Student Equity Celebrated, More Than A Ribbon Cut

Mt. SAC becomes one of few campuses with a dedicated equity center


Robert Hidalgo and the Board of Trustees officially cut the ribbon of the Student Equity Center. Photo Credit: Joshua Sanchez/SAC.Media.

Before the ribbon was cut, hundreds gathered in the Equity Center for a packed standing room only event.

To make it to the board of trustees closed session at 4:45 p.m., each speaker gave a shorter presentation and board president Robert Hidalgo’s introduction became the last speech of the event.

Mt. SAC President William Scroggins introduced the 7,680 square foot building that will house the Arise, Aspire, Dream, and REACH programs.

After joking that the programs and staff were located in a trailer park before, Scroggins further pointed out that a few years ago the positions for these individuals did not even exist and that there would finally be a home for the programs and staff. He also pointed out that the Student Equity Center title of the building is a misnomer.

“Audrey has informed me a couple of times that it’s not the student equity center, because equity is for all,” Scroggins said at the meeting while introducing the center.

Vice President of Student Services Audrey Yamagata-Noji then thanked everyone involved and introduced four students who would share the impact of the center on students: Daija Lopez, REACH; Aaron Evans, Aspire; Jessica Sanchez, Dream; Abigail Ativalu, Arise.

“The importance of this center, to me at least, as an African-American student who is also in the STEM program; we just don’t have these safe spaces (that you do coming to the equity center) around campus,” Evans said.

“Here on campus there’s four amazing different programs, we have Arise, Aspire, Dream and REACH, but we all come together and we come as one,” Sanchez said. “I know that I am not alone.”

Inside Equity Center