By Bianca Garcia
Students for Political Awareness President Christopher Cruz and Non-Traditional Student Union President Pedro Flores Jr. have partnered to create a petition to extend the Helen Miller Bailey Library hours.
Although East Los Angeles College offers many resources to students, not all are being made accessible to every student on campus.
The reason for the petition is to help the non-traditional students have full access to the library even if it requires for the library to stay open late.
Flores, Cruz and Claudia Blasuer, a current non-traditional student and formal AB 540 student, have shown a huge emphasis on the importance of the non-traditional student and how it applies to many students at ELAC.
AB 540 students are students who are not non-traditional students who are allowed to attend college and pay in-state tuition fees as long as they meet certain requirements.
The University of California Los Angeles has a program called Night Pal. The program’s purpose is to keep the library open 24 hours a day.
Flores and Cruz have considered a similar program that gives students more time to study. This would give students a greater chance of transferring and increase their grade point average.
The library can be monitored by campus police and only registered ELAC students are allowed inside the library after 9 p.m.
Flores is also conducting an online survey about extending the library hours. This survey has about 10 questions and takes about five minutes.
Not only will this benefit the non-traditional students, but every student attending ELAC.
Cruz and Flores have been going around campus with the petition and talking to students and faculty about the need of extending the library hours.
They have also been making quick appearances before class sessions to explain what the petition is about and collect signatures.
Twelve hundred signatures have been collected so far. Both faculty and students have signed the petition.
Many clubs such as the Feminist Majority club, The Sociology club, the Psychology Club, Students Against Substance Abuse club, the Transfer club and the Puente club have been supportive.
“It is an issue not just for non-traditional students, but for everybody in general. We want to transfer,” Blasuer said.
According to the college navigator, there are about 37,000 students enrolled in ELAC.
Eighty-one percent of those students are part-time, while only 19 percent are full-time.
Blasuer takes night classes and spends only two days on campus because she works full time.
She is a mother who stresses the struggles of being a single mother and student as well as the importance of having support from the college.
She mentioned that there are a lot of mothers on campus. “(There are) a lot of single mothers that need the support. One of the reasons why I didn’t go to college is because I was a single mother,” Blasuer said.
Cruz and Estrada will be presenting the petition at the governors meeting on Monday.