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To the students:

We hear you. Your protests led to some surprising changes; I’ve never seen a school respond to a situation more quickly. We want you to continue to make your voice heard.

One other way to tell us your needs is through your Associated Students representatives. They expressed to us what your needs are. Communicate with them; they’re in rooms where decisions are made.

A large part of the current frustration is because if we can’t give you your classes, you can’t move on with your lives. But these changes don’t always happen so quickly.

The math department has massive projects going on to streamline the curriculum and make it more relevant to more students’ educational goals, and other such efforts are being made across the campus.

We have programs in place (like Chem Jam and Math Jam) that are designed to get more people into, through and out of PCC in an efficient way by offering extra assistance and guaranteed classes.

While the campus is clearly divided, I can’t pick sides, for I don’t see different sides. From what I’ve seen I would say:

1. Every employee on campus wants every student on campus to achieve his or her educational goals, and in an efficient way.

2. It is clear that there are problems.

3.The situation can be improved.

No. 1 will always be true. I’ve never heard a teacher or administrator say, “I wish we could turn more people away,” or, “Not enough of our students are failing out.” No. 2 isn’t always true, but only because problems aren’t always so obvious. And clearly No. 3 can be said on any campus in the country.

The divide is not in that we have contrary goals, but that we don’t all agree on how best to achieve our shared goals. We all think we have the best solution, but whether that comes from a student or a staff member, we can’t try them all at the same time.

Sometimes we pick the wrong one and have to fix it. Sometimes choices are so poorly made that the fix is to replace the person making them. Sometimes we pick the right one, but it still isn’t perfect, so people suffer anyway. In any case, it’s rare when a big change happens within the span of a semester, but we’re trying to make things better.

Some of us are doing everything we can to get more people through here. If someday you have to protest again to make your voice heard (provided we maintain respect for one another and it doesn’t lead to violence), then so be it.

But, I also encourage you to take a moment to look around and see what good things are happening. I want you to know that even through all of this, I’m proud to say that I work at the best campus I’ve ever set foot on. We will get through this.

 

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