Camping Out in Cohen


Students get lots of shut eye in the library during midterms


Cohen Library is now open 24/7 through November 14th for midterms. As students start spending countless hours in the library it’s beginning to look more and more like a campsite. “Last semester a student brought in their own coffee machine,” says a 30-year-old engineering major. Like several others in this story, he asked that his name be withheld. “It was pretty cool, we had our own coffee cups and everything. Another guy brought in a cot.”

During midterms many students have up to three midterms in one week. With the 24-hour rule, students can use the library to catch up on their studies and take a nap before their exams.

Katherine Velasquez, 22, a double major in art and psychology, has spent multiple nights in the library. “If you get a couch that’s glory, hang on to it!” says Velasquez, a senior. “A lot of people bring sleeping bags, yoga mats, pillows and blankets.”

With so many bodies and so little sleep, the library can become smelly. “There are a lot of people so you can imagine the BO that comes out of the library—terrible!”says Velasquez. “The next day I feel nasty and I think to myself ‘ugh I just slept in this place where people walk in 24/7, where people walk in the street and step on nasty things and here I was sleeping on the carpet where they may be bed bugs and food particles and now it’s on my clothes and skin.’ Although there are showers in the architecture building and gym, there aren’t enough. It would be better if we had more accessible showers.”

For our college of commuters, sleeping in the library can be convenient. “The time it takes me to head to the Bronx, takes up study time, so I’ve slept in the library multiple times,” says a 21-year-old bio major. “Not only is it great for taking power naps, but it also disciplines me. It helps me stay ahead and focused. I like to find my own section in the library and be alone.”


It can also get crazy. A lot of students have seen classmates having sex. A CCNY security guard has seen it all. “There have been many times in which I’ve seen students getting intimate,” the guard says. “It’s crazy how they think they won’t get caught; we do periodic patrols.”

Although the security guard isn’t fond of the library’s 24-hour policy, he does believe it’s a great opportunity for students who are struggling academically to get ahead. “As a student myself, I can see why students decide to stay,” he says. “Especially for those students who struggle in certain areas.”

Velasquez agrees. “Being at home you’re comfortable, you have your bed and you’re a lot more prone to falling asleep,” she says. “My parents sometimes come in and distract me so having the library as a benefit is a plus.”

As midterms continue, Velasquez will be spending plenty of time in the library with lots of company. “Everybody is there for the same reason,” she says. “We all have that one common goal so you keep yourself motivated.”