Thoughts on Student Needs

I took a weekend off and went to teach a seminar workshop in Santa Cruz where I met some really inspiring UCSC students. I love getting the opportunity to return to teaching now and then—it keeps the teaching chops alive and it also means I keep abreast of student concerns and needs across the state. Since 2015, I’ve had the opportunity to go around the state and speak at community colleges, Cal States, UCs and private colleges on subjects near and dear to my heart.

Student concerns and what boards and admin think are student concerns sometimes overlap but often they do not. It’s a great reminder and eye opener. The UCSC students were clearly enjoying their community (albeit an expensive one) and they were navigating the far away from home and culture aspect of being in college.

I thought of our students here. I thought of how great it would be if the board and admin took the whole student into consideration. I’m going to preface what I say next in the context of what I learned from teaching in Japan. Sports are a part of daily life, sure, but they cannot be the sole reason for existence. A prison program is a noble and in the case of our school—a lucrative adventure. But these cannot take the place of academics and certainly should not be prioritized (in the case of prison) above those students who have not committed crimes. We need balance and right now we are out of balance. 
It took a few days for things to sink in deep, but I was really troubled during our league of women voters forum when my opponent said that FRC had vocational education because it had a fine arts degree.
I liken his statements to someone saying because they offer a biology program students with botany degrees will become medical doctors. Sure there’s a base relationship (Biology 101) but those are two very different paths. Our board needs to understand that the critical fundamentals of arts classes do not mean they are off the hook for providing vocational education. Graphic Design—a popular major in the 1990s is not the future of all art degrees. Talk to an artist if you’re confused, I want to tell my opponent.
FRC has a great art teacher and department head—I know—I lobbied to get him here in the first place. 
Listen to students. They are graduating into this 21st century economy. Provide what will make their economic futures viable. Also remember to educate the whole student. As an artist myself, I highly value my education and the critical and creative thinking it brought me. 
And that’s what’s needed on the board. #featherrivercollege#votegarcia4frcboardtrustee



Please read below and please get ahold of your FRC Board Members and urge him to vote NO on the Trutna power grab. The vote is going down next Thursday to make sure Trutna has the votes wrapped up before the election. If you’re in Quincy your rep is John Sheehan. East Quincy Bill Elliot. Please urge all three of these yes men to vote NO -if you care about public access to the college board and if you care about education.
I’m putting aside running for office for a minute and want to discuss something important to those who live in the FRC community college district.
President Trutna has proposed that the policy of open public access to the board be changed to require that ALL requests to address the Board must be addressed to him alone, and that he alone will decide whether or not the request will be honored. —This is not how a public college operates.
Last night at the League of Women Voters Forum Candidate McNett demonstrated that he did not understand that there was no need to change the ed code. That the ed code as is allows the public to access the board. He did not understand that if he cares about the community he needs to vote NO on the Trutna power grab.
Next Thursday away from public view, the FRC Board will vote on Trutna’s proposal to limit public access to address concerns to the board. Trutna tried this measure this spring in the academic senate and the teachers and staff did not want his overreach. The meeting will take place far from Quincy in Chester. Please contact ALL YOUR BOARD MEMBERS AND TELL THEM TO VOTE NO ON STRIPPING PUBLC ACCESS TO THE BOARD. But especially let Guy McNett know that you are not cool with limiting democracy and access to the college board.

This is exactly why I’m running for office—to demand accountability, transparency, and fiscal responsibility at the college.


Running on Inspiration

Happy Friday. This seat on the board of trustees that I’m running for is of course a non partisan one. I’m struck however with a few observations on that.

This season I’ve had the opportunity to see both people running for Congress in our district up close and personal. The differences between them couldn’t be more striking and I definitely felt way more of a kinship with one than the other.

One treated me with dignity and respect when I met them and asked what challenges I saw here in Plumas County. The other got my name wrong–called me Maria–and gave me the sense that I wasn’t worth their time and that they knew best. There’s that Pat . Pat . On the head. AGAIN. Made me feel like an assault victim at a congressional hearing.

I knew most definitely who I’d be voting for after my interactions with both of them.

I have strived from the beginning of the campaign to be like the former and not the latter. While I have opinions based on research and experience as to what I think the best choices for the community college district is– I recognize that you all live here and you also have ideas and needs regarding what you think is best.

I promise to listen and come about a consensus that works for all of us. I don’t like being pat on the head and being told that someone else knows what’s best for me and my family and I’m going to take a leap here and say you don’t like that either.

When you elect me to the board, you elect all of us. You put the community back in community college. You send a message to FRC that this seat will not be bought to do the bidding of the president without question. You send a message that you want the college to take the needs of students into consideration not just the select few. No Pat-Pat on the head. No one saying they know what’s best and that what we want isn’t realistic. You put us all back into the democratic process when you vote Garcia 4 FRC Board Trustee.