At their most recent meeting Nov. 10, student trustee David Ramirez and other students made an impassioned presentation to the Pasadena City College board of trustees asking them to take leadership in addressing the issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion on PCC’s campus.
Having an open dialogue on campus and making that part of the culture for all student groups was one of the main points Ramirez made in the presentation. He pointed to diversity groups, such as the Armenian association, who sent out emails making requests that shouldn’t be difficult to ask for. The student trustees suggested having inclusive spaces for people to speak about topics.
One of the recommendations made was to provide open office hours for trustees and to extend that to other members of the executive team.
“Also to make a clear process for getting a resolution passed through the district,” Ramirez said, “Because we did have that resolution condemning the violence of Artsakh, but I don’t know if the Armenia student association was consulted in that process.”
The student trustees also want to see training for employees to help students promote the understanding of cultural diversity on our campus. Students who were experiencing microaggression should have resources that they can utilize, such as grievance policies, and if there aren’t any they should make new ones.
“We definitely want and need some training on diversity, equity and inclusion, as it’s fastly evolving,” said Associated Students Vice President of Cultural Diversity, Jasmin Lopez. “Some recommendations I would like to make include yearly training for students, faculty, and staff to be aware and competent about what society’s standards are particularly for marginalized groups such as blacks, currently Armenians, facing different social unrests.”
Emmanual Gomez, a student at PCC, spoke of experiencing microaggression while he was at school. He believes people should be accountable and transparent when it comes to this sensitive topic. Being able to talk to someone or present grievances when dealing with microaggression. At times, it wasn’t easy for Gomez to be vulnerable and he said there was a lack of efficacy when filing a grievance complaint and a fear of retaliation.
“I didn’t have the best experience in high school which is the reason why I didn’t pursue college immediately after high school,” said Gomez. “I went to go get an assessment test and, stuff like being asked “Are you a citizen?” when you’re just going to take a test. And then being asked for your California license. These questions shouldn’t be asked, all you should ask me for is my lancer ID. ”
The students are also asking for there to be more cultural diversity on the teaching faculty, and for there to be student appointees on the hiring committee.
Ramirez concluded by stating that the recommendations made were in alignment with those made by the Student Senate of California Community Colleges.
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