November 26, 2021
  • 7:00 am Outstanding Professor Award Recipient’s Mic Drop Moment at Last Month’s Virtual Ceremony
  • 9:10 am Bookworms of the World Unite!
  • 7:46 pm Breaking News: All Students Living in Campus Housing Required to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine
  • 9:00 am CSUDH Esports Creates International Competition
  • 9:35 am Spring Commencement Ceremonies Get Brighter
  • 3:46 pm Breaking News: Spring Commencement Ceremonies Recieve Stadium Upgrade
  • 8:00 am Testing the Teachers (and All the Educators)
  • 9:30 am CSUDH Educators and School Employees, Vaccinated Next
  • 10:30 am For White People Only: Anti-Racism Workshop Addresses Racial Bias and Unity
  • 2:43 pm Greatness Personified: Remembering Kobe Bryant
  • 10:02 am Straight Down the Chimney and Into Your (Digital) Hands: Special Holiday Edition of The Bulletin!
  • 2:44 pm Did You Wake up Looking this Beautiful?
  • 11:43 am A Long History for University’s Newest Major
  • 5:15 pm Issue 5 of Bulletin Live! Collector’s Item! Worth its Weight in Digital Paper!
  • 4:06 pm Special Election Issue
  • 4:03 pm Three best Latinx Halloween & Horror Short Films available now on HBO Max
  • 9:49 am Issue 3 of CSUDH Bulletin Live if You Want It
  • 3:24 pm Hispanic Heritage Month Update
  • 2:00 pm South Bay Economic Forecast Goes Virtual
  • 3:52 pm BREAKING NEWS: Classes for Spring to be Online, CSU Chancellor Announces
  • 9:39 am “Strikes” and Solidarity
  • 8:30 am March Into History: Just 5 in 1970, CSUDH Growth Shaped by Historic Event
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  • 9:04 am Different Neighborhoods Warrant Rubber Bullets or Traffic Control For Protesters
  • 5:07 pm STAFF EDITORIAL: Even Socially Distant, We All Have to Work Together
  • 5:47 pm Transcript of CSUDH President Parham’s Coronavirus Announcement
  • 10:46 am Cal State Long Beach Suspends Face-to-Face Classes; CSUDH Discussing Contingency Plans
  • 5:26 pm Things Black People Should be Able to Get Away with This Month
  • 10:25 am Latinx Students Need a Place to Call Home
  • 2:35 pm Will Time Run Out Before Funds for PEGS? [UPDATED]
  • 8:41 am Year of the Rat? What’s That?
  • 6:20 am Artist Who Gave Life to Death and Inspired Countless Others Gets His Due at Dominguez Hills
  • 5:16 pm Why I’m Rooting for Dr. Cornel West
  • 5:00 pm Under Fire from the Feds, Vaping’s Future is Cloudy
  • 3:28 pm We’re Going to Need a Bigger Boat; Tsunami 3.0 Hits Campus, Enrollment Swells
  • 1:22 pm THE FIRST ISSUE OF THE BULLETIN IS HERE
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  • 4:27 pm Black is the New Black: Raising the Capital on the “B” Word
  • 10:53 am Guns Up for Arrest: Student advocacy group pushes for CSU No Gun Zones–Including the Police
  • 4:09 pm Staff Editorial: Words on the First
  • 8:42 pm Carson Mayor Blasts Media, Landmark Libel Case in Keynote Address
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  • 6:02 am Food for Thought: 40% of Students are Food Insecure
  • 3:12 pm Academic Senate Rejects CSU GE Task Force & Report
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  • 8:02 pm CSUDH President Parham Announces Cancer Diagnosis
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  • 9:08 pm CSUDH’s Best & Brightest Shine at Student Research Day
  • 9:05 pm Academic Senate Approves Gender Equity Task Force
  • 12:37 pm When Dr. Davis speaks, Toros Pay Close Attention
  • 3:38 pm Investing in the Future: Dr. Thomas A. Parham Reflects on the Past Eight Months and Contemplates​ the University’s Future
  • 3:24 pm Green Olive to Open By End of Feb; Starbucks Not Until Fall
  • 3:20 pm Gov. Newsom’s Proposed Budget Hailed for Extensive Funding Increases
  • 3:08 pm Out of the Classroom: Labor and Community Organizing Course Aims to Teach Students How to Organize for Social Justice
  • 2:54 pm The Other Route in Professional Sports
  • 9:02 am Hail to the New Chief, CSUDH President Thomas Parham
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  • 5:34 pm After Unexpected Delay, Undocumented Becomes More Intimate Theatrical Production
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  • 8:14 pm CSUDH ‘s Urban Farm Successfully Reaching For More Sustainable Future
  • 7:50 pm CSUDH Men’s Basketball Preview: Putting a Banner in the Rafters
  • 7:41 pm Snoop Dogg’s Legacy Continues as 19th Album Cracks the “Algorithm”
  • 7:39 pm Why Are Some Athletes Criticize Differently for Being Unvaccinated

 In an Oct. 13 email to the campus community President Thomas A. Parham reinstated the campus goal to have a minimum of 80% face-to-face on-campus instruction for the spring semester, as that number closely approximates the typical in-person engagement before the pandemic.

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

By Brenda Fernanda Verano, Editor in Chief 

Led by seven student organizers , a group of  students in the Chicano Studies department (CHS) at California State University, Dominguez Hills celebrated a big win last week. They pushed for  having one of their upper-division courses for the upcoming spring 2022 semester online, instead of in-person, as it was originally planned. 

