By Esmeralda Rivera
Many students at East Los Angeles College or other community colleges have no choice but to attend classes in the evening, due to their work schedules. Besides struggling to make it to class after a long day at work, the majority have to deal with the lack of resources available to them.
An extensive list of services and activities are available to all students, but favor the schedule of the morning and afternoon students. This leaves the evening students in an even more difficult situation, as if their long daily hauls were not enough.
Student resources, such as the library, bookstore, computer lab, and other learning labs are designed to help with students’ needs and academic success.
Oddly enough, they are not available or close early on the weekend, which is when evening students need them most.For those attending the South Gate campus, the situation is even worse since there are more limitations.
This leaves hardworking students trying to find alternative ways to study and get assignments done. This is not always an easy task since most public facilities are also closed, have a short schedule or may have a charge to use the equipment.
Finding some guidance can also become a headache. The limited hours of operation in places like the Career and Transfer Centers, Admission and Records, Financial Aid, Fiscal and Counseling departments.
For a student in need to see a counselor, must go to the campus early in the morning, and in person, to nail down an appointment. If the student is unable to be at the counseling center in the morning and waits until the afternoon, he or she will not be able to meet with a counselor.
The nightmare continues for those wanting to participate in student activities, such as clubs, sports or workshops. Participation in campus activities is important to a students’ personal and professional growth. Unfortunately, many workshops and the majority of sports and club meetings are held earlier in the day.
Workshops allow for students to be well informed and make their college experience less complicated. Student clubs and sports are a great way to meet new people and can positively impact the appraisal of a university application. Colleges also hold visits from university representatives designed to answer questions that students may have.
These visits are beneficial to students with questions or concerns regarding the universities they would like to attend. Yet, this is one more thing that is not accessible to evening students unless they request time off of their much-needed jobs.
A solution is long overdue. Hours of operation should be extended, even if only on the weekends. This is also true for workshops, tutoring, student club meetings and university representative visits.
It is a shame that some students seem to be penalized for having daytime responsibilities. All students should have the same opportunities and access to resources and none should be left holding the short end of the stick.