Academic Senate supports student safety in overnight parking resolution

Abhiram Rishi Prattipati, Staff Reporter

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De Anza College’s Academic Senate endorsed a resolution to allow overnight parking and other necessary services for students facing housing insecurity at the March 18 meeting.

“We are more than ‘Here is a textbook and go read it,’” said Rob Clem, a counselor at De Anza. “To me, emergency housing is part of students’ well being.”

This resolution for the statewide bill AB302, supporting student housing overall, received five abstention votes. Some senators said they would like to bring in Foothill-De Anza Chief of Police Daniel Acosta to weigh in on concerns about student security.

“These kids are sleeping on the streets whether we let them sleep in the parking lot or not