Replacement takes time and change is limited to renovations.
By Cassandra M. Rodriguez
Tables and chairs, not desks, in classrooms is the district standard, but not every college has been alloted the budget to meet that standard.
“The direction that the district is going is providing tables and chairs where possible in classrooms,” said David Mrizek, vice president of college services at this college.
Classrooms have to sustain an average number of students for it to occur, Mrizek said.
“This has caused some difficulties in buildings like the Chance where the classrooms are small and putting tables and chairs would reduce the capacity dramatically, but we have been doing that in buildings and rooms where possible,” he said.
“Tables are probably better because they have more space and feel more connected as a group,” Travis Doyle, radio-television-film sophomore, said.
“I believe Northeast Lakeview College is all tables and chairs because it’s new and I think every room at Northwest Vista College is all tables and chairs,” said John Strybos, associate vice chancellor of facilities.
“A lot of the older buildings, we haven’t gotten to, so they are going to have desks,” Strybos said, adding as the colleges have opportunities to renovate buildings, tables and chairs will replace desks.
“I don’t know that it’s a requirement or a policy because it’s more like a practice,” he said. “It’s the best practice we should be doing.”
He said part of it is how the physique of students has changed over time and it is easier for housekeeping to clean around tables compared to desks, which also will save money.
“For the majority of the student population, the tables and chairs work better than desks,” he said. “It’s about providing a more effective learning environment for students.”
Strybos said having tables and chairs in all rooms is funding constrained. “I have zero budget to buy furniture so if it is my job to buy the furniture, it’s not going to happen,” he said.
“The exceptions are when we need total renovations in some of our buildings like the Moody Learning Center here at this college,” he said. “In general, case by case, building by building, room by room, we’re trying to put tables and chairs in all the rooms and there is no set deadline,” Strybos said.