Editorial – Get involved

As the Associated Student Senate election approaches, it is abundantly clear that nobody really cares.

There is only a race for one position, as the other five candidates are running unopposed-including a 16-year-old, about to get her high school diploma, for president.

There are more than 800 students enrolled in political science classes at City College.

Is none of them willing to take on the responsibility of representing themselves? Their peers? Their school?

This lack of involvement with the student senate is evidence of a greater, deeply rooted disconnect that exists between academics and extracurricular activities at City College.

The lack of candidates may also be a result of unexpected problems in the student senate this academic year.

President Camila Avendano was reinstated by an 11-2 margin after an extended four-week absence.

The senate decided Avendano was still the best person for the job, although the two dissenting senators felt she had missed too much information.

Then again, maybe the problem is that nobody hangs around campus long enough to notice the many opportunities available.

The Spring 2008 Student College Experiences Survey shows that 49 percent of students spend zero to two hours on campus outside of class. This means that nearly half of students book it as soon as class gets out.

Students want to get involved, and amazing things happen when they do.

The debates preceding the November presidential election saw two venues packed with students. This event was widely publicized by both the Communication and Political Science Clubs, and many teachers offered incentives to encourage students to attend.

City College theater productions and concert performances are highly acclaimed in Santa Barbara, yet only 18 percent of students have attended one, according to the survey.

We have winning sports teams that rarely, if ever, see the bleachers filled with fans. Not even our national champion cheerleaders can attract these crowds by themselves.

With the high-turnover rate incumbent at a two-year college, students alone cannot remedy this problem.

The faculty needs to care-and get involved.

We need a program in place that allows faculty members to sustain successful programs, which is no small undertaking.

The geology department has been advancing student education for 42 years under Dr. Robert Gray. It gets students out in the field with intensive field trips to prominent destinations like the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Death Valley.

Teachers who exercise their ability to bring students together make the biggest difference in their education. Programs flourish when supported by faculty.

When the time and effort are put forth, students learn things beyond what any classroom can teach. This results in not only a fuller education, but also allows students to feel like part of a community.

So go ahead, attend a student senate meeting. Tutor your favorite subject. Join a sports team, or watch them play. Help plant vegetables in the Lifescape Garden.

Involvement is an integral part of the college experience-don’t cut yourself short. Soon you’ll notice the change, and so will everyone else.

Maybe someone will even feel the urge to challenge a 16-year-old for the presidency.