CULVER CITY — Like many other students around the nation, nearly 100 students at West Los Angeles College participated in a protest walk during the lunch hour Nov. 16.
The activity was coordinated by the college’s Associated Student Organization in conjunction with student organizations at the other eight campuses that comprise the Los Angeles Community College District.
Several faculty and staff members accompanied the noisy but orderly procession that moved from the heart of the campus to occupy the four corners of the nearby intersection of Overland Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard. As students chanted “student power,” “not my president” and decried racism and xenophobia, many drivers honked in support as they passed.
The flier that encouraged students to participate in the peaceful demonstration stated, “A vote for Trump is a vote against me. … Stand up against racism, xenophobia, sexism and all forms of bigotry that Trump represents.”
“One of the most important functions of education in this country is preparing students to become informed citizens who are active in the civic process,” college President James Limbaugh said. “Today we’re seeing our students begin to exercise some of the organizational skills and rights about which they have been learning.”
Limbaugh said statements made by President-elect Donald Trump have created anxiety on campus, particularly among undocumented students, students with immigrant relatives and/or friends, LBGT students and others.
LACCD Chancellor Francisco C. Rodriguez wrote in a letter to all students in the district, “we are reaffirming and upholding to you our values as public institutions of higher learning. These values include justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. We are committed to ensure that all students have full access to our colleges, as well as providing you the support needed to succeed in your studies.”
Using recent events as a teaching opportunities, some faculty are augmenting their lesson plans with discussions about the political structure including a special lecture on “The Checks of Presidential Power,” by political science professor Christopher Lee, which was held the day after the demonstration.