Student Panel, “Centering Student Voices” at MVC Brings Light to Diversity and Inclusion


Seth Haygood, Staff Writer

Diversity and inclusion seem to be the things that MVC prides themselves on when it comes to their values.

MVC wants to make sure that everyone is included no matter their race, religion, sexual or gender identity, or background in general.

At the student panel during the Diversity Summit, there were a select group of diverse students who provided insight to administrators, faculty members and students about how they feel the campus is doing in terms of being inclusive and diverse.

One student on the panel Israel Martinez, who is openly queer discussed the unique experience he’s had at MVC due to his sexual identification.

“Originally, I was scared coming from my ethnic background of being Mexican and about the stereotypes of what a man should be, and I was scared that my fears would be amplified here at MVC but within the first month of being at MVC, I saw that there were people who were so outreaching and promoting that we can be whoever we want,” said Martinez. “One of the things that I remember specifically happened at a pride event where I was simply thanked for just being me and never in my life have I been told that.”

Another student on the panel Isaac Aguinaga, revealed that he wasn’t very social, but the Makerspace at MVC has made him more social and has made him feel more included.

“It’s a really welcoming environment. I’ve made a lot of friends (and) a lot of connections really easily. I’ve met a lot of people including staff and students. They’re all great people and they all actively reach out and include you in activities,” said Aguinaga.

Brandi Avila, Dean of Student Development and Wellness, moderated the session and shared hopes that this panel accomplishes something big in the future.

“I hope that we could hear the voices of our students and their experiences, as well as learn about how students are experiencing campus. We really want to know what it is that you need so we can ensure that we’re responding to those needs and supporting you through your academic programs,” Avila said.

This Diversity Summit Student Panel was very informative and hopefully will shine some light on the fact that the faculty, staff and administrators at MVC truly care about students, their needs and making students’ experiences as good as possible.