Curtis Tse came to praise UBCO. He also came to plead for more help.
The fourth-year management student at UBC Okanagan was the student government representative at the official opening of the $68-million Engineering, Management and Education (EME) building on Thursday.
"Speaking from personal experience, this building has allowed management students to gather in study rooms and practice their presentations when before, they couldn't even find a corner in which they could assemble," Tse said in his official remarks.
"This building has alleviated study space around campus at all hours of the day: students preparing for presentations at 6 a.m. and studying until 3 a.m. Most importantly, this building has allowed
students the resources they need to be
However, "this beautiful picture" is not yet complete, he added. "Students, now and in the future, will be asking for more study space and more study rooms in order to continue to be successful in their studies."
Tse expressed the hope that university administrators, provincial politicians and community leaders understand the importance of academic study space and continue to support UBC in its efforts to provide informal study spaces.
Afterward, he told reporters: "It is a great building. Is it sufficient? No. We're clearly not there yet. Finally, we have the ear of the senate and the president, and we're putting informal learning spaces in the (EME's) atrium. Building a new building is not the immediate solution. We need temporary solutions, informal learning spaces that can actually fit tables and chairs."
UBCO students are even studying in the pub because the library, the atrium and existing study spaces are crammed, he said.
"So we're forced to go to the bars, sitting on the floor, that kind of thing. We are maxed out."
His plea fell on receptive ears from UBC president and chancellor Stephen Toope who recognized that need.
"Things have changed a lot since I was a student: you had to sit in a library and be quiet. Now, they're always working in teams; they're on the computers together; they need spaces where they can talk, be together and study together. And we've got them here (in the EME)."