Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Meanwhile at Saddleback: "the hand of hate cannot compete "

This email was sent out to the Saddleback College community today:
Campus colleagues and students:
We are responding to a finding of hate vandalism on our campus. This morning we discovered that someone had written the “N” word in large, chalk letters on a concrete side wall of the LRC. It has been removed, but I share this finding with you so that you can hear the following directly from me:
We will not tolerate hate on this campus. No matter who you are, where you come from, the color of your skin, the shape of your nose or eyelid, who you love or how you’re different, you are part of our campus. You don’t just belong here; you are who we are and why we are here. Saddleback is Saddleback because of you.
The people who speak hate do not speak for others, as they sometimes think or suggest. Their views are not shared. They are alone, frightened and angry at a world that has moved beyond hate. The more we march forward, the more chalk we will see. But the hand of hate cannot compete with the 1400 employees and 26,000 students of Saddleback, cleaning rags in hand, ensuring that our love of mission and students will turn hate to dust. Every time.
1 hater. 27,000 to wipe away the hate.

Dr. Elliot Stern
President, Saddleback College

A swift (and powerfully lyrical) response from President Stern.

Meanwhile, readers might remember former IVC President Glenn Roquemore's rather slow and vague response last year to various acts of vandalism, including the appearance of swastikas:

The Nothing that is Done: Swastikas Come to IVC

13 Days and Counting

Roquemore: A Failure to Lead

That was then, this is now.

Just today Rebel Girl was holding forth about the infamous "same-sex flier" of the 90s, sharing that instructive story with a relatively junior faculty member.

So Stern's inclusive rhetoric is especially welcome: "No matter who you are, where you come from, the color of your skin, the shape of your nose or eyelid, who you love or how you’re different, you are part of our campus."

What a difference 23 years - and new, brave, responsible leadership - make.

As the Saddleback colleague who shared Stern's letter remarked: "Refreshing."



Anonymous said...

Stern is a class act.

Anonymous said...

If only we had such a President!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, GR did not have the intellectual fortitude, temperament, or empathy to communicate effectively with the college community. What makes Stern's letter so effective and powerful is that he is speaking DIRECTLY to the campus community, and especially to students. He is not just saying that these acts will not be tolerated. He is directing his words to reassure and comfort all of us affected by these cowardly acts. He is also defiant and resolute in speaking directly to the perpetrators. His warmth, humanity,compassion, and strong resolve will always be remembered.

Anonymous said...

I was on a shared governance committee at that same time that was discussing approving that same issue at the District. It was a WTF moment for me.

Anonymous said...

10:26 again - It was the same sex benefits issue.

8-14: do you regret all the lying?

✅ Trump Encourages Racist Conspiracy Theory on Kamala Harris’s Eligibility to Be Vice President NYT ✅ Orange County Sees Overall Coronavirus...

Goals and Values and Twaddle

blather: long-winded talk with no real substance*
The whole concept of MSLOs [measurable student learning outcomes] as the latest fad in education is somewhat akin to the now discredited fad of the '90's, Total Quality Management, or TQM. Essentially, the ACCJC adopted MSLOs as the overarching basis for accrediting community colleges based on their faith in the theoretical treatises of a movement.... After repeated requests for research showing that such use of MSLOs is effective, none has been forthcoming from the ACCJC [accreditors]. Prior to large scale imposition of such a requirement at all institutions, research should be provided to establish that continuous monitoring of MSLOs has resulted in measurable improvements in student success at a given institution. No such research is forthcoming because there is none….
The Accountability Game…., Leon F. Marzillier (Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, October, 2002)
In the summer of ’13, I offered a critique of the awkward verbiage by which the district and colleges explain their values, goals, and objectives —aka SOCCCD'S G&V (goals and values) blather.
I wrote a post each for the district, Saddleback College, and Irvine Valley College efforts. (See the links below.)
This verbiage—stated in terms of “values,” “missions,” “goals,” “visions,” and whatnot—is often badly written. It is sometimes embarrassingly trite.
It occasionally communicates something worthwhile.
No doubt you are familiar with the usual objections to jargon. Higher education, too, has its jargon—an irony, given typical college-level instruction in writing, which urges jargon eschewery.
Sure enough, SOCCCD G&V blather is riddled with jargon and with terms misused and abused. For instance, in the case of the district’s dubious blather, the so-called “vision” is actually a purpose. Why didn't they just call it that?
As one slogs through this prattle, one finds that "visions" tend to be awfully similar to “missions,” with which they are distinguished. The latter in turn are awfully similar to “goals,” which must be distinguished from “objectives.” But aren't goals and objectives pretty much the same thing?
These perverse word games will surely perplex or annoy anyone armed with a command of the English language. In fact, readers will be perplexed to the degree that they are thus armed. Illiterates, of course, will be untroubled.
Here's a simple point: the district and colleges’ G&V blather tends to eschew good, plain English in favor of technical terms and trendy words and phrases (i.e., it tends to be bullshitty and vague). Thus, one encounters such trendy terminological turds as “dynamic,” “diversity,” “student success,” and “student-centered.” Even meretricious neologisms such as ISLOs and “persistence rates” pop up, unexplained, undefended.
Does anyone see a transparency problem with all of this? Shouldn't the public, or at least the well educated public, be able to comprehend statements of the colleges' goals and values?
In the case of the district, to its credit, all it really seems to want to say is that it wants to teach well and it wants students to succeed. Admirable!
So why all the ugly, common-sense defying, buzzword-encrusted claptrap?

Districtular poppycock: our “vision” and our “mission” and our tolerance of twaddle - July 31, 2013

THEY BUZZ: Saddleback College's "Mission, Vision, and Values" - August 4, 2013

IVC’s vision, mission, and goals: nonsense on stilts - August 5, 2013

THE IRVINE VALLEY CHRONICLES: no ideas, just clichés & buzzwords - Sep 30, 2013

*From my Apple laptop's dictionary