ASU to decide building names of Campus Center Project

By Lorenzo Morotti, Associate Editor

The ASU Executive Board will be breaking a close vote between the last two building names for the  Campus Center and Classroom Building Project at its meeting today at 2:15 p.m. in LA-204.

At the College Council meeting on Thursday in LA-100, its 16 members unanimously voted that the final decision be made by the ASU after Interim President Mojdeh Mehdizadeh announced the top picks from two online surveys.

Mehdizadeh said it is best to have the ASU’s 10 member board vote because if the College Council were to approve the results of the surveys the three-story Classroom Building and the two-story Student Activities Building would be called “the College Learning Center” and “the College Center,” respectively.

College Council, however, did approve the name of the smallest building and the newly constructed street adjacent to Rheem Creek near the Student Services Center.

The Community Building will be known as “Fireside Hall” and the street sign between Castro Road and Library Drive will read “Comet Way.”

The ASU board will vote to decide if the three-story Classroom Building will be called the “College Learning Center,” (53 votes)  or the “General Education Building” (51 votes).

The difference in votes regarding what to call the two-story Student Activities Building, however, is greater.

Mehdizadeh said the survey received 66 votes for “College Center,” and 39 votes for “Student and Administration Center.” She said once the ASU board makes its decision, then it will be sent to the President’s Cabinet.

The result will be forwarded to the 16 members in College Council.

“I was happy to see that College Council voted unanimously to have the student leadership determine the final name of the two large buildings,” Mehdizadeh said. “The naming of our spaces represents us as a college.”

During the College Council meeting, Mehdizadeh said she sent out emails to all employees and the ASU with a link to the shortlist online survey.

“Since the vote is so close,  53-51 (for the Classroom Building),” Mehdizadeh said, “would it be OK for us (College Council) to hold a vote now to call it the General Education Building so we won’t have so many ‘centers’?”

But ASU Vice President of Club Affairs Safi Ward-Davis and Student Life Coordinator Erika Greene said they never received the email sent from the President’s Cabinet on Oct. 19.

After the ASU representatives said, “We didn’t vote,” Mehdizadeh suggested that Ward-Davis, Greene and ASU Senator Addy Brien, a Middle College High School student, cast a vote at the meeting to break up the repetition in the names.

“(The email for the shortlist survey) was supposed to have been forwarded to the ASU,” Mehdizadeh later said. “Either it wasn’t received, or the (ASU) students represented in College Council didn’t see it.”

Greene motioned a point of order to add 10 minutes to the item. The College Council unanimously approved. After moments of consulting with Brien and Greene,  Ward-Davis said, “We like the General Education Building due to the fact there are so many ‘centers’.”

Academic Senate President Beth Goehring quickly motioned that the ASU should discuss and vote on this item with a full ASU board at its next meeting.

Music department Chairperson Wayne Organ seconded that motion and said, “We would not have a real board opinion if we allow (the three ASU members) to vote now.”

Mehdizadeh supported the idea but with the constraint of only allowing the ASU to select two names that were the highest voted for the three-story Classroom Building and two-story Student Activities Building.

She said the ASU is limited to the “College Learning Center” or “General Education Building” in naming the three-story building and “College Center” or Student and Administration Center” for the two-story options.

Ward-Davis said, “We are fine with Fireside Hall and Comet Way, but we will discuss the names of the other two buildings with the board.”

Mehdizadeh said the contractor, hired to make the signs, needs the finalized names to meet the August 2016 opening of the buildings. Because of district policy, the ASU will only be able to select between the two names for the three-story Classroom Building with the most votes in the second shortlist survey that closed on Nov. 2.

The first general survey went online on Sept. 15.

Business Services Director Mariles Magalong said she sent an email to all employees and ASU members asking to submit specific names that best represent the function of the buildings for the first survey on Sept. 11.

“According to (Contra Costa Community College) district (Board Policy 5029 and Business Procedure 10.52),” Magalong said, “we cannot name a building in someone’s honor unless they were instrumental in sponsoring legislation that gave funds to construct the buildings or if they donated a large sum of money to the college.”

She said the Operations Council created a shortlist within three to four weeks after the first survey was closed.

According to the Operations Council spreadsheet provided by Mehdizadeh, the 111 submissions it received in the first survey were narrowed down to 10 for the second survey.

Submissions recognizing: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., CCC’s deceased evening program monitor Martin Padilla, former history professor and indigenous rights activist Lehman Brightman, counselor Alfred Zuniga, Rosie the Riveter, district Chancellor and  former college president Helen Benjamin, Booker T. Washington and District Ward I Representative John Marquez and more, were all disqualified by the Operations Council adhering to district procedure for naming campus buildings.