SMC's A.S. Allies With West L.A. College

Take a look back on history and you will be able to see how powerful the voices of the people can be when they unite for a cause they believe in.

In the United States during the '60s there was the Civil Rights movement, and in the late '80s Communism fell in Eastern Europe.

Fast forward to the present day, on the campuses of Santa Monica College and West Los Angeles College where the Associate Students at both schools were able to form an alliance. Last Monday at SMC the A.S. approved this resolution and then the following Friday WLAC did the same to finalize the alliance.

The alliance came about because SMC A.S. President Jeronimo Saldana and WLAC A.S. President Glenn Prampin were unhappy with the way they were being represented at the state level by the California School-Age Consortium. The ClaSAC represents the state community colleges in Sacramento. Tired of having to pay dues for what they believed was an ineffective job they felt they could do a better job and lead the movement to create the alliance between both schools.

With the two colleges now together under an alliance Saldana believes they are setting precedence for all to follow. He also feels that there is no longer a need for CalSAC.

Saldana believes the alliance is showing solidarity and that the students are united.

Both schools hope that the alliance will allow the schools to share information and resources to help out each other.

"First and foremost we have shown administrators, and city councils that the students are united," said Saldana, "Community colleges should be sharing resources to make sure that regardless of what school you go to you have access to education."

"The students are teaching the teachers how to do it," he said.

Saldana believes that with the alliance now approved and in place, if one school has a problem and if it affects the opinion of students at both schools, this will have a powerful effect. He wants to see this alliance help the students at WLAC with their administration, as they are having problems.

"We feel the students of both SMC and WLAC have taken steps to unite which is something monumental," said Prampin. "This is something the administrators never thought off."

There is a feeling of both excitement and concern from the rest of the board members on the A.S.

Lillian Cavallieri, A.S. director of budget management, was in favor of the alliance.

"I believe that we have now made a tremendous stride toward progression amongst the community colleges," said Cavallieri.

However, Robert Foster, A.S. director of academic support, expressed his uneasiness about the way the board went about creating this alliance.

Foster points that the A.S. is here to represent the students of SMC. Every one of the members on the board took office after the student body voted them in.

There wasn't an announcement made to the student body to see what the overall feeling was about the idea of creating an alliance with WLAC. Foster feels that since the students of SMC voted in the officers, the students should have a right to know about important issues.

"We need to keep the students better informed so that they have the opportunity to give feedback on important issues like these," said Foster, "We have to ask students about students first."