A group of Latino students and alumni of Fullerton College plan to protest today what they say is discrimination against minorities at the school.
Spokesmen for the protesters said they will meet this morning in front of the college administration building and then go to the homes of college President Philip W. Borst and Chancellor James S. Kellerman, where they plan to march with signs.
Lupe Martinez, 19, president of Fullerton College's Chicano student organization, Movimiento Estudiante Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA), said many Latinos believe the college discriminates by not offering enough remedial courses and ethnic-study programs, and by not hiring enough Latinos as faculty members and administrators.
Donna Hatchett, director of communication for the North Orange County Community College District, which governs both Fullerton and Cypress colleges, said the accusations are unfair.
"Fullerton College has invested a very substantial part of its total budget into equal opportunity programs and services," she said. "We have added new remedial courses at the college level to help students who don't do well in the (college-entrance) assessment tests. These remedial courses give college credit. They're designed to help students be successful in college and remain in college, which we think is very important.
"As for affirmative action, we are very dedicated to hiring more minorities. Dr. Kellerman has made affirmative action a real mandate; we have a very, very strong emphasis on it."
But Jaime Vega, a member of Latino Alumni and Friends of North Orange County, said that he and other Latino graduates of Fullerton College believe discrimination "has been a problem for many years at the college, and the college is still not doing enough."
Vega, an Anaheim resident and 1974 graduate of Fullerton College, said the marches scheduled today "are the beginning of a series of protests we are organizing."
Another alumnus, Rita Canales of Anaheim, said: "I think the college is guilty of discrimination. The placement tests are being used to keep Chicanos from getting the college courses they need."
Hatchett, in rebuttal, said the college only uses placement tests to see whether students are capable of college-level courses. Students who show shortcomings in a subject can take remedial courses at the college level, she said.
Martinez, however, charged that not enough is being done by Fullerton College to help Latinos. "We are only getting lip service from the administration," she said.