CME to hold 24-hour student study space



The plaza level of the Maucker Union now has extended hours for students wanting to study from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.


A long-discussed request by students has come to fruition. A 24-hour study space is now available on the Plaza level of the Maucker Union. This space is accessible through the door near the Center for Multicultural Education, with a student ID, from 12 a.m. to 6:30 a.m., Sunday through Thursday night. The Maucker Union opens for the day at 6:30 a.m. on weekdays, essentially granting students 24/7 access to the area during the work week.

“One of the big milestones in making this happen was a lot of students, specifically within the CME who hang out here late hours of the night. They were getting tired of getting kicked out after 12 a.m.,” said Jamal White, Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG) president.

“We were just able to use their voices to be able to speak up and let them know that students really want this and are obviously here and wanting to be here past hours when they need to study to be academically successful,” White said. “I think that was the main turning point to really make it happen.”

The students’ voices did play a large part in receiving this 24-hour space right in the center of campus. The 24-hour space is something NISG had been discussing for quite some time now, according to Northern Iowan (NI) archives and White.

NI archives reported that students have long wanted a late night study space. In addition to the allocated space in Maucker, students are given 24-hour access to the Redeker Center and the Towers Center.

“The Tower Center and the Redeker Center – we think those are really underutilized,” Tristan Bernhard told the NI in April of 2017.

At that time, there were concerns with creating a 24-hour space, such as lack of students actually using the space, costs, the resources needed and safety. According to NI archives Mike Bobeldyk, director of student life and event services, stated a space like this would come with more negatives than positives.

“One of our goals coming into our administration and our term as student body president and vice president with Tristan is we would try to work to make this a possibility,” White said enthusiastically.

Student voices were one aspect of making this possible. Tiger Angel, sophomore environmental science major is one of these voices.

“I work in the evenings so, basically that would work,” Angel said. “I could just come here and work late at night […] and you would never have to worry about having to leave or be done by a certain time or anything of the sort.”

Senior elementary education major Olivia Terronez, expressed concerns about the new 24-hour study space.

“I think the Union is a great choice for the location since it is close to everything, and I spend most of my time in there anyways, but it makes me a little nervous that there are not many resources in the Union, especially once the labs close,” Terronez said.

However, White said that all of the printers and computers on the Plaza level will be easily accessible.

The possibility of additional costs was another road bump NISG has surpassed.

“[The cost is] really nothing, just the cost of basic electricity,” White said. “We made it so where there’s no additional building staff [that] has to be present to monitor, so that would have been the primary cost of it. As of right now there’s no huge estimated cost just because it would be the price we already pay for building operation, which is a set price through our facility.”

Another potential issue NISG has looked into was that of parking. According to White, NISG is tackling this problem by creating a partnership with Public Safety and Parking Services that opens up the Lang parking lot and the metered parking. Students should not receive tickets as long as they are studying in this space.

NISG set the goal for completing this, according to NI archives, in the fall of 2017. “As far as the impact, I’m hoping that it’s just a place that students can come and feel safe and know that it is accessible at all times,” White said. “I think the biggest thing is not that students want to stay up super late until 3 a.m. to use the study space, but a big one is the study space will be open early enough in the morning, like if they have an 8 a.m. class and they want to study before-hand. They have the access, so you can come in at 6:30, at 5:30, whenever that may be, before your classes or your tests. That’s accessible for you.”