MSJC continues its efforts towards an equitable campus

By Eddie Landeros

Empty afternoon on the San Jacinto campus. Photo by Alyse Kiara Deatherage

The faculty and staff of Mt. San Jacinto College are taking a stand to disrupt prejudice and racism in our community.

The MSJC Equity Pledge was released on May 31, 2020 as an initiative supporting equity among all races and genders and is committed to the success of MSJC students. MSJC is one of the first community colleges to enact an anti-racist pledge such as this and encourages MSJC faculty, staff, students, alumni, and family to stand with them in support. The pledge includes a letter from MSJC President / Superintendent Dr. Roger Schultz, the history of discriminatory laws in the U.S., the equity values the pledge upholds, and multiple resources for students involving equity.

The Equity Pledge was written by  Dean Rebecca Teague, Dean Alma Ramirez, Dr. Pam Wright, Ryan Sullivan and Leticia Luna-Sims. I spoke with two of the members responsible for the MSJC Equity Pledge, Professor Ryan Sullivan and Dean Rebecca Teague, to talk about what the pledge means for the college and the future of MSJC’s student equity plan.

Professor Ryan Sullivan is the President of the Academic Senate on the San Jacinto Campus and an Assistant Professor in the English Department. Professor Sullivan is also the co-founder of the LGBTQ+ Task Force and recently won the Diversity Committee’s LGBTQ Award from the Community College Association. In his position, he organized MSJC’s first Pride Week, the first Gender Awareness and Trans Visibility Week, and the Strength to Love and Accept Yourself (SLAY) Summit. Although the latter two were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Professor Sullivan and the task force have been dedicated to lifting MSJC’s LGBTQ+ members up so they can feel proud of their identity and welcomed by all.

Dean Rebecca Teague is the Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning, Grants, and Research. She has been with MSJC for over 16 years helping write many grants for underprivileged students and minority groups. Her focus has always been on giving all students an equal opportunity to succeed in their education, leaving no one behind. For several years, she has been head of the Student Equity task force that has worked on the Equity Pledge and professional development programs for the school.

Continue to the next page to read the interviews.