Students seek study spaces on campus

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November 18, 2014

1:16 AM

When finals arrive, most students at the College of William and Mary have a long to-do list of assignments, final papers and other tasks to complete. However, one item they may not realize to include is finding a place to finish their work.

Earl Gregg Swem Library remains the most popular haven for students trying to study, but often students find themselves competing for the best spaces to work.

Some students who are looking for a quieter place to study will get creative. Mildred Sink, the night supervisor at Swem Library, said that she has found people studying in stairwells and other unusual areas of Swem.

“Sometimes if we leave an office door open, we’ll find [students] studying in an office, especially in Tech Services,” Sink said.

Sink said the library is understanding of such students, because they know they are just looking for any available quiet space to study. She mentioned the ground floor of Swem as another quiet area that fills up quickly during finals, even though it usually has fewer tables than the top three floors.

“During exams, we try to put out more tables and chairs,” Sink said. “And they get filled up [quickly].”

In the past year, the Reference Area on the first floor of Swem has been condensed to also make more room for tables.

Some students who are looking for a quieter place to study will get creative. Mildred Sink, the night supervisor at Swem Library, said that she has found people studying in stairwells and other unusual areas of Swem.

“A lot of people prefer tables,” Austin Spivey ’16 said. “Those are the hot spots in Swem.”

Spivey cited a table and vicinity to an outlet as the two major criteria that students want when looking for a place to study. Maddy Kozoyed ’16 agreed.

“During finals, a lot of people will be on the floor crowded near the outlets,” Kozoyed said.

Spivey added that students who have trouble finding a place to study in Swem can take advantage of open academic buildings at night during finals week.

“One thing the College does really well is to keep the halls open after hours,” Spivey said.

Before finals begin, Jodi Fisler, assistant to vice president and director of Student Affairs Planning and Assessment, sends out an email about available academic buildings open for study spaces.

“Normally at the end of the semester, we try to make rooms available that normally aren’t so students can have a quiet place to study that’s not their room or the library,” Fisler said.

Rooms and lecture halls in academic buildings will stay open throughout the night. Interview rooms in the Cohen Career Center will also be open for study space during the day, according to Fisler, but cannot remain open throughout the night.

None of the rooms opened in academic or administrative buildings can be reserved, Fisler said. Any individual student or group is welcome to use any of the rooms where they can find space.

“We’ll work with William and Mary Police to make sure they will be unlocked and then send out emails to the student body,” Fisler said.

The email also includes a reminder about how to reserve rooms in Swem. The group study rooms in Swem allow groups of students to make a reservation on the room for up to two hours.

“They are very popular and seldom empty,” Sink said.

Students can expect to receive emails about open study spaces this semester in the last week of classes.

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  • Lizzy Flood

Associate Variety Editor Lizzy Flood '18 is an English major from Stamford, Connecticut.