Study space is a hot commodity at UR. Although the University does have ample space for individual or group work in places such as Gleason Library, these study areas frequently become crowded and noisy.
Therefore, it makes sense that students would — especially during stressful times of the semester like midterms and finals — want to make use of empty classrooms on campus for studying alone or in groups.
This is routinely impossible, however, because academic classrooms are locked on the weekends — the time when most group work usually occurs due to students’ busy schedules.
In Hylan Hall, for example, all regular classrooms are locked on the weekends despite being equipped with UR ID readers. Meanwhile, the building’s neighboring computer labs can be accessed at all hours. This situation presents a counterintuitive reality. Since students are already being trusted with valuable computer equipment, why not also give them access to desks and chalkboards?
Particularly during finals period, when libraries are at capacity, opening classrooms to students for studying and group work would be extremely beneficial. Opening these classrooms could also benefit individual students who prefer to study in the solitude of a classroom rather than in the often busy and occasionally chaotic library spaces on campus. The current system — in which students must go through the Office of the University Registrar if they need to access a room — is an unnecessary hassle.
Improvements to room access need not come at the expense of reduced security. Because the readers outside the rooms require a UR ID, individuals who are not affiliated with the University will be prevented from wandering in regardless. In other academic buildings, such as Morey Hall, where classrooms are locked on the weekends and during the evenings, the installation of a UR ID reader on all external doors of the building could improve accessibility while ensuring the safety of these classrooms against vandalism should non-UR affiliated individuals enter.
Since the card readers are already installed outside these classrooms, activating them to ensure weekend and evening access would be an easy and logical change. There is no reason to keep these spaces closed if card readers could easily be installed, especially considering that empty rooms stand idle that could otherwise be put to good use without the risk of questionable activity or theft.