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CONCERNS OVER ASG BREAKING LAWThe Associated Student Government allegedly violated an open meetings law twice this month...
03/20/2023

CONCERNS OVER ASG BREAKING LAW

The Associated Student Government allegedly violated an open meetings law twice this month, adding to the ongoing scrutiny and confusion over the current dynamics of San Jose City College’s elected student government.
The alleged breach in law includes the Board sending a detailed email questioning ASG President Leif Benson’s ability to lead and asking him to resign, and a subsequent closed-door meeting away from the public to discuss the resignation demands on March 1.
The internal email requesting that Benson resign was sent by the entire ASG Board, who also attached their advisors, on Tuesday, Feb. 28. With a majority of the members discussing Benson’s performance privately, also known as meeting quorum, this became the first of two alleged violations of what’s known as The Brown Act of 1953.
“… ‘Meeting’ means any congregation of a majority of the members of a legislative body at the same time and location, including teleconference location …to hear, discuss, deliberate, or take action on any item that is within the subject matter of the legislative body,” a section of The Brown Act defines.
The City College Times interviewed David Loy, the First Amendment Coalition’s legal director, to consult on the legality of the actions taken by the ASG Board. FAC is a nonprofit organization in the Bay Area that supports media groups and individuals in navigating free speech laws.
“The law says if there is an issue involving the fitness for office or conduct of one of the members of the legislative body itself, that is something which must be discussed in an open and public meeting,” Loy said. “It cannot be discussed in closed session.”
The closed session that followed the Board’s weekly meeting on Wednesday, March 1, lasted over two hours with no member of the public allowed in, making it the second apparent violation of The Brown Act. After the private meeting, Benson disclosed to The Times that he would not resign, but neither the ASG nor Benson has made a public statement.
In both the ASG bylaws and constitution, The Brown Act is directly mentioned as a guide the Board must abide by.
“The reason for that is that the legislative body members serve the public,” Loy said. “They are accountable to the public.”
ASG advisor Juan Garcia declined to comment on the alleged violation of the Brown Act.
William Garcia, vice principal of student affairs, said he believed the letter did not break any law.
“I think any member, whether it’s a student, an officer, or community member, can ask any questions, can make any requests,” Garcia said. “It doesn’t mean that the request [for Benson’s resignation] will be honored. There is a process for that.”
In regards to the closed session meeting, Garcia said, “It [ASG] is a governing Board, so they do have the right to go into closed session … but they do then have to report out any action taken during closed session.”
No report was given after the closed session from ASG.
Blake Balajada, a faculty ASG advisor, also said he believed the email did not conflict with any governing documentation, including the constitution or bylaws.
“It sounds like the original question is, was there anything in conflict with laws or bylaws? No, I think it fits within [closed sessions],” Balajada said. “I think the bigger part of it was – where do these folks get a space or a time to just sort it out as human beings?”
Violations of The Brown Act can result in a district attorney or any member of the public asking for a Cease and Desist Letter or Cure and Correct Letter, Loy said.
Presenting the Board with a Cease and Desist Letter would state that the public has seen the legislative body perform alleged misconduct and the actions must be stopped immediately. If it does not stop, the body in question could be taken to court.
A Cure and Correct Letter would request that the legislative body retract their ‘action’ (in this case, requesting the President Benson’s resignation), and do it on the record. Action must be taken within the first 30 days for the legislative body to take legal action to ask the President to resign.
This is not the first time an ASG has broken The Brown Act at a California Community College, according to the Santa Barbara college newspaper, The Channel.
At Santa Barbara City College, the ASG allegedly violated the act in 2020 when they failed to post their meeting agenda at least 72 hours before the meeting.
After the campus newspaper reported the violation, SBCC’s ASG held a special meeting to form a public response to take accountability for their actions.
No public statement has come from SJCC’s ASG addressing the alleged violations at this time.
In their March 8 meeting, it was agendized in “New Business” that SJCC’s ASG should add a parliamentarian to help train the legislative body in bylaws and The Brown Act, despite denying allegations they violated the act.

LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS AT SJCCDrums boomed and people in Lion costumes danced in the student cafeteria on Feb. 22 t...
03/20/2023

LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS AT SJCC

Drums boomed and people in Lion costumes danced in the student cafeteria on Feb. 22 to ring in the Year of the Cat, as it is called in Vietnam, known more widely as the Year of The Rabbit in the Chinese Zodiac. Lunar New Year is traditionally called Tết in Vietnam.
Micah Ong, 18, a social justice major and secretary of the Vietnamese Student Association said they especially enjoyed making the traditional decorations that adorned the cafeteria during the event.
They expressed that they joined the club this year because they felt like they were “disconnected” from their Vietnamese identity.
“It’s definitely helped me feel more secure in my identity,” Ong said.
Bao Truong, 27, a psychology major who did traditional Vietnamese style calligraphy at the event, said he wanted to introduce Vietnamese culture to students in the form of calligraphy, a skill he said he developed on his own.
On the festivities overall, Troung said he felt “very happy” with them.
Cam Binh, a member of VoVinam, the martial arts group responsible for most of the event’s music and traditional dances, said that she also wanted to introduce Vietnamese culture to SJCC and to remind Vietnamese students of their heritage and roots.
“We are living in the USA, but we want to keep our culture,” Binh said.
Ong expressed that for them, Tết is special for the emotional connection they hold to it.
“It’s a time for me to be happy and celebrate,” they shared.

