The Calendar Standing Committee voted to recommend a Fall 2014 calendar, fearing that recommending a full year calendar would overstep its boundaries as the District awaits a decision on its appeal of a legal ruling requiring it to bring back winter intersession.
Last year, the Faculty Association filed an unfair labor practice to Public Employees Relations Board regarding the cancellation of a winter intersession. Last November, PERB ruled in the FA’s favor and ordered the college to reinstate a winter intersession immediately. The District appealed and is still waiting for a response from PERB.
Committee co-chair and vice president of student services Robert Bell explained that the committee had not met in over a year because of the impasse over the ruling. He suggested that the committee recommend a similar calendar to this year’s but without a winter intersession.
“I am not going to excuse that we didn’t meet,” Bell said. “We need to have a calendar in place so students and faculty can plan for next year. It was inappropriate to have the same calendar without this level of discussion so we can look at the current 13/14 calendar and roll it into 14/15.”
Members of the committee argued that not having a winter intersession would in fact cause more harm to students and faculty alike.
Associated Students Vice President and committee member Sarah Belknap argued that she could not transfer in time this year because of the cancellation of winter and hoped the committee would consider recommending a calendar with a winter session.
“Winter intercession allows us to pick your strengths to do in the shorter semester, it allows you to have continuous enrollment, it helps us transfer faster because it allows us to take classes in that time lapse,” Belknap said. “If the [new] calendar doesn’t work for students, it won’t work for anyone else in this room. That is going to trickle out to every corner of this campus.”
Academic Senate representative and committee member Lydia McDonald said she believed it would not be wise to recommend a full calendar yet because of the controversy surrounding a winter intersession.
“We’ve had so many discussions about winter some of us have strong feelings. It doesn’t do any good to talk about it right now,” McDonald said. “I personally do not want to have a calendar for next year until we know what we will have to do [regarding PERB].”
Committee member Melissa Michelson believed that because the committee hadn’t met in a year, one meeting would not be enough time to properly create a calendar to recommend to the Board of Trustees.
“We are up against the clock here. I don’t know if we have any time to even discuss fall and start dates,” Michelson said. “How do we mitigate this suddenness? Why is it OK to have a meeting today when we could have had a meeting back right after PERB came out? What is the plan how are we moving forward with this [calendar]?”
Michelson also brought her own draft of a calendar with a winter intersession.
Bell explained that because time was short, it would be best to recommend a rollover calendar from last year to this year.
“We are really under the compression of time,” Bell said. “[It is important] that we lead this discussion with the recommendation with the rollover of the same calendar we have now. If we reintroduce the winter intersession, it would be in opposition of the District’s stance.”
Committee member Kelly Camacho argued that the District was appealing an unfair labor practice, not a winter intersession.
Interim Vice President of Enrollment services and committee member Karen Semien argued that even if winter was recommended, it would not be easy to implement.
“It was easy to get rid of it, though,” Camacho said.
The committee voted to have another meeting on Thursday to continue crafting a full year calendar to recommend and stuck to recommending a Fall semester for now.