Social Equality Club pushes extra sections at Board of Trustees meeting


Mauri Nunez, member of The Social Equality Club, holds up a sign that reads “Fulfill the Mission” in order to support his club’s mission to add 100 sections in the summer session. Photo credit: Alexandra Scoville

“There’s a lot of homework that shows that we could have these classes,” Mauri Nunez said, referring to a presentation put together by The Social Equality Club that was shown at the Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, April 2.

Earvin Chavez, member of The Social Equality Club, wanted to present information to the Board of Trustees that shows that there are funds available to provide students with 100 extra sections for the upcoming summer session.

Chavez included information from the Chancellor’s office and the 2013-14 adoptive budget and various academic chairs from Cerritos College in his Power Point presentation.

This initiative started coming to life for The Social Equality Club back in the winter session when it just had 6 members.

Chavez stated that the students would just sit around and talk and see what types of issues they were dealing with.

Now during the April 2 meeting, Chavez says about 100 students were present to show their support for the club’s initiative.

Nunez was one of those students, who even held a sign up during the presentation that read “fulfill the mission.”

He said that the issue of classes for students is “very important … it’s important for all our success.”

During the meeting, Dr. Joanna Schilling, Vice President of Academic Affairs, mentioned that about 80 sections have been added to the summer session, bringing the total to 512, which is higher than last summer of 432.

Chavez felt this was a good start, but that 100 sections were “necessary” he also added that when researching he found that in 2008 Cerritos College offered 1091 summer sections.

He saw the reactions of the board members as “predictable” saying, “individuals in power do not like to be challenged and do not like to be questioned.”

He said they didn’t convey that 100 sections is what the school needs to help students. Instead, they conveyed things that had nothing to do with what the Social Equality Club was there to say.

“So they confused the audience more than anything. So that’s predictable. We knew that would happen.”

A community member by the name of Jesse Pelayo, the owner of Leche Cafe and Bookstore, where students of the club go to talk on Fridays, spoke at the board meeting in support of the college.

Pelayo said that community college is supposed to just be one step in the road to university.

“When a stepping stone becomes a roadblock it doesn’t make sense,” said Pelayo during his public comment to the Board of Trustees.

For students that spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting, most of them seemed to have the same thing in common.

They were just a few courses shy of transferring, but with a low offering of sections it’s prolonging their transfer date.

Schilling addressed this issue along with Dr. Stephen Johnson, Vice President of Student Services, during the meeting saying there is a form that can be obtained by a student to fix this problem.

The form, called “extenuating circumstances,” can be obtained in the Admissions and Records office by a student and filled out to possibly receive priority enrollment in the class he or she needs for transfer.

For Chavez, it took him a while to get to the point of transfer, which he has now reached.

In 2008 he graduated high school and came to Cerritos College for a semester and dropped our for four years.

He said that during his time off he got involved with criminal activity and even ended up in the hospital.

With the help of his family, namely his mom, he came back to Cerritos College in 2011.

“I had put my mom in a state of depression because she was seeing her only son walking slowly to the grave,” said Chavez.