Other student resources need to follow the Hub’s lead and adapt to a changing school.
Every day, students have access to valuable spaces like East and Central Library. However, most students flock to the Hub during their free periods. The space offers both study and social opportunity. The space includes updated technology, and the couches provide a more relaxed space for students to sit and to hang out. While the Hub has been updated to fit the needs of the current student, other study centers lack these modifications.
While much of the school prefers the Hub to other centers, access to this location is exclusive. Effective at the beginning of this year, the Hub now allows students to eat in the drop-in area. While many students were happy with the change, there is a catch: only 150 students are now admitted per period. It is a drastic and sudden change to cap admittance to the Hub at such a low number; however, the change is reasonable due to an influx of students seeking an alternative space to eat and to socialize with peers.
The staff of the Hub attributes these changes to the increased strain being placed on their few employees during the school day. With such a great number of students seeking a place to eat, hang out and study, the staff believes that their ability to keep the space safe and useful for all is being hindered.
The limitations placed on student entrance into the Hub are inconvenient for a good amount of students, as they reduce access to the social and educational benefits of the space. However, we believe that the admission cap is, in relation to recent initiatives for improvement and modernization within the center, necessary and beneficial to the environment of W220.
The issue still remains, though, of students turned away from the Hub. Many that are rejected at the door are simply looking for a place to eat and to get work done, which is surprisingly hard to find in our massive school. With the South Study Cafe routinely lacking sufficient seating, and all other study centers holding strict and unwavering regulations regarding food and drinks, students are given few options in search of a place to eat, study and be productive.
It is the complications and anger from this lack of variety that make clear the need for updated and improved conditions and policies in the school’s study centers and libraries. The student body is projected to grow for years to come, bringing with it increased need for space and accommodations for students.
We at the Evanstonian believe that places such as Central Library, East Library and the South Technology Center ought to take a step towards the future, and update their policies regarding food, beverages and conversation in their spaces. The weight of fostering student socialization and education should not be placed solely on the Hub and its staff; it is a responsibility that the entire school must share.