Academic Senate follows government guidelines in-person classes for fall

By: Raymond Nava

The East Los Angeles College Academic Senate met last Tuesday and discussed a proposed process of reopening the campus for in person classes. 

The senate also took up a variety of other issues as well as taking action on them. 

Among some of the important actions and discussions at the meeting were whether to approve a shared governance process, whether to add back lost hours due to the pandemic, and a discussion about the process of opening back up the campus for in person classes.

The senate took up whether to recommend the use of the approved shared governance process to prioritize needs that might be covered by the COVID-19 Relief bill that was passed in December of 2020. 

Senate President Jeffery Hernandez said that the college was currently looking at where the funds would be used. He also said the different committees would take input as to where they could be used though the administration has the final say. 

The motion to approve was approved via unanimous consent.

The Senate also took up the recommendation that hours should be added back to build back programs that had lost hours due to the pandemic. 

During the discussion, Lisa Hashimoto-Stone, who supports the recommendation, mentions that she could have offered a carpentry class but decided against it because students would not be able to use the tools they normally would be during face to face classes. 

She also says that she trusted that when the campus would go back to being face to face, that she wouldn’t be punished for not using her full hours allocation. The recommendation was approved.

The senate also discussed plans to get students and faculty back on campus. Dr. Marcel Morales of the Comeback Committee explained that the committee’s charge will be to follow and interpret the required government guidelines that have been played out for reopening. 

The committee will also provide recommendations for ELAC going back on campus after the pandemic. Morales also said that the committee does not make the decisions of when they come back, and that it would be up to the county, state and even federal guidelines for reopening. 

The current time table for the committee is that the committee will finalize membership on March 22 and that the committee will have its first meeting on April 26 at 3:45 PM. Morales said he is open for a potential meeting earlier than that date.

Morales layed out two different colors for the status of reopening at the meeting. 

The first one is “Red” which is “substantial.” Under this level, there would be a “25% maximum 25% of hours in person” which is 25% capacity of the room. The other level Morales explained was “Orange” which is “moderate.” 

Under this, courses would be hosted outside or in large lecture halls and allow the minimum of full enrollment, which is 42, within the 50% capacity limit. Courses would also remain hybrid and with a maximum of half of hours completed in person.

The next academic senate meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 23.

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