ECA students campaign for 24 hour studio access

University of Edinburgh students at the Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) have organised a campaign calling for twenty-four hour access to studios at the art school.

Students are calling for extended opening hours because they feel that it would give them more time and less pressure to complete their projects successfully if they could work on them with access to the art college’s facilities whenever they wanted.

The Student contacted some ECA students to ask for their opinions about the campaign.

Sophie, a second year, said: “The reason why we are campaigning is that it is restricting for us that the facilities are closed.

“We would just like the freedom to get on with our projects when we need to; we often don’t get a huge amount of time to complete everything so it would mean less stress for all of us as we could be more productive.”

Another student added: “It’s important to have twenty-four hour access.

“I have a huge amount of work, my projects require me to be in the studio and have access to computers and printing – art doesn’t stop at 11 o’clock.”

Although in a largely unaffected department of ECA, Claire, a first year music student, noted the merits of having twenty-four hour access to music studios as well.

She said: “I’m nocturnal – I feel most creative at night so it would be cool to be able to compose whenever I feel like it.”

Overall, this suggests that with the opening times as they are at the moment, art students are not able to get on with what they need to do because of the restrictive nature of the studio open hours.

Another actively involved student, second year Naomi, said: “While I didn’t realise how much of an inconvenience it would be to have the studio shut up at 11pm when I first arrived.

“Now the idea of leaving a crucially wet canvas or a drying palette seems ridiculous.”

As well as being restricting, the large amount of support from ECA students that this campaign has amassed leads to questions of why this issue has not already been solved, or indeed, if this has been a pressing issue for quite some time, why it has not been brought up before.

The last student-led campaign concerning the opening of university facilities, the call led by Edinburgh University Students’ Association to keep the library open in the summer for postgraduates and those staying on campus, was successful.

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