The Horrors of Homework: Budget Crisis Cuts Deep

Heidi Rae Stenquist

I don’t know if it’s just the budget cuts or this is the way it’s always been. Either way some thought to the morning students would seem fair. Trying to get a page printed on campus was a nightmare!

My first class starts at 6:55 in the morning, I come early every day to insure I get to park where I want without the hassle. Recently, I came onto campus to print something due for class because I don’t have a printer. Now, normally I would’ve printed it at work or at a friend’s. However this time, schedule demands didn’t permit. I got out of my car around 6:10 a.m. and walked over to the library, but it didn’t open until 7:30 a.m., and all of the resources were unavailable until then.

Bummed, yet ignorant about LRC hours of operation, I rushed to my next chance: The new and improved L building. Through its pretty new windows, I could see all the fancy new computers inside, but the lights were off. When they built the L building, a lot of consideration was put into making it “green,” so why didn’t they give morning students more consideration? (By the way, they open at 8 a.m.).

Here is this beautiful building that houses TRIO, Aspire, the English and math tutoring centers, but none are available until after 8 a.m. The new L building boosts supporting the environment, why not support the students who go to early classes?

Across the way to the continuance of the L building I went. It also has beautiful fixtures and computers all lined up in every room. All the windows had a shiny digital clock telling me what time it is. I was getting a little perturbed by then. Time to move on.

Next, I walked down to the C building to use their computer/printer workstation, like so many times before while earning my Associates of Science in Radio/Television. Here I was again, looking for their help. I made my way to the door, which was surprisingly open. I couldn’t find my print card in the morning and with the library closed, I couldn’t buy another. I made my way to the computer room knowing I would have to count on the kindness of somebody, anybody.

I had used the computers in the cafeteria before, but had never tried to make a copy; I would have to try. It was after 6:35 a.m. now. I looked everywhere, trying to see if something was open or someone who could help. I approached a woman wearing headphones with small caramel dreads and a warm face, and asked her if she had a print card. SHE DID! Oh, God, thank you! I told her I would give her a dollar for the 10 cent copy; after all, she did agree to help.

What proceeded was hell: the countdown of minutes, pursuing a goal vanishing before my eyes and the clock was ticking. I had to get to class. We troubleshot a million things and for whatever reason, my homework was not sending to the Pharos workstation. I had to ask for additional help by getting her to get up and figure the machine out, a process to which once again, I was ignorant.

It was almost too much, and then there was no paper in the copier. So I went through the locked gate entrance into the food court (which isn’t open either) to plead and ask them for paper. She came back with three sheets that we couldn’t squeeze into the open portion of a locked paper drawer. I was screwed, that was it. There was no way I was going to get that paper printed before class. Or to get some much needed study time for that big important test. Bummer.

Defeated, I walked and arrived five minutes early to study for my test. I ask my friend in class if she would let me borrow her card, so at break I could print my assignment. She agreed, my professor agreed and on my break, I went back to the C building where I had thrown it onto the desktop as a time saver. Or so I thought. I couldn’t get that to send either.

LRC, here I come. I assumed I failed the test I just took. I was frustrated that the time I needed to study was lost because I was desperately trying to print something. I couldn’t believe it. I sat down, opened my mail and commanded it to print. I typed in all the necessary information, walked over to retrieve it and there it was! The overflowing pressure was released when I discovered the Pharos workstation gave me my work. Eureka! I got it in, but it cost me.

Having no place to print a copy in the morning for students on campus concerns me. No paper in the only accessible machine bothers me. Not knowing about all the mess I would have to go through still irritates me. I don’t want anybody to go through that. It’s not only computer access that’s being denied, it’s bathrooms as well in the morning. There are three bathrooms around my class and all are locked in the morning; I’ve had to hold it until after 7 a.m. That’s not cool.

Budget costs or not: services should be available. Bathrooms and doors to disability elevators should be open. Students should be warned!