Opinions needed

There’s a place for everything, including your thoughts on the Pierce College campus. The Associated Students Organization (ASO) is planning to place suggestion boxes around campus where students can have a place to put all their opinions and recommendations about the campus.

“It’s kind of a great idea because I could see the potential in this college, just maybe more voices have to be heard,” kinesiology major Michael Magana said. “I would love to see more agriculture, to see more green and cleanliness toward the restrooms, so I guess that stuff can go in the suggestion box.”

The idea was brought up in a senate meeting last week by ASO senator Rita Ngaka. It’s not the first time the school has tried to put out suggestion boxes, however, this time they hope to encourage more responses by placing more boxes around the campus in accessible areas.

Rita Ngaka, an ASO senator, recommended the suggested box to be put on campus to increase students involvement.

“Primarily our job as senators is to advocate for students,” Ngaka said. “Yes were students, but we’re only one student, so we only know what we’ve been through personally, and that’s very limited because it’s only ourselves, so if we’re going to advocate for the entire student body we need a place where we can get complaints and what the students want, not just our own experience.”

Ngaka, said the suggestion box is merely an idea but is still in discussion. The ASO seemed to be interested in the suggestion box on campus or online.

“I just thought of the suggestion box, we haven’t really talked about how we’re going to do it, where it’s going to be, how long it’s going to be there, is it permanent,” Ngaka said. “It’s more of an idea at this point.”

“We’re hoping that maybe we can get more student engagement with it because our main focus should be on our students,” ASO President Barbara Lombrano said. “We’re supposed to be talking to students on a daily basis and finding out what issues they’re having, good and bad.”

According to Lombrano, most students aren’t aware they can come to the ASO with their issues so that they are able to advocate for them.

“The associated students are the voice of the students that sit on different committees,” Juan Carlos Astorga, dean of student engagement, said. “When students pay the $7 ASO fee, that goes to fund a budget which is used to provide engagement activities, programs and events on the campus.”

ASO is in discussion about also making an online suggestion box for easier access, although it may interfere with the anonymity they want to assure to students.    

“Someone may want to submit something anonymously, so if you’re doing it online then you’re gonna have to put your email address, so we figured we get it both ways,” Lombrano said.      

According to ASO Treasurer Mher Mkrtchian, the suggestion box was discussed, but nothing has been casted yet.

“On the ASO website people could submit a request online or complaint about something or feedback of an event,” Mkrtchian said.

ASO will be in charge of taking in the recommendations, then routing them to the right sources and making sure to follow up.

“We can be a vehicle to address some campus needs so that our students have resources available to them,” Astorga explained.

The cafeteria opening is just one of many outcomes from student outreach to the ASO, and currently Lombrano revealed she is focusing on getting discounted Metro passes for all students, including part-timers.

“If anything that comes through the suggestion box seems like an appropriate request to submit immediately, we’ll definitely use it through the contingency funds that have been set aside for new proposals, recommendations or requests.”         

The ASO office is located near the cafeteria and the Library / Learning Crossroads. Suggestions are welcome in person, and soon anonymously through the suggestion boxes. Every voice is welcome.