Times are changing

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With Delta College losing more and more money students are footing the bill in a variety of ways. The population is also dealing with reduced class sizes.

Here at Delta, the times are changing.

REDUCTION OF CLASS ENROLLMENT

Budget cuts resulting in decreased class offerings have left Delta College students begging and pleading to get into general education classes for the fall semester. The semester started with classes filled to the brim, with teachers being unable to accept many into already jam-packed rooms.

In the past, students could take their time picking out classes. That is no longer the case. Because many classes were already full, admissions to Delta College were closed on July 20, four weeks before the semester even began.

Potential students, at that point, could only register for spring 2013.

An email sent to faculty members from Director of Admissions, Catherine Mooney this summer, said no students not admitted could be added to classes: “Under no circumstances should you allow a student to sit in your class waiting for the spring application to be processed,” it read.

With fewer classes and decreased funding, students are coming back from four year schools and expecting to get right into Delta.

Delta can no longer be that fall back.

Sevrina Flores is working on earning her associate degree.

Flores transferred from University of California, Davis to Delta. Since then, she’s been working toward her degree. However, she’s still one class short. Thanks to reduced course offerings and overfull classes, she hasn’t been able to take the course.

“Delta’s enrollment issues are due to financial issues,” she said. “I think they should only allow one week for refunds for a dropped class. Therefore, people who aren’t there to actually further their education won’t have incentive to take up space in a classroom where motivated students should be.”

Previously, students had a few weeks to pay their tuition fees.

But in fall 2010, Delta instituted a “Pay to Stay” system. This new protocol requires students to pay fees within 10 business days from the date of registration.

Also, a change put in place last semester resulted in a moving up of the drop dates. The last day to drop without a “w” is a little over three weeks into the semester. This is a change from only a year ago, when drop dates, including those to drop with a “W” were later into the semester.

— Elizabeth Fields

DISTRICT FUNDS CUT

The economy has taken a huge dive over the past couple of years and community colleges incuding Delta College are feeling the impact.

Applications for admission closed July 20 to “control” the number of students seeking enrollment.

According to Catherine Mooney, Director of Admissions & Records this is a necessary change because last year Delta was $4 million over-capacity.

The school does not get paid for the number of students they have enrolled

“We provided $4,000,000 in services for which we received no payment,” said Mooney. This creates a significant budget shortfall for the District.

According to enrollment records, last year on the first day of this semester, there were 17, 798 students.

This year on the first day, there were 16,578.

Enrollment is down 6.7 percent compared to last fall.

Likewise on the eighth day of the semester, August 22, there were 18, 244 students compared to the 20,620 from the same time last semester.

That’s an 11.6 percent drop in enrollment.

With November elections coming up there are numerous propositions going around for people to vote on.

One in particular, Proposition 30 would raise $6 billion a year, the amount that would have to be cut from schools if it fails.

Six billion is a gamble when it comes to education. In this economy do we really want to take that chance?

“If the governor’s initiative passes, it means that we don’t have to make additional budget cuts this year, if we are still far over cap, no additional classes will be added, if we are not too far over cap, we may be able to add back a few classes,” said Mooney.

There are a lot of ifs involved because the proposition is still being voted on but if it were to pass, it would alter Delta drastically.

However if the bill passes and fails numerous classes would have to be cut.

Mooney said Delta has already identified most of those.

The classes will be cut before registration for the next semester so students are not affected by being in a class that will be cut and having to go through the process of finding a new class and obtaining a refund.

Proposition 30 aside, Delta still has numerous cuts to make to achieve a balanced budget.

The goal to achieve this by is three years, using reserve funds to cushion each year so cuts can be planned accordingly.

The adopted budget was made available at the Planning & Budget Committee meeting on Aug. 26.

— Haley Pitto

PARKING FEES ENFORCED DAY ONE

This semester, parking permit fees have increased from $22 for vehicles to $30, and $16 to $24 for motorcycles.

Daily permits rise slightly $1 to $2. The escalating costs of being a Delta College student are increasing once again with these new permit adjustments.

But the new parking implementations are not as bad as students think.

Campus police gave information on details students should know about permit increases.

A conversation with Sgt. Mario Vasquez about the new parking costs allows students to see the interworkings of exactly why permit costs have risen.

The increase in cost was a consensus agreement between various campus committees that included the Associated Student Body

Government, campus police and others who deliberated  whether it would be beneficial to campus or not.

Delta meets at about average in parking costs when compared to other California community colleges, Vasquez said. Standard cost for the campus parking permit machines is about $20,000, and the cost for upkeep is pricey.

Part replacements and the installment of new dollar acceptors has cost a pretty penny, but was needed to make parking convenient for students.

Within the first and second weeks of this semester many students ran into problems with permit machines believing they were broken.

The machines go into energy saving hibernation after about 5-10 minutes, Vasquez said. A button has to be pushed to wake the machine up, and then permits can be purchased. New signage is in the works to be put up for the students who have a hard timeunderstanding how these permit machines work.

The funds from raised costs go to parking fund repairs, help in funding campus safety officers and student officers, and even some positions in maintenance.

Many students complained about the lack of a grace period starting this fall semester. Vasquez said there was never an implemented set grace period for students prior to this semester either.

In general it is better to purchase a student semester permit, because it saves money in the long run. A ticket costs $33, only a few more dollars than a permit.

“Why Gamble?” Vasquez asked in regard to permit purchases.

— Valerie Smith

CORRECTION: Sevrina Flores’ name was omitted from the print version of The Collegian published on Sept. 7, 2012. We regret the error.