Unofficial GEN-C Meeting Continues the Conversation, Official Meeting to Follow

Eight days after Santa Monica College’s Associated Students passed Major Action Item 7.3: Approval for Construction and outfitting of Social Justice/ Gender Equity Center and Computer Lab, an unofficial ‘GEN-C’ meeting was held on Wed, Dec. 5 to create more dialogue. Although the official GEN-C meeting was originally scheduled, due to administrators dealing with personal matters, the official meeting is now scheduled to take place next Tuesday, on Dec. 12.

This unofficial Gen-C meeting was held because “we just decided that it would still be important for students to feel like their voices were being heard," said Meelissa Tapia-Cortez, a GEN-C committee member who helped organize the event. "That’s why [we] wanted to have this kind of like unofficial [meeting] to garner their voices."

The first part of the meeting was dedicated to having students in attendance write down any questions they may have regarding GEN-C. Those in attendance asked questions on matters such as the amount of computers that would be lost or gained, who the center would be for, and whether the gender equity center would expand in the future.

But Tapia-Cortez said the goal of this meeting was not to have these questions answered, as that is going to occur at next weeks official meeting. The Administration Members are planned to respond and answer the questions of students in order to dispel any information that might not be true.

Cortez also explained how the gender equity center would be a “centralized resource base”. Some of the services the center is planning on housing already exist on SMC’s campus, but not in one location.

The second part of this meeting was dedicated to having students write down and discuss what they would like to see in the gender equity center. Students in attendance discussed how they would like to see peer mentoring, empowerment workshops, undocumented legal aid among other things in the gender equity center. 

The topics that were discussed in this meeting are planned to be included in next week's official meeting. When Tapia-Cortez was asked what would be different about the official meeting she stated, “This was more centered around kind of like, student input and student questions and that’s going to stay over to the next one, but the next one is going to have to do with like actually answering [these] questions.”

She also addressed the importance of this meeting, even though it was unofficial. “I think students should care about the questions that haven’t been answered yet," Tapia-Cortez said. "Students should care about the different types of information that’s being put out there, whether or not it’s being manipulated erroneously. And students should care about the center.”

The next official GEN-C meeting will take place next Tuesday, on Dec. 5.