Today is a normal day, but we are going to make it intense. We are going to make it extraordinary. All of us. Together.
“I wish they would open on weekends so I could catch up on my work.” I have heard this phrase spoken in my classes time and again. Apparently it has been uttered many more times than what I thought. Tayler, an Elementary Education major, graduating after this semester, was working on the terminal next to me, and for a Friday night, our conversation was not concerned with what bar or party we might be going to. Our conversation was about our campus not having holiday hours for those of us needing to get more work done. I was one of those showing up to campus hoping to go to a computer lab or library.
We walked to every building and checked every door, and none was open. Campus closed. I saw guys leave a while later, while I sat outside the River Drive complex doing homework and reading textbooks for a few hours. Our conversation was not traditional for a Friday night because our campus is non-traditional. Most students here work full-time or at least half-time. They have families and other varieties of occupations that create constraints on their ability to dedicate a majority of time to school during the week.
Tayler was engaged in her paper the next day as I walked into the library. She was receiving feedback on what to leave in, and on what to edit out. As I sat at the next terminal working on my Management chapter, her adviser asked her: “Are you coming tomorrow?” “I wish,” responded Tayler. “They’re not open on Sundays.” “Why aren’t they?” asked her friend. Tayler and I glanced at each other because our Friday conversation had gotten us to that question: Why isn’t our campus opened on Sundays? Why are computer labs not both available on weekends?
We hope that our administration on campus will be elated to know that students are learning and paying attention. In my business courses for instance, I learned that a “proactive change is planned change, and it involves carefully thought-out changes in anticipation of possible or expected problems or opportunities.” Being that our campus does not have both computer labs open on weekends and we are not open on Sundays, proactive change has not occurred in this scenario, and so now, reactive change must come into effect, and this action consists of “making changes in response to problems or opportunities as they arise.” Honestly speaking, it has not been a problem, because we have made it through. However, that is not the point. Great communities grow from lucid, mature leadership, and by sharing these concerns with them, we have afforded them the ability to enforce those qualities by seizing the opportunity to make our campus more efficient.
Macomb and the Quad Cities together, comprise Western Illinois University, and as such, should receive equal opportunities. One student’s importance in Moline equals the importance of a student in Macomb. If one were to visit the Macomb website, we would find that their library is open on Sunday from 1:00 P.M. to 12 A.M. Most major universities also keep late hours on weekends for their student body and staff. U of I Urbana-Champaign for example, stays open at least until midnight. Back to the business courses.
By opening our computer labs and our library on Saturday and Sunday, the administration can take advantage of the opportunity to crate competitive advantage for itself. Providing the prospect for students to make full-use of University resources seven days a week, puts WIU QC campus, on par with any campus throughout the nation in providing academic opportunity to the student body. Furthermore, by opening the computer labs along with the library, WIU has now more than tripled the resources available than if it were to only open the library. This strategy also creates allowances for work-study employees to fulfill some of their work hour commitments. Word of mouth and social media, along with a campus assessment drawn up as a formal survey made available to the QC student body, can seek feedback on student satisfaction regarding the extended schedule for lab and library hours. These results can then be added to pamphlets, and to ads in every media source made available to the public and to potential students. This action lends more credibility still, to the University’s image of caring for the advancement of students’ opportunities on campus.
Tayler is a great example of the great quality of students we have here on campus, and we should continue to cultivate their spirit of volunteerism, awareness through critical thinking, selflessness, and proactivity. She will most likely not see the benefit of our petition, because she will have graduated after this semester. Yet, she has embraced it enthusiastically as praxis, because as an observant and critically aware teacher, she understands the importance of proactive change, and leaving a positive legacy for future students. Let us all leave a positive footprint by signing the petition to have our administration make this change a permanent fixture on our campus schedule.
Today is a normal day, but we are going to make it intense! We are going to make it extraordinary. All of us. Together.
Otilio E Rosas