The ASUC Senate authorized at its meeting last Wednesday the conversion of the Eshleman Library from student space to a commercial venue until next fall, when Eshleman Hall is scheduled to be demolished. However, the authorization won’t really change anything.
Last year, former ASUC Auxiliary Director Nadesan Permaul and former ASUC President Noah Stern entered into an informal agreement to convert the library at the top of Eshleman Hall into a commercial space, according to the ASUC bill that authorized the change.
The auxiliary estimated that the change would produce a net difference of $70,000 and relieve the ASUC from the $40,000 previously required to staff the library — formerly the only 24-hour study location on campus that allowed food and drink.
Though we are saddened that such a student service could not be supported by the ASUC, we understand the conversion of the space because we recognize the need to raise funds — especially that which will ultimately benefit students. The library was an opportune place to study for those whose student groups have offices within Eshleman and students who didn’t want to venture too far into campus from Southside.
We do, however, hope that the ASUC will take this situation to examine possibly broader structural problems that led it to take away a space designated for studying.
When student services are compromised because of a financial shortfall, the ASUC should see this as a signal that something must be changed. The onus is on the ASUC to ensure that the best interests of students are observed.
Editor’s Note: The Daily Californian rents its office on the sixth floor of Eshleman Hall from the ASUC. In May 2009, the ASUC Store Operations Board forgave the Daily Cal a portion of its rent. As part of the agreement, a nonpolitical student member of the board sits on the Daily Cal’s Board of Directors, which has no control over the paper’s editorial content.