There’s something in the air on campus and it’s not the pre-spring break excitement we’re used to feeling a week before the mid-semester break — instead it’s the impending doom of crippling anxiety.
With the overall climate of Orange Coast College teetering between tumultuous and an all-out civil war, the Coast Report Editorial Board can’t help but take note of the unease that has become the undercurrent for the campus.
From what seems like a developing student versus faculty dialogue to hateful acts of vandalism, the burden of stress for a typical college student pales in comparison to that of an OCC student. Couple campus tensions with the unbridled state of our nation and it’s no surprise that students are feeling this way.
It is the duty of the administration to, at the very least, try to extend some olive branches to help students gain a semblance of comfortability and security on campus. But that’s simply not happening.
We believe the silence from OCC President Dennis Harkins is speaking volumes. And it is students, faculty and staff who are being forced to pay the mental and emotional toll.
The Global Engagement Center offers weekly Post-Election Expression Sessions for students to express their feelings in a safe space but that’s not enough. Recent attempts by the Coast Report to cover these sessions have been scrapped simply because no one is showing up. While this effort by the GEC is a valiant one, the information is not being distributed effectively enough.
Administration aside, students do have the option of visiting the OCC Mental Health and Services department to utilize their eight, free, one-hour personal counseling sessions but, again, that information is not readily available. This is doing a major disservice to students during a semester so riddled with anxiety and disquiet.
While the Coast Report trys to fulfill its duty to keep fellow students informed, it isn’t something that we should take on by ourselves. After all, we may be the watchdogs of OCC but the administration should at least match the efforts of a newswriting class.
We beg of you, do something to fix the cracks in OCC’s infrastructure before it fractures in ways that have yet to be seen.