This exam season, the University’s Public Safety staff has made a vocal commitment to cracking down on students who loiter in the library throughout exam week. Referred to as “camping,” the phenomenon describes the actions of putting books on a desk, or placing belongings in a library study room to reserve this room or spot for an extended period of time. Often, a student who is “camping” will leave their belongings for several hours or days without returning to the spot.
The classic “no camping” or “if you see something, say something” signs have begun to emerge throughout Bertrand Library, but this year the staff is especially prepared.
“It’s been getting worse over the years. Last year a student even brought a microwave into one of the rooms. While we were never able to prove it, we’re convinced that he successfully lived here for a full week,” library staff member Mona Laricottage said.
Officer MacDonaldCommons told reporters that he and his team have implemented a TSA-level operation, including full bag checks, to look for any signs of campers.
“If we so much as see a granola bar in someone’s bag, they’re not getting in. Food is the most classic staple of a camper. If you’re trying to live in the library to study for your exams and improve your GPA, what’s the first thing you’ll need? Food, of course. That goes double for water bottles,” MacDonaldCommons said.
Students have had mixed responses to the public safety threats. The feedback has ranged from Katie Swartz ’20, “I’m a first year I don’t even know what camping is” to Anna Milton ’18, “I don’t understand why they care. If I want to spend 198,378,765 hours of my life studying for my PCHEM20000 exam, why are they trying to stop me?!”
However, the most positive review of the increased security came from Brian Hunt ’17, a member of the Sigma Tau Delta fraternity.
“I haven’t seen any sort of police officer near any of our parties since exam period started. I did try to go into the library the other day, though, and was denied entrance. The officer said something about my extra sweatshirt as a means to aid and abet those who are already inside. It’s cool though, I just went back to the lawlessness that is downtown,” Hunt said.
The school is very pleased with the success of the new operation.
Assistant Vice Provost Mitchell Flyson is particularly pleased.
“Hardly any students have been allowed to enter the library this exam period,” Flyson said. “If that’s not a sign of a successful school administration, I don’t know what is.”