The three-unit course, senior seminar (CHS 490), is “the capstone course for the major,” according to the campus catalog, meaning it is one of the final requirements for CSUDH seniors to graduate. 

Initially, the course was part of the 80% of classes the university expects to resume on campus next semester. But according to the cohort, returning to campus could cause them to lose their jobs and the housing security they had gained during this time of distance learning.“We were all in the same boat and if we went back to campus, that boat would sink,” said Juan, a member of the group who asked his last name not be used for this article. “[Many of us] would lose our jobs, homes and or be homeless after spring semester.” 

The organizing from these students, most of whom are seniors, consisted of emails to administration, meetings with majors and minors from the CHS department, collecting and presenting personal testimony, and even holding meetings with the dean of Arts and Humanities.  Efforts that  Monday, Oct. 18, brought, was good news. They were notified that they could enroll in the now-online course as the committee requested. 

According to the cohort, the organizing began once they realized the return to campus was a concern for many other students beyonds the initial 7-member cohort. During the last few weeks the CHS senior cohort and committee shared concerns and social realities with each other, which led the committee to hold conversations with fellow classmates. In addition, they created a survey to collect data on what other students were struggling with and the ways returning to campus would affect them. 

According to another cohort member, who goes by kata, they began asking classmates in their classes how they felt about having to go back next semester. Through group chats kata, who is taking classes in three different departments, noticed a pattern; working class students “doing everything we can to survive hardships imposed on us because of  COVID-19 economically” they said.

“I started talking to everyone in my senior cohort and noticed we’re collectively tired of being “resilient” to institutional issues our department and administration can fix. The question then became what are we going to do to address these issues? Is this happening across different departments—why are students afraid to ask for accommodations to a school that supposedly values social-justice and equitable practices?,” kata added.

One of the last things the committee did to obtain this demand to make the senior seminar class an on-line course, was to request a meeting with the CHS Department Chair, Dr. Corina Benavides López, and the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, Dr. Tim Caron. 

According to the committee, their concerns had been dismissed in the past, but they hoped this meeting would get them answers. The meeting held on Oct.15 was led by the cohort committee and attended by CHS alumni, current CHS major/minors, department faculty and professor. The meeting was filled with testimonies of CHS student and a list of demands presented by the committee, which included the demand of making CHS 490 an online course and a demand for the university to host a student-driven Town Hall about the return to campus next semester, a decision, that according to the cohort did not take into account many students social and economic abilities and accessibilities.

“We need transparency, we need to be part of the decision making process.his was not a collaborative community based decision. It was one made behind closed doors. The decision to return to a campus was made without the input of students nor staff,” said kata at the Oct. 15 meeting. 

Regarding the request to CHS 490 an online course, Dr. Tim Caron, said this was a decision he could not  approve himself but would be willing to work with the students, the department and administration to obtain this demand. Something that many thought would’ve taken longer, but was made possible the weekend following the meeting, when students were notified via email by Benavides López, that the class had changed from in-person to an online course and was ready to be taken next semester. 

The demand was met after Dr. Gretel Vera Rosas, associate professor of the Department of Sociology and instructor of the CHS 490 course, agreed to teach the class as an online synchronous course. “This online course format for CHS 490 is a one-time piloting that has been approved for Spring 2022 and does not serve as an agreement or model for future offering of CHS 490,” the email read. 

In terms of the campus-wide Town Hall  the cohort requested to touch on the issue of returning to 80% campus capacity in January, Dr. Caron agreed this was necessary and said he would bring this concern to campus leadership. “I’m really eager to work with you all and with the department, and with senior administration to address these really serious needs that the students have brought today,” Caron said in the Oct. 15 meeting. He also mentioned he would be in conversation with the provost and bring the request to the weekly meeting scheduled for all the academic colleges’ deans. “I’ll bring that up there because I think that’s the appropriate place to begin the conversation with senior leadership across the entire campus when it comes to academic affairs,” he said.

Although the CHS seniors and minors are now able to enroll in their senior seminar course which will be taught completely online, alleviating the majority of the senior cohort needing to return to campus, the Town Hall has not been scheduled but they hope it happens soon.  “This win isn’t only about the senior cohort but the beginning to advocating for other students that have had or have the same issues and felt they didn’t have a voice” said Yajahira, a cohort member. ”Our major is based on advocating for marginalized groups and we’re only adhering and practicing what we’re being taught.” 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Jr Posted on October 27, 2021 at 9:48 pm

    Thank you for this article Brenda! It’s important to highlight stories where students are the REAL heroes. This victory came as a direct result of STUDENT efforts and not immediate willingness by admin or the department. It is refreshing to see students standing up for themselves.

    It also shows that students who are in the “same boat” but in different departments are going to have to get loud and mobilize themselves.

    Thank you again for this!

    Reply
  2. Jr Posted on October 27, 2021 at 9:55 pm

    Thank you for this work Brenda! It is important to highlight stories where students are the REAL heroes. This victory was the direct result of STUDENT efforts and not immediate willingness by the admin or department. Also, it is a clear sign that to whatever extent this issue is happening in other departments, students will have to get loud and mobilize themselves.

    It’s refreshing to see students standing up for themselves!

    Gracias!

    Reply
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