Starting Monday, the Student Learning Center will be open as a study hall 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the next three academic years.
The center, located in the Cesar Chavez Student Center, will remain open all day to provide students extra studying space in response to the planned renovations to Lower Sproul Plaza that will close Eshleman Hall and Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, according to center director Cara Stanley.
Discussions to expand the hours began last spring with members of the Office of the ASUC Academic Affairs Vice President. According to campus Graduate Assembly President Bahar Navab, the expansion will cost the campus $130,000 for the next three years and was approved by UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau following a proposal to the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Student Services and Fees.
“This is a great opportunity for students to enhance their ability to learn and work in groups,” said ASUC Academic Affairs Vice President Natalie Gavello. “We come to Cal to study, so having various dynamic studying environments is a priority.”
Previously, the center was open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. For the past three semesters, it remained open 24 hours a day during finals week.
To allow for the expanded hours, Stanley is working with campus security officers, who will work at the SLC on the weekends, and is hiring two campus alumni to work separate seven-hour shifts Monday through Thursday.
Alberto Ledesma, the writing program coordinator at the center, said the new hours will be a huge help to students.
“Students like to have a place where they can kick back and study as long as possible,” Ledesma said. “The space really encourages studying.”
Additionally, Gavello said she is working to increase the availability of tutors around midterm and finals time. She added that the expansion of the center’s hours are part of a larger project within her office to expand weekend and late-night study spaces on campus.
“The SLC is a great, very cooperative environment where you can study with people,” Gavello said. “But the SLC can be kind of loud, so I’m trying to get more weekend and later at night hours for Moffitt and Main Stacks.”
Donna Bui, a campus junior, said she used to study in Eshleman Hall but sees the learning center as a better alternative, since she likes the noisier environment and the resources at the center.
“Being here is closer than going to the library,” Bui said.
Contact Shannon Carroll at [email protected]
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