Hope of new hires depends on new retirees

Shweta Saraswat

Despite a present hiring freeze, Pierce College President Robert Garber said during an Academic Senate meeting April 21 that he hopes to hire a few more faculty members.Though the number of people hired depends on the number of retirees this year, Garber is optimistic. “QUOTE”Senate President Tom Rosdahl and other senate members commended Garber during the meeting with applause for stepping up to the Los Angeles Community College District chancellor and requesting these new positions.In related business, the horticulture, child development and business hiring committees were all approved.Later in the meeting, English professor and at-large senator Richard Follett began a discussion on the increased amount of students who smoke in non-smoking areas, specifically around the perimeters of the botanical garden.”Students are becoming more aggressive,” Follett said. “We have a policy – are we going to enforce it or are we going to ignore it?”Diane Kelly, physical education instructor, suggested that if instructors “approach the students with respect, they will react the same way you’re reacting.”However, professor of economics Sharon Levick, who says she has been sworn at and has had cigarettes thrown at her feet when she asked students to stop smoking, felt differently.”The problem is that our administration doesn’t see the difference between a 6-foot-6-inch president of the college…and a 5-foot-2-inch female dressed in pink asking them to stop smoking,” Levick said.As the senate toyed with the idea of instituting a fine for smoking in non-smoking zones, Sallay Manah, the Associated Students Organization social-cultural committee chair, said, “if there were a sign or something that stated the consequences, we wouldn’t do it.”As most senate members displayed dissatisfaction with the Work Environment Committee’s actions toward the smoking problem, they have invited WEC chairperson Larry Andre to the next senate meeting to discuss what can be done.In other business, adjunct faculty representative Martin Karamian expressed a desire for the number of adjuncts to “reflect the actual number of bodies in the faculty.”Karamian explained that 75 percent of instructors on campus are adjunct, while only 5 percent of senate members are adjuncts. Karamian hopes to “encourage” adjunct faculty by increasing their representation on the senate to 10 percent.His suggestion was met with general approval from the senate, and the issue will be voted on at a later date.