Proposed academic calendar holidays put on hold during College Council Meeting

The El Camino College Council held a public meeting virtually on zoom, Monday, April 4 to determine a variety of topics like adding Juneteenth, Cesar Chavez Day and Indigenous Peoples Day to the academic calendar, and more.

Members that attended the virtual meeting were Superintendent and President Brenda Thames, Academic Senate President Darcie McClelland, Dean of Enrollment Services Robin Dreizler, El Camino College Federation of Teachers Representative Kelsey Iino and more.

Dr. Dipte Patel, Dean of Counseling & Student Success, who was on the calendar committee gave an update on the academic calendar.

“The committee had agreed to including these days (in the academic calendar),” Patel said.

Meaning that the holidays Juneteenth, Cesar Chavez Day and Indigenous Peoples Day are “local options” if collectively bargained.

Academic Senate President McClelland expressed her frustration on how she would like to see these holidays on the academic calendar list instead of seeing that they might be options.

“I’m wondering if there is any way we can hold this until those days are collectively bargained because this is a huge deal on our campus, to actually get those holidays in,” McClelland said, “Our senate rushed this through because we were told that we were the stumbling block in this. Then we rushed it through in December and somehow these holidays are still not on the calendar. It’s now April so that’s a little bit frustrating.”

President Thames decided she was going to hold it until further notice when McClelland spoke out to mention how she really wants to push the holidays to be official on the calendar.

McClelland said that there’s consensus on both sides and continued to mention that the administrators, classified staff and the faculty are all in favor of making the three holidays official.

“There’s no way to move that any faster?” McClelland said.

The College Council then decided to sign it off as a memorandum of understanding, acknowledging to all parties involved that action will be taken at a later date.

Ultimately, President Thames decided to postpone the decision to update the academic calendar until further notice.

“This body has just agreed to just table it until it is collectively bargained, however that happens,” Thames said.

Another topic discussed during the College Council meeting was about important policies for El Camino College such as the availability of alcoholic beverages at campus events.

It was discussed that alcoholic beverages are not to be served on campus unless it is in accordance with procedures.

Student Services submitted the policy to the college council for feedback, comments and questions.

“Student Services did not recommend any revisions to the policy as is,” The College President’s Executive Assistant, Rose Mahowald said. “It will come back for a second reading and if there are no changes or recommendations from the conscientious groups, then it will be marked as having been reviewed, April 2022 but not revised.”

None of the Council members had any revisions. Any potential changes to the current administrative procedure on alcoholic beverages will be discussed at the next Council meeting for a second reading.

In addition to alcoholic beverages, the College Council also discussed smoking and tobacco restrictions on campus, counseling, the transfer center, student credit card solicitations and student success and support program services.

According to the Board Policy from the agenda notes that were presented during the meeting, the El Camino Community College District shall provide student success and support program services to students for the purpose of furthering equality of educational opportunity and academic success.

“[Student success and support program services] is a legally required board policy so in this board policy we added a statement for our district’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,” Patel said.


Editor’s Note: Corrected grammar issues on April 7, 2022 at 5:24 p.m.