03/13/2023

OUR TEAM SPRING 2023

ASG PRESIDENT LEIF BENSON RESPONDS TO CALL FOR RESIGNATIONSan Jose City College Associated Student Government President ...
03/13/2023

ASG PRESIDENT LEIF BENSON RESPONDS TO CALL FOR RESIGNATION

San Jose City College Associated Student Government President Leif Benson confirmed that he was asked by the other student board members to resign, but emphasized that he would not be stepping down from his post at this time.
“The reason I didn’t accept the request to resign is that it goes against what motivated me to run for President in the first place,” Benson said in a one-page statement sent to the City College Times on Thursday, March 2. “I was and continue to be motivated to create a Student Government that embraces structure and learning new experiences.”
Benson’s statement came in response to an email sent to him by the eight other student board members last week on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

LADY JAGUARS BASKETBALL TEAM ADVANCE WITH CONVINCING WIN OVER MODESTO, 42-32. The Lady Jaguars SJCC Athletics came out t...
03/13/2023

LADY JAGUARS BASKETBALL TEAM ADVANCE WITH CONVINCING WIN OVER MODESTO, 42-32.

The Lady Jaguars SJCC Athletics came out to a packed auditorium full of hopeful fans on Feb. 22, seeking to move on to the second round of the playoffs with a good performance.

And perform they did.

The game was initially deadlocked at zero points apiece for a solid three minutes, but once the Lady Jaguars scored their first basket, they never looked back. Their opponents from Modesto Junior College looked lost on the court, aimlessly passing the ball around, unable to find an opening in the Lady Jags’ stalwart defense. These empty possessions often led to either a well-contested jump shot or an unforced turnover, which gave the Lady Jaguars ample opportunities for easy transition points on the other end of the floor

“We struggled a little bit making shots, but I thought we played hard, and we did a lot of great things,” said Coach Terri Oberg, who has been coaching the Lady Jags for 34 years.

Coming out of the halftime break, the Lady Jags held a 17-point advantage over their opponents. Modesto was slightly more competitive in the third period, even shrinking the lead to 12 off of a buzzer-beating three-pointer to end the quarter. This elicited hushed murmurs from the fans, who seemed anxious that the momentum was turning in favor of Modesto, and that the fourth quarter would see the game draw even closer.

However, Modesto shrank back into their first half habits of unproductive ball movement, in large part because the Lady Jaguars continually dominated on the defensive side of the ball, ultimately denying their opponents any chance at a last-minute rally.

Izzy Campbell, the game’s scoring leader, said the key for her team’s success was “communication”, and that the team is “always there for each other”.

Kira Levandoski, the team captain and a vocal leader of the Lady Jags expressed that the team feels, “…super excited because we had a lot of ups and downs this season, but this is what [the Lady Jags] have been working for.”

Unfortunately, the Lady Jags would end their run with a loss to Laney College a few days later, but after the Modesto win, Levandoski expressed her gratitude to the fans.

“Thank you for coming out and supporting all of us this year, you guys do not go unnoticed and without you guys we wouldn’t be able to make it this year, thank you everybody,” Levandoski said.

However, Levandoski also made it clear that she has her eyes set on bigger targets outside of athletics.

She shared that she chose psychology as her major because she feels that it’s important as an athlete to focus on mental health.

“As an athlete, I know I struggled with mental health myself, so I want to be able to help others, too,” Levandoski said.

ASG IS DEMANDING THE IMMEDIATE RESIGNATION OF THEIR PRESIDENT, LEIF BENSONAssociated Student Government body members sen...
03/13/2023

ASG IS DEMANDING THE IMMEDIATE RESIGNATION OF THEIR PRESIDENT, LEIF BENSON

Associated Student Government body members sent an email to the ASG President, Leif Benson, demanding his immediate resignation ahead of their Wednesday meeting.

“We believe that your lack of competence in fulfilling your duties as the president of our student body has led to a detrimental impact on our organization, and we would like to request your immediate resignation,” the email stated.

The email highlighted an alleged inability by Benson to manage the student body’s agenda, which led to a halt in funding of campus activities, in addition to apparently being unable to motivate ASG leadership.

