Campus council members discuss campus bookstore, food court and enrollment

Pierce College Council met for its monthly meeting discussing the status of the school’s finances and updates on the progress of campus projects and activities on Thursday, Sept. 26 in the College Services Building conference room.

Like other Los Angeles Community College District campuses, deliberations regarding the campus bookstore spending more money to maintain its operations than it took in last year has become a major concern, according to Don Sparks, a Pierce physics instructor who spoke in regard to the budget committee report.

“The bookstore did dip into their reserves,” said Bruce Rosky, associate vice president of Pierce.

Ongoing discussions regarding restructuring the store’s business models to boost yearly revenue included restricting book sales to just the first few weeks of each semester and maintaining a larger variety of other items on the shelves.

“One of the main problems is students are running to get their books online on Amazon, or not at all,” Sparks said.

Another subject of concern was the new food court and how it continues to remain unused and empty.

“We’re all anxious about the food court,” Pierce Associate Vice President Larry Kraus said. “There have been some recent developments at the board to make the move, or it possibly already has been done, to take the necessary steps and void the [request for proposal].”

Administration was having issues earlier in the year with regard to the district-wide food vendor, making the decision to look at alternative companies to provide the school with services based on a one-year contract, according to Kraus.

Poor enrollment numbers are another cause for anxiety, which the Enrollment Management Committee has linked to challenges with the campus phone system, lack of space in classes, CSUN admitting their largest freshman class, and Prop. 30 opening more classes state-wide allowing students to go elsewhere, according to Barbara Anderson, dean of academic affairs.

Even though the enrollment percentage was not raised from last fall as much as had been hoped, Pierce has confirmed there will be about 80 courses available for the winter intersession beginning Jan. 6 – Feb. 2, according to Anderson.

With the amount of confusion regarding mandatory usage of the new LACCD emails, the Information Technology Committee is strongly encouraging students and faculty to attend their brand new IT open houses on the fourth Thursday of every month, according to Wendy Bass, Pierce’s distance education coordinator.

“It is not a gripe session,” Bass said. “It’s an opportunity to find out what’s going on with the IT department and to get some questions answered.“

The  IT department has also been tackling the issue of the slow internet speed on campus. Plans to add more Wi-Fi towers, one going to the Auto Tech area, as well as the reinstitution of a campus-wide Wi-Fi password are just a few of the ideas being discussed, according to Bass.

“We have a finite amount of Wi-Fi,” Bass said. “Anyone right now can access it.”

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