College Planning Council debates filling human resources positions

College Planning Council debates filling human resources positions

Kai Zheng, Arts and Entertainment Editor

The College Planning Council discussed strategic goals for the college over the next several years and a Human Resources staffing request at its meeting Tuesday.

The discussion then moved to the Strategic Directions document drafted by Interim-Superintendent President Helen Benjamin. The document contained goals the college hopes to achieve between the 2019-2022 academic school years. 

The senate had a bullet-pointed list of solutions for issues such as improving student learning and achieving educational goals, improving campus climate, and maintaining positive connections.

The biggest issue the council had with Strategic Directions was the impression that equity-related issues such as anti-racism were taking a backseat to issues like climate change, which the document heavily focuses on. 

Academic Senate President-Elect Raeanne Napoleon led the charge. 

“I feel like we’re dragging our feet cause on this issue. We’re so worried about offending people,” Napoleon said about implementing mandatory campus-wide anti-racism training for staff and faculty. “I don’t care about people’s individual beliefs.” 

Benjamin agreed that anti-racism training is important, but did not believe in making it mandatory.

“We can’t just force people to do things,” Benjamin said. “We need to create an environment where people feel comfortable and willing to do [anti-racism training.]

“We’re doing the bare minimum and asking for change,” Napoleon said. 

The conversation then shifted to implementing sexual harassment training. 

Cornelia Alsheimer-Barthel, who was filling in for Faculty Association representative Carmen Rivero, brought up a memorandum of agreement that had been filed nearly a year ago on Dec. 14, 2018. 

The memorandum requested the school to implement mandatory sexual harassment and anti-racism training, only requiring a signature from the district to pass. 

“Once it’s signed, you have your training,” she said. 

Several council members appeared to be unaware of the report’s existence including Benjamin, who said she would look into obtaining the required signature.

The attention of the meeting then turned to staff requests following the recent resignations of Human Resources Director Cynthia Carrillo and Human Resources Technician Marcella Poitras. 

This request proved controversial due to the hiring freeze that was implemented in light of City College’s budget crisis.

Academic Vice President Robbie Fischer raised the point that leaving the positions vacant would save money for the college. 

Council members debated the merits of the human resources department before finally agreeing that it was in fact beneficial to the college to fill the director position. 

During this debate, some council members took the time to browse the web, looking at king-sized mattresses on Amazon and whether Mötley Crüe were reuniting for a 2020 tour.

Amidst the campus turmoil, the council also discussed its updated complaint procedure. Benjamin suggested the campus establish  a complaint hotline meant to report “any number of things.” 

The possibility of a staff lawyer was also discussed, something the school had experimented with in the past. 

The idea, however, was deemed too expensive by council members, citing the extensive workload the lawyer would have on their shoulders. 

“Here, we’d probably need five of them anyway,” Benjamin said with a laugh. 

The council adjourned its meeting by setting its holiday party date, a decision all council members could get on board with. 

The College Planning Council will reconvene at its next regularly scheduled meeting Dec. 3.