Professors wear red to show unity with adjunct faculty


Selene Torres, part time instructor and counselor at El Camino College, welcomes a group of students to write thank-you notes for adjunct professors at the Library Lawn on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Jeremy Yap/Special to the Union

Part time and full time instructors at El Camino College banded together in red at the Library Lawn to unify adjuncts during the Sticking Together event for Adjunct Equity Week on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Organized by the El Camino College Federation of Teachers (ECCFT), Adjunct Equity Week is comprised of a series of daily themed activities focused on bringing awareness to the issues adjunct faculty face at ECC.

ECCFT Adjunct Vice President Representative Selene Torres said that the week’s activities involve reaching out to part time faculty as well as students to create awareness of ways to improve the ECC campus.

ECCFT members gave students the opportunity to write thank-you notes to adjunct faculty and handed out different kinds of apparel including buttons that read “Adjunct equity is student equity.”

“It’s a hidden truth that when a faculty member does not have all the things that a full time faculty member has, that students don’t get the same education” full time professor in the Natural Science Department at ECC Jessica Padilla said. “As a part timer you don’t have an office, you’re not paid for office hours, so a part timer may choose to volunteer office hours or they may not.”

It’s important for adjunct faculty to know that they are welcome and supported by full time faculty, Padilla said.

She added that only in recent years has progress been made toward dissolving the negative connotation associated with adjuncts.

“Part timers spend a lot of time on the road, traveling from one campus to another, instead of developing content,” Padilla said. “So for the student, as a recipient of the information, they may not be getting the best quality that they could be getting.”

At the event, students were also given the opportunity to learn more about adjuncts and their working conditions. Adjunct faculty are commonly known to go from one college to another college in one day since they teach classes at multiple schools, Padilla said.

“I love what I do, I love this campus, but its knowing how we can make it better for our students,” Torres said. “Most of our students do not know that there are part time instructors.”

Students were given the opportunity to learn more about adjuncts and adjuncts were given the opportunity to learn more about supporting “student equity” as well, Torres said.

Tina Briceño, 35, child development major, said student and adjunct cooperation is important because “they need our support and we need theirs.”