The effect of Donahue’s reduced hours

By Claire CrittendonEditor-in-Chief

Donahue’s sewing labs on what would have been a bustling Tuesday evening.
Photo by Claire Crittendon.

In pre-COVID times, Donahue Center for the Arts’ sewing labs were alive with fashion design majors plugging away at their garments 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Now, the labs are only accessible from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on specific days, with a lab supervisor present.

Senior fashion design major Maggie McGovern recalls the effect this has on her first-hand. “It definitely affects how I work, there’s a lot less space, my home machine is not as nice as the industrial machines in the studio and I am kind of at the mercy of my roommates I have to be respectful of their space and level of noise especially when they are sleeping,” McGovern said.

She continued to explain that she feels the shift in hours is reasonable given the situation, but hopes the spring semester will bring changes that more resemble the norm. “I have two jobs and most days I cannot get to working on my collection until 6 pm or later so it would be nice if maybe seniors could have the option of going later at night,” said McGovern.

Sam Bettencourt (‘20) is serving as Donahue’s lab supervisor. “I think it’s mainly just a learning curve for everybody involved, students and teachers.

Photo by Claire Crittendon.

Bettencourt mentioned just how much of an impact COVID-19 has had on not just design students on campus, but those off-campus as well. He recalled how collaborative of a field fashion design is and the effects of isolation on creativity.

“Everybody has such different schedules,” said Bettencourt. “It’s hard to conform to this singular schedule, to find time to work [for everyone.] If a major has class during the workshop hours on Tuesday and Thursday, they don’t really have any time to come in here [to] work.”

Junior fashion design major Elise Stanbury would like to see a change in the hours, saying “a way to change the hours would be to keep the two extra help days but then also include the weekends, where all fashion students do is swipe in with their Lasell ID to get in on the weekends.”

Photo by Claire Crittendon.

“During the week, I am overloaded with assignments and classes and not always able to work on my garments, but I can always dedicate time on the weekends compared to the weekdays. I feel like the design students should be given the same amount of opportunities as other majors get for time to work outside of the classroom, because there’s the STC and library where it’s open everyday basically but for Donahue, the overall building closes at 5 p.m.”

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