Pitzer Student Senate endorses amendment to create representative position for current, previously incarcerated students

Pitzer's McConnell dining hall in the daytime.
(Regan Rudman • The Student Life)

Pitzer College Student Senate endorsed an amendment to its constitution that would create a representative position for current and previously incarcerated Pitzer students.

The vote to pass the legislation in the Senate was unanimous — 29-0 — but the amendment won’t go into effect until after it is sent to the wider student body for a referendum, per the Senate’s bylaws.

Currently incarcerated students attend Pitzer via the Inside-Out program, which the college has participated in since 2014. It recently expanded to allow incarcerated students to matriculate and graduate with a bachelor’s degree by participating in Inside-Out courses.

The legislation also noted Pitzer’s New Resource students, many of which have formerly experienced incarceration, according to the document. 

“Creating this position is necessary to evaluate the ways in which Pitzer College can provide additional support and resources to students who have experienced incarceration,” the legislation read. “Creating this position is a critical step in actualizing the college’s commitment to racial justice, and promoting Pitzer’s core value of student engagement and creating a more equitable practice of shared governance.”

The legislation included a statement from two Pitzer Students, Kenneth Butler and Reggie Bullock, who are previously and currently incarcerated, respectively. Butler currently serves a senator on the Curriculum Committee. 

“As we see it, it is our obligatory duty to be more than just recipients of a free college, education from an elite school. We are obliged to be invested participants, and contributing members to the overall success of the program,” the statement read. 

“The student council will be but one avenue by which we work hand-in-hand with Pitzer faculty to ensure the sustainability and more importantly the B.A. program’s survivability within the carceral environment.”

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Reggie Bullock as previously incarcerated. Bullock is currently incarcerated. TSL regrets this error.

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