BY DR. ARMINE HACOPIAN
Senate Bill 568, amendment authored and introduced by Senator Portantino, would allow Glendale Community College’s Governing Board to declare April 24 as the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day by campus closure.
With just about 40 percent of the student population being of Armenian heritage at GCC, the closure of the campus is critical. It will allow students to participate in various community organized activities, to further educate others in preventing future genocides, and to honor and commemorate the lives of all those who perished during the Armenian Genocide.
All college campus closures are dictated by the State of California Education Code, which does not allow campus closures without the enactment of a special statute, as a college stands to be financially penalized by the State. With the passage of the amended Education Code Section 79020, which relates to post-secondary education of this bill, GCC would not lose funding ($500,000) as a result of April 24 campus closure.
My deepest gratitude is extended to Senator Portantino for his continued commitment to this issue since our initial discussion. His unwavering efforts have resulted in the unanimous passage of this section of the bill by the California Assembly Higher Education Committee. Also, due to the expert testimony provided by Superintendent and President of GCC, Dr. David Viar, at the hearing in Sacramento, the amended version of SB568 has begun its journey for the Governor’s signature.
Overcoming this first hurdle is just the beginning of this journey, as the amended version of this bill still has to have final approval by the California State Assembly and California State Senate in order to reach the Governor’s desk.
In addition, appreciation is extended to GCC Board President Dr. Vahe Peroomian, as well as ANCA-Glendale Chapter for their continued support and dedication.
GCC students need your help! Your voices have to be heard loud and clear in Sacramento as this is of extreme importance to all of us.
Please contact Governor Gavin Newsom and your State representatives to encourage them to vote affirmatively in support of Senate Bill 568 (as amended) for the GCC April 24 Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day campus closure.
Dr. Armine Hacopian has served on the Glendale Community College Board since 2001.