Anyone who has been going to this university for more than two years has likely seen the rapid decline of quiet places to study. Anyone who has just started at this university is likely wondering why they can’t find any quiet places to study.
The fact is, university administration has taken away nearly every quiet study space on the university campus to make new common areas, offices, and, generally, things that really do not benefit a student who is serious about their education and needs to study in silent solitude.
But, we must acknowledge that while the university administration revoked the majority of quiet study rooms from the students, they were kind enough to replace them with other alternatives. Most of these, of course, were placed in loud, high-traffic areas, which have proven to be of no benefit at all to students.
The newest one is the study lounge in the RIC building being shut down and basically moved into the main hallway of the Education building. The lounge is going to become the new Aboriginal Student Centre. While I have no problem with the Aboriginal Student Centre moving into that particular space, the university failed to provide another quiet study area in lieu of this. Instead, students are left to endure the traffic, yelling, and genuine mayhem that ensues between every class in that particular hallway – a sure way to help a student stay focused on their studies.
They have equipped the main floor of the Archer Library with a multitude of “soundproof” study rooms. Has anyone actually used one of these rooms? There is better soundproofing between bathroom stalls than in those rooms. Not to mention, they are time-sensitive, and you can only book them for three hours per day. Who, when hunkering down to study for an exam or write a research paper, can manage to do it in three hours? Having to move in the middle of studying or writing a paper is extremely disruptive to the thought process, and students are then left with the nearly impossible task of finding another quiet place to go. And, ideally, these rooms are supposed to be used for group study, and some librarians will not even let you have the room if there are not at least two of you.
And, while there are “red zones” with no time limits in other parts of the library, students are not allowed to have food there. I don’t know about you, but when I have a paper to write, I’m there for the long haul. Therefore, I need sustenance, but don’t have the time to take a full food break. I need to eat while I work, and the library doesn’t allow for this. Not to mention, even though these particular areas are meant for silent study, the constant sound of the elevator doors opening, students walking through to find books, and employees re-shelving books can be very disruptive to students.
The University of Regina seems to have forgotten its most valuable resource amongst all these changes – the students. We provide this university with the most money through our outrageously high tuition costs, yet we aren’t even given the right to decent, quiet study space on campus. Instead, we are shooed into main hallways and common areas to do our homework without even a thought that it might be detrimental to our education. What was the university administration thinking when they decided that these spaces were no longer required? Have they forgotten that this is supposed to be an institute of higher learning? Instead, they seem to be doing everything in their power to take our university away and turn it into a corporation.
The sad part is students aren’t even questioning this. Sure, we all complain about it, but who has actually considered really doing something about it? If the students banded together and told the university that they cannot have our study space, they would be forced to listen because without us, they don’t have a university. Apparently, it’s been so long since Vianne Timmons was in university that she’s forgotten what tools students require in order to do well in their education. Quiet study space is one of the most important things a university can offer, yet it doesn’t seem to be high enough on the priority list at the University of Regina. Instead, the administration is busy turning our much-needed quiet study space into meeting centres, offices, and general hangouts while we are all paying to be pushed out into the hallways to do our homework. Does no one else have a problem with this?