UC’s New Hours


After a summer filled with deliberation and careful planning, students came back to campus and found that along with a new semester comes new hours at the University Commons (UC). These new hours come from a lower budget and a need to cut back on university spending.

The decision to shorten the UC’s hours has been met with differing reactions from the students and staff. A few of the staff were initially worried about students not being able to work on assignments in a timely manner. Students were worried that they wouldn’t have enough time to finish projects or study for exams.

All of these reasons are valid reasons to be worried, but the UC is ready to be accommodating when it comes to students. Z Paul Reynolds, the Director of the UC, has been communicating with Jessa Wilcoxen, the Director of the Mac Lab in the UC. Wilcoxen has been communicating with faculty members and asking for a list of dates and times for when they want the UC to be open later.

“We’ll…extend our hours for those dates and times,” said Reynolds. This will be decided on a case by case basis and will be done within reason. For example, if multiple papers are due on Oct. 15, professors may ask for the UC to extend its hours on Oct. 12, 13, and 14.

The decision to cut the UC’s hours was not an easy one. When discussing ways to cut down on spending, shortening the amount of time the UC is open during the day was not the first thing on the agenda. Before it was even considered, Reynolds wanted to first look at usage. So, the UC staff, specifically the building managers, have been counting how many people are in the UC every hour since the fall of 2017. They then averaged the numbers out and separated them by floors and areas in the UC.

For the hours between 10 and midnight, the number of students on each floor of the building ranged from one to five. For the hours between 7 a.m. and noon, the number ranged from one to three. The numbers showed that not a lot of students were coming in during those hours.

“People weren’t utilizing the building,” said Jordan Diver, a junior communications major and University Commons Building Manager.

Reynolds then brought those numbers to the Dean of Students, Raphaella Prange. She then brought them to the cabinet, made up of President White, the Vice Presidents, the Chief of Staff, and the Athletic Director. Reynolds suggested cutting hours off in the evening, but the cabinet decided to cut hours off both in the evening and in the morning on weekends, making their decision based on the numbers that Reynolds had collected.

In the end, the UC needed to cut down on their spending. Cutting down the hours was the way to do so without affecting the campus community too much. Shutting down early and opening later on weekends helps the UC save money on electricity and wages.

“A large part of our budget is wages,” said Reynolds. By cutting down on hours, that’s around 18 hours a week that the UC doesn’t have to pay workers.

The workers, at least, seem to be thankful for the cut.

“It’s nice not to have to be here [so late],” Diver said. Thanks to shortened hours, student workers now have more time to do homework during the week and go out and have fun on weekends.

Also, if you’re worried about not having a place to study and do homework, look no further than Scovill. Scovill has computers, including Mac computers, and it’s open 24 hours! If you’re worried about there not being enough Mac computers, you’ll be glad to hear that two computers will be added to the mix. Scovill is there to help you with all of your homework and studying needs!

“I think it’s nicer because it’s quieter,” Diver said.

Whether or not you agree with the new hours, the UC seems to be more than willing to provide accommodations for Millikin students. Along with possibly extending its hours for students during the year, hours will still be extended during finals week.