Affected PCC Students Speak Out at Emergency Townhall Meeting

Dr. Rocha, PCC President, explains what has happened to funding at a recent press conference- Photo by Terry Miller

By Krishna Rajagopalan
The Pasadena City College Associated Students held a townhall meeting on February 27th to discuss the latest budget cuts at PCC. The townhall meeting was a time for students to express their opinions on how the budget cuts have affected them and what they think should be done to remedy the situation. In addition, Board of Trustees members were present to hear the students’ stories on how the class cuts have affected them. Many students felt that not enough was being done to make sure that they get the classes they need to transfer. Others proposed reasonable solutions to the problems that students are facing in this time of uncertainty.
Associated Students Vice President of Academic Affairs, Chris Fennessey, said that the college is starting a 12 week Spring Forward intersession within the Spring semester which would help those students whose classes were cancelled. Vice President of Public Relations, Mon Shane Chou, noted that she is taking every possible measure to keep students up to date on the latest news they receive about the budget cuts on the Associated Students website. Students were encouraged to sign up for the March in March student protest which will take place in Sacramento on March 5, 2012 in order for legislators to hear the student voice. Students were also encouraged to join various committees such as the Enrollment Management Committee which oversees the number of sections offered as well as the number of students that can enroll in a particular class.
One student suggested that instead of spending money on updating the campus technology, that money be used to fund more classes for students. Several students’ financial aid was affected as a result of the cancelled classes. A majority of the students agreed that it should be at the individual instructor’s discretion whether or not to add more students to a class as opposed to having a universal rule set by the college instructional dean, especially if there are open seats in the classroom. A student, who is a biology major, said that she has to take courses unrelated to her major because her core classes are closed.
Brian Travis, a biochemistry major, told administrators in the room that a shirt, jeans, and a simple desk is enough to get by day to day and that administrators should instead focus their attention on student success and providing more classes. Students were informed that a graduation fund is currently in place which would be used to provide high-in-demand classes. PCC administrators have put some money towards the fund and the Associated Students have donated $1000. Lastly, Fennessey explained that AS took action as soon as they found about the last minute budget cuts. They broke up into three teams: one that decided what position to take on the situation, one to figure out how to help students, and the last one was how to reach out to students to get them involved in the college’s operations. Students must continue to fight for what they think is right in order to build a positive future for themselves as well as their peers.

March 5, 2012

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