Board Editorial: Fixing the lack of cultural and racial equity between faculty and students

By Abel Reyes

Graphic by Abel Reyes.

Long Beach City College is currently taking a considerable effort in trying to close the racial gap between the faculty and students so it can set up a more equal and inclusive setting.

In comparison with other schools that have this cultural equity established, if LBCC accomplishes its goal, it can boost its promotion on being one of the most diverse colleges.

The most recent Flex day, a day of professional development for faculty, was about cultural equity, and on March 28 President Reagan F. Romali announced the establishment of a task force on racial equity and inclusion.

According to the article “How Faculty Create Learning Environments for Diversity and Inclusion”, when students feel their backgrounds are respected and valued, they report a stronger connection to their college environment.

But for LBCC, focusing on closing the racial gap is inaccurate due to the different ways to handle this gap.

According to the same article, research is clear about what college students want from their professors: accessibility, warmth, organizational detail, and compassion are just a few.

They also expect faculty to be sensitive to their feelings and maintain a respectful environment that is not hindered by disrespect and antagonism.

Part of this process requires faculty to be aware of and sensitive to how multicultural groups of students experience a common learning environment.

And for faculty members who have issues finding a place to connect, they often do it in the classroom with students.

According to “Intra-Racial Dynamics of Black Faculty and Black Students: Barriers to Success In The Academy In Predominantly White Institutions”, black faculty can perceive themselves as potential role models, but black students do not always share the same perspective.

And for those faculty members having to be that one sense of community for students, it can lead to more obligations and more chances to fail.

Although it is not required for faculty to engage with their students on cultural equity, it should be the standard for faculty to commit themselves with their students.