The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Editorial-Raising the issue

Student apathy is hard to avoid at any community college. Unlike universities where students are more involved, a majority of students at community colleges have no care for campus related issues.

Last Thursday, 30 people showed up for the rally against the estimated $5.4 billion statewide budget cut planned for the 2009 – 2010 school year. The Associated Student Senate sponsored the event and was expecting 1,000 students to attend.

How did the senate expect people to just show up, seeing that they put forward little effort to inform students of the cause?

If the senate wanted to make a difference, they should’ve tried a little harder.

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The ASB had three weeks to prepare for the rally. During that time, invites could have been sent out via social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, or even through Pipeline. Flyers could have been handed out a week before, informing students that per-unit fees could rise if the budget cut forecasts are accurate.

The job of the student senate, that shares a third of the governance at City College, is undoubtedly a large responsibility. And the added obstacle of unconcerned students doesn’t make the job any easier. But that doesn’t mean that every group on campus fails to get students involved.

For example, the Student Sustainability Coalition has taken huge steps at reducing City College’s energy consumption. The SoMA building, that is planned for construction in 2009, pending Measure V’s approval, will be built under LEED certifications. Buildings constructed under LEED certification will be designed to increase profitability while reducing environmental impact.

The International Club recently held international week that included activities such as dance performances, a tree dedication, and a barbecue at Leadbetter beach.

Every Friday, the campus is nearly empty. The Channels lab, however, is not. With every computer occupied, the Channels staff members are working full-time shifts to publish our print issues.

Although all of our papers don’t get picked up, we don’t give up. Day in and day out, we dig deeper to find the stories that entice readers to pick up our publication. Our online edition sends out breaking news to registered readers in a convenient and informative way to keep readers up-to-date.

Last week, our advisor, Patricia Stark, got a phone call saying that she had to cut out two percent of the journalism program’s operating budget. Since the cuts aren’t going to come from her salary, editor stipends will have to take on that toll. If asked, The Channels would have been happy to endorse the rally in order to raise awareness.

Somehow these other organizations are able to reach out to students, but the student senate was unable to promote the biggest issue this school is currently facing.

In Sacramento, over 2,000 students actively participated in protests against the planned statewide budget cuts.

Our little town may not be able to rally 2,000 students like they did in Sacramento. But with a little extra planning and effort by the ASB, more than 30 might care.

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