COC Board to review resolution on creating a welcoming campus environment

The Culinary Arts Center on the College of the Canyons Valencia campus. (Source: COC)

The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees, which oversees College of the Canyons (COC), will have a busy meeting Wednesday when it reviews two resolutions and the naming of a landscape garden and vineyard.

Welcome Campus Environment Resolution

One of the most notable items of the agenda is the review of a resolution titled “Commitment to Creating a Welcoming Campus Environment Where All Students Feel Valued.”

The resolution focuses on making all students—regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, citizenship or abilities—feel welcome and accepted at the college.

It also serves as a reminder that COC is an “open access education institution committed to helping students achieve educational goals to improve lives.”

The resolution would act as another form of affirmation for COC’s students who have felt uncertain about their access to education following the November 2016 election.

“A climate of uncertainty has left some students concerned that their access to higher education may be hindered because of immigration status, or questions about their religion or ethnic identity,” the board agenda item read.

Earlier this year, COC reaffirmed that it does not release personal information regarding immigration status, that it protects Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students and that it is committed to providing educational opportunities to all.

The resolution, created in consultation with representatives from the college’s Academic Senate, Classified Senate and Associated Student Government, also supports the concepts expressed by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors in their resolution related to DACA.

In its proposed resolution, the college notes that it is committed to serving undocumented immigrants under the provisions of Assembly Bill 540.  It also states that it will only release information about a student’s immigration status as it is required by law.

The resolution also states that undocumented students and international students benefit the campus because they represent a broad array of cultures and life experiences.

“A vibrant spirit of academic inquiry requires a variety of perspectives and College of the Canyons has an obligation to ensure that all viewpoints are able to be heard regarding the issues facing us as educators, students and citizens,” the resolution read.

Ultimately, if approved, the resolution will reaffirmed the college’s efforts in creating a welcoming environment for all students and its commitment to serving all students who can benefit from the college’s programs and services.

“The Board of Trustees reaffirms the college’s commitment to the values of equity, social justice, inclusion, diversity, unity, open discussion, and success for all students,” the resolution read.

Landscape Garden and Vineyard Naming Opportunity

Board members will also review a potential facility naming opportunity agreement between the College of the Canyons Foundation, the Santa Clarita Community College District and Ami Belli.

Long-time contributors to the college, Remo and Ami Belli have sponsored several events and the Kennedy Outreach Program.  They also have donated vines to college vineyard which have allowed a local vendor to produce wine and donate it back to the foundation for its use.

“Such generosity has had tremendous impact upon our students and college,” the agenda item read.

Remo Belli was founder of Santa Clarita drum manufacturer Remo Inc. died April 25 at age 88 of complications of pneumonia. He was an American jazz drummer who developed and marketed the first successful synthetic drumheads.

Now that the Capital Campaign for the Culinary Arts building is complete, the foundation is looking for a new fund to support excellence and innovation in education.

If approved, the naming agreement will remain the college’s Culinary Arts Landscape Garden and the college of the Canyons Vineyard to the Ami and Remo Belli Landscape Garden and Remo Belli Vineyard, respectively.

Classified School Employee Week Resolution

During their meeting, board members will also review a resolution to name the week on May 1 “Classified School Employee Week.”

The weeklong  recognition of employees will include a breakfast, luncheon and awards event, and ice cream social in the week’s theme of “Classified Staff: Totally Tubular.”

The resolution, described in the language of the week’s theme, honors staff for their devotion to and support at COC.

“The administration, faculty, and Board of Trustees at College of the Canyons do hereby announce formally that they are like, totally honored to work with the Classified Staff, and furthermore, do hereby formally recognize their gnarly and bomb diggity efforts, and thank them for their professionalism, dedication and loyalty,” the resolution read.

Additional Agenda Items:

  • Approval of board policies: Debut Issuance and Management (second reading), District Response to Emergencies (first reading), Child Abuse Reporting (third reading)
  • Review monthly financial report for period ended Feb. 28, 2017
  • Approve Audit Engagement Letters from Vavrinek, Trine, Day and Co., LLP (VTD) for financial audit and performance audit related to Measure M and Measure E General obligation Bonds for year ending June 30, 2017
  • Approve an increase in Student Health Fees by $1 from $16 to $17 per regular semester and from $14 to $15 per summer and winter session
  • Hear about a LEAP project dedicated to streamlining the student registration process by addressing challenges with applying and receiving financial aid, creating student education plans, registering for classes and paying student fees

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On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_


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