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Open Letters to LAMC President PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 08 May 2014 05:12

Open Letters to LAMC President

On April 28th a group of us went to the Accreditation Commission for Community and Junior Colleges’ meeting to speak on the new standards they would be putting forth to all of the California schools. While I know we were nervous, we were united in knowing that we were doing all of this for a good reason, that our fight for an amazing professor, and the way that we had been treated, we had to do this. The feel of the meeting from the very beginning intimidated many of us, and at the end, only two of us chose to speak, Patrick Mc- Garry and myself. I was definitely nervous and sitting in my chair looking over my notes while listening to the other professors and people speak. I was the first to speak between the two of us and I spoke for a very short time and while returning to my seat, I looked across the room to see [you] Dr. Perez laughing at me. Dr. Perez was laughing at me a student. I am a student who has found the courage all semester, and especially that day, to stand up for what I believe is right, to speak out and try to be heard, I am a student of Mission College and I am working hard and learning how to respectfully stand up for what I believe and my President was laughing at me.

I tried to tell myself that that couldn’t be, he couldn’t be doing that here. But each time a student or community member spoke about the situation at Mission College, if you looked at our President, he was mockingly having a good laugh with his colleagues. When Patrick spoke, [you] Dr. Perez were laughing, again. To know that we were trying to voice our concern over OUR campus, and he laughed at us. I cannot even begin to describe how that felt. While my respect or admiration for whatever Dr. Perez had been a part of in the past was waning, it really died here.

Samantha Jo Jaffray, Student

Dear Dr. Perez,

We students write this open letter in response to the shameful treatment you have given us your students over the last few months but specifically at the accreditation meeting held at LAMC on April 28th. As we write this, we are both ashamed and embarrassed to call you our President. We do not make our statement lightly or casually, it is not something we say out of anger or spite, it is a shame born out of a deep hurt for the way you have chosen to publically humiliate your LAMC students.

As we think about why you would have done what you did or why you may have felt it was justified we cannot find any excuse for your actions. Even if you felt that what we were saying was ridiculous and absurd, why would you gloat about it? We want to remind you that all we really said was that our campus and restrooms are filthy except when accreditation is paying us a visit. If you felt like we got up to say what we said just to embarrass you we did not, the reason why we said it was because we think we deserve the best at LA Mission and this includes a president who respects us and toilet paper.

As we write this we know you may be thinking that we have no right to say any of this given the fact that you conduct yourself as if we are too unworthy of you and your time. You may look down on us as unfit to represent our college and that is why it is that your photograph appears on recruitment billboards and busses. Are you that big of a person that you represent our college better than we do? We are here to inform you Monte Perez that you are not better than us you are only one of many arrogant presidents who have made the mistake of siding with unjust power when you should have sided with righteousness. You had the power to make things right for our College and to correct a miscarriage of justice and to stand up to stop the abuse that we students suffer through all too often, but instead you chose not to and for this you should feel as much shame as you have so offhandedly inflicted on we students.

It is clear that we students have been lumped with groups who have a different style of communication than we do, and perhaps you may have thought it acceptable to demean us like you did but we are hear to tell you that not one of the students who walked out of the meeting in protest has ever been publically disrespectful to you, administrators, faculty, staff or any other persons. None of us has ever been arrested or suspended and we have an average GPA of 3.0 in our group. We are also not a group of overly sensitive students who cannot handle difficult situations. If this was the case then we would have shown it back when your strategy to deal with us was to avoid us at all costs and to send the Sheriffs who scowled at us as they rested their hands on their guns. This is why we were so shocked that you would do what you did to your students. We deserve so much better than this.

Stephanie Arellano, Lisette Asturias, Cindy Ayala, Sukhraj Chana, Samantha Jo Jaffray, Patrick McGarry, and Hugo

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Since the semester began, I have been involved with the movement to renew tenure for my beloved professor Guillermo Aviles-Rodriguez. I have spent a lot of my free time that I should use for classes, putting my efforts to make a change at the school. I am not the only one though; the group of students I have gotten to work with [are] some of the smartest people I know.

Their intelligence isn’t measured by how many math problems they can do or how many tests they can pass. Our education prepared us to be good researchers, to find facts, to have sources. It’s funny because, in the end, the same school that gave us our education is the same school that is trying to dumb us down.

What bothers me is that I know this group is not a bunch of “dumb kids.” The fact that teachers or even people will say that our cause is irrelevant, or that we are liars and not credible, makes me upset. It is their opinion and I accept that, but I will not have my own intelligence questioned because of what others choose to deny or not understand.

It is hard enough that the school doesn’t listen to the students to begin with, why students are the ones who should have a say in everything that happens in the school in the first place.

Students are the ones who are giving up the money that they barely have to get an education and become something better. Along with trying to stay alive in this school of wolves, being judged and discriminated against isn’t something that my team and I should have to deal with. The threats from the administrators, which they deny, of not being able to transfer make our education goals more difficult to achieve.

It’s not fair to be stereotyped as a troublemaker because we exercised our right to speak. This leads to the issue of a certain student being named the poster child of the movement she didn’t start. Anne Marie is not my leader; while I supported her cause against her suspension because it wasn’t right, my main focus has always been about Guillermo. She gave her support and tried to help being a well-known student activist at the school, but I refuse to have the efforts of this group be brought down or associated with whatever Anne Marie does in her personal life.

I wish her luck in all her efforts, but it should be clear that it is two different fights. And finally it leads to the accreditation meeting that was held at Mission College on April 28th. The team didn’t seem to care about anything that students had to say and it seemed like more of a slap to the face to have the president laugh every time a student had a suggestion.

How can I have respect for a man that doesn’t have respect for us? He had the same battle that we do. He’s had to fight the same stereotypes that we have. And yet, as someone younger than Dr. Perez, I am not angry. I will not show the same disrespect because I will not let Guillermo down. Guillermo has been the best teacher I've ever had. He helped me get my head together, grow as a person and he would never let any of us down.

He deserves the best from us because the best is all that man has ever given to his students.

Lisette Asturias

Regarding Coverage on Donald Sterling May 1, 2014

Dear Editor,

I don't like Donald Sterling--happy that he got what he did. But I hate hypocrisy. Everyone chimed in how much of a racist he was, it was a good old jump in, everyone got his or her kick in.

However, these same people daily ignore the racism around them. Go to a Laker game and from what I have seen the audience does not represent the color of LA. The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is worse -- not an overwhelming number of blacks or Latinos there especially in the opera house.

Walk on the campus of UCLA and black students are endangered, and the number of Latinos is no where its number in the streets. " Almost 75 percent of all Latino and 66 percent of all black students who go on to higher education in California go to a community college... in 2010, only 20 percent of all students who successfully transferred to four-year institutions were Latino or African American."

Even at that the community colleges are being privatized as is the case of the University of California campuses and the state universities.

One of the reasons people are so worked up about Sterling is because he reminds them so much of their fathers and their own lack of involvement in bettering what they left behind. But boy they feel great getting their kick in, and for the moment fingers are pointed the other way.

Rudy Acuña

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 May 2014 05:22