The most recent Board of Trustees meeting was filled with the chants of protesters.
Students and faculty members were denied access to the board room due to fire safety concerns. A fire marshall was present at the meeting and explained to the crowd that they could not let any more people into the room.
Pete Lewis, board chairman and former mayor of Auburn, refused to move the location of the meeting. Attendees chanted for Lewis to “move the meeting” and United Faculty President Jaeney Hoene said RLC 131 was reserved specifically in case the board room was too small.
The Board of Trustees and President Eileen Ely left the room twice as the chanting of the attendees drowned them out.
The board members returned to address the concerns of the Program Prioritization Process (PPP). Lewis said the PPP is not being used to make cuts, and the attendees responded by yelling at the board members and Ely with chants such as, “Ely must go.”
When Hoene asked Lewis why he would not move the meeting place, Lewis said, “I am shocked at the response to the PPP.”
After a short presentation from Derek Brandes, vice-president of instruction, on the PPP, Hoene gave her faculty report.
“I come here to ask, why is this president still here,” Hoene said to begin her presentation. She spoke against the PPP and how it has affected the faculty at Green River, such as making some instructors sick from working on the process.
After the faculty report came the student report from Ridwan Ibrahim, ASGRC president, and Lavina Tang, ASGRC vice-president. It ended, however, when another student said that the student senate was full of international students who should not be in a position of power.
Lewis once again tried to address the attendees of the meeting about the PPP, but stopped when the chanting grew too loud. The Board of Trustees, Ely, and Allison Friedly, executive director of College Relations, left the board room to go into executive session.
“It’s disappointing that Pete is defensive and scolding,” Hoene said.
When the board returned, faculty members of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program spoke about their experiences with the PPP.
Leslie Kessler, an ECE instructor, said she has been going to city council meetings to inform the government about the PPP.
“I have been accused by the president of being a liar,” Kessler said. When Kessler spoke with government officials, they said Ely had to talk with them about the climate on campus.
Linda Cowen, Board of Trustee member, said she is disappointed by the community for the personal attacks that occurred during the meeting.
The board meeting concluded after a student accused Lewis of advocating for the confederate flag during a parade.