Hi. I'm a PhD student in the humanities and I and some of my fellow students are in 'discussion' with our Head of School over plans to make access to our shared office - which is currently used only by students in History - open to the whole School. At the moment, the room has 10 computers and a few more desks for a department which has around 55 research students.
The new plan is to 'refurbish' this room, to add a few more computers, and open it up to the whole School. We don't even know how many people that will add to potential users, but we do know that at least two of the other departments have research student numbers comparable to our own. At the same time, a postgraduate common room that was meant for the use of the whole School is being turned into an undergraduate room, and the graduate centre in the library, where we used to be able to book desks has been totally phased out.
I was wondering how common these lack of facilities are, especially for arts and humanities students, for comparison and to put our situation into perspective?
I wish you could beam yourself over to my uni! They've just refurbished an office for the arts crowd and I got an email from admin last week trying yo encourage us to go and work in there because apparently nobody uses it! I think what's happened is that it was so shabby and unwelcoming for so long that people have got used to going elsewhere... and working habits are hard to break.
At my university until recently there was no office space for humanities students, a very different situation from science students. There's now a dedicated area, but it's small compared to the total numbers. I don't use it though. I'm part-time (albeit funded) and work from home.
Is there anywhere else you could feasibly be relocated to? I'd worry about safety (read: stealing) when strange groups start coming in, probably because laptops, ipods etc will be around.
We used to have a store-cupboard, sorry, office, in the dept., got moved across campus to a nice, spacious room accessible to us. Would be unhappy if non-philosophy people could access it. Rumours of going back to store-cupboard next year are filling us with dread.
Well, where I am, workstations have to be applied for annually but once you get one it is usually yours unless your circumstances change. Each workstation comes with a PC and is linked to a laser printer. The office is usually shared with 10 or so other people, who either have their own desk or share one. What I hated most was when I was part-time and got allotted a desk on the only days when I had to work elsewhere for $.
Generally, the consensus with postgrads at my institution is that given the odd hours that we work, one desk per person is essential throughout the period of candidacy. Having said that though, many still prefer to work at home.
For about 70 research students we have 1) a room for teaching assistants, with one ancient dysfunctional computer and 3 desks 2) some carrels in the library, with power point for a laptop on every 4th one only 3) two or three lucky people have managed to wangle a workstation in one of the research centres.
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