Pension divestment from fossil fuels, new unit minimum among topics discussed at Academic Senate

Pension divestment from fossil fuels, new unit minimum among topics discussed at Academic Senate

Moral and monetary goals don’t often head toward the same conclusions, but a plan to reach both was discussed in the Academic Senate meeting on Feb. 26. The prevalent topic of discussion was the divesting of college pensions. 

Political Science Professor Denise Robb brought up studies saying that pensions would have more money if divestment had happened a decade ago.

Four people spoke during public comment time on the fiscal benefits and moral obligation to go ahead with the pension divesting.

“We have already promised to have a greener state by converting to electricity instead of using fossil fuels,” student Marcelo Cabrera said. “The plan is still underway. I believe that our schools will also reflect the changes that our students, our communities, our governance, our state actually says that they want to complete.”

When the time came to vote on divesting, the resolution regarding the pensions was approved by acclamation. Unlike the other measures being voted on by holding yes or no cards, this vote was determined by vocal confirmation of senators saying “Yay” or “Nay”.

The district is pushing for a new unit minimum, from 21 to 27 in order to add American Institution and Lifelong learning studies to general education. This would be part of the Cal-GETC, a general education pattern that would go into effect in the fall of 2025. 

Guided Pathways Coordinator Judy Lam thought the request for learning the subjects was unreasonable in how it was presented.

“While those two areas I think are very important for our students to have, I think there are also ways to incorporate those areas into the existing GE areas, because I think six units is a lot to ask our students to add on to whatever they already have, especially for some of the high-unit majors,” Lam said.

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