By Tonia Ciancanelli

Managing Editor

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The inability for some of the school’s brightest students to think critically about the discontinuance situation is unfortunate, to say the least.

I appreciate their tenacity in whole-heartedly fighting for education on behalf of students across the state, but does anyone truly believe President Eloy  Oakley goes home at night and rests soundly knowing he was forced to cut programs that were vital to some students’ success? I doubt the Board enters each meeting giddy with anticipation knowing  there will be more tears and more accusations directed  toward them.

Students’ and teachers’ arguments lose all credibility when they publically slander the opposition. Calling the college president racist and chanting demands for his resignation in a public forum dilutes the real message to the Board, which is to reconsider the discontinuance process based on violations of the educational code, which states students must have effective participation in any decision that directly and significantly impacts them.

Sitting in a crowd wearing shirts that depict the president being lit on fire does not legitimize your argument or add volume to your voice. It does not make you an activist. It makes you a bully. Granted, the Board has been noticeably disrespectful toward the student trustee, which directly disrespects the entire student body, that still should not encourage descent to their level.

I recognize the immense flak I’m sure to endure for my stance, but I will not let the PCC Student Council President Melvin Morgan stand alone when acknowledging the “bigger picture.” At the last Board meeting, Morgan’s position recognized how the restructuring “could not have come at a better time.”

It appears students are failing to recognize the administration’s plan to restructure eight of the 11 discontinued programs. The courses will be redesigned and offered under new sections and programs to better adhere to the advances of technology and students’ needs. While that still means the shaft for interior design, aviation maintenance and auto-body, considering the dire financial state LBCC was in, the administrators and the Board had to sacrifice something and it certainly wasn’t going to be the salaries they spent decades earning.

Thinking critically about each aspect of program discontinuance with the capacity to understand both the administration and the students should in no way be interpreted as endorsement for either side.

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