Commencement details discussed during Board meeting


Screenshot captured from El Camino College’s official website.

The upcoming 75th El Camino College commencement ceremony was a highlight of the Board of Trustees meeting held on Monday, April 18.

During the meeting board members were called to vote on important decisions for the college’s upcoming commencement ceremony on June 10, which will be the first in-person commencement event since the pandemic started.

When discussing the approval of additional staffing for crowd traffic control from Contemporary Services Corporation for the event, Trustee member Trisha Murakawa shared her questions and concerns.

“I guess I just wanted to ask why you have to hire temporary staff and if we can give our staff the first right of refusal and offer our staff the opportunity to get overtime pay when you need help for commencement, as opposed to hiring from outside,” Murakawa asked.

Murakawa cited similar concerns regarding the board approving the hiring of four herald trumpeters from Major League Music Incorporated to perform fanfare during the event.

Murakawa asked why couldn’t student trumpeters offer the same services as a way to “highlight our talent here.”

El Camino College’s President Brenda Thames responded to Murakawa stating that the extra staff from Contemporary Services Corporation(CSC) is necessary to provide crowd and traffic control. President Thames also said that she is not aware of any El Camino employee classification that would by default get first rights of refusal for this service.

“Campus police will handle traffic control and crowd control and they are working the commencement, but they are also severely understaffed, including the cadets,” Thames said.

Board member Kenneth Brown also responded to Murakawa with his reasons for why he thinks the professional trumpeters should be approved.

“[The trumpeters] also come from the El Camino family. So I believe that they’re either alumni or former teachers. But they’ve been doing this for a while,” Brown said. “As a music fan, it’s one of the highlights for me. So I think you’ll enjoy it and the students and our orchestra have a large portion [to play] during the commencement.”

Murakawa thanked Thames and Brown for their responses and stated she only asked because she wanted to “take care of our people first.”

The two items as well as a third, regarding approval of alumnus and broadcasting executive producer Deyja Charles as the commencement speaker for the event, were all passed unanimously by the board.

The commencement speaker will be paid $1,000 for her services. Major League Music will be paid $1,300 and Contemporary Service Corporation will be paid $13,885 for their services.

Editor’s Note: Updated story to add monetary data on April 20, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.