We are UC Village residents writing to request enough permanent 24 hour study spaces in the UC Village to accomodate resident needs, after the abrupt closure this week of the East Village Study center in building 123 took away 50% of these study spaces. Additionally, we are asking for immediate re-access to the East Village Study Center until a permanent solution can be made for its replacement.
The UC Village is a community for UC students and scholars with families. These study centers are often the only place that student parents with limited daycare resources and young children at home can work. Regardless of our family status, what brings us to the Village community is our role at UC Berkeley and our desire to finish our studies in a timely manner. While we appreciate the social events and programming that takes place at the village, it seems incongruous that our study space would be closed for exclusive programming purposes. We believe family programming and other social events should not take precedence over our academic progress as students.
Having a family in the Bay Area while also pursuing a degree at UC Berkeley presents us with many challenges in terms of finances and time management. Taking away our free and unlimited access to the study center presents us another hurdle in this regard. Neighboring coffeeshops are expensive and campus is too far. The East Village study center is vacant, while this week we have been scrambling for adequate places to work.
As it is both the West and East Village Study Centers are often overcrowded with students studying. During finals and midterm week we often have to find alternate spaces to work due to over demand. We understand that space is increasingly limited at the village but the reality is that as students we need MORE spaces to do our work and research, not fewer. Of the replacements that have been improvised this week, none are sufficient as a permanent solution. Academic center is not a replacement for the Study center, as it is not set up for independent work and is not large enough to accommodate everyone who needs study space. The promised space in the Community Center does not provide 24 hour access, and the hours are too limited.
We ask that the Village Administration work to support student families by listening to what we need. The semester is already underway for many of us and we are left without viable places to work, while the East Village Study Center remains locked and empty, awaiting its transition into the "Family Resource Center ." The email announcing that the transition from shared study space to exclusive programming for village staff would be made in early January was unclear and didn't give us adequate time to plan. The fact it was sent just a few weeks ago, on December 22, right before the holidays, without a viable replacement, is yet another reflection of the lack of care for the community for which these decisions are allegedly made.
After the parking fee change last summer, we reluctantly pay for our guests and childcare providers to park in our community but we refuse to compromise on what precious, limited, study space is available for us in the Village.
*Non-Village residents, Alumni, and other supporters are welcome to sign this petition but if so please make a note in the comments so we can track who is a current resident* Thank you!