There have been murmurings throughout the hallways of the Gelman Library and in the pages of the illustrious GW Hatchet about a new system for “study room reservations” that could soon be coming to the library to regulate the amount of time rooms could be used by individual groups of students.
The main complaint by those supporting the proposed system is that groups (labeled "squatters"), under the current model of "first-come-first-serve," are taking advantage of the spaces by holding rooms for several days or longer and are therefore not allowing for fair use of the group study rooms by the entire student body.
Personally, I do not use study rooms anymore. I find them counterproductive. However, as recently as Spring of 2008 I counted myself among the "squatting" bunch during periods when many of my friends had exams or papers due at the same time I did, or if I had friends taking the same classes as I was. While together, we could discuss the material, and feel more comfortable than if we went into one of the very loud areas of the library where talking is allowed.
Not to mention that during finals there are oftentimes literally zero study carrels available during most hours of the day. Being part of a “squatting” group provides peace of mind – knowing that no matter when you go to the library, you will have a place to sit and do your work.
While 10+ people "squatting" in a study room on a rotating basis for 96 hours or more is certainly not an “inalienable right” for GW students, it is something I would like to retain the option of doing, should I ever need to work with others on an extended project for a course, or just want the peace of mind that there is a seat waiting for me during finals period..
I’ve made a facebook group to try and voice this opinion. Join it. Add your voice to the growing chorus of former and current “Gelman Squatters” who want to continue the time honored practice of hunkering down in a study room for days on end to ace that final exam or crank out that term paper.
Maybe we can stop this policy from happening before it’s even put in place. Join the group. Showing support for this is the first step to victory.