Exam cram

GVL / Nickolas Peters

GVL / Nickolas Peters

Duane Emery

It is once again finals week. Redbull, insomnia and a commendable disregard for sanity are the weapons of choice for many who scramble at all hours of the night to finish projects, write papers, coordinate group presentations and study for exams. The barrage of work can often seem overwhelming, but the Grand Valley State University library is attempting to help.

For two weeks, starting Dec. 1, the Mary Idema Pew Library is on extended hours so students who find themselves needing a quiet place to work almost always have one available.

“I have pulled an all-nighter every night since Thanksgiving,” said GVSU student Nathan Holtrey, who admits that he has only slept three hours a day while trying to get caught up on work.

He said the library is an invaluable resource for him because it’s a more productive work space than being at home, and it also gives a sense of community.

“I would like to see extended hours start sooner,” he said. “Too many students scramble out of their minds to finish work.”

This idea may seem like more of a good thing, but Becky Copeland, who works at the library, doesn’t agree.

“I think that everyone procrastinates,” Copeland said. “Even if we had another week people wouldn’t use it.”

Holtrey admits that the library sees its share of both responsible and irresponsible users, but feels it isn’t always the student’s fault.

“Some people procrastinate, but some are too busy,” he said.

Regardless of how students find themselves needing to work overnight, both Holtrey and Copeland say marathon sessions in the middle of the night aren’t the best solution.

“I have taken advantage of it, but you’re sleep deprived at that point,” Copeland said.

Sleeping in the library, rather than studying, is another issue she said is common during extended hours.

“Many are studying of course, but we see a lot of sleeping in random places,” Copeland said. “We see sleeping on the stairs, on the floor. People bring crock pots, blankets and pillows. The extended hours may provide a valuable service, but is it worth the extra stress it puts on library student employees?

“Having a job in general puts stress on students, but the late shifts are voluntary and our supervisors make sure we don’t overwork ourselves,” Copeland said.

She also admits she would be at the library anyway, working alongside all the other students.

“Last year, when I wasn’t working I was still here. It kind of becomes my apartment for a week or so,” she said.

Copeland believes good supervision and proper planning make the extra shifts manageable, and doesn’t feel library employees’ grades are affected. Plus, she knows how loved the service is.

“All year round we hear ‘I wish you were open 24/7’ and during extended hours we get a lot of thank yous,” she said.

Holtrey is one of those thankful students and thinks the extended hours are one of the best examples of student support.

“Students are going to pull all-nighters and it’s great that Grand Valley offers that,” Holtrey said. β€œIt’s not supporting the unhealthy habit, but acknowledging it exists and supporting students. If we didn’t have the library extended hours to work, the collective grade points of students would go down.”

Copeland is proud of her work, and is eager to continue helping students during these stressful times.

“The library is a huge thing, and I’m glad to be a part of it,” she said.