February 11, 2019
Dear SMC Student:
On this first day of the Spring 2019 semester, I extend a warm welcome to those of you attending Santa Monica College for the very first time. And to our returning students: welcome back! Spring is a time full of promise, as visible everywhere in nature. Here at SMC, I have the incredible privilege of seeing that potential for growth in you.
This college is dedicated to your success; we are all excited that you have chosen SMC to get to your dream career or university. For those still seeking direction: you have come to the right place. Here at SMC, you will receive guidance that will open up possibilities you may never have contemplated. I encourage you to meet with a counselor—they are here to ensure that you're on the fastest track to success, and to help identify a career or educational goal that's just right for you.
Essential information for Spring 2019 is available right here. Find information in the Spring 2019 Student Success Workshops and Events Calendar—featuring transfer workshops, career-preparation events, and more. Here are a few more things I wanted you to know:
First Things First: Transportation & Parking!
Don't be late for class your first week because of traffic and parking. Pro Tip: If you must drive, go straight to Bundy campus to find plenty of open spots. Parking is free and Big Blue Bus shuttles run to main campus every 14 minutes.
Better yet, use one of these options to get to campus without the car (and having to deal with the hassle of LA traffic): Big Blue Bus (you can ride BBB for free with an activated student ID), Expo train, Waze Carpool from anywhere in LA County for only $1, bike, scooter, or by foot.
Brand-New Student Services Center—Coming Soon!
Have you seen that gorgeous three-story building on Pico Boulevard? It's the new SMCStudent Services Center, a one-stop shop that will host a number of counseling and support services. This includes Admissions & Records, Financial Aid & Scholarships, the Center for Students with Disabilities, Welcome Center, Latino Center, Black Collegians, International Education Center, and so much more. We are hoping that the Center will be ready late spring. Check out this website for a full listing of what the new Student Services Center will hold!
First-ever Associated Students Book Fair
The SMC Associated Students (A.S.) will be holding a first-ever A.S. Book Fair on Tuesday, February 12 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. at the Cayton Center. Be sure to stop by to sell some old textbooks—if you have them—and buy new ones for this semester! To stay up-to-date with your student government—who is here to represent you—follow them on social media and find ways to get involved. More information on the Associated Students.
Fresh Food—and a Little Extra
Over the past couple years, SMC's Office of Student Life and Associated Students have launched several programs to help provide some nutritious food that will hopefully make it a little easier for you to focus on your classes. Options on SMC's main campus include a free farmer's market "Corsair Market" that runs every Wednesday in the cafeteria (bring your student I.D. and a bag). There's also a free lunch voucher program thanks to A.S. called FLVR; 7food closets called "The Galley" (locations: Student Life/Cayton Center; Black Collegians/Adelante; EOP&S; Veterans Success Center; Athletics; STEM office in Drescher Hall; and the Photography office, on the first floor of Drescher). SMC will also offer at least four "CalFresh Days" this semester so that we can help as many eligible students sign up for the federal food assistance program. More information on Food Security, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take Care of YOU
College can be stressful and difficult. You will most likely encounter highs and lows this semester; I cannot stress how very important it is to take care of your personal well-being. If you ever need one-on-one emotional support, please visit SMC's Center for Wellness and Wellbeing, which is located in the Liberal Arts building, room 110. You can call the office at 310-434-4503. There is also a 24/7 emotional support line for you: call the hotline anytime (800) 691-6003.
Get Involved & Have A Little Fun!
Are you into sustainability? Learning a new language? Ballroom dancing? Chances are there's a student club at SMC just for someone like you. Santa Monica College is a vibrant, diverse place. You will—literally and figuratively—find the world at SMC! There are generally 60+ clubs registered during a regular semester, so the options to find like-minded souls (or broaden your horizon!) are endless. Moreover, if a club does not exist for your specific interest—YOU can always start a club! Find out about joining or starting a club.
Remember that old adage about all work and no play making Jack dull? Well, it still holds true; take advantage of the huge array of extra-curricular activities SMC offers for you. These include concerts, dance performances, plays, athletic events (Go Corsairs!), and recreational options (most events are free or feature steeply discounted student tickets). And, if you're seeking intellectual engagement outside the classroom, there are tons of free guest lectures with renowned experts in a range of fields. Check out all events for Spring & Summer 2019. Plus, for social media channels associated with SMC—so you can stay connected and get the latest and best information on exciting events.
Not On Our Campus | A Reminder of SMC's Values
In fall 2018, Associated Students, Student Life, and SMC's Police Department launched a timely campaign called "Not on Our Campus" (NOOC). This campaign seeks to empower every member of the SMC community to join in creating and maintaining an environment that is safe and inclusive for everyone. More activities are planned this spring—including guest speakers, discussion forums, and film screenings. Take a pledge, and read more about what led SMC to launch this campaign, here's a letter I wrote last fall.
In these divisive times, SMC continues to hold fast to our values of diversity and inclusivity, one that leaves no room for hate or bigotry against any member of our community. Together, we can build the kind of world where mutual respect thrives.
Thank you for choosing Santa Monica College. I look forward to seeing you cross that stage on graduation day, and hearing of your successes in the very near future!
Wishing you all the best this spring—and beyond:
Kathryn E. Jeffery, Ph.D.