At a campus safety town hall meeting with two district trustees and a pair of interim safety officials Tuesday, students voiced their displeasure over the district’s decision-making process.
The board of trustees unanimously approved the re-arming of campus safety officers at both Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College in February. The vote took place in between semesters, when class was out of session.
The item was not on the agenda, and neither was it reflected in the minutes. With little warning or student input, those who work and take courses in both colleges will soon be exposed to firearms.
Understandably, students at the meeting felt their input was ignored. Instead of polling the campus community’s feelings and concerns over an issue that effects them the most, the district and its representatives hosted what amounted to an unveiling of a done decision.
District officials claimed they’ve done enough to notify the campus communities it oversees, and touted the benefits of having armed guards on two colleges that never needed it before. Instead, they cited a mass shooting at Santa Monica College in 2013 as an impetus for spending about $500,000 on personnel that may compel Chancellor Raul Rodriguez to cut from other services.
The elected trustees should be reminded that they serve a constituency – in this case, the students, faculty and classified staff. Acting on their own accord, without regard to the feelings of those they claim to represent, is selfish, and contrary to the democratic ideals upon which this country is founded.