Staff and students oblivious to $350 million bond

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By Daniel Flores

By Daniel Flores

A $350 million bond was issued to RCC this year, however, staff and students seem unaware of how the money is being planned to be spent or that the funds even exist.

Measure C was approved by voters when it was put on the ballot in March 2004. The bond measure is set to fund a multi-level parking structure, a school for the performing arts and other various construction projects on all three campuses. But despite the plans being laid for the college, many faculty members and students feel they had little or no voice in how these funds are to be spent.

“I’m not sure where the money is going,” says Professor Peter Matsos. “I’ve personally never seen any administrators consulting faculty members about where it should go. I wish someone would have asked me my opinion.”

Matsos, who teaches Psychology on the Riverside Campus, said that the college needs to concentrate on “bringing our classrooms into the 21st century.” He proposes that classrooms need to be multi-media ready in order to provide a more enriched learning experience complete with DVD players, PowerPoint presentations and other audio visual aids. “I’ve taught at other community colleges where there are six computers right there in the classroom,” he said. “There is no big to-do.”

When asked if she could explain what the Measure C bond is, student Lindsey Ward shook her head slowly and curtly said, “I have absolutely no idea.” This is the reaction common among most students.

“If I could decide how the money was going to be spent I would definitely put in another computer lab on the Norco Campus. This campus is just filled to capacity and there is no place where you can just go and easily type up a paper and when more no place where you can just go and easily type up a paper.” Ward said, “It’s just unacceptable.”

Projects slated for construction over the next few years include a complete overhaul of the A.G. Paul Quadrangle, early childhood education centers on the Norco and Moreno Valley sites as well as the Riverside School for the Performing and Media Arts, a specialty school to be built on Market Street where the RCC Systems office now stands.

Dr. Carolyn Quin, interim director of the Riverside School for the Arts, says the curriculum will be project based, collaborating with institutions such as the University of Redlands to put on Music and Drama productions.

Students enrolled in the school, set to open in fall 2008, will participate in an intersegmental curriculum, meaning that students enter in 9th grade and leave with a bachelor’s degree.

“We’re trying to break down the barriers between high school and college,” a beaming Quin says.

Addressing a small sub committee Assistant Vice President of Finance Aaron Brown said, “We have to identify the needs of the campus then measure what we can fund. We don’t want to construct a new building if we don’t have the funds to run it.”

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