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Late-night owls roost at Willis Library

Late-night owls roost at Willis Library

Biochemistry senior Eurielle Mkassi takes a nap while studying in the Willis Library early Friday morning.

Late-night owls roost at Willis Library
October 02
10:43 2015

Sam Beckett | Staff Writer

@SamBeckett27

It’s 3 a.m. and biochemistry senior Eurielle Mkassi, a native of Gabon, Africa, has just woken up. She rubs her eyes and takes a sip of her green tea, which is now room temperature. Surveying her surroundings, she remembers she isn’t alone. She is not at home enjoying the comfort of her bed.

She is studying at Willis Library.

Willis Library is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, during long semesters, according to the UNT library website.

During the day, Willis is alive with the hustle and bustle of students using printers, working on group projects or socializing with friends, but at night it transforms into a quiet sanctuary for people to study. Mkassi said she enjoys the peaceful, late-night atmosphere Willis offers.

“I like to study at night because my brain is more alert,” Mkassi said. “I just nap for a little bit and then continue.”

Mkassi has always felt safe and secure while studying at Willis Library. UNT Campus Police routinely walk through the library to make sure everything is going smoothly.

“I feel more comfortable knowing that the police are close by,” Mkassi said. “I have never felt threatened or unsafe while studying late at night.”

While some students feel comfortable being awake and in a public place late at night, others said they often get a sense of eeriness. Willis Library is a public institution, and as such, is open to the public. Anyone is welcome to use the library while it is open, as long as they don’t cause any problems.

Communication design sophomore and Philadelphia native Felix Alvarado works at the Willis Library front desk and often has to work shifts that run from 1 to 6 a.m. While sleeping in the library isn’t grounds for removal, he said, acting aggressively or being under the influence is.

“I don’t like working late at night because it can get creepy. Sometimes the people are just strange,” Alvarado said. “Occasionally we’ll get a drunk come through late at night that starts acting crazy, [so] we just call the police.”

For Alvarado, what takes precedence over some of the strange encounters he finds himself in late at night is his sleep.

“Last semester sleep was a beast, because I worked late at night,” Alvarado said. “It’s hard to make class at 9 or 10 a.m. after working until 6 a.m.”

Many students who are less familiar with the midnight hour tend to take advantage of Willis’ late-night offering much more often during the hectic week of finals, or when they need to focus on a particular assignment.

“I tend to come to Willis only when I have a big test the next day,” communication design junior Ana Price said. “I try not to make a habit of staying up real late, maybe once or twice a month.”

While Price only uses the library late at night sparingly, night owls like Mkassi continue to use Willis’ late-night offer to study hard–in Mkassi’s case, pouring over physical chemistry subjects like thermal dynamics and gaseous properties.

“School has been hard for me because I am a returning student,” Mkassi said. “I need more time to work with my notes in order to learn everything sufficiently. I am happy that Willis Library affords me the extra space to study late at night.”

Featured Image: Biochemistry senior Eurielle Mkassi takes a nap while studying in the Willis Library early Friday morning. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

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