November 14 the CLPCCD Board of Trustees met for the sixth open session meeting since the three senates of Chabot formally expressed the need to become a sanctuary campus. Las Positas’ response to their solidarity with Chabot came in the form of a resolution of their own. “We started with Chabot Colleges’ resolution…Then we made adjustments to it to fit our needs here at Las Positas,” said Ashley Young, an LPC faculty member involved in drafting their resolution. Students and faculty from both campuses were present, expressing support for a sanctuary district.
Among other agenda items and concerns from both colleges, Chabot faculty members like Carolyn Arnold came to speak, “in support of the vote of no confidence,” for Chancellor Jackson and her office. Directly addressing Chancellor Jackson and Vice Chancellor Johns, Arnold continues, “you’ve brought in a top-down approach to our district that does not fit the culture of our colleges. This management style doesn’t respect the will or the wisdom of our colleges, and instead seeks to control our direction by overriding our decision about our budgets, our programs, our hiring, and in many other areas.”
As Arnold wraps up, going just over the three-minute time limit set by the board, in the middle of her sentence, the microphone suddenly cuts off. Referring to a police officer overseeing the security of the meeting, a member of the public shouts, “he said to turn it off after three minutes.” As members of the public begin to lash out, board chair, President Hal G. Chin states, “keep it on at all times. Don’t turn it off.”
“Some things don’t change,” says longtime Chabot faculty member Adolf Oliver. “I would hope that someday the district can hire administrators who pull us together and don’t tear us apart,” says Oliver.
Referring to the LPC sanctuary resolution, Young says, “Is it perfect? No. We could spend another thousand hours working on this, and still not have it be perfect … it says everything we want it to say in a way that we’re happy with, and more importantly, it doesn’t inadvertently say something that we don’t want it to say. I really want to urge you to act quickly, not rashly, but quickly, as it is better to say almost exactly what you wanted to say at the right time than to say exactly what you want to say when it’s too late.”
Districtwide support for a sanctuary status is undeniable. Las Positas Student Kirsty Burges says, “I’m here in support of the passing of the sanctuary campus resolution … Some people think of this campus as a home … everyone should feel safe at their home.
Angela Vasquez, “a proud DACA student,” at Los Positas comes from the heart of personal experience telling the board to, “put yourself in their shoes. I was nine when I came to the United States,” pausing for a brief moment trying to gather her emotions tears began to be shed, “not knowing what was going to happen to me next…11 years later, getting an education for myself, not only getting the best grades I can, but also being involved in Las Positas student government, I’m also on the speech team and working really hard with the undocu-allie task force for those students that, just like me, want to feel safe. I want to be that voice of those people that really feel ashamed of where they come from…I am proud of where I came from. I want to be safe in this school because I love this school.”