Students have options against discrimination

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It just boils down to a matter of respect.

After paying $26 a unit for the enrollment fee, $40 for a parking permit and a great deal more for textbooks, Riverside Community College students should have more than earned the right to be treated right; in proper student and instructor relationships.

This is a problem that is a little more important than costs or parking spots.

No student or instructor deserves to be treated with vulgarity or disrespect. Luckily for most RCC students this is not an issue at all.The problem develops when something does happen and students do not know what options they have to combat such abuse. In the universe of RCC it can often feel like the instructors are the ones holding the keys to the future and making trouble would be a surefire way to shorten an educational career.

It is easy to see how anyone involved in an issue of discrimination can easily become overwhelmed.

The student body can give a sigh of relief though, because there are options available, they are just hidden in the horrifying conclaves of bureaucracy. The administration should be taking steps to making the process a whole lot smoother, but it seems such a problem has never even been taken into consideration.

There is half a page dedicated to the topic of discrimination in the schedule of classes, possibly the only text on campus that is almost guaranteed to be read by every student. It is conveniently translated into Spanish, but the information is just full of laws and addresses in a style that is hardly student friendly and more than a little intimidating.

To put it short, the page is confusing and hard to read. Instead of being helpful to a student who is most likely already stressed, it can only frustrate.

Furthermore the page is a little mislabeled when it is titled: “Nondiscrimination Affirmative Action and Prohibition of Sexual Harassment Policies.” This may catch an eye if a student feels they are being sexually harassed, but there are many forms of discrimination. It would be paranoid to assume that RCC’s administration is purposefully hiding the information. Instead, it just seems to be situation where the idea that a student could be discriminated against by an instructor hasn’t been given much thought.

What students really need is clarity. Acts of discrimination become difficult and trying scenarios and don’t need to be made more exasperating by confusing text and hard to find information. Even after finding the page in the class schedule, reading it and then deciphering the information, a student must contact and file with Diversity, Equity and Compliance, an office which is not even on campus.

Sure, there are other offices listed, but to the average college student contacting a state or government office for any issue is an intimidating venture.

So here it is, in black and white for all to understand. If a student has a problem of discrimination with an instructor they need to contact and file with “Diversity, Equity and Compliance” which is located at 3845 Market St., by White Park. The interim director is Richard Ramirez and the office can be reached by phone at 222-8435 or fax at 222-8037.

There is no reason situations of abuse or discrimination should be swept under the rug.