Volume 3, Issue 3, (Originally Published on Monday 18th March 2013)
The opening hours are extended sig-
Access to Melbourne Law School’s facilities needs to change to reflect the law student community of 2013.
Currently, access to the building and library is severely limited – opening too late in the morning, and closing too early in the evening. The opening hours, and especially the weekend hours, do not adequately reflect the needs of a diverse student body.
Students in 2013 are not just law students. They are employees, parents and carers, and volunteers, to name a few examples. The law school can no longer operate under this myth. A policy that denies students a place to study when they can is not fair on those students that have other commitments. It is particularly unfair to those students who do not have an alternative place to study effectively.
The opening hours are extended significantly during swotvac, but this only exacerbates and encourages cramming. If faculty is serious about wanting students to spread their workload over the semester, and not simply trying to learn the entire course in the weeks before the exams, then the building’s opening hours should reflect this.
Students who are members of student societies and journals are given extended access to these facilities. Those groups need that flexible access to run their organisations. But their needs are no more important than those students who have other extracurricular commitments. Twenty-four hour swipe-card access should be extended to all law students.
In the last two years, the number of students studying in the JD has increased by over 300 students. This growth has not been matched by expanded study space. Put simply, there is not enough desk space in the level three area, nor in the building as a whole. Whether it is in the library or in other parts of the building, more space needs to be set aside dedicated for law students.
Faculty is not the only student service provider who is failing to keep up with increased student numbers. The Law Students’ Society also needs to lift its game in this regard. Two barbeques do not cook sausages quickly enough to hold a barbeque for all of law school. More large lockers need to be available, to cater for the needs of those students that cannot easily travel between home and university and do not have alternative storage spaces. And more spaces need to be opened up in student competitions, rather students simply being waitlisted.