Chemistry professor reflects on SBCC President’s apology

Channels Opinion Page | Letter to the Editor

Raeanne Napoleon

For me, as a person in the center of so much campus controversy, the Waypoint apology was more grandstanding and was written to save the Superintendent-President from further scrutiny. I found him to be sincere, but also found that he lacked empathy and understanding of what transpired and what continues to fester for so many. This is consistent with my previous assessment of his public communications: an aloof acknowledgment without actually doing the hard introspective work that is needed for this campus to move forward.

Much of the language used was very telling of who he is as a leader. “I’m not perfect” is just a way of absolving oneself from any blame. “…where honest and well-intentioned people have sharp differences…” reads very similar to President Trump’s comments of “fine people on both sides.” After months of harassment, there’s most definitely not well-intended people on both sides (And if I were being honest, I’m not sure I have any good intentions left, as I reached my limit months ago). Also, “I deeply regret that my actions caused harm – that has never been my intent, and I would never do that.” And yet, Dr. Beebe did cause harm. The four faculty members that lodged Title IX complaints against Mark McIntire begged Dr. Beebe and his Administrative staff for guidance, reprieve from the harassment, questions about college procedures, advice for how to deal with the media, and so many other specific, tangible, obvious things. Our emails remained unanswered, we were told that nothing could be done, or we were told things were being taken care of when they weren’t. As such, the statement that “[he and his administrative staff] have devoted a great deal of time and energy attempting to resolve related matters,” is not accurate. After months of inaction, I asked Dr. Beebe in an email sent in June if he was “malicious or incompetent” and I honestly still don’t know which it is.

I’m hoping to soon see a strong, collective faculty voice to push back against the platitudes and the inaction that is the Administrative norm.