Students voice concerns about presidential candidates

Daniel Green

To anyone who regularly attends meetings at Cerritos College, the little red cloth squares on students’ chests are probably familiar, and they were present during the open forum for the search for the new school president.

The Social Equality Club was in attendance at an open forum on Monday, Oct. 6, in the Teleconference Center for students to offer input on the search for the new president who will be announced sometime next year.

Cerritos College President Linda Lacy announced this year that she is retiring in June 2015.

The forum was hosted by Community College Search Services, an organization that helps colleges look for potential candidates.

While the audience only had at most 12 students at a time, the attendees had a lot to say about the direction of the search and the college in general.

Carolina Morales, a history major and member of the Social Equality Club, was one of the audience members.

“I (feel that) if there was a strong student presence in this committee, we can finally have a representation that purely comes from the students and not just from administrators and other members of Cerritos College,” Morales said.

Many topics were discussed in regards to what the college should look for in a new president.

One of the topics that was brought up was the desire for a president who is more in touch with students. Members of the audience expressed their dissatisfaction with the current administration’s lack of openness.

Some suggested that the president be more in tune with social media and possibly have a weekly blog where he or she talk about what is happening on campus.

Other students said they would like someone who is more forward thinking, saying the school needs to do more than build new buildings to be considered progressive.

One of the major problems many said they noticed was the idea that there is not enough student involvement on campus. It was said that there is a culture of not caring at Cerritos partly due to the fact that the school has not done enough to include students or let them know what is happening on campus.

The host, Eddie Hernandez, said he felt that the event was helpful in determining what the college needs to look for in candidates.

“I think (the students) were open and clear and thoughtful,” Hernandez said. “I think that it’s important that students have their say; after all, the institution is about students. Without students, none of us would be working here.”

This was the third of the meetings with more to come in the future. While this one focused on student input, others will look at other opinions, such as faculty and members of the community.

Here’s the calendar for future meetings:

  • Monday, Oct. 6, at LC 155 between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. This meeting is for the community.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 7, at LC 155 between 12:15 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. Anyone is welcome.