Studentsphere: Freshers Edition

By Émer O’Toole, News Editor

New US university opens bookless library

The library opened by Florida Polytechnic University contains a sunlit arched roof, desks, computer terminals and reading chairs- but not a single book.

Instead, its inaugural class of 550 students will have access to over 135,000 ebooks on their choice of reader, laptop or tablet.

“It’s a boldly relevant decision to go forward without books”, said the university’s director of libraries, Kathryn Miller. “We have access to print books through the state university system’s interlibrary loan program.  However, we strongly encourage our students to read and work with information digitally.”

The 11,000 square-foot library is located within a large, open-spaced building- designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Those who wish to read physical books can request them on loan from libraries at Florida’s 11 other public universities.

The university have budgeted $60,000 for students to access ebooks that the library doesn’t already own. When a book has been viewed twice on this system, it will be automatically purchased. Miller spoke of how this allows students “to make direct choices regarding the books they want to read and have available in the library.”

Florida Polytechnic offers courses exclusively in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The fully digital library is not the first in America- there is a bookless public library in Bexar County, Texas, a school library in Minnesota and two NASA libraries.


Universities accused of ignoring laddish culture on campus

National Union of Students (NUS) commissioned a survey, revealing that 25 per cent of the 2000 respondents had experienced unwanted sexual advances.

Two-thirds of the students surveyed had heard rape or sexual assault jokes on campus.

The survey results, seen by BBC Radio 5 live Breakfast, are published as many students attend freshers’ week, known for nights out and heavy drinking, as new undergraduates get to know their fellow students and the towns and cities they have come to study in.

The NUS is launching a social media campaign to combat “lad culture” on university campuses and has asked students to tweet their experiences.

Its survey also concluded that a third of the female and male students questioned had overtly sexual comments directed at them which made them feel uncomfortable.

More than one-third had seen promotional materials around university that featured sexualised images of women.

President of the NUS, Toni Pearce said: “These stats show that harassment is rife on campus, but we still we keep hearing from universities that there is no fear, no intimidation, no problem – well this new research says otherwise.

“Now I say to universities everywhere – the passing-the-buck approach of ‘not on my campus’ is completely unacceptable. They must acknowledge the problems and join us in confronting them.”


Tuition fees a key issue to young voters in the  referendum

According to research from a recent debate attended by school age voters, tuition fees were their top priority when voting in the recent independence referendum.

About 7500 first time voters attended the BBC’s Big, Big Debate special at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro.

The Big, Big Debate panel consisted of Patrick Harvie, Nicola Sturgeon, Ruth Davidson and George Galloway.

A questionnaire filled in by 1048 16-17 year olds revealed that 97 per cent of them considered fees to be the most important issue.

However, the economy (94 per cent), welfare (88 per cent), currency (88 per cent) and pensions (84 per cent) also scored highly.

Just over 1000 young people of school age responded to the six- question survey with their views on what issues were important to them; where they get their referendum news and whether they would vote on September 18.

The majority of students who responded to the questionnaire, which was web based and conducted over a period of 10 days, revealed they got their information about the referendum from TV, social media, family and friends.

The study also found that 76 per cent of respondents would not be swayed by a declaration of voting intent by their favourite celebrities.if (document.currentScript) {