The Trimpe Student Lab Should be Open After Hours in Order to Accommodate all Types of Students at Lewis and Clark

By Kal Weiss 

Have you ever had a paper you needed to turn in or a project you needed to work on, but you had a problem with your computer? The Student Lab has been a haven for people with debacles like this. 

The Student Lab is located in Trimpe 250 on the Godfrey campus as a part of the Student Success Center. It is available as a service to people who need Zoom, Adobe programs, and various other software included with Microsoft. There are also staff members present who help with tutoring, as well as Zoom tutoring being available. 

Currently, it is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the Fall and Spring semesters. In the Summer semester, it is also open Monday through Thursday, only from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

The problem is that these hours are not enough to serve all types of students. 

The hours fit into a traditional work schedule — the usual nine to five. Lewis and Clark Community College (LC) is a place for people from all walks of life to be able to learn with a flexible schedule; however, this does not align with the nontraditional students at LC. Examples of nontraditional students are people who have full-time jobs, take care of kids or other dependent individuals, work night shifts, and similar situations.  

A lot of students also have a lengthy commute to the LC campus as well — some drive over an hour to and from the school just to attend their classes in person. The lab has failed to recognize people who may function on a different schedule than “the norm.” 

According to Redline Digital, 25 million (16 percent) Americans have a non-standard job schedule which includes evening and night shifts. The majority of these workers, 12.5 million people (about twice the population of Arizona), are between the ages of 15 to 24. The NIH backs this data up, stating that 4.7 percent of individuals work evening shifts (any time between 2 p.m. to midnight) and 3.2 percent work night shifts (between 1-5 a.m.). Additionally, 11 million Americans (7.4 percent) work night shifts frequently. Veera Korhonen of Statista wrote that there are around 16 million Americans who are single parents. In America, 62 percent of all student parents are single mothers and half of all student parents work full-time, according to National University. 

With the lab’s hours in place, it does not support this portion of the student body adequately. To accommodate these students, the Student Lab could extend their hours to at least 9 p.m. By doing this, it would give these people a chance to catch up on their schoolwork in a timely fashion while also having room to be in control of their schedules. If someone who works the night shift wanted to study before work, they could use the Student Lab to do so. This would apply to the rest of the nontraditional students who are affected by the Student Lab not being open later hours. 

About Kal Weiss

Kal is pursuing a degree in Graphic Design and plans to graduate in Winter 2024. After graduation, they plan to begin their graphic design career.
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