Graver: SAC should be opened for studying

Chris Graver

The alcoves in St. Augustine Center are a great place to study, aren’t they? These are those little nooks in the building, set off from the main hallways. In one of these alcoves, a student can open a window and enjoy a quiet atmosphere and plenty of natural light. They’re a great place to read a book, revise a term paper or just relax and eat an apple.

There I was, in one of these alcoves last Sunday, studying and minding my own business, when two Public Safety officers approached me and patronizingly stared at me like, “You silly little boy, you don’t belong in here.” They demanded my student ID card, my social security number, my address and my date of birth. I’m surprised that they didn’t ask for my blood type and DNA composition. They explained to me that I was “reported” by a professor and that I had to leave the building at once. As a new hardcore study-criminal at Villanova, I begrudgingly walked towards the exit as they followed my every move. I was thinking of making a quick getaway, but my better judgment took over.

Obviously, this situation has “ridiculous” painted all over it. The first question that popped into my mind was, “Doesn’t Public Safety have anything better to do than to stop students from studying in St. Augustine?” Perhaps they’re just bored. In that case, I suggest that they wash down the rampant graffiti around campus. You know, those supposedly poetic and confusing phrases like, “Turn to the right and suck your thumb to meet your uncle.”

Shouldn’t professors be encouraging students to study? Instead, this particular professor must have felt as though I intruded upon his territory. (After discovering who reported me, I sent him a respectful e-mail asking for an explanation. He has not responded.) It really shouldn’t matter whether or not St. Augustine is an official “office building.” So what? It has a total of eight alcoves-places where students can quietly study during reasonable hours.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like Villanova. But just when I thought I saw it all, some new absurdity occurs. Who would have ever thought that a student would be punished for studying? I guess I should have been in my room drinking beer instead. Alas, I need to get my priorities in order.

I’m not one to sit around and just let things happen, so I sent an e-mail to Maureen Holland (student body president-elect) immediately after the incident. Even though I didn’t vote for Maureen, I must say that if she handles every problem as well as she has handled this one, she’ll make an excellent president.

To my delight, administrators in the Liberal Arts have also been receptive to my complaint. Hopefully this downright stupid policy of Saint Augustine Center being an “office building” will soon be abolished.