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Union building to provide services for finals week

The Shepherd Union Building will provide food and study areas at night for students during finals week on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Andrew Gardiner, the Weber State University Student Association president, said WSUSA hopes to also extend the union building’s hours two hours later and close at 2 a.m.

The idea first came up in the student senate meeting on Monday. The senators voted on how long they thought the union building should be open.

Gardiner said they have also talked about extending the hours in the library, but that it makes more sense to hold it in the union building. They plan on having free food for students at around 10 or 11 p.m. provided by Sodexo.

“We’re trying to assist them in their studying, not distract them,” Gardiner said. “This won’t be a party. It will be a time to come eat and socialize for a second and then get back to studying.”

Bill Fruth, the director of the union building, said he is open to the idea of extending the building’s hours.

“We want to hear from the student representatives for what they are seeking and how best to provide it,” Fruth said.

He said that before he makes a decision, he needs to talk more with students as well as his staff.

Brady Harris, the senate president, said students have been going to McKay-Dee Hospital to study because the cafeteria is open 24 hours.

“What we’ve noticed is that a lot of people are going to off-campus locations to study because they need WiFi and they need food,” Gardiner said. “People go off campus, not at their home, because they want to be away from their roommates and distractions, and we want to be that place.”

Gardiner said he also hopes to have the building open until 2 a.m. on Monday of finals week. He said they are starting small and hope that, in the future, they can make it bigger, maybe opening the union building for even longer during both spring and fall for finals week. The student senate and the union building are collaborating to afford the cost of keeping the building open for longer.

“(The student senate’s) goal is just to help students be able to pass their classes,” Harris said, “because we are an academic senate and we represent every college on campus, so we figured this would be a good way to end the year and a good thing for us to do.”

Harris said it would be easier to extend the union building’s hours than those of the library or another building on campus.

“I would like to see the union building be that central place on campus that students can feel like they can hang out and get that college experience,” Harris said. “I think we’re moving in that direction. I really want this place to feel like home so people are comfortable here and they’re able to study here.”

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