Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Plot Thickens

While the SWC administration puts school newspaper The Sun on hold, SWC Vice President of Business Nicholas Alioto spams faculty at their private email addresses. Meanwhile, students rally to raise funds for independent publication of The Sun.

It's official: SWC admins have issued a "cease and desist" order, halting publication of the school newspaper, which is ready to go to press.

Senior staff writer Lyndsay Winkley will be speaking tonight at 7:00 pm at the Eastlake Bonita Democratic Club Meeting at the Bonita library (4375 Bonita Rd, Bonita). She "will be requesting the support, both financial and ethical, of the citizens in our community to help us, as student journalists, fully employ our constitutional rights." You can read more on this issue, including Lyndsay's full email, at Southwestern College Board Must Go!

As the news of this latest act of free speech suppression broke, many faculty were also shocked to find an email from Vice President of Business Nick Alioto in their private home email inboxes. At this point, no one knows how Alioto obtained these private addresses, but suffice it to say that faculty feel concerned and violated.

The email, which makes spurious, unsubstantiated claims about a candidate running against an incumbent in the upcoming Governing Board election, was sent from Nick Alioto's private account at, site of the Public Business Consulting Group, Inc., headquartered in Wisconsin. (According to the site, Nick Alioto is or was--it's not clear when the site was last updated--the president/CEO of that company.)

Is this the same company that caused so much trouble for Wisconsin school districts, bilking the public of hundreds of thousands of dollars, with the result that Alioto was effectively run out of town? Why, yes it is! And, unlike Alioto's own specious claims about a candidate, this story is fully documented over at The Writer's Washroom.

Of further interest is Alioto misrepresenting himself as a licensed CPA. Typically signing emails, Nicholas C. A. Alioto, CPA, he implies that he is licensed in the state of California. However, a check at the California Board of Accountancy shows no Nick Alioto, Nicholas Alioto, Nicholas C. A. Alioto, or any other combination we could think of as licensed in the state. According to the California Board, "Only persons who are licensed by the CBA may call themselves a Certified Public Accountant or Public Accountant." (Incidentally, Alioto is not licensed in Wisconsin either; his license expired in 2009.)

The election is just weeks away. Please help Save Our Southwestern College!


  1. Choopra and Alioto must be itching for another Muzzle Award from the folks who confer those awards for egregious affronts to the First Amendment. Shame on them AGAIN. Efforts to prohibit student newspapers from publishing, constitute PRIOR RESTRAINT of speech. Not only are the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment, but California State Law is very specific about the rights of student journalists who are engaged in publishing student newspapers.
    Chopra and his henchman should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law!

  2. Alioto has publicly stated that "If they [challengers to the incumbents] take over the board, they will fire Chopra and me." (

    Let's make that a reality, shall we?


    Vote Hernandez, Nader, and Saenz-Gonzalez for SWC Governing Board, November 2010!

  3. Our VP of finance is not the CPA he presents himself to be? Surprise, surprise.

    I second Lupe's suggestion: the only way to stop these blatant First Amendment violations is to get more reasonable people at the helm of the college. Vote, vote, vote this November!

  4. No, no, no, no.

    CPA stands for Chopra's Personal Assistant.

  5. Who knew? Who knew there was so much drama within the confines of a small community college. Let's get it together. Let's get rid of the Dictator and his cronies! How do you shut down a newspaper? The First Amendment protects us from the infringement of free speech and the infringement of free press. Doesn't it? I guess it is true, free speech exists everywhere in the U.S. except Southwestern College. What a distinction. What a shame. Chopra and his cronies (the list is growing) must go!!

  6. " many faculty were also shocked to find an email from Vice President of Business Nick Alioto in their private home email inboxes. At this point, no one knows how Alioto obtained these private addresses".... Often faculty, especially part-time faculty, request to have e-mail sent to their SWC e-mail address forwarded to an alternate e-mail. Part-timers do this to avoid having multiple addresses and having to log into yet another e-mail account. CSS can do this if you give them your home e-mail address. Oh wait.. isn't Mr. Alioto in charge of CSS?? He wouldn't take personal e-mail address from work would he?? Hmmm...

  7. I must also add to my previous comment that I am forced to present myself as "Anonymous" because I currently attend SWC and I FEAR RETALIATION from the Chopra administration.

  8. Most of the embattled employees do

  9. The board majority and top administration at SWC needs to submit their resignations. But if they hold on for ten years, don't they get lifetime medical coverage???