Undergraduate Student Government Director of Academic Affairs Eric Miller gave a presentation focused on USC libraries and the implementation of fall break at the meeting of the Undergraduate Student Senate Tuesday night in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center.
Besides future renovations of Leavey Library, Miller argued that increasing awareness of the many, overlooked libraries available on campus would benefit students the most. He said Catherine Quinlan, dean of USC Libraries, was one of the figures spearheading the publicity effort.
“[Quinlan] is one of the most fantastic ladies on campus,” Miller said. “She does so much for the University in kind of publicizing the resources that are available to students today, and one of the ones that is lacking the most is access to all of the different libraries.”
Miller said the majority of students are not aware of other libraries besides the most popular ones.
“If you ask the average student, they’re going to know Leavey, Doheny and maybe the library of their major,” Miller said. “That is something that I really wanted to change just because my favorite [library] on campus is the philosophy library. It is the most beautiful building on campus, and I absolutely love it. What’s a shame is that it’s never crowded while Leavey, [which] is not necessarily the most aesthetically beautiful building, [is] always packed.”
Miller said the lack of knowledge about other libraries is likely due to Leavey’s convenient hours and lack of publicity about other locations, something he hopes to address.
“I think that the more education you have, the more likely it is that a student will take the time to explore the engineering library [or] the architecture library in between classes,” Miller said.
Otherwise, Miller said students may lose time by going to inconveniently located but better known libraries.
Miller also spoke about the proposed fall break and the progress USG has made in its advocacy.
“I think [fall break] is one of those things we’ve put in the right amount of work to really make the administration think,” Miller said. “The administration is absolutely on the students’ side, but at the same time, it is a really big change to affect the academic calendar.”
Miller explained that though students come first at USC, creating a fall break poses multiple challenges.
“What [the Academic Senate] wants to make sure they protect is having enough days in the semester to teach their kids,” Miller said. “They also want to make sure they have time for research and [the] ability for not only the teachers but also the students to have a long Christmas break … It’s not just bumping two [days] forward on the calendar and bumping two days back -— you do really have to factor in every possible impact that a fall break would have, but I really do believe that we’ll come to a really good conclusion.”