Realizing our opportunities

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By Stephen Cook

This college , although things may seem constant and steady on the outside, is facing a very difficult dilemma. Enrollment numbers are down, money is tight and the future is unclear. Not to mention the levels of student involvement – or lack thereof – on campus.

President Sopcich has recently made a number of important announcements, one of which was his plan to further trim the college’s budget by $3 million. This means change is inevitable, and it must be something we grow to expect.

Now, I am extremely happy to attend this college. It has provided me with many opportunities and has allowed me to grow immensely as both a journalist and as an individual. Though the price of tuition may be on the rise, I still consider the cost a great value compared to that of major four-year universities.

My good experience here means that both as a reporter and a student, I want to see responsible actions carried out from leaders who are being held accountable.

Students should be the main concern at the college; and for the most part, I feel they are. There will always be distractions though: a new program, a new building, a new innovative technology or whatever else may seem appealing at the time, but the money may not be there. It may be better to wait.

On both an individual level and a campus-wide level, we will need to prepare to make do with a little less. I applaud Sopcich’s decision to reduce the college’s budget to prepare for the future. However, I hope once we are in that future, we are still where we want to be as a college.

I don’t want us to be six months down the road and realize what could have been.

I know there is a lack of involvement at this campus – but for once, if something matters to you as a student, now is the time to speak up. If you are a part of a club, department or program that means a lot to you, let everyone know. Talk to those around you; by starting discussions you will find that other students care and have opinions as well.

In addition to directly talking to others, you can share your thoughts through the Campus Ledger. After all, we are here to be the mouthpiece for students. Sending us a letter for publication does not only reach the campus community, but the county-wide community as well. If you let things change without trying to make a difference, then you are missing out on a huge opportunity in and of itself.

If you have a message you would like to share, you can send it to us at scook35@jccc.edu. Please keep it under 250 words and appropriate (for details about letters and guest columns, see page 12).

We publish the letters that we receive, passing them on to our vast variety of readers, including everyone from college administrators to visitors on campus.

Remember, your idea may spark a thought in somebody else’s mind, creating a chain reaction of change across campus.

Ultimately, everything comes back to the student. Through this student-run newspaper, you are able to voice your opinions before decisions are made.

Don’t waste your opportunity to be heard by sitting on the sidelines.

Contact Stephen Cook, editor-in-chief, at scook35@jccc.edu.

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