FROM THE ARCHIVES: Back-to-school issues a challenge, but used to be worse

By SIERRA J. RUSSELL

 

Pg06-Archives 10-3-91

Early issues of the Aztec Press covered topics that remain relevant today, including the stress of finding a parking space, the price of textbooks and the general hassles of registration.

 

Today it may be a challenge to find a parking spot that is somewhat close to an entrance, especially during the first week of classes. Before parking lot expansions were made, however, even the most remote spots found today did not exist.

 

A 1974 article noted during the first couple of weeks of classes that there were more vehicles than the 1,950 parking spaces allotted on West Campus. After the initial surge, the parking lot was sufficient but expansion plans were already in progress.

 

Traffic added to the frustration of limited parking spaces. At the time, there was no campus entrance from Anklam Road and the roadway had not yet been widened.

 

Once students found a parking space, they still had to register with valid identification at a security office.

 

This amounted to a lot of time waiting, just to park.

 

Articles from fall semesters in the ‘70s and ‘80s featured photos of students waiting in long lines to register, add or drop classes. Before online registration, all one could do was wait in line with papers in hand.

 

In 1991, Follett College Bookstores became the sole provider of textbooks at PCC.

 

During this transition, some students could not pay for their books with the amount of money that personal finances, scholarships or the veteran’s affairs office allowed.

 

Some students bought used textbooks that were missing pages or even chapters, yet could not re-sell the books at a reasonable price.

 

Barbara Ganz, then dean of student affairs at the Downtown Campus, spoke with the Aztec Press. “I have had complaints from each of the campuses,” Ganz said. “They have come from students, administrators and faculty.”

 

Today, we may still seek the reasons behind high prices for textbooks. We may still battle for a decent parking space and wrangle for a place in our most sought-after class.

 

Still, the lines are much shorter than they were a few decades ago.

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