Campus Programs Prepare for Financial Strain

MICHAEL J. ARVIZU
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Departments on campus have begun to ready themselves for a tough semester as looming budget cuts take hold of campus funding.

The Learning Center will have to cut its hours. According to Learning Center Director Dennis Doyle, the center will be open during the only summer intersession being offered in 2003 but will be closed on Fridays and Saturdays.

“We’re not sure yet if we’ll be completely open during the time before and after summer school,” Doyle said. “We want to be open and available, especially during times when classes are going on.”

According to Doyle, almost 14,000 students were helped during about 74,000 hours of contact with Learning Center services in a department that is composed of just four staff members and student tutors.

The student tutor training program has also been canceled. This program hires about 30 students per year.

“The budget for student workers is not really under our control, so it’s hard to plan,” said Doyle. Doyle added that tutor training is an essential part of honing students’ professional skills.
“It’s a good thing to do and recommended by our professional organizations,” said Doyle. “We hope to get it back soon.”

GCC’s library, which during the fall semester had to cut spending by nearly a third, will have to cut hours, cancel its workshops and freeze spending on books and materials.

Reference librarian shifts will have to be cut in half, meaning that only one librarian will be available to assist students during peak hours.

The Library will also be closing at 8 p.m. instead of 9, and it will not be open Saturdays; however, last-minute funding by Associated Students of Glendale Community College will allow the Library to be open until 9 p.m. beginning in April.

“I am profoundly grateful to the Associated Students for helping us reopen on Saturdays,” said Ruth McKernan, dean of library and learning resources. “It means so much to the students.”

Elimination of workshops also will affect students.

“We need the workshops to teach people how to use the resources efficiently,” said reference librarian Jeffry Jensen. “We have to show students what to do and where to go to get a running start so that they can do research on their own.”

Jensen described the library workshops as the “central hub” when it comes to learning about the library’s various online resources.

On Feb. 3, representatives from ASGCC and the GCC Board of Trustees attended Lobby Day in Sacramento.

Vice President of Campus Activities Hala Shamas, who attended Lobby Day, believes that any budget cuts should be proportional, not just target the community colleges. Already, the CSU and UC systems are getting less in terms of cuts than community colleges.

“Our job was to make our voices heard,” Shamas said.