24-hour study area to be included in new Student Centre

UCD Students’ Union President Paul Lynam has said that the new student centre which is due to open in September 2011 will house a 24 hour study area.Lynam stated that after last week’s meeting with the Library Users Committee the new student centre was deemed “the only one that has the facilities, that ticked all the boxes such as toilets, security, wireless and space.”Lynam continued that “we did set up a task force at the end of my year as Education Officer, and looked at possible venues for a 24 hour study area; the new student centre is the only one that has the facilities.”A pilot program was set up in the Rendezvous area below the restaurant in 2009. SU Education Vice President James Williamson said that “all who were involved considered it a success and agreed that they would like to have a 24-hour study area.”However, Lynam said to reintroduce the pilot service was not justified: “In terms of resources, we really are cutting very close to the bone here. What they found was that up to a certain time the after-hours facility was used, but after a certain time it dropped off again. The Students’ Union didn’t push for it in semester two of last year because the results just didn’t come back.”In spite of the lack of success of the pilot project, the SU is proposing that the library hours be extended until midnight Monday to Friday and for the library to open on Sundays.Williamson said that in extending the library opening hours, the SU wanted to encourage students to work consistently during the semester: “In some cases the continuous assessment during the semester is actually worth more to the student then the actual final exam. That’s pretty much what we based our argument on.”However, Williamson did have one fault with proposal, saying: “we’re kind of contradicting ourselves by having the library open for a set number of hours during the semester and then coming up to exam time extend them because that kind of encourages cramming.”Lynam stated that “our priority as a Students' Union is to have a seven -day week library.” He proposes that the seven day structure be initiated mid-September and mid-February and continued on until the end of the particular semester, allowing the SU to “look within the budget” in terms of the service.