Idile Students Voice Complaints

Story By: Cynthia Moreno

The Idile program has been a pillar of succes on the Fresno City College campus for many years. Its objective is to enroll and foster students toward academic goals by providing them the resources necessary for success. The program offers extensive services and support to insure that students enrolled transfer to a four year institutions, be it a CSU or UC campus.

The purpose of Idile is to reach out to the 92% of African American students at FCC who do not transfer to a four year institution.

Currently, 28 students are enrolled in the Idile program of which most are expected to transfer to four year universities in the near future.

However, there is an internal problem plaguing the Idile program’s efforts. Numerous sources have stated that there is an imbalance between the instructor-student relationships which have resulted in problems within the program.

A recent complaint has brought these issues to light. An anonymous letter submitted to the Rampage expressed frustrations and concerns regarding leadership in respect to the professors and counselors that coordinate the program.

The anonymous letter was signed by “furious students” which are assumed to be a part of the Idile program. The students feel that many of the decisions that are being made in the program are being done without their consideration. The example that the “furious students” gave was that decisions regarding their professors are not taken into account. The students are neither sought out for evaluations or concerns regarding the teaching methods of the professors.

“There is a lack of communication between us students and the faculty. When we ask questions, we are told to stay out of ‘grown folks business,'” stated Idile student, Monica Blackman.

Many students feel that they are completely taken out of the decision-making process when their education is being jeopardized by the absence of professors they feel are instrumental to their success in the Idile program.

In the Idile student’s eyes, the neglect of the program to cater to their needs and considerations has caused a whirlwind of feelings and emotions that have been unable to be articulated for lack of opportunity.

The students feel that the objective of Idile is intended to promote “family” as the mission statement of the program details. However, because the students’ voices are not being heard, they have taken alternative initiatives to communicate their grievances.

The students recently discovered that one of their counselors (who has chosen to remain anonymous for this publication) will no longer be a part of the Idile program next semester. When the students became aware of this and attempted to seek out answers, they were silenced.

As a result of this, Idile students have formulated their own conjectures to the problems they are facing.

A few weeks ago they decided to boycott their classes from a presumed instructor they felt was responsible for the release of another counselor in the Idile program whom they felt had helped them tremendously thus far in their academic career.

Homer Green, an Educational Advisor on the Fresno City College campus became aware of the situation and stated that Idile students should not boycott their classes because “it doesn’t mean anything. The focus is to get A’s and B’s in their classes and not get caught up in the politics.”

However, it is the politics surrounding the program that have resulted in the drastic measures the students have taken to express their frustrations.

“There is a lack of communication with the program as far as to what is going on” stated Ashley Williams, a student of the Idile Program. Moreover, when decisions are made, students are not “even polled for an opinion or for a voice to be heard. The only voice that matters is the instructors’ voices” added Rodney Bailey, another Idile student.

“Students have to be specific in what they want” stated Homer Green, “but the students are the focus of the program, as is their well-being; they should not suffer. If a conflict arises, which was clearly present here, there should have been some sort of intervention.”

“Not going to class is not a stratagem I would take” added Robert Fox, Dean of Students at Fresno City College.

Dr. Brown, an English instructor for the program has stated that “students who feel they have concerns or are facing problems with faculty should address that faculty person directly by speaking to them. The key is to continue trying” she said.

Some Idile students mentioned that when a few professors learned that they were upset about the counselor that wouldn’t be a part of the program next semester, Dr. Ned Doffoney, President of FCC stated that he was unaware of the entire situation, but according to his knowledge, “nobody had the authority to remove the counselor.”

The counselor who was allegedly removed from the program stated that she “feels like she has cheated the (Idile) students out of what was promised to them when they were recruited because when she recruited the students, she informed them that she would be their instructor for the fall and spring semester”. She added, “I always tell the students that the one thing no one can take from them is their educations, so take full advantage of that while they are young.”

Idile students are making attempts to remedy their situation by taking initiatives to speak to their mentors, counselors and professors about their feelings toward the program and the lack of communication.

As Brandon Godbolt, an Idile student stated, “I know that there is support out there for the program, but I believe complaints against teachers fall on deaf ears”.