DASG to survey members for diversity


James Rahn

The DASG diversity and equity committee is surveying senators to determine how equitable a workplace the senate is in their Oct. 27 meeting.

James Rahn, Opinions Editor

The De Anza College Student Government began an initiative to survey its members to determine the demographics of race, gender, sexuality, national origin and other factors which influence equity at their meeting Wednesday.

The effort was led by senators Luiza Eloy and Saskia Latievarya, both members of the DASG equity and diversity committee.

Latievarya, 19, political science major, said their goal was to “make the senate a more equitable place to work in.”

They also hoped to determine how well the Senate represents the De Anza community.

Eloy, 19, political science and psychology major, said, “De Anza is a diverse community. We need to make sure the senate represents diversity well.”

Latievarya said that they need to “get a feel for our own population.”

Anahí Ruvalcaba, DASG president, raised concerns about student privacy with these surveys.

“Some people might not feel comfortable answering all these questions,” Ruvalcabra said. “They might just not do it at all.”

Eloy and Latievarya agreed to make all of the questions on the survey optional, that way senators would have the option to only answer those questions they felt comfortable answering.

“We only plan to look at the data as a whole, not the individual people,” Eloy said. “We’re not asking for names, so it’s all anonymous.”

The results of the survey will go toward influencing a number of measures in the senate. Latievarya specifically said their objective was to influence the issue of whether or not to pay DASG senators, and if so how much.

“Having the senate be unpaid can exclude certain students,” Latievarya said.

There have been many propositions in the past to pay senators in the form of stipends and scholarships, most recently in spring 2019. Previous propositions have cited the amount of work senators put in for their jobs, but this is the first in recent years to cite inclusiveness as a reason to pay senators.

There is no current allocation in the DASG budget for paying senators for the 2021-2022 school year, but Latievary and Eloy are trying to determine if that needs to be changed for next year. 

This initiative, as well as others hoping to influence the budget, will need to make submissions by Nov. 1.

As this was an action taken by a committee, no vote was required, but support for this initiative appeared to be widespread in the senate.

The DASG will meet again next Wednesday, Nov. 3.