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Thursday, November 26, 2020

Enrollment down but holding steady

Pierce College is second among the nine Los Angeles Community College District schools in terms of headcount and enrollment, compared to where the school was last year.

The Pierce College Council (PCC) revealed on Oct. 22 that headcount is at 94% and enrollment is at 90% compared to last year. 

Pierce College President Alexis Montevirgen thanked the campus community.

“Our sister colleges continue to see a decline in both terms of headcount and enrollment,” Montevirgen said. “I would like to thank our faculty, staff, and the dean for their continued work in our department in terms of trying to make sure that we offer our late start classes and continue to ensure we are reaching out and offering courses so that our students, albeit in a remote environment, can still continue to work on their education.”

Montevirgen also took a moment to thank those who took part in his virtual coffee and conversation.

He also suggested setting up a noon Zoom meeting in hopes of bringing the campus community together.

“We’re going to try to do more of these and think about more opportunities for the campus to be able to have informal contact with one another,” Montevirgen said. “Back in the pre-COVID times, I would have the opportunity to walk across campus and interact with students and now we have no real way to do that given our remote operations.”

Department Chair of Mathematics and Budget Committee member Eddie Tchertchian brought up Proposition 20. He explained the struggles of the Pierce College community who are having trouble while working remotely and how the money can be best allocated to help all employees.

Department Chair of Humanities and Budget Committee member Brian Walsh said providing employees a suitable setting for remote classroom instruction is necessary and needs to be addressed.

“We’re really skeptical,” Walsh said. “Our discussions with the chancellor’s office have completely broken down. We brought this up and we don’t really see a lot of wiggle room there. I mean, it’s only doom and gloom every time we ask about savings and efficiencies. These are things that are not up for discussion in shared governance. This is not a democratic issue. This is really just a legal issue in terms of the contract. What we’re seeing now is that the district hasn’t really had a coherent response or mechanism to respond to these requests.”

Senior Administrative Analyst Mofe Doyle reminded those participating to take a step back and look at the entire situation.

“I’m definitely in support of the motion but I’d also like to balance things out a little,” Doyle said. “We are very fortunate and privileged to work for an employer that continues to pay us our salaries and make it possible for us to continue our lives during the pandemic in ways that millions of Americans can not.”

The next Budget Committee meeting on Nov. 3 will break down Proposition 20 in a detailed printout.

Meagan Truxal of the Diversity Committee also announced the events happening during the second annual Multicultural Week from Oct. 27 to Nov. 1.

These events include keynote speaker Candace Valentine, who will discuss gender and self-identity, and the performing arts production of “Facing Our Truth: Ten Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race and Privilege.”

“I encourage all of you to attend,” Truaxal said. “We’re hoping it will be very informative and really helpful.”

Jamie Crespin, President of the Associated Student Organization, announced that there will be a Dia de los Muertos celebration hosted on Nov. 4 from 11:30 a.m to 2:30 p.m.

The celebration will include speakers such as muralist Levi Ponce, and 2012 Grammy winner Dr. Martha Gonzalez, 2014 Grammy winner La Marisoul and Quetzal, and the lead vocalist of La Santa Clarita.

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