Letter to the Editor

I think this school is in great need of a new science building. There are lots of classes taught on campus that can take place in any classroom. Desks, chairs, paper and pencil are you need to get the class functioning. The same cannot be said for many other departments on campus, namely the science department. You cannot have a chemistry lab, or microbiology lab in just any old classroom.

Labs take up a good chunk of the classes that biotechnology majors like me or other science-related majors have to take. There are limited rooms and times available for these classes, due the limited availability of classrooms that they can be held in. They require certain types of equipment, such as autoclaves to sanitize, PCR machines, and ventilated hoods just to name a few. And there are various safety standards for the setup and material used in these classrooms that make it impossible to just convert any classroom on campus into a laboratory.

Ask anyone who has to take chemistry: Finding a lab time that works well with your schedule can be cumbersome. There is only one chemistry lab that services all chemistry classes. Labs for any science class take at least two, and often three or four hours out of a day. My biotechnology 2020 class is four hours long and is currently shared with the forensics classroom located clear out in the Education Building (most of you probably don’t even know where that is). The length of lab classes greatly limits how many classes can be taught in one laboratory classroom in a day.

I think the special requirements needed for many science classrooms put it at a higher priority for expansion than other departments on campus. The demand for degrees in science and technology is growing, and our school facilities to teach these classes is currently not up to par compared to our neighbors BYU and the U of U. I think all in all, the university has its priorities in the right place.

-Trevor Zobell, Biotechnology, Junior

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