Student enrollment falls to lowest level since 2003

February 25, 2013

By Nash Kurilko

Photo from of StateUniversity.com

Photo from of StateUniversity.com

Student enrollment at College of Marin has plummeted to the lowest level in a decade as the school faces severe cuts to course offerings, higher fees and a much more difficult  financial aid environment, college administration officials said Tuesday, Feb. 19.

Enrollment dropped to 6,620 students this semester. In comparison to Fall 2012, there were a total of 7,256. The high-watermark of attendance was 2010, when roughly  8,200 students were enrolled.

Over the past year, the rate has gone down 9.8 percent from 7,337 students in the Spring semester of 2012, mirroring drops in enrollment statewide.  As far as student workload goes, this semester’s average units increased to 7.4 credits compared to 7.2 credits for Spring 2012.

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Students join protest against oil pipeline

February 25, 2013

By Kyle Dang

College of Marin professor Joe Mueller and members of the new Environmental Action Club show support for the movement against the KXL pipeline at a satellite protest in San Francisco.

College of Marin professor Joe Mueller and members of the new Environmental Action Club show support for the movement against the KXL pipeline at a satellite protest in San Francisco.

College of Marin students and instructors attended a satellite protest in support of an environmental movement to stop a cross-country natural gas pipeline on February 17. Sixteen members of the newly reformed Environmental Action Committee took the blank ferry to San Francisco and joined what one of the main organizers of the event, 350.org,  claimed was just under 5,000 people.  The San Francisco protest was part of a larger group of demonstrations happening across the nation.  Collectively, it was the largest climate rally in our nation’s history.  The primary reasoning for the protest is the fear that the pipeline will destroy local environments and poison the land surrounding it.

“It was my first protest.  I’ve never gone out and done something like this before,” said Elba Allen, a COM student and roster member of the EAC. “I’ve always wanted to, but it’s hard working and going to school.  It was nice to go out and do my part, and feel a part of the community.  It definitely had a positive impact on me.”

Other EAC members who attended the protest echoed the sentiment.

“I haven’t been to a protest in quite a few years and I forgot about the group camaraderie you feel with complete strangers.  It’s like cheering for a sports team,” said member Emily Wilson.

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A basic breakdown of financial aid

February 25, 2013

By Cecilia Jordan

The Financial Aid office in the Student Services Building is pictured here on a less busy day.

The Financial Aid office in the Student Services Building is pictured here on a less busy day.

Attending community college can be a make-it or break-it situation, especially if the prospective student is taking a full load of classes. Generally, students tend to get a cheaper version of the lower level classes needed for Bachelors Degrees and beyond. Even at a relatively affluent school like the College of Marin, tuition goes up every year, more fees are added, books get more expensive and students are faced with the daunting question of how they are going to pay for it all. For thousands of students across the country, financial aid is the only way to go.

While the process of obtaining financial aid can be like a winding road of speed bumps, students can have a great deal of their educational bill paid for.

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Power outage at COM: Alleged drunk crashes into pole, 20,000 without power

February 25, 2013

By Lisa Kelly

On Tuesday, February 19, a severe power outage caused darkness for up to 20,000 PG&E customers, including the College of Marin Kentfield campus.

According to the Marin Patch, “The outage began at 6:04 p.m., and shortly before 7 p.m. 11,000 customers were still without power.”

Andy Barclay, public relations officer for the CHP Golden Gate division said, “the accident was on Wolfe Grade and Poplar, a man was trying to negotiate a turn and traveled off the road and hit a power line. Alcohol is believed to be a factor but is still being investigated.”

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New Science Center now open

February 2, 2013

By Chris Vannarath

A view of the front of the new Math and Science Center, the building is LEED certified.

A view of the front of the new Math and Science Center, the building is LEED certified.

Opening its doors for the first time to students this semester is the new Science Math Central Plant (SMCP) building on the Kentfield campus. College of Marin began breaking ground for the new 70,000 square-foot building in mid-September of 2009 in the upper quadrant of the campus. The SMCP budget of $52.2 million was a part of the $249.5 million Measure C bond passed in 2004. The new SMCP building was to better help teachers and students with more resources and better labs.

The Science Math and Central Plant building will host a multitude of classes once it is fully completed. The facility will house classes for Science, Math and Nursing programs, an IT department, and a central power plant. Classes such as anthropology, taught by Kathaeryne Soluri, geology, taught by Steven Newton, several math classes, computer skill classes and nursing classes will all be held in this one building. Kathaeryne Soluri, a part-time teacher here at College of Marin since 2008, is very impressed with the new SMPC building.

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Series of new parking lots open this semester

February 2, 2013

By Johnny Bransford

The lot pictured above is staff-only, for now.

The lot pictured above is staff-only, for now.

Parking is never something any student looks forward to upon arriving at school, but this semester is a little different. With several new lots opened up, parking is becoming less of a hassle.

More than 100 spots have been opened, ranging from Lot 17 on Laurel and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, to Lot 4 by the new SMN building. With construction recently being completed, Lot 9 has increased its parking by numerous spots as well. Staff and handicap parking has increased in Lot 16 and Lot 3.

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New articles uploaded

New articles have been posted to the News, Theater, Dance, Visual Arts, Student Opinion, Faculty, Softball and Column pages. I am still getting the hang of WordPress and will hopefully be installing WordPress MU so that we can have multiple articles to scroll through on more than just the main page. Meanwhile, Vol. 11 Issue 6 has been printed and you can pick one up on the college campus.

More articles and photos to come soon. Vol. 11 Issue 7 should be printed around Feb. 25.

– Chelsea