Students Troubled by Class Cuts

Luis Rodriguez

Glendale College has been struggling with the budget for many years, and next year could be worse for students as cutting the winter intersession and other measures are under consideration by the budget committee.

“We are looking at a $3.8 to 4 million budget cut,” Ron Nakasone, executive vice president of administrative services said. “The government proposed increasing taxes for five years,” he said, referring to the June Tax Extension Package. “The governor is trying to get this on a ballot in June. If it passes, the budget will be reduced by $5 million. If it doesn’t pass, the budget will be reduced by $10 million. Either way there will be a reduction of classes.”

Many people assume that tuition fees pay the cost of maintaining the college. This is incorrect. “The state funds us on enrollment,” said Nakasone. “We’re generating more student enrollments than we are getting paid for. There won’t be any new employees and we will be reducing student workers. We will cut traveling fees. The board is reviewing whether they can get a furlough. There may not be a winter intersession next year and there will be a reduced summer this year. The budget committee will try to protect the regular semesters. The majority of cuts will be in the winter and summer.”

Mary Mirch, vice president of instructional services, said,: “We are looking at the budget; There is a $4 to 5 million decrease. We are going to have to look into other options.”

Lack of funding has had a drastic effect on the number of classes that are being offered. “We cancel classes if there is not a minimum of 15 students,” Mirch said. “Staff have taken a pay cut. We are looking for options on how to survive the next few years. We spend hours in budget meetings. ASGCC addressed the budget on Feb. 23. We will look at everything that benefits the students.”

Harut Minasyan, a sophomore said, “I rather there not be a winter session so people don’t get their hopes up. I’ve been going to GCC for two years taking over 15 units almost every semester.”

Even with priority registration, many students aren’t getting the classes they need. “I was waitlisted initially in organic chemistry despite registering the very minute of my allowed time,” said student Arabo Andre Avanes. “It is absurd that each semester business classes are funded and left unfilled yet chemistry, is being treated as if expendable.

“It is an unimaginable view of society…. Poorly funding science shows an unconcerned, careless outlook.”