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The Pierce College Academic Senate addressed on Monday, Oct. 25, via Zoom the issue of the number of unvaccinated employees on campus.

Interim Vice President Donna-Mae Villanueva kicked off the meeting with an update regarding the vaccination status among the faculty.

“It’s been recorded that 75% of our faculty have been vaccinated or have requested the exemption, and 70% of staff,” Villanueva said.

The remaining 25% of faculty members have yet to report to their district with their vaccination status or exemptions.

There is no number regarding the vaccination and request for exemption status for students because of the grace period and a software error that prevented students from uploading their vaccination information, according to Villanueva.

The meeting then moved to working together to improve collaboration and communication within the Senate. 

Student Success Committee chair Crystal Kiekel, English professor Brad Saenz and Professional Ethics Committee chair Cara Gillis led the senate members through an exercise focused on creating more successful communication. 

Kiekel said that having efficient communication in group activities is essential in the Senate and in the classrooms.

Saenz said that it is important to establish community agreements to create a healthy working environment, especially with the current circumstances of how they connect with each other on a daily basis.

“I think that especially now, because of the pandemic and working on Zoom, we need this more than ever,” Saenz said. “Establishing these community agreements allows us to create a safe area to talk about things openly, and to ask questions comfortably without feeling like we’re being judged.”

The meeting was broken into breakout rooms. 

The exercise was meant to make each individual take a moment to think about a time where they had to work in a group and did so successfully. 

The Senate then shared that memory with others, and explained why they thought it was successful, and concluded the activity by writing on a shared document. 

The document will be used to create a list of community agreements that will be introduced at the Senate’s next meeting.

Curriculum Chair and Vice President Margarita Pillado said that a revamped website for Pierce is long overdue, and expressed how serious it is that action is taken in regards to it.

“The website is undermining all our efforts,” Pillado said. “It’s a serious liability that we have as a college and I am appalled that we really haven’t been more aggressive and demanding that this should be done.”

Pillado also said that the websites of Pierce’s sister schools have taken major leaps in terms of modernization, and the school should aim to be the same.

“They are light years ahead of us,” Pillado said. “We have students going into our department websites, and the curriculum information is outdated, it is incorrect, it’s a liability for the college and we really can’t move on.”

 

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