By Erik Luna
The budget cuts that East Los Angeles College has suffered may soon cause changes in the academic year, and may cause problems for both students and instructors.
These budget cuts have made many instructors at ELAC think twice about how they are running their classes, and what can be done to maintain a responsible use of materials.
With the changes being brought forth by the district’s budget cuts, this is one fear many teachers have.
“I’ve talked to my boss, and it’s almost a sure thing that we are going to start charging material fees of $20 up to $30 starting spring,” said Robert Aaron Lyle, department chair of the photo department. “This actually might not be a bad thing though, because when students start mixing their developer, they will think twice about what they are doing, thinking ‘OK I paid 20 bucks for this’,” said Lyle.
One thing that the instructors have been reassured of, is that whatever materials they absolutely need for their classes, to be taught efficiently, will be provided.
“When talking about classes like chemistry or life sciences, we have to provide the instructors with the necessary materials because, for example, you can’t teach chemistry without the chemicals,” said Richard Moyer Vice President of Academic Affairs.
What the budget cuts seem to not be affecting is the courses that are offered at ELAC. “We have no intention of cutting any classes, because we know students need them. Will everyone be served? No. But we are trying our best, because no instructor wants to turn away students,” said Moyer.
Even though these cuts will not be made from the academic programs, many cuts still affect the classes offered at ELAC.
“We have first-class performing arts facilities, but our budget has been cut back to a level of 20 years ago,” said Michael Kasnetsis Department Chair for Speech and Theatre Arts. “It’s unreasonable to expect first class results with the level of a budget support from 20 years ago,” said Kasnetsis.
The art department might even see an increase in instructional fees as well, anywhere from $10 to $16.
Even the journalism department’s student newspaper, Campus News, has seen reductions in their budget from $30,000 to $20,000 last year and finally $9,000 this year.
Even though these budget cuts are affecting ELAC, it’s still not stopping the students from enrolling.
“Yes we’ve been cut, but we’re making the best of the situation. We increased our enrollment from 24 students to 28, which equals up to 83 students in just the chemistry department,” said Alan Khuun, department chair of Chemistry.
ELAC in general raised its enrollment as well, from 27,321 students in 2010 to this year’s official headcount of 28,093 students.
“It’s all about planning and prioritizing. Showing a connection with the budget committees, and student committees, and all the other committees, so in the end we can make some good decisions,” said Moyer.