Opinion: Un-involved – too many students are simply concerned with their classes, not the campus

When individuals are enrolled in college, it seems their focus is only on completing their classes and heading straight back home.

Why is this, one may ask? Numerous explanations arise, including the lack of available time to commit to extracurricular campus activities and students being oblivious to these same activities occurring in the first place.

At the end of the day, students have a choice in how to spend their time, and as recent studies have revealed, they have the time to commit to American River College and truly expand on the knowledge they gain from the classroom outside of the typical lecture, assignment, and test.

“The only resources I use are the ones the library offers. I don’t have the time in my schedule to find out about any other resources or activities our campus has to offer,” said Diamante Robles, a current ARC student and business majors.

The argument that a student cannot allocate the appropriate time to invest in their campus stands on weak water when several factors are acknowledged.

College students on average spend 3.6 hours a day on their cell phones and smartphones alone, according to the latest Colle Explorer study from re:fuel, a leading media and promotions firm.

More importantly, they spend approximately three to five hours on social networking – daily.

The stark reality is that, while things like children, jobs, and marital and social obligations can and often do get in the way of investing further time into the college campus, accountability is what is truly missing.

According to the Education Department’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, or Ipeds for short, only 50 out of the more than 580 public four-year institutions report on-time graduation rates at or above 50 percent for their first-time, full-time students.

At some point, students have to look in the mirror and really ask themselves how serious they are taking their college education, and more importantly, how much they may be neglecting the college experience.

“They [students] don’t get involved … if they had something to look forward to when coming, they would,” said Frankie Johnson, who is the Student Personnel Assistant at the Center for Leadership and Development on campus.

“They believe getting involved will take up too much of their time – you have to be willing to commit yourself to something,” she added.

Is there a lack of club activities on campus that might be contributing to this mindset that seems to plague the student populace?  On further review, this is not the case, and student apathy remains a prime culprit for blame.

A quick look at the ARC active clubs list online currently shows a whopping 55 clubs currently active, with clubs ranging from video game interests and vegetarian lifestyles to political party affiliations and religious beliefs.

Think about it – you could share your love for the tenants of Buddha while enjoying the exchange of other students who follow the parables of Jesus Christ – even in the same day.

Although time is always a conflict and one asset students will never be able to buy, making the effort to pass up on more time-wasting activities that don’t lead to anything productive and investing that time into campus participation shouldn’t be seen as a hindrance or annoyance – the experiences make it worthwhile.

Even if students are busy throughout the week, ARC consistently holds a range of events on campus.

Yes, even on weekends.

Next Friday, Blues for Mister Charlie, an ARC play directed by Sam Williams and based off of James Baldwin’s original 1960s play of the same name, is set to premiere at the Fine and Applied Arts theatre at 8:00 PM.

The story centers around a black man who is a former junkie and, upon his return to his southern town of origin, is killed by a poor, illiterate white man.

The entire setup, from the murder and eulogy to the trial and acquittal are presented through dramatic music and acting, with the fury and passion that have made plays a cornerstone of the ARC theatre performances.

Instead of being engulfed in Twitter or Facebook, or letting other petty distractions grab their attention, students should go have a real conversation and network for real, on campus.

Although college students are expected to spend about 30 to 45 hours studying (if they have a full load) it is not impossible to make time for helpful or fun activities on campus, and coming up with excuses to explain a lack of campus involvement is downright senseless at this point.

You’d think that students that spend a large portion of their day at their college would at least want some form of entertainment or networking opportunities to balance out the stress from school work.

They have the opportunity to get involved in something greater than just classrooms and lectures, and there is no better time than now to finally take advantage of that.

About the Author

Jose Garcia
Jose Garcia is a third-­semester student on the Current. He previously served as the co-Scene editor. He is majoring in journalism and plans to transfer to Sacramento State.

1 Comment on "Opinion: Un-involved – too many students are simply concerned with their classes, not the campus"

  1. This op-ed reeks of someone (a boomer, perhaps?) who doesn’t understand that for younger generations, social media isn’t something extra they do, it’s part and parcel how they communicate with each other and interact with the world around them. For better or worse, social media is a layer of abstract communication, not a video game those darn kids keep playing. It requires no additional time investment, because they would be otherwise using the time engaging in other social activities.

    That said, while campus clubs are great, community college is increasingly being treated as a path to four-year universities or trades/jobs. The economy has necessitated in many subtle ways that we have less time resources to set aside for clubs. As poor students, we need to focus more on making ends meet. I don’t have a good answer. I attend clubs because I am privileged to not have to pay rent, and thus only need a part-time job.

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