for quiet time, or perhaps seek out a seat in Starbucks at University Village.

The Undergraduate Student Government has acknowledged the lack of adequate study locations, and has attempted to improve the situation by extending hours at the campus center during finals.

Though these extended hours are greatly utilized by students, it seems slightly illogical to think that students at a highly renowned research university only need a place to study during exams. These extended hours only occur during finals, leaving students to fend for themselves during midterms.

The lack of alternative study locations affects the entire student body and causes significant harm. According to USC’s Mission Statement, the “first priority as faculty is the education of our students.”

How is academic excellence to be achieved if there is no policy in place to support and promote the student body’s ability to study? By failing to provide proper study environments, the university is potentially preventing students from reaching their academic potentials.

There seems to exist a poorly prioritized set of values and misuse of resources by USC’s administration. For example, Trojan Grounds, a cafe filled with snacks, is open 24 hours a day, yet most of the study facilities on campus close between 5 and 8 p.m. on the weekends.

Wouldn’t it seem more justifiable to put such resources towards promoting academic excellence?

While it is true that there are monetary costs associated with extended facility hours, one might argue that these are appropriate ways to spend extra funds. A program to extend study hours would produce sufficient benefits that would outweigh the costs, such as increased academic excellence and increased satisfaction of the student body.

In response to this demand, USC Libraries extended the hours of the Von KleinSmid Center by three hours. This effort combined with that of USG is a step in the right direction, but it does not completely solve the issue.

Therefore, the university should implement a plan to extend library hours on campus.

Calli Cholodenko

Junior, communication

4 replies
  1. USC EdD Alumni '11
    USC EdD Alumni '11 says:

    I agree with Ms. Cholodenko.

    As a recent graduate of USC, Rossier School of Education, and a fully employed professional, I was fortunate enough to have a quiet study place either in my office after hours off campus, or in the conference rooms of the Rossier School. The Doctoral Support Center (DSC) set up weekly and monthly sessions where students could come in, plug in, and focus on studying and writing. As we know, most of the buildings at USC are now locked with controlled access via ID card into the facilities after traditional business hours. I suggest the Dornsife College, and other academic units, devise a system where students may access the empty classrooms to utilize the unused space for continued studying. If the controlled access system keeps a record of who enters and exits the building via the ID cards, potential security concerns could be mitigated.

    The Rossier School and the DSC had one staffer assigned to be with those who studied in Waite Phillips Hall at night, and permitted that staffer to check into work later the next morning to balance out the hours worked that week. This was a great system providing structure and a dedicated time to study, which was monumental in my efforts to complete a doctorate while also fully-employed. Other academic units would be wise to follow this model.

  2. Matt
    Matt says:

    I’m a comm major (like you) and have never spent more than a few minutes studying for an exam. Clearly you are doing something wrong.

    • Kat
      Kat says:

      Not everyone is quite as lazy as you, and yes — some of us actually came to college to LEARN and push ourselves, not just brag about how little effort we expend.

      I’d love to have the libraries open longer; it’s quite disturbing that the miserable and overcrowded Leavey Library is the main place available in the evening.

Comments are closed.