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Buildings across campus change policies, open new study spots

A student studies in Davis Library on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, and many students seem to be returning to reopened study spaces on campus.

With the arrival of the halfway point in the fall semester, popular study locations across campus are helping provide students with spaces to work.

Joe Singer, the Carolina Union events services director, said in a statement that the Student Union has continued to stay open to ensure an alternative study location is available for undergraduates. The housekeeping team consistently rotates through the facility to sanitize spaces, he said.

Unless the University or health officials instruct the Union to close, the facility will remain open until the conclusion of finals, Singer said.

Shiloh Duffy, a first-year studying political science, said it is tough for her to stay in her room all day, and she tries to get out at least once a day. She said she feels safe studying at places like the Union because everything is so spread out.

Meanwhile across the Pit at Davis Library, changes have been implemented to make it easier for students to study. 

Judy Panitch, director of library communications, said in an email that there have been a few changes to Davis Library and the Health Sciences Library since the beginning of the semester. 

Panitch said Davis Library has been limited to the first floor, rather than floors one and two, which were open at the beginning of the semester. The change was made in response to actual building use, she said.

She said Davis Library and the Health Sciences Library have extended their hours and suspended the table reservation system for the time being. Panitch said the libraries may reintroduce the system around exams or when more students return to campus.

Reservations are still required for individual study rooms at the Health Sciences Library, Panitch said.

Natalie Poupart, a junior math and biostatistics double major, said she takes all of her classes in her room. She said she goes to Davis Library for a new environment to do homework, so she won’t get distracted by her housemates. 

“When they got rid of the reservations, they extended the hours, which has been very helpful for me because I was normally in class or working between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. So, I couldn’t really use Davis, but now I’ve been able to go," Poupart said.

She said there might not be a need for more indoor spaces since she has never seen Davis Library completely full. She said there could maybe be more talk-friendly areas.

"I think it’s all been very safe, and I think they could open more areas because Davis is very quiet," Poupart said. "If someone wanted to take a class and wanted to speak when someone talks everyone is like, ‘Why are you speaking in Davis?’ So, open more areas that are louder and more talkative."

Becca Kontos, a first-year media and journalism major, said the University should open more spaces as it gets colder because she feels that a lot of people want to get out of their apartments and rooms.

“I know for myself if I’m on campus, I’m going to be more focused on work,” Kontos said. “So, then they could maybe open a couple of classrooms at different times of the day which have cleaning measures and sign up for a study room to sit in a classroom.”

Listed below are the open on-campus study spaces and their hours. These hours are listed on the Instagram account of the Undergraduate Executive Branch of UNC Student Government.

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