Starting this fall, eHub will allow only its members to enter its Collegetown and Kennedy Hall locations in the evening and on weekends, in an effort to avoid overcrowding.
Peter Cortle, eHub Director, said any Cornell student is welcome to use the eHub spaces from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every weekday. However, access will be limited to eHub members after 6 p.m. on weekdays and all day on the weekends, he said.
Cortle said that there will be no policing or checking of students’ ID cards even after 6 p.m. as they “trust” the students but added that non-members will not be able re-enter eHub upon leaving during member-only hours.
According to Cortle, eHub is also making changes to its membership policy, restricting membership to those who can provide information about a current entrepreneurial project.
Previously, information about entrepreneurial activities was only required if members wanted to reserve eHub conference spaces. Under the new policy, all who want to join eHub will be required complete the “Venture/Project URL” field in the application, Cortle said.
He also added that current eHub membership holders who did not share their entrepreneurial activities before will be asked to do so soon.
Members will still enjoy 24-hour access to the eHub spaces, Cortle told The Sun. He also expects the new policy to have an impact mostly in the Collegetown location.
“In terms of Kennedy Hall, because it’s on campus, the building access is dependent on the building, so largely it (the policy) is going to affect students utilizing the Collegetown space,” Cortle said.
Cortle explained that the new policy is necessary as eHub received members’ feedback expressing the problem that “the space is too crowded,” and some members have even “stopped utilizing eHub for entrepreneurial activities.”
Cortle noted that “not everyone is going to be happy about this change.” But he also believed that “if [students] have the right information” and understand the reasons behind the changes, they will be able to understand why the changes were made.
“Especially if they ever pursue something entrepreneurial, I think they will fully understand and perhaps appreciate that,” he said.
The Sun spoke with Cornellians studying at the eHub space in Collegetown on July 29.
“I think Cornell should have their services open to everyone, ” Julia Zell ’19 said, “but I didn’t know that [eHub is dedicated for entrepreneurship], but I guess it makes more sense.”
Jamie Lai ’20, Sun design staffer, told The Sun that she might simply do her schoolwork at the library instead.
Another student expressed that non-entrepreneurial students’ use of the eHub Collegetown space reflects a need for more study locations in Collegetown in general.
“The issue is not restricting people” from entering eHub, but the need for additional spaces for students to study in Collegetown, Alexandra Farhangui ’20 told The Sun. “I know that it was built for entrepreneurship but people just come here now,” she said.
The 5,300 square foot eHub space in Collegetown opened in 2016, and provides collaborative and meeting spaces for students interested in developing a start-up business.
According to Cortle, total eHub membership exceeded 5,000 people as of last semester and is expected to grow gradually.