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Stop Kicking Students Out Of The Stacks: A Rant

Let the kids study!!

A new phenomenon has been occurring since approximately last April; late-night studiers are being kicked out of the stacks after 11pm. It’s true that the stacks technically close at that time, but before we posted the article about what to do if someone is having sex in the stacks on the book you need at 3am, people who were in there studying before the doors locked could usually stay in there for as long as they wished. Public safety didn’t patrol the stacks, kicking people out, but that’s what’s been happening recently.

The previous salutary neglect in the late-night stacks should make a comeback. It’s one thing if people are hiding out in the stacks vandalizing books or doing whatever other bad things you could possibly do in Butler stacks, but the late-night stack dwellers are just miserable students overloaded with work, trying to avoid human contact and sunlight. Depending on one’s study habits, the stacks, as depressing as it is as a space, can be an ideal study location if one intends to stay there for a long time.

When one goes to Butler in the afternoon, with the sun shining high and bright, rooms like 209, Ref, the 4th and 6th floors, etc. show the progression of the sun setting and, depending on how bad your night is, rising. This explicit demonstration of the passage of time is too reminiscent of how our lives are wasting away with essays and problem sets and finance sell-out jobs that will mean nothing when we all die and our bodies and souls eventually disintegrate. In the stacks, however, where the sun don’t shine, the atmosphere might be depressing, musty, even a bit sterile (of happiness, not germs), but at least one is not constantly reminded of passing time and the ephemeral nature of our lives and the fact that none of this really matters.

I kid. (Not really.) But seriously, if students are peacefully studying in the stacks past 11pm, not burning down the place or something, I don’t see why they should be kicked out. Bring back salutary neglect, I say! The only good reason to kick people out of the stacks at night is if they are having sex on the book I need. I still maintain that stacks sex is sacrilegious.

Stacks via Bwog Archives

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  • I would have failed. says:

    @I would have failed. As an alum, this is horrifying. (Perhaps even more horrifying than being an alum commenting on bwog at 10am Monday morning.)

    This article forgot to mention the best thing about the stacks! NO WIFI. How do you write a 20-page term paper overnight with access to the internet? Sure, you could have self control, but us weaker mortals…we locked ourselves in the stacks.

    1. Youngweon Lee says:

      @Youngweon Lee There’s wifi in the stacks now!!

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