Winter classes were eliminated on Aug. 29 and in the new calendar the fate of summer 2013 session has not been decided.

Winter classes were eliminated on Aug. 29 and in the new calendar the fate of summer 2013 session has not been decided.

When the Board of Trustees adopted a tentative three-semester calendar for the 2012-13 academic year, winter session was jettisoned.

However, uncertainty surrounds whether there will be one summer session, two summer sessions or none at all.

“We will [in the future] make a calendar for summer session,” President Mark Rocha said in an interview on Aug 30. “Whether we have the money to fund [one] is an open question at this point. Will there be classes? We hope.”

The Spring 2013 semester will begin on Jan. 7, and end on May 4.

The vote at the Aug. 29 Board of Trustees meeting 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 three-semester calendar. 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.

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

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

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 Nicholas Zebrowski, Paul Ochoa and Christine MichaelsÂ

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