With the recent events at Santa Monica College, professors around campus voiced their concerns about the possibility of a similar incident happening at College of the Canyons.
Animation professor Jeff Baker says he is not concerned about a protest taking a turn for the worst at COC, but said that “there is always certainly the possibility, but there are safeguards put in place by the board of trustees and by our administration that I think would make that highly unlikely.”
Administration of Justice professor Robert Brode added, “I don’t see it happening here at COC. This is without a doubt one of the most student-friendly schools in the entire district, in fact, in the entire state of California.”
At the heart of the pepper spraying incident was the proposed two-tier tuition system. Under this system, students could pay more to get into general education classes such as math, English, and history. State funded courses would remain at $46 per unit but the additional classes added under the proposal could cost as much as $180 per unit, which could allow those with more money to get into classes that would otherwise be filled.
Professor Baker says the system goes against the fundamentals of open-access that community colleges are supposed to provide and serves to separate students economically. Professor Brode disagrees, saying “This gives some students, who can afford to pay for it, the chance to go and take their classes. It also opens up those other classes because they’ll be in the paid classes. So you have additional spaces for those who can’t afford it.”
While there are currently no plans to implement a two-tiered tuition system here at COC, the strains on the community colleges by the state’s budget crisis means that ideas of many forms will be considered to alleviate stress on the school budget.
Board of trustee meetings are open to the public and agendas for the meetings are available the Friday before. For the Board’s meeting schedule, visit the board’s website.