Divided We Stand

Posted on 15 April 2014 by admin

STLCC campuses lack unity of one college 

Robert Knight

Robert Knight

By: ROBERT KNIGHT
Staff Writer

For several years now, St. Louis Community College has been promoting the “One College” concept in which STLCC portrays itself as one college with multiple campuses and education centers. That concept seems very reasonable and maybe even laudable from the organizational management perspective of administrative senior leaders. From the perspective of the typical student, however, exactly what does “One College” really mean, if anything at all? My guess is the vast majority of STLCC students are at least indifferent if not completely apathetic to the whole concept.

Venturing out to speak to a few students about the idea did not provide any evidence to refute my initial presumption. The unanimous reaction from a handful of other students was basically a blank stare. And, why not? After all, the reality is that other than the main STLCC Website we are not aware of how or even if the STLCC administrators are actually doing anything to proactively promote the concept that STLCC is one college with multiple campuses and what exactly that can or should mean to students.

onecollege

Sure, once we are an STLCC student we can enroll in any class on any campus because all of the campuses and education centers use the same enrollment system. So, that is great for the students, especially the students who are willing and able to enroll online. We can also get a degree or certificate from any of the campuses regardless of where we take classes as long as we meet all of the requirements. This is outstanding for the students and a great function of the “One College” concept if that is why we can do that.

But is that the reason? My guess is yes.

STLCC does not promote any joint student activities between the campuses to help promote the idea that we are an integral part of one college. The only exception that readily comes to mind is a joint Student Government meeting that rotates between the campuses. The bottom line is STLCC campuses are not doing regular field trips or anything else in which students from one campus visit another campus to participate in some joint activity or event. Next, would they even do that if they had the chance?

One thing that is a direct result of the “One College” concept is that we here at Meramec lost the Magic, as in the former name of our sports teams, along with some teams. In all fairness the other campuses also lost their sports team identity when athletic competition was consolidated and redistributed to specific campuses. And of course all of us got stuck with the “Archers” as our team name, a name that is arguably among the least inspiring names possible, especially after someone realizes the name does not actually refer to the real sport of archery. Finding students who even know which team Meramec is the home campus for is not much easier. For the record, Meramec is home for baseball, softball and women’s soccer.

But, since our home sports do not even play games on campus, with the exception of women’s soccer, and since STLCC sport teams in general do not aggressively promote their schedules let alone their existence, why should Meramec students even care about any of the STLCC teams?

Other than the ease of registering for any course on any campus in the STLCC system there is only one possibility for Meramec students to care much at all about the “One College” concept. This possibility relates directly to STLCC athletics and whether or not Meramec students and our student activity funds are serving as a cash cow for athletics in general and the teams on other campuses.

 

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