Academic Senate clarifies Brown Act misconceptions, Murillo visits


Kiki Reyes, News Editor

The Academic Senate met this past Wednesday with a visit from interim superintendent-president Kindred Murillo, another review of the Brown Act and COVID-19 vaccination updates.

“This week’s theme is how to communicate better, how we share information and how we best support our faculty so they are looped in,” Academic Senate President Raeanne Napoleon said during her opening remarks.

The senate represents the interests of all faculty at City College.

Murillo introduced herself to the senate, highlighting the importance of inclusion amongst students.

“I’m a strong advocate and champion of diversity, equity and inclusion. I know that’s something that you have a strong emphasis on,” Murillo said. 

She also explained her commitment to having things run smoothly and dismantling systemic racism at City College.

In response to the continued conversations of the Brown Act, California’s open meeting law which requires agendas to be posted 72 hours prior to a meeting among other requirements, Napoleon clarified why the Board of Trustees accused the senate of breaking the act and why the senate did not violate it.

“When something is agendized as an action item then it does not mean that we have to take action on it during that meeting. We will still be very methodical when going through and soliciting feedback and bringing it back to the group and bringing it back to discussion,” said Napoleon. “We received various legal opinions that recommended us doing so because it was very confusing for our Board of Trustees members, who thought if we had something listed as discussion that we couldn’t then act on it in a meeting.”

She said that, in the lawyer’s opinion, the senate didn’t violate anything. The senate bylaws state that timely discussion items can be moved to action items with a two-thirds vote. There was nothing in the Brown Act saying the senate could not do so. 

During the president’s report, Interim Executive Vice President of Educational Programs Kathy Scott gave the senate a brief update on COVID-19 procedures. Scott said the school had compiled a list of students taking in-person/hybrid classes who had also uploaded proof of vaccination.

“Yesterday it was about 2,700 students and today it was about 2,500 students. I think it went down and people are concerned at this point because they got an email. . . telling them that they really do need to take this seriously” Scott said.

Scott also discussed working on communication in regards to the plans of the October 1st deadline.

Napoleon suggested teachers should remind their students about the mandate.

The senate will reconvene on Wednesday, Sept. 29.