With the end of the semester approaching, students all over campus are in a frenzy to complete research papers and projects. At St John’s University, this means that the computer labs will be packed to capacity.
The two major computer labs at St John’s are Marillac and Sullivan. Marillac closes this week at 11:00 p.m. and Sullivan closes at 2:00 a.m. 2:00 a.m. sounds like a reasonable time for a computer lab to close- for the beginning and mid part of the semester, but certainly not during the week preceding final exams.
For many students, several papers are due the week prior to Thanksgiving break, a week that rivals finals week for heaviest workload. Therefore, it would make more sense for the computer labs, namely Sullivan, to open 24 hours during that time period. However, Sullivan lab begins the 24-hour schedule Dec. 10, just in time for finals and after classes end.
However, senior Irina Arabov, a Sullivan employee, stated that during finals, there are many more papers and projects due, which is why they choose that week of finals to open 24 hours. “At the end of the day, they do a count and they saw that not too many students stay after 2 a.m. There have been studies conducted that find only a few students stay at the lab even at 2 a.m. Why waste the resources if no one is coming to the lab?” Arabov said.
Despite this, many students would agree that the week before Thanksgiving is very crucial. Just walking through the computer labs can prove this. Labs are often filled to the point where students will wait almost 15 minutes after swiping in to use a computer.
Senior Emmanuel Mensah agrees that the lab should be open 24 hours during what some call “paper writing season.” “The lab should be open 24 hours regardless because this is a University,” Mensah said. “With the amount of money we pay, the least we can get is a 24 hour computer lab.”
Junior Angelina Farnan echoed that sentiment. “They should accommodate those few students who may not have computers at home,” Farnan said. Most of the students who use the labs are probably upperclassmen that did not get laptops, so the labs should do better to accommodate those students.”
To elevate its academic standing, St John’s needs to emulate the more prestigious schools around the country, like New York University, which has a 24 hour library and computer lab. Instead of mimicking certain aspects of these schools such as graduation practices that actually inconvenience January graduates, they should focus on emulating things that would be of more service to students. We are not asking for a year round 24-hour computer lab, at least not yet. Students just want their needs to be met and St John’s should do its best in trying to meet the needs of the students no matter how few they are.