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It's about 11:30 p.m., and you've just woken up from your pre-all-nighter nap. Turning to your computer screen, you see six flashing instant messages, each ready to distract you from that problem set, midterm and paper. Revived from your nap, however, you put up an away message and strategically leave your room for a night of productivity.

If you're in Wharton, you're likely to log into your Spike account and book a study room in Huntsman. But let's just assume for a moment that you're an equally overachieving student from either the College, Engineering or Nursing - besides the Rosengarten Undergraduate Study Center, there really are no late-night study facilities designated for you.

Of course, non-Wharton students could rant about this injustice, a problem that clearly exacerbates the already strong divide between Wharton students and the rest of our campus.

"College kids should be able to use Huntsman computers since Huntsman is closer to many students and is already equipped to be open 24 hours a day," College senior Rajiv Sivendran said.

However, as we have seen year after year, this argument will get us nowhere - Huntsman thrives on Wharton tuition and alumni donations, and we cannot sway the directors' policies. Oh well, the craftier rebels will just continue circumventing the system by borrowing passwords from their privileged friends.

But perhaps this isn't the best solution to an ongoing problem.

Instead, our administration needs to extend hours at the already existing study centers open to all students because, unfortunately, an overwhelming percent of undergraduate study occurs after midnight.

Houston Hall closes its doors by 1 a.m., and most of the smaller libraries across campus close by midnight. Van Pelt Library and the new Weigle Information Commons allow students to reserve 29 different study rooms and 600 personal carrels. However, these locations close at 12 a.m. as well, and students must either cram into the standing-room only venue of Rosengarten or return to the distractions of their homes. The Silfen Student Study Center at Williams Hall is open until 3 a.m., yet the Center is tiny and is very unaccomadating for groups.

"At least the second floor of the library should be kept open. I think if they opened that section up like they do for Rosengarten, it could make a huge difference," Sivendran said. "When I used to study in Rosengarten, it was impossible to get a study space past 11:00 anytime close to a midterm."

Penn should consider the needs of all of its students and reallocate the funds necessary to extend hours of operation in such highly frequented sections of the campus.

"That makes a lot of sense to me, depending on how much of a demand there is after midnight for these rooms," Undergraduate Assembly Chairman and Wharton senior Brett Thalmann said. "That's something that we could talk to the library about - keeping the library open an extra hour or two."

Working with the Vice Provost for University Life, the UA has already made a concerted effort to expand the availability of study centers during finals times by extending hours at 1920 Commons, the LGBT Center, Hillel and Houston Hall.

"We analyzed the student traffic, and it was worth the costs last year during finals as hundreds of students took advantage of the extended hours," Thalmann said. He explained that the UA could similarly evaluate this demand during non-finals time by recording the number of late-night PennCard swipes and sending a survey to the student body.

Thalmann also detailed the UA's ongoing successes and failures negotiating with off-campus locations, describing how they "tried to work with Facilities and Real Estate to keep businesses open later." Unfortunately, as The Daily Pennsylvanian wrote on Oct. 5, these efforts have been largely unsuccessful - study hubs such as Bucks County Coffee Co. have decreased their business hours and now close at 1 a.m.

In the future, however, Thalmann explained that the new apartments on 3900 Walnut St. will definitely contain "a lot of study space and common areas." While private owners will operate the building, the study areas inside will probably be PennCard accessible. As in the high-rises, non-residents will be able to swipe into the building to use the spaces before 2 a.m.

Extending facility hours across campus will significantly improve study habits and will surely mend some of the friction between Wharton students and their resentful colleagues. And if the administration refuses to heed our requests, we might just have to camp out with flashlights in the dark recesses of the fourth floor library stacks.

Sharon Udasin is a College senior from East Brunswick, N.J. Her e-mail address is Shed a Little Light appears on Mondays.

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