Posted at 2:50 p.m., April 8, 2016

Phi Theta Kappa, Student Government Association host forum

Students bring forward concerns

Savannah L. Haudenshild

Understanding student frustrations:

LCCC SGA president Danielle Kienzle reads a card written by a concerned student about snow removal by the dorms.

Phi Theta Kappa and the Student Government Association presented a Student Forum on March 31 connecting students to school administration. Several college administrators sat in the audience with notepads to hear the students, including Laramie County Community College President Dr. Joe Schaffer.

The event was mediated by instructor and SGA adviser Josh Peterson, who read off comment cards written by students and introduced the SGA president along with the Phi Theta Kappa chapter president.

SGA President Danielle Kienzle started the meeting by explaining the purpose of the event. Students were asked to speak on issues that they had in different areas of the college and suggest a change for those issues. Presenters were also permitted to make any comments of appreciation for LCCC that they felt needed to be expressed. Students that didn’t wish to go to the podium or weren’t going to be present for the meeting wrote comments down on note cards that were read by the mediator.

PTK presentation

Phi Theta Kappa chapter president Steven Le Blanc followed SGA by giving a brief introduction to spark the thoughts of students in attending.

Le Blanc’s presentation centered on a survey that reached more than 500 students regarding resources and overall experience at LCCC. Questions in the survey, included the quality of advising and experience with development courses. According to the survey, 44 percent of students reported they did not have an adviser.

“When you think about it, almost half the students coming to the college don’t have a faculty adviser, or say they don’t,” Le Blanc said. “Kind of something to think about.” Results also showed that 26 percent of the students going through orientation were not informed about Eagles Eye or D2L.

The survey brought to light few students that were taking advantage of scholarship money. Results from the survey showed that 50 percent of them didn’t apply for any scholarships.

Student concerns about advising

Once the introduction was finished, students were asked to line up beside the podium to present their concerns.

Many students held opposing viewpoints on several subjects. Some students spoke about their distaste for the college success course COLS 1000. Others found that the course had its moments of merit. One student explained his appreciation for the course’s emphasis on understanding financial lingo.

There were also concerns about online courses. Le Blanc, speaking as a student and not the PTK president, stated that he thought online courses should be looked into. Online math courses received a higher number of complaints from remedial students.

Leif Carpenter, public relations officer for PTK, said, “I’m now failing a remedial math class that I was ill-equipped to take, as a remedial student I don’t learn that way.”

Carpenter also said he experienced problems with advising and shared some of his own problems being juggled by advisers that weren’t familiar with the degree that he is seeking.

Students came forward to say that in this last year alone they’d had as many as four advisers and that many students were placed in classes that didn’t apply to their major.

A veteran student asked for smoother transitions for veteran students. He talked about the GI bill that is awarded to retired military students and the benefits there in for the college to make room for those students returning from service.

Art student concerns

Two art students also came forward to speak about the art programs at LCCC. One requested that more classes be offered. She gave her own personal experience trying to graduate but being unable to because of one class that is offered once a year, every spring, and no other time.

“I am supposed to graduate this semester. I’m actually supposed to walk in May, but I have come upon a couple problems,” she said. “Because I am a fine arts graduate, it’s looking like it might not happen.”

She said she was missing the class because it’s given at the same time as a painting class that is also necessary for her to graduate.
Another art student brought up her concerns about art supplies in the bookstore, asking that the school provide some basic supplies for sale in the store such as paintbrushes, paint and sketchbooks for art students to purchase without having to go off campus.

Maintenance concerns

Students also came forward with complaints about snow maintenance. Students spoke about their experiences falling on the ice, dealing with snow drifts, and navigating walkways that were not cleared. There was an account of a woman who uses a wheelchair having to wait for a walkway to be cleared before she could get into the school while the stairway was open.

A few students with disabilities came forward to bring their concerns about how disability access worked at the college. One student mentioned that his disability paperwork didn’t go through and nothing was ever done about it. Other students were bothered by the amount of work disability students have to go through in order to get their needs met.

An international student from Albania spoke about his experience with a program he is in at LCCC. The program he is vying for only has 17 spots and if he doesn’t get into that program he’ll have to go back to his home country. It bothered him that a student from Colorado who only has a few hour drive to get back home could take that spot.

Through the issues that many students had with the college, there were many students that just wanted to give thanks to certain faculty members and programs that had helped them at LCCC. Students wanted to express their appreciation for the work that the staff does here at LCCC.

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