Under the table

    Editorial Board

     

    The Los Angeles Community College District is not adequately informed of the happenings inside of their nine colleges served in California.

    The LACCD Board of Trustees meets biweekly to discuss issues facing each college campus and its students, find solutions and vote on matters to improve the overall higher education provided within its district.

    In a recent meeting, the LACCD Chancellor Daniel LaVista spoke eloquently to the board of his reactions to the Los Angeles Times series packaged as ‘Wasteful Spending.’

    Why was so much time taken to address this issue publicly?

    The last article, as a part of the series in the L.A. Times, ridiculing the high costs of construction/beautification to each of the nine campuses ran weeks ago.

    LaVista, however, did issue a response on behalf of the LACCD following publication of the series in the L.A. Times on March 3 addressed to department heads and education leaders in the LACCD.

    The information was also made public and posted to their website in February and March.

    The reactions to these articles were publicized, but not loud enough.  Liberated in press releases, the comments of LaVista were most likely not seen by the majority of students throughout the nine colleges of the LACCD.

    The lack of urgency in finding solutions to these problems brought to all public attention is laughable and clouds credibility in regard to board members.

    At a recent meeting, in the district office, LaVista proposed that a committee be formed to monitor future spending on beautification projects within the district.

    Isn’t this a little late coming?

    Why wasn’t this thought of before the problems arose? An incredible amount of money could have been saved.

    Our leaders should have the foresight to catch these problems before they occur, instead of planning for solutions in the unfortunate incident that these mistakes are repeated.

    Considering the numerous mistakes addressed throughout the L.A. Times series, I’m not sure any of this would be so shocking.

    Another suggestion LaVista made was to cut the costs of printing in terms of the agenda for each LACCD meeting.

    This would save a total of $17,000 annually.

    But where would the savings be used?

    According to further discussion between the board members during the three-hour public forum, the funds could easily be used to redecorate their offices.

    The renovation of their district offices would total an estimated $12 million, so where would the other $11,999,983,000?

    Students should want to understand what is immediately affecting each of them and their education and future. 

    Perhaps more shocking, when questioned why funding was being sent to Sacramento, a board member asked what could possibly be going on there that was of any importance.

    Was that just for comic relief, or did she truly not realize that budget protests were only recently concluded there?

    The LACCD prides itself on being in charge of more than 250,000 students, more than any other California district – one member on the board suggested that she was unaware of the ‘March in March.’

    We strongly encourage the student body to take an interest in these topics and be aware that they might be able to voice their opinions at these meetings, provided three minutes of floor time, to stand up for their education.

    As students during this economic crisis, we have invested countless efforts, time, and struggled to pay for our right to be educated and secure a successful future for ourselves.

    If we do not stand up for ourselves, our education and our future – who will?