By Brianna Ross and Christopher Hartwell
@ITSBRIROSS and @SILIENCESEEN
Open forums were held on campus for candidates running for the position of Vice President of Student Services at LPC. The forums took place over a two-day period on Monday, January 23 and Tuesday, January 24.
Faculty, classified administrators as well as LPC students were allotted an hour to ask each candidate any questions they deemed important in regard to the Vice President of Student Services position.
William Garcia was the first candidate to address the Las Positas community at the first open forum on Monday.
Although no students were in attendance, Garcia made it clear that the students’ well being on campus was most important to him.
Alluding to what Garcia feels is a lack of community at Las Positas, he said he would like to encourage both faculty and students alike to become more involved on campus.
This brought up another issue Garcia focused on, clarifying his goal of maintaining LPC as a place where students of all walks of life can continue to attend and feel welcomed.
When asked how he will interact with students and college staff, Garcia explained that he lives by the golden rule. “Treat others the way you want to be treated,” said Garcia. He added that he has worked hard during his past 18 years involved in education to serve all students and staff members with respect.
Dr. Geisce Ly was the next candidate to address the college community at the second day of open forums on Tuesday.
Ly stressed how important it is to change a student’s journey here at LPC, from merely being a transitional experience into a transformative one.
In regards to the recent political tension, Ly believes it is important for “students to know that we as a college stand against hate and bigotry.”
When asked how he would engage with students on campus, Ly stated that he is very much engaged with students and always makes it a point to be involved with student activities.
Ly went on, saying, “Las Positas is a special institution and I see great potential and great promise here.”
Ly concluded with the question, “How do we show the love for our students?”
He would respond by saying, “That’s what student services is about; frankly, that’s what student services is.”
The final candidate Dr. James Siegel gave a talk about the interconnection between staff and the need for cooperation in order to best serve students.
In an unorthodox fashion, Siegel asked the audience questions.
He asked what support exists for students to get help, and made a point to ask what peer support or resources can be made available.
After receiving several different answers, he went on to suggest that peer mentors and support groups could be helpful for students to find safe environments to discuss their unique needs.
“We need to do our best to support students” said Siegel.
When The Express asked the candidate about his vision for the school, he said that a vision isn’t something personal, but should be shared.
“A vision isn’t something I can dictate. I need to, in my role, learn about the campus,” said Siegel.
Although no date has been set for an official announcement of who will be the next Vice President of Student Services, the decision will come out within the next few weeks.