John Patrick Hanna California 0

Extend the Meriam Library Hours

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The current library hours at CSU Chico limit students' opportunities for success and academic achievement. This petition serves to promote student success by demanding an extension of the hours at Meriam Library to better accommodate the diverse needs of all students.

Specifically, we ask that the Meriam Library hours be extended to:

  1. open at 7:15am and close at 2am for all floors during regular weekdays
  2. open at 9am and close at 2am for all floors during regular weekends
  3. allow 24hr access to all floors during the week of and week prior to finals

We have found that many of students' grievances arise out of limited access to a non-distraction, learning-conducive study environment.

Many students at CSU Chico also have work schedules that limit the times with which they can use the library and study. These students have jobs out of necessity in order to pay for their living expenses and tuition; without such they would be incapable of pursuing a higher education. Due to these constraints, the current library hours put these students at a disadvantage by not offering extended hours which accommodate such needs.

Furthermore, CSU Chico has a well-established reputation for having an active night life which can have a negative effect on students' academics. This issue is even more amplified for students living in the South Campus Downtown neighborhoods. Many CSU Chico students utilize the school's library to avoid the distractions and pressures brought on by Chico's active night life and instead pursue their schoolwork and studies. In many ways, the Meriam Library can be an academic safe haven for those wishing to make healthy and positive choices because they can't otherwise avoid the distractions at home. By closing the floors of the library at 11:45pm on weekdays and even earlier on Fridays and Saturdays, the school leaves students at a greater level of exposure to distractions and unhealthy choices and hinders students' opportunities and incentives to achieve their academic goals and make positive choices.

While Meriam Library offers extended library hours on the first floor, CSU students have had various grievances about this narrow option. First, the first floor has a very limited capacity for hosting students and doesn't offer the diverse study environments that the other floors bring. For example, the first floor is strictly a quiet-study area which prevents students that engage in group work from utilizing this floor. Also, many students have complained about the design and level of comfort of the first floor, noting that it is fit for individual work but not groups and that many of the seating arrangements are uncomfortable. One of the benefits of having all floors available is that it gives students more options and access to study environments that suit their needs. Another common issue with only offering extended hours for the first floor is that students who study on the other three floors have little incentive to continue studying once told to pack up their things. The closing of the other floors interrupts students learning and disrupts their chosen study environment, giving greater incentive for students to simply leave the library altogether.

Finally, the extension of library hours during the week of and week prior to final exams does not sufficiently meet the demands and needs of students wishing to better prepare themselves. As stated earlier, CSU Chico students have diverse schedules that restrict their available time to study. In addition to their schedules, CSU Chico students also have diverse academic courses and workloads, some of which require a greater amount of time and effort to fulfill than others. The demand brought on by CSU Chico academics is intensified during final exams, making the need for open access to the library that much more magnified. Students have complained that the extended library hours during finals do not fully meet their needs. The limited accessibility to the library during finals hinders student's opportunities to better prepare themselves for their exams and academic success. Many universities have adopted 24hr access to their libraries during final exam weeks and have seen positive feedback from students.

Echoing the concerns stated earlier, this petition seeks to provide real solutions to the grievances facing many students as a result of limited library hours. By extending the library hours to meet the demands of the students, CSU Chico can bolster higher academic achievement and advance positive results in student's lives both inside and outside the classroom.

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