DASB Senate battles underrepresentation and inequity

The De Anza Student Body senate is considering ways to combat overrepresentation of White and Asian American senators.

DASB senator Iris Kim said they are proposing an equity committee.

“An equity committee is the first big step to make a positive change to the De Anza community,” said Kim, a 20-year-old political science major.

This may help stop experiences like DASB senator Yvette Reyes’. She said she didn’t know what DASB was before joining.

“I’m one of the only Latinas in the Senate,” said Reyes, 19, political science major. “Joining DASB, I just thought there would be more people from my community.”

DASB was not heavily promoted to Latinx student Bryana Rios either.

“I heard about DASB through my humanities program and it’s only because some students in DASB were a part of that program,” Rios said, a 20-year-old administration of justice major. “Seeing people involved in DASB, I don’t see that many people of color in the group.”

The Senate has been trying to change this with a diversity task force. The initiative reaches out to underrepresented students to get them involved, initially as interns.

“Last year, during finals week, we presented to the Black Student Union,” Reyes said. “I’m really proud of that presentation because some students seemed really interested in joining and wanting to know the full scope of DASB.”

This presentation followed a bylaw change in November, which aims to prevent electoral underrepresentation. With this change, if the senate deems an election inequitable, it can reserve five more senate seats for underrepresented groups.

Reyes said she wants this work to be an example for future senators.

“We’ve been creating hard drives [of] everything we think is important for the future senate to know and continue the [work toward] diversity,” she said.