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Obtaining an education frequently proves to be a struggle for American students. High dropout rates, expensive tuitions, and rigorous courses put many non-acclimated freshmen at risk of failing to achieve their educational goals. Furthermore, some of these students are forced to mix parenting into the chaotic system of college.

While some colleges opt for an on-campus daycare, Lexi Cortes’ article titled “SWIC Board Votes to Eliminate Childcare Service at Belleville Campus,” reveals that Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) has eliminated the system from their campus, furthering the educational and mental decline of student parents and their young children. SWIC should reinstate their on-campus daycare to improve their students’ academic success while providing a proper development space for children.

When it comes to college, classes can be challenging. Women in college are statistically disadvantaged by being forced to balance college work and parenting. Mothers and fathers alike often seek higher education because, higher education is positively related to income. Adults with a higher education than high school are said to be more unemployed. This would mean more funds for their children and an improved quality of life. Yet colleges across the nation, including SWIC, are seeking to eliminate on-campus daycares, which only jeopardizes parents who cannot support both a family and their rigorous education. 

Not having a daycare at SWIC, has reduced the enrollment at our college which means that lower class parents have no relief from their duties as a caregiver while attending public colleges. The many students who cannot afford outside daycare due to ridiculously high tuition are additionally denied childcare from the college that drains them financially. When SWIC voted against on-campus daycare, they unwittingly voted against the academic success of many student parents. 

Without on-campus daycares, the children suffer equally with the parent. Toddlers, while small, have an abundance of energy that is expressed through playing, roaming, and other forms of physical activity. None of these can be fulfilled in the static realm of a college classroom. These benefits, unfortunately, cannot be acquired in a college setting, where young kids are expected to sit down and shut up. Without on-campus daycares, children are forcibly held in place by their parents, restricting their daily need to learn and grow. This emotionally strains the parent as well by forcing them to care for a frustrated infant while attempting to focus on school work. By removing the on-campus daycare, SWIC has proven itself to be an adversary of parent students by forcing them to juggle fussy children along with their difficult schoolwork. 

As the number of students with dependent children increases, the need for on-campus daycare is apparent. However, colleges across the United States are failing to accommodate these disadvantaged young adults by not providing necessary resources. SWIC takes this transgression one step further by voting to remove their on-campus daycare entirely. The heinous act jeopardizes many of the student parents on campus with no alternative daycare, forcing themselves and their children into a recession against educational growth. SWIC’s inconsiderate actions infringe upon the needs of their students and violates their mission values for student success, value of education, and fairness. Until the vote against on-campus daycare is abolished, America will continue its downward spiral in academic failure. 

–Iliana Gibson, SWIC STUDENT

The Truth Be Told: This Community College Is A Good College

It has all been said before.  Everyone has heard the stigmas that are said about community colleges.  “Community college is easy.  Professors at community colleges are under qualified.  Community college has no student life.”  But is it actually true?  Based on the college life achieved by attending Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC), these stigmas placed on community colleges are not true.  Despite all the negative perceptions placed on community colleges, SWIC has proved them all to be false.

The courses offered at SWIC are challenging and most are easily transferable to four-year colleges and universities.  Because most of SWIC’s curriculum is made to be transferable to most four-year institutions, it makes it easier on students to be able to transfer their credits and complete their bachelor’s degrees at other schools.  This is good because students generally do not have to spend time worrying about whether or not the classes that they are taking at SWIC are transferable or not.

Not only does SWIC provide many challenging and easily transferable classes, but they also have many great teachers and staff who are able to provide students with the quality education that they are looking for.  Whether some students want to believe it or not, SWIC really does have great teachers that are really willing to help students achieve their goals.  Each teacher is unique in their own way and even if students are not able to understand or learn something from their specific teacher, they can always rely on the Success Center. 

By going to the Success Center at SWIC, students are able to meet with other staff and students who are able to help them better understand and enhance the class material being learned. Another stigma placed on community colleges is that they have no student life or activities; however, this is far from true when attending SWIC. 

