Changes in the face of winter

After a consequential Board of Trustees meeting in September, it was announced that the winter session at Santa Monica College was canceled. However, the BOT reversed their previous decision to cut the semester on Nov. 20.

“The first few months were very depressing,” said Parker Jean, Associated Students president.

Jean, who has been vocal in his support for winter session, is pleased with the results of this semester.

“That pain of having no winter motivated students,” he said. “Things are a lot more positive; we have equal access education. It was a collaborative effort across campus.”

Santa Monica College will offer 250 classes during the winter session, fewer class offerings than in previous semesters. An e-mail sent out by Lee Johnston in management services at the college highlights the key differences to winter’s latest incarnation.

“Since winter is very limited, students need to focus on the basics,” said Johnston.

But, only for winter 2013, classes will have to be paid on the same day, or be dropped. There will be no non-payment drop date for students who do not have the funds upfront. In addition, winter 2013 will have no wait pools for classes.

“When it’s all said and done, we’re here to get an education and we need to have classes to do that,” said Jean.

Another change effective as of winter 2013 is that Corsair Connect will block students from enrolling in two classes on two different SMC campuses if there are less than 31 minutes between the end and the start.

The changes have been put in place with the hopes of helping winter go smoothly.

“The change is there because it should have been there before,” said Teresita Rodriguez, vice president of enrollment at SMC. “We have to make sure students have passing time.”

The college will not be offering any kinesiology classes this winter.

“The focus is on classes that are degree applicable,” said Rodriguez. “We are hopeful there will be a level of stability.”

Classes for winter begin on Wednesday, Jan. 2, with courses in over 30 different fields of study, including math, political science, psychology, chemistry, and English.

The changes to winter, and the reversal, have been felt throughout campus, especially in the bookstore. As of Tuesday afternoon, 22 classes have not submitted their book orders.

Ordinarily, professors would have two months to submit their book orders to the bookstore however this semester that time has been cut to one month, which leaves bookstore manager David Dever apprehensive heading into winter.

“There’s a couple of factors affecting winter when it comes to books,” said Dever. “It’s a holiday season so shipping is overwhelmed.”

“If I order today they won’t ship until the 7th, and shipping from back east takes until the 15th,” said Dever.

A majority of textbook publishers are located on the east coast, and between Superstorm Sandy and the holiday season, extra time must be allotted for shipments.

However, if professors procrastinate sending in their book orders, they run the risk of jeopardizing students’ abilities to buy their textbooks on time, which could also end up costing extra money if express shipping is necessary for late orders.

“Any extra time really benefits me and my staff,” said Dever.

Winter is back, but on a strict timeline, forcing students to be mindful of the changes in order to succeed.

“Pay attention to the policies,” said Rodriguez.