by: Chris Frazier
Think back to the old Western movies. “Back in the day”, when the old Western town was empty and there was not a soul in sight, tumbleweed rolled down the road… If that reminds you of anything you have seen recently, then you probably go to GPC’s Alpharetta campus. Such is the scene around our campus during classes. The dynamic at Alpharetta is different from GPC’s other campuses. The student body’s main objective seems to be to get in, get done and get out. There is a lack of opportunity to stay engaged in any activity unless you’re in class. We don’t have a gym, we don’t have a student center/lounge, and we don’t have a real desire to stick around.
What would it take to keep the students around and engaged in the “college experience” here in Alpharetta? I have been given plenty of suggestions to pass on. Students requests include a gym, a bigger library, a volleyball court, horseshoe pits and a food court/cafeteria. The biggest number of requests has been for a student center/lounge. These desires are logical and realistic-standard for a college campus-so why can’t Alpharetta conform to the norm?
It is because we aren’t a normal campus. This might be a bad thing, or this could be a blessing. We are lucky to have a campus in close proximity to the northern suburbs. I brought some of these student requests and issues to our Dean of Student Services, Frank Nash. After speaking with him, I have a new-found respect for our campus. What most students don’t know is that we have tried to get these student services before and there is simply no money in the budget for them. Our faculty knows and understands what we want, but we just don’t have the numbers to justify it yet. So now the burning question is, “What can we do?”
The answer: show up, be friendly with each other, hope the budget allows us a chance down the road for some amenities, and relish the fact that we have more parking than any other campus! Try and stick around for a while if you’re on campus and talk to your fellow students. Or else, watch out: that tumbleweed just might get you after the dust settles.