Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Student Senate Ballot Measure

Cabrillo continues to be mindful of the needs of ALL of its students, and our interests are for the good of the student body as a whole. Recent assumptions and a ballot measure brought forth by the Student Senate Vice President and a coalition of the Cabrillo Student Senate members threaten to untangle decades of positive collaboration built between the students, staff, faculty and administration at Cabrillo College, and have, to date, cost Cabrillo College between $30,000 and $50,000 in attorney’s fees as well as staff time that could otherwise be dedicated to providing student services.

In addition to the financial cost to the College (in a time when the College is faced with budget reductions), the Ballot Measure placed on the Student Senate Agenda by the Vice President and the coalition for vote this coming Thursday has severe implications for the entire Cabrillo Student Body. The Ballot measure proposes to eliminate funding for Cabrillo Classified Staff positions that currently provide necessary and widely used student services. The tone of the Ballot Measure is a charge-back model that is worded in such a way that the amount could be changed at any point in time.

At the Student Senate's request, the Classified student activities coordinator position has already been reduced from 40 hours per week to 17 hours per week, and cannot possibly implement and oversee all of the below mentioned services while attending 5 hours of Senate and Club meetings per week, in the reduced 17-hour per week allocation.

If this Ballot Measure is passed by the Senate and ratified by the Student Body, Cabrillo College could not hire the additional staff needed to implement and oversee the following services, leading to their severe reduction or elimination next year. The services reduced or potentially eliminated would include:
            -Borrow-A-Book Program
            -SAC Cards
            -Metro Passes
            -Food Pantry
            -Faculty/Staff Grants
            -Emergency Student Loans
            -Student Club Advising
            -Textbooks on Reserve
            -MLK Day
            -Vendors/Services in Quad
            -Thanksgiving Dinners
            -Elimination of 6-8 Student Assistant Positions (due to lack of supervision)

The Student Senate has proposed they would hire student assistants to perform the aforementioned functions, however, according to BP/AP 5420, students cannot hire or supervise student employees. So an additional consequence of this Ballot Measure's passage is that it would limit employment opportunities for our students.

We urge the Student Senate to think carefully before passing this Ballot Measure, which would have adverse and far-reaching implications for the whole of the Cabrillo Student Body, the audience whose interests the Senators are elected to represent. We also encourage you and your fellow students, to investigate this Ballot Measure further and to talk about its future implications. 

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