Editorial: Transparency is live stream

Events, meetings should be streamed in real time or later

By Editorial Board

At the community college level, especially Contra Costa College, enrollment seems to be at the forefront of every issue.

It has become increasingly difficult to keep the students who are here engaged and, more importantly, up-to-date on campus information.

Admittedly, a lot of the onus is on students to gather relevant information about their future, immediate or distant. It is what school is for.

And it’s true, students don’t make it a priority to come hear an alum give a presentation on finding the best possible way path to success while using CCC as a stepping stone, even if it’s in an interesting field of study.

However, in many cases, the ability to gather information is out of reach for the average student and increasingly, recently, that knowledge that students are missing out on has immediate effects on their college experience.

To make things more compatible with the lives of modern students, all important events on campus should be streamed.

The technology is available.

Video shot from my doorbell looks better than the TV shows my mother grew up watching, so it has to be good enough for a funding meeting.

Many of the students at community college are older and understand if students don’t show interest in what makes the school tick, administrators will think they don’t care.

Last Wednesday, with CCC on the verge of choosing its next interim president, a student wanted to go to the Governing Board meeting to watch it all unfold.

She knew the meetings were usually held in at the District Office in Martinez, so she picked her kids up from school, fed them and hopped on the road to the meeting.

What she didn’t know was that the meeting was at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill.

Despite their being just 6.5 miles between the two locales, the fact that the meeting was held at DVC was enough for her to miss an opportunity to be at the meeting and observe the proceedings.

It is something that did not have to happen.

The problem begs the question, why aren’t all district and on-campus administrative events live-streamed?

The campus already uses selective live streaming for some sporting and entertainment events. It would be more meaningful for College Council or Governing Board meetings.

The video doesn’t have to include fancy graphics or a 3D picture to accompany a smart TV’s ambient back lighting.

It can be a one camera shot, similar to C-SPAN and would simply be a tool to ensure the college and district communities remain informed on issues of importance.

District Chancellor Fred Wood said no one has ever been against the idea but that it has never been seriously discussed. He also noted the problems offering unvetted members of the community a spot in front of a live camera could bring.

It is possible that some of the meetings will have zero viewers, but acting in the name of transparency and allowing students and the college community access to these meetings would be a giant step toward having a more informed and engaged student body.