Diversity, inclusivity lack complete presence on campus

By Editorial Board

At Contra Costa College, a diverse student body dominates the cultural atmosphere, amplifying dialogue and unity within the college administration.

During the 2017 fall semester this collective embrace of the adversities faced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning as well as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) students and underrepresented students writ large has overwhelmed the campus with understanding and support.

Events and workshops which are put on by campus clubs such as the Alphabe+ Club and departments like counseling have magnified issues while providing resources and solace.

Faculty and staff have even become more involved by sharing their own coming out stories during an on-campus pride event. Others have offered their time and knowledge to help with Assembly Bill 540 that helps undocumented students receive financial aid. Just two weeks ago, on Oct. 28, many of the college staff and administration members went to Comet Stadium to watch the football team play its homecoming game.

This show of support by college President Mojdeh Mehdizadeh and Dean of Student Services Vicki Ferguson, among others, is a welcomed sign — but the same support should be shown for all campus events.

Students are often admonished for not taking a more proactive approach to issues that involve their progress and well-being on campus.

Event organizers often scoff at lackluster turnouts for campus events and celebrations that are usually populated by students receiving extra credit points for attending.

With streamlined educational paths being a premium educational goal for campus administrators, many students have more time for work, or extra tutoring, leaving them little time to immerse themselves in student life.

Because of this, it is incumbent for administrators to overexpose themselves at campus events, large and small, to signify the importance of joining a campus community that is working to fill social voids and provide a complete community college experience.

Homecoming, Super Saturday or the Food and Wine event should be no more important of an event to attend than a SparkPoint workshop or Coffee with a Cop.

Even now on the college website, contracosta.edu, all of the events listed are department sponsored events — none of the events hosted by clubs on campus are promoted.

Even Club Rush, which serves solely as a promotion method to boost club participation receives administrative attendance — more than other notable events. Many events, like those that focus on helping the most marginalized students that populate the campus, are generally attended by administrators with direct ties to those issues.

As a low bar, that’s all students can ask for. However, for a campus that sees itself as a beacon of inclusivity — visibility is imperative.

If the purpose of a community college is to serve as a pipeline to employment and not a place for students of all backgrounds to grow socially as well as academically then relegating unifying events to mere blips on the community radar is just fine.