Huntsman’s Group Study Rooms may soon be open to some non-Wharton students.
A group of Wharton students are pushing for a new policy that would allow all students taking Wharton classes, including non-Wharton students, to book GSRs in Huntsman Hall.
The current policy allows only Wharton students to book these study rooms for a maximum of 90 minutes at a time using the Wharton Spike website. Students in the College, Engineering or Nursing schools who are taking Wharton classes are given an account to sign into Wharton computers, but are not able to access the Spike website to book a GSR.
The policy currently does allow non-Wharton students to book GSRs in person by visiting Huntsman Hall F30, according to Penn Study Spaces, a site designed by the Undergraduate Assembly and PennApps Labs to help students find places to study on campus.
Currently, all Penn students are able to reserve study spaces in Van Pelt Library, the Biomedical Library and the library in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Wharton is not alone in putting a limit on who can reserve spaces — for example, study rooms in the Biddle Law Library are restricted to Penn Law School students only.
The group of six students leading the initiative first became interested in the GSR policy during a group meeting in Huntsman earlier this semester. They include Wharton and College seniors Shaun Libou and Shruti Shah, Wharton and College junior Daniel Lipsman and Wharton seniors Kateryna Brezitska, Nandita Jatkar, and Vikram Dhawan. A few of them had transferred into Wharton from other schools and were curious about the exact policy of booking a study room.
“We just thought that even when we weren’t Wharton students, [the policy] was kind of ridiculous,” Wharton senior Nandita Jatkar said. She added that this was especially true for a team-based class such as Marketing 101, where an entire team could be made up of non-Wharton students.
The first step to establishing this new policy was to send out a survey to Penn students. Their survey received over 200 responses and had mixed results.
“There was a big divide in opinion,” Wharton senior Kateryna Brezitska, another student leading this initiative, said. “Wharton students like the idea of preserving the GSR policy because GSRs are hard enough to book. Others think that Huntsman should be for everyone.”
The group then met with Director of Wharton Student Life Lee Kramer, and are currently planning an open forum on this topic, which will be held next Monday. They have also started a petition online to change the GSR policy.
The students leading the initiative are concerned that the current policy “is leading to exclusivity. That’s something we don’t want,” Jatkar said.
“The GSRs are a really hot commodity,” said Engineering and Wharton sophomore Emily Chen, who is not part of the initiative. “But at the same time, I feel like some aspects of Wharton exclusivity kind of makes people weird about it because, technically, Huntsman Hall is still a Penn school building.”
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