Editor’s note: This story has been updated since it was first posted.

Associated Students officials say they are continuing to see problems with transfer of courses to CSUs despite assurances from administrators.

Benjamin Simpson / Courier AS President, Simon Fraser (file photo).
Benjamin Simpson / Courier
AS President, Simon Fraser (file photo).

AS President Simon Fraser responded this week to claims that the problems were minimal.

“I do not appreciate the claims from the administration and [President Mark] Rocha in particular,” said Fraser, “that there are no students affected by this. I have two – right now.

“We are finding out that people who put down [in their transfer applications] that they are going to take a class in summer, are being auto rejected by a lot of the institutions. Here is the problem with making a drastic change when you don’t know what the impacts are. This is where you end up.”

At a news conference for journalism students on March 26, Rocha claimed he was not aware of any students who are having problems transferring for fall.

Rocha encouraged those who are having a hard time transferring to talk to Assistant Superintendent Robert Bell. “Bring your letters to Dr. Bell and he will take care of it,” he said.

One student stopped by the Courier office on Wednesday afternoon to describe his problems transferring to Humboldt State University.

On Feb. 8, Chanze Jennings received an email from Humboldt, saying that summer courses will not be accepted for transfer.

” I had been following this in the Courier,” Jennings said. He then emailed Simon Fraser, Rocha and Trustee John Martin. “Rocha wrote back that he was going to have Bell take care of it. [Bell] never emailed me,” he said.

At the AS meeting on March 28, Fraser said Bell will be creating letters for students who are having problems with transferring to four-year colleges. They will be available at the counseling offices. Bell is also planning on sending out emails to all the colleges about the transfer issues.

There is also a plan to send out an email to all PCC students asking if they are having problems with transferring.

The AS in February passed two resolutions; a no confidence resolution, citing problems with shared governance, and a resolution to censure the administration over the removal of the winter intersession, according to Fraser.

The problems with the removal of winter have come to light five months after the vote by the Board of Trustees in August. Students were assured by the administration that summer courses would be accepted for concurrent fall transfer to four-year universities.

But now students are receiving rejection letters from universities, according to Fraser, because the universities do not accept summer courses for concurrent transfer.

“I also want to clarify what [Rocha] said and what [Trustee Geoffrey] Baum said … that [the AS] had been characterizing that the college had been doing nothing,” said Fraser. “I want to be very clear that nowhere have we said that. We said that the college has made efforts, it has made those efforts too little and too late.

“That is my issue. [The administration] has been saying that they have been working on this, and working on this. They are making claims that are still unsubstantiated.”

The problem runs deeper, according to John Fraser, AS vice president for external affairs, who said in an email that there has been a continued lack of shared governance, of interaction between the administration and the students.

“The students have beseeched Dr. Rocha’s administration to deal with the problems with shared governance. We were ignored,” said John Fraser, who said he was speaking for himself, not officially for the AS. “The students have brought our concerns to the Board of Trustees that Dr. Rocha’s administration repeatedly infringed on our rights. We were brushed off.”

John Fraser suggested that if there is no change, the electorate should take notice.

“If the voting representatives on the Board are unable to maintain their responsibilities on behalf of the communities they represent, then someone who can should take their place.”

The problem of shared governance, according to Simon Fraser, is partly a lack of information provided by the administration.

“Immediately after the town hall [meeting on Jan. 24],” said Simon Fraser, “I went up to Assistant Superintendent Bell and asked for information about the transfer of summer classes. We didn’t receive that information.”

“The only response that I have heard from [Rocha] related to AS, has been that [the AS] are not representative of the students. How we have failed in the process. These comments are clearly designed to put AS in a negative position. That is not something I believe we can work with.”

9 Replies to “AS cites continuing problems with transfers”

  1. Associated Students are supposed to represent the students, not their own twisted delusions of grandeur. I am curious as to how they came up with their no confidence vote. PCC is a school of about 25,000 students. Did they poll ALL of the students and receive a 100% approval for their vote of no confidence?

    I think not. As such, there are students that they are representing falsely. Therefore, AS is not representative of the entire student body at all. Did they just poll some of their buddies and come to their conclusion? Six of them felt that way so they try to pretend all 25,00 students feel that way?

    Between Marheine and Frasier, PCC has an absolute misunderstanding of what shared governance is all about.


      1. @Too Simple:

        Wow, you can almost rhyme. Almost cleverly, too.

        You write “not worth reply” in your reply.

        PCC at its finest? Critical thinking at its best-est?

        Who was your English teacher, young man?

    1. The argument that we did not conduct polling of 100% of students, nor receive 100% support for an action, is levied against us whenever a group – usually the top level administration, or the Board of Trustees – dislikes an action that we have taken. It is also a false argument, and it shows no understanding of the process we undertook. We are elected to represent the students – we poll to the best of our ability, but not having staff nor release time, and a requirement to maintain 9 units of college credit, it is an impossible task to poll all students – especially since the college has roadblocks in place that prevent us from effectively reaching all students. We have to do the best with the information and resources we have, and what we believe is in the best interests of the students. We are elected by the students annually, for that very purpose.

      I have been very open in asking for any student to come forward and talk to me, or email me, with their thoughts on our actions. I said on Lancer Radio, whether you agree or disagree with me, the best way you can help us represent you is to be part of the process and tell me how you feel. And, to this day, I have yet to be told by a single student that what we did was wrong. In fact, I am told repeatedly that AS should keep up the good work – verbatim, oftentimes.

      I stand by the actions as appropriate, considered, and with wider support than even I had realized. I also offer my email address (swfraser@pasadena.edu) and my office hours (Wednesday 12pm-7pm, Friday 11am-4pm) in CC105B if you just want to stop by and give me feedback.

      1. Keep it up Simon! PCC has the ability to be a great school. Although I have transferred out, I will definitely continue following these stories.

        Students need to be the first priority.

  2. Here’s the problem: student government is “pretend” power, no reason to get drunk on it.

    You get to have a voice at the table, but the decision making is not in your hands. That is what the Board of Trustees id for, making the decisions. Rocha gets to advise, student government gets to advise, but the Trustees make the decisions.

    1. The Associated Students aren’t drunk with power, nor are they trying to claim that thy should have decision making power for the campus.

      John Fraser explicitly is quoted here as saying that the Board of Trustees need to be held accountable for THEIR decisions. Their vote of no confidence was itself a message to the Board of Trustees, as well as the rest of the community, that the administration is not adequately fulfilling its responsibilities to PCC students.

      The AS is happy to fill their role as advisers, as part of the conversation. The actual problem, however, is that they are not able to advise when they are not included in those discussions, and when they are shrugged off as unrepresentative of PCC students. They aren’t trying to go beyond their advisory role, they are just trying to fulfill it to the best of their ability, and sometimes that means calling out when those who do make the decisions are not making the right ones.

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