A few clamoring students stood outside Hawthorne and Longfellow Library—unable to get in—the Saturday morning during last semester's finals period. These students, some of whom had final exams at 9 a.m., were left out in the cold because the library was operating on its weekend hours, and would not open until 10 a.m.
Later that day, others glanced longingly at the Café in Smith Union, hoping for a late-night cup of coffee to aid their attempts at studying. But to no avail—the Café and Jack Magee's Pub and Grill were not open at all during the last weekend of school, despite the fact that students were taking finals through Monday afternoon.
On the Thursday and Friday prior, the Café closed at 4:30 p.m. and Jack Magee's shut at 9 p.m. And on the last day of exams, some College offices, such as Student Activities, were closed. It seems the College has done what it asks students so often not to do—skip out on school just before a break. From the College's day-to-day operations, we merely ask for consistent hours of service.
Our proposal is simple. Not only should regular weekday operating hours prevail, but on every day with final exams scheduled at 9 a.m., the library and Café should open an hour in advance. If the College is going to schedule final exams during the weekend, services that students rely upon should maintain their weekday hours.
The availability of late-night food and caffeine or the ability to access library resources before an exam may seem like small comforts that students can do without. But our observations suggest that weekday conditions throughout the entirety of this stressful period would result in a smoother experience for all.
We recognize that the Café, Jack Magee's and library rely heavily on student employees to maintain normal operating hours, and that those students need time to study for their exams. However, the Dining Service also relies on its student employees, and during finals the dining halls continue to operate on a somewhat normal schedule.
Moreover, the Café, Jack Magee's, and library remain open over Winter Break when most student employees are gone, so during finals these operations are capable of maintaining regular hours to accommodate students' schedules. While there are fewer students on campus than usual during finals, those with late exams need campus resources more than ever; scaling back student services makes finals period unnecessarily wearing.