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CSU – San Bernardino, Students Find Climate Survey Corrupt and a Waste of Tax-Payer’s Money

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Black Scholars Matter, Dreamers (Undocumented – AB540), and representatives from a cross-section of our diverse student body here at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) have combined forces to address an unsettling matter that has been perpetuated on our campus in recent years.

It is a matter of great pride that CSUSB serves as a beacon of tolerance, advocacy, and community partnership and for the past several years we have been aggressively promoting unity, inclusivity, empowerment, and shared governance. However, our rich tradition of San Bernardino Strength is in jeopardy as a result of what can only be defined as the self-serving interests of specific CSUSB entities at the exclusion of what is best for our students. That said, this open letter is to share our frustration and disappointment with The Faculty Senate at CSUSB.

It is our position that The Faculty Senate has waged a concerted effort to alienate – undermine – and dismiss students’ voices on campus. Furthermore, the Faculty Senate continues to promote academic segregation and has strategically worked to devalue students’ input. As students at CSUSB we find the recent climate survey to be divisive, misleading, conveniently inaccurate, and deliberately designed to attack President Morales and his administration.

It is no secret that as our first Latino President at California State University, San Bernardino (a federally recognized Hispanic Serving Institution), President Morales has been the recipient of open hostility – particularly from faculty members who have undeniably expressed their unequivocal prejudices towards our president and by extension towards our students. Moreover, as students of color from diverse backgrounds ourselves, we have experienced firsthand discrimination and alienation in our own classrooms from some faculty members. The inability and/or unwillingness of our Faculty Senate to listen to and address our concerns has caused us to pursue a variety of avenues of recourse – both within and without the university – in order to ensure an accessible and quality education for ALL students – not just SOME students. This is particularly important when 80% of our students are First Generation enrollees who lack the institutional knowledge to navigate “The System” by themselves.

Black Scholars Matter, Dreamers (Undocumented – AB540) and representatives from a cross-section of our diverse student body on campus have worked with President Morales and his administration (in addition to College Deans, Department Chairs, Student Affairs Officers, and willing faculty members) to promote unity, autonomy, professionalism, academic efficacy, and a climate that encourages inclusivity. Students have publically supported President Morales because, unlike The Faculty Senate, President Morales values and encourages our participation in the shared governance process. President Morales’ contributions to our success include, but are not limited to: increased jobs for students on campus, increased student scholarships, and expanded student resources and access to said resources – just to name a few. Thus, it is no surprise that The Faculty Senate intentionally excluded student participation in the climate survey.

As student representatives, we have attended The Faculty Senate meetings and find their presentations offensive, destructive, and unproductive. The Faculty Senate does not represent many of the amazing faculty members we have on campus. The Faculty Senate is comprised of entrenched faculty members who neglect our students so as to utilize their taxpayer funded tenure time to wage war against President Morales.

Fortunately, CSUSB is also home to faculty members who do not attack our students, but work with our students to improve our professional and academic careers. These faculty members get very little credit and many times no recognition. The corruption in which the climate survey was conducted does not in any way reflect on our real allies who actually work to improve our academic and professional climate here at CSUSB. In many cases, these faculty members are also silenced by the entrenched faculty of The Faculty Senate.

At a time when the City of San Bernardino is garnering international notoriety for our very real problems with crime, poverty, and economic instability our sole focus at CSUSB should be to serve as the intellectual and cultural hub for our shared communities. With the eyes of the world on us, we should be the model of shared governance, tolerance, and inclusivity. That is why it is critical that we here at CSUSB accept our charter and work together to improve not only the climate of our campus but of our entire City of San Bernardino. As students at CSUSB in order to support a city we love, we are committed to finding ways to stay in San Bernardino after we graduate in order to help address some of the social and economic disparities we have both witnessed and experienced firsthand. We shouldn’t have to battle our own faculty to accomplish this goal. We look forward to the day when The Faculty Senate (and some of their faculty supporting allies) can get over their prejudices and narcissism so that we can all work together towards the renaissance of San Bernardino as one of the best cities in which to live, work, and learn.

