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700 Student Bills Unpaid

Hello readers. I took the spring off and while I took a computer programming course at Daytona State over the summer, it wasn’t interesting enough to write about. Since I’m going back to offline classes next week (just one Calculus II course and lab), I’ll start blogging here again.

I just got an email from the college which mentioned this:

“In addition, there are approximately 700 students who have bills due today that have not paid or deferred their bill. If this is not done today, classes will be cancelled.”

Since Daytona State’s enrollment is only around 25,000 students, that’s 3% that haven’t even paid for their classes. I bet maybe 200 will pay today. I guess we’ll have a lot of canceled classes as classes will be merged to make up for the missing students.

Coming Soon to Daytona State: Dorm Rooms

I just got word of this from the News-Journal. The Board of Trustees is negotiating with University Housing Services Inc. to build student apartments on or near the Daytona Beach campus.

Actually, no negotiations are happening yet. Plans to negotiate have been approved. You’ve got to love paperwork.

The college already owns a whole bunch of property around it (29 lots), so they might use those for something. They still don’t have enough parking though. I can’t believe they want to build dormitories.

“A 120-bed building might be built with eventually as many as 500 beds becoming available.

They’re counting student housing by the number of beds. Sounds like a prison to me, ha ha. It’s enough for me to be at class five days a week. I don’t need to start living at the college.

Daytona State College is supposed to be catering to local residents, most of which already have houses, apartments, or are living with their parents. You don’t hear of many people moving 500 miles to go to Daytona State. Maybe for Florida State University, but not for our little school.

This doesn’t support the college’s mission at all. It’s just mindless expansion and further embezzlement of public funds. Community colleges are socialist institutions, meaning they’re funded by mandatory tax dollars. If DSC had to pay property taxes (~$1.2 million / year) and other fees, and received no public funding, you can bet this wouldn’t last long, because colleges provide a small amount of value to the community, proportional to what they take. Daytona State is no exception. Professors and administrators are overpaid for their contribution to the world, but more importantly, rampant waste and sweetheart contracts expunge more public funds. How much did the name changes cost them? How about all the advertising they send out? They sent me a big pamphlet, $1 in postage, welcoming me to the college last semester. But I started three semesters ago. My mother left for California 10 years ago, yet we continue to receive newsletters and advertising from the college, addressed to her, on a biweekly basis. Why not use some logic instead of shotgunning?

“But on-campus housing provides a campus with a more vibrant campus atmosphere that can enhance students’ engagement and experience.”

No more having to drive home. Yay! :xx:

Seaside Music Theater merger dead; theater closing

According to the News-Journal, Daytona State College has given up on taking over the theater. The Seaside Music Theater is part of the News-Journal Center for which a college acquisition was in the works.

Lester Malizia had this to say:

“I realize the economic situation is horrible around the country, but good God, why turn your back on something that was so positive, so good for the community and was doing such good work?”

He’s been the art director at the theater for 20 years. I haven’t been to the theater, and I see their website is a couple months out of date, but apparently they had a whole bunch of summer performances scheduled, which were canceled due to their insolvency these past six months. And they owe thousands of dollars to ticket-holders for plays that were never shown. They’re selling off computers and costumes just to refund what they owe. It was a quarter-million dollars as of July, but no one would give more up-to-date figures.

“SMT had been struggling financially since a lawsuit by Cox Enterprises, which owns 47.5 percent of The News-Journal, forced the Davidson family and News-Journal Corp. to sever ties with the theater.”

I don’t think the theater ever provided enough value to the local community to justify its operating costs. The News-Journal was taking a loss on it before, and without their help, the theater would obviously fail. It’s a shame, but this will make way for newer, better theaters.

October 2008 Open Houses, $6000 in Scholarships

Daytona State College is holding 6 open houses this month: 1 at each campus. All of them are 2 hours, from 5-7 P.M. The first one is this evening at the Flagler / Palm Coast campus.

There will be some kind of food and drinks. The dates and locations were announced here. Here’s a copy of that list:

Tuesday, Oct. 7
Flagler/Palm Coast Campus
Bldg. 2, Rm. 106
3000 Palm Coast Parkway S.E., Palm Coast

Thursday, Oct. 9
New Smyrna Beach-Edgewater Campus
Bldg. 2, Rm. 109
940 10th Street, New Smyrna Beach

Tuesday, Oct. 14
DeLand Campus
Bldg. 7
1155 County Road 4139, DeLand

Thursday, Oct. 16
Deltona Campus
Fathi Hall
2351 Providence Blvd., Deltona

Tuesday, Oct. 21
Advanced Technology College
Atrium
1770 Technology Blvd., Daytona Beach

Thursday, Oct. 23
Daytona Beach Campus
The Mori Hosseini College of Hospitality Management (Bldg. 1200)
1200 W. Int’l Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach is the last campus to hold the open house, which is 16 days off. I haven’t been to building 1200; it must be quite nice.

The DSC Foundation will be giving away $6000 in scholarships; $500 to 2 students at each open house. The drawing will be random. That sounds like incentive enough to go.

I remember the spring open house from 2007… they had this loud band playing music. You couldn’t talk to anyone. There were recruiters and course specialists there, but they didn’t seem to know much and I couldn’t hear what they were saying anyway. Then they showed this film on a projector and the projector was messed up so the film looked all white unless you were right in front of the screen. It wasn’t much fun.

