Re: “GCC should dispense with its empires,” Mailbag, Sept. 19.
I want to remind Trent Sanders, who wrote this letter, that the college he knew in the early ’60s is not the college of today. For one thing, it served perhaps a few thousand students then, while now it has more than 20,000. And yes, with that number of students, you do need a parking structure and a police department. Also, the college of 1960 had only one computer. Today it has 1,000, all networked to the Internet and indispensable for the mission of the college.
How did the college grow so much? Not because it “created empires,” but because it has been a tremendous success story. GCC is one of the best community colleges in Southern California. It has an excellent reputation as a place where students can prepare themselves for transfer to universities and for productive employment. If it needs money now, it's because of the huge budget cuts imposed by the state, not because it squanders money frivolously.
I would remind Sanders that California community colleges are one of the best deals in higher education, and that he has benefited from it being educated practically for free here at GCC. Is it too much to ask that that he shows his gratitude by supporting the college in every way he can, and by trying to make sure that today's students can take advantage of the same deal that helped him so much?