Friday, October 30, 2009

SWC Faculty and Staff Respond to Alioto's "Update"

Responses to Acting Superintendent/President Alioto (original message linked below)


RE: Call for an explanation
From: Mark Van Stone
Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2009 8:57 PM
To: Nicholas Alioto
Cc: All Staff;; Jorge Dominguez; Jean Roesch; Yolanda Salcido; Terri Valladolid

Dear Vice President Alioto, et al.,

You claim that "No disciplinary action has been taken."

Sure looks "disciplinary" to the rest of us.

Your hair-splitting pettifogging spin on this series of events is spitting into the wind. Nobody is convinced that you did this for the protection of anyone, except yourselves. And for you administrators to hide behind the fine SWC police department, who were surely just following your orders, is sheer cowardice.

Why not admit you haven't a case and immediately reinstate the "not-suspended-just-prohibited-from-doing-their-job" professors? And then open some REAL action towards solving our problems together?

By the way, are you paying for the substitute instructors and the lawyers in this situation out of the Reserve fund, or are you just going to cut more classes to pay for this divisive waste of resources?

Just trying to help,
Mark Van Stone


RE: Update from Acting S/P Alioto
From: Larry Lambert
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2009 12:46 PM
To: Nicholas Alioto
Cc: All Staff

Tom Holst is a very brave classified professional because he took the time and opportunities to weigh in on these important issues in spite of the vulnerability classified professionals have at this time. I am supporting his effort and adding my voice to his. I sincerely believe that if most Classified Professionals were not so burdened with the culture of fear, retaliation and intimidation that engulfs this college they would be overwhelmingly supportive of our faculty brethren more openly.

The latest rounds of tactics are unforgivable and should be challenged at every step. Trying to make us believe the semantic phlegm that an administrative leave, paid or otherwise, is not punishment is like telling us that it is not dark at night, we're just out of light. We are simply not that stupid and it is consummately insulting that anyone thinks we will actually believe that.

These retaliations by the district only serve to galvanize all of the employees of this college towards one common foe, and now we have four symbols of that unity and solidarity.

The time has come to sit down and speak openly and without hidden agendas. We continue to slip down the dark side of the moon with less and less hope of finding the light if egos and megalomaniacal control issues do not take a back seat long enough to find common ground. At some point we will have a watershed moment and realize that the paralyzing fear we currently feel about losing our career at SWC comes in second place to standing up and openly supporting what is right an honorable. Then we will all stand up and make all our voices heard. When that happens the Governing Board will pay attention, there will not be any other choice.


Larry B. Lambert
Online Instructional Support Specialist


RE: Update from Acting S/P Alioto
From: Eliana Santana
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2009 10:54 AM
To: Nicholas Alioto
Cc: All Staff

Mr. Alioto,

I'd be interested in seeing the evidence you have collected that these three faculty members were engaged in a violent act with the police. Where is the evidence? Besides, if they were involved in violence with the police, there would be an arrest and charges filed. Where are the charges and where is the police report?

The community would like transparency in this matter.

Eliana Santana-Williamson, Ed.D
Professor of ESL and ESL Coordinator at San Ysidro


RE: Update from Acting S/P Alioto
From: Tom Holst
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2009 11:05 AM
To: Nicholas Alioto
Cc: All Staff

To all who would give a hoot, I took my lunch break and went down in my CSEA t-shirt to show support for our students. I arrived as the last speakers finished. There were a couple of students who urged the group to "take it to the streets." I followed the procession down to the 100 area where they were redirected around the 100 building where the procession stopped at the breezeway between 102 and 100 building. The police blocked all breezeways. At the 102 breezeway I watched the group question the police as to why they could not enter area. The Sergeant and 1 other cop explained they could not allow disruption of campus business. I saw absolutely no angry confrontation in any shape or form. A couple of male students were a bit loud but the crowd quickly lost interest and dispersed. A petition was passed around for a minute or two. I went back to work. I was within 10 feet of the whole thing. This whole thing is just ridiculous. My belated break is over now. Back to work. PS: I support what is good and right for SWC based on truth, honesty and facts. Tom


Re: Update from Acting S/P Alioto
From: Dan Moody
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2009 10:39 AM
To: Nicholas Alioto
Cc: All Staff

Dear Mr. Alioto,

Congratulations on your promotion to acting Superintendent-President.

