Students have two choices: a guaranteed state-of-the-art facility or a chance at a sub-par, decaying classroom.
Here at Santa Rosa Junior College we face this choice, and we’re making the wrong one. The Petaluma campus, despite being built in 1999, still has a brand-new feel. Over the last eight years, campus facilities have improved with the addition of a 35,000-square-foot library, labs for life and physical sciences, a 300-seat auditorium and much more. Even today the campus continues to evolve; just last week Petaluma added a new game room for students to relax, unwind and destroy each other with glorious cartoon weapons.
Today the Petaluma campus is a shining example of what a college should be. Trees, grass and trellises dot the campus and breathe life into the tan Sicilian-style buildings. The entirety of its facilities are up to date and kept in a condition so nice you won’t believe they’ve ever been used. There’s always parking available and the campus itself is not often crowded.
One would think this would make the campus explode with popularity and increase the classes offered there. However, in the last four years, enrollment at the Petaluma campus has dropped five percent.
So why don’t more students go there?
For one thing, the Petaluma campus is a long drive for most people and gas won’t always be as low as it is now. The addition of the SMART train this fall will greatly alleviate this issue. For a low flat rate, the train will take students from downtown Santa Rosa to Petaluma. Without the hassle of traffic, the train will make the trip in half the time.
It can also be hard for students to find the classes they need on the Petaluma campus. This is in fact a symptom of the problem and not a cause of it. As more students take classes on the campus, more classes can be offered and eventually many of the classes you need will be found in ‘luma. So start by taking some fun classes on the campus, learn some computer programming, or appreciate some films and someday you may be able to complete your entire degree without leaving this beautiful campus.