LC students plan protest - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

LC students plan protest

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PINEVILLE, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - A student protest is underway on the campus of Louisiana College.

Those at the protest say they will not attend classes until there's a change in leadership at the school.

In addition to the students, alumni are also on hand to pray for the school's future.

The group was outside Guinn Auditorium seen holding hands and praying.

A suggestion box was also placed outside for students and alumni to write down their thoughts about the school and its operation.

"I graduated in 1994 and there's a large group of alumni that are really concerned about the direction of the college and some of the controversy that's been going on about funding and some serious issues that are taking place on the campus," said John Neal, an alum of LC.

So far, school administrators have not commented on the protest.

We spoke with a member of the LC Board of Trustees. Lonnie Scarborough spoke to News Channel 5 not on behalf of the board, but asan individual Louisiana Baptist.

You'll hear his thoughts coming up tonight on News Channel 5 at 6 p.m.

On March 20, LC President Joe Aguillard held a question and answer forum with the college students ended. It lasted about three hours.

According to the LC Wildcats Media Twitter account, students did have some questions answered.

The forum was called in response to flyers distributed during the early morning hours of March 20.

In the meeting, Aguillard addressed some of the students' concerns.

Students asked questions such as when buildings will be brought up to code, about the service at the school cafeteria, and faculty pay cuts.

Aguillard said that he will remain president for as long as the board of trustees allows him to.

News Channel 5 reached out to the LC administration, but received no comment in regards to the forum.

However, one of the members of the students protest group did give us this statement:

"I thought he (Aguillard) was rude to students just trying to voice their concerns and worries on their hearts. Anything he doesn't want to answer, he dances around then throws in Bible verses that have nothing to do with the point to change the topic. He interrupts the students when he feels he can't answer the question; he was closed minded the entire time. I was so happy when one student called him out for interrupting her and everyone else.

"I was so proud of my fellow students though for standing up to Dr. Joe and voicing their minds and hearts despite his interruptions. So many great questions were asked and I think we all learned a lot from it. We stood together as a student body and that makes me proud. It shows me there's hope after all."

The distributed flyers are calling for a student protest at Guinn Auditorium starting at 8 a.m. Monday, March 24, 2014.

It also suggested students participating wouldn't attend class until their demands are met.

Their demand is for LC President Joe Aguillard to resign or be fired.

The flyers alleged that Aguillard has caused people to lose respect for the school. Aguillard called a forum this afternoon to address the concerns of the students. 

LC representatives would not talk to KALB on camera, but did release this statement:

"Louisiana College takes student complaints very seriously.

Louisiana college has an approved procedure in place for students to voice their concerns and we have no received any student complaints regarding this situation."

This is a statement from students involved in organizing the protest:

"It needs to be clear, we're not doing this out of hate or dislike. Some of us like as a person but we're standing up for the love of our school.

It's falling to pieces around us, numbers are dropping, tuition is being raised because of it, we've lost so much respect as a school.

Nobody wants their kids to come here and we don't blame them."

We also spoke with an LC alumna who says she has been concerned about the college since Aguillard became president. 

"His actions really have caused severe damage to the name of the institution, to the degree that I have from there. It's not looked at the same way it used to be. Whether or not he feels that he is responsible, at this point, I think the honorable thing for him would be to resign or the Board of Trustees to vote for change in leadership. Because at this point, we're trying to save what little bit of a good name we have left at Louisiana College," said Heather Wise Matlock, who was part of LC's 2002 class.

Stay with News Channel 5 and for more updates on this developing story.

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