24/7 campus goal lacks ‘great demand’

24/7 campus goal lacks 'great demand'

Justin Kelly works best in the wee hours of the morning.

As part of the 2010-2015 Strategic Plan, the university pushed toward the goal of a 24/7 campus.

Kelly, a sophomore social work major, said although the library already extended its hours, he would appreciate more time there.

“The university should have (a 24/7 library), even if it’s a hassle,” he said. “There are more people, like me, who are up later. Some people work better at that time.”

Kelly lives in the apartments and said he lacks food options at night.

“For me, the most aggravating part is not having something to eat super late,” he said. “It would be awesome if the C-Store was open 24/7.”

Freshman history major Nick Engels said he had reservations about moving toward a 24/7 campus.

“It might raise our tuition cost.My fear is that would go up. College is already expensive as much as it is,” he said. “Money talks first.”

Marcia Kiessling, associate provost for Student Affairs, started a 24/7 campus committee after the development of the Strategic Plan in 2010.

“I wanted students to be the main voice,” she said. “We got really committed students and we met every other week for the full academic year. They came to all these meetings and we met two hours every time we met.”

The committee focused on student programming, facilities and transportation, gathering spaces, campus availability and services.

Kiessling said the university expanded library hours to 2 a.m. last December before finals, but currently does not feel the campus needs to literally be 24/7.’

“We don’t have the resources,” she said. “Perhaps really out in the future, but with 2,700 of 10,000 students living on campus, we don’t see a great demand for students or at a scale enough to support it.”

Kiessling said she hopes students will use digital resources, which are accessible any day at any time.

“We have growing online programs and student support services for online students,” she said.

Kiessling said the university has looked at class offering expansion in terms of more evening and online classes.

Sodexo expanded this semester to provide dining options on campus and through the C-Store up to 11:30 p.m. The RFWC also expanded its hours to 1 a.m. during weekdays.

Kiessling said in the future, student organizations may be able to request rooms for events in the University Center past its regular hours.

“For that, we have to develop a process and infrastructure,” she said. “Students would be able to request a room, and the student organization would have to pay.”

Even though students like Kelly would still like later hours for food and study space, Kiessling said the ratio of students in housing to the university as a whole doesn’t call for a true 24/7 campus.

“This isn’t to say that I’m against (a 24/7 campus),” she said, “but if (President Linda Bennett) were to look at all the things we need institutionally, it would be surprising if it came out on top.”