Student Petition for Classroom Leniency and Other Measures in Support of BLM

Student Petition for Classroom Leniency and Other Measures in Support of BLM

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Yuetong Zhang started this petition to De Anza College and Instructors

The Student Senators of DASB stand in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. We stand in solidarity with our Black community members. We stand in solidarity with students, faculty, and staff who are protesting and speaking out for change; for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, D’Andre Campbell, Tony McDade, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Ahmaud Arbery, Christian Cooper, and countless other lives lost to police brutality and white supremacy. We are enraged. We are grieving. Infrastructural change is imperative.

As De Anza’s African American Studies Department has stated, solidarity should not be a one-off statement of support. We have a responsibility to re-examine our previous acceptance of a flawed status quo, and we must actively work to dismantle the systematic racism on our campus. Though our term as student representatives ends today, the student senators of 2020-2021 will continue to listen to our Black students and advocate for the eradication of institutionalized white supremacy.

There are professors offering support to students, but there are also professors who are refusing to acknowledge how current events are adversely affecting our students’ lives. As student representatives of 2019-2020, we are calling for our college, and all of our instructors, to actively support our students during these incredibly challenging times.

Our students are suffering under the threat of police brutality and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Our physical safety and our basic human rights are being threatened. Pre-existing issues of food, housing, and transportation insecurity have only been exacerbated. The limited number of operating businesses and reduced operating capacities are worsening job insecurities and posing a significant economic threat to our students. The fear of physical harm, the outrage at senseless oppression, and the uncertainty of our world in turmoil have led to steep declines in our mental health. We are unable to compile a comprehensive list of all the individual challenges our students are facing, because they would be too numerous.

Our students in minority groups, and especially our Black students, are being disproportionately affected by today’s health and political climate. To pretend nothing is out of the ordinary is to be complicit in the silence that has kept institutional racism in place for so long.

We are asking for all of our professors to acknowledge our students’ struggles and offer support. We are asking for leniency in the classroom and in grading. We must support the students who are most struggling so they can continue to pursue their academic goals. 

This is a matter of equity. This is a matter of decency. We must be willing to support those who are unable to ignore the current crises. 

In addition, we ask the college to pursue the following measures of student support:

- Utilize college funds to support student welfare
- Improve accessibility and communication speed (ex: Admissions and Records, Financial Aid, Legal Advice, ISP, etc.)
- Identify and abolish racist policies and conduct on campus
- Fund Umoja peer mentor positions
- Proactively reach out to Black students, staff, and faculty and carry out their requests
- Make anti-racist and equity education mandatory for faculty and administrators
Improve hiring processes so that shared governances on campus are composed of a more diverse and inclusive body
- Have administration attend student-led meetings so that students don’t have to put in the extra effort of seeking out shared governances and struggling to be heard
- Include student resources introduction in mandatory student orientation
- Continue to ask and listen for student needs

During these unprecedented times of struggle, it is important for the college and its instructors to stand as a united and supportive front for our students. An educational institution’s first commitment should be to its students. We ask for the support we know our amazing institution is capable of giving.

In solidarity,

Amy Kim

DASB Senate Chair of Student Feedback

Yuetong Zhang 

DASB Senator

Casey Cosgrove

DASB Senator

Shelly Michael                       

DASB Senate President

Maya Burns

DASB Senate Vice President

Steve Hoang

DASB Senate Chair of Environmental Sustainability

Genevieve Kolar

De Anza Student Trustee

Paige Wallace

DASB Senate Chair of Student Rights and Services

Ananya Bapat

DASB Senator

Arushi Sharma

DASB Senator

Karina Thiagarajan 

Chairperson of ICC

Grace Lim

DASB Senate Chair of Finance

Bhuvaneshwari Natarajan

DASB Senate Chair of Marketing and Communications

Juan Manuel Marquez

DASB Senate Chair of Legislative Affairs

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