By Martha Duran
Members of the Political Science Club yesterday gathered to discuss the Los Angeles Times’s story regarding the misuse of funds by the Los Angeles Community College District.
“We are in the news, and most (students) don’t know,” said Melissa Robles.
The article published on Sunday raised concerns for students, especially those who work and pay taxes.
“Notices such as these are discouraging and make you wonder,” said Robles.
Students who were aware of the publication were appalled and believe district officials owe students an explanation.
Fabian Marquez believes that after multiple planning mistakes that branded the district-wide construction project a failure, the funds should have been transferred to more useful projects.
Elias Beltran said that most of the construction budget should have been used to pay teachers more or to hire more teachers.
“Students understand that monies allocated to one project sometimes may be used to serve other areas,” said Beltran.
The funds from Proposition A/AA and the Measure J bond project cannot be used for anything other than construction projects within the LACCD.
Although some students agree it is essential to beautify the school to attract enrollment, making ELAC attractive through academics should be a priority.
Spending more to establish educational programs that would place ELAC in nation’s top ranked community colleges is what students want.
Edwin Leung said, “Let us not forget that we are still facing budget cuts and allocation of resources is still undergoing poor management.”
Leung believes that an open forum engaging all administrative levels involved will permit officials to offer answers and solutions.
Providing students open forums to voice opinion will contribute to a collaborative proactive resolution approach.
Students need to know and need to maintain active participants in order to make change possible. Speaking about an issue and not raising a crowd to resolve a matter leads to no progress.
“These things get out of control when there is no accountability measure in place,” said Robles.
If students do not express a need to know, officials will not feel they are accountable to anyone but contractors.
Students believe the matter of misused funds will not elevate to more than litigation between contractor, while students continue to be affected by budget cuts.
Providing students with massive amounts of information will spread awareness.
However, most students are busy studying, working and trying to graduate.
The way in which messages are currently communicated to students is not penetrating effectively.
More students need to be in the “know.”
Students need a variety of access points to voice and communicate campus issues or concerns.
Spreading a message of issues that concern student lives must be made user friendly and be readily available.
Bruce Lien said “We need to take the marketing approach of propaganda to make people aware of issues that concern us.”