The grand opening of a new commons area in Zimmerman library on Thursday kicked off a fresh opportunity for graduate students to exclusively utilize a quiet study space.

Located on the first floor of Zimmerman, in Room 102 opposite the Learning Commons, the new space will be open during usual library hours, said Abigail G. Robertson, a graduate medieval studies student.

Robertson is the incoming Graduate and Professional Students Association (GPSA) Chair of Media and Outreach. She said many factors - including the library's location at the center of main campus as well as availability of resources vital for graduate research - makes Zimmerman an ideal home for the Graduate Commons. 

"With lockers for storage, comfortable furniture and plenty of workspace, the commons provides students with easy access to the library stacks and a place to focus on their academic success,” she said.

The Graduate Commons was created through a partnership between GPSA and University Libraries, Robertson said. 

She praised GPSA leaders for securing construction funding from the New Mexico Legislature with help from Senator Cisco McSorley. The Provost’s Office also provided planning support, she said. University Libraries provided the carpeting, paint and furniture, while the lockers were funded by the Student Fee Review Board.

Adan Myers y Gutierrez, a graduate biomedical engineering student, said that because he has an office this semester, he does not use Zimmerman Library as often as he had before; however, he would not mind working in a different space, he said. 

“Some of us have offices, but I imagine there’s a lot that don’t. It’s hard to speak for all grad students, but it’s definitely nice to have a potential study space. For all the grad students that don’t have a study space, it’s [important] to have a nice, quiet place,” he said.

Between taking classes, maintaining assistant-ships and conducting research, graduate students spend many hours a week on campus doing what is necessary to succeed in their chosen fields, Robertson said. 

“By creating the Graduate Commons, GPSA hopes the space will support scholars as a place to make progress toward their degrees that is convenient, quiet and comfortable,” she said.

Elizabeth Sanchez is a reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at or on Twitter @Beth_A_Sanchez.