I hope they do better this time. Unfortunately, I won’t be covering photography or attending because Thursday the 23rd is tied up for me. But good luck to everyone who has time for this. 🙂

College Trustees Fight Over Global Warming

Just got word of this article from the News-Journal. Daytona State College is working with the Rocky Mountain Institute to improve energy efficiency, but three of eight of the board members are against it because RMI supports global warming. The decision went through with a majority vote, and DSC will take $1500 from RMI and send three staffers there for training ($3000 cost).

The article notes about Peter Mallory, one of the board’s members:

He specifically quoted the institute’s mission statement, which says, in part: “There is now overwhelming evidence that human activities are changing the world’s climate.” …

Mallory suggested that sunspots might have more to do with global warming than human activity.

Daytona State president Kent Sharples steered clear of the whole thing by calling it a “pragmatic” issue for advancing the college. I think he’d be better off taking a side, but he probably didn’t want to be called a wuss:

After the vote, Mallory called the board members who opposed him “wusses.” Trustee John Graham, the board’s vice chairman, later said he didn’t like being called a wuss.

That’s got to be the funniest line I’ve read this month.

“He called me a wuss! I don’t like being called a wuss!”

Talk about journalism at it’s finest. 😎

Despite the wussiness, I support Mallory. There is no such thing as man-made global warming. As I wrote yesterday in Transcending Limiting Beliefs, environmentalism is the new shield of communism. The Earth is looking better than ever, and our carbon emissions are only 2% of nature’s volcano emissions. How dare we doubt her resilience? A warmer world would help us grow more crops, either way. 20 years ago we had orange groves around Daytona Beach, but now the hard freezes have pushed them south.

Daytona State should take a stand and stop this global warming nonsense in its tracks.

Correction: Florida Academic Scholars bonus reduced to $187.50

Jason alerted me that the email I got from the FL department of education means $375 for the whole school year, which is two semesters. So each semester the bonus is actually reduced from $225 to $187.50. This is after being reduced from $300 to $225 in the spring of 2008, when the Medallion award was raised from 75% to 100% for community and state colleges.

I was fooled by the email, because it reminded me of this similar email from 2007 November 27:

Dear Mr. Thripp:

Effective January 1, 2008, the Florida Academic Scholars (FAS) maximum allowance for college-related expenses will be reduced from $300 to $225 for the second half of the 2007-08 academic year, prorated by term and hours.

As a result of the state budget shortfall for the 2007-08 fiscal year, many academic year program budgets were reduced during the Special Legislative Session 2007C. Senate Bill 10C was signed into law which amended the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program by reducing the 2007-08 FAS college-related expense allowance and providing for future academic years amounts of the FAS allowance to be specified annually in the General Appropriations Act.

If you have further questions, please contact the Bright Futures office toll-free at 1-888-827-2004.

Sincerely,
Office of Student Financial Assistance

And this is the email from 2008 September 12:

Dear Mr. Thripp:

The 2008-09 Florida Academic Scholars (FAS) college-related expense allowance that is specified annually by the Florida Legislature in the General Appropriations Act will be $375 for the 2008-09 academic year, prorated by terms and hours.

If you have further questions, please contact the Bright Futures office toll-free at 1-888-827-2004.

Sincerely,
Office of Student Financial Assistance

Obviously it should be worded more clearly. They got it right on the BrightFutures website, where it says:

The annual college related expense allowance for Florida Academic Scholars (FAS) will be $375 to be divided equally between terms.

Why couldn’t they put that in big red letters in the email? Perhaps it’s because they wanted to be misleading.

The BrightFutures Academic Scholars award was supposed to pay for everything. That was the original intention, hence the $300 allowance. Books are not getting cheaper. If you’ve been following this blog, you know that my books are awfully expensive this semester (the total came to $348). The state legislature has simply decided that we should be able to pay a portion of our books ourselves. For me, that portion is $160.50.

Perhaps if the legislature didn’t spend so much money giving 100% funding to the students who scored lowly on the ACT / SAT, they’d have more funds to reward the students who scored highly. I don’t know about you, but it was really important for me to get 28 of 36 on my ACT test for the 100% funding and $300 / semester bonus. My family is neither rich nor college-educated. I barely got in with a composite score of 28, which is in the top 8%. The Medallion award requires 20 of 36, which is merely in the top 53%.

I also did 75 hours of community service at the local library to earn my higher award. But now, it’s pretty much the same as the lower award, plus $187.50 per semester. If you couldn’t get 28 of 36, it’s great, but if you struggled to make it or even re-took the ACT to get 28 for the Academic Scholars award, it doesn’t feel so good.

The Florida BrightFutures scholarship program rewards mediocrity while ignoring academic excellence.

Florida Academic Scholars bonus raised to $375

I just got this email from osfa@fldoe.org, the Florida Department of Education:

Dear Mr. Thripp:

The 2008-09 Florida Academic Scholars (FAS) college-related expense allowance that is specified annually by the Florida Legislature in the General Appropriations Act will be $375 for the 2008-09 academic year, prorated by terms and hours.

If you have further questions, please contact the Bright Futures office toll-free at 1-888-827-2004.

Sincerely,

Office of Student Financial Assistance

The Academic Scholars award is the top tier of the Florida BrightFutures scholarships. If you get this award like I do, you know last semester it was dropped to $225 from $300, so it’s good to see it going back up, with an extra $75. This is in addition to tuition.

My books were $348 this semester, so $375 more than covers it. Yes!

My Daytona State College education has been going well, keeping me busy though. I have a Physics test and a speech on the early history of photography on Monday. I’m going to film the latter and post it here after. Now, back to studying. 😎

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