To Janet Holmgren and Ramon Torrecilha,
The rotating door of Mills College has struck again and this time hit a major cord in the hearts of the student body. We have seen the college push out those who have advocated for the students time and time again. Joanna Iwata has been instrumental in the retainment of the students of Mills College. As a 4th year student, I have seen this college let go/ push out Shirley Weishar, Lael Sigal, Moire Bruin, Marisa Quiroz, and Sae Lee. Their absence has been incredibly detrimental to possible trust relationships that can only be built through longevity. Those who we love leave, and those who have committed no time to our success stay. The Division of Student life has been instrumental in creating a foundation for students in which they can flourish. Our bonds with the individuals who work in DSL cannot be quantified.
As president and vice president your duties are to provide a stable environment in which your students feel that their needs are prioritized, considered, heard, and met. Our feelings in this matter have not been considered. Furthermore, we were not informed of this decision making process. Your email is not only disrespectful, but inconsiderate in the fact that we do not have ample time or resources to respond in a healthy affective manner. You are doing what you deem is best for the college, in spite of, and not for, your student body. Thus the changes that are being made are happening on your time, and not on our time. This is not only a backwards process, but has caused much distress among the student body.
The process in which students are made aware of the exit of our faculty and staff is severely flawed. We demand that the process in which these decisions are made be readily accessible. We have searched the Mills College Website for the process in which you hire and fire, we have searched our student handbook, and have talked to numerous faculty and staff. Magically no one is familiar with the mechanisms of this process. As students we think this is by design. At this critical juncture in the life of Mills College, this is not effective strategic planning. You have forgotten where the power of this institution lies. It is not in your hands, but in those of the students.
We demand an immediate public response regarding the reasons behind the exiting of our beloved dean. This is our home, we pay for this education, we pay for your salaries, and we pay for the building of bonds between the student body and those who work for us. In this effort it has been noted time and time again that neither President Holmgren or Ramon Torrecilha are concerned with building these bonds.
Clearly you have underestimated the effects that the exiting cycle of our mentors, our role models, and our support systems have had on the staying power and the psyche of this student body. Joanna Iwata has been our greatest advocate. She has earned the trust and respect of the students. She has given her time, energy, and love to everything that the students explore and pursue. She is the only administrative member who we can relate to. She does not hide in her office and is active in club organizations, in heritage months, in athletic events, and in all aspects of students lives. She is not only an administrator to us, she is our family. She is the only administrator who has accepted us without question into her home and into her life.
If the door must rotate, it needs to rotate on the time of Janet Holmgren and Ramon Torrecilha. We want transparency, and power innate with input. You put us on committees, but obviously do not value our decisions and opinions as evident in long-term processes. We demand to know why the woman who cares so much about us, is leaving. The dean represents the students, therefore the students have a right to know why she is â
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