Features — 20 February 2014

Kalama Hines

Features Editor

Lost potential.  University of California behind Costco.

The negative monikers are often murmured through the halls of Las Positas College.  But, they are most certainly not justified, nor are they respectful to the success of the small, yet exemplary, community college.

Taking a stroll on campus hill, many things are evident.  One of those is that the student body lacks a sense of school spirit.

The small college, surrounded by the beauty and reputation of world famous wineries, boasts one of the highest transfer rates in the California Community College system and a faculty rivaled by very few.

The misguided thoughts of the college are defended only by the unfounded opinions of its population.

A quick mosey through LPC hallways would reveal something that, while not too surprising, may be disheartening — there is an obvious lack of Hawk apparel.  And it’s not just that the school’s red and black is at a shortage, but the branding of other schools can be found around every corner.

School apparel is, primarily, available in the bookstore.  But, according to manager Nolan Howe, sales of school branded merchandise are “moderate.”

Perhaps the low sales numbers of LPC merchandise has its high price to blame.

That problem is in the process of being remedied, however.

“(Sales) have picked up a bit this year,” Howe said, “as we have been bringing in more items at lower price points and this seems more popular with the students.”

Also, there is another, lesser known, option for those seeking Hawk gear — customizable apparel can be purchased through the LPC website.  This is an option that Athletic Director Dyan Miller wishes could be advanced upon.

“It would be nice to have a little athletics apparel store up here, but I think that we might be stepping on (the bookstore’s) toes.”

Another sign of the poor sense of community among the LPC student body is the meager turnout for sporting events.

How many students know that we’re The Hawks? How many students know that our (school) colors are red and black?  How many students know that our big rival is our sister college, Chabot?

According to Athletics Assistant Pamela (PJ) Johnson, attendance for soccer and basketball games averages between 10 and 30, with the greater being the exception.

“It would be nice if more people would come out,” said Johnson, “since we brought out the new mascot, more of the student body has come out to mess around with him, so that’s nice.”

“The Nest,” as it has been affectionately coined, has a maximum capacity of 1,744.

“I don’t think (the low attendance) is specific to Las Positas,” Miller said, “I think it’s community college in general — we’re a commuter (school).”

As both Miller and Johnson acknowledged, however, attendance usually sees a boost when the home team is winning games.  If that is truly the case, the student body should be made aware of the Hawks’ success.

“It would be nice if more people would come out,” said Johnson, “its not like we’re shabby, or something.”

“I think winning always helps,” Miller said, “and that’s happening — men’s soccer won just won the Coastal Conference Championships, Women’s swimming won championships last season, so those are always helpful.”

While the reasons for skepticism from students are understandable, there is certainly no shame in calling one’s self a member of the Hawk student body.

With the recent success of the sports program and an award-worthy faculty propelling a transfer rate of 51 percent, higher than the state average of 41 percent, Las Positas is a proud campus.

The 10,000-member student body has every reason to wear their colors with dignity, and express their sense of community and school spirit with honor.

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We are the award-winning student newspaper of Las Positas College in Livermore, Calif.

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