Starting next academic year, ASI will have a commission acting on social justice causes at CSUF.
The Associate Students board of directors board room erupted in cheers Tuesday afternoon when the board unanimously voted to pass a resolution calling for the creation of a social justice commission.
The social justice and civil disobedience resolution was sponsored by Jesse Rodriguez and had distinguished support from student activist Liz Sanchez, who helped draft the resolution. It will allow for the formation of a social justice commission and encourage social justice campaigns for marginalized communities.
ASI BOD hearing a resolution regarding social justice and student activism. Liz Sanchez is present to answer any questions the board has. pic.twitter.com/CmblEUwiHI
— Breanna B. (@breanna_belken) May 1, 2018
Sanchez was present to answer questions during the discussion portion before the board voted. During the voting process, it was decided there will not be a specific executive officer assigned to lead the commission until the committee is officially formed.
The resolution is valuable because it can bridge the gaps between student leaders and student activists by giving them an opportunity to stand side by side with activists, Sanchez said.
However, students who support this resolution are aware there are details that need to be worked out, like who will lead the commission.
“There’s still concerns, but at least the door has been opened,” Sanchez said. “Now opening the door for students at large is shifting the culture and that’s very exciting.”
Maria Linares, who will serve on the board of directors for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences for the 2018-2019 school year, was part of the group of activists supporting the resolution. Linares said she wants to ensure the social justice commission is handled properly.
“I’m very committed to this campus and to our marginalized communities. I want them to have a place to come to where they feel safe and feel we have compassion for them,” Linares said.
The resolution mandates Associated Students leaders receive training during the fall semester on college activism. It also creates a social media college activism campaign for Associated Students to share on its platforms to help, “address the stigma of social advocacy efforts on campus.” The resolution also encourages other campuses to form social justice commissions of their own.
Members of the board of directors, including Mackenzie Sheppard, newly appointed chair of the Elections Judicial Council, expressed interest in the formation of the commission. She proposed an amendment to the resolution to appoint an executive officer to oversee the efforts of the commission, to make sure it is active and engaged with the campus.
“It made me proud and I am glad they didn’t restrict it and passed it almost as is,” Linares said.
Newly elected Associated Students Vice President Ana Aldazabal said she always envisioned having a spot for social justice in their presidency.
“Josh and I always talked about a social justice committee or commission,” Aldazabal said. “I’ve always stood for a social justice committee especially on this campus. I’m really excited for next year because now we can get started on the stages of creating it.”