RCC student body loses a leader

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By Staff Editorial

By Staff Editorial

So, Daniel Castro is no longer president of Riverside City College.

We will miss him.

On Dec. 8, he announced in an e-mail that he was leaving. At the Jan. 11 special meeting of the Board of Trustees it was announced that Castro resigned for “personal reasons.”

“Personal reasons” must be code for “not feeling welcome anymore.”

It was no secret to anyone that Castro applied to be the president of Long Beach City College. Viewpoints even covered the forum in Long Beach where Castro spoke to the college community. Castro said during that forum that he “wanted to work for the best college.”

A lot of people took offense to that.

Why? If you were applying for a job would you say “I work at the best place at the moment, but I’ll settle for working at this place instead.”

After saying that, there was nothing he could say or do to make people happy.

Well, other than continue to help students, but who cares about students?

There are also a lot of complaints that Castro tried to change RCC into a trade school. Even more people took offense when Castro didn’t deny that most RCC students would not be transferring.

“They don’t all need a B.A. Some of them just need to be able to get a job because they have three kids at home. And I don’t care what anybody says, you’re not going to be coming to school over your kids starving. That’s the real world,” Castro said in the Nov. 30 issue of Viewpoints.

Many people saw this as Castro selling the students short and championing mediocrity. In actuality, Castro was taking a look at reality.

Not every student who comes to RCC is going to go on to be a graduate student. You just can’t argue with the facts. Just because a student is not going to get a doctorate, it doesn’t make them any less deserving of an education they can use. That is what Castro was trying to provide students with.

No matter what anyone says, Viewpoints knows that Castro cared about students. Before he was hired in 2005 Viewpoints writers spent an enormous amount of time researching him and the other candidates. Writers called and sent

e-mails to students and staff at the colleges he worked at.

Los Angeles Trade Tech College’s Mary-Anne Breckle, vice president of Administration, summed up the feeling that most people had about him at the time.

“If (he is) selected you will have a student-oriented leader,” she said. “Overall, Mr. Castro cares for the students, their safety and well-being.”

Viewpoints students personally witnessed Castro attending Student Senate meetings to answer questions and various student programs like the Puente Program’s “Noche de Comedia.” He was always available and open to talking to Viewpoints students when they needed.

Castro was a good president, but he is gone now and that’s not going to change.

In light of recent events, it is hard to imagine anyone with real intent to help the students will want to sign on for the job. The way things are going, if the position is filled by someone who will truly champion students’ needs, they will be thrown out of here faster than they can say, “change.”

We have a new president in Linda Lacy. Hopefully, everyone at this college will give her a chance to actually make a positive difference.

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