BRYAN, Texas (Reuters) – A group of UC Berkeley’s students at home on Tuesday chanted slogans and held up signs in support of the closure of their home campus library.
The campus is closing down for the first time in nearly 30 years to make way for a new building.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said freshman and junior Anna Shultz.
“The last time I was here, it was almost 10 years ago.
So it feels really good to finally get closure, and it’s been really hard.”
The closure will affect more than 2,200 students.
A few hundred remained at their homes in the city’s fringes.
“This is the last time we will have the opportunity to have our library, our learning space, our meeting spaces, our dining facilities, our libraries and our recreational facilities,” said senior Anastasia Bocanegra.
Students at UC Berkeley, which is in the southern California university’s San Francisco Bay Area, were upset at the university’s decision to close the campus library and the closure is expected to affect thousands of students and the communities they live in.
Students are protesting the closure, saying it is an effort to profit from the campus, which was founded in 1896 as the first public university in the United States.
They say the university should spend the money better to keep the library open and open for the community.
“The university should be investing in its facilities and making sure they’re safe and they’re not a source of funding for other purposes,” said sophomore Jessica Eisert.
Students said the closure could impact their lives, especially as they struggle to make ends meet in the current economic climate.
“We don’t have any money for college and we’re not getting much help from the federal government,” said junior Emily Bostock.
“I think this is the beginning of a really big crisis,” said student Sarah Gentry.