 

St. Paul Church Anniversary 112 Years of Service in the Community

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church will celebrate its 112th Anniversary of serving the San Bernardino Community at the 10 a.m.  worship service on Sunday, June 26. The guest Preacher will be Rev. Dr. Cecil (Chip) Murray followed by a luncheon and concert featuring The Starlights at 12:30 p.m.

St Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church was founded and organized on Easter Sunday in the year of our Lord, 1904, by Presiding Elder Reverend James H. Wilson, in a Holiness Church Tent. A Caucasian minister and his wife were conducting revival services in the 700 block of Fifth Street. Mr. Inghram was granted permission by the Holiness Minister to allow Reverend Wilson to come down and organize the church. He not only permitted it but also asked Reverend Wilson to come and deliver the Easter Sunday message to his congregation. The type of town San Bernardino was in 1904 made it quite difficult to establish a Negro Church. There were 300 Negroes in San Bernardino County, the largest county by area in the United States. As we write this history in 1970, we have a Negro population of 17,000 in the city of San Bernardino.”  Today, the African-American population of San Bernardino City is 30,161.

The actual beginning of the church membership is very humble.  The required 12 members to establish a church were: Henry D. Inghram, his wife Mary Ella Inghram, their children Henry, Ben, Howard, and infant daughter Ruth Rebecca; Mrs. Martha Bush and her son Earnest.  From that required twelve, the church has moved from 6th and Harris Street to their current location at 1355 West 21st Street in San Bernardino.

The church has nurtured the first African-American Superintendent of Schools and the first African American physician for the City of San Bernardino. From those “first” they  have cultivated doctors, nurses, lawyers, educators, law enforcement officers, artists and singers.  These are the children of St. Paul AME Church, proud members of St. Paul AME Church.

Once again, they invite you to join them in celebration of 112 years of service to God our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, The Holy Spirit Our Comforter, Humankind Our Family.

Citrus Hill High School Senior, Lela Owens, Awarded Ronald McDonald Scholarship

By Naomi K. Bonman

On Saturday, June 11, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California (RMHCSC) awarded 94 accomplished college-bound seniors scholarship funds totaling $288,000 during a celebratory event at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The scholarships and medals were awarded during a recognition ceremony where recipients were honored and commended by their families, school counselors, RMHCSC representatives, and Southern California McDonald’s owners and operators. Chris Pan, founder of myintent.org gave an inspiring keynote message before the celebrations ended with photos and well wishes.

“The scholarship luncheon is a great opportunity to recognize our scholarship recipients for their hard work in front of their friends, family and McDonald’s franchisees” said Vince Bryson, CEO, RMHCSC. “We are committed to providing opportunities and resources that strengthen families and are inspired by what these students have accomplished and are looking to achieve.”

Among those 94 students was Perris’ Citrus Hill High School senior, Lela Owens. Owens is involved in her school’s STEM program and will continue her education within the STEM field at Duke University where she will be majoring in Computer Science. After she graduates from college, Owens wants to dive into a career with a major technology company, such as Google or similar.

“The Ronald McDonald Scholarship has taken a lot of pressure off my shoulders,” Lela Owens stated on being awarded. “It will definitely help to pay my tuition.”

Owens emerged into the STEM field after enrolling an AP Physics class during her Junior year. Her teacher at the time inspired her to look into field after telling her about another young Black woman who took the AP Exam and passed it.    Owens wanted to pass it as well, and from there she found a passion for the industry.

In addition to receiving her degree, the rising scholar also wants to start a mentorship classroom at her high school. Her community service won’t start there though. Owens was the captain of her cheer team where she participated in hosting summer camps along with her team. She also tutored students at March Middle School in Mathematics.

Recipients of RMHCSC scholarships are selected through a rigorous application process and represent the highest caliber students in the five counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura. These scholarships give the recipients an opportunity to pursue their education goals and help ease some of the collegiate financial burden. Interested applicants can begin the process for 2016 scholarships in October, 2015. More information about RMHCSC and its programs can be found at www.rmhcsc.org or on www.Facebook.com/RMHCSoCal and via Twitter.com/RMHC_SoCal.