On Nov. 12, Black Student Union members formally issued their demands to GCC’s administrative staff via Zoom conference call, the participants of which included President Dr. David Viar, Vice President of Human Resources Victoria Simmons, and Vice President of Students Services Paul Schlossman, among many others. This meeting, spearheaded by BSU’s President, Sydney Seragosa, was coordinated in the wake of the current climate regarding African American issues and struggles for true equality. As Seragosa mentioned in her introduction, BSU’s mission is to create a more equitable and inclusive learning environment for Black Students attending GCC, something they hope their list of 10 demands can accomplish.
Although not all demands were addressed in the one-hour meeting, administrators were vocal in voicing their support and willingness to change for the better. “I am committed to being held accountable,” Dr. Viar said.
Black students only make up around 3% of GCC’s student population, but BSU is committed to shifting the conversation away from concerns regarding the allocation of resources to such a small portion of students, and the money this may cost. BSU is relentless in its efforts of obtaining “measurable and tangible measures” for GCC to take as Seragosa mentioned, elaborating: “we need systematic solutions for systematic problems.”
In a series of recurring meetings scheduled for the near future, BSU plans to cover every single one of their demands. After Viar agreed to 15% or more of required FLEX and CPG units to be designated to BLM and anti-blackness training and/or professional development hours, they seem on track to doing so.
Despite the lack of immediate action following the meeting, BSU set the tone for future meetings, reluctant to back down on any of their demands.
Eian Gil can be reached at: [email protected]