Students receive Rotunda swipe access
New technology allows easier access, longer hours for visitors
Starting this semester, students will have the option to study in the original library of the University: the Rotunda. In a pilot project, the Dome Room, the North Oval Room, the Lower West Oval Room and the Lower East Oval Room will have specific times reserved for student study. First-year Dome Room dinners will also return after a two-year hiatus.
“Before this year, the Rotunda was unlocked and locked each day by the Rotunda staff with keys,” said Alex Halbritter, Rotunda guard and Chair of the University Guide Service. “This summer, they installed swipe-access on the building’s lower levels, allowing students to access the building with their U.Va. IDs during certain hours.”
Students are now able to swipe their ID cards to access the building after public hours, which run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The new schedule, available on the University’s Rotunda website, will allow students to have access to the building until 10 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday. The hours will be extended to midnight during exams.
“This is a ‘pilot year’ to increase the building’s usage by students, before interior construction picks up after graduation this May,” said Halbritter, a fourth-year Commerce student.
The effort is one of many steps taken to open the UNESCO World Heritage Site to the student body. Rotunda Operations Manager Christine Wells said the University hopes the addition of COLA and USEM classes, as well as the re-introduction of First Year Dinners in the Dome Room on Wednesday evenings will help better serve students.
The Rotunda will be monitored by two RMC Events staff members and one student Rotunda Guard after hours. Covered drinks are permitted, but no food is allowed inside.