After three years, countless assignments, and lots of hard work, LUCAD students in their senior year are given their own studio space. It’s a small space but it’s finally a place for us to call our own, a place to create without interruptions. The space comes at a critical time when juries and portfolio reviews are in the not so distant future. When shared rooms and small apartments aren’t compatible with productively the studios become life-savers.
A couple of weekends ago I and the rest of the Senior Design studio class planned to have an overnight at the studios to make posters for our senior show, What Next? Before doing so we contacted Joe Schwab the Operations Supervisor to see if it would be okay. He told us that we were free to stay until 1am when the building closed. After that, it would be up to public safety whether or not we could stay. We decided to take our chances and planned to have the overnight at our studios. The night arrived and everything seemed to be going okay until 11pm. After talking to two security guards and the head of public safety, we were told we could not stay because it was not safe. At that time it was one in the morning. Our only choices were to move the overnight to the Infocommons which are open 24/7 or go home. We chose to go to the Infocommons.
We knew that getting kicked out could be a possible but I don’t think its fair that our studios close at midnight. We should have 24hr access. The main reason public safety said we had to leave was because they didn’t feel comfortable with us being there that late at night. Both the Infocommons and University Hall have security guards that are stationed there all night. In both cases there would have been someone around to watch over us.
Why is okay for Infocommons to be open 24hrs day but not our studios? It’s more disruptive for us to be in the Infocommons which are a public place rather than in our studios which are private. In fact that night when we went to the Infocommons there had been a couple of students working in the space. Shortly after we arrived because of the number of us they left. The studio spaces in University Hall are secured by card and only accessible by those who have studios in the space. I think that makes it safer for us to work there because only a limited number of people can come and go.
I and the other students agree that we are grateful to have the spaces to call our own but it would be beneficial to us to be able to come and go when we please. The studios are supposed to be the one place where we can create without interruptions. Having restricted hours in our studios only limits the work we can get done. In a school whose advertisements focus on the importance of creativity, it seems like they are limiting our potential. There has to be a better way.