Navarro to condemn Chong at board meeting


Abraham Fuentes

President Evelyn Navarro and her administration are preparing a resolution that would express no-confidence for the Santa Rosa Junior College administration and ask the Board of Trustees to institute policies checking senior management.

Brandon McCapes, Co-Editor-in-Chief

A second shared-government body passed a no-confidence vote against Santa Rosa Junior College President Dr. Frank Chong and his top advisers today. The Student Government Assembly (SGA) voted to approve the resolution that SGA President Evelyn Navarro will present to the Board of Trustees.

The vote gave Navarro authority to finalize the resolution’s wording with SGA advisors ahead of tomorrow’s monthly board meeting. The student leaders’ decision comes as the campus community reels from the unpopular and subsequently-reversed scheme to cut the majority of summer classes.

Senior Vice President Mary Kay Rudolph, who announced the cuts on March 29, said the plan would save $2 million while the school faces a $6.5 million budget deficit.

Inter-Club Council Chair Josh Pinaula abstained from the otherwise-unanimous vote.

Vice President of Student Life Dori Elder said the no-confidence resolution will demand an annual review of the president and his “cabinet” of top advisers, in perpetuity. Should the top administrators not pass the review, future SGAs will demand their termination.

“This has been going on for a long time,” Elder said. “I think someone could fake it for a year. We need to be more diligent and say the president needs to be evaluated once a year.”

Navarro said she left the resolution purposefully vague so that members could approve the idea in time for the board meeting. “I didn’t want to put words into anyone’s mouth,” she said. “I left it somewhat clear so we can define it. I want you to keep in mind what I’ve been hearing from students.”

By voting to give Navarro the authority to finalize the resolution, the body avoided a conflict with the Brown Act, which is a California law governing procedure in public meetings like the SGA and the Academic Senate. The act requires officers to publicly post meeting agenda at least 72 hours before the meeting.

The Academic Senate has been criticized for a possible violation of the Brown Act that allowed their vote-of-no-confidence last week. Observers, including Navarro and Student Trustee Robert Martinez, disagreed that the resolution, which was moved from discussion into action per an emergency clause, violated the act.

Additional reporting by Abraham Puentes.