Claiming Butler Spots, Or How to Suck at It

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Claiming seats in Butler is less of a science, and more of an art. There are techniques that work for some locations, but fail in others. This evening, Senior Butler Analyst Alex Jones spotted the stakeout below and uses it to illustrate one of the many finer points of Butler camping: item usage.

The books are messy, too messy...

There are many schools of thought on this issue. Some believe that the minimum that must be left is a laptop, while others affirm that any stranded items must be respected as legitimate. This author seeks to mitigate both arguments, and find a solid ground between the two.

Examining the photograph above, we find that the colonist has left behind a few personal items of clothing. This is a good start, but does not lead one to believe that she/he has any reason for occupation that requires a seat in Butler. Items must demonstrate a unique effort to study or be studious.

The above books, at first glance, suggest such an effort; however upon further examination one finds that they are merely plucked off of the surrounding shelves. Poor form, indeed! Any two-year-old can misallocate books in a library—camping requires determined pseudo-studying!

Library space is provided to students so that they may study in relative harmony within close proximity to academic resources. Unfortunately, there is high demand for spaces of limited supply, and thus consideration must be given to the allocation of said spaces. While there are good reasons that students may need to retreat from their study spots, the moral liberality of space allocation can, and has been, abused by campers who fraudulently feign their claim to a spot for an extended period of time. The world is a rough and dangerous place, and the strong and smart will prosper.

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  1. Concerned Brother


  2. Anonymous  

    stop being so snarky, bwog

  3. UMMM  

    Is Osama Bin Laden dead? BWOG, get on it!?!?!

  4. Anonymous


  5. Anonymous  

    this was amazingly well written. i love bwog.

  6. Kenny D  

    I realize Bwog comments and commenters in general very rarely read the comments of others thoroughly, and of the many who do read Bwog, very few care enough or see it as worth their time to respond back or write a comment at all.

    I've been wondering about a legitimate and constructive enforcement mechanism to keep people from actually abusing the informal "reservation of space" system as it now functions in Butler, but have yet to encounter a proposal that doesn't either come off as too heavy-handed and paternalistic or else simply ineffective and ripe for dilution and easy delegitimization.

    (Note: I do sit on the Libraries Committee in the Senate, which has the legitimate ability to change just this, or not. It's just that I've received differing opinions on the issue and am curious about how others feel about it, positive or negative. Feel free to email me at [email protected] if anything strikes your fancy)

    Will I be lambasted, snarked and potentially downright ridiculed for trying to reach out on Bwog for this answer, or at least advice? Almost surely, but I guess that should be an indication of my desperation in trying to figure out a system that is beneficial and effective. Rip me up, or not, but I really do genuinely want to know if anyone has any format that they think might improve the current system's fairness.

    • Anonymous  

      Don't tell me your problems.

    • What about  

      More study spaces? Solve the whole problem of not having enough room.

      • Kenny D  

        I actually really appreciate this comment, as it is undoubtedly a solid alternative to library policy revision.

        Currently, Hamilton, as well as many other buildings on campus, are open after hours for any and all activities, but not advertised, and from experience and anecdotes, not that highly utilized. Some even have extended hours during finals.

        Likewise, these hours are either not well known amongst students or perhaps, the hours are known but the buildings are just not as popular as the libraries as study spaces for a diverse set of reasons (WiFi coverage, uncertainty about availability etc.)

        Yet, sitting on the Libraries Committee, I don't have a direct say in the hours of these buildings or even other study spaces outside of the libraries, thus my specific interest in library policy. The respective student councils definitely do have a say though, and have tried implementing various methods in the past. Don't hesitate to contact them if you have concerns in this area: [email protected] board for Columbia College, [email protected] for General Studies and [email protected] for SEAS.

        That being said, I think it goes without saying that I agree that study spaces outside of the libraries should not only exist in greater volume, but also be better publicized and incentivized, as everyone would certainly benefit.

    • Anonymous  

      Holy sh!t, this is the internet. No one actually talks like that.

    • uh  

      do you think anyone will actually read that very long comment of

    • u mad?  

      too long; didn't read.

    • Anonymous  

      Maybe we should restrict Barnard students' access during finals? I always see tons of Barnard students studying there.

  7. Kenny D  

    I've always struggled with conciseness, and this obviously wasn't one of my better moments, but I appreciate the reinforcement towards more brevity.

    The gist: if you read the whole article, and have ideas about how to institutionalize anything more equitable or effective than the current system, or think it works fine as it is, contact me at my email address.

    I haven't come up with anything yet that seems like something students would universally appreciate, so I'm open to anything, and will respond quickly to any and all emails.

    • Anonymous  

      The problem really isn't one of space itself, but rather- as you alluded to earlier- lack of efficient utilization of space. We are lucky to have so many great libraries on this campus, and yet we have this "camping" discussion every year as people vie for seats in Butler. I think making other libraries more well known and user-friendly (for me this just means being allowed to bring in coffee...) could really help the problem!

  8. idea?  

    have a forum for it. 'reserved-spaces' forum. in the vein of the safe space forum.

    no, really.

  9. ...  


  10. Van Owen

    If you leave your shit unattended I will push it aside and take your fucking spot, and if you give me the stink eye I'll either tell you to go fuck yourself or choke yourself.

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