Services needed for evening students

CN/ Kien Ha

By Rodolpho Trujillo

East Los Angeles College should do more to help evening students.

As someone who has a day job, it is challenging to find time to complete my education.  When I returned to ELAC to take some requirements necessary to advance my career, I was working during the evening and therefore found it easier to take classes, get access to instructors and find a place to study.

When my hours at work changed, and I had to take classes during the evening, I found that finding services after 7 p.m. is a big challenge.  The financial aid, fiscal and admissions offices close at 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday.

The library, besides being a claustrophobic person’s nightmare, closes at 9 p.m., so do the writing and learning centers with one or two exceptions.  The math lab closes at 7 p.m.  ASU offers a place to study until late during finals week, but that’s too late in the semester.

When and where is a student that works during the day supposed to study?  The local Starbucks is jam-packed with students and is a bit too loud sometimes.  The local Dennys on Via Campo in Montebello has a poor WiFi signal and the food is a bit overpriced to be going on a regular basis.

IHOP doesn’t have WiFi.  McDonald’s is now open all night, but some might not want the smell of fries constantly in their face.  The home environment is difficult, unless you are able to have your family or house mates be very conscientious about respecting your study time, which is easier said than done.

Can the college staff a place where people can go and study until at least 10 p.m?  It doesn’t have to be every day. Even a rotating schedule could make a huge difference for students whose only free time is in the late evening.

Maybe the writing, math and learning centers could have their own day when they offer study space for student night owls.  Since a student study center is not going to happen any time soon, are there any empty rooms on campus that could be converted to a small study space?  A lot of times people just need access to free WiFi and quiet space.

A few cadets could be there to add security, and maybe an official can donate time to make sure that students respect the space and not play on the Internet or cause any distractions to those who are studying.

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