Board of Trustees Recognizes Foundation, Courageous Officer

The Board of Trustees discussed the changes in the funds raised by the Glendale College Foundation during the last three years and honored police officer Rony Aharonian for his work on campus.

According to a report given by the foundation, the organization raised $450,000 last year and distributed $396,230 — 59 percent of which went to academics and directly to the college, 31 percent to scholarships, and 10 percent to district contributions.

Lisa Brooks, Glendale College Foundation executive director, said the amount of money given to academic and college support has risen in the last three years.

“This is a trend that we want to continue because this is what gives us the capacity to respond to emerging and urgent needs to the campus,” said Brooks.

Grants given by the foundation totaled $35,000 last year, the report stated. Approximately 77 percent of the funds came from 95 donors who formed part of the President’s Circle. Each member of the group donates at least $1,000 annually to GCC.

As a fundraising initiative for Glendale’s 85th anniversary, the foundation is also offering donors the opportunity to name campus buildings based on the amount of money donated. For example, a donation of $2 million would allow a donor to name the library.

The Glendale College Foundation also awarded GCC a check for $108,528 to the GCC scholarship fund at Monday’s meeting.

“In these difficult budget times, this means a lot to the students,” said Suzanna Sargsyan, president of the Associated Students of Glendale Community College.

Police Chief Gary Montecuollo awarded Aharonian with the chief’s letter of commendation for meritorious conduct for his service to the campus.

Aharonian was honored for his handling of the situations with a student in a life-or-death situation where he identified the student’s diabetic bracelet, allowing proper administration of medicine possible.

“Officer Aharonian’s actions contributed to saving the student’s life, and there’s no higher calling in my opinion than to do actions to save someone’s life,” said Montecuollo. “I believe Ron demonstrated not only the core values of our college, but also of the police department.”

Aharonian was also commended for subduing a student with a warrant for his arrest and for stopping a driver who had committed two traffic collisions.

Also discussed was the outage that left campus without power on Feb. 9, rendering PeopleSoft unusable for students until late the next day. Board member Tony Tartaglia expressed concern about Glendale’s readiness in case of a disaster, such as an earthquake.

“In my opinion we dodged a bullet in this last situation,” said Tartaglia. “I think we, as a campus community, have been so concerned about making our campus run that we have neglected some things that we need in emergency operations.”

Tartaglia said there was no emergency power generation and not enough power sources in case of an emergency.

“I just think that this was a great wake up call folks, it happened during the day when we didn’t have an emergency,” said Tartaglia. ”And if we were to have had an earthquake this could have been detrimental.”

Paul Mitchell of Redistricting Partners also spoke to the board, following up on a report first given on Feb. 9 on the redistricting study done to evaluate whether any violations to the California Voting Rights Act (a measure used to prevent board member elections from excluding or diminishing the ability of a minority group to vote) existed in Glendale’s Board of Trustees elections.

Currently, Glendale residents vote for board members as one district. This has raised concerns about whether racially polarized voting (when a minority group favors one candidate and a majority group favors another) exists.

According to the study results presented in the Feb. 9 board meeting, racially polarized voting exists to some extent in the Glendale district. However, board members expressed doubt on the results, prompting a call for new information, which was presented during this board meeting.

Despite the new information, the board did not come to a consensus on the study results.

The next Board of Trustees meeting will be held 5 p.m. March 19 at Kreider Hall.