Campus activities lack adult orientation, leadership

By Editorial Board

On any well-functioning college campus its student government is a coalescing force with the ability to transform thousands of people pursuing higher education into a collective student body through events, shared experiences and community organizing.
At Contra Costa College, this isn’t the case and hasn’t been for a very long time.
Our Associated Student Union isn’t failing due to apathy or ignorance, to the contrary. Our student government seats some of the smartest high school and college students in the area.
CCC shares its campus with two high schools, Gateway to College and Middle College High School, and although the majority of the students on campus are college-aged adults, the majority of representatives in student government are high schoolers.
To be clear, college life and high school experiences are vastly different and while high school students receive all of the amenities of attending the average school ­— proms, spirit week and candy grams for Valentine’s Day — for CCC students the college experience is vastly sub-par.
Homecoming celebrations are all but non-existent and there hasn’t been a party, dance or concert in recent or distant memory. More often than not, events on campus are sparsely attended and would be less so if not for the extra credit given by professors to students who make a showing.
This widening gap between student representatives who coordinate events and the students expected to attend is showing no signs of retracting. While high school students on campus gather gleefully in front of the Applied Arts Building for pajama day, college students have little incentive to invest time in any activities promoted by the ASU.
For many of the events, trinkets like lightweight backpacks and fidget spinners are offered as prizes for students who would rather the funding be spent on more equitable rewards.
One party per semester would go a long way toward shaping the campus into more than just a place to learn and leave.
For too long, members of the campus community have wondered what it would take to get students to invest more time on campus, taking full advantage of the resources offered without considering what a college campus is supposed to be socially.
It’s supposed to be study hard and have fun, but the ASU can’t even stuff a body in its marginally expensive, brand new mascot costume. The costume could have covered the cost of a DJ. We can probably still return it.
It’s clear why offering more mature events to students is far off the spectrum of the ASU’s radar. Most of them are too young to go to a party without a parent present.
It’s true, student representation at CCC is important and high school age ASU senators are always on campus to attend meetings. But if juggling prom, homework and post-pubescent hormones isn’t enough, these teenagers have to represent the interests of adults — something they understandably have no idea how to do.