The Graveyard Shift: Butler, 4 AM

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There was a time, not too long ago, when being at Butler at 4 AM meant something was wrong. Matthew Schantz, Mahima Chablani and Brian Wagner remember that time. In our third and final installment of Graveyard Shift, Bwog takes a stroll around Butler just before the sun comes up and finds lots of people sleeping. Good night, and good luck.

Butler Library at 4 AM is much like you would imagine Butler at 4 AM.

In the main lobby, only the faint crackle of the radio and grumble of the power cleaner are audible. The desk guard squints at a crossword puzzle through bloodshot eyes, occasionally chatting with a fellow guard. A grad student peaks into the Butler Cafe, sees its interior unlit, shrugs to herself, examines the store hours, and crawls back to her Butler nook.

A few disheveled students exit, a few disheveled students arrive. One student says “Goodnight” to the guard, pauses as he opens the doors, turns his head back to the guard and says, “Or good morning, I guess.” The guard chuckles.

In room 209, 10 desperate students try to study, each sporting a different drink. There are the sodas–Mountain Dew, Sprite, and even a 2-liter bottle of Ginger Ale. Some are kicking it old school with classic juices like Snapple and Tropicana, while others sport pseudo-healthy drinks like Vitamin Water and Life Water. Two girls sitting next to each other sip iced Starbucks lattes (Butler newbies).

One boy clad in a flannel shirt sleeps next to an empty can of Red Bull. Another boy, taking a break from his work, comes to the front of the room, putting his head on a comfy chair and feet on a table. Fifteen minutes later, he opens his eyes to read a text and goes right back to sleep. Beneath a yellow flier warning of laptop theft lie three unguarded laptops. Two tables are sprinkled with Starburst and Splenda packets- traces of a Butler past.

Late night Butlerers are paranoid. The moment after one Bwogger sits down on a table behind a man typing on his computer, the man immediately moves to another part of the room, but leaves his wallet and bag behind. Shady business on the computer perhaps? Or maybe the guilty pleasure of Facebook?

Things are altogether not too different in the Reference Room. Only a few stragglers remain, and the tired looks in their eyes betray their former productivity. Three or four students stare blankly at their laptop screens, while another more devoted student sips a Red Bull and munches on Wheat Thins in an effort to remain functional. The room is more silent than anyone who has ever been there during the daytime can imagine, and within half an hour, only one or two student remain, as the ever thinning crowd takes it in turns departing for the cold, lonely, pre-dawn walk of shame back to their dorms.

In addition to observing and breathing the 4AM Butler lifestyle, your sleepless Bwoggers learned some assorted tidbits of general graveyard shift knowledge. Late-night students are habitual; the same students study and sleep in the same places on the same days of the week. As the semester rolls on, these students bring more and more items, like toothbrushes and blankets, to their nightly home. 3AM to 8AM are the most peaceful and sleeper-friendly hours; sleepers are mostly concentrated on floor 3 (good to note if you’re ever sexiled). Most importantly, if you want to avoid walking in on some steamy intoxicated romance (or find it, you creep), don’t go to Butler stacks floor 8, especially on a Thursday night.

A final note: One guard mentioned being verbally assaulted after asking a couple canoodling around in the stacks to move. Now he doesn’t say anything to Butler lovers, hoping they will have the decency to leave on their own accord when he comes in to clean. Respect the Butler custodial staff. It’s fine to have extracurricular fun in Butler, but when someone comes a sweepin’, it might be time to relocate.



  1. anyone

    wanna have sex in the stacks at 4 am? meet me there.

  2. sbucks addict  

    haha love it. bwog becomes pseudo- anthropologists analyzing finals tendencies of columbians...i read this article in the voice of that australian aligator guy.

    "Two girls sitting next to each other sip iced Starbucks lattes (Butler newbies)."

    lattes at 4 am...doesn't starbucks close at 11 pm or something? ew

  3. Dear BWOG  

    next time please have smaller pictures.
    I was hoping i would lose my sight before my linear midterm tomorrow

  4. misinformedddd sbucks addict  

    ahhhh 2 am, really?? thanks "!!!" you're such an enabler

  5. 4am  

    really isnt that late for Butler. they should have went for 5 or 6 honestly. im still trucking just fine at 4am as are many others.

  6. I think  

    people doing this and then other people celebrating that people do this gives our school a worse reputation that people selling drugs did

  7. anon

    you people are all nuts.

  8. Anonymous  

    just wondering but have people still been selling adderall after the drug bust? i mean, i got my stack just before it happened but i would hate to come back next semester and find no one's selling anymore :/

  9. poll time  

    thumbs up if you're going to be here til 4 tonight, thumbs down if you're not

  10. guilty  

    I've definitely made the "good night!...or good morning" crack to the graveyard guard. more than once. busted

  11. umm...


    In other news, this is the most Bwog comments I have ever made. Must be finals time.

  12. hm?

    Anyone else find it strange that this author seems to think the guards are the ones who clean up after him/her?

    "One guard mentioned being verbally assaulted after asking a couple canoodling around in the stacks to move. Now he doesn’t say anything to Butler lovers, hoping they will have the decency to leave on their own accord when he comes in to clean."

  13. Woah  

    That second picture kind of scares me.

  14. i dun get it  

    i really love the library, i focus there much better than in my room and i will even stay there really late. but after're just not productive anymore! people would actually do better if they just went home and slept in their beds. they'd get a better rest and feel more refreshed to go back and really get some work done. these hardcore butler sleepers just seem like obnoxious martyrs to me...

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