Locked out in the cold

The other day I walked up to Brown Building to do some homework. The time was about 9:45 PM on Tuesday night. When I got there, I expected to just walk right in and hopefully snag a study room or a table. To my shock and disbelief, the door was locked. No worries, I will just try the others, maybe one of the custodians just mistakenly locked the door. To my further dismay and unhappiness, all the doors were locked. “What is this crap,” I thought to myself. “Why is an academic building locked down on a weeknight?” Thinking it was just a fluke, I went to CTLM to study, thinking that just having a desk would be adequate for the night. Not ideal, but it will work.

This odd trend seemed to continue, as the next week I attempted to do the same thing. Walk up to Brown on a school night, snag a study room, knock out some homework… no such luck. I have since tried four times to get into Brown after 9:00 PM and been foiled every time by stupid locked doors. Why is an academic building locked on a school night? Incidentally, it is also locked on weekends, but I can sort of convince myself that that makes sense… not really, but whatever.

The question stands, though. Why is an academic building locked on a school night? Geez, I mean, do you really think I’m not going to need to do homework at night? In what universe does a student at Mines finish all their homework before 9:00 PM during the week?

Let’s think about this some more. When you enroll as a freshman, you are told to expect to spend two hours working on homework for each hour you spend in class. For the average freshman, that translates to roughly 50 hours a week of pure school work. That is ten hours a day just school, every day. Assume that each student spends one hour per day eating, one hour per day showering, getting dressed, and using the restroom (a very conservative estimate, mind you), and 30 minutes travelling, walking, etc. If you’re incredibly focused and have no fun, you’re looking at being busy from 8:00 AM to 8:30 PM every day. We all know that’s ridiculous.

So it begs the question, what do our department heads think we are going to do when we need a powerful computer lab for some simulations, a whiteboard for some involved calculations, or just plain space to sit your butt down and study? Not all of us have adequate places to do these things off campus, so we like to have academic buildings for those uses.

Now if every student was granted Blaster-Card access to their department’s building, I would not say a thing about the building being locked. Whatever. But we are not given access automatically. Instead we have to request it, and there is no guarantee that we will ever get it! So I say again, why is an academic building locked on a school night? I have more like 16 hours worth of work to do per day, and do not have a powerful computer on which to run simulations. That means I am screwed if I have five homework assignments to finish in one week and no where to sit and do them. I’m not the only one in this position, either. Most upperclassmen have this problem, and many underclassmen, too!

There is one solution to this problem. Open the freakin’ doors! Let us use the buildings! We have frick-tons of homework, and being forced into a non-ideal situation will hurt our grades in the long run. Please, just think about it.

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