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Saturday, April 10, 2021

If you build it, they will come

Measure CC, a $3.3 billion bond, was authorized by the LACCD Board of Trustees to fund projects and reconstruction of old buildings throughout the nine campuses.  

Associated Student Organization President Efren Lopez said that Pierce College should consider using that money to create a new and expansive building dedicated to students because the current ASO location doesn’t fully support the needs of the community.

“With the student building, you’ll have that center for students who actually created that to manifest the pride that comes with being a Brahma,” Lopez said.

According to Lopez, the bond offers the campus access to a lot of money.  

“The district is looking at plans for new buildings and renovations, and they have a specific criteria,” Lopez said.  “One of the biggest criteria is to support services for students, and the first thing that comes to my mind is a student union building.”

According to Lopez, the student union building will be an area designated for the student body, the food pantry, campus clubs, the B.R.A.V.E Initiative and will provide an area for students to socialize.

According to ASO Vice President Isha Pasricha, creating a student union building will help elevate student life at Pierce College.

“There’s a perception about community colleges that students always go in and out of classes and that’s about it, but we want to change that norm. We want to change that notion and tell people that we are working on things to make this campus more engaging for students,” Pasricha said.

According to Lopez, a student union building will fix a lot of issues. One of the main issues is a lack of space.

“We had troubles with the food pantry and trying to find a proper location that is adequate,” Lopez said. “ASO has been pushed to smaller areas. All we have is one office.”

According to Lopez, four people are sharing one office, and it’s hard to concentrate or have meetings.

“Imagine four computers in there, four desks. It’s really a small space,” Lopez said.

Lara Conrady Wong, the student engagement coordinator at Pierce College, said that the ASO is invested in the idea this year.

“ASO is very passionate about having a place on campus for students to congregate, learn together and be with each other between classes,” Conrady Wong said.

According to Conrady Wong, ASO is finding ways to make this happen. Lopez said that ASO created a task force during a recent meeting to resolve this issue. Some of the tasks include getting the student voices out through petitions, surveys, and by creating student interest to address issues at the Board of Trustees.

“Any time you are making plans about a building on campus, it’s a longer process,” Conrady Wong said. “That’s where we are, at the very beginning stages of exploring that and figuring out how ASO can help to make that happen.”

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