Though Pasadena City College (PCC) is an institution that likes to think of itself as a campus that seeks to meet the needs of its students, it continues to fall short of that premise by bringing unneeded corporations such as Starbucks and Follett to campus rather than working to improve upon certain student services.
Take for instance the Lancer Pantry and the prevalent issue of food insecurity on campus. Even though the pantry and the LA Food Bank visits to campus work to alleviate this problem, it is a lot of students to try to feed.. In fact, bringing not one but three Starbucks to campus was a thoughtless move for PCC, considering many students go for cost free food options such as the Pantry instead of the high prices of the mermaid coffee chain and campus cafeterias.
PCC has a reckless pattern of putting money, approvals and time into interests that don’t directly benefit the campus community and rather act as red herrings to the actual issues that need addressing.
For example, moving the Follett corporation into our campus bookstore may seem harmless, considering the plan to offer year-round textbook rentals, as well as offering snacks and an eventual redesign of the interior.
But why did we need to copratize the bookstore in order for these initiatives to happen? Something like textbook rentals or even low to no cost textbooks should have been implemented sooner, including the zero textbook initiative that can greatly impact students’ success in their classes.
PCC continues to look outward to bring the money in, which is a big part of the problem. We should be looking at what we can do to improve our campus, so students feel comfortable enrolling here, ultimately giving the school money.
Enrollment on campus has dropped recently, mostly for the facts that employed people don’t feel the need to attend school, the Promise program deterring out of district students, and undocumented students fearing crackdowns from the Trump administration.
If we could spend less money on say, a ridiculous consulting firm for a bogus presidential search and invest it in services that would draw students to attend, we wouldn’t need to hope for big businesses to bring in the green. Instead, we could expand the Promise program so that it accommodates out of district students, actually follow through with the proposed safe zones on campus, and offer flexible classes for working people.
We could actually have money to get better services for disabled students, like the worn braille signs, as well as finally instating the veteran’s clinic after years of being passed over. It’s not even limited to those alone, considering the numerous services that PCC offers but are not publicized enough for students to benefit from them.
A community college that is a top 10 Aspen Prize winner should really act like it and care more about its students and less about bringing corporations to campus that only put defective bandaids over its numerous problems.
PCC, your students need you, it’s time you start helping the people you owe your very existence to.
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