Policies and Procedures Committee discuss Ethnic Studies graduation requirement


Discussion over adding an ethnic studies graduation requirement dominated the Policies and Procedures Committee meeting on Sept. 24, held via Zoom.

The meeting began with extensive public comments regarding the addition of an Ethnic Studies requirement to the graduation requirements.

The committee voted to extend the comment period to 30 minutes, up from 15, in order for most people who wanted to talk to be heard. Comments were also limited to two minutes each instead of the usual three minutes in order to allow the most people possible to speak.

“An Ethnic Studies requirement is essential to the success of the students,” said associate professor Gabrielle Myers.

Others agreed.

“Ethnic studies are life changing,” said Dr. Sarah Seekatz, who teaches Mexican American history at Delta.

The Chairperson of the Ethnic Studies subcommittee, Tara CuslidgeStaiano, reported that the subcommittee had been formed fairly recently, and they hadn’t been able to meet over the summer, so they had not had a lot of time to work on the parameters for the Ethnic Studies requirement.

The Policies and Procedures Review Committee came to an agreement that it would be difficult to implement the changes to the curriculum any sooner than the 2022-2023 school year, because the curriculum approval process would take that long.

“The addition to the graduation requirements would not be able to be made until the college is able to have sufficient classes that would meet that purpose,” said Cuslidge-Staino.

The committee voted to recommend to the President’s Council to delay enacting the new requirements until the 2022-2023 school year.

In other business, the committee discussed times for online finals. Some committee members felt that they should give an exact time for a final to be taken, as if they were in a face to face class.

Others said that the point of online classes is that people could log on when they were able to fit it into their schedule, and they should not be given a specific time to take the final. They felt they should be given a range of times.

The discussion was tabled to a future meeting.