VIDEO: Controversy over Academic Senate presidency

After taking up nearly two-and-a-half hours on Monday to debate the succession of the Pierce College Academic Senate presidency, senators voted to have the Executive Committee set up a special meeting to continue discussion of the issue.

The discourse, which at times bordered on heated argument among Senate members, marks the first time the matter in question was brought to the Senate since former president John Zayac resigned from his post last month to move to New York.

The issue stems from misunderstanding between Zayac’s two vice presidents — Kathy Oborn and Margarita Pillado — as to who the rightful Senate president is.

Tensions were already high toward the beginning of the first Senate meeting of the semester, when both Oborn and Pillado — the latter decided to lead a special meeting at the same time and place as the regularly-scheduled gathering — tried to take control of the forum.

Among the ideas put on the table by Senate members were to have a co-presidency for the current semester and a special election to determine a single leader for the rest of Zayac’s term, to temporarily suspend the Senate bylaws and to have Oborn and Pillado work out the disagreement on their own.

In the end, no absolute resolution was made.

“This Senate has to fix what is broken,” said District Academic Senate President Don Gauthier.

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