By Mike Ramirez
If you have a set of eyes and ears you’ve likely noticed that East Los Angeles College has been under construction for what seems like an eternity.
While the completed parts of the new campus certainly look nice, it is important to question whether or not these additions can benefit ELAC’s overall image as a school.
Those of you who remember what the campus looked like before the additions know it was not always so nice.
Even the awful construction sites that we are forced to walk by everyday are more pleasant to look at than the old campus was.
This outdated image, unfortunately, has remained with ELAC ever since.
I spoke with several people about the topic. Some of these people were students at ELAC.
Others were simply residents of East Los Angeles.
Every one of these people agreed that they did not think highly of ELAC, simply because of its image and word-of-mouth alone.
The additions to the campus seem to be doing a great job at improving the image of the school.
“I think with the addition of the Vincent Price Museum, (ELAC) took a giant step,” an unidentified person said.
This is the same he that, when asked what they thought about ELAC before the additions, responded simply with the word “ghetto.”
While the memories of the old campus certainly contribute in determining people’s opinions of the school now. I believe another factor to be the campus location.
The campus in Monterey Park itself is not in a dangerous area.
However, right near the heart of East Los Angeles, which is considered by many to be a bad area.
However untrue that may be, this association hurts the image of the college.
I have spoken to several people that have said that ELAC has the best professors of any community college.
These were all people that have attended schools such as PCC and Santa Monica College, as well as ELAC.
If you were to ask someone who has never attended ELAC, which community college had better instructors, they would be more drawn to choose one of the other aforementioned schools.
I know this because I asked them and that is exactly what they said.
Keep in mind that these are same people who based their opinions only on word-of-mouth.
Could the improvements done to the campus help sway these people’s opinions entirely? I think it’s possible.
I have lived roughly two blocks away from ELAC my entire life. My original image of it has improved drastically since the new additions were made.
Not only that, but out of everyone interviewed all agreed that the work that has been done.
It is impossible not to look at the school in a different light.
The bulk of people that appreciate ELAC, are those who have actually attended.
The completion of the new buildings drives the point home.