Students back as construction continues


Students back to school are forced to take detours as construction continues.

Darlene Mangrum, Reporter

It’s that time again, back to school. Back to rushing around campus to get to the next class on time, back to driving around trying to find the right parking space, back to seeing friends after a long summer vacation, and, for some, back to finishing what was started.

One student who is a firm believer in finishing what she started is 63-year-old Ruth Riley. Riley originally started at Bakersfield College right after high school but life happened and she had to wait to finish school. Riley decided to come back to BC in January 2011 in order to finish what she started so many years ago.

“I want to finish what I started and feel that sense of completion,” Riley said. Although she’s unsure if she plans to transfer, Riley only has two semesters left to attain a degree in history.

Riley mentioned that one complication with attending school during the construction is that sometimes it makes it difficult for the disability transport to get to her to take her to her classes. She said she makes sure to get to school early so the construction doesn’t interfere with her getting to her classes on time.

The construction seemed to be a common concern among returning students as this semester takes way.

Vivian Deidda, 39, said the only thing she doesn’t like about BC is that the construction is causing an impact on parking, making students have to park a lot farther from their classes. Although the construction has caused some concerns, Deidda said she has really enjoyed her time and learned a lot at BC.

“The teachers are awesome because they are so helpful, inspiring, [and] caring,” she said. “They treated me like I was an equal and already well-educated. I needed that confidence when I first started.”

Deidda, who attained her associate’s degree and a certificate in Human Services in May, is currently in her last semester at BC and plans to transfer to Cal State – Bakersfield to work on a bachelor’s in sociology.

Michelle Solorzano, 42, and Wilma Singh, 49, BC nursing students, are among the students returning and both agreed that they chose BC for its reputation for having an “outstanding and successful nursing program.”

Although Solorzano has to take school at a slower pace due to her role as a wife and mother who also maintains a full-time job, she projects that she will probably graduate in five or six years. She said she loves going to BC because of the teachers.

“I love the teachers,” Solorzano said. “All of them.”

Singh also said that she likes her professors because they are so helpful, but said, “I enjoy college because I know I will be more successful when I’m done.”

Not only is Singh attending, but she is joined by her daughter, Vanessa Camudio, 20. Although Camudio said construction can be a hassle, she also voiced her opinions about her classes.

“It is a little bit of work,” she said. “But my professors are very helpful.”

Camudio is a plant science major and plans to transfer to Fresno State University after she finishes at BC.