Science extends hours

The Science building will be open later during the week. (Lena Yang)

The Science building will be open later during the week. (Lena Yang)

Following last week’s meeting between the university and Special Constable Services (SCS), a pilot program has been announced to extend the hours in the Science building. The new hours will allow students to work in the building until 1:00 a.m. Monday-to-Thursday, 7:00 p.m. on Friday and 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Stephen Franchetto, vice-president of university affairs at the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union, who mediated between SCS and the university, believes that students have a right to study space.

“The university needs to cater to student needs,” he said. “Having students kicked out is unacceptable.”

Students who use the study space in the Science building were upset last week when they heard that SCS had begun to enforce the building’s hours, escorting students out after lockdown.

Markee, a second-year kinesiology student who declined to give her last name, said for students to be kicked out of the Atrium really limits where they can study on campus.

“Resources on campus are very limited and spaces fill up fast,” she said.
Some of the biggest concerns that were addressed in the meeting were the exposure of hazardous chemicals that are located on the upper floors of the building to students, the costs of keeping the building open later and some damages to products within the building by people passing through.

Franchetto stressed that it’s a matter of weighing in on the “‘wants to do’ versus the ‘needs to do’.”

Chris Hancocks, operations manager of SCS, said he believes that the extended hours will have a positive impact.“It’s a good decision moving forward,” he said.

Hancocks also underlined that “Special Constables wants students to enjoy their time here,” and that they do not wish to be seen as the villains.

Markee believes the pilot program is a good alternative for students who do study in the Atrium, but pointed out that they need to be aware of the program.

“The program is good as long as students are aware of the pilot program in place,” she said. “I had no idea about it.”

On whether the pilot program will work, Hancocks said that it will ultimately come down to how things turn out in the next few months.

“It depends on the trial period; we will see how it goes.”

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