Saturday, October 24, 2009

SWC Visual Arts Chair Speaks at October Board Meeting

Board Presentation, 14 October 2009.

I am Elizabeth Sisco, Chair of the Department of Visual Arts and Gallery director.

I did not come here tonight to tell you how much Visual Arts and the Gallery are suffering.

You already know!

You crippled the gallery by firing the performing arts coordinator. The handout I have given you shows how her "non-existent work" has been divided up among the faculty and staff of the School of Arts and Communication. You deepened the wound by tacitly agreeing to cut off the release time for the gallery director.

You denied education to hundreds of deserving students by cutting classes two years in a row, while approving raises and hiring more administrators. Visual Arts will cut an additional twenty-two classes in Spring 2010. That equates to 800 students without classes. 800 students who turn to education in harsh economic times to better their chances of employment and find community support. Through your action 800 people will be out on the streets.

The title of the next Gallery exhibit is "Hit!" It is our Biennial Faculty exhibit. The poster depicts a ship sinking with our adjunct faculty adrift at sea. The administration's decision to balance the budget by cutting payroll will leave 8 fine teachers without work at SWC and 14 others with a reduced schedule.

You already know how hard we have been hit. What I don't know, and what most of us in this room tonight don't know, is how to speak so you will open communication.

At Board meetings last year I heard the community appeal to you in every imaginable way; with factual information and reasonable options. Bob Filner tried to cajole you into reversing your Blackwater decision. Corina Soto asked you to consult your higher self, your values and ideals before voting on the Reorganization plan. I wrote to Dr. Roesch three times regarding release time. These voices fell on deaf ears and stone faces.

The only voice I have seen you respond to is that of Dr. Chopra issuing threats that he will quit if you do not back his dictatorship. It feels like Animal Farm at Southwestern College.

We just completed Accreditation. It occurred to me what a discredit to our college this administration is.

I appeal to you to save Southwestern College. Do not balance the budget on the backs of our students. Do not cut classes.

I appeal to you to open dialog with us. Heal the wounds of the past two years. Let us move forward in support of our College mission "to benefit the student."

Thank you.


  1. Now Jean Roesch is sending out an email addressed to the "College Community" claiming that the rally is not the focus of the investigation but "safety and security concerns after the rally had concluded." Is this a case of tell a big enough lie and they'll believe you? Or is it an attempt to poison the well? I think it's an attempt to prepare the public for the lie they're concocting.

  2. If the college is so concerned about "student safety" why are SWC police men blocking students' path? Why use an understaffed police force to watch peaceful student protests and deliver letters to over-worked, dedicated teachers because they side with students? Who do you expect teachers to side with?