Letters To The Editor


There are so many open computer labs on the YSU campus, but many are taken over by classes. Subsequently, students using the computers for homework and research — or even as a place to kill some time before their next class — are kicked out of the labs for the entire hour. 

I am all for the use of computers for classes, but why do they have to take one of the few open labs?

There are two classes that I know of for sure that take over the DeBartolo computer lab in the basement every week. They come into the lab minutes before the class starts and kick us out (and not too kindly, by the way). They are impatient as we scramble to save our work and print out what we have been working on, like we don’t have a right to do our homework during a free period. Numerous other labs on campus are not being used at all. 

I’ve been told to go to the library and use those computers, but the library is almost always full and crowded. Also, if everyone from the DeBartolo computer lab goes to the library, then practically none of us will be able to get into the lab (unless we make a mad sprint to the library clear across campus, which I think is impractical).

There are very few other open labs on campus in which to go. Kilcawley’s lab is very noisy and can also get crowded. I personally don’t like to do my homework and research in a place where I can hear someone’s iPod blaring music clear across the room, or people talking loudly to one another as if they were the only ones in that particular lab.

Other computer labs are closed to the students who do not share that major. I can get into several of those labs, but I always feel a stab of guilt when I use them. I don’t feel that I should have to be reduced to feeling guilty over writing a paper or doing research for school, just because I am unable to stay in the same lab that I started in. 

There are times when the lab assistants can be very rude to you, especially if they find out you aren’t a business, nursing or education major. And sometimes, like on the second floor of Cushwa in the nursing computer lab, the lab assistant has to go to class, so instead of someone taking over for her, even for just an hour, she has to lock up the lab and kick me out, again. I don’t understand why YSU can’t hire more lab assistants when they are needed.

I pay a lot of money, money that as a working student is practically all I make in a single year, to come to this school and study. I pay the lab fees, and I work religiously on my research and homework while in the labs. I should have the right to remain in the open computer lab that I start in and that is in the building of my next class, so that I don’t have to move everything clear across campus. I should not have to scramble to save all of my research or to print out slides for one of my classes. I should not have to risk a failing grade on an online quiz because I am being forced to leave. Sometimes, this is the only time I can get to a computer to do my homework. I work, and I have other obligations. 

YSU needs to seriously re-evaluate the way that classes are scheduled. There are plenty of closed labs that are free for classes to use. They may have to walk farther, but at least they wouldn’t be disrupting the work of students. Or at least they can have more open labs for us to go to, instead of each department having its own labs, which literally nobody uses. That is a waste of money. 

And then we don’t have to feel guilty or risk losing our computer privileges because of some class kicking us out of a lab that is supposed to be open for us to use.





1 comments Dan Lumpp Fri Mar 2 2012 12:51 I would add that even though we pay hefty lab fees, supplies are often inadequate. I know of several open computer labs that have at one point or currently lack the most basic equipment such as a stapler or a three-hole punch. Just this week a lab assistant explained to me that the three-hole punch only punches two holes but they can’t get a replacement. This sort of thing is ridiculous and inexcusable.