The City College Times obtained the original email and have since corroborated its validity. All of the elected board members of ASG signed the email that was sent on Tuesday afternoon to Benson, along with SJCC staff advisors Blake Balajada and Hilario Garcia.

Benson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“We understand that being a student leader is a challenging role, and we appreciate your efforts thus far. However, we believe that your current performance falls short of the expectations that our student body has for its leaders,” the email expressed.

During the ASG meeting on Wednesday afternoon, student board members, including Benson, declined to speak about the resignation demands in the public eye, instead opting to convene an internal conversation limited to Balajada and the elected student leaders.

03/13/2023
03/13/2023
We will be back soon! ☺️
05/31/2022

We will be back soon! ☺️

Studying abroad exposes students to new cultures.Studying abroad, which is not a very unfamiliar term with people anymor...
05/30/2022

Studying abroad exposes students to new cultures.

Studying abroad, which is not a very unfamiliar term with people anymore nowadays, especially within the scholars community. First started in the 20th century, or more specifically, in 1923, “America’s first study abroad program was launched at the University of Delaware when a young professor walked into the president’s office with a daring plan: to send students abroad for their junior year,” written in the official website of the University of Delaware (https://www.udel.edu/home/).

Read the full article by Vy Nguyen, Times Staff at sjcctimes.com or the link in our bio!

Turlock Diaz – From 11 years in jail to a full time student.SJCC student Turlock Diaz grew up in a single-parent househo...
05/30/2022

Turlock Diaz – From 11 years in jail to a full time student.

SJCC student Turlock Diaz grew up in a single-parent household, moving from house to house. It was just him and his mom.

He had no siblings and said he felt something was missing so he looked to the streets.

“We grew up in a struggle. She worked a lot, and she was around but like a lot of families struggled. A mom can only do so much, especially raising a boy, they can only teach them so much,” Diaz said. “I didn’t grow up with a dad because he was never around. She tried her best, but I looked for dad figures on the street, and I learned how to become a man in the streets.”

Read the full article by Iber Moreno, spring Times' Staff at sjcctimes.com or the link in our bio!

SJCC basketball end season with 22 wins plus 8 conference wins.The San Jose City College basketball team had a successfu...
05/30/2022

SJCC basketball end season with 22 wins plus 8 conference wins.

The San Jose City College basketball team had a successful 2021-2022 season, going 22-7 overall in the season and 8-4 in conference play.

“We’ve been working hard as a team getting to know each other again. It’s a lot of the same guys as last year, and we’re getting workouts together and staying together as a team,” McAndrews,
SJCC sophomore.

To read the full article by Iber Moreno, Times Staff, please visit sjcctimes.com or the link in bio!

Art Gallery is open.Different forms of work were displayed for students and faculty.Jaguars were welcomed to the first s...
05/28/2022

Art Gallery is open.

Different forms of work were displayed for students and faculty.

Jaguars were welcomed to the first showing of the spring 2022 Student Art Gallery on May 10.

A variety of work was on display including darkroom photography, digital photography, drawn portraits, ceramics, and more.

“Having this here is like a celebration of getting back to our roots of showcasing student work,” Terri Garland, photography professor.

Read the full article by Madison Wilber, Times' Contributor at sjcctimes.com.

How to register for classes at San Jose City College?Five steps to become a Jaguar:1. Go to “MyWeb” https://sso.sjeccd.e...
05/28/2022

How to register for classes at San Jose City College?

Five steps to become a Jaguar:

1. Go to “MyWeb” https://sso.sjeccd.edu/ and log in. Click on “students” in the second row on the right corner.

2. Then go to the “registration” section. Click on “Register for sections.”

3. Click “Search for the section to register.” Choose: “Fall 2022 Regular.” Choose a subject, for example “journalism.” Choose a location, for example “San Jose City College.” Click “submit.”

4. Pick the courses from the list that you like and that do not conflict with other courses, then click “submit.”

5. At the “Action” section, click “register,” then “submit.”

You are now registered.

Free tuition for fall 2022.California residents will not have to pay for this semesterSan Jose City College is providing...
05/28/2022

Free tuition for fall 2022.

California residents will not have to pay for this semester

San Jose City College is providing free tuition for all qualified students for fall 2022.

The deadline to apply is Sept. 11.

“We started receiving it (HERF) last year to help support not only students but also faculty and everyone during the pandemic,” Vice president of Academic Affairs Elizabeth Pratt said. “I can’t recall how much we were able to, but it was around $200,000 plus in free tuition that we were able to allow students to take.”

Visit sjcctimes.com to read the full article by Vy Nguyen, Times Staff.

"How is this semester going so far?"Jennyfer Torres, 22, Early childhood development major said: “ I think this semester...
05/16/2022

"How is this semester going so far?"

