By Tonia Ciancanelli / Contributing Writer
Dressed in LBCC Viking red T-shirts, college employees and students united in front of the LAC’s T Building on Tuesday, Feb. 25 to support Board of Trustees candidates Marshall Blesofsky for District 1, Sunny Zia for District 3 and Gregory Slaughter for District 5 for the April 8 Board election.
Charles Noussias Jr. is a smog technician and auto body major, which is one of the 11 programs that were discontinued last Spring.
He and his father, LBCC alumnus Charles Noussias Sr., echoed each other, saying the vocational programs should be reinstated.
“They can’t just cut programs that students have already invested time into, they just can’t do that. We can’t offer the certificates at the North Pole,” Noussias Sr. said while dressed in a Santa Claus costume to promote his non-profit organization “Santa Reaches the Children Foundation,” which teaches hands-on skills.
Slaughter faces LBCC Foundation director Virgina Baxter.
Blesofsky, a former LBCC allied health teacher who is running against current Board President Jeff Kellogg, said he plans to restore some vocational programs and eliminate the controversial Assembly Bill 955 that many people say created a two-tier educational system.
Board candidate Zia came to the U.S. with her family after fleeing from the Iraqi and Iranian war and described herself as a “byproduct of affordable education.” Zia said she acknowledges the need for creative solutions but plans to approach community stakeholders and grants for additional funding.
Regarding AB 955, Zia said, “I’m critical of the policy, not the Board.”
Zia is opposed by Stella Ursua.
Many students at the rally agreed they think the candidates would represent students’ best interests.
Alex Vasquez, 19, a criminal justice major, said, “I support Gregory Slaughter because I know his voice could benefit students now and students in the future.”
More information about Board candidates and voter registration information may be found by visiting lbcc.edu/boardcandidates.