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The Foothill Script

Foothill College's Student News Publication

The Foothill Script

Foothill College's Student News Publication

The Foothill Script

April 8th Academic Senate Meeting Retrospective

Alexander Martinez
Academic Senate Meeting (left) Public Forum (right)

On April 8th, 2024, an Academic Senate meeting was held at the Krause Center for Innovation. The Academic Senate is an important body at Foothill College, and according to their about me page they “make recommendations to the Foothill Administration and the District Board of Trustees on academic and professional matters” as outlined in AB 1725. While the board ultimately has the final decision in matters, they work in tandem with the senate’s expertise to develop these policies and procedures.

During this meeting, a resolution acknowledging the genocide in Palestine and calling for a ceasefire was on the agenda, as it was previously in the Academic Senate meeting on March 18th. This resolution, entitled ‘Resolution Recognizing Sustained Peace and Safety for All Students,’ penned by Fatima Jinnah, Suzy Quezada, Hilda Fernandez, John Fox, and Patrick Morris was being discussed in regards to whether it should be passed, and later on the validity of it being under the purview of the Academic Senate or not. The atmosphere in the room was tense and uncomfortable at times, and there was a public section space in use that was not present in previous meetings of the Academic Senate.

Some on the Academic Senate worried that this resolution would or could be used as a vehicle for harassment of Jewish students, and many on the Academic Senate also worried that the passing of this resolution could lead to litigation of Foothill College by outside organizations and parties. One of the individuals who brought up the latter concerns was Peter Landsberger, a member of the Foothill-DeAnza Board of Trustees. When asked about his personal thoughts regarding the resolution, he responded that he was not there to discuss the “merits of the resolution.” Soon after this statement, he comments that he “has some problems with it.” Landsberger did not further elaborate on this comment, nor did he state specifically the problems he had with its content.

Additionally, Landsberger repeatedly stated to the Academic Senate that any repercussions the resolution brought about would be faced by the Board and District. Some of the members of the public commented after the meeting that they felt this was an intimidation tactic. This feeling of discontent was even greater when the President of the Academic Senate, Voltaire Villanueva, read out a letter from a lawyer not affiliated with the campus that had been sent to the Academic Senate. Many members of the public felt that this letter was filled with thinly veiled threats and warnings that were not substantiated.

Peter Landsberger addressing the Academic Senate

The ASFC Student President, Joshua Agupugo, also cast a vote. Before the meeting, he had been given a petition with over 400 signatures, signed by Foothill Students and Alumni, supporting this resolution. For those more unaware of the position he inhabits, it may be noted that at these meetings his duty is to represent the student body with his vote, not himself. He voted yes on the motion that this resolution was outside the purview of the Academic Senate. Agupugo responded to criticisms of his vote at the ASFC meeting on April 11th. To learn more about that meeting and Agupugo’s decision, you can refer to our Opinion Editor CJ Toledo’s article about it.

It should also be noted that, in the opinions of 400+ members of the Foothill community (many of those being Jewish themselves), the presented resolution in no way singled out or targeted Jewish students for harassment or blame. Eventually, a motion was made to vote on tabling the resolution under the belief that it was outside of the Academic Senate’s purview. This motion was initiated by Brian Evans and referenced 10+1 of the Academic Senate, which categorizes the academic and professional matters under the Academic Senate’s purview as mutually agreed upon between it and the governing board. Evans argued that this resolution was “political,” and therefore fell outside of 10+1.

Before the official vote, Sara Cooper confronted Brian Evans on the difference between this resolution and previous resolutions that the Academic Senate had passed. These include the resolution entitled ‘Resolution on Supporting the Mental Health of Black Students’ in 2021 in response to many murders carried about by law enforcement. Additionally, she commented that “If we only speak out about oppression some of the times, but not all of the times? That’s wrong.”

The final tally for the vote was 9 nays, 12 yays, and 4 abstains from voting members, in favor of tabling the resolution indefinitely.

The Script reached out to the President of the Academic Senate, Voltaire Villenueva, for a statement. He wished to clarify that “The Academic Senate conducted a vote not on the resolution itself but on an incidental motion to appeal the chair’s decision regarding its inclusion on the agenda…an ‘incidental motion’ is a procedural motion that relates to the business at hand, in this case, whether the resolution at hand was within the purview of the Academic Senate.”

The Script additionally reached out to some of the professors on the senate for comment, and one Kerri Ryer responded that they were “highly ashamed of the [Academic Senate], particularly their cowardice in hiding behind 10+1.” Professor Ryer was unable to attend this particular meeting due to them having an in-person class at the same time, but they went as far as to say that “taking action is a political statement, so too is no action/avoidance.”

When asked for comment, the authors of the resolution responded that they “were disappointed they did not get their opportunity to speak to the body and show how they made the changes the Senators requested.”

Below is a list of the individuals who voted on this motion. As a reminder, a Yes vote means that one believes that this resolution is outside the purview of the Academic Senate, and it will be subsequently tabled for official consideration on the agenda indefinitely for this body. A No vote means that one believes that this resolution is inside the purview of the Academic Senate, and it will subsequently be discussed further at a future Academic Senate meeting in an official capacity.

Brian Evans, BSS: Yes.

Mona Rawal, BSS: Yes.

Ana Maravilla, DRC/VRC/SRC: Yes.

Robert Hartwell, FAC: Yes.

Kate Jordahl. FAC: Yes.

Rachelle Campbell, HSH: Yes.

Michael Chang, Part Time Faculty Rep: Yes.

Joshua Agupugo, ASFC Rep: Yes.

Brenda Hanning, HSH: Yes.

Rita O’Loughlin, Kinesiology: Yes.

Rocio Giraldez Betron, LA: Yes.

Allison Lenkeit Meezan, Faculty Chair of COOL: Yes.


Tracee Cunningham, Counseling: No.

Eric Reed, LRC: No.

Destiny Rivera, LRC: No.

Stephanie Chan, LA + Ensuring Learning Coordinator: No.

Sara Cooper, STEM: No.

Julie Jenkins, FA Rep: No.

Carolyn Holcroft, Professional Development Coordinator: No.

Patrick Morriss, Executive Vice President: No.

Adiel Velasquez, Classified Senate Rep: Invalid (No).

Ajani Byrd, Dean of Equity: Advisory (No).

Stephan Schnell, Apprenticeship: Advisory (Absent).

Leticia Serna, Counseling: Absent.

Kerri Ryer, Ensuring Learning Coordinator: Absent.


Roxanne Cnudde, Part Time Faculty Rep: Abstain.

Dixie Macias, Kinesiology: Abstained via proxy (Ben Kaupp acted as proxy).

Robert Cormia, Secretary/Treasurer: Abstain.

Stacy Gleixner, President’s Cabinet: Abstain.

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About the Contributor
Alexander Martinez
Alexander Martinez, Lead Copy Editor
Alexander Martinez is a second-year Computer Science Major at Foothill College. He has a passion for creative writing and hopes to gain experience in his hobby by contributing to The Script.

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