For graduate students looking for study space dedicated for them on the Hilltop, many find their options limited solely to the undergraduate-packed Lauinger Library.
Although the graduate student population of 8,226 students at Georgetown outnumbers the university’s 7,092 undergraduates, there is a scarcity of on-campus spaces reserved for graduate students. Graduate Student Organization President Samuel Osea (GRD ’14) said that study space is a large problem for the entire student body.
“Space is an issue that everyone, including graduate and undergraduate students, has to deal with. It’s doesn’t just impact graduate students,” he said. “I don’t think that any grad students have a chip on their shoulders about undergraduates using space: it’s limited and everyone needs to share it.”
Some graduate students expressed dissatisfaction with the availability of space on campus.
“Honestly, I do most of my studying at my house,” graduate student Damien Hedden (GRD ’14) said. “Lau is too filled with undergraduates, and it’s also really inconvenient for me to get to. There aren’t many other places on campus I could go, either.”
According to University Librarian Artemis Kirk, Lauinger Library has some study spaces reserved particularly for graduate students.
“The study carrels in Lau are reserved for specific graduate students, usually those working on finishing their doctorates,” Kirk said.
Others, however, expressed satisfaction with the options offered by the library and other open areas on campus.
“I don’t have any trouble finding study space, to be honest,” Kathleen Salls (GRD ’14) said. “Lau doesn’t bother me, especially the graduate student reading rooms. Otherwise, Sellinger is an okay place to work.”
Additionally, there are two graduate reading rooms in Lauinger and short-term study rooms are also available for graduate students to book for private or group studying.
Kirk also said that the library is working on increasing availability of study spaces for all students, including graduate students.
“We understand the value of study spaces exclusive to graduate students, especially because the work they do is often of a different nature than undergraduate work,” Kirk said. “It often requires much more independent and quiet study, so we try to facilitate that.”
When the second floor of Lauinger was renovated last year, increased study space became available. Kirk said that the effort to make the library more usable will continue.
“The library is tight on space, but we are exploring ways to maximize the available space,” she said. “The removal of those stacks on Lau 2 really opened up a lot of study space.”
“In the past, the Georgetown University Student Association and the GSO haven’t worked together very much, though [former GUSA President] Nate Tisa (SFS ’14) reached out to me to start that partnership,” Osea said.
Osea said that he hopes to work with new GUSA President Trevor Tezel (SFS ’15) to improve spaces.
“We endorsed Trevor and Omika, and we have high hopes for this year and coming years,” he said. “Hopefully, this is one issue that undergraduates and graduate students can work together on.”