What the ‘Clean Slate’ needs to keep in mind

New board majority need to prove they care about other issues


Joash Mencias

From left to right: Deanne Mazzochi, Frank Napolitano, and Charles Bernstein

The Board of Trustees elections have come to a close and a new era, with new controversies, is soon to begin at College of DuPage. Notoriously outspoken and President Robert Breuder-intolerant Trustee Kathy Hamilton has gotten her wish: candidates Deanne Mazzochi, Frank Napolitano, and Charles Bernstein were elected as our three new trustees. Hamilton actively endorsed the candidates, who called themselves the “Clean Slate.” The question remains: will they really fit that bill?

We think they could. Though we did not endorse Napolitano and Bernstein, they earned the support of the community and hold a firm stance on issues involving Breuder. In many ways, they are carbon copies of Hamilton’s ideals and this will certainly play into future board rulings. With Hamilton and the Clean Slate on the board, many decisions could end up 4-3. By collaborating together, these candidates will have the power to dominate our board, hopefully with the best interest of students, faculty, and the community in mind.

While we aren’t fighting the Clean Slate on their stance against Breuder, we do hope they put some effort into other issues at the college as well. These trustees will be around until 2021. They’ll need to do a lot more than passive-aggressively tweet about Breuder to gain our approval in the long run. They’ve already convinced the community that they have the potential to turn the school around for the better. Now they have to prove it with their actions.

For us, the main concern is gaining back trust between the faculty and the administration. It’s no secret the two sides have been battling it out for some time now. Even though full-time faculty did not endorse these two particular candidates, we hope that both they and the new board can look past their differences and reach a common ground. This restoration is crucial to keeping the peace and saving COD’s renowned reputation. If we can’t work together, we won’t work at all.

Of course there’s also the concern of what the Clean Slate will do for students. As the sole reason the school exists in the first place, it’s unquestionably essential to keep education not only accessible for them, but also at the best quality available. Amid the mess of administrative scandals, it’s easy to forget about the one thing at school that won’t change: students. They will always need a way to afford education and they will always deserve the highest quality possible. The board must remember that there’s more to COD than its finances.

Although there is hope for this new era, there’s also fear. A 4-3 vote on any decision can be dangerous, but this new administration will soon be picking our new college president to replace Breuder. The Clean Slate members, titling themselves like a middle-school clique, have already made a point to set themselves apart from the rest of the board and band together. And though they have shown promise for change, excluding or working against other members is certainly not ideal and could lead us down the same road as before. The Clean Slate needs to consider the other board members and not work on their own separate agenda. This isn’t “House of Cards,” it’s College of DuPage. Unity should be the end goal, not supremacy. Hamilton, Mazzochi, Napolitano, and Bernstein have come this far, but they have even farther to go before we can assess their abilities and gauge just how well this election turned out.