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Release No.07.06.16-ClassifiedSenateWin
July 6, 2016
College of the Canyons Classified Senate Wins Model Senate Award

The Santa Clarita Community College District Classified Senate was awarded the California Community College Classified Senate (4CS) Model Senate award, an honor that was bestowed upon only three of California’s 113 community colleges, during the Classified Leadership Institute Conference held June 16 to 18 in Ventura, Calif.

The award, which was accepted by Justin Hunt and Andrea Varney, Classified Senate President and Secretary/Treasurer, respectively, is entrusted to California community college senates that demonstrate drive, leadership, and innovation on behalf of the classified constituency they serve and their counterparts at other institutions.

“I am overwhelmed with pride as our Classified Senate is only recently resurrected, and already acknowledged to be a beacon of innovative excellence,” said Hunt. “Clearly this reflects the absolutely amazing staff we are fortunate enough to serve, the supportive leadership and district which encourages our growth, the very talented faculty we work alongside, of course the success we get to celebrate in our students.” 

Reinstated in 2013 after an 11-year hiatus, the Classified Senate at College of the Canyons promotes the interests of all classified staff members. The senate assists classified staff members with achieving the college’s mission and goals while also creating a successful learning environment for students. 

“The classified staff at COC exemplify the college’s reputation for innovation and excellence,” said COC Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook. “Every day, they are working to move our college forward and enhance what we do for the benefit of students and the community. Our Classified Senate plays an integral role in advocating on behalf of the college’s classified staff members and I am delighted that its exemplary efforts to go above and beyond have been recognized.”

Beyond ensuring classified representation in committees and decision-making on campus, the Classified Senate has many other roles and responsibilities that advances the district as whole. 

Additional roles assumed by the Classified Senate include disseminating information to classified staff, promoting professional and personal development through participation, and facilitating committee potency. 

“It’s extremely important for senates to exist in California community colleges and be engaged in collegial consultation,” added Hunt. 

Most recently, the award-winning senate held an open meeting on June 21 that was live streamed through WebEx, an on-demand web conferencing platform, to allow classified members to attend virtually. 

“We recognize the responsibility in representing a phenomenal staff that is truly unlike any other across the state, and we strive to serve as best we can,” said Hunt. 

Members of the College of the Canyons Classified Model Senate include Patrick Backes (President Emeritus), Scott McAfee (Vice-President), Andrea Varney (Secretary/Treasurer), Catherine Parker (Public Information Officer), Samantha Weber (Canyon Country Senator), and Mauricio Escobar (Valencia Senator). 

For more information about the COC Classified Senate, call Justin Hunt at (661) 362-3564. 

Note to editors – Photo available on request.