Addendum 1.3: The Future of Kente Graduation, the Men's Basketball team and Period Products on Campus

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Addendum 1.3: The Future of Kente Graduation, Men's Basketball, and Period Products on Campus
By Raven Yamamoto, Jonathan Grace, Robyn de Leon

In this week's addendum, Raven and Jonathan discuss LMU's future as the year comes to a close. Kapri Washington talks her petition calling for Kente Graduation to be postponed, Jonathan Grace gives us the rundown about the new head coach for our men's basketball team, ASLMU Senator Brion Dennis discusses the future of period products on campus and ASLMU President-Elect Jack Palen updates us on the hiring process of his cabinet.


This is The Addendum. The postscript to LMU’s week. Every Thursday, we bring the news to you. Wherever you are, you can stay informed about what’s happening on the Bluff and we’ll do it in 10 minutes or less. Reporting for The Agency, I’m Raven Yamamoto and I’m Jonathan Grace. 

The Addendum starts now.

A student petition is calling for Kente Graduation to be postponed. Kente is an LMU tradition, celebrating the accomplishments of our Black graduates and their contributions to the community. Black seniors are asking that their graduation be held when they’re able to celebrate together in-person rather than with a virtual ceremony. 

Senior Kapri Washington wrote a petition addressing these concerns with two of her classmates. She and her fellow seniors presented it to the Office of Black Student Services and the Kente Planning Committee in an open forum.
  • KAPRI WASHINGTON: “So our petition was for the Kente Graduation for us to have a small virtual ceremony on May 8th but then have a full in-person ceremony whenever the weekend that commencement gets rescheduled. We did get a couple of students who joined the call and express that they were not necessarily in favor of the petition and didn't choose to sign it because they recognize that the black faculty and staff was working very hard in our best interest and there's just so much global uncertainty right now that they would understand if we can't have a postponed Kente Graduation.But on the other hand, I received numerous positive responses. On the petition, we got about 40 signatures from black seniors. Some reached out to me on the side just saying thank you for making an effort to organize us as a class and have like a cohesive group call where we could all express our feelings. Community is very important. Community, family and communication and just not stepping on each other's toes and just hearing each other's feelings. So that's very important.
While Kapri and her classmates will respect whatever the Office of Black Student Services decides, she expressed the importance of black seniors having their own space to celebrate their graduation.

  • WASHINGTON: "This Kente graduation would be a celebration of the oppression that our ancestors have overcome for at least 400 years, but much farther back than that. It allows for our own space just for a carefree celebration, separate from. The one at LMU, the black student population at LMU is only about six or 7%. We face a lot of personal obstacles just at a predominantly white institution and having a Kente Graduation to celebrate amongst each other. It's just a time for us to all be together and enjoy our own music and our own families and just take pictures together. Family is important to us as black people. Over the course of these four years, the seniors have experienced a lot together from, you know, microaggressions to Black History month celebrations, positive moments, negative moments, everything. So, we really are aching to have a postponed, in-person ceremony together so that we can hug each other one last time, thank each other, take pictures, be with each other's families so that we may celebrate this huge accomplishment of graduating college together."

A virtual Kente graduation is set to be held on May 8 but details regarding a postponed physical celebration have not been determined yet.


The LMU men’s basketball team welcomes its newest leader, head coach Stan Johnson who comes to the Bluff to replace former head coach Mike Dunlap. The Lions finished with a total of 81 wins and 108 losses under Dunlap's 6 seasons at the helm. Dunlap helped lead the Lions to a program-best 8-0 season start in 2018, and helped LMU return to postseason play for just the third time since 1990.

Head Coach Stan Johnson comes to LMU after a successful coaching career at Marquette University. Johnson is no stranger to the West Coast Conference, however; afterall, he played for Saint Mary’s and helped them to both a WCC title and an NCAA tournament bid. He will be joined by David Carter, Allan Edwards, Greg Youncofski, and Ricky Muench, all of whom have been hand-picked as part of Johnson’s coaching staff. 

