AS to share feedback to CSU on ethnic studies requirement


Shannon Carter

AS President Rose Merida discusses the ethnic studies feedback form with the Senate on Oct. 26 via Zoom.

Shannon Carter, Assistant News Editor

Associated Students President Rose Merida has been tasked with submitting feedback from AS to the CSU on the implementation of ethnic studies courses through AB 1460.

During Monday’s AS meeting, Merida asked the senate to fill out a feedback form that collects general comments, recommended revisions and/or edits to improve clarity on newly enacted ethnic studies requirements.

According to Merida, the Chancellor’s Office invited campus input on the proposed revisions in order to adhere to the executive order: the creation of a new three-unit ethnic studies requirement for all CSU campuses.

Merida is collecting the feedback forms to draft a formal response from AS as an organization. This action comes after Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Mary Beth Walker received consultation from William Watkins, the vice president of student affairs, and the Faculty Senate.

According to Merida, Walker will prepare a response from the campus administration and suggested that Merida develop a response from AS on behalf of the student body of CSUN, which will be directly sent to the Chancellor’s Office and the Cal State Student Association.

Controversy surrounds this implementation — specifically for CSUN’s Faculty Senate, who opposed the original implementation plan of the Chancellor’s Office. The senate stated that the Ethnic Studies Council was not involved with creating the student learning objectives.

“If CSUN AS wants to do what’s best for the student body, we must also listen to the ethnic studies faculty telling us that the rushed plan from the Chancellor’s Office is not in our best interests,” said Jessica Steiner, chair of the Diversity and Inclusion committee, during the open forum portion of the meeting.

Merida said that students who are not affiliated with AS as well as faculty members still have an opportunity to share feedback to her by Oct. 30 or may send a feedback response directly to the CSU by Nov. 2.

“Please feel free to pass the feedback form to any other students, staff [and] faculty members here at Northridge. We want to be able to comprise a response that’s accurate of how Northridge feels,” Merida said.

The AS Senate will soon have an opportunity to review the final recommendations on the renaming of the Delmar T. Oviatt Library. The advisory group in charge of reviewing the claims against Oviatt concluded its investigation and sent a recommendation to CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison. Merida said the topic would be on the senate agenda for review and after senate discussions a letter of support or opposition will be sent to the president’s office. Harrison will send the recommendation to the CSU Board of Trustees, who will ultimately make the final decision.

Vicki Allen, interim co-director of the Office of Student Involvement & Development, reminded the group that a voting center was installed on campus and is open until election night. The site is located in the activity center at Redwood Hall Room 160.

The vote center is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Oct. 24 to Nov. 2 and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day. Free voter parking is available at lot F5.

“If you have the privilege of voting, then I would encourage you to do so,” Allen said. “If you know people that are concerned about putting their ballots in the mail, let them know that there’s a place that they can drop off their vote by mail ballots.”

The next AS meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on Nov. 2.