James Von Essen
The Associated Student Government motioned to approve $2,000 Friday for senate members to participate in equity training in light of recent racial conflicts on campus.
Although the money was approved for the trainings, ASG President Josh Villanueva said he is not sure which organization the group will be receiving the trainings from. He said he has reached out to Just Communities, a Santa Barbara based organization dedicated to social justice and equity in schools and communities. However, the organization has yet to respond.
“I think it’s extremely important to do this because we are making decisions on behalf of students,” Villanueva said. “I’ve seen some things in the past and I kind of question whether or not someone has considered equity.”
Villanueva initially suggested $1,500, however Commissioner of Academics Lucas Perry argued $1,600 for “safety.” Finally, Commissioner of Clubs and Organizations Alan Morales raised the suggestion to $2,000, an amount which the rest of the senators unanimously agreed upon.
The equity trainings come at a time when black students and faculty have repeatedly reported discrimination by those in the college’s administration. The senators discussed possibly hosting an event for students that focuses on “giving them a space to talk and move forward towards healing with our students.”
Additionally, senators discussed opening communication between black students and Vice President of Business Services Lyndsay Maas, who used the unabbreviated version of the n-word in a Gender Equity Workgroup meeting in November.
“Those who are affected deeply by this are our black students, we should reach out to them,” Villanueva said.
Villanueva asked the group what else they can do to support black students at City College in addition to the equity trainings.
“I mean she’s back and there’s really nothing to do,” Interim Student Trustee Kenny Igbechi said quietly while looking down.
“It happened again, it keeps happening,” he said in reference to a racial slur that was reportedly said by a different college employee on Jan. 28. The employee was immediately placed on administrative leave and the identity of said employee hasn’t been disclosed but there is an ongoing investigation into the incident.
The senate will continue the discussion at its next Feb. 8 meeting.