chaffeybreeze.com | Jan. 30, 2012
Free rides for students CARLOS ALBERTO HUIZAR
hile many students are not looking forward to the increasing fees and materials of college life, many of them still look forward to taking advantage of the GoSmart program, provided by Omnitrans. The GoSmart Program, which started last fall, has provided students with free public transportation with a valid student ID, making it easier and affordable for students to commute to school. “The free transportation has been very helpful and convenient,” Yolanda Westbrook, undecided major, said. “For someone who shuttles from Highland, I would not have been able to attend my classes if it wasn’t for this program.” Normally, students would pay $1.50 per trip, $4 for a day-pass, $11 for a seven-day pass, and $35 for a 31-day pass, but this program alleviates students of all these fees. “The program has been such a success,” Omnitrans Director of Marketing Wendy Williams said. “We have seen a 375 percent increase in transit ridership among Chaffey students.” According to Williams, throughout the fall semester, Omnitrans has provided over 215,000 trips to over 2,800 students who have been taking advantage of the program. The GoSmart Program not only offers these perks to Chaffey students, but also
to students from other community colleges and Cal State Universities within the Omnitrans service area. The Omnitrans program is currently being funded by a government grant and participating colleges through a one-year pilot program, with the intention of encouraging “greener” transportation options and ease traffic congestion to improve air quality throughout San Bernardino Valley. While thousands of students are enjoying the free ride, the GoSmart Program may come with a cost at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. According to Omnitrans, after the pilot phase expires, participating colleges have an option of continuing the program. However, colleges would have to enact a “transportation fee” through a referendum. The fee would be approximately $15 per year, which would become a mandatory fee to all students, if enacted. ASCC and Omnitrans will be conducting a forum with school administrators on Tuesday, Feb. 28 to discuss the potential “transportation fee” to interested students. “We want to hear the concerns of our students and better understand whether or not the majority of the student body would agree to enact a new college fee,” Sherrie Guerrero, Vice President of Instruction and Student Services, said. The referendum will be included in the campus-wide ASCC student elections set to begin on March 29.
Domique Odums happily shows his student identification card instead of paying the $1.50 for his bus fare to and from campus.
Financial aid makes higher education affordable for all DESIREE TOLI
he beginning of a new semester brings more than just the rush to find open classes. For many it brings a rush to find financial relief after paying escalating fees for registered classes. The Pell Grant and BOG Waiver, given through Federal Financial Student Aid, serves to lift burdens off the pockets of students. The Cal Grant is offered by the California Student Aid Com-
mission on a financial need and GPA basis. In order to be considered for a Cal Grant, a 2012-2013 FAFSA application must be filed, and a GPA must be electronically filed by a student’s financial aid advisor to the California Student Aid Commission. The California Student Aid Commission was created by the legislature in 1955. It began as a small state scholarship agency with a handful of employees. Since its creation, the commission has grown into highly complex financial aid organization whose mission is to make education be-
Kyle Tyler: English major, Review member dies
yond high school accessible to all Californians. To qualify for the Cal Grant, a current FAFSA application must be completed and filed by the deadline. Students must then ask their advisor to send a certified GPA to the Cal Grant Student Aid Commission. Students with a 3.0 grade point average, who apply before the deadline qualify for the Cal Grant A. Each year, 22, 500 grants are available. Current community college students with at least a 2.5 GPA qualify for a grant as
long as they have graduated from a California high school after June 30 of 2000 and be under the age of 28 as of Dec. 31 of the year they applied. Students however, cannot receive a grant within a year after they graduate from school. The deadline to apply for federal student aid is March 2, for the 2012/2013 school year. Applications can be filed on the FAFSA website, www.fafsa.ed.gov. For more information, visit the financial aid office, or call (909) 652-6199.
yle Taylor, Fiction Editor for the Chaffey Review team, took his own life Jan. 2. He was 21. Taylor grew up in Rancho Cucamonga and lived in Fontana. He worked at Graziano’s Restaurant in addition to taking classes. He enjoyed playing his guitar, listening to music, and writing stories and poems. He was heavily involved in hiking and rock climbing. “He was a good-spirited kid,” Michael Cooper, former Senior Editor for The Review and close friend of Taylor’s, said. “He was extremely generous, always buying people dinner.” He enjoyed creative writing with poetry and mostly fiction. Taylor was on the Review for three semesters and had recently taken on a leadership role on the Review with fiction writing. “He was a team player. I have only positive things to say about him,” professor Michelle Dowd, instructor for The Review, said. “I was very upset about his death.” Dowd said that Taylor was talented, and his rye sense of humor showed in his creative writing. His writing is featured in Vol. 7, the most recent publication. “He was a talented person, an extremely talented person,” Emily Suxo, English major and fellow staff member on The Review, said.