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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Student Government Association leaders agree with board of trustees’ decision

Elva LeBlanc
Elva LeBlanc

AUSTIN FOLKERTSMA
campus editor
austin.folkertsma@my.tccd.edu

Student leaders agreed with the board of trustees’ decision Feb. 17 to put Chancellor Eugene Giovannini on paid administrative leave because of a lawsuit filed against TCC Feb. 7.

Former executive vice president for advancement Kristen Bennett alleged she was wrongfully terminated for disciplining a female employee with whom the chancellor was having an “inappropriate, personal relationship.”

Members of the SE Student Government Association found TCC’s decision to be sound. 

“I would say that while the allegations are being thoroughly investigated, it is necessary for him to be put on leave to ensure that employees are not subjected to a toxic work environment,” SE SGA President Jeni Green said.

SE SGA Vice President Olla Mokhtar was shocked when she heard the chancellor was put on administrative leave.

“I think the board’s decision is well thought out as well, for now, we know that everything is alleged until the proper authorities but it wouldn’t surprise me if it were true,” she said.

Mohktar said she sees many people in power abuse the privilege they have and felt disturbed by the news of the chancellor’s allegations.

“I think the board’s decision was obviously well thought out and appropriate actions were made accordingly,” Mohktar said. “I just hope when the investigation is completed that they do the same they are doing now, responding appropriately.” 

SE SGA secretary Jamea Johnson agrees with Mohktar when talking about the board’s decision being logical and well thought out.

“As professionals in the world of academia, we should never mix business and pleasure, and by the chancellor engaging in a relationship with an employee, he’s violated the level of professionalism that is expected of him,” she said. 

Johnson said she hopes Bennett provides proof behind her allegations against the chancellor, otherwise, her claims will be just that. 

“Putting the chancellor on paid administrative leave is understandable, however, I feel that putting him on a paid leave is somewhat enabling the narrative that the college isn’t taking the investigation seriously,” she said. “If he’s violated some code of conduct, does he really deserve to still make money even though he’s not reporting to work?” 

Additionally, Johnson said if there is a college policy against fraternization, it should be taken into consideration. 

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