Student leaders engage — General Assembly convenes to suggest legislation

Kaily Sanders

Nine Associated Students Government (ASG) representatives traveled to Los Angeles on May 2 to attend the Student Senate for California Community Colleges (SSCCC) General Assembly to advocate for students’ rights.

The bi-annual assembly allows students to bring attention to and vote on issues that are important to their college. This year, students considered more than 20 resolutions including campus free speech, financial aid, transportation, student senate funding, equity and diversity, and more.

Current ASG vice president Michael Roderick, 27, describes why student involvement is so vital. “These are all things where I have my own opinion, but I don’t want to go up there and tell them what I think, I want to go up there and tell them what City college thinks because that’s who I was elected to represent,” said Roderick.

In preparation for the assembly, ASG reached out to City students and conducted a survey to find out what is important to them. ASG found that one of the more pressing issues on campus was transgender self-identification and name accommodations.

“You have to identify with the sex that you were born with on your birth certificate… It’s a big deal when a trans student is getting called by their original name if it doesn’t fit the sex that they identify with,” said ASG Senator Candice Bell, 20.

There are three separate transgender issues being scrutinized, all which were passed by the student voters. However, the resolutions still need to be accepted and approved by the California General Assembly in order to be made effective.

In Resolution 7.01 “Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics,” the SSCCC confronts the issue that an athlete’s birth certificate is proof of their gender. The resolution asks the California Community College Athletic Association to develop changes so that students do not have to use the gender found on their birth certificate.

CCCApply ‑– the form used to apply for several California Community Colleges including City ‑– requires students to use their birth name. Resolution 7.02, “CCCApply Gender Self-Identification,” asks the CCCApply Steering Committee to update the application form, allowing for students to write in their responses to this question.

Resolution 7.03, “CCCApply Preferred Name Accommodation,” explains that when a student is forced to use their legal name it could “potentially jeopardize their comfort and safety.” This resolution asks that the CCCApply form is updated, providing a place for students to write in their preferred name.