We've Got Issues - Academic services

College can be a stressful experience where students often feel they are lost in a maze, pleading for anyone to lend a helping hand.  Colleges should offer the best possible resources so students have a chance to succeed.

Why then does it feel like at SMC we are following an echo?  Maybe it's because many times we are.  Any of us who have waited in line at the Admissions or Bursars Office, can attest to how frustrating and exhausting it can be.  We get treated like a homeless person begging for a free cheeseburger; it's like they want to get rid of us as soon as possible.

Take for instance the sign in front of the Admissions Office indicating they take ID photos there.  After standing in that ridiculous line, I was informed rather rudely that they only take photos in the morning, like somehow I was supposed to know.

I had a similar experience at Express counseling.  I was simply trying to find out what class to take to satisfy my transfer requirements, and after asking if they could show me a class time, the person helping me handed me a course catalog and told me to find it myself because there were other students waiting.

Fair enough I thought, I am perfectly capable of doing some stuff on my own, except when I looked around the lobby there was nobody waiting and when I returned the catalog, the person helping me was laughing while engaging the computer.  So I was kicked out for a funny YouTube video?

Let's face it, many of the people helping us want to give us the best possible advice, but can't because of how crowded it is at SMC.  Enrollment has increased from 32,205 total students in 2005 to 35,232 in the fall of 2010, according to the SMC website.

What SMC really needs are more faculty members to support the large student body.  Only problem, the California Community College Chancellor, Jack Scott, explains that Jerry Brown's 2011-2012 budget cut would take away $400 million in funding for community colleges. 

This seems counterproductive, considering Scott also said, "if just 2 percent more of California's population earned Associate Degrees and 1 percent more earned Bachelor's Degrees, the state's economy would grow by $20 billion."

What we really need is for the state to support higher education so we, in turn, can better support the economy and thus avoid situations mentioned above.