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With a new executive dean presiding over Eastfield’s Office of Student Engagement and Retention, change is to be expected. The recent implementation of the Puente Project and the revamped advising system are only two examples of improvement brought on by the switch in management, but other changes leave more to be desired.
Since last spring, we’ve seen a steady decline in extracurricular student activity on campus. Fewer clubs and smaller events are expected consequences of a lack of widespread promotion. A notable exception is the increased activities under the intramural sports umbrella.
Many potentially helpful activities such as guest lectures have faced low student turnout compared to those seen a year ago. While some of this can be attributed to conflicts with schedules, many students never hear about these events in the first place.
The events calendar on the college website lacks crucial event information such as time, room number and a basic description of said activity, if the activity is included in the calendar at all.
If Eastfield wants support for its extracurricular activities, an up-to-date, accessible and informative calendar is vital. Improved communication between clubs and student organizations would also do wonders for campus life.
While not as crucial to student development as, say, advising or tutoring, free leisure and academic activities promote social interaction, retention and school pride, something that is much more difficult to achieve for a two-year institution like Eastfield than a traditional four-year institution.
We are well aware that such activities cost the campus valuable time and money. We truly appreciate all Eastfield has offered to us to enrich our lives both academically and professionally.
But extracurricular activity is still an important facet of college life and doesn’t always deserve a place on the backburner. Academics may come first, but student engagement is vital in promoting healthy interaction on campus. As Eastfield grows accustomed to a new OSER, we hope campus life sees an upturn in the coming months.