Cal State LA students navigate night school


Will Baker

The University Student Union is one of the brighter places on campus at night.

In the evening hours, Cal State LA students can attend classes on campus. The length of each type can vary depending on the subject itself. An archeology seminar, for instance, runs from 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Activity-based courses like two-dimensional animation run six hours until 7:20 p.m.

Emily Medina, a freshman, currently takes philosophy of film from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

Though the time slot was not her first choice, Medina discussed how the night class managed to fit within her schedule.

“I signed up for my classes late,” Medina said. “I have a job, but I come to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and rest days are for work. I feel like it’s a good balance of the two.” 

When it comes to factoring in transportation, Medina isn’t looking to take any course that runs from a similar time frame in the future. 

“I wouldn’t mind a Zoom class; I would just try to avoid taking any night classes in the future because I don’t live close enough,” Medina said.

Luz Ramirez, a senior who takes integrative field practicum, a practice class for social work majors, expressed her unease of using public transportation at night. 

“I didn’t have a choice,” Ramirez said . “With field practicum, you get assigned to it. Since it’s so late, I really think they should take into account transportation times. It gets darker earlier now, too, so taking the bus feels a bit unsafe.” 

Ramirez also mentioned how a Zoom option for the class would better suit her schedule. 

“Last semester, Zoom made everything more convenient for me,” Ramirez said. “I felt like I could better focus on the material in my own home. Now I have to worry about making it to class on time.” 

In a previous article, the UT covered the matter of in-person versus online schooling at Cal State LA for this fall semester.

The dimly lit lights and the nearly empty campus contribute to students’ general feelings of wariness while at school after nightfall. The University Times covered this subject previously in an article published last semester

Melina Vargas, a sophomore, raised concerns over the lack of safety she feels while waiting for her class to start. 

“It’s very creepy. I’ve had times where I’m walking at night, and a guy comes up to me and says an inappropriate thing,” said Melina Vargas, a sophomore. “They should have someone keep watch, especially around the Fine Arts and King Hall buildings since it’s really dark.”

Similar questionable activity is not a new phenomenon, according to Vargas.

“That’s the main issue; there’s been a lot of creeps around lately,” Vargas said. “Last semester, there was a guy [allegedly] taking pictures of girls’ feet in the library. There should be more security available. Even if it’s just a guard circling around that building, keeping an eye on things.”

Melina discussed how the evening classes were the only options available that would work into her schedule.  

“I tried taking classes during the day to match the rest of my schedule, but the only options were either in between classes or right after. I would only have a minute to run from Salazar Hall to the Fine Arts building. Especially with the recent heat, I’m not sprinting that distance with a nine-pound computer in my bag.” 

Cal State LA currently has public safety escort services in place, available 24/7  to anyone on campus. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors are encouraged to call (323) 343-3700 for any safety concerns.

According to the university, there have been no reports to The Department of Public Safety about an individual walking up to women at the library at night and shouting inappropriate comments. The Department of Public Safety encourages students to use the RAVE Guardian app to easily contact them. Students can also call by phone to: 323-343-3700 or visit them in person.

The Department of Public Safety has also “deployed Community Service Officers and Eagle Patrol to patrol parking lots and other areas of campus.”

This story was updated on Sept. 20 with the university’s statement.