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Friday October 27, 2000

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Heavy workloads keep students on campus

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Third year architecture major Sarah Lieneke-Nickle spends her Wednesday night in a cubicle completing a project for her architecture class. She and other aspiring architects listen to music to ease their minds of the pressures of project deadlines.

By Rebecca Missel

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Papers, projects and jobs force students to pull the night shift

They are there even at 11 p.m. Friday. The lights are on and though many students are out celebrating the weekend, others are still on campus and they are working.

"Sometimes we don't go home," said Andy Powell a third-year architecture student. "There's weeks where you work four or five nights non-stop with only a few hours sleep."

Whether it is papers, group projects or late-night jobs, some students at the University of Arizona remain on campus well past nightfall.

"They try to get every little bit out of us to weed out the unmotivated," Powell said. "It's really not so bad because a lot of times you just hit a groove."

For architecture students in particular, the amount of work can be very demanding.

"You're behind if you don't work on weekends," said Shingo Masuda, a third-year architecture student. "If you take two weekends off you're screwed."

Masuda also said once he gets a break he "appreciates free time so much."

Since studio classes require equipment that students do not have at home, the architecture building provides a convenient place to work, said Susan Moody, assistant dean of the College of Planning, Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

"It's difficult to build at home and then schlepp the (projects) in," she said.

The UA catalog's academic policies state that, for every hour spent in class, students should spend two hours doing outside work for that course.

Yet Moody said students spend too many nights working on projects and papers.

"If students were experts in time management then they wouldn't need to do this," she said. "But it's not part of the culture."

Once students begin to design and build a project, it is difficult to stop without losing momentum, Moody said.

"The choice is usually to keep working till it's solved and then go home and crash," she said.

In other colleges like engineering, group projects often force students to study later because of conflicting schedules during the day.

"We're here because of procrastination, but we're wide awake," said Nicole Theberge, an astronomy freshman working on a water-wheel design for her Engineering 102 class.

"But it's good because there's no one else here," said her classmate, Tina Toland, an aerospace engineering freshman. "We don't have to wait for the room or supplies."

While many students stay on campus late at night because of term papers and last-minute cram sessions, others have jobs that keep them after hours.

Brooke Chumley, associate director for Safe Ride, the ASUA escort service, spends up to 24 hours a week working the night shift and often does not leave until 1:30 a.m.

"I don't take early morning classes because I either sleep through them or fall asleep during them," said Chumley, a biology junior.

When his friend was taken to the hospital last year for exhaustion, Chumley decided sleep was a priority but for many students, getting enough rest is still a problem.

"It's up to the students themselves," he said. "I don't know if there's anything to be done about it."