Opinion: Increase tuition and library hours

Opinion: Increase tuition and library hours

Cory Spiers

Voting took place prior to Thanksgiving Break for a referendum to change Belk Library hours of operation to a 24-hour, five-day-a-week schedule.

Student voting for the referendum closed Nov. 26 with 88 percent of the votes in favor of extending hours.

While the Library does maintain a 24/5 schedule during exams, it would greatly benefit the student body to have access to the library at those hours year-round.

However, in order to keep the library open for these hours, it will require a $10 increase in student tuition, of which the voters were made aware at the time of voting.

This is a small price to pay for constant access to the library during the week, when students could benefit from it most.

Fortunately, the results of the vote yielded in favor of extending the library hours with the slight tuition increase.

The 24/5 schedule was first implemented in 2011. However, due to a $1.5 million budget cut the same year, the scheduling was changed back to the original hours of operation, according to a Sept. 11, 2011 article in The Appalachian.

Budget cuts can lead to tough decisions, and this was no exception.

However, the $10 added to the tuition interferes with the mandate that tuition in the UNC system not be raised, as set forth by President Tom Ross, according to a Nov. 20 article in The Appalachian.

Ultimately, it is a very minimal increase and this is a very unfortunate aspect of the issue.

If the library is able to stay open for longer hours during the week, it will allow students greater access.
Instead of being able to complete work or study, students will have to wait or try to do work elsewhere.

The library gives students a quiet, well-connected place with access to databases of information for them as they need.

By having more time to utilize that space at any time during the week, students will have the security of knowing that they won’t have to rush to print or find a book before a certain hour of the day during the week.

Ultimately, it will allow the comfort of having a space free from distraction, interference and promote a good study and research environment for the students to use when they please.

This referendum shows that a majority of those who took the time to vote agree.

Opinion: ELIZABETH MCMICHAEL, Opinion writer