Surprise cut to lab hours CO-200

Krys Shahin, @Krysshah

Students and staff are confused about why the Computer Lab hours in CO-200 were cut by seven hours a day with little to no warning or consultation. The lab was open 8 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday from last spring and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the summer, but now is only open until 3 p.m. This excludes all night classes from using the lab as well as students with late afternoon or evening availability from using the resources the lab has to offer. 

Many faculty found out about it for the first time when librarian Roseann Erwin made an announcement during the Academic Senate meeting Monday Sept. 9 which prompted questions from the members.

Students needing to use the lab after 3 p.m. have been directed to the Library, Center for Academic Support and even the Math Lab to use the computers that they would have had access to in the lab.

The problem with this is that those computers do not currently have the software applications that students need for their specific classes. 

“They should take all the images and put them on all of the computers on campus,” said Computer Science Professor Louie Giambattista.

Among those classes impacted is business, which has copies of their textbook on the computers and in the lab. 

“I found out because one of my students happened to work at the lab and told me it closed at 3 now,” said business instructor Theodora Adkins. “I had already told my students from the previous class that the lab was open just to be told it wasn’t the very next day.”

The staff who have their offices adjacent to the Computer Lab said they were warned about the change prior to the confusion it has caused on campus, but others were not. 

“There was a decision made to close the lab at 3 o’clock without notification,” said Adkins. “I’ve been a little confused and really baffled by it, even the ladies in the library were stunned.” 

Speculation has been going around campus among faculty because there has been no official announcement.  

“They probably saw this as an opportunity to save money. The deans probably walked by and didn’t see that many people in here,” said Giambattista. “I was told about it.”

Though many students have now been told to go to the Math Lab, it was commonly thought that specific space was meant only for students enrolled in math classes, but the policy has been changed. 

“The math lab is open to all students,” said Enrique Rivera, a math tutor for the lab.

Although the decision to reduce the Computer Lab hours was made over summer, sources interviewed for this story declined to say who was involved in making the decision. 

“It [the closing of the lab] happened over a sequence of things with a group of people, so it’s hard to say that someone gave the final say when that’s not what happened,” said Ryan Pedersen, dean of Math and Sciences. 

“I had nothing to do with the decision,” said Nikki Moultrie, dean of Career Technical Education and Social Sciences.

Communities are being disrupted by this change that came out of nowhere.

“We’re all here to serve all students and one thing the business lab did was included everyone… We are a community college here to serve the community,” said Adkins. “Hopefully we will see a change.” 

 According to Pedersen, there is a meeting being scheduled with key stakeholders, maybe for sometime next week.