Jennyfer Torres, 22, Early childhood development major said: “ I think this semester went well, the ending’s always the best. I like the way we come back to some in person and some online. And then I’ll be coming back again for the fall, I’ll be finishing the early childhood development enrollment, I’ll be graduating hopefully next year.”

To this the full article by Vy Nguyen, Times Staff, please go to sjcctimes.com or the link on bio.

High schoolers visit the campus.There are many applications to SJCC after the tour.High school students visited various ...
05/16/2022

High schoolers visit the campus.

There are many applications to SJCC after the tour.

High school students visited various departments at San Jose City College on May 3, the event was held at the Chang Student Center.

“The reason I decided to choose SJCC was because there are a lot of beneficial programs that I saw, and I heard that this school offers lots of opportunities,” said Guadalupe Chica, 18, an undecided major high schooler.

“ A couple of my siblings come here, so that’s why I want to come here too. It seems like a very funny environment,” said Ashley Zuniga, 18, a social work major high schooler.

To read the full article by Vy Nguyen, Times Staff, visit sjcctimes.com or the link on bio.

Jaguar Sport Complex Gym open to all scholars.“For me, mental and physical health go hand-in-hand and are both vital to ...
05/14/2022

Jaguar Sport Complex Gym open to all scholars.

“For me, mental and physical health go hand-in-hand and are both vital to individual student success so I asked myself: ‘What resource(s) do we have at SJCC that can directly contribute to and make the biggest impact on the mental and physical health of our students?’ From this very question, the open gym concept to all students was born,” said ASG Vice President of Finance Carlos Corona.

To read the full article by Madison Wilber, Times Contributor, please visit sjcctimes.com or the link on bio!

Winners in ASG election San Jose City College students have voted in new student officers for the Associated Students Go...
05/12/2022

Winners in ASG election

San Jose City College students have voted in new student officers for the Associated Students Government board for the next academic year.

Elections were held over a three-day period from April 5 through April 7. Here are the elected officers:

President: Leif Benson
VP of marketing: Skyler Alikoi Dy
VP of finance: Xitlaly Martinez
Chief justice: Vacant
Student trustee: Van Pham
Director of Communications: Moe Shaar
Director of student resources: Vacant
Director of student engagement: Denim Sperisen

Incoming ASG president Leif Benson said his goal as president is to enrich the college experience for fellow students.

To read the full article by Times Contributor, go to sjcctimes.com or the link on bio.

San Jose City College held the Student Accessibility Services workshop on April 6.Students with disabilities were able t...
05/05/2022

San Jose City College held the Student Accessibility Services workshop on April 6.

Students with disabilities were able to apply for educational help and services.

“SAS assists students with disabilities who have a lot of difficulties understanding English and Math classes, and they can receive additional tutoring help,’’ SAS counselor Thao Tran said.

To read the full article by Fadia Zeid, Times's Staff, go to sjcctimes.com or the link on bio!

The Pandemic wasn’t an obstacle for musician Mahlleh.During the pandemic, Mahlleh and her musical group “Poetic Mogul'' ...
05/05/2022

The Pandemic wasn’t an obstacle for musician Mahlleh.

During the pandemic, Mahlleh and her musical group “Poetic Mogul'' had a recording studio for upcoming artists.

“When the pandemic first hit, Poetic Mogul studios had a one stop shop for a discounted rate for all upcoming artists to come out. They would get music recordings, music videos, beats, all through the pandemic. The pandemic did not affect my musical career at all. The pandemic kinda pushed us to make more accessible services to the community...,” said Arestegui.

To read the full article by Fadia Zeid, Times Staff, go to sjcctimes.com or the link on bio!

Keep up to date on San Jose City College sports at sjcctimes.com/category/sports
04/28/2022

Keep up to date on San Jose City College sports at sjcctimes.com/category/sports

The Voice of San Jose City College since 1956

Follow San Jose City College Times on Twitter.https://twitter.com/SJCCTimes
04/28/2022

Follow San Jose City College Times on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/SJCCTimes

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The City College Times won six awards at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges state competition.General exce...
04/28/2022

The City College Times won six awards at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges state competition.

General excellence award for the City College Times staff
2nd place: Column writing, Jordan Harris
2nd place: Front page layout, Madison Wilber, Juan Carlos Cortez, Jordan Harris
4th place: Webcast/broadcast news, Lidia Rocha
Honorable mention: Video journalism, Juan Carlos Cortez
Honorable mention: Copy editing, Madison Wilber

https://sjcctimes.com/16277/campus-life/student-journalists-bring-home-awards/

The City College Times won six awards at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges state competition.

City College Times | The voice of San Jose City College since 1956https://sjcctimes.com/
04/28/2022

City College Times | The voice of San Jose City College since 1956

https://sjcctimes.com/

The Voice of San Jose City College since 1956 | City College Times

04/28/2022

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