A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


Social Justice Degree Started in 2016, Expected Fall 2019

Lauren Berny
At the Board of Trustees meeting on Nov. 14, MEChA advisor Fabián Pavón and Mt. SAC alumnus now at UCLA Alejandro Juarez. Photo Credit: Lauren Berny

Of MEChA’s three requests taken to Associated Students and the Board of Trustees, two have been acted upon.

The fountain, that was previously left in poor condition, has finally been maintained for a few weeks. MEChA’s visit to the Oct. 30 AS meeting helped pressure action, as the fountain was on an “urgent fix” basis for a while.

Now their request is to have continued maintenance on the fountain, so that progress is not lost.

MEChA’s second request for a social justice degree and program has recently been given a timeline.

Academic Senate gave an update on the degree progress at their Nov. 8 meeting, after students spoke in support of the degree.

“I think that everybody here supports the idea of social justice and social equality,” student trustee Gabriel Alfaro said. “So, we should be working toward making those things a reality, and making sure that we have our students taking classes to promote those things.”

MEChA co-chair Sergio Navarez outlined requests for a comprehensive timeline and frequent updates on the process of the social justice degree since they are not getting any updates or information on it. They also asked that Mt. SAC support other gender ethnic studies and offer those classes more frequently.

Alfaro added that they have been working on this for a few years, and it’s not right that the students are being left out.

“We want to know what’s going on,” Alfaro added.

Jesus Garcia, Inter-Club Council Co-chair and gender studies major, also voiced his support at both meetings.

“I am not ashamed of where I come from,” Garcia said at the Associated Students meeting. “I’m willing to do anything, even if I get in trouble, because enough is enough.”

“I am undocumented, and I am a gay man and I feel underrepresented by the faculty here,” he said at the Academic Senate meeting.

At the Nov. 14 Board of Trustees meeting, MEChA was back to speak, but this time a full report was given to the board on the status of the degree.

Some of the MEChA  students who spoke during public communication included Narvaez, Yinell Osorio, Pedro Mariano Gonzalez, Fabián Pavón, and Alejandro Juarez who is now at UCLA who, along with Pavón,  created the initiative behind the degree in 2016.

“We still don’t have shit, but you guys can change that,” Francisco “Javier” Osuna said.

In a bid to change that, three task force members on the degree gave a report.

Social Justice Studies Degree Task Force members include: Co-Vice President Lina Soto, 2017-2018 Chair Michelle “Mica” Stewart and 2018-2019 Chair Marlene Gallarde.

Their timeline on the degree is as follows:

April 2016 – Academic Senate creates a Social Justice Ethnic Studies Degree Curriculum Task Force in response to a student petition to create an ethnic studies degree.

March 2, 2017 – Senate passes recommendations from the task force: develop a social justice studies associate degree to transfer, develop a department as the program grows, and create an associate degree diversity requirement.

April 2017 – Senate appointed faculty to serve on the degree creation task force.

Oct. 6, 2017 – Senate approved the social justice degree.

May 31, 2018 – Degree and curriculum were submitted to the Curriculum and Instruction Council.

Fall 2019 – Senate’s expectation for the earliest the degree can be offered, after the Chancellor’s Office approves.

Currently, the degree is at stage five out of seven in the process and the interdisciplinary curriculum will be held in the sociology department.

For more information on the degrees involved and their requirements, this document has a breakdown.

Although the degree is projected for fall of 2019, the Chancellor’s Office can still reject it.

Even if the degree passes, MEChA’s fight is not over. MEChA’s third request for a support program and center for Latinx students still remains to be discussed.

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About the Contributors
Joshua Sanchez is the former Editor in Chief and News Editor of SAC.Media. He was previously the managing editor of LAHS' student newspaper, The Conqueror. A portfolio of his reporting work can be found at jdjoshsan.wordpress.com.
Brigette Lugo, Sports Editor
Brigette Lugo is the sports editor of SAC.Media. She is majoring in Spanish multimedia and her favorite things are The Smiths, family, and telling everyone she's Nicaraguan and Panamanian.
Lauren Berny, Author

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