Confusion arises amongst senators, no say in Equity Plan

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Confusion arises amongst senators, no say in Equity Plan

Emily Edmiston, Staff Writer

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There was much confusion Friday from Student Senate President Josh Villanueva’s understanding of the senate’s role in drafting a new 2019-2022 Student Equity Plan for the college.

The Student Equity Committee is currently working on a new draft of the Student Equity Plan, due by June 30.

Villanueva told the senators in their Friday meeting that his signature was required for the plan to go into effect, so the senators discussed how they wanted to contribute to the plan as a senate.

Daniel Wallace, Vice President of External Affairs, motioned to approve a recommendation for the Equity Plan to include housing insecure, veteran, single parent and LGBTQ+ students before Villanueva signed off on it. The motion passed unanimously. 

“We have power with this document,” Villanueva said.

Although Villanueva was under the impression that his signature was required  for the document to go into effect, Director of Equity Luis Giraldo said Villanueva was mistaken in an outside interview with The Channels.

Villanueva likely believed this because former President Isaac Eaves signed the 2015-2016 Student Equity Plan. However, the updated 2014-2017 Student Equity Plan did not require the Student Senate President’s signature, so Villanueva’s signature will also not be required for the 2019-2022 Student Equity Plan. Giraldo explained this was a decision made by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.   

Giraldo made clear that the Student Equity Committee had already been planning on including housing insecure, veterans, and LGBTQ students in the 2019-2022 plan before the student senate motioned to recommend those groups be in the new plan.

Giraldo said the senate would have been aware of this if Villanueva, who is in charge of representing the senate at the Student Equity Committee meetings, would have “showed up” to the meetings.

Wallace explained in a follow-up interview with The Channels that he reached out to Giraldo via email last Wednesday regarding “any documentation saying what has been suggested as an update and what’s the new California Guidelines,” in regards to the Equity Plan but Giraldo did not get back to him before Friday’s meeting.

The senate will reconvene at their next meeting, March 1.

This story has been updated from a previous version at 6:11 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26.

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