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Growing Langara student population means less classrooms and computer labs

Langara College staff has noticed a significant increase in the need for classroom space and computer labs on campus, a demand that they cannot meet

Students are noticing less availability and more people in the Langara College Mac Labs. Photo: Lindsey Lloyd
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Reported by Lindsey Lloyd

Lack of classroom and Mac Lab space at Langara College has become a growing issue with instructors, and students are feeling the repercussions.

Darren Bernaerdt, program of Langara’s publishing department, said one of the drop-in Mac Labs they use in Building A has filled up quicker on a weekly basis. Over the last five years, his class has lost 14 hours per week in the lab, which Bernaerdt said negatively impacts the development of his students.

“I think for those students that want to strive for the very best, and want to put in the extra time, it means it’s difficult to get that,” said Bernaerdt.

Losing extracurriculars

Founder and president of Langara’s yoga club, Rosi Hunter, cancelled classes this semester because of the lack of appropriate space available.

Hunter said she’s frustrated because there are over 400 students on her email list that are very interested in the club, but she cannot build a consistent routine for members because they don’t have an established classroom.

“We can’t build that routine and that’s of course directly linked to not getting a room,” said Hunter.

Possible resolutions

Dr. Ian Humphreys, provost and vice-president academic and students, acknowledges that there is a lack of extra space on campus caused by the rising student population and the increase in programs using computers.

“[The administration] are reopening the campus master plan to explore the possibility of expanding facilities both on main campus and acquiring facilities off campus that would allow us to continue to grow, but they are long term solutions to what is a fairly immediate problem,” said Humphreys.

A short-term solution, in regards to Mac Lab space, would be incorporating the cost of laptops into program fees or having students purchase a laptop as part of their program, said Humphreys.

Bernaerdt doesn’t see this as a solution because it the program fees might become to high for potential students.

“You don’t increase [the number of students] and then figure out where to put people,” said Bernaerdt.

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