Council assembles to create updated anti-racism resolution

Council assembles to create updated anti-racism resolution

Elizabeth Saubestre, Staff Writer

Conversations surrounding anti-racism solutions continued Tuesday at the College Planning Council as members discussed creating a resolution to present to the Board of Trustees.

“My goal is to go to graduation on May 10 as relatively happy and hopeful people,” Interim Superintendent-President Helen Benjamin said. “I think it would be absolutely lovely if we gave them something and they voted seven-zero.”

Two separate resolutions were presented at the Board of Trustees meeting March 14 in response to mounting racial tensions on campus, one drafted by Trustee Marsha Croninger, and the other by Trustees Jonathan Abboud and Kate Parker. The council was asked to draft a new or revised resolution to present at the April 11 board meeting.

Luz Reyes-Martin, executive director of public affairs and communication, will lead the committee that was assembled to write the new resolution. She will be joined by council members Nicole Hubert, Mary Saragosa and Laurie Vasquez.

“The board doesn’t really do resolutions of weight,” Academic Senate President Patricia Stark said. “This is pretty unprecedented.”

As a newcomer to the college’s equity issues, Benjamin asked the group for more specific details to come up with a strong resolution.

“I’ve been thinking about this resolution probably more than I should or needed to… Colleges have had an equity gap for years and years and years, so why do we need one now?” Benjamin asked, stressing the rhetorical nature of her questions. “What would you say is the action or event that precipitated this resolution?”

The trustees are not the only ones struggling to create an anti-racism resolution. The Academic Senate faced similar dissent in its attempt to create its own resolution, with some faculty members believing that racism wasn’t a large issue on campus.

“Our board does not agree on its position around these issues,” Benjamin said. “…I’m sure all of you will work it out. I have every confidence in you.”

The council will be meeting again April 16, following the trustees meeting where the resolution will be presented.