New parking structure helps students with tardies

By Erik Machuca

At a time when adding and keeping classes is in such high demand, the traditional tardy system is becoming less of a warning and more of a punishment.

Often taken for granted, the tardy has long been accepted as only a minor impediment on a student’s grade for arriving late to class.

There is now an immense number of desperate students arriving early in hopes of adding a core class. Being tardy versus being on time could soon replace full absences as the sole reason for being dropped.

Large scale cutbacks of math, english, and science classes across all the schools in the Los Angeles Community College District has left many students with a sense of urgency in finding classes.

If you are late to class, someone else will be on time. Someone who arrives early might take your spot.

Some professors’ syllabuses at East Los Angeles College now state that two tardies equal one full absence, and if you accumulate two unexcused absences you will be dropped from the class entirely.

This is the new reality and, in many cases, it has already begun.  When this new reality arrived, so did new responsibilities.

First, there is a responsibility by students to make the necessary changes to be on time. This includes waking up earlier and leaving their residence ahead of time to account for traffic and parking.

Secondly, there was a responsibility by leaders of the district to address the parking situation students faced.

The district has since fulfilled their responsibility with the new multi-level parking structure on West Floral Drive and Collegian Avenue.

It’s completion has given most students an equal opportunity to avoid tardiness.

Second-year, ELAC student Manuel Barreto said he no longer has problems finding parking every morning in the new structure.  “There is less traffic and there are fewer cars than in other structure in the middle of the school (Avenida Cesar Chavez),” Barreto said.

Before the new parking structure was built, the beginning of each semester meant the beginning of stressful times for students.

Upon arrival, students would be confronted with a filled parking structure on Avenida Cesar Chavez and a filled stadium lot on West Floral Drive and Bleakwood Avenue.

Many students were left with no choice but to park in surrounding residential areas and make the walk to the campus.

This provided a sound solution until students realized that many of the nearby residential streets required a permit to park there.

Since these permits were only granted to residents, students were forced to park even further and, as a result, be very late to class.

As spring semester 2013 is underway, it is important for students to take advantage of the new parking structure and be on time.

Listen to traffic reports in the morning, resist that urge to sleep in and, above all else, leave early to account for weather, traffic or accidents.  Doing so can mean the difference between keeping your much needed class or losing your spot.

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