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EDITORIAL: New 24-hour rooms in Charles V. Park Library shows benefits of Central Michigan University administration listening to students

Essexville junior Kerisa Rascoe (left), Clinton Township senior Jenna Evans (back right), and South Lyon sophomore Sydney Kanthook (right) study together on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016 in the Park Library on the campus of Central Michigan University.

More than two years ago, students raised a valid concern about our campus: Park Library would be a lot more useful to students who need a quiet place to study if it was open 24-hours. 

Central Michigan University's administration heard this. Those who operate the Charles V. Park Library heard this. 

They supported extending library hours.

Over the course of the last two years, Park Library officials have slowly implemented the use of an Extended Hours Study Room via student trial periods. In 2015, they introduced a slightly later time for the Extended Hours room. Similarly, the next year, they extended its hours of operation a little more — just to make sure students would really be using these extra hours they were asking for.

This semester, they're testing the 24-hour schedule four days a week. At the end of this academic year, they'll be looking at the data of student use to make sure the hours aren't being underutilized.

This means two things for students.

First: By exploring this issue, CMU's administration has done more than just show they're committed to student learning. They have followed through on student input — something higher-ups here have constantly been lambasted for in student-focused forums.

We have seen what happens, now, when the university and the students work together to enhance the student experience.

We now have a 24-hour, four day a week study room students can utilize to get away from noisy residence halls or distracting apartment complexes. We have a place students working unconventional hours don't have to worry about only being able to get a half an hour worth of work done before closing time.

Second: When Central Michigan Life posted a story about the library having extended hours students not only reacted positively, they reacted with a show of support.

Online,  alumni were even wishing they were back at CMU to take advantage of the new hours. 

In between joking Facebook posts of preparing to throw a sleepover in the room due to its 24-hour status, there's something to be said for student reaction to this. There was, and still is, a real want and need for this room. 

And because of that, we can't sit complacent and not use the Extended Hours Study Room.

If you don't use it, you could lose it. 

After years of complaining, it would be a shame if students became complacent with the idea they had a 24-hour study room and not use it. We now must prove to administration that this is truly a student-needed resource.

To the students and administration who made this possible — thank you. Now it's time to go to Park, crack open a book and show them we really appreciate it.