OPINION: Night students need participation option

By Maria Marroquin Monroy

More classes, clubs and events should be added to East Los Angeles College main campus for evening students. 

Many students would like to join a club or attend an event on campus, but they find themselves unable to do so because most student life activities are designed for full-time students or students who can attend school during the day. 

Out of the 60 or more clubs ELAC offers, only seven of those have hours convenient for night students. 

Research shows that students who have been a part of clubs, internships or something related to academic success have higher chances of being accepted when transferring to a university. 

According to The Education Corner website, students who participate in extracurricular activities and, maintain a higher GPA, show they have the commitment necessary to be admitted into universities with low-admission rates, such as Yale or Harvard. 

Participating in these extracurricular activities not only shows how much a student is willing to be involved in academic life, but it also helps students build connections and network with one another.  

Websites such as my.cappex.com and niche.com are designed to help students with research to find, compare and understand the application and financial process of choosing a university. 

The Cappex website provides students using their site with different PDF downloads in which different questions are presented. 

Some of these questions vary and these questionnaires are mostly looking to have the student sell the best version of themselves. 

Essentially, the site shows students the different qualifications universities are trying to find and which student will stand out from the rest.

According to these websites one significant way to get accepted is by being more involved in school life prior to transferring. 

This makes it hard for evening students at ELAC to be more involved since most clubs and events end well before they even arrive on campus. 

How can they achieve the goals of participation when they are limited to begin with? 

If professors were to dedicate at least one of their lectures to incorporate a club meeting to get their students involved in a club maybe they would be more motivated to join or create their own club with hours favorable to them. 

Megan Taylor, a student at ELAC said she would consider joining a club at night if it involved her child in some way. 

“I would be on board if there was a group where you can bring your kid and the parents could discuss the same topic while also spending time with their kids,” said Taylor.

She said that a club like this would probably connect well with the Child Development Department. 

It is understandable that many students attending school at night are either working during the day and/or taking care of their children. 

ELAC could create clubs or events that incorporate family life and academic life together. 

It is something worth considering to increase student participation and secure higher transferring rates.

“I don’t like coming to school at night, but it is the only time I have available. So if there was a club that I found interesting enough to join, I would. But the ones I’ve seen that I like are during noon or something like that so I don’t join,” said ELAC student Maria Hernandez.

In order to ensure student success, first we have to consider all of the students attending the college, not focus solely on the  group of students seen during the day. 

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