The Americas, before the Spanish conquest, was the home of the mighty Mayans, warriors, builders, and readers of the heavens. They struggled to develop a mighty nation across the lands that we now call the Americas. It is fitting that the College, which now sits astride the rolling hills of the Otay Mesa, should be the new symbol of pride, accomplishment and learning. From the ancient roots of the Mayans, Toltecs, and the Aztecs, there now raises a learning center dedicated to bringing honor and respect to the descendents of our ancient forefathers.
Stand on the fringes of Southwestern College and let your gaze wander towards the areas where our people live and die. What you see is the result of nearly 400 years of oppression, neglect and indifference. We live in Barrios, vencindades, and colonias, which mark where we were born, went to schools in, and played. We are trapped in conditions of poverty from which there is little escape.
The chants of our leaders have often been “through education” you can find your piece of the great American pie. We believed. Weren’t our ancestors the most educated in the continent? Didn’t they read the skis and plot their celestial charts across the heavens? We still believe. Our modern day Caciques struggle to build a mighty educated base, from amongst nuestra gente, in the hopes that some day soon our “Quinto Sol” will come and we shall lead our country to greater heights of glory.
Southwestern College has taken mighty strides to bring the means to acquire knowledge to its 18,000 students, of which over half are Mexican Americans. It is one of the few schools of higher education within the County of San Diego that is devoted to bring to every Hispanic, Latino, Mexican American child the forbidden fruit of learning. As we pointed out in our August 16, 2002 edition in an Editorial titled “Time to Separate the Chaff from the Truth Surrounding Southwestern College” tremendous strides have been made to upgrade and develop a college worthy of is heritage. Yet sadly, we felt obligated to point out that, as in the past history we had our Malinches and Vendidos who have lost their vision and are intent to destroy what has been achieved. Because of their shortsightedness they would become the instrumentality of those same forces that have oppressed and denied our people their rightful place in American society.
Unfortunately, there have been disruptive forces within the Southwestern College system that are bent on discrediting the leadership by making spurious false allegations against the Superintendent/President Serafin A. Zasueta. They are alleging misuse of District property (automobiles). These allegations were brought by Prof. Phil Lopez, former president of the SCEA (Southwestern College Educators Association). They were generated during the period of time when the Union was involved in negotiations over their contract with the college.
A law firm from Los Angeles (Liebert Cassidy and Whitmore) investigated the allegations. Their findings were submitted to the Board on June 8, 2002. Their conclusions “That the use of his use of district automobiles were not a gift of public funds” as alleged by Phil Lopez. “That the assignment of a membership to the San Diego Country Club, by the Board, was within District Policy and served the interests of the District.And, that the use of a district van to move his personal property from Long Beach to Chula Vista to begin his tenure, as Superintendent, was appropriate.” .
The investigative firm recommended that the Board take no further action. However, Board Trustee David Agosto was not satisfied and wants the Board to conduct another $10,000 investigation. It takes three votes for the Board to squander another $10,000. What say Ye, Mrs. Terri Valladolid? You are the President of the Board! Shall the Board and the College get back to what is important?