Invocation discussion engulfs board meeting

Sebastian Echeverry

The possibility of having invocation at the start of every Board of Trustees’ meeting was the main talking point during the meeting that took place Wednesday, Sept. 2.

Board president, Carmen Avalos, was absent from the meeting due to illness according to board vice president, Dr. Shin Liu, who was in charge of running the meeting.

The meeting that kicked-off at 6:30 p.m. quickly went over roll call, public comments and other mandatory items usually taken care off before diving into items that need either discussion or action from the board.

College president Dr. Jose Fierro said, “This is the best meeting yet, I’m getting the hang of the meetings, this meeting was faster than usual.”

The discussion item that then arose and received a good amount of attention was item No. 18, invocation at Cerritos College.

The item, put on the agenda by Zurich Lewis, means that wishes of good faith be said before every board of trustees meeting.

Before the board began discussion on the topic, the item was open to comments from the public.

Mario A. Guerra, Downey police chaplain and former Downey mayor, and Steven De Ruse, mayor pro tempore of La Mirada and pastor of First Church of Artesia, both agree with Lewis’ idea.

David Faibish, dean of liberal arts , is against having invocation at the start of board meetings.

Trustee Bob Arthur agreed with Lewis and is okay with the idea of having invocation.

Trustee John Paul Drayer and Fierro want to have sets of legal eyes look at having invocation before meetings to see if no laws are being broken.

Student trustee, Victor Villalobos, asked the board to wait until the Associated Students of Cerritos College Senate gets assembled and collects student opinion on the matter before the board makes an official move on invocation.

Villalobos said, “ASCC Senate could take 15 minutes talking about it [invocation] or an hour.”

As of the meeting last night, there has been no official vote on invocation, but the board want to further discuss it in the next board meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 16.