PCC students stand to lose nearly $3 million in grant money if Academic Senate President Eduardo Cairo doesn’t sign a document authorizing it.
The money would go toward the Student Success and Support Program (SSSP) plan, which is a plan that would allow for many improvements in Student Services, the most important being the hiring of more counselors.
As of right now the student to counselor ratio is 885 to one. The money would go to improving PCC’s atrocious counseling situation by hiring at least four new full-time and 12 adjunct counselors.
The funding would also give the Counseling Center the ability to text students and let them know when to return to the office to meet with a counselor. This much-needed feature would eliminate students having to devote an entire day to having to wait around the office waiting for a counselor.
These all seem like good things for students, right? Yet Cairo refuses to sign the document until the Academic Senate approves it. This is a document that only needed his signature, not the senate. His delays have put this money at risk of being lost.
Cairo is upset that he was only given 24 hours notice to sign the document. But Associate Vice President of Student Services Cynthia Olivo said that not only was Cairo notified about the report months ago, but that his input affected the final report.
Any funding that could help student success by giving more access to counseling services only helps students.
For the second time in three weeks, Cairo and the senate leadership have decided to hold students hostage until they get what they want. Situations like this have to stop happening.
Members of the Academic Senate don’t totally agree on the issue, with some members believing that the agreement should be signed as soon as possible. And Associated Students President Jordyn Orozco said that it would be “a tragedy if this document wasn’t signed.”
Clearly there are issues between the senate and the administration, but students should never have been pulled into this struggle for power. As of now, that’s what this seems like and if this document isn’t signed, students won’t care which side is to blame.
If there is a way this tragedy can be avoided, it should be. Students should always come first. Not petty disagreements.