Standing room only

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For students, being late to class has an added consequence: they may find their class short on desks.

Senior, Rebecca Fiore has suffered through desk shortages in several of her classes, the most recent being a history colloquium course last semester.

“Our class was in a small conference room with one long table on the third floor of Powdermaker Hall and the size of the class was too large,” Fiore said. “Students who were able to locate spare chairs would sometimes not have table space. These students would have to use their laps, windowsills or radiator tops in lieu of a desk.”

Fiore cited Kiely Hall and Honors Hall as having the most problems with desk shortages.

Sidney A. Grimes Jr., an administrator for campus plant operations and construction services, is aware of the shortage and attributes it to budget constraints.

“We have, however, secured some additional funding to purchase tablet arm chairs on a more consistent basis, and have developed a system to track shortages, repair and replace damaged tables when found [and] as needed,” Grimes said.

Grimes is optimistic that the new program will lead to a resolution with the improvement in his department’s ability to monitor the problem.

Miriam Green, a retired administrative assistant who now works part time in the math department, places the blame for crowded classes on too many classrooms having been converted into offices.

“The human resources office was put in Kiely in the late 1990s or early 2000s. They used four classrooms to build that office and at least 10 other classrooms were made into offices,” said Green.

Green also said oversized desks are part of the problem. Where there are two desks, three could easily fit if they were not so big, according to Green.

Media studies professor, Moya Luckett, has dealt with desk shortages for the past two semesters.

“On average, my rooms would be two desks short of what we needed,” said Luckett. “That’s not including chairs that may have been broken. Students would sometimes spend 10-15 minutes looking for a spare desk because most other classes were too full. They would miss out on parts of the lecture and that wasn’t fair.”

Desk shortage hasn’t been much of a problem this semester for Luckett, something she attributed to lower enrollment in her class. However, the problem still persists.

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