Monday, August 26, 2013

Florissant Valley Kicks Off Fall Semester

Story and photos by James Hess

O­n August 19, 2013, the entire St. Louis Community College system kicked off its fall semester with the first day of fall classes, including the Florissant Valley campus. Many teachers and professors are returning for regular semester classes after a long summer off, while some have spent the summer teaching smaller summer classes. Students though are the biggest factor. The start of fall classes is a time when many students enter STLCC in a variety of ways. Some of the students are returning to school for another semester, like film major Logan Lee.
Students endure a long wait to get financial aid issues sorted out. 

“I get to meet new people [in fall] and work in my field again. I’m doing what I love and it’s really fun, says Lee. “After all, Steve Jobs did say ‘Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world USUALLY do’.”

Many of them, however, are straight out of high school. Among such are music education major Jerry Bone, who recently graduated from Ritenour High School, and Heather Semour, a new student straight from Timberland. “I feel college is easier to follow than in high school” Semour states “You had to follow a certain timed structure, and they handed you everything. In college, things are more simplified. You choose your courses; you make your own schedule.”

Bone feels the same way, though he feels better about those who enroll in college with him. “It’s basically the same as high school: do your work, don’t act stupid, and keep your grades up,” Bone simply puts. “But most high-schoolers are in school because the state forces them so a lot of them aren’t willing to pitch into a good environment. Flo is different from Ritenour because the people who enroll here CHOOSE to be here. People who want to be here pitch in to help build a good learning environment.”
Students look to see if their desired courses are still open in Administration. 

The start of classes are not just what make up the first day, but that many of the incoming students are also scurrying to get into them. At any campus, including Florissant Valley, you will notice students rushing to finish registration, get financial aid documents sorted out and turned in, and even crowding the school bookstore to buy their books. Also, it can be mind-boggling to have to sit and wait at least two hours just to turn in a few forms or go to different departments in Administration just to register for classes. This is a common occurrence during the first of school, fall semester in particular. 

Returning student (and graduate-to-be) Paul Van Doren faces the same trouble, as he waited outside the Student Center for his wife who had been waiting nearly an hour and a half to get her financial aid taken care of for the semester.

Other than the registration stress, Mr. Van Doren feels good about coming back because he is about to graduate after this semester. “If I get straight As, my GPA will be up to about 3.8 and I’ll graduate” Van Doren exclaims “I’m going back to UMSL as soon and as I do and I will be done with Flo, so God yes it feels great to be starting back up”. Mr. Van Doren shares the same view with many students about the registration process, but also the same view as Bone and Semour about the semester, which is bound get off to a to great start. 

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