With SWIC offering 7 different sports and more than 40 active clubs and organizations each year, the community college has something for everyone to get involved.  They also host different events throughout the year, such a trunk-or-treat, not just sports and clubs.  All of these activities combined can offer students the chance to have a great student life while attending community college.

Overall, SWIC proves to be unique and unlike the stigmas placed on community colleges.  SWIC offers challenging and easily transferable courses.  They have a multitude of teachers, staff, and opportunities for students to easily engage in their classes and to help them reach their goals.  They also have many ways in which a student can get involved and enjoy their four-year institution and spend the rest of their lives paying off student loans, think again.

Community colleges are much nicer than all the stigmas and negative perceptions about them, and SWIC only proves that to be true.

— Taylor Holloway, SWIC student

 Argument For Turf At SWIC

     Looking around outside of the campus at Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC), there is one noticeable item missing: it’s the turf soccer field and infield. Other colleges in this area have better facilities overall, but a basic necessity is to have some sort of turf. Having played on the grass field SWIC has now, an in-depth evaluation would be that it’s terrible. An implemtation of a turf field will not only bring safer conditions for athletes, but will be more cost-efficient over the years.

     Turf is the surface of the future for most sports. It doesn’t have to be maintained or cut once a week, it doesn’t have to be sprayed, and it doesn’t have to be realigned. Turf doesn’t move, it doesn’t have any chunkiness to it, and it doesn’t affect the overall impact of a game like grass could.

     Weather is another major positive to turf, as any weather may affect the overall result of a game. Although any weather would create a slicker surface, that wouldn’t effect it too much. With turf comes the option to have heated turf, which would help in the winter time with snow.

     Another positive to turf would be that it would bring a lot of attention. Having the turf to be open to the public could eventually bring a lot of money to SWIC and could ultimately attract students to come to school here. SWIC could also allow the rent of other sports leagues for lacrosse, soccer, and many more.

     Overall, having turf would be fantastic. Personally, having the opportunity to play soccer on both surfaces for 15 years, there is no question which one I’d rather play on. Turf is the way of the future, and hopefully one day SWIC can have it.

— Jack Pusa, SWIC student


There Should Be A Place For Mothers To Take Care Of Their Children At SWIC

In today’s world, more women are choosing to further their education in order to pursue a career of their choice. Some women, and even young girls, have babies while continuing their education. Many women return to school in hopes of attaining a rewarding position that will help them meet financial and family obligations. By adding a mother’s room to SWIC, it will allow mothers to have a relaxing environment to pump milk, which will help them save money, provide nutrition for their baby, and make it easier for mothers to return to school.

Women who are returning to school while providing for an infant at home generally are doing so in hopes of receiving a better paying job or position within their current employer. Mothers who choose to breastfeed do so for the health of their baby and/or because formula is very expensive. Generally, women choose to stop breastfeeding when returning to work or school because they do not have an adequate place to pump or do not wish to pump for their own personal reasons. If SWIC built a room in one or more of its buildings for breasting mothers, it may encourage mothers to continue to breastfeed while attending school.

Currently SWIC does not have a room dedicated to mothers who need to pump. According to Illinois Law chapter 820 section 15, “Private place for nursing mothers. An employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where an employee can express her milk in privacy.” If Illinois law is requiring such accommodation for employees, SWIC should do the same for students. An appropriate room for pumping or expressing milk should include comfortable seating and should provide access to a sink and outlet. Privacy is also key.  Privacy would include the room to have a lock on the door and elements to keep the noise down, such as carpeting.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Stress can hinder a woman’s body’s natural ability to release breast milk.” If a woman is pumping in a bathroom, which is the only option currently at SWIC, one may feel anxious and stressed that someone will walk in on them or fear judgment because someone may hear them. Bathrooms are often cold and very uncomfortable as well. All of these elements can hinder a woman from producing the needed amount of milk for their child.

If SWIC provides a private room for nursing mothers, SWIC may attract more women who are mothers. Women will feel more comfortable in an environment that supports their decision to breastfeed their children. By providing a clean, private, and comfortable room for mothers, SWIC could attract more women with children who are looking to seek a degree but would rather take classes in a classroom vs online.

—Kimberly Steiger, SWIC student