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AS unanimously approves no confidence vote in administration

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Editor’s note: This article has been updated since its publication.

The Associated Students Board voted unanimously on Wednesday that it has no confidence in the administration of President Mark Rocha. At the same three-hour marathon session in the Creveling Lounge, the AS also voted unanimously to censure the administration.

John Novak / Courier  Associated Students President Simon Fraser discusses the vote of no confidence in the Creveling Lounge on Wednesday, Feb. 27.

John Novak / Courier
Associated Students President Simon Fraser discusses the vote of no confidence in the Creveling Lounge on Wednesday, Feb. 27.

“I absolutely support the student government’s decision to take action into [its] own hands,” said Rich Copenhagen, president of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges, who flew from Oakland for the meeting, “and to tell the administration how they feel about being disenfranchised and left out of the process. It is very important for student leaders to stand up for their students and make sure they are involved in big decisions that are being made on the campus, especially ones that are of this magnitude where you are changing the entire academic calendar.”
Attempts to reach President Rocha for comment were unsuccessful.
Associated Students President Simon Fraser was frustrated with the administration’s ignorance of issues brought up by the AS.
“This is an extreme …momentous step. It’s not somewhere I want to be,” he said. “We are at the point where I have to beg and plead to get stuff on the table [for shared governance discussion] … I believe there is no other option for us.”

Board of Trustees President John Martin said that the Board has always considered the students’ voice, in a statement received on March 5.

“PCC has a long history of energetic, intelligent students in the Associated Student government,” he said. “The Board has always listened carefully to the Associated Student government representatives.”
Senior Vice President Robert Bell reached out to support the process and steps the AS took.
“I’m not supporting the vote, but I do support the ASPCC executive committee’s process which reached the conclusion they came to,” Bell said in a phone interview after the meeting. “They represent the opinion of 22,000 students.”
According to the resolution, the AS has no confidence and a lack of trust in the president’s administration due to the process by which the current calendar was decided. The resolution condemns the “irresponsible decisions” to change the calendar with an incomplete understanding of the impact on student transfers.
Thomas Hatfield, vice chairman of the lobby committee, was concerned about Rocha’s absence at the meeting, after he had been requested by Fraser to attend or send a representative.
“Where is Dr. Rocha? We are directly discussing his administration. Why isn’t he here to defend[it]?” he said.
Sarah Belknap, undecided, told of her personal attempts to tell the Board of possible consequences of the calendar change on transfer rates.

John Novak / Courier Vice Chair of the Lobby committee Thomas Hatfield expresses one of his concerns at the Associated Student Meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 27. "I have a question, Where is Dr. Rocha?" he voiced as they discussed the vote of no confidence.

John Novak / Courier
Vice Chair of the Lobby committee Thomas Hatfield expresses one of his concerns at the Associated Student Meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 27. “I have a question, Where is Dr. Rocha?” he voiced as they discussed the vote of no confidence.

“I sat with information in my hands with my hand raised for over an hour that transfers would not be able to go in [for fall 2013 transfer]. This was a completely foreseeable problem,” Belknap said. “It was not so much a mistake but a willful negligence.”
AS Vice President of Public Relations Peter Torres was concerned about administrators’ job security with the release of the resolutions of no confidence and censure.
“I’m scared for a lot of members of the administration [and their] job security,” he said. “I’m scared Rocha will go after them.”
The vote of censure included claimed wrongdoings of the Rocha administration in barring students from the opportunity to transfer due to the elimination of the winter intersession.
The AS board felt it was forced to take the initiative of aiding students in transferring to four-year institutions because the administration did not.
Fraser said he will present the resolutions to the Board of Trustees at their next meeting on March 13.

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13 Responses to “AS unanimously approves no confidence vote in administration”

  1. Sam says:

    Was it an absurd claim that Van Pelt and Hutchings attempted to extort $2000 worth of cigars and prostitutes from a LED lighting company?

  2. Heather Johnson says:

    You all should be thankful you are attending school for literally pennies in comparison to private education. You are willing to pay for Burger King and except a steak on your plate. And don’t give me the excuse that you pay taxes. Most of you are lazy and don’t contribute anything to the system. And same goes for your parents who obviously can’t or don’t want to invest in your higher education. Welcome to the real world. Your voice is a joke. Get a job, life isn’t fair, and be thankful that people who are better than you and don’t need or want anything from your school are the ones footing the bill.

    • Nicole says:

      Oh shut up.

      I’m sure posting absurd claims about students and their parents – on a community college newspaper’s forum, mind you – makes you feel all high and mighty, right?

      I guess the “real world” that you speak of includes gawkers like you: onlookers who don’t really do much but chime worthless comments that are worth two Bolivian schillings.

      • Jimbo says:

        Nicole: I’m sure telling others to shut up makes you feel all high and mighty, right?

        People like you don’t do much but chime worthless comments that are, well, just worthless.

  3. Student says:

    this is not about eliminating winter session, this is about misleading students about the reasons for the calendar change.

  4. Bear Stearns says:

    Winter intersession has been eliminated–get over it, get a life and stop beating a dead horse. If some administrators are worried about their jobs, then they shouldn’t have complained–that’s how it works in the working world. I’m glad these complainers don’t work at Yahoo–this week after the elimination of work-at-home privileges by CEO Marissa Meyer, they would REALLY have something to be mad about. LOL

    • Pelican Feathers says:

      I agree with ya. Most community colleges eliminated winter intersessions due to budget restraints. These folks are getting a lesson in the way the real world works.

      Oh, and that money that’s comin’ from prop 30? Watch how it’s not enough and tuition is going up again.

      • Nicole says:

        “Most community colleges eliminated winter intersessions due to budget restraints.”

        That’s funny, considering a lot of colleges that DID cut their intersession, ended up reinstating it after Proposition 30 passed.

        Also, the money from the measure SHOULD be enough to hold off anymore cutbacks made to PCC. The tuition will remain the same at $46 a unit. As of right now, the school is under-enrolled, meaning we’re not entitled to that money just yet. Is it because the school cut winter intersession? Maybe! We still have a shot at that cash once summer intersession rolls around.

        Y’know, you should read the school newspaper. It’s actually quite informative.

      • Incoming cash??? Not so fast! says:

        @Nicole: You think there will be no more cutbacks and a surplus of cash????

        You either haven’t been in California long or you haven’t been paying attention.

        Because of Obama’s sequestration (HIS idea), California will lose $88 million for primary and secondary education. Lotta cheddar!

        Here’s a look at the Bigger picture:

        From the mid-1980s to 2005, California’s population grew by ten million, while Medicaid recipients soared by seven million. Yet tax filers paying income taxes rose by just 150,000, and the prison population swelled by 115,000. (source: “California’s Greek Tragedy” from March 2012 Wall Street Journal)

        Not sustainable.

  5. An Educated Opinion Matters More says:

    When will Rocha come out of the shadows and defend him and his administration?

    • Sam says:

      He knocked up a student at West LA college and still hasn’t defended himself for that, I’d say we’ve got a long time to wait.

      • Sue says:

        Okay, we need more details on that allegation Sam!!

      • Nicole says:

        Oh shut up.

        I’m sure posting absurd claims about campus administrators – on a community college newspaper’s forum, mind you – makes you feel all high and mighty, right?

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