Nearly 300 students, chefs and graduates showed up to the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) Board of Trustees meeting to protest the board’s proposed elimination of its culinary arts program.
LACCD’s culinary program is one of the largest, oldest and widest recognized culinary arts programs in the state, said Freddie McClain, sociology professor at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College (LATT).
“The uniqueness of the program strongly encourages a positive academic mindset,” McClain said. “The students in the program can actually see the fruits of their labor being purchased and appreciated by faculty, staff and students.”
The LATT students want to decide the fate of the culinary program said, James Johnson, president of the Associated Student Organization at LATT.
“We feel that each campus should have the authority to decide on this matter based on the needs of their students,” Johnson said.
But no final decisions have been made and programs will not be affected, The Board of Trustees said.
“There’s no plan to get rid of the culinary program. We believe there must have been some sort of confusion,” saivd Scott Svonkin, President of the Board. “As of now, many campuses don’t have many food options or cafeterias at all. We just wanted students to have options, and easy access to affordable food.”
The LATT culinary program’s future was not the only item on the board’s agenda.
Education Workers United expressed its concern of a low maintenance budget across the district. Employees expressed their inability to properly maintain campuses, and also explained the issue of overworked employees and a lack of supplies.
”I hope you have soap or paper towels because it’s not uncommon to find empty rolls and dispensers,” said Emily Rodriguez, maintenancve and operations district employee.