Tusculum University’s library creates lounge on campus for commuters and students in graduate and online programs

GREENEVILLETusculum University is providing further assistance for its commuter students and those who are in the higher education institution’s graduate and online programs with a dedicated space for them to study, relax and enjoy a meal.

Shannon Showers, left, who is pursuing a Master of Sport Management and is a graduate assistant for the football team, and Kayla Yates, circulation manager and webmaster for the Thomas J. Garland Library, sit in the new Commuter and Online Student Lounge.

The Thomas J. Garland Library has set aside one of the study rooms on the third floor to create the Commuter and Online Student Lounge for these students. The lounge features a comfortable couch, provided by the College of Business; two study tables; a minifridge; and a microwave.

“We’ve noticed over the years that several of our federal work-study students who were commuters were eating in our offices because they did not have anywhere to hang out at lunch,” said Kathy Hipps, the library’s director. “We thought, ‘They need their own space.’ About the same time, we had that idea, we were approached by Jacob Cutshall in the Office of Admission, who asked us about a space for students in Tusculum’s graduate and online programs.”

Library staff considered the potential options and concluded converting one of the study rooms would prove beneficial.

“It just made sense to us to combine the two and make a space for all commuters where they can hang out between classes, eat their lunch or dinner and get together for study groups, whatever they want to do,” Hipps said. “It’s also ideal for students in the graduate and online programs, who might need to come to campus for a meeting or for an event and want to complete some of their assignments while they are here.”

Many commuter students can be on campus for several hours a day, especially if they are involved in clubs and organizations. Students in the graduate and online programs, which were previously collectively known as the adult and online studies program, are adults pursuing associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees online. They are eligible to participate in activities on campus, and Hipps said they could potentially come from work, complete coursework in the study room for a while and then attend a play or game on campus. Students in graduate and online programs might also want a break from studying at their residence.

Commuters and students in graduate and online programs can also access library materials to assist with their coursework and use the lounge while they are in the building. Should these students not have a laptop, they can check out one at the circulation desk and use it in this room.

“The lounge looks terrific and will be a tremendous amenity for our commuters and students in graduate and online programs as they complete their studies,” said Cutshall, executive director of admissions. “We are grateful to the library for creating this attractive space, which will help these students economize their time and accomplish their academic goals in a relaxing way. It will also enhance their connections to the university.”

The lounge is open the same hours as the library. Interested students can ask for a key at the circulation desk.

To learn more about the library, please visit https://garland.tusculum.edu/. More information about the university is available at www.tusculum.edu. To apply for admission, please go to https://site.tusculum.edu/apply-visit/apply/.