College Planning Council approves ‘town-hall’ discussions for equity

College Planning Council approves town-hall discussions for equity

Jacob Frank, Associate Editor

The College Planning Council approved the creation of the Campus Climate Advisory Council with some opposition during their meeting on Tuesday. 

The advisory council was described as a town-hall setting for members of the City College community to voice concerns and foster discussions on equity, inclusion and diversity, but some council members were concerned a lack of structure could prevent real change. 

Representative Jason Walker said he would be in support if they could formalize it as an official subcommittee to the CPC.

“Sounds like we’re going to create a group that has no specific tie to existing participatory governance or structure,” said Walker, “We’re going to give them authority but no thoroughly-defined responsibility, and we are going to have them give direction to all of the employee groups on changes that need to be made.”

“That sounds a bit like a loaded question,” council member Robbie Fischer said.

Some anti-racism work is done from within and outside the system, Fischer said. The advisory council’s task would be to straddle that border between the two. Fischer said the fewer anchors put on them, “the better they will be able to do that.”

Vice President Pamela Ralston said she was reluctant to approve because of how detached it could be from the organizations that have the power to enforce action.

“I’m just not really clear about where this group carries its stuff,” Ralston said.

“We already have all the organizations we need on campus to do anything that we want to do,” said Fischer, “So this is not a new organization that’s gonna solve some problem for us, we all have to solve the problem. This is an organization that is going to advise us.” 

Fischer, council members Raeanne Napoleon and Cheryl Brown supported the group’s potential as the bridge between the underrepresented voices on campus and the existing governing bodies.

“We’ve been waiting a long time for action from the survey,” Napoleon said.

The council voted to institutionalize the new advisory council, though some members opposed during disussion.

“It would be nice to get started on this,” said council member Liz Auchincloss. 

The CPC will reconvene on Nov. 3