Be informed, get involved

Laurel Hansen, Guest Colum

It’s as if there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done!

Such is the life of a college student. We have to fight this constant battle against time to cram in attending our classes, getting our homework done, showing up to our jobs, providing for our families, trying to have some semblance of a social life and, if there is any time left, getting some sleep. So it’s no wonder working to improve our school doesn’t factor into many of our lives.

Well, here’s the thing — that needs to change.

So many of the important decisions about the future of our school depend on student input and involvement, but most students don’t know how they are made.

For the most part, I’m talking about the committees that members of the Los Med- anos College Associated Students (LMCAS) sit on. It is here where many of the most impactful decisions are made, and believe it or not, your voice actually counts. Debora vanEckhardt, the student trustee for the Contra Costa Community College District Governing Board, LMCAS senator, and Inter-Club Council representative, speaks with authority and conviction on this subject.

“It is really important to have student representation,” she said. “They make decisions without us. Things like that happen all the time because there aren’t students sitting on those committees.”

So if you have the time, look into becoming a student representative through LMCAS, or attend a committee meeting, which lasts about an hour or two once a month. Beyond that, there are other ways to improve our school.

One: Vote!

There are two crucial ballot measures com- ing up in the November election. Proposition 30 and Contra Costa County Measure A. I encourage ever yone to do a little of their own research about these issues, register to vote and have your say in the matter. Heck, you can even vote absentee and have the ballot mailed to your house, easy as pie.

“You actually have a say. Every single student’s vote is worth money for LMC, DVC and CCC,” said vanEckhart.

Get to know who your student represen- tatives are. Even if you don’t have the time to go to meetings yourself, they do. Seek them out and bring issues you see in the classrooms up to them. If you bring it to their attention, it is their responsibility to try to fix the problem. And they will.

Attend the March to March.

Scratch that — rent a bus and drag ev- eryone you know to the March to March. Essentially, it is a march on the state capitol by students to protest budget cuts and misuse of education funding by the state. It is a yearly event in Sacramento that values affordable education and easy access.

Let the government know we’re watching them and that we care about our future. As a bonus, representatives from most of the colleges in the state attend, including some of the ones people want to transfer to, so there might be an opportunity to make a valuable contact.

Lastly, join a club. Get connected.

Many of the clubs on campus—Mighty Mustangs, Honors, Circle K and plenty others—work in some capacity to improve the school and community. These clubs are always looking for new members or helping hands.

Also, those transfer schools are looking for well-rounded, involved members of the student body. Clubs look great on transcripts.

The point I’m trying to make here is that the school needs you. Your fellow students need you.

The future of education needs you, and there are some really easy ways to make a difference right here on campus.