There are some things that virtually every Hoya loves about our school: the students, our amazing basketball team (Did Duke really think they could beat us?), the wonderful classes, the professors and Riggs Library.

Hmmm.

We all love Riggs Library, but honestly, many of us have never set foot in there and are just forced to look inside through the locked doors on the third floor of Healy Hall. When I applied to Georgetown, the prospective student brochure pictured a sweeping view of Riggs. I could not wait to get in there and study.

When I came to campus for the admitted students’ open house, I realized that students do not study there, but instead have the “pleasure” of always studying in Lauinger. I know I’m stating the obvious, but Lauinger is not Riggs by any stretch of the imagination.

Riggs is open when some speakers come to campus, during small banquets and functions and on Georgetown Traditions Day. During most of the academic year, however, Riggs is off-limits to the general student body.

The administration should let more Georgetown students use Riggs. It is a part of our campus, and it is probably one of the most beautiful libraries anywhere in the country.

True, Riggs could not possibly accommodate as many students as Lauinger: the Internet hookups and electrical wiring are likely extremely limited. Wouldn’t it work well, however, if the university had a lottery each week during the academic year where students could sign up to study in the library?

Riggs is an honored portion of our campus, and it should be a part of our Georgetown memories.

In 1970, Lauinger Library was completed to accommodate the growing student body and to house books on a larger scale than its predecessor, Riggs, which features cast-iron railings and steps that mix with the Flemish-Gothic nature of Healy Hall to create a very rare environment.

Can you imagine how nice it would be to study in such an inviting and historical place?

Under the lottery system, students would be able to study in the library and also have a few hours to walk around and enjoy the architecture of its second and third levels. The spiral staircases and sweeping views are inspiring. They should be enjoyed by more students on a more consistent basis.

The library could also be used to have group meetings for student organizations from time to time.

Showcasing Riggs to prospective students, meanwhile, would let them know how much our school values its history and charge the student body with the responsibility to appreciate such a great place.

Georgetown is big on traditions and remembering where the institution has come from is just as important as creating an excellent future.

Riggs not only shows a little of what the old Georgetown was like but also gives us a sense that we are living a part of history. That is a very powerful realization because it inspires us and reminds us not to take things for granted.

Making Riggs more accessible for students could even have a positive effect on our school spirit, by giving Hoyas one more part reason to be excited about studying here.

According to Erik Smulson, university spokesperson, the use of Riggs “is limited to university-sponsored events such as honorary degrees and special award ceremonies, lectures, recitals and receptions.”

These options allow only a few students to visit Riggs, and the vast majority of Georgetown students have yet to step foot there. r. Smulson added that Riggs “is also used for dinners in honor of distinguished visitors or dignitaries or in celebration of a special event.”

Some might argue that the library is simply not big enough and is too delicate to be open to large groups of students. But under the lottery system, there would be a limited number of students in the library, and students here respect and treasure our past. I do not think any student would leave trash or do anything to this great space because we love our campus.

We want to enjoy every aspect of attending Georgetown, and access to Riggs should be one benefit of attending school here. It should not be confined to our imaginations or only visited for one hour out of four years.

Letting Riggs become a larger part of our community will enhance our college experience.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.