This weeks rants and raven

Santa Monica College should provide more money for Student Help jobs on campus. With rising tuition costs, the amount of financial aid students need has increased substantially. The demand for Federal Work Study pay is high and the aid available is low. The total Federal Work Study allocation for 2004-05 was approximately $100,000 less than in 2003-04. The fact that more of the students awarded Federal Work Study sought and found jobs on campus exacerbated the situation. In years past there weren't as many students looking for work on campus.

"Rising costs in tuition and basic survival has risen dramatically in the last few years," said La Rue Muhammad, Communication Department secretary.

When SMC's departments had their budgets cut drastically due to the state financial crisis, most lost their Student Help funds. Student Help is money the departments are allocated by SMC to pay for student workers who do not qualify for Federal Work Study. If a department is allocated Student Help, the amount depends on what the Administration deems necessary for the department's size.

With Federal Work Study ending May 15, most departments have no Student Help money to pay for their students to work until June 30 because they didn't set aside a budget for it.

"The needs of sincere, hard-working, conscientious students are not being met by the State or Federal governments," said Muhammad.

Departments need to start allocating more money to the Student Help budget so that students can earn money. Students find it convenient to work on campus and for others it is the only place they can legally work.

"All of these factors make it very difficult for the average worker, let alone a student, who in most cases cannot work full-time and maintain 12 units or more to attend college," said Muhammad.

The solution is not to just say "I'm sorry." Steve Myrow, director of financial aid, wrote in a leter to faculty, "The spike in student earnings over