Academic Senate solidifies plans in countering campus racism


Lamb notifies faculty of individual responsible for most racist graffiti and the ongoing steps to campus-wide conversation and change. (Inquirer file photo).

Edwin Chen, Staff member

Representatives, professors, and counselors at Diablo Valley College gathered to discuss and strategize solutions during the academic senate meeting on April 10.

Social Science Division representative Mark Akiyama opened the discussion with a solidarity statement supporting various student demands. In his presentation, Akiyama called for more transparency from faculty, active follow-up and mandatory anti-racism training for staffs.

After the Equity Plan discussion, the Senate deliberated for the introduction of anti-racism education among the faculty and professors of DVC. In the eyes of many representatives, a solid and institutionalized change is necessary to make progress in guaranteeing student safety within the campus.

“We do support mandatory anti-racism training for the fact that this central (to DVC),” said social justice co-director Albert Ponce, “These are things we can begin today, to make a resolution to start that personal commitment, and then institutional commitment.”

Participants wholeheartedly agreed with Ponce’s sentiment to begin solid action alongside discussion. Counselor Cheryl Carter supplemented that since DVC has advertised itself as a college that value diversity, they should show that support by creating engaging programs that all are inclined to participate. Counselor and PUMA center staff Eric Handy also offered a perspective on support programs the staffs of color as well.

“The issue is not just an unsafe environment for our students of colors, it is also (unsafe) for the limited number of faculty of color that work in this institution, we too are feeling micro-aggressed,” said Handy. “And we hold the water of our students who come to us in confidentiality when (they’ve got) nobody else to come to.”

Seeing the ideas offered by various attendees, the representatives of the academic senate feels confident in making a tangible change against campus racism. The details and criteria of anti-racism training and institutional change will be given more time in a later meeting. Currently, to meet demands and show accountability, the DVC college council established the Racial Justice Task Force. Spearheaded by small teams academic senates, professors and student representatives, and with the goal to help make colored students feel safe on campus, the task force symbolized DVC’s ardent and committed fight against racial injustice.