Dispatches from Community Meeting

By Erin-Aja Grant
In the last 7 days there have been two community meetings held, mainly about the same thing. The much-anticipated University BOT meeting held in L.A. was supposed to provide some clarity about the intentions of the AC3 and the status of acquiring Antioch College. Both meetings talked extensively about the BOT meeting and the AC3 but differed in their message.
On Friday Andrejz Bloch called an emergency community meeting that was facilitated by ComCil chair Levi Cowperth-Waite and fourth year Sara Buckingham. There was no CFB, announcements, or ‘thank yous’ but it was very much a community meeting. This meeting was met with great anticipation from the community since Andrejz and Linda Sirk had been in L.A. and CG remained in L.A. for the results of the University BOT meeting that commenced this last weekend. When Andrejz made his announcement on Friday the community had a mixed bag of emotions. Many did not understand, as Andrejz described,  “As the University’s reaffirmation that the college will be closing as of June 30, 2008.”  Faculty members like Chris Smith asked questions as well as community members, staff, and students. Many felt disheartened by the news because the media was awaiting the community’s’ reactions about the closing of the college. Antioch Alum, former staff, and AC3 member Steve Schwerner was openly in opposition to Andrejz’s announcement. He said the AC3 asked for Eric Bates and David Goodman to go to L.A. and they were not allowed. As questions were fired at Andrejz many were left unanswered.
Fast forward to Community meeting on Tuesday. This was a standard meeting on the normal schedule. There were many ‘thank yous’ and some CFB requests before the topic of the BOT weekend was addressed. CG reflected on L.A. and the people they met and discussed with. CM, Chelsea Martens read from a statement that CG has prepared for the community in the guise of an informative letter. Many times CG’s statements along with the letter directly contradicted what Andrejz said including the details describing how the situation was handled. While OM Corri Frohlich was silent, it was obvious that both EM Rory Adams-Cheatham, and CM Chelsea Martens, were outraged after presenting the letter that stated, “There are more possibilitis in Antioch Collee’s future than was expressed this past Friday and organizational meetings are taking place this week to work towards the continuation and success of our home.”
During the Tuesday meeting Andrejz also announced that both parties had agreed on certain terms and then presented them to the community. He couldn’t verify who on the AC3 had agreed to the statement he read on both the AC3 and BOT’s behalf. Controversial topics were brought to light during this short, yet frustrating community meeting. Scott Warren called the community’s attention to a fallacy called ‘natural language’. Linda Sirk faced difficult questions when asked about the media’s presence on campus and the lack of communication to the media collective. Mixed feelings swelled the room after she stated, “Both Andrejz and I left our cell phones chargers in the hotel, in L.A.” Andrejz seemed to dodge questions that Steve Schwerner and others asked about his authority to present “joint statements” about the AC3 and BOT negotiations. AC3 member Steve Schwerner said, “The board cannot speak for the AC3.”