By Joe Harten Hoya Staff Writer

The Georgetown on-campus community is taking steps to extend its hours. Recent initiatives by the GUSA student services committee have started the ball rolling on extending hours of operation for the Yates Field House and Lauinger Library.

“The goal is to try to give students something else to do besides going down to Georgetown on weekends,” Yates Director Jim Gillroy said. Yates will be holding theme nights, sponsored by various campus organizations, for the next four or five Thursday nights. The field house will be open until 2 a.m. for these nights, as opposed to the usual midnight last call.

Depending on how successful the program is, Yates may look into staying open later permanently, Gillroy said.

The GUSA committee has similar plans for Lauinger. Eventually, the library will be open 24 hours per day, five days per week, according to Mark Jacobs, assistant university librarian for access and public services. After a group of interested graduate students brought the idea to GUSA, the services committee began looking for “additional venues for students to spend time late at night,” GUSA Representative Keavney Klein (NUR ’02) said.

“The idea is to have the Pierce reading room and the 2nd floor [to give access to computers] open at least five days per week, 24 hours per day,” Jacobs said.

Both GUSA initiatives may run into obstacles. According to Klein, hiring additional staff for these two services and expanding other late-night services may create implementation problems that slow the process down. SafeRides or Department of Public Safety patrol may have to run all night with these new plans, Klein said.

The expansion of Yates hours for the next few weeks will require current late shift workers to work extra hours, Gillroy said. Added full-time staff may be necessary to make the program permanent. “[Finding staff for the added hours] should not be too difficult for four or five nights, Gillroy said. “If we decide to stay open later permanently, we would have to reassess our staff needs.”

The hour expansion for the library requires added assistance from DPS as well, according to Jacobs. “In order to make this happen, DPS needs to hire a new person to be at the front entrance during these new hours,” Jacobs said.

Traditionally, during exam period, Yates stays open until 1 a.m. and the library stays open 24 hours per day, essentially a trial period for the new plans suggested by the GUSA student services committee.

Currently, 24-hour library service during exam period requires a student to guard the entrance, Jacobs said. “It would be safer with a DPS guard, for both the student guard and the students in the library, during the late evening and early morning hours,” he said.

While these new hours will require a restructuring in the guarding of the entrance, the process will be virtually the same as exam periods, according to Jacobs. “The library is always open 24 hours at the end of the semester,” Jacobs said. “This is an attempt to start that earlier.”

During exam period, Yates traditionally offers added hours of operation but the events that have been scheduled for the new Thursday night program are a new idea. “We stay open until 1 a.m. during finals week, and some people come out for that,” Yates student employee Richard Dennis (MSB ’01) said. “But, I am not sure if people would go to Yates at later hours on an ordinary Thursday night.”

This Thursday will be the first late-night event at Yates. A 4-on-4 volleyball tournament will be the featured competition. “An event like this is more likely to draw students than just being open,” Gillroy said.

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