Shruti Verma

Shruti

vpeducation@unionsouthampton.org.old

16 October 2015 19:00

Sam Bailey

Sam

vpwelfare@susu.org

16 October 2015 19:00


Should we have a 24 hour library?

Earlier this term the University approved a plan to implement year-round 24 hour opening of Hartley Library, starting on 2nd November 2015 until 5th June 2016. This was done without student consultation or consideration of student welfare. This is in response to the over-recruitment of new students which has led to a strain on University facilities including overcrowding in lectures and lack of available seating in the library.

We are taking a policy to Union Council on Monday 19th October 2015 which outlines the concerns we have. These concerns focus on 2 key areas: the lack of student consultation and the  lack of concern or provision for student welfare.

What are our concerns?

  • This plan does not properly consider the welfare or safety of students
  • The move to extended opening hours has not properly considered the need for a healthy working lifestyle
  • Sufficient cleaning of Hartley Library facilities will not be possible
  • There is a lack of access to adequate food and drink facilities during the extended opening hours
  • We need to run a Safety Bus service in order for students to get home safely; the University has not provided enough funding for this and they have not considered the logistics of running such a service
  • We do not have sufficient knowledge of student opinion to take a stance at present

What are we proposing to do?

You can view the policy here that we are taking to Union Council. We propose:-

  • Not to take a position on the University’s decision to extend Hartley Library opening times until adequate student consultation has taken place about the decision
  • To continue to work with the University to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students
  • To carry out student consultation in the form of a referendum

Why a referendum?

  • This is an issue that affects all students: whether you are one of the students that uses Hartley Library or not, the £84,000 the University projects this trial will cost could be spent on something else, more important to you – you should be able to have your say on this
  • We do not feel like we can represent your views on this issue without asking your opinion
  • This is your chance to decide on what your Students’ Union does
  • The consequences of the actions of the Union, which will be decided by your vote, could have a major impact on your student experience

This isn’t an attempt to block the 24 hour provision; we want proper consideration of the welfare concerns and the student voice. We do not feel confident taking a stance on this issue without carrying out student consultation. We want you to decide how we should go forward.

If you’d like more information or to have your say, come along to Union Council on Monday 19th October. Meet outside the Union building at 1745 to walk over to the Senate Room, B37 for 1800.

 

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5 Comments on "Should we have a 24 hour library?"

  1. shrutiverma
    Kristine Santos
    16/10/2015 at 11:40 pm Permalink

    In my opinion, students definitely need a 24/7 university library, just like some privileged universities. It allows students to have a place to revise and do their coursework with less distractions instead of being at home. So yes to 24/7 library!

  2. shrutiverma
    Dorota Filipczuk
    17/10/2015 at 5:19 pm Permalink

    I don’t quite understand how the extended opening hours could solve the problem of lack of available seating in the library during the regular opening hours. I can’t imagine anyone saying “I can’t find any free desk now, I’ll just come back at 1:00AM”.

  3. shrutiverma
    Steven Osborn
    17/10/2015 at 5:43 pm Permalink

    When it was trialed last year during the exam periods, the 24 hour library was used well and quite effectively. Extending it outside those hours would work.

    But the issues it always faced were that of welfare. Toilets became frankly disgusting and ran out of supplies during the small hours of the morning before the cleaners came in again, the bins outside the cafe always overflowed with pizza boxes from late-night meals and the vending machines often ran out due to the increased usage.

    If those problems can definitely be addressed, and if the Union can be adequately funded to provide the Safety Bus service 24 hours as well, then I don’t see why not. But until that happens then this wouldn’t really help.

  4. shrutiverma
    That guy with the unpronounceable name again
    18/10/2015 at 10:20 pm Permalink

    It seems highly disingenuous to suggest that the University is extending its library opening hours in an attempt to remedy the overbooked lecture theatre problem. Quite frankly, no one in the University holds that belief, so one has to wonder where the Union got this idea, or why it presented it to students.

    A 24-hour library has been a project that’s been worked on for years now. If it only got “announced” to you now, then I’d strongly suggest that you pay attention in the future.

    Your policy is a strawman, and you should feel bad.

  5. shrutiverma
    Realism
    19/10/2015 at 6:37 pm Permalink

    Are you seriously suggesting that a referendum on a 24hr library would come out with “no 24hr library” as the answer? Do you live on the same planet as I do? What a waste of time.

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