I was interested to read your statement that the College Police are saying that this situation "compromised the safety" of others, and very surprised that these three teachers are being accused of "physical confrontation with police officers." As someone who knows these three teachers as I do, I find this allegation absolutely impossible to believe.

--Dan Moody


Alioto's original message.

We will post more responses from SWC faculty and staff as permission is received.


  1. I admire your bravery.

    -Coffee Girl

  2. The fact that Chopra is on "vacation" in some unknown place and incommunicado at a time of controversy, need and lack of leadership proves that he is neither qualified nor interested in leading an institution of higher learning.

    It's time that SWC gets completely new leadership including the totally inept and self-serving Governing Board of idiots.

  3. Members of SWC wake up! UNITE!
    Has there ever been a more oppressive campus atmosphere at SWC? Classified brothera and sisters, ask yourself, have been fearing for your job, not because of any ineptitude but because the Governing Board does not pull the reigns of the charging beast? Academic brothers and sisters, if you felt untouchable, you see? It can also happen to you! SWC, wake-up, UNITE!

  4. When accused of violating the segregation laws in the American South of the 1960’s, Dr. Martin Luther King Junior said that any law that downgraded human personality was unjust and an “unjust law is no law at all.” The three suspended Southwestern College teachers did not violate any laws or statutes of the state of California or of the federal government. If Chopra and his current stand-in Alioto want to claim that leaving the hidden corner of the college campus laughably and ironically designated as a “free speech area,” and walking across the campus requesting and being refused to be allowed to speak to the college president is a violation of college policy then that policy downgrades human personality and is no policy at all. If we have freedom of speech in the United States, then we have freedom of speech in the hidden corner of the college campus, on its paths and walkways, on the street in front of the college and even standing in front of the president’s office in front of a line of policemen.

  5. I've been asked if the SWC three requested a private hearing as Alioto's letter maliciously states. THE ANSWER IS NO! Alioto and his shameless minions are being manipulative and are adding salt to the wounds. When our lawyer initially demanded a hearing in response to their "barred from campus until further notice," she used the word "private" as a matter of course. When she got Alioto's latest statement, she brought it to us and we immediately and unanimously said NO! OPEN, OPEN, OPEN!

  6. This is the comment that I posted on the La Presa article:

    As a parent of a daughter that attends Southwestern College, I have been watching the workings of Raj Chopra very closely. In my opinion he has done a number of unforgivable actions. I am very happy to see that your paper is finally starting to see the real Raj in his true autocratic management style! I don't know if you follow the UT articles about Raj, but it was very clear to me that Raj has or had friends in high places in the UT, which published their anonymous articles! Last week I was very pleased to see that a brave UT writer penned a factual article about Raj and put her name on it! He was caught lifting a message from an airline magazine and in my opinion has no experience or talent in running a college. Please continue to expose the true Raj to the people that really matter, the students, their families, and the voting public. I for one would like to see the college run by a professional with impeccable ethics and true leadership skills .

    Thank you for allowing me to state the truth!


  7. It would help significantly if the President spoke English clearly!
    Parents of College students and Students need to speak out and make a difference! If you're not angry then you aren't paying attention! If you are angry then do something to let the idiots in charge know that they are idiots!

  8. i was there with the teachers and under no circumstances where there ANY ACTS OF VIOLENCE that the teachers were accused of, in fact is the other way around. And believe me when i say this, WE ALL STOOD OUR GROUND AND THERE WERE NO PUNCHES THROWN, NO KICKS, NO WEAPONS NOTHING OF THAT MATTER. Maybe a few words here and there but that is beside the point. Excessive force was use by the SWC CAMPUS POLICE and something should be done about this.

  9. I was also there, and I don't believe the campus police showed an excessive use of force in any way. Interactions were civil and peaceful. Don't blame the police. The problem is much higher up.