Dr. Jack Bermingham
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Highline Community College
2400 South 240th Street
PO Box 98000 M/S 9-3
Des Moines, WA 98198-9800
July 30, 1996
Dear Dr. Jack Bermingham:
I am forced to come to you, because Ed Cammand, and Ron Baker do not know how to follow up on a complain made by a student about Sheri Richter's negative attitude towards students when they come to her for help. This has not been solved by her supervisor or the president. I have tried to talk to Ed Command and basically he just slapped her on the back of the hand and said, "Don't bother Mark." I was angry with that, so I seek someone else to fix the problem. Sheri doesn't help students with their problems, if the other lab techs are busy; instead Sheri spends time visiting with staff members. I went to Ron Baker and talked to him about the problem. He also basically slapped her hand and said that that's the way Sheri is. I told Beverly in Access Services about the problem when it first happened. Beverly has documentation of most everything I am telling you.
I'm 38 years old (but I don't look it), single, my parents divorced when I was 17 years old and still in high school. I ended up dropping out of high school with 6 months before graduation. I moved 22 times and held 30 jobs. I had a hard life with a learning and reading disability. I tried every chance I could to go back to school. I have my chance now, and NO ONE is going to take it from me. I come to college to get educated on everything and anything I so desire. Also NO ONE is going to tell me what questions I can or can't ask of anybody working for the school. My primary reason for going to college is to walk away with a degree and walk into a good paying job so maybe I can enjoy the good things in life before going to my grave. Everyone I meet always says I'm a nice guy. I just want to have fun. Life shouldn't be taken too seriously.
On June 24, at about 9:00am, I went to purchase a computer pass for my writing class. I did not want to buy a student ID card because I was only going to school for the summer. I am transferring to Central Washington University's main campus in Ellensburg, Washington, this fall.
Well, the cashier would not give me a computer pass because I had no Student ID, so I walked to the computer lab, building 30. There I was introduce to Sheri. I told her why I came to her and asked if she could help me with my computer pass. She seamed very up-beat and happy to help out. While she was writing a note to the cashier, I made a nice comment to her. I said in a nice and pleasant voice, "I'm sorry, but I was shocked to see that you were cute." She instantly tapped me on my shoulder and said in a friendly voice, "Thanks." That was all that happened. I received the note and left thinking that the computer lab was going to be a nice place to go and say "hi" to Sheri and her lab techs. After my 10:30am class was over at 11:50am, I went to the computer lab to see what kind of programs were on them. I asked a lab tech, April, if the computer department was thinking about using student log-in ID to get into the programs. (I use to be a student lab tech at Olympic College.) April then told Sheri about my inquiry. Sheri walked behind me and as she walked by, she tapped me on my shoulder and said in a nice voice, "Causing trouble again!" I took that as a joke. I got up and walked over to where Sheri and Joseph were standing by a computer. I first said, "Hi!" There was a 15 to 20 second pause. Then Sheri looked over at me with angry eyes and a mean voice and said, "I don't go to your work and tell you how to do your job!!! Don't tell me how to do my job!!!" I said, "It was only a suggestion!" and walked away feeling sad.
On June 26, about noon time, Sheri came up to me with an angry voice and said not to ask my lab techs questions that do not have to do with any programs in this lab. The lab tech Sheri was referring to was Joseph. Joseph is a computer programmer and had a computer bulletin-board at his house. He is a very knowledgeable person in that field, and I can learn a lot from him. I was not spending a lot of time with Joseph. At the most 5 to 7 minutes if that.
On June 27, I was angry with Sheri and wanted to complain about her attitude. I went looking for Sheri's boss. I spent about 30 minutes looking for someone that I could tell my problem to. No one on campus knows what is going on. Getting angry, I ended up at Ed's office. I told him what happen about Sheri and her attitude. He said, "I will talk to her and let you know what happened on Monday."
On June 28 and July 1, Beverly called me and left a massage on my recorder. She said, "Sheri was just joking!" I did not take it as a joke.
On July 1, I went back to Ed's office to fine out what would be done about Sheri. Basically he just told her to leave me alone. After Ed told me what he said, I was not happy. I left Ed's office thinking what kind of people would pick this guy, for a president of a college. Ed did not fix the problem, he just delayed it.
On July 2, I went to Ron Baker's office, who I was told is Sheri's boss. I told Ron my problem with Sheri in the computer lab. He talked to me for about 20 minutes. We talked about Sheri, the computer lab, and why they don't have student log-ins. He seamed to know Sheri pretty good from what he told me. I left there in a good mood. I thought Ron would say something to Sheri. But he too just slapped her on the back of the hand and the problem was just ignored. A few days later I was angry.
Between July 3 and July 17, I went to the library and I asked Elizabeth, who works there; about the special speech computer for reading text out loud. I also asked Elizabeth if she knew Sheri and what she thought about her attitude. Elizabeth said something like, "When I was a student at this school, Sheri had a bad attitude then." I thought that this was strange, no one complained about Sheri in the past. I also asked Elizabeth if she knew if Sheri was married. (My primary reason for asking this question was to find out whether or not Sheri and Ron Baker where seeing each other, because Ron did seem to know Sheri very well, and I never received anything from Ron about what he said to Sheri.
On July 18, at about 12:45pm, A girl friend of mine from class and I where sitting in front of the computers in the computer lab, building 30. We where doing are homework and talking. My friend had a problem with saving her file to her disk. She looked around for a lab tech, they were busy. She went up to where Sheri was and asked Sheri in a nice and pleasant voice, "Could help me." Sheri said, "I am busy!! Go find a lab tech!!", in an rude and angry voice. My friend said, "They are busy." in her nice and soft pleasant voice. Sheri said nothing in return. (The girl I am referring to, told me she worked for Sheri in the past and Sheri had a bad attitude then.) That night, I received a massage on my recorder, again from Beverly. She said, "Lance would like to see me; it was about Sheri." I returned the call to Beverly and said this on her recorder, "I don't know who Lance is or what he wants. I am not going to talk to anyone anymore!!!" in a angry voice.
On July 19, at about 9:00am, Beverly called me and said this on my recorder, "The reason why Lance wants to talk to you is because someone said that you where asking around to see if Sheri was married. Sheri thought you are after her and she had some concern." The person who I believed told Sheri this was Beverly, because I told Beverly I found out from a source that Sheri was divorced. The ONLY reason why I was asking about Sheri was to see what her past was like. I found out that her attitude with students had been negative for a long time and no one took care of it. I am not interested in Sheri as a friend, or as a girlfriend for that matter.
I just ask that a report of what actions are taken to make Sheri's attitude toward students more positive and having her to be more willing to help them. I would either like Sheri suspended for three days without pay and a essay of 500 words or more on "Why I have a bad attitude towards students, and why I don't help them when they ask for my help." Or my tuition to be paid back to D.V.R. and still received a grade for my class if I passed it, because I took four weeks out of my studying time this summer quarter to complain about a staff member. No one on campus knows how to follow a complain by a student. I want action!! I want it now!! I heard that Sheri had problems with some male students going after her, but not all male students want her. She needs to come down off of cloud nine, and come back to earth. The staff supervisor should evaluate the staff in question (if they know how) and action taken to correct it. This has not happened to this staff member for years now.
MARK ALAN ERRINGTON
MARK A. ERRINGTON • 109 SW 155 STREET, #6 • BURIEN, WA 98166