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What is the deal with the M Center?

Every semester someone pitches a story to The Campanil called, “Why does the M Center suck?”

But, ultimately it never gets written, because reporters only get so far until they (usually) give up on the story. Why? Well, it’s not because of lazy reporters or a lack of caring about the community: it’s that we can never, ever get any answers.

Perhaps that seems a little harsh, but seriously, who on campus hasn’t had some unpleasant experience with the M Center? Whether it’s a form being lost, not knowing where to file all the stupid forms, to the multitude of issues regarding financial aid, the issues seem never ending. And the most recent debacle is folks being kicked out of Mills for having some outstanding balance on their Mills account that they may or may not have known about prior to their Mills Google accounts and key cards being shut down.

To top it all off, a handful of students that I know personally, mostly final semester seniors, were kicked out of the college in the past two weeks. Which just leads me to one question: What?!?!?!?!?

Which starts a multitude of other questions: Why were these students not made aware of their situation with the college? Why didn’t they receive a phone call? WHAT IS GOING ON IN CARNEGIE HALL?

I’ve even seen fellow editors freak out on Fridays when they are notified that there are issues with their accounts. And often when students are notified on Fridays of issues with their account, they have 48 hours to somehow fix whatever the issue is when everything on campus is closed. I’ve personally been emailed at 5 p.m. on a Friday about issues with my account and then had to sweat it out all weekend before I could get a vague call or email reply from someone at the M Center.

Shouldn’t the financial office be well managed and arranged so students won’t leave Mills with a bitter taste in their mouth, and will want to tell people they know to come to Mills? So maybe, if we have the financial means one day, want to donate to the college, shouldn’t we want to do that as alums?

Honestly, I am really curious about how the M Center is run, and from some folks I’ve talked to who may have worked there or have information about the M Center, it seems like they’re curious as well.

From what it sounds like, Student Accounts is understaffed. This isn’t too surprising, seeing as the college is cutting corners everywhere it can in order to save cash. However, shouldn’t this be a section of the college that only has to cut one or two corners instead of all four? I feel like the M Center has been a factor as to how low retention rates are, because some people simply drop out of Mills instead of having to go round after round with the M Center.

Shouldn’t the M Center be calling people to tell them that there’s an issue with their account instead of sending emails at 5 p.m.? Or like last school year when students would get letters during class telling them that they should not be in class because of outstanding amounts on their accounts?

It often feels like the M Center doesn’t want us here, that maybe they want less people at Mills so there are less accounts to deal with. I honestly don’t know why students are so often treated like garbage. Two students that I know who recently had to put their lives on hold in order to be reinstated to the college did not even receive an apology. In fact, one of those students was actually told that it was her fault that her account was not cleared. Whether that is in fact the case or not, no one really seems to know.

I would write this letter to the head of student accounts. However, I feel like, or perhaps “hope” is a better word, that the head of student accounts knows just how much of a s–t show their department is. And for that, I feel really bad for them. But on the other hand, who drops second semester seniors from their classes months away from graduation without notice? I can only hope that sometime in the near future there will be a massive restructuring of the M Center and students won’t have to fear it so much.


There was recently a survey released by ASMC regarding the M Center. Check it out here (you have to be logged into your Mills Account to access it).