Policy indicates that babies can be allowed in class

UW Tacoma offers many resources to support and assist students with their educational goals while they work towards a degree.

Childcare and family support are one of the many programs offered through the university. UWT is partnered with Children’s Museum of Tacoma. A lactation station is located in GWP 410 for faculty, staff and students. This station is only accessible with a code that can be obtained by contacting the Department of Student Engagement or the Department of Student Success. The station has an atmosphere comfortable for breastfeeding and includes soft rocking chairs, tables, lamps and electricity outlets for breast pumps or other devices. Information about the room is distributed by Student Engagement through social media outlets and brochures are provided during orientation.

Students who are in need are allowed to bring children to class, although professor approval is needed beforehand. As the UW Tacoma Policy on Children in Class explains:

“While we recognize that many students have childcare needs, we ask that you not bring children to class. Generally, children tend to be disruptive, and often times the subject matter being discussed is not appropriate for them to hear. If you find yourself in a situation where you have no choice but to bring a child or children with you, you must seek permission from your course instructor prior to class. If permission is granted, you are responsible for seeing that the child or children are not disruptive.”

Kristi Mae Soriano-Noceda, Program Support Supervisor of Student Engagement, mentioned that the issue is less of a policy and more of a statement. Dean of UWT student conduct, Ed Mirecki also said “There is not a policy at UWT, and allowing children in the classroom is at the discretion of the program and/or faculty.” When asked what he would recommend to students who are struggling with their babies and children he said “I would encourage student parents to contact Childcare & Family Support Services in the Office of Student Engagement. This program can assist students in connecting with resources both on and off campus.” Furthermore, he mentioned that in order for policy to change he would recommend that students address the Faculty Assembly. “I would encourage students interested in this issue to contact ASUWT to discuss the possibility of a new policy.

ILLUSTRATION BY ALEXX ELDER

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