Saturday Learning Lounge, a student service


Senior Laura Whitaker tutoring a student during Saturday Learning Lounge. This tutoring club is open every Saturday from 9-12 p.m.. Students can sign up through the GM website. (Photo courtesy of Bhaskar Singhvi).

Estelle Timar-Wilcox

As second semester starts, you’re probably getting back into the usual student routine of cramming your hours of weekend homework into Sunday nights. If you need a little extra motivation to finish homework, extra help on an assignment, or just some time set aside to work, the Saturday Learning Lounge is a great resource.

Saturday Learning Lounge is a service available every Saturday morning in the GM library that gives students a quiet place to get their work done. Students can sign up online to either come in to finish some homework or request a student tutor for a specific subject.

The three seniors who run the Saturday Learning Lounge – Laura Whitaker, Neil Menon, and Kat Hansen – have worked to improve the program’s organization and keep it running smoothly. Whitaker mentioned the few changes the seniors made this year to improved the awareness of the program and communication between tutors and students.  

“Saturday Learning Lounge is a lot more advertised [this year],” Whitaker said. “We have an actual website, so I feel that Saturday Learning Lounge is a lot more accessible, not only to students but to parents who might be looking around the Mason website.”

The new website also allows students to sign up for a tutor mailing list. “These additions have made the service much more user-friendly,” Hansen said.

Many students use the resource as a way to get volunteer hours, but Whitaker has found lasting impacts of her time volunteering there as well. “From tutoring, you learn a lot about yourself,” she said. “You build relationships – I still talk to the people I’ve tutored.”

“Knowing that I have helped these students build their understanding of a certain subject is extremely fulfilling and has even led me to consider a career in education,” Hansen said. She also mentioned that tutoring can help the tutor academically, too. “Tutoring has also helped me with my own studies, as it has forced me to retain a lot of the math that I would have otherwise likely forgotten.”

Saturday Learning Lounge is a resource available to all students, not just underclassmen, and you can sign up to tutor as an underclassman, too. And to make coming to school on a Saturday morning a little easier, the seniors sometimes provide free food.

Saturday Learning Lounge could be a helpful resource to keep in mind going into the end of the year – studying for final exams or SOLs can be hard when the workload is heavy and summer is so close.

“It’s a great time,” Whitaker said. Whether you need some help with homework, service hours from tutoring, or just a quiet space to work, “It’s a really nice way to start [your] Saturday morning.”