by Heather Morales
photography by Melissa A. Collett
The parking lots at the University of La Verne are almost full by 9 a.m. So when junior Jim Rodriguez and seniors Frank Zappia, David Randall and Robin Forgay meet for coffee at Lordsburg Coffee Roasters, they decide to park in the two-hour spaces in the Wilson Library parking lot.
“After 20 minutes [of circling the parking lots] you just get mad enough to park anywhere,” says Forgay, a history major, as she sips her coffee.
Zappia, a psychology major, says that he does not have class until 9:30 a.m., but he “arrives around 8:30” to find a parking space.
Standing in the parking lot, Randall points to a brown pick-up truck and says “This is the third time that GMC has been around this lot.”
Circling the parking lots, rushing to class, grabbing a quick breakfast and meeting with friends are a typical morning on campus. Many students are already in the middle of their day at 9:20 a.m. Some, however, are still sleeping or barely rising.
Just coming out of his Spanish class, sophomore Jeremy Gonzales saunters across the quad between Miller Hall and Founders Hall on his way to his next class, Chemistry. He stops along the way to talk with friends and meet up with fellow classmates at the Seal.
“I just found out that I have a test and a paper due on Friday. I wish my teachers would converse and realize that I have other classes and not to pile on everything at once,” he says, putting his head down.
While most students feel that the mornings are the best time for classes, others take advantage of the morning to get their work-study hours over with.
“I have to be at work at 9:30,” says senior Amber Rodriguez as she rushes to work at Student Accounts in Woody Hall. “I’ve been at the Child Development Center (CDC) all morning. I have to work here, then I work at Roynon [Elementary School], and then in the evenings I work at Warehouse [Pizza] so the mornings are the only time I have to do my work-study hours.”
Rodriguez is a diversified major who is planning to graduate in May. She undertakes her observations at the CDC in the mornings for a class and then works at Roynon for another class.
Another student on his way to Woody Hall is also on duty, but part of his job is to take his time card to the Payroll office.
At first glance, the campus at 9:45 a.m. seems to be desolate except for the few students in front of the Student Center who stop to speak with one another or the occasional professor walking to his office. But, a peek into the classrooms and the University will reveal that it is brimming with life, with students obtaining the education they desire. Because of the small size of classes, students and professors get to know one another.
Across the campus on a quiet bench behind Daily Theatre, facing the football field, freshman Brian Showalter sits and reads a book he must finish for his English 110 class. An environmental biology major, he finds the bench a “quiet and relaxing place to study in between classes.”
He likes La Verne and says that so far being an environmental biology major is only “mildly stressful.”
With the presidential election rapidly approaching, many students are getting involved locally. Hoping to catch students as they exit class and head into the Student Center, the Latino Student Forum (LSF) sells bumper stickers, buttons and temporary tattoos with the “Clinton/Gore ’96” logo in front of the Student Center.
“We’re just promoting the upcoming elections, registering people to vote and promoting [Bill] Clinton,” says sophomore LSF member Janet Torres.
Enjoying the beautiful day, junior Michelle Runyan studies for an upcoming business math class at the grassy knoll at the Oaks. “That’s all I ever do is math,” she says with a sigh.
However, senior Dan Ferguson opts to stay inside and study because of a cold. In between coughs, he says, “I have a biochem test today, and I’m studying now because my neighbors kept me up late last night.”
Back on the other side of the campus, freshman Jennifer Parsons heads back from her 10:30 a.m. math class to her room in Studebaker-Hanawalt Hall to finish homework. “I have to finish typing my homework for my News Reporting class at one,” says Parsons.
Sometimes forgotten in its location across Bonita Avenue, the University Relations office is preparing to send out media kits before lunch about the upcoming Fasnacht Lecture with featured speaker Janet Schrock, the director of the Americorps program.
“I did the research on her, and I wrote the [press] release,” says Nicole Ramos as she sits at her desk preparing some of the media kits which include pictures. Ramos is the public relations assistant for the University. “I think she’s a very interesting person. She’ll be very inspiring to us.”
It is lunch time, and students, staff and faculty are thinking about what they are going to eat. As the parking lots start to thin out, it is a far cry from three hours ago, when students and faculty could be found circling the lots in a daze, looking for a space to park.
For some, it is the end of their school day. They are on their way home or work. Others have a few hours of rest before they have to be at practice for football or soccer.