By Luz Hernandez |Staff Writer|
On Monday January 14 Dr. David M. Polcyn, Department Chair of the Biology Department at CSUSB sent out an email announcing the department will not open up another section for Biology 300 course, despite students signing a petition.
Bio 300, Cell Physiology, is a requirement needed in order to graduate as a Biology major and is used in other majors as well.
Students eager to graduate found themselves signing a petition in an attempt to open another section for Bio 300, however according to Polcyn, signing the petition will not help us in the long run.
Polcyn explains that there are deeper issues involved that need to be resolved before they can open up another section and they all point in the direction of the budget cuts that the University and specifically the Bio department have endured throughout the years, leading up to its current state.
In his e-mail he said they are currently looking for two new faculty members, but has found it impossible to do so because of the insufficient funding available for the Bio department.
He continues on to say that although they are enduring hard times in their department, the amount of courses and sections offered for each course has remained the same throughout the years.
Polcyn explains how the petition does not help the department figure out how many students need to enroll in a course and that the best way that the department can tell what students’ needs are is by students “wait listing” in a course.
“The best ammunition I have when I seek out additional funding are the [waiting lists] for the courses” he explains.
The petition that was signed included many students that had not met requirements or were not even able to take the course to begin with.
In a situation where a large amount of students sign a petition and approval is granted, only a small percentage are eligible to sign up for the section and the section would be closed due to low enrollment.
That would put him in a position to be denied in the future if he were to seek help for his department once again.
Polcyn makes it a point in his e-mail to let the students know that a lot of the decisions that are made in the department and for the department have to do with the fact that there is not enough funding left.
“I realize that your tuition and fees keep increasing, but [not a penny] of that has trickled to the department,” says Polcyn.
As a parent of two sons who are enrolled in a community college, Polcyn sympathizes with many frustrated students: “I am fully aware what it feels like from your perspective.”
He continues to say that the Bio department is receiving less funding than other departments at CSUSB. “Students and parents need to take their concerns to the source of the funding shortage–the Governor and State Legislature”.