Students who register for classes should not have difficulty finding seats. This especially applies to students who are paying to attend a course that they must pass to graduate.
And yet, this is exactly what happens all too often at Center for Constructive Alternatives lectures in which enrolled students must compete with campus visitors to find a spot. If they cannot, they risk relocation to Dow A & B, at which point they may as well watch the livestream from the crowdless comfort of their own rooms. (But since students are required to physically check-in, that isn’t a viable option.)
Instead, the college should reserve a student seating section, limited to the number of students registered for the CCA. Visitors could also have their own reserved section, so long as it does not keep any students who are paying to be there from finding a seat. Anyone else who wants to listen to the lecture could find seating in the remaining space in Phillips Auditorium or the Dow A & B overflow room.
The current system results in students frantically pacing the aisles looking for an open spot while the lecture is about to start and awkwardly squeezing past annoyed attendees to grab a seat in the middle of a row.
Until Phillips is expanded and a long-term solution is reached, a reserved section is an easy fix that would make the seating process smoother for everyone. It will also present a better impression of the college to some of our biggest supporters, who don’t need to see a horde of frustrated students scouring the auditorium for an empty chair.
Students deserve a place in their classrooms. Give them one at the CCA.