ASGCC Debates Block Schedule, Budget

It’s crunch time for the ASGCC as it prepares for an eventful month of May, but the issue dominating the table is block scheduling.

Under the block scheduling system three-unit classes would be in session for 1.5 hours, two days a week, either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday.

“All of the Block Scheduling scenarios proposed by the broad-based Block Scheduling Task Force would allow classes to meet for longer time periods each day, but for fewer days a week,” stated Raymond Glienna, Physical Science’s Division Chair, in a recent article for the faculty newsletter, Chaparral.

GCC’s current calendar, which is based on a 15-week-and-one-day semester is in violation of a state law that demands that all California community colleges stay in session for 16 weeks.

According to the proposed schedule established by the Chancellor’s office in Sacramento, GCC must either abandon Wednesday as the first day of the new semester or add two or three days to the academic calendar per year.

The mandate set by the state is twofold, it not only targets the academic calendar, but also the actual hours of instruction.

“A three-unit lecture would be scheduled in two time blocks of 85 minutes each instead of the current three meetings of 61 minutes,” said Gilenna. “Four- unit classes would meet in three time blocks and five-unit classes in four blocks.

If approved, the block scheduling system would serve as the third change in the scheduling system at GCC within the last two years.
This new system may be the most viable alternative for the college because it will “obviate the need for additional faculty costs, allow all classes to earn the extra funding multiplier, keep the semesters shorter and maintain our summer and winter sessions,” according to Gilenna.

The calendar changes may be beneficial to the college, but not everyone is in favor of the abrupt and perhaps even confusing changes it may bring.

“I believe that there must be some other alternative,” said a frustrated Johannes Sanchez of the ASGCC. I think they could have done a better job of explaining the new block scheduling system because it affects the student body and they’re leaving us at a disadvantage.”

Other feasible options may have been possible, but in a system where the dollar holds great significance, the option that garners more funding is the option that will be adopted.

Block scheduling may be the next big change for GCC, but it’s not the only issue being discussed by the Associated Students.

It seems that the pick for John Davitt’s replacement is on the horizon as a decision may be reached by May 15.

On a more bittersweet note, the recent death of Business Communications Professor Karen Marie Pederson has led to the establishment of a $2,500 scholarship co-sponsored by the ASGCC Scholarship Reserve and the Scholarship Foundation.

With the budget always looming overhead the May 4 ASGCC Budget Submittal deadline is rapidly approaching as the Finance Committee debates the allocation of funds.

After weeks of deliberation and analysis over the distribution of the organization’s $260,000 budget the Finance Committee, headed by David Arakelyan, has finally put together the Campus Project Applications.

The committee spent a record two hours presenting eight budget proposal applications to their fellow AS members and is scheduled to spend at least another week debating and voting on the proposals.

While several budget applications were approved by the ASGCC, such as $650 allotted to the Science Education Center for supplies they purchased during their Earth Day events and $2,818 for a new camera and equipment for the Photography Department, the voting was slowed down by some more controversial proposals.

The campus project application that generated the most debate was the Armenian Student Association’s request for $800 in order to print 250 brochures.

The AS finally approved an amount of $400, but not everyone agreed with the decision.

“I don’t know how 250 brochures are going to make an impact,” said ASGCC member Arpineh Hovasapyan. “If you’re going to make brochures you should make a thousand to pass out. It’s too expensive because they can make brochures like the ones we make for less money.”

With four budget proposals approved, the ASGCC must spend several more hours making decisions regarding the distribution of their funds.