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Election 2014: TOO CLOSE TO CALL

Photos by Rick Flores.

  It is a two-and-a-half way race for Seat #1 on the Southwestern College Governing Board and candidates Griselda Delgado and Jaime Mercado are in a virtual dead heat according to a poll conducted by The Sun. A survey of 175 SWC students and employees who stated they would vote in the Nov. 4 election showed Mercado with 13 percent and Delgado with 12 percent. Candidate Veronica Valdivia drew support from five percent of those surveyed despite not mounting a campaign. The remaining 70 percent of likely voters said they were undecided. Mercado and Delgado have appeared at forums conducted by Professor of Political Science Phil Saenz and The Sun. Both candidates also spoke at length to The Sun’s Editorial…

THIS CLOSE —  Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez convinced the California Assembly and Senate to support her bill curtailing campaign contributions by public school administrators, but the governor vetoed the bill.

Rick Flores/Staff

Gonzalez campaign finances bill vetoed

Lorena Gonzalez was one signature away from passing a sweeping piece of legislation to reform California election law. Governor Jerry Brown, however, would not go along. Brown vetoed Gonzalez’ bill, AB 1431, that would have outlawed public school administrators from fundraising unlimited amounts of campaign cash for board members of K-12 and community college districts. AB 1431 was passed by the state assembly and California senate in August. Brown’s veto message said he did not think it was fair to …

Elected officials strive for local university

As the summer sizzled on, plans to bring a four-year university to Chula Vista heated up. Assembly Member Shirley Weber, the Chair of the Assembly Select Committee of Higher Education in San Diego County Shirley Weber travelled down from Sacramento to hold an Informational Hearing in the Chula Vista City Council Chambers to update the status of the university project and to discuss the roles local and state government as well as the community and postsecondary institutions would play in the process of obtaining the school. Chula Vista University has run into several obstacles since being proposed in 1993. Community member David Walden said he is frustrated over the university’s delay. “After 20 years of thought, still nothing,” he said. …

Police investigate man angry about tennis program

A man who has made a series of angry accusations about access to college facilities has become the subject of a campus police investigation. Larry Kelly purchased display advertisements in the Chula Vista Star News and San Diego Reader that called Southwestern College a cancer to the community. “Southwestern is the worst f***ing college in the whole goddamn world,” Kelly told journalism students after barging into the newspaper lab one evening. “This place is going down.” Kelly’s latest ad warned that if his demands were not met he would pursue legal action. Kelly has demanded full public access to all tennis courts, the dismissal of tennis coach Susan Reasons and a three-year $5,000 contract for him to run the Southwestern …

PEEKING AT THE FUTURE — An artist rendering of a possible two-story National City campus with new science labs.

Science building up next for Prop R

Footballs and soccer balls are now flying through the renovated DeVore Stadium, and soon the wrecking ball may be flying through the college’s aged gymnasium. After a four-year slowdown due to the South Bay Corruption Scandal, construction at Southwestern College is picking up momentum. Proposition R bond projects on the National City satellite campus are the furthest along. “We are in the construction document phase,” said Prop R Bond Manager Mark Claussen. “Construction on (National City) is estimated to be …

A New Beginning for DeVore Stadium

A New Beginning for DeVore Stadium

The Sun Newspaper takes a look at the newly renovated DeVore Stadium. …

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Ricasa demoted, but remains employed

EOPS Director Arlie Ricasa has been demoted to staff counselor following her admission of guilt in the South Bay Corruption case, but for the time being, remains an employee of the college. Governing board members voted 5-0 in support of an administrative recommendation to demote Ricasa, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of filing a false instrument in the sweeping corruption case that rocked the South County in December 2011 when armed officers raided the homes of 15 Southwestern …

Student reporters banned from ASO election meeting

ASO leaders joined the editorial board of the Southwestern College Sun in condemning Dean of Student Affairs Mia McClellan and ASO Elections Coordinator Felipe Huicochea for barring student journalists from covering an impromptu, unposted meeting of the ASO Elections Committee. Huicochea convened the meeting to discuss a protest lodged by Steve Whiting, who had run for ASO President. Sayaka Ridley was declared the winner by a margin of 52-43 percent, but Whiting appealed the results because of what he said …

Sayaka Ridley elected new ASO president

Sayaka Ridley was elected ASO president in a close race with Steve Whiting, winning the college’s top elective student office by just 65 votes. “I was so shocked,” said Ridley. “I was so terrified because Steve is also a good candidate and it was very close. He was doing the best that he could to campaign. It was very intense.” Not everyone was happy with the results. Whiting appealed to the Elections Committee, filing multiple grievances against Ridley’s Gold Team, most of which were related to campaign posters. His appeal was denied. “I told the elections coordinator about the violations of (the Gold Team’s) posters on wood in two different locations, which is in violation of the elections code,” said …

New 16-week SWC semester calendar gains faculty support

A campus movement to compress the traditional semester calendar from 17.5 weeks to 16 is picking up support among students and college employees. Implementation, however, still may be years away. Academic Senate surveys show 81.5 percent of students, 87.7 percent of faculty and 81.4 percent of classified employees and administrators prefer a 16-week semester. These numbers are much higher than previous surveys and it shows more people are warming up to the idea of a shorter semester. Instructional time will not change. Classes will be a few minutes longer each day and will continue to meet state requirements. Many universities are on 16-week calendars or even shorter schedules. “The compressed schedule will help SWC align with other colleges and have …

Faculty debates removal of extra degree requirements

A lively debate in the Academic Senate did not produce a position on one of the touchiest topics on campus, the proposed elimination of local requirements for Associate’s degrees at Southwestern College. Some faculty said the point is moot and the decision would likely be made for the college. Other faculty senators said there was not enough relevant data to make a decision, so the vote was postponed until Oct.14. Title V of the California Education Code allows colleges to require additional courses for an Associate’s degree. SWC students are currently required to take three extra courses, one each in health, computer literacy and exercise science. “This is an incredibly contentious issue for this campus,” said Academic Senate President Randy …