Things to Know – Thursday, June 1, 2017

Commencement at Southwestern College is an inspiring event. A huge thank you to the Commencement Committee, the facilities department, the volunteers who worked, and the police department for a beautiful event. Our @SWC students are amazing and deserve our support as a college community. We maxed the occupancy in the stadium, and we have some thinking and planning to do because we have a maximum capacity of 10,000.

If you encountered some of the angry Sweetwater Union High School District parents last night as I did, you know that the school district’s attendance at commencement ceremonies have also exceeded our capacity as the Fire Marshall joined us last evening and we closed gates. Thank you to the facilities department and the police department, for maintaining your composure and treating people with respect that some people were not showing you.

I guess that gets to the point of Things to Know this morning. It is very hard to “respect the personal values, beliefs, and behaviors of others and reflect this in all interactions with students, and the public;” as noted in our Institutional Code of Professional Ethics when others are not, and sometimes blatantly in your face about it.

Link to the Institutional Code of Professional Ethics

The Urban Dictionary defines respect “as valuing each other’s points of views. It means being open to being wrong. It means accepting people as they are. It means not dumping on someone because you’re having a bad day.”

Merriam-Webster defines respect as “a feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important, etc.”

So, thank you for our faculty, staff, board members and managers who practice respect. Unfortunately, not everyone on this campus practices respect for each other and our students, as evidenced in the many reports I am reading, and stories I hear. It really saddens me to read and listen to some of the details related to poor decision making, inappropriate actions, and inability to see things through the eyes of another person, the inability to work well with others. We are college, what are we teaching our students? Our Institutional Code of Professional Ethics clearly notes “fulfill the duties of employment to the highest standards, and the District exists to serve the needs of its students.”

Link to the Institutional Code of Professional Ethics

The first statement in the Institutional Code of Professional Ethics states:

All employees of Southwestern Community College District are instrumental to the District’s mission of providing an environment in which students successfully achieve their educational goals and objectives. To support this mission, each employee is charged with personal responsibility to demonstrate a commitment to excellence in education without compromise to the principles of ethical behavior, and to uphold the District’s Code of Professional Ethics.

This Policy was reaffirmed by our Governing Board on February 14, 2017. I hope you will take a few minutes and read it.

I am committed to ensuring respect, social justice and equity through inclusion at Southwestern College. I know I have many faculty, staff, managers, and board members who believe in these principles and practice them. It is through personal responsibility that we will achieve this. It is all about personal responsibility for our own actions.

It is all about the students.

Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.

Malcolm Forbes