The Lions are looking to improve on last season’s 11-21 performance under new leadership, as their new coach aims to set, “a new Stan-dard.”


ASLMU met with the Executive Vice President and Chief Administration Officer Lynne Scarboro to discuss the future of their period product initiative. This past year, ASLMU was able to get pad and tampon dispensers in seven restrooms campus-wide for students to take as needed. The initiative was a key point of outgoing ASLMU President Ken Cavanaugh and Vice President Emily Sinksy’s platform. 

ASLMU Senators like Brion Dennis have watched their vision become reality as a member of the committee responsible for the program.

  • BRION DENNIS:  "The whole project, from getting preliminary information to this proposal hearing, was months. The whole almost the entire year, and I know Ken was working on it before we even got to school this year. So yeah, it's taken over a year and it was a lot of hard work. The task of trying to implement such a large program was quite daunting due to the nature of the project. We had to talk to departments on campus specifically. We had to talk with facilities management a lot. We weren't necessarily met with resistance. It's just, you know, I feel like there was a certain attitude about them thinking that we didn't know what we were getting into. I don't think that they knew the group of people that they were, you know, dealing with it.  This was a grassroots operation. All six committee members were refilling, restocking every single day. So while we were going to class, we were restocking here and there. I know that I had to, on multiple occasions, run from all the way across campus to refill the U-Hall dispenser cause that was our most used dispenser. It was, it was really hard. But when we got those results back from the feedback survey that people were like ‘this is one of the best programs I've seen implemented at LMU’ and that drove us to continue the work that we were doing."

The product dispensers were provided by Aunt Flow, a company committed to using gender-neutral language around their brand and biodegradable materials in their products.

  • DENNIS: "We 100% still want to continue using Aunt Flow. They are a very ethical business. They're completely transparent with what is, what goes into the products. They are staunch believers that no dyes should be used or anything that would be detrimental to the menstruator's health. Finding a program that would not only present us with quality products but also an environmentally conscious product, was super important to us as well. The products that we currently use in the pilot program are 100% biodegradable cotton and for every 10 items that we purchase one menstrual product goes to the period organization which is a nonprofit organization that's tasked with getting mentioned hygiene products to people in need."

According to Brion, the purpose of the meeting was to push the expansion of the program and get period products in every bathroom on campus regardless of gender.   

  • DENNIS: "We didn't have the capacity to get dispensers into every single bathroom, which was our original goal. We want to make sure that these products are available for all LMU students, including our gender diverse population. Period poverty is a real thing and health, in general, should not have a price tag on it. I strongly believe we, all of the committee, think that it's paramount that we promote student wellness and student health on campus, and until we get period products into every single bathroom on campus, we cannot confidently say that our program was a success."


Now that ASLMU elections have been completed, LMU’s new president, Jack Palen, and Vice President, Elsie Mares, have been hard at work assembling their leadership cabinet. To tell us more about this process, here’s Jack Palen.
  • JACKSON PALEN: "So as of this past Tuesday, we’ve wrapped up our cabinet and LT (Leadership Team) nominations and confirmations. Two weeks ago, we had begun the interviews and it took place all week. It was great meeting everyone, we had so many fantastic applicants, but, you know, Elsie and I are excited to move forward with our new confirmed cabinet and leadership team members.  We have a lot of work to do and over the summer it’s going to look like a lot of Zoom calls, a lot of FaceTimes, a lot of planning as we approach the beginning of this coming semester, whatever it looks like."


Applications for the special Summer School Financial Aid program are due tomorrow, May 1. Undergraduate students taking at least 6 credits during either of the summer sessions are eligible and must apply by this deadline to be considered. 

The William H. Hannon Library is helping LMU students access physical library resources by offering scanned copies of articles or book chapters to any student who requests them. Also, entire books can be mailed out to students who require them. Requests for these physical materials can be made through the library catalog.

There you have it Lions. Your week, in 10 minutes or less. Reporting for Agency LMU, I’m Raven Yamamoto and I’m Jonathan Grace. Tune in next Thursday for another installment, but until then, this has been the Addendum.

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