Today I was invited to speak to the Johnson County Community College Student Senate. I had to skip my economics class in order to make the event but it was worth it. The students honored me by listening to my reasons for running and by asking me questions which included:
Is there monetary compensation for serving as a trustee? No, the trustee position is unpaid. In fact, when I become a trustee I’ll have to quit my job in the campus library in order to serve. However, I will gladly do that in order to serve our college.
Will you help with disbursing unawarded scholarships? Yes. I will propose a collaboration with the JCCC Foundation to examine scholarships that have gone unawarded for more than one academic year. One option would be to secure permission from the scholarship funders to release a portion of those funds to the general scholarship fund. When applicants meet the requirements of those specific scholarship, the funds will revert back to the original scholarship parameters. In this economy, any scholarship that goes unawarded is a wasted opportunity.
In the same meeting, an administrator informed the Senate that JCCC will eliminate late enrollment in fall 2009. The college will offer more late start classes to compensate. A senator asked if this was a proposal or if the deal was done. The administrator confirmed the deal is done. Another senator suggested the college push the implementation of the new policy to spring 2010 in order to allow outlying communities to prepare their students for our change in admission procedures. The administrator said the timeline is set for fall 2009.
When asked if student employees who work registration will have assistance when dealing with aggressive people wanting to enroll late, the administrator denied that students work in the registration area. I corrected him by saying students do work in that area to which he replied they are EMPLOYEES first and students second.
This surprised many senators especially since the administrator is the head of Student Services. For him to refuse to acknowledge that student employees work in his area then to insist they are employees first showed his inability to understand the role of students and issues important to us. It’s also another example of how some on campus think our college motto, Learning Comes First, is simply a silly catchphrase we print on brochures …