Adjunct Equity Week event held online

Adjunct Equity Week, designed to bring awareness to non-full-time instructors at El Camino College and their experiences, was held through Zoom meetings due to COVID-19.

The event was done for both students and faculty. It included workshops, Q&A’s, and a trivia night.

Selene Torres, an adjunct counselor, attended the workshop and directed a raffle during the week’s final event.

“It’s a national week of action to raise awareness for social injustices that adjunct faculty face every day. We’re temporary workers with low paying contracts with limited to no health insurance,” Torres said.

The adjunct week usually occurs every year at the ECC campus, but due to COVID-19, the workshops were turned into Zoom meetings.

The event was open to both teachers and students to participate. However, throughout the week, teachers were the main participants as students were nowhere to be seen.

The adjunct week began on Monday, Oct. 26, with adjunct teachers telling their stories through the El Camino College Federation website and their social media for anyone to read.

On Tuesday, Oct. 27, the Remote Office Workshop was held where guest speaker Jesus Ojeda, a senior consultant from Keenan Associates, presented a workshop on the ergonomics of one’s work desk and how it could always be improved.

Ojeda pointed out that the workshop was important because if one is not sitting correctly, it can lead to reduced circulation for one’s legs and contact stress from one’s arms.

However, having the correct posture and the correct chair for oneself can reduce contact stress and other sitting illnesses.

“Wherever you sit, wherever you’re doing your work, always be careful about how you sit. The key is to get up and stretch to avoid getting hurt,” Ojeda said.

The third event held for the adjunct week was on Wednesday, Oct. 28, where adjunct teachers were able to ask questions about whether they would be able to renew their contracts due to the pandemic.

The adjunct teachers who negotiated with the ECC’s district were Troy Moore, a chemistry professor, and Kelsey Iino, an ECC athletic counselor.

“We made sure that we had a professional at the table so that everything that we needed to get addressed got addressed,” IIno said during the Q&A.

While Iino assured the adjunct teachers about plans for them, teachers still had worries about joining ECC as a full-time professor and keeping their jobs due to the pandemic.

“I may be out of a job by next fall,” Gerardo Sandoval, Adjunct Mathematics Professor, said. “It’s frustrating to be told to reapply over and over, but I understand it’s due to the situation. I just want something.”

Sandoval is both a high school teacher as well as an adjunct college professor. ” I normally teach high school, but I liked this school (ECC) better,” Sandoval stated during the Q&A.

The next event took place on Thursday, Oct. 29, where the workshop focused mainly on the adjunct teachers and tips for interviews with community colleges.

Tips ranged from paying attention to what position one is applying for and what energy one should give during the interview.

“When the applicant is nervous, you can feel the tension in the room,” Stacey Allen, sociology professor, said.

The workshop ended with Torres raffling an Associated Student Organization (ASO) goodie bag with a shirt and pens and a gift card to the participating teachers.

The final event took place on Friday, Oct. 30, where students and faculty participated in a spooky trivia game about Halloween.