by Nicholas Moran ’19
Besides the hum of the air-conditioning and distant footsteps, the Ruane Center for the Humanities was eerily silent on the night of Columbus Day. A stack of books and pages of class notes sat imposingly in front of me, living proof that my caffeine-fueled night of midterm studying was just beginning.
Yet as the hour hand of my wristwatch cut deeper and deeper into the night, I quickly ran out of places to study. At midnight, a security guard informed students that Ruane was closed, and an hour and a half later the lights in the library began to flicker.
With hundreds of students struggling to study for upcoming midterms, Providence College is failing to provide them with late night study spaces. Why? Instead of sending hard-working students off into the night with nowhere to go, open the library and Ruane all night during midterms to encourage studying.
With an onslaught of blue books and midterm assignments fast approaching, some students are forced to cut their studying short once the library closes. The short hours hit underclassmen especially hard, just as many are preparing to face midterms for the first time.
Luckily for many upperclassmen, apartments provide plenty of space to study without disturbing their roommates, but freshmen simply do not have this luxury. Instead of a spacious library table, a freshman’s small twin bed is their new desk. Studying in a dark and cramped freshman dorm room is near impossible, especially with their roommates trying to sleep feet away from them.
Now they strain their eyes looking at their laptop in darkness, and struggle to read schoolbooks by the faint light of their smartphone flashlight. Ultimately, hard working students deserve better options.
Most importantly, PC can easily remedy these problems by adopting their finals week policy for midterms. During final’s week, the school does a tremendous job in providing ample studying spaces. As the rising sun begins to shine through the library’s windows, students can still diligently study for their exams in the comfort of the library and Ruane.
Those additional hours have been tremendously helpful. Often those early morning hours were when I could put the finishing touches on a final paper, re-read passages, and memorize the last few identifications for a DWC exam. Faced with a mountain of notes and little time to read them, final’s week hours give students a much-needed boost and would do the same for midterms.
Unfortunately for midterm exams, PC only expanded library hours from Oct. 15 to Oct. 24, and it is solely for an additional hour. This extension does not aid students who had exams last week, and provides only slightly more time for this week’s studying.
PC can easily avoid these issues in the future, and final’s week is the perfect blueprint. Allow students to study for midterms in the library and Ruane for as long as they please. Their GPA’s will thank you.