Following the disappointment in the change of speaker for the upcoming commencement ceremony, the Associated Students board shifted gears to discussing matters with accreditation and getting a better handle on how to deal with the concerns some students may have in regards to the GM building.
Accreditation Coordinator Stephanie Fleming said there has been a focus on campus-wide communication for accreditation matters, such as assessments and self-evaluations, with presentations for shared governance groups, having interactive workshops, and revamping the accreditation website to be more user friendly and allow for certain information to be more attainable.
Fleming also noted that the Accreditation Commission for Junior Colleges (ACCJC), which is responsible for accrediting PCC, was having difficulty in attracting more participation from faculty to be a part of the peer-review process.
“It’s really hard for faculty…it’s very labor intensive,” Fleming said.
Fleming also reached out to the board for suggestions on how to get newsletters out to students so they know what is going on around campus, as security issues prevent the school from students’ mass emails.
VP for Sustainability Sarah Belknap suggested something more face-to-face with the students as it was a better method of getting their attention. Eric Bustamante, VP for Academic Affairs, recommended using the library rotunda as a venue for engaging more students.
The committee is also focusing on the history of past recommendations about issues on campus, as not resolving the issues might lead to sanctions, such as warning or revocation of accreditation. One major item of concern is the persistent negative campus climate, which dates back to at least 1996.
“They’re pretty telling of the fact that we had a consistent issue on our campus,” Fleming stated.
However, measures are being taken to try and fix the problem. One possibility is the hiring of a third party consultant that could come in and bring an objective look at campus climate issues. Fleming pointed out that while they are only in the process of possibly looking at applications for consultants, there would be a student that serves in the selection committee that looks over the applications for that consultant.
VP for Cultural Diversity Auriana Duffy also wanted the board to address the issues of how the GM building could be a safer place for students on campus. There has been some concerns from gay and female students about the some of the behaviors of some athletes and the intimidation they feel when having to visit or pass by the building.
President Jordyn Orozco said that as a queer person of color, he did not feel safe when he would have visited the building for staff reasons.
VP for Student Services Miranda Alvarado said she would get the “stare” when she would pass by and that she no longer goes in through the main entrance and goes through the side of the building.
“It’s not comfortable for me,” said Alvarado.
Orzoco and Belknap suggested that it would be a good idea to start with the coaches and work their way down to the athletes to try and have a safe zone for coaches and team captains to give them a better understanding of the situation and reach out to the student population.