Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Forum takes on campus police and ‘suspension’

    What began as a dreary fewshow event, billed as “Law Enforcement on Campus” Dec. 3 in the Forum, evolved into a spirited dialog between students and representatives of law enforcement at Laney and the Peralta District.
    ASLC President Carl Oliver brought the meeting to order and began discussing the case of three students who had been given “police cards” by officers to leave campus for a period of 14 days. The police card’s verbiage became the subject in the Forum, and Oliver stated after reading the card himself that the language never mentioned how a student may return to class. Students he personally talked to were misunderstanding the language, and had to drop their classes after missing two weeks of classes.
    Ever since the last Board of Trustees meeting, Nov. 18, Oliver has been engaging with law enforcement and school officials about the student complaints directed towards officers allegedly handing out suspensions. As for the suspensions, Trustee Abel Guillen at the previous meeting said, “It’s an academic matter and not the purview of law enforcement.” 
    The card was read aloud and passed around for everyone at the Forum to see what was written on the card.
    “You are further notified that, if you fail to leave the campus, or if you return within 14 days of this warning without specific consent to do so by the Dean or Vice-President of Student
    Services, you can and will be arrested for violation of Section 626.4 of the California Penal Code.” 
    Vice Chancellor of General Services Sadiq Ikharo was also present at the meeting, along with Lieut. Ellis Kraft, who oversees all police services in the Peralta district. Both men said that the information on the card would tell the student to handle all matters with administrators, if a student was given this card for inappropriate conduct. Kraft also explained that the officers he oversees do not hand out suspensions, rather, the card is a record given to the student along with copies for the administration and police record.
    “I’ll talk to our county counsel and see if we can work some modification of the verbiage,” said Lieutenant Ellis Kraft.
    President Oliver related an incident about a student who was detained in the locker room for not having his student identification card. Alameda County Sheriff J. Linares was the officer on the
    scene who asked the student for his student identification. “I tried several times to at least tell me he was a student, so I could check, he refused to do that. Finally, I said, ‘Can you stop taking a shower and come out and talk to me, please.’ He refused to do that.” 
    Ikharo stated: “One individual should be able to show an identification or to be able to give their name, so that to be able to know they are a legitimate student here. There are various reasons why we ask individuals to identify themselves, which help us do our job. 
    “This year, in 2014, $5000 worth of equipment, radios and stuff have been stolen from Laney College,” he said. English instructor Meryl Siegal pointed out that “it’s not just communication with the students, I also think we have new deans, new vice presidents, and new people who come in and out of the school all the time. We all need to be in communication,” said English teacher, Professor Meryl Siegal.
    As the discussion winded down, Oliver suggested ”the second week of the spring semester we’ll have a more open conversation, where more people can be in attendance, and we could talk about everyone’s concerns.”

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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