The final exam period is halfway done. For those recovering from all-nighters and those still studying, the Student Caucus has news that will give you hope – TRU has committed to build better, 24-hour study space by Fall 2017!
In the Student Budget Consultation Report 2017/18, students identified study space as a priority. Recommendations included the design and management of more effective (quiet!) study spaces, longer study space hours, and better 24-hour services. The university is developing a proposal for the House of Learning that may provide a solution to all three.
“It is exciting to see bold commitments from TRU to improve study space,” said Mwansa Kaunda, Student Caucus Chair, “Outside of the classroom, these spaces are the most important to our academic success.”
Matt Milovick, Vice President Administration and Finance, confirmed that the university is making plans “to convert the House of Learning into a dedicated 24-hour student facility with varied types of study spaces co-mingled with student facing support services.” Already this semester, the Dean of Students, Christine Adam, worked with architectural firm Stantec to determine possible space configurations. Moving forward, TRU will:
- Create a proposal to convert the House of Learning into a 24-hour study and student service space, based on broad student consultation, by March 2017 (for approval by the appropriate bodies);
- Establish a ‘concierge’ desk in the House of Learning to provide 24-hour security coverage and information for students and visitors in the Winter 2017 semester;
- Complete renovations to the House of Learning prior to the start of the Fall 2017 semester (if the proposal is approved);
- Expand the Tim Horton’s in the House of Learning to provide faster service, and potentially extend its hours based on demand (if the proposal is approved), and;
- Develop a plan to replace study space furniture across campus (funding needs to be identified)
Library services in the House of Learning would also be consolidated in the Main Library, providing operational savings that may allow longer Library hours. University Librarian, Brenda Mathenia, confirmed this was the goal, but could not guarantee any change in the 2017/18 year. While longer Library hours would be a benefit, the House of Learning proposal itself could greatly expand access to and the quality of study space on campus.
“These initiatives represent an important step forward,” Kaunda continued, “We are eager to follow up on the student consultation and planning process for the House of Learning proposal, and to confirm the many improvements that may come with its approval.”
To stay up-to-date on all of TRU’s responses to your priorities, check out the Student Budget Consultation webpage!