California Community College Chancellors Office takes questions from students at teleconference

Saioa Laverty, Reporter

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office hosts a Student Media Teleconference where students are invited to ask The Chancellor questions regarding their colleges. 

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office hosted a Student Media Teleconference on May 6 in which student reporters, editors, and advisors were encouraged to ask the Chancellor questions on a variety of topics. 

The teleconference began with an introduction from the host of the meeting, Paige Marlatt Dorr- the Director of Communications for the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. Dorr instructed the students to enter their name, the name of their publication, their community college, and what the nature of their question for the chancellor would be. She explained that each college/publication would be able to ask any more questions that they still have., and after everyone got a chance to ask their first question, if time permitted they would have a chance to ask another. Finally, she invited The Chancellor of The California Community Colleges, Eloy Ortiz Oakley, to address the questions of the students.

The media students asked a variety of questions, however they mostly were questions regarding California’s reopening, vaccine regulations, AB 1456 Cal Grant reform, and new resources for financial aid, career education, transfer programs and more.

Lauren Spates, a reporter for The Oak Leaf at Santa Rosa Community College, asked the Chancellor, “What the vaccination requirements would be for students and staff?”. 

Chancellor Oakley said that “all staff and faculty [were] required to be vaccinated before returning to their campuses and that students would be strongly encouraged to be vaccinated.” Although they cannot require that students be vaccinated, Oakley explained that they are eventually hoping to get to that point. Even though it cannot be required Oakley and the rest of the Chancellor’s Office were strongly encouraging that students get vaccinated if they could in order to ensure the safety of everyone around them.

Reporter Navin Krishnan for Chabot College’s The Spectator asked the Chancellor to address, “how the California Community College system [plans to] implement restrictions on campus police?” Following the conviction of Dereck Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.

Chancellor Oakley believed that it was important that California Community Colleges play their part in ensuring that injustices like these do not repeat themselves at the hand of campus police and security. He said that “each community college was asked to reevaluate their policing and security systems” to ensure that they are protecting and serving the students and faculty to the best of their ability and they do not abuse their power in any way. 

William Ink, a reporter from Laney College for The Citizen asked, “How community colleges plan to allocate the 2.3 billion dollars that was granted to them in the American Recovery Act?”

Oakley explained that a majority of the money would be reallocated to services such as financial aid, career education, scholarships, and transfer programs and that the remainder of the money would be distributed to the community colleges to use at their discretion for things like maintenance and construction.