Editorial: Study-area weekend hours should match weekday hours

The work ethic at Tufts is pronounced; study spots in Tisch Library, Ginn Library, Eaton Hall and the Science and Engineering Complex (SEC) are almost always buzzing with people. However, the open hours of these locations often do not meet students’ needs for quiet areas in which to do work. When dorm hallways are filled with students laughing and talking, especially on the weekends, being productive in your dorm room is difficult. Both students who live on and off campus require dedicated spaces to work and study that can accommodate differing schedules. Although we don’t propose that Tisch be open for 24 hours, as sleep and mental health ultimately should come first, it would be ideal for Tisch and other study locations to match their weekend hours to their weekday hours.

Having a quiet place to study on the weekend can help boost productivity, just as it does during the week. Furthermore, university study spaces have amenities that most students do not have access to in their rooms, including printers, specialized software and books. For many students on campus, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights are the only times where they have a clear enough schedule to solely study or focus on work, so it’s crucial that Tufts makes the change of extending weekday hours to the weekends. 

During the regular academic year, Tisch Library closes at 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and at 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Late night study is available in the Hirsh Reading Room until 3 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

Students do have the option to go to the Reading Room until midnight on weekends, but this still does not provide them with access to the resources in the rest of the library. It is also a quiet space, so students who want to work in groups, or prefer studying in a place with a little background noise, do not have a place to go. Even then, midnight is an early closing time. There are still students who are left scrambling to finish up their work at 11:55 p.m. before the Reading Room also closes so that they don’t have to continue work in unruly dorms.

While Eaton Lab is open until 4 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, it closes at 8 p.m. on Fridays and 5 p.m. on Saturdays. The SEC, which closes at 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, is only open until 6 p.m. on Friday and 9 p.m. on Saturday.

It is essential that Tufts University provides students with quiet study spaces on weekend nights, as many people come back to their dorms and have difficulty working in an intentionally social environment, one filled with laughter, friends and distractions. We must have a quiet space available to everyone that is adequate for studying and has decent hours of operation so that students can have the flexibility to get their work done when it is convenient for them.