MSJC continues its efforts towards an equitable campus

Ryan Sullivan

Assistant Professor, English

Academic Senate – SJC President / Executive Vice President

Co-Chair , LGTBQ+ Task Force

Q: How did the Equity pledge come about?

S: The pledge has deep roots. It comes from many conversations faculty, administrators, and classified professionals have had over many years, but it really began to take form last summer. We had a series of group sessions where we worked on thinking through all the things we needed to address to help support equity. In doing so, we realized we needed one common shared definition of equity and statement of our values. This is only the first step. Before COVID hit, we were beginning to have practical “putting the pledge into practice” training for folks. We had a bit of a detour to address the urgent issues, but more is coming very soon!

Q: What was your role in the initiative?

S: I attended the retreats, and I was brought in to be on the writing team. The writing was very collaborative—we sat for many hours, working through words on white boards and crafting something we all could be proud of.

Q: What does the pledge do for students when they sign the form?

S: We absolutely want students to sign the pledge and commit to supporting equity, but in many ways the pledge is for the institution to commit to our students that we will do better and we will support them. We, as an institution, recognize that it is on us to do better. The pledge is the first step in what will be a long process, but it should be seen as a very clear statement of our values and a call to action for folks to reflect and take to heart the ways we can do better.

Q: Are there any plans you can share with us about the future of MSJC’s Student Equity plan and how the pledge will show progress within the school?

S: This summer, a group of us are working on materials to help “put the pledge into practice.” We really want to provide clear training and resources for folks who may support but aren’t necessarily sure how to. I am also the Academic Senate president for the next year, and I can say that the senate will take on many issues we need to address. Faculty leadership and administrative leadership are working together to make sure we do everything we can to support our students. Despite the challenges of not being able to be physically close or on campus, we will make sure this next year is one of action!

Q: Any additional comments you would like students to hear?

S: Our statewide academic senate is using our pledge to in part inspire a statewide Anti-racism pledge, which Pam Wright, Leticia Luna-Sims and I are helping to write.

Continue to the next page for an interview with Rebecca Teague, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Initiatives.

Published by The Talon

The Official Newspaper of Mt. San Jacinto College We are a platform for over 18,000 Mt. San Jacinto College students and the community to promote a diverse student voice, involvement from the college, and creative collaborations.

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