BC punishes student leaders for drinking, drugs

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) A group of Bakersfield College students accused of drinking alcohol and using drugs at a leadership conference have been removed from their positions on the Student Government Association.

Each of the 10 student who have been removed from the SGA had signed an agreement that they wouldn't drink or do drugs the weekend of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges General Assembly conference on the Monterey Peninsula, Nov. 1-3.

"Everyone was automatically labeled guilty," said Shay Harleston, who is a member of the Bakersfield College SGA. Harleston is also one of the initial 19 students accused of drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana at the leadership conference. Harleston has since been cleared of any wrongdoing.

He said he isn't happy with how the college shut the group down after they returned home from the conference.

"We're not able to serve the school properly, and at the same time we're getting a bad reputation for something that was never proven," said Harleston.

Bakersfield College spokeswoman Amber Chiang said Monday that "unfortunately they neglected" to uphold the school's code of conduct, while addressing the SGA situation.

Harleston said their work on the SGA should outweigh this one incident.

"If it doesn't affect your job, if you're performing your job at 100 percent, then why should you be held accountable for something that's totally unrelated? There's no difference than a faculty member going to have an alcoholic beverage after the conference was over," said Harleston.

Chiang said the school has taken every disciplinary action against the students that policy dictates. Any criminal prosecution falls out of Bakersfield College jurisdiction.