The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Misuse of computers inhibits academic studies in lab

Chi To Yip walks into the Learning Media Technology Center in the Schauerman Library to type his English essay. He sits at a computer and begins his research. Next to him, a man watches a video while a woman to his left plays solitaire.

Yip prefers to use the LMTC early in the morning or late at night. He said any other times, students will be using the computers for leisure, which makes finding a computer a difficult task.

“I come in here about two times a week,” Yip said. “I only use the computers for like an hour each time.”

On average, 130 students use the Center each day, which has been open for five years.

Even though the lab is for the general use of students, those with certain academic needs to meet get priority computer use.

“If a student comes in and says they need a computer for academic use, we will make an announcement,” Rebecca Stewart, computer lab specialist, said.

The announcement asks those students who are chatting, playing games, listening to music or web-surfing to give the computer to the student who needs to do school work.

However, a bigger problem is that students who do visit the lab and do not find a computer never approach the staff to ask for help; they end up leaving instead.

“If I see a person standing around, I will get up and help them find a computer,” Stewart said.

There are certain rules to what students can do when using the computers.

File sharing, viewing obscene, lewd or sexually harassing material are strictly prohibited and all students violating the rules will be asked to leave the lab immediately.

Yet, the most common problem that arises in the LMTC is when students are loud or when they eat food.

“We just ask that people don’t be disruptive to the other students,” Wendy Haffey, student worker, said.

“It’s pretty laid back in here, but we do get a group of students who are usually the loud ones,” she said.

If the noise does ever get out of hand, students will be asked to leave the lab.

The rules are posted all over the lab, including a sign that is at the very entrance of the room.

“We do get some people who get upset when we ask them to leave,” Stewart said. “But we just point out the rules to them.”

Required practices within the lab include obeying all posted signs, never modifying any software, not using accounts online other than their own and never hacking into other computer systems.

“I don’t mind what people use the computers for,” Yip said. “I usually come in early or late at night and there aren’t many people anyway.”

As for the staff, all they ask of students is that they show a current student ID and that people comply with all the rules, which include no use of profanity, loud talking, roughhousing and always showing respect toward the staff.

If students do have a hard time getting a computer, all they need to do is ask a staff member or the person at the circular reception desk for help and a computer will be assigned.

The LMTC is located in the basement of the Schauerman Library.

“This isn’t your house or a playground,” Stewart said. “It’s a college campus and it’s made for learning.”

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