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

Abigail McMurry, Acting President of Associated Students of Laney College, spoke against last-minute class cancellations at the May 14 Board of Trustees meeting.
Class cancellations, basic needs, and 'flying pigs' at 5/14 meeting for PCCD Trustees
Ian Waters, News Editor • June 1, 2024
Student Trustee Natasha Masand believes her voice has the power to impact the PCCD community.
Student Trustee Natasha Masand finds her voice
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • March 19, 2024
Melanie Dixon appointed CoA President
Melanie Dixon appointed CoA President
After two years of acting appointments, the College of Alameda will finally fill the presidency with a permanent hire this summer
Ivan Saravia, Staff Writer • May 23, 2024
College of Alameda jazz professor Glen Pearson demonstrates his musical talent on his classroom piano. Hes one of the newest members of the Count Basie Orchestra, a historic 18-piece jazz ensemble that took home a Grammy this year.
The humble Grammy-winning pianist leading CoA’s music program
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • March 4, 2024

    ASLC Pres. Oliver demands greater student input for board decisions

    At the Peralta Board of Trustees first meeting of the semester, held on Jan. 27, ASLC President and Peralta student trustee Carl Oliver continued his push for student involvement in decisions made by the board, especially those concerning Fund 71, the Peralta Student Trust Fund.

    The fund, established March 11, 2014, allowed Laney’s general fund, generated by bookstore sales, to be moved under district control. According to Oliver, Fund 71 was created without any input from the students, something he claims is a violation of Title V of the California Code.

    He also expressed frustration with the transfer of over $70,000 from Laney to the Peralta District last November, leaving student events unfunded. Oliver claims ASLC members personally paid
    for last year’s Thanksgiving event, saying, “I spent $600 out of my own pocket…I have yet to be reimbursed.”

    Interim Vice Chancellor of Finance Susan Rinne explained that the fund was established to comply with Board Policy 5420, a decision made by the board in November, 2012, to move all Associated Student funds into the district fund.

    She stated that although the policy was simply enacted to maintain consistency among the four campuses in how they manage their funds, students were not consulted on the enactment of the fund. “I do admit that we did do this in isolation,” she said. “It was something that was not discussed with the students; however, going forward students will definitely have a voice in this.”

    Rinne said that she is planning to meet with each campus’s associated student body, and is in the process of establishing a petty cash fund to meet their needs in the meantime.

    Chancellor José Ortiz sought to reinforce that students would at some point be consulted, saying, “We are intending to meet with each college, and their associated student group to hear from them
    about the handling of their funds.”

    Oliver says that isn’t good enough. “We’ve been hearing this…it’s not the first time. We as students don’t feel that our opinion is valued…we were supposed to be shared governance leaders,”
    he said.

    The second-term ALSC president also voiced his concerns about changes to the curriculum, another process he claims occurred without student input. Laney College President Elñora Webb said that
    she would “welcome students’ interest in being part of the curriculum committee, and would consider students having a greater voice; that may include voting.”

    The board heard from representatives of Akerman LLP, a law firm hired to lobby for the district’s interests in Washington, D.C. Richard Spees of Akerman, who led the board in the Pledge of Allegiance to begin the meeting, spoke of his firm’s continued work to “take Peralta’s wish list to The Hill.”

    He informed the board about Akerman helping to broker a deal with Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) to reinstate “Ability to Benefit,” a provision of the Higher Education Act that allows Pell Grant eligibility for adults who attend college but have not attained a high school diploma or equivalent.

    The firm has represented the Peralta Community College District since 2006, and during the meeting the board extended their contract with the firm until February 2017.

    During a closed session that preceded the meeting, the board confirmed Eric Gravenberg as deputy chancellor from Feb 15 until June 15, 2015. Gravenberg formerly served as president of the College
    of Alameda. John Hendrickson previously held the deputy chancellor post from Jan 22 to June 22, 2014.

    The board will hold a special meeting on Feb 3 concerning Ortiz’s upcoming retirement in June. The trustees will consider hiring an outside firm to find a suitable replacement. The next board meeting, originally scheduled for Feb 10, has been moved to Feb 17.

    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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