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Pasadena City College students protest end of winter session

About 50 Pasadena City College students protested cancellation of the winter session at a Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday night, with many complaining that they were kept out of the board room and not allowed to comment.

The students wore mittens, hats, scarves and other winter clothing and carried signs that said “Restore Winter” and “No Trust in Trustees.”

The demonstration was largely peaceful, although two students said they were ejected from the board room after unfurling a banner.

Sarah Belknap, one of those ejected, said many of the students present weren’t provided an opportunity to speak to trustees.

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“I was finally allowed to get in but they didn’t allow any people who got in late to give public comment,” said Belknap, 26, a math and computer science major.

College spokesman Juan Gutierrez said some students and others were initially not allowed into the board room because it was at capacity, but that most were eventually let in. Some students also refused to submit bags for a security check and were kept out.

Belknap said that many students depend on the winter session to earn credits for transfer to four-years universities. Trustees voted last year to eliminate the winter term and adopt a three-term fall, spring and summer calendar.

The board voted to keep that calendar at Wednesday’s meeting. Administrators argue that the compact six-week winter term is not effective for most students.

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In contrast, students and faculty have complained that administrators and trustees have ignored their concerns.

“I support students and faculty being part of the process and this administration has really been ignoring that,” said Mary-Erin Crook, who teaches English as a Second Language.

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carla.rivera@latimes.com


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