Student Senate attempts to create 24-hour study space in Bailey Hall as students lament lack of overnight access to buildings

After multiple petitions concerning overnight access to academic buildings gained traction on Geneseo Speaks, the Student Senate produced a plan saying it would attempt to convert Bailey Hall (pictured above) to a space with 24-hour access. To some students, the petitions represent a strong desire for more on-campus work areas that are open later.  (Theo Liu/Assoc. Photo Editor)

Following two petitions asking for on-campus spaces with 24-hour access, the Student Senate passed a resolution indicating their intentions to try and keep Bailey Hall open for 24-hours during the week. 

The initiative opens conversations between the Student Association and the college administration as to whether Bailey Hall can feasibly be open 24-hours. 

One of the two petitions on Geneseo Speaks requested that students have 24-hour access to Milne Library and received 205 signatures. The other petition called for the college to reopen computer labs in South Hall or other academic areas for 24-hour access and received 107 signatures.

Both petitions reflect strong student interest in having an overnight study space, according to Student Association Vice President and Chair of the Student Senate sophomore Adam Hansen.

Given that the Student Senate found complications with converting Milne Library into an overnight space, Bailey Hall was chosen as a viable alternative, Hansen said. 

“We found that Milne Library was a little more difficult to have staffed and things of that nature, so Student Senate has been trying to find a quick fix at the moment,” Hansen said. “We ended up finding that Bailey Hall was a safe, nice location to study. Working with Facilities Services and UPD … we decided that was probably the best hall to have 24-hour study space in.” 

The college is in an early stage in developing an overnight space for students to work, as the Student Senate must work with the Office of the Provost and other administrative groups to assess whether Bailey Hall can be open for 24-hours, Hansen said. Assistant Provost for Budget and Facilities Enrico Johnson declined to comment by the deadline of publication due to the early stage of this initiative. 

Regardless of whether Bailey Hall will become a study space with 24-hour access, Hansen said it’s important for students to have a response from the administration.

“Now that this has passed, I will reach out and contact individuals within the administration so we can have meetings to plan it all out and figure out what they can do and what they can’t do,” Hansen said. “If perhaps this is something that the administration can’t do for whatever reason, it’s just as important to me that there’s a reasoning behind it so students can be aware of that.” 

Chemistry major senior Bruce Lickey said the college should offer a 24-hour access study space for students.

“It’s a resource that pretty much all schools need to have, especially since . . . a lot of students don’t have access to proper study spaces and it’s pretty essential,” Lickey said. “I think the library would be most appropriate, but Bailey is not a bad option either. It’s not too plentiful in the number of rooms and people don’t usually want to study in a room if there’s already a person there.” 

Lickey said that the college should still consider placing an overnight study space in Milne Library. 

“[Costliness] might be a valid line of reasoning, but I don’t see why it would not be worth it,” Lickey said. “We might have a tight budget, but a 24-hour library is such a valuable resource for students. I feel like we’re dropping money on things that could absolutely be going to that.” 

Spanish major senior Janine Rossi, who created the petition regarding reopening computer labs, said that there are valid complications that could prevent allowing 24-hour access. 

“I understand the reason why none of the buildings are open 24-hours because we have janitors and they have a job to do and they have a certain amount of time to clean things,” Rossi said. “Maybe they could switch what time the janitors are cleaning and make different buildings open when the janitors aren’t cleaning.” 

Overall, Rossi said how much she valued having an overnight area to complete schoolwork. 

“With a 24-hour space, I could just stay in one place and not have to move and go somewhere else,” Rossi said. “As someone who lives off-campus and doesn’t have a study space, I want to be able to have the library or wherever and stay as long as possible.”