The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) needs to be more transparent and more easily accessible to the people they govern.
The Board of Trustees for the LACCD, an elected body, made the decision to remove their contact information from their website last semester.
In this current state of ever-increasing collegiate budgetary decline it is important for faculty, staff and students to be able to contact those making the decisions that affect them.
This democratic republic in which we live is founded on the principle that our leaders are meant to make decisions based on what we the people want.
When the wall of separation between those in power and the people is too high it becomes apparent that decisions cannot be based off the wishes of those they can no longer hear.
All but one member, Scott J. Svonkin, have removed all contact information from the website.
This breakdown of communication between those who represent us and ourselves is horrific in itself, but even worse at time when so much is in question.
Yes, the LACCD still hosts bi-weekly meetings. And yes, those meetings are still open to the public.
However, not everyone is capable of making it to these meetings.
Many professors teach classes on those nights. Many students take classes on those nights.
And let us not forget that with the high cost of tuition, books and supplies many students also work full-time jobs as well as attend classes.
Being available through e-mail or by telephone is essential for any governing board that truly cares what the people they represent want or need.
Though there are other community college districts that don’t list contact information such as San Bernardino, Kern County and Riverside more are accessible than not.
Santa Monica, Ventura County, Orange County and San Diego all offer e-mail addresses for all members of their governing boards.
Decisions are being made everyday that affect student’s education or faculty and staff jobs, without taking into account the opinions of the people these decisions effect.
The decision to increase tuition and to cut money for supplies was made due to the devastating state of the budget.
However, what supplies are cut and how much tuition was raised were decisions made with no input from the people it matters too.
The board should not only put their contact information back on the website, but they should do a better job in finding out what the people want before making their decisions.