By Vincent Chen
The Undergraduate Association has voted to cooperate with the Association of Student Activities as the ASA investigates plans to incorporate the MIT Science Fiction Society library into the Student Center Reading Room.
A resolution passed by the UA last night stated that “the UA supports the ASA in continuing to investigate plans to incorporate the MITSFS Library and the Student Center Reading Room” and that “a representative of the UA be a member of the working group that will help in this process.”
The ASA presented a proposal at the UA meeting two weeks ago to move the MITSFS library to occupy a portion of the reading room. This would allow the Campus Activities Complex to renovate the current library to house eight to twelve student groups.
The proposal was motivated by a desire to provide more space for the Science Fiction Society’s library and for other student groups. The plan involves taking advantage of what the ASA considers underutilized reading room space.
MITSFS lacks adequate space
MITSFS is currently seeking additional space, since a large portion of their collection is stored in boxes due to a shortage of shelf space. This limits availability and accessibility of their extensive science fiction collection, which they claim contains over 90 percent of all science fiction ever published in English.
MITSFS members strongly support the idea of a move, arguing that it is necessitated by their growing collection.
“We are very low on space, and if we could have that space, we could do a better job of being a library,” said Scott E. Kullberg ’99, an active member of MITSFS. “We have a lot of stuff in boxes currently. It starts to be a problem when circulating paperbacks can no longer be shelved.” SFS added some shelf capacity several years ago, but the group cannot add more capacity without reducing accessibility.
Loss of room could hurt students
While the move would benefit both the ASA and student groups in need of office space, MIT students would suffer the loss of quiet study space. The reading room is busy throughout the year, but during finals week it is almost always filled to capacity. The ASA suggested that students could take advantage of the many other reading and study areas that exist on campus.
Moving the Science Fiction Society’s library into the reading room will result in the loss of about 20 spaces in the reading room, roughly a quarter of those currently available.
UA reapportions IFC seats
Also at last night’s meeting, the UA passed a bill to reapportion council seats in light of the Panhellenic Association’s split from the Interfraternity Council. The Panhellenic Association will now be considered a single living group for the purposes of distribution of council seats. The IFC will subsequently lose one seat on the council.