Responses to 2020 Survey

  • Group name: Equity Action Council
  • Group chairs: Melissa Aguilar (Classified), Erick Aragon (Faculty), Alicia Cortez (Administrator)
  • Discussion date: August 5, 2020

Members participating: Danny Acosta, Melissa Aguilar, Erick Aragon, Alicia Cortez, Angelica Esquivel Moreno, Adriana Garcia, Mylinh Pham, Tony Santa Ana

Guest participating: Cynthia Kaufman

Questions and Responses

Question 1: What do you believe works well about the current governance system? Please list.


  • Tri-Chairs representing Faculty, Administrator and Classified Professionals -Meeting agreements
  • EAC is a model for shared governance for the campus.
  • Time to deepen relationships
  • Space for affective domain through conocimiento
  • Time to tap into mindfulness before diving into agenda
  • Attending to qualitative
  • Welcoming ambiance-members and guest
  • Mentors for student representative
  • Includes DASB report
  • Provides new members with EAC binder with context and equity handouts
  • Respect, love and care for each other with strong relationship building and trust.
  • Never a failure, always a lesson
  • Balance of positions with respect and balance to positionality
  • Rotation of members - 2 years terms but structure also allows for At-Large members, such as the Chief of Police
  • Invite content and front line staff to present: Food Pantry, Institutional Research, Financial Aid, UMOJA, Puente, Student Trustees, Equity Partners students
  • Recognition of folks across the campus doing equity work
  • Input to Student Equity Plan and Institutional Metrics
  • Keeping the college vision, mission and values at the heart of our work, especially as it pertains to equity; for example, the Reaffirmation Statement on the DAC values during times of budget reduction brought to all shared governance groups.
  • Importance of building relationships and not just "parachuting members" onto the committee. - core principles of emergent strategy
  • Provides input to take to DDEAC (District Diversity & Equity Advisory Committee)
  • Flexibility and adaptability of agenda to address urgent and critical needs.
  • A rich and deep care, love and appreciation of student voices. Many EAC ventures stemmed from student voices being heard, validated and acted upon.
  • The structure of the physical space is welcoming with healthy food, water and tea available.
  • EAC is rich with diversity.

Question 2: What do you believe does not work well about the current governance system? Please list.


  • Robert's rules
  • Lack of trust, authentic communication and ways to engage in dialogue.
  • Need broader perspectives
  • Need representation from Student Services side
  • No Senior Administrator represented on the committee
  • Only once did a Senior Administrator attend a full meeting. Two members came to give a presentation on Integrated Plan.
  • Representatives reporting back to their constituent groups
  • No voice on Equity funding priorities
  • No budget to support requests from divisions for small one-time equity projects, which does not allow for supporting imaginative and creative ways of a practicing equity.
  • Capacity: self-reflection takes our time and how can we take time to do constant self-reflection? Imagine how much bolder we would be.
  • Bureaucracy and rules upheld by folks with institutional privileges and time are challenges to equity, voice and agency and EAC does some important work to challenge this amidst our privileges/bias.
  • The appearance of shared governance existing. Pre-designated outcomes by those with power and positionality dismantle the very essence of "shared" governance, essentially ensuring their desires are the outcomes. Members are not given complete transparent disclosure of the information to make an informed decision. "This is the only way," destroys creativity and function of the group.
  • Members participating in shared governance groups for prioritizing their own areas versus representing their constituents.

Question 3: Ideally, how would governance groups and processes be structured at De Anza? How would this work in practice? Please provide a summary.


  • EAC is a model for shared governance. I would speak to the tri chairs to give you a more detailed summary of how EAC is operationalized.
  • Need infinity groups representation - APASA, BFSA, DALA -include voices from students not in DASB or ICC -Post EAC minutes onto website
  • Currently, agendas are posted but not minutes
  • Trust the People (If you trust the people, they become trustworthy)
  • Acknowledge and be thoughtful around differences in positional power

Question 4: In the ideal structure you suggested above, how would members of the governance groups be selected? Please provide a summary.


  • There needs to be a more inclusive and equitable process from outreach, support, and retention.
  • All the governance groups should have strong representation from students.
  • All the governance groups should be representative of the student population demographics.
  • Provide a stipend to student from one of the cohort programs to represent POC student perspectives and a mentor (many work and cannot afford to volunteer so providing financial support can help.)
  • Request a rep from affinity groups

Question 5: All other recommendations and comments


Shared governance should not be an end all be all. It is only one part of the problem to dismantle institutional oppression and systemic racism. We need to audit ALL systems, policies and procedures throughout the college from syllabus, scheduling, budgetary decisions, communications campus wide, policing, physical space, etc... This work should not be check marks and shared governance is only one piece of the puzzle. Let's not start and stop there. All of what EAC is doing and striving to do is to humanize our institutional practices; that is, that we develop practices that serve our humanity, rather than contorting ourselves to meet some alien, dehumanizing standards and practices.

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