Written by George Apikyan
Lockers are an important piece of equipment all throughout a student’s middle school and high school career.
Not only does it protect our backs from the three hundred pound statistic book we never use, but it also allows us to freely carry more important things like our Macbook and Dasani water bottles.
As someone who transitions into college accompanied with 17 units, we tend to be overwhelmed with all the textbooks and supplies needed to survive college.
There are students who spend most of their day at school frantically racing from one class to another with little to no breaks. Finding themselves with their English textbook in U.S. History class could bring more stress to already stressed out college students.
Going back from class to your car is an epic all in its own as well. It doesn’t become as accessible and it becomes that much more difficult and annoying to lug around all these books when they aren’t needed.
Hassle aside, this also benefits student health regarding back issues and those who already have health issues.
Research from spinecentral.co.uk shows that prolonged back stress can prove to give serious back injuries in the long run to students.
“Elementary, middle, and high school students must often carry backpacks that weigh enough to cause chronic back pain, poor posture, and even decreased lung volume.”
This stress doesn’t just disappear as students get to college life, it carries over tenfold. Purses and satchels are of course added into this as well.
“In another study involving a sample of 1540 metropolitan school-aged children, over a third of the children surveyed reported back pain. In addition to carrying heavy backpacks, female students and those diagnosed with scoliosis had a greater association with back pain. Children with access to lockers reported less pain.”
If back pain is left to manifest itself then it can cause serious problems further down the line. As a result, a lot of people who start suffering from back pain have to visit a physiotherapist to help to treat it. Physiotherapists, like those at ckphysio.co.uk, can increase a patient’s range of motion, improve strength and endurance, and reduce joint pain and stiffness. However, obviously this costs money and no one wants extra bills coming from the doctors’ office when it can be prevented by taking weight off the shoulders.
On top of this, other special products may be needed to counteract the back pain that was caused by heavy backpacks. For example, soft mattresses for back pain issues could help a student’s pain but it shouldn’t be required in the first place as the issue can be avoided. A lot of people underestimate how important a mattress is to the body’s health. If a student is suffering from back pain issues that are caused by the weight of their rucksack then the issue will be amplified by a bad mattress. When you lay in bed at night, you want your back to be supported by your mattress. This way your body has more of a chance to recover and rid you of this issue. If you’ve got a lumpy, old mattress then you won’t get any support and the issue will be made worse. While the heavy bags are what’s causing the issue, students should also be looking elsewhere to see why their back pain is becoming worse. With this being said, if the issue could be avoided in the first place by using lockers then schools should definitely consider using them.
If any of the empty spots on campus can be converted into little pit stops with lockers, it could help alleviate the stress and back pain of carrying all that heavy text all over the place.
One solution would be the new keyless lockers, a system that allows students to find a vacant spot with a digital code to lock and unlock at their convenience without exterior lock. It functions just like an iPhone, and can be integrated all along campus.
If the Pierce Bookstore can have a little location to drop off backpacks, there could be areas like that all around campus to provide a more accessible environment for everyone to share.
Written by Jesse Bertel
Outside of athletics, locker rooms are unnecessary at a college.
Pierce College needs to renovate the old locker room areas instead of trying to reuse them.
Pierce’s lockers have been out of operation for about 17 years and the cost to repair them exceeds the budget.
Any argument that new students should use them is ignoring the lack of locker room demand. It can be an issue for students by trying to pass off unsafe and outdated lockers as usable.
Old lockers are prone to theft. In fact, according to KCAL 9, the locker rooms at Pierce were burglarized in 2013 during a football game. Around $15,000 worth of personal property was stolen, including wallets, clothing and cell phones.
Currently, there isn’t a large enough demand by the students about a need for more locker room access. Many students just leave their personal property in their car before their classes and any other type of locker room installation can bring more losses than gains.
If Pierce is considering giving students access to old locker rooms, you have to wonder why they weren’t accessible before.
Safer lockers are an investment out of the college’s way, and if the locker room space is truly needed, then the only thing standing in the way is a small budget allocated for the renovations.
Pierce students deserve updated and safe equipment, especially when it comes to the safety of personal belongings.
Updated locker rooms could help boost student morale, especially among those in athletic programs. With many of the Brahmas having bad seasons, renovated spaces could be the thing that pushes them past the hump of losses.
Locker rooms are the center of team chemistry and a modernized locker room creates a culture of winning.
Locker rooms are also the most important place where recruitment occurs. New student-athletes aren’t excited to join a team that uses old smelly locker rooms. If coaches want to attract better players, they need to entice the potential athletes any way they can, and locker rooms are a great way to start.
There’s a reason that top colleges invest millions of dollars every year in locker room renovations.
According to the Chicago Tribune, a Washington Post review of 48 athletic departments in wealthy college sports schools revealed that in 2014 these schools spent at combined $772 million on athletic facilities. This represents an 89 percent increase since 2004.
Obviously, it’s better to invest in future growth and seek the best goals for the students, even at a community college.
No one would argue that Pierce needs flat screens and reclining chairs in the locker rooms like elite colleges enjoy, but something more secure and readily accessible for modern students needs could raise school pride.
The locker rooms in question are not, however, even in the athletic department, but general use lockers by the bookstore. Since lockers aren’t something most college students use, it would be a waste of space to keep old lockers that no one will significantly need.
Instead, the space by the bookstore could be used to expand it’s area. The bookstore is often extremely crowded, especially during the beginning of the semester. Perhaps that space could be renovated to give the bookstore more registers to reduce long lines.