Speech 48. Dance 6. Mass Communications 32.
These are basic listings found on the fall 2013 schedule for Las Positas College.
And while they may look like simple classes on paper (or on the website), they are better known around campus by their class extensions: the Talk Hawks, Dance Production and Radio Las Positas.
The difference between the simple class and the class extension? Co-curricular funding.
Without this funding, the chance of these programs sticking around would be slim, and some would argue that the loss would be a tragedy.
“We would have to close as a program,” said Talk Hawks coach and LPC instructor Tim Heisler in an email to The Express, “which would be a tragedy since we’ve been around since the first year this campus began offering instruction.”
An agreement with the LPC Bookstore on campus makes this type of funding possible.
Through this agreement, money generated from things such as rent fees and book sales support programs around campus such as Intercollegiate Athletics, Honors Transfer and Theater Arts.
Each of these programs has an account with the bookstore where they can track their money and expenses.
While formal requests can be placed to secure additional funding, the decision on how much money is given to each group is ultimately approved in Resource Allocation Committee meetings, where it is reviewed as an informational item.
“It is now understood that because we are dependent upon the funds that we don’t have to ask for funding from co-curricular every year…but we never know exactly how much we’re going to get,” Heisler said. “That is, we know we will get a slice of the pie, but they can reduce that slice at their own choosing.”
Because of the budget crisis of the past few years, though, sometimes it is not so much a desired choice as it is an inevitable decision.
“For the past several years, the distributions have remained the same. In 2009 to 2010, the college faced extremely difficult budget times and wasn’t able to allocate out new or additional money,” said Natasha Lang, LPC College Administrative Services Officer.
According to Lang, the Resource Allocation Committee now approves over $100,000 for these programs through co-curricular funding. The Talk Hawks alone receive $15,000 annually.
The District Office also used to contribute a certain percentage of financial support, but this has since run out also due to budget issues.
“We used to also receive money from the District Office to run our program, but those funds were entirely elimi- nated three years ago. Now we are completely depending upon co-curricular funding,” Heisler said.
If co-curricular funding was not available to these programs, it would be very difficult for them to stay afloat. But, according to Lang, it is understood that these programs are extremely beneficial for students whom they concern. Students pursuing such majors as theater, mass communications and dance or participating in athletics are helped with each program that is funded through co- curricular means.
“I believe it is a shared notion within the college that these programs are vital to the student experience and our college’s mission. So, I am not comfortable saying that these programs would dissolve if the funding wasn’t available. But I would tell you that it would be extremely hard and this money is essential for the operation of these programs,” Lang said.