Learning Zone closure angers students

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Photo by Jay Theis

An apparent lapse in communication left some students inconvenienced and feeling left out of the loop over the provision of study facilities during the Roses weekend of May 4th-6th.

Students not involved in Roses found themselves left in the dark by what they claim to be the University’s failure to communicate its intent to shut the usually 24-hour Learning Zone early on the Friday and Saturday evenings.

Despite coursework deadlines and exams looming, those students affected by the evening closures of the study facility were more frustrated by the failure to adequately publicise this procedure than by the decision itself.

Third-year Maths student Conor Scrivener felt that “a lack of communication from the University over the decision to close the Learning Zone for the evenings of Roses is the biggest problem. If people had been aware then alternative measures could have been made by individuals.”

The decision is a repeat of the procedure implemented two years ago, when York descended upon the campus in 2010. In each case it was felt that with so many additional people on campus, it would be too difficult for security to patrol in addition to the events taking place for the Roses tournament.

The University’s Press Office confirmed the reported closure, defending both the decision and its publicity: “The Learning Zone was only closed on Friday and Saturday evening and notices were displayed advertising this during the week.”

Despite this, reports from students that they had no advanced warning about this suggest that such notices were inadequate for their intended purpose, leaving students feeling inconvenienced and frustrated.

Students who spoke to SCAN also expressed a general concern that the Roses tournament falls so close to the exam period, and said that under such circumstances the University ought to have had a contingency plan for making sure that there were adequate spaces for studying throughout the weekend.

Whilst the Facilities Department defended the decision by stating that the Library had remained open as usual, it would seem that this was not a fail-safe provision.

Third-year Physics student Jonathan Doyle, who broke the story to SCAN, said: “I was personally left with nowhere to work as the Library was full leaving me nowhere to revise for two exams that week.”

Doyle echoed others’ feelings that extra-curricular activities were being prioritised over the study-needs of students, saying, “I thought that Lancaster University was primarily an institute of education and in which case [it] should put students requiring somewhere to work first”.

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