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Students stage 'study-in' at UCC library over opening hours

The students’ union president has said that studying at home simply isn’t an option for some students.

Students in the library last night.
Students in the library last night.
Image: UCC Students' Union via Facebook

DOZENS OF STUDENTS at University College Cork last night staged a sit-in at the campus library in protest over its opening hours.

The Students’ Union said that as a result of the college recently switching to a semester-based system of examinations, students are now under more pressure and need more time to study in the run-up to Christmas exams.

SU President Mark Stanton told TheJournal.ie as many as 150 students refused to leave the library last night for up to two hours.

“I wouldn’t really call it a sit-in, we just stayed behind studying until 11pm,” Stanton said.

We’ve no posters, chanting, or anything we like that. 150 students simply got two hours extra to study.

Students have vowed to take similar action again.

He claimed that the university had failed to engage with the student body on the issue, and that emails to college officials have gone unanswered.

“We’ve voiced it at every committee we could. The university should have seen this kind of issue coming,” Stanton continued, noting that the entire university switched to the new system of examination, rather than staggering the process.

1907873_10154876102975471_5072777152248168351_n Source: UCC Students' Union via Facebook

He said there is demand among students for extended library hours, with SU-run study initiatives attracting a high attendance.

“Like everywhere, there’s an accommodation crisis in Cork, meaning a lot of our students might not have a comfortable or quiet place to study where they’ve living. Some are even still in hostels or couch surfing.”

What’s the point in having a fantastic multi-million euro library if it closes at nine?

A spokesperson for the university said a meeting between the Students’ Union and the Head of Student Experience yesterday was unsuccessful in finding a solution.

“University College Cork regrets that it is unable to extend further the opening hours of the Boole Library due to lack of resources,” they added.

The Library recognises that the optimum space for students to study in is the Library and Library management will continue to seek additional resources to extend opening hours.  Additional study space has been made available through the opening of a range of other rooms and lecture theatres.

“The Library adjusted its opening hours with the introduction of semesterisation based on statistics on usage/demand in pre-exams periods and exam periods. The pattern of use in peak times demanded early opening, more Sunday opening and extended Saturday opening.”

Similar concerns have been raised in other universities over the past few years.

Opinion: ‘I want to support my students, I don’t want to judge them’ >

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Nicky Ryan

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