Justin Clay/Courier
Board of Trustees members, John Martin, Geoffrey Baum, and Mark Rocha during the August 29, 2012 Board meeting held at the PCC Community Education Center in Pasadena, Calif.

Winter session was eliminated on Aug. 29 when the Board of Trustees adopted a tentative three-semester calendar for the 2012-13 academic year.

The Spring 2013 semester will begin on Jan. 7, and end on May 4. No details about summer 2013 were provided.

The vote was 5-1 in favor of the three semester calendar, with Trustee Berlinda Brown voting against it. Trustee Linda Wah abstained.

Brown wanted more time to consider the proposal.

Students and faculty packed the meeting to express their concerns with the calendar proposal. Many were not allowed into the meeting room, but those outside could be heard chanting, “Let us in! Let us in!” while they pounded on the walls and windows.

The proceedings were disrupted several times by the protest.

Campus police escorted at least three students out of the meeting room. At one point there was a brief struggle between one student and an officer.

Faculty Association representative Julie Kiotas said the administration was doing an end-run around the legally binding employment contract by using the term “student” calendar instead of “academic” calendar.

“It is a violation of shared governance,” Kiotas said. “It is an unfair labor practice, and it is a significant loss of institutional credibility.”

Associated Students President Simon Fraser said students had not been consulted about a decision that would have an enormous impact on them. “The ‘student’ calendar affects students and the AS is here to help students,” he said in an impassioned plea to the board to delay its decision.

Board members said the college would not be able to offer classes during the winter intersession because of the budget situation.

“It is my understanding that there will be no classes during this winter,” Trustee Jeanette Mann said prior to the vote.

“[In the] 2013 winter session we will not be able to offer classes,” said President Mark Rocha.

Trustees Bill Thomson, Wah, Brown and Student Trustee Hannah Israel proposed a motion to postpone the vote so more time could be given to discuss the plan.

“We do not have to make a decision tonight,” Thomson said. “We can have a special meeting whenever we want.”

“I would definitely support the proposal [to postpone]… one more week would not kill anyone,” said Brown.

Israel pointed out that the winter 2011 semester offered 271 sections, which allowed around 7,000 students to take classes.

“Winter intersession is a serious part of students’ education plans,” Israel said.

Other trustees insisted the new calendar be approved to provide the maximum amount of time for negotiations with faculty and other groups.

“We have to afford the administration and Faculty Association enough time to deal with the impacts [of the new calendar],” said Trustee John Martin. “It seems like a much more efficient use of limited resources,” Martin added.

According to the proposal, the three-semester calendar will be good for students.

“The new calendar will unquestionably provide the greatest academic good for the greatest number of students of all types,” it says.

Additional reporting by Paul Ochoa and Christine MichaelsÂ

 

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