By Annie Moore —
Students enrolled in summer courses have faced many obstacles this term, leaving some feeling that getting a leg up isn’t worth the hassle.
Construction has taken over the Belknap campus, making it much more difficult for summer students to get to campus, and perform in class at the highest level. Printing has been scarcely available, library resources limited and parking downsized all in the name of improvement.
According to the University’s Office of Public Accountability, there are currently $344 million worth of construction projects going on in and around campus. These include improvements to the library, the Belknap Research Park road project adjacent to the Speed School, academic facility expansions and numerous new housing complexes. U of L’s Capital Construction Projects list does not include other local projects such as the Speed Art Museum renovations, and construction on Warnock Street, which also impact students as well as faculty.
Senior communication major Cassidy Teague commutes from Jeffersonville, Indiana everyday, and says her commute has been much more difficult during the summer semester due to all of the construction.
“I have to allow extra time every morning now,” Teague said. “It’s difficult, because you never know if they will have a street closed, or extra traffic, so you don’t know if your normal drive will take 15 minutes or 30.”
Once on campus, if a student needs to print, what normally would be a 10-minute errand turns into a gauntlet. Ekstrom Library, home to the Learning Commons, which houses just fewer than 100 computers, is under extensive renovations. As a result, much of the library is closed, including the Learning Commons. This leaves the eight computers in the Heine Bros. Coffee, seven of which are currently functional. The Learning Commons is also home to the majority of the printing stations. With that access restricted, there is only one printer available to students in the library, also in the Heine Bros. That printer has a defective card reader, making printing there a challenge as well.
“I tried to print at the library one morning, and had no idea it would be impossible,” Teague said. “That was the morning I had to have a paper printed and it made things really hectic.”
There are a select number of other available printers around campus, but nowhere near as accessible, well known or numerous as the printing stations in Ekstrom.
Many students only enroll in a handful of classes during summer terms to fill in holes in their degree plan, or to get ahead for future semesters. As a result, these student pay more because they are not full time. This means many of the students on campus during this summer are paying more than they normally would, to have less places to park, a harder commute and have less access to campus resources.