March-April 2022 Advocate: Petition for gender justice in our district

Social Justice on Campus

AFT 1493’s Anti-Oppression Committee launches a petition for gender justice at our colleges

by Rika Yonemura Fabian, AOC Lead/Skyline Chapter Co-Chair, and Julia Johnson, Automotive Technology Professor, Skyline College

AFT 1493’s Anti-Oppression Committee (AOC) is a subcommittee of our union that was developed to specifically focus on investigating and challenging gender-oppression among faculty, staff and students in our college workplaces. The Committee has been working diligently in recent months, listening to staff and students about their concerns and researching the Title IX process on all three campuses in our District. We have finalized our petition and letter that demands more transparent Title IX investigations and reporting processes for faculty, staff and students in SMCCCD.

“A report is filed and it goes into a Black Hole. No one knows what happens after.”

The following quote captures the essence of the problems with the current Title IX process: “A report is filed and it goes into a Black Hole. No one knows what happens after.” This observation shared by an AOC member prompted the group to research what is happening in our current Title IX investigation process. Who is in charge of investigations? Under what organizational chart? How do they determine if a complaint constitutes a Title IX case? What kinds of training or education exist for students and employees around Title IX? Where do we find data on Title IX violations and reports filed?

The AOC has researched these and other questions and the results are summarized in this open letter to the District and the Board. The AFT Executive Board approved the letter in February, and the Committee is currently asking for endorsement from constituent bodies, such as Academic and Classified Senate, as well as Student Government on all three campuses.

Sign the letter and petition

We will be bringing the letter to the Board of Trustees to share our concerns and demands and we need your support. Please sign this letter and petition to demand more transparency and accountability in the Title IX process. Title IX laws are designed to improve the learning environment for all of us – to allow everyone to attend class, speak out and work in safety and without fear of reprisal.  We invite you to be part of this endeavor that demands a working and learning environment that is free from gender oppression!