Staff Editorial: Good riddance spring, hello summer

Unfortunately, Santa Monica College has been no stranger to tragedy and calamity this semester. Spring 2013 has been synonymous with a myriad of morbid firsts that seem intent on lowering the morale of the student body.

Students have endured smear campaigns and apathetic student voters, a bomb threat, a suicide on campus, all before the gunman showed up.

Values cherished by the college's own mission statement are in jeopardy.

Heading into spring from winter 2013, SMC was riding an emotional high. Proposition 30 had passed, the intersession commenced and crisis was averted, the horizon looking bright, and troubles of the past behind us.

The campus was even beginning to forget the pepper spray incident. However, it would not be long before the sense of security and accomplishment was shattered.

The 2013 Associated Students election took place and resulted in Taynara Moura, the former President's Ambassador, becoming the new AS President.

On the other hand, there could not be greater voter apathy on campus when no more than 600 people came out to vote for the ballot initiative elections — less than a whopping two percent of our more than 33,000 student body. The AS even resorted to bribing students with cookies to generate votes.

Eight weeks in, the lackluster attempt at student governance seemed to be the low point of the school season.

A week after the results, there was a bomb threat on the nation's number one transfer school, after a note was left in the women's bathroom. The quad was evacuated and thousands of students either left or missed their classes.

Less than two weeks later, an SMC student was found dead near the parking structure.

Feeling depressed, Tian Lu committed suicide, becoming the first student to do so on campus in SMC's 84-year history, days before Mental Health Week.

Shortly following Mental Health Week, Neiman Jerome Smith made claims to campus police that he had a firearm on campus resulting in an hour-long lockdown; the first lockdown in years.

Smith turned himself into Psychological Services, and thankfully, no one was injured, but the damage to SMC's reputation was already done.

Amid all the chaos and threats of destruction of lives and property, the 2013 study abroad program in China was canceled.

The campus was almost blown up, and shot up, and now students cannot even go overseas to flee the omnipresent danger.

Students should never be afraid to come to campus and yet, with the series of unfortunate events that have plagued the community college in the city by the sea, this is now a sad reality.

If SMC is to move forward, it will take a communal effort. We implore everyone to not be complacent and stay informed about the events going on around us.

Or else, get used to this semester, because this will be SMC, and behold the dredges we have sunk to.