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Student life director no longer works here

Published: Monday, November 12, 2012

Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 17:11

Posadas at Pizza 9-13-12

File photo

Student life Director Jorge Posadas

As of Friday, student life Director Jorge Posadas is no longer an employee of the college, Dr. Robert Vela, vice president of academic and student success, confirmed today.

Vela declined to specify details because “it’s a personnel matter.”

He said student life staff was notified about the change Friday afternoon.

The office of student life will report to Emma Mendiola, dean of student affairs, “until we post the position and get somebody hired in that capacity as soon as possible.”

Mark Bigelow, assistant coordinator of leadership and activities, declined to comment this morning.

Posadas had been nonvoting chair of the Student Activity Fee Committee, made up of five students and four faculty or staff, since the implementation of the $1-per-credit-hour fee in fall 2006, the semester he was hired at this college. He resigned from the committee during the summer.

During his time as student life director, Posadas’ behavior had received coverage from local and national news organizations.

Posadas told The Ranger in an email Oct. 17, 2011, that he would “negotiate an appropriate fee” for interviews.

That incident received national coverage from The Chronicle of Higher Education, Gawker, Huffington Post, the Poynter Institute and industry watchdog Jim Romenesko. The San Antonio Express-News also wrote and editorialized about Posadas.

Texas Monthly magazine poked fun at Posadas for the incident in its annual Bum Steer Awards in 2011.

Despite the fact that the Student Activity Fee Committee recommended the expenditure of student funds, Posadas conducted meetings behind closed doors until the college administration ordered them to be open Nov. 16, 2011.

At the second open Student Activity Fee Committee meeting Feb. 2, Posadas allowed the committee to award $5,721.97 for four organizations without a quorum. Two student members and a student alternate were present at the meeting.

Though Posadas maintained there was a quorum, Eddie Cruz, ethics and compliance officer for the district, ruled that a quorum consists of five members with a plurality of those being students and at least one faculty or staff members present. District Procedure F.2.3.1, which defines what constitutes a quorum, was amended Feb. 27 for clarity.

In April, the committee recommended a fiscal year 2013 student activity budget of $800,000 to Zeigler. The budget would have required doubling the fee to $2 per credit hour per student and needed approval by the Alamo Colleges board of trustees.

The proposed budget allocated $70,000 to create a second student newspaper, which would have allowed students to write stories “that are meaningful globally, meaningful to the city of San Antonio,” Posadas said April 30.

The second student newspaper and possible increase of the student activity fee received coverage from The Chronicle of Higher Education; College Media Matters, a student journalism association blog sponsored by the Associated Collegiate Press; and news broadcast KABB Fox San Antonio.

A May 3 committee meeting was canceled because of a lack of a quorum, leaving four organizations in limbo and two projects unfunded. Two student members, two student alternates and Posadas attended the meeting. No faculty or staff members attended.

Posadas resigned as nonvoting chair of the committee during the summer and was replaced by Mendiola.

Posadas had previously refused to conduct telephone or sit-down interviews with The Ranger and requested Ranger reporters to send him questions in an email. The Ranger does not conduct email interviews except in unusual circumstances, such as military personnel serving overseas.

After Posadas told The Ranger he expected to be paid for interviews, Vela accompanied Posadas in an interview with The Ranger in February “to ensure a good interview process” and that everyone was “playing by what we agreed on,” Vela said Feb. 9.

The Ranger reported in “College sports teams Reds — for now” published Sept. 25, 2011, that Posadas decided to change the college’s sports teams from The Rangers to The Reds because he didn’t want the college news organization to share a name with the teams. Posadas threatened a Ranger reporter with harassment charges for attempting to interview him about his decision.

The Ranger reported in “Women’s soccer team seeks new recruits” published Dec. 8, 2010, that Posadas instructed intramural coaches in a mass email to direct all requests to him for interviews with coaches and players.

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