SGA creates committee to address virtual learning concerns

The SRJC Student Government Assembly logo.

Courtesy SRJC

Students and faculty shared their struggles with online learning and agreed to continue the discussion with the help of a new ad-hoc student committee at the March 8 SGA meeting.

Audrey Fry, Reporter

Santa Rosa Junior College Student Government Association created an ad-hoc committee of students and faculty Monday to discuss the challenges of virtual learning, the budget timeline and upcoming events.

The new Virtual Learning Committee is open to all students. Check the SRJC app and socials for agenda and Zoom details. 

The vote to create the committee followed an honest and emotional 30-minute discussion about the challenges of virtual learning for students and faculty.

“We signed up to be in class, but not for class to be in our homes,” Student Body President Delashay Carmona Benson said.

Acknowledging the struggles virtual learning has imposed on both students and faculty, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Assistant Superintendent L. Jane Saldana-Talley said, “Whatever we can do to build a culture of kindness in this moment is also really important to do. I’m your ally and I’m here to help carry your voice.”

SGA officers, faculty and staff agreed to find solutions together with their respective groups and the Virtual Learning Committee.

Budget discussions centered around a lack of SGA funds and whether to actively reach out to campus groups to invite them to apply for funding.

Ultimately, the SGA voted unanimously on a budget timeline that does not include a period in which groups are invited to apply for funding. Groups are still welcome to approach SGA for funding on their own.

Dr. Amanda Morrison, coordinator of SRJC Petaluma’s Our House Intercultural Center, invited students to submit workshop proposals for the We the Future conference by March 19. The social justice summit on April 16 will feature keynote speaker Boots Riley.

The SGA approved $300 in sustainability funds to host atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe as an Environmental Forum speaker. Hayhoe hosts “Global Weirding,” a PBS series that covers climate change communication.

Next week the SGA will discuss an amendment to its bylaws proposed by Young Americans for Liberty, a students’ rights group on campus. The amendment includes the requirement that SGA officers swear an oath of office to uphold the constitutions of the United States and California. Find weekly meeting agendas, posted Friday, on the SGA website.