Snacks Now Allowed in OWHL During Trial Period

Students may now eat snacks and drink covered beverages in the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library (OWHL).

This rule change is in place for a trial period, which began this past Monday and will conclude at the end of Fall Term. If the trial does not result in problems with garbage disposal, the OWHL and Student Council will extend the trial period to the end of the year, according to Hemang Kaul ’13, School President.

Otherwise, the library will once again prohibit eating and drinking.

Students may not bring hot foods, greasy or sticky foods, full-sized meals or dishes from Paresky Commons into the library.

“We want to have a culture of food and drink in the library and a culture of people being responsible for their garbage. And I think those can work together,” said Jeffrey Marzluft, Associate Director for Instructional Services at the OWHL.

In an e-mail to the student body, Kaul wrote, “It is imperative that we understand that [the new policy] is a privilege that has been given to us and can just as easily be taken away. It is in our hands whether this rule stays or not.”

The Executive Board of Student Council and the OWHL librarians began discussing the change last spring. The Executive Board, which consists of Kaul, Rolando Bonachea ’13, Vice President of Student Council, and MJ Engel ’13, Executive Secretary of Student Council, met with Marzluft and Elizabeth Tully, Director of the OWHL, to brainstorm ways of effectively introducing the new policy.

Marzluft said that the librarians ultimately decided to change the rule because students were continually breaking the original policy by sneaking snacks and beverages past librarians. Students also often left food and garbage behind for custodians and librarians to pick up.

“We were finding apple cores in the stacks, and that is wildly inappropriate. We know kids were sneaking in food or drinks, and it was becoming a game… If we missed you, you got a free pass to eat or drink upstairs,” said Marzluft.

Although the OWHL staff initially had reservations about the rule change, Marzluft hopes that the new policy will stop students from sneaking in food and drink and decrease the amount of trash left behind in the library.

Elizabeth Tompkins, Instructional Librarian, said that the librarians are fine with food in the library, as long as the students clean up after themselves.

“On the one hand, we would like to provide the students with the best services to fit their needs. On the other hand, I hope to see that the students are very mature and that they will keep the site clean. I want to keep my eyes open and hopefully see positive results,” said Sharon Pei, Instructional Librarian.

In his e-mail to students, Kaul wrote, “It is important to remember that this is not only a privilege, but also an opportunity for us to show that we, as students, can be trusted with more responsibility.”

“I’m personally relying on the Class of 2013 to set an example for all the younger students,” Kaul said in an interview in an interview with The Phillipian.

Student response to the new change has been mostly positive.

Tessa Peterson ’15 said, “What’s not to like? My favorite part is that it doesn’t have to be a hassle any more—where you go, your food goes too, and you won’t get in trouble for it.”

“I think it is great that they are entrusting us with this huge responsibility. I have already made use of it a lot,” added Henry Kennelly ’13.