Proposed: October 13, 2013

Ratified: October 13, 2013

Resolution to Restore Undergraduate Access to Watson Library


WHEREAS the Business School’s policy of banning undergraduates from Watson Library during midterms and finals starting in the Spring of 2013 was made without consulting all stakeholders,

WHEREAS the ban resulted in severe underuse of space, documented by photos taken by students showing over 60% of seating remaining unused from 9pm-3am from May 6 through May 9, the first week of the Spring 2013 finals period (Appendix A),

WHEREAS Business School council representatives acknowledge that their constituents in general tend to utilize Watson earlier in the day than undergraduates.

WHEREAS data from Butler Library shows that heavy student traffic begins approximately at 6 p.m., peaks at 11 p.m., and ends at 2 a.m.

WHEREAS Watson Library is part of the University Library system for which all Columbia University students pay for access, including Columbia College, General Studies, and Engineering undergraduates,

EMPHASIZING that undergraduates cherish Watson Library as one of very few spaces where students can study collaboratively with friends and food in a welcoming environment,

WHEREAS many undergraduates who are not Economics majors, such as Economics concentrators/minors and first- and second-year students who have yet to declare their majors, still need access to economics textbooks and materials available in Watson,

  1. THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT for the short term, Columbia College Student Council supports a pilot program that reinstates undergraduate access to Watson Library during examination periods after 5pm until closing, effective for the Fall 2013 finals period until discussions about reverting back to full access reach a resolution.

    1. Furthermore, usage data shall be collected during this period and shared with relevant parties. The Columbia College Student Council supports a non-biased review by the University Senate Libraries committee for a final decision for Spring 2014.

  1. FURTHERMORE LET IT BE RESOLVED THAT the Columbia College Student Council categorically upholds that Watson Library, being a public, academic, and intellectual space like all University Libraries, should remain open, at all times, to every student of Columbia University.


Monday, 5/6/2013 9:20PM