Editorial: Baylor lacks 24-hour study spaces on campus

StudySpotLast-minute panic hits. You need roughly one or two more hours to complete a project that you can only work on in the Hankamer School of Business’ computer labs. That’s the only place on campus that has the programs you need. Plus, the program costs almost $1,000.

You’ve just made a big breakthrough that has taken you hours to struggle through, and you’re ready to be done with your project once and for all. That is, until you hear those fateful words from a computer lab attendant: “We’re closing in 15 minutes.”

The sad truth is that this is far too often the plight of students across campus looking to study or complete class projects. Many of the university’s most heavily-trafficked areas on campus, with regard to studying, often close at times that are inconvenient to students. In order to assist students in achieving academic progress, the university should work to increase the number of 24-hour study spaces on campus.

Currently, the university has a number of study zones labeled as either silent, quiet or active. Throughout the day and up to closing times, many of these places are frequented by a large number students for the purposes of studying, completing homework, reading and working on group projects. These spaces are very popular.

Because of the number of these study areas and their popularity, it’s hard to believe that there are only seven 24-hour study spaces on campus, according to the university’s website.

And while the Moody foyer and the Garden Level Study Commons offer an ample amount of space for students to study, the elevator lobbies, which are four of the seven 24-hour study spaces, do not. In these lobbies is a small number of tightly-packed tables and chairs that make studying in the library after certain hours a competitive process.

Plus, the spaces that stay open late tend to be louder and less focused than other study areas because all the students are forced into a common space.

In addition to increasing the number of study spaces on campus, it is also imperative that the university take the proper steps to ensure that students have 24-hour access to programs and equipment necessary to complete projects and other assignments. For instance, the business school has several programs on its network that are accessible only through the computer lab.

The lab closes at midnight from Sunday through Thursday, and at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. This can cause a huge inconvenience to a number of business school students working on end-of-semester projects.

Only compounding this problem is the spike in enrollment Baylor has seen for the past few years, with another record-breaking number of students expected to arrive in the fall.

With this in mind, it seems as though the university has made very little effort to accommodate for these changes when it comes to study spaces. Because campus is becoming more and more populated, there are obviously more and more students looking to study in one of the seven study spaces open for 24 hours.

Some residence halls could help with this study space problem. For example, the residents of the Honors Residential College have the opportunity to study in the Memorial Dining Hall after it closes. This is a quiet place for students to focus.

For off-campus students, this is not a possibility. They have to go wherever is available — potentially only to the loud Moody foyer.

Students shouldn’t have to worry about where they’re going to study at night. Ultimately, it falls to the university to ensure students have the opportunity to study on campus anytime they wish.