Student Government was visited by several college board members on Thursday, Oct. 3. The organization was joined by Dr. Judy Farmer, Kelly Rohder-Tanelli, Dr. Yolanda Farmer, Rob Galick, Jim Serr, and Dr. Randy Fletcher to address several pressing questions.
The questions at hand were compiled prior to the meeting, and consisted of concerns over new academic programs, ebooks, and the tutoring center, among other things. Another recurring concern was the student use of the activities center, which houses a gym.
The activities center gym is only accessible to students who are involved in official JJC athletics. This issue also ties into something the student government has been debating over and asking questions about: the student activities fee.
This fee is paid by all students who attend JJC, and part of this fee is put into the activity center gym. The activities center has, in the past, hosted events such as Student Government’s giant volleyball game. She could “entertain” the use of the activity center gym by nonathletic students, Farmer said.
There are also new academic programs in the works, which were discussed.
The Spring semester may hold a new ‘medical assisting’ program for health science students.
Another medically based class set possibly coming to JJC is a respiratory therapy program. U-Building is being considered for the program’s class space. Respiratory therapy is projected to come to JJC in the next two years. These learning opportunities would be in addition to JJC’s other medical programs, and will not be replacing an existing program.
Ebooks were also discussed in the meeting, as well as their accessibility. Some members of student government were contacted by students to ask about prices, ebook choices, and to question whether or not ebooks are a good idea because of accessibility issues.
Prices of ebooks are largely out of JJC’s control, though the college does get bundles for ebook access with the physical copies of certain books. The accessibility issue comes into play when a book is strictly an online text.
Purely online texts raise concerns for low income members of the student body who do not always have access to an internet capable device, or internet access itself, to view the text.
JJC does not currently have a way to rent out devices for at-home viewing of these online texts.
A member of the Student Government asked about the possibility of laptop rentals, but this was deemed unnecessary, labor intensive, and costly to the college.
“We don’t have a rental program at this time. We have not considered a laptop renting program at this time,” Jim Serr said. The JJC library does, however, have desktops available for student use.
The JJC bookstore does sell chromebooks, but not laptops as they previously did. There is a variety of space available on JJC’s Main Campus for students to access the internet. Data from studies conducted by JJC also suggests that students come to JJC with several internet capable devices of their own.
The tutoring center was another large part of the discussion held between student government and the attending administrators. Several students have had issues concerning the tutoring center. Some students experience overbooking for tutors, or are put into a group tutoring session when they’ve requested a one-on-one time for assistance.
Mathematics assistance seems to be a recurring problem, as there are not many tutors for the higher courses of math. These tutors are also only available on certain times and days. A few students have experienced an issue wherein they will be booked for an appointment, and a subject, during which there will be no tutor available for the subject they require help with.
Discussion was held over how to address these issues, but also over the possibility of weekend tutoring was brought up. “[It’s] something I’ve been working with my team on,” Farmer said.