If you’ve spent at least one semester at USF, especially one semester living in Phelan Hall, chances are you have probably questioned where your $40,000 plus tuition is going. Some of the dorms have not been remodeled since the 1970s.
We do however enjoy some luxuries on campus- wireless internet, a 24-hour study room and a semester long MUNI pass at half the regular cost (that will transport you to almost anywhere in SF). And while these amenities are convenient, there is a limit to how students can use these resources.
Who pays for amenities on campus and who should be allowed to access them?
I enjoy going to a school that has excellent resources like wireless internet, computer and printer access, but at times I’ve wondered if my tuition is paying for these things, shouldn’t I be able to dictate how I can use them?
This past summer, I had an internship with a small online publication that was in the process of moving their offices to a central location. In the meantime, my supervisor and I worked at coffee shops that had wireless internet.
This proved to be unreliable, thus I suggested we work at Gleeson Library, where we could use the internet and have a quiet place to work.
With the Atrium in mind, we packed up our laptops and headed for campus. We went no further inside than the front door when that annoying alarm went off. I explained to the librarian that my supervisor and I were working on a project.
When she said that he wasn’t allowed to be in the library if he wasn’t a student, he said that he was supervising an internship. Ignoring that we would be working and not checking out books or using the online academic resources like JSTOR, the librarian repeated that he could not enter the library.
Then she proceeded to tell me that if I did want to check in a guest, I would need to give notice ahead of time.
I saw no reason why I couldn’t use the library- a student resource- to work on my internship, which supplements classroom instruction and course work.
This happened in June. There were probably eight people maximum in the library. I pay tuition so I can use the library – why couldn’t I sit with my supervisor in the atrium and work on my internship?
Preventing my internship supervisor from entering the library was a blatant disservice to students like myself that pay high tuition to attend this university.
Like many offices on the USF campus, the library would not exist if students did not pay their tuition. The library is a service for students and students should have more control over how, when and for what purposes it can be used.
I support the proposed ASUSF amendment to change the current library guest policy, which requires a student to call 24 hours prior to admitting a guest.
In a similar fashion to the dorms, a student should be able to check in a guest by holding a photo ID at the front desk. With the exception of finals week, students should be permitted to check in guests at any time.
Students are paying customers and the university should adhere to the needs of its customers before dictating how and when their products can be used.
Chelsea M. Sterling is a senior English major.