It was 11:55 p.m., sweater weather, and I was leaving SB Hall as the lights turned off on the third floor.
Being in college, late nights are not unusual, and this seemed to be a usual night.
I got to the doors of Braniff and I could almost hear the fountain in all its white noise glory.
But when I gave the doors a tug, it was locked.
This could not be. I had work to do.
I walked around the sacred study space to try the other side. Reaching the mall, I turned toward the doors.
“It’s locked,” two students chatting at the tables outside said.
But that is when the realization came upon me: where was I going to study?
It could not be the Cap Bar; it’s too loud there. Haggar has too much going on, and Gorman is usually full. The fishbowl was locked and any lounges were going to be full of people. So I settled with the “bubbles” on the side of the science building to study.
One of the greater conveniences this campus offers are buildings that are open 24/7.
This convenience is amazing to a college student like me who waits until nighttime to do my homework.
Despite the few buildings available, I believe we need more, if not better, spots on campus to study after hours.
According to Campus Safety, Braniff has begun closing at midnight on weeknights because recently a homeless person was found sleeping in the building. For safety concerns, this is a very fair reason to lock it up.
But Braniff is, in my opinion, the best spot on campus to study; SB Hall comes in a close second.
Braniff’s fountain provides white noise; during the day the library is right there; it is a building able to be filled with people, but students can still study quietly, and it also has very large tables to lay all of one’s stuff out for the long night ahead.
SB Hall has fast internet, bright lighting and comfortable places to study with or without a group.
Within both buildings, there is space for students to walk around to clear their heads and stretch their legs without ever straying too far from their work.
In the fishbowl and the “bubbles” on the side of the science building, you can look out and be distracted. In Haggar, people talk a lot. In Gorman, people slam doors, talk and are always checking the rooms to see if they can study in one of them.
So it seems disadvantageous to lock up Braniff along with SB Hall, as these places are particularly good environments for students who want to get a lot of work done.
I believe both of these buildings should be open 24/7, but I’m sure many would be thankful if they could be open even just a few hours later.
If this happened to be a one-time incident, it is not something we should worry about. When there are people in the building, it is unlikely somebody would sleep in there again.
Maybe Campus Safety should just keep one or two doors open on the Mall side of the building, or alternatively Campus Safety could change their patrolling tactics to successfully monitor the building.
If this truly is the safest way to go about fixing the situation, then of course these changes are understandable, but I would still like to explore extending these building’s hours in the future.
This is not just for my benefit, but for the entire student body.
I want to be calm, settled and comfortable at 1 a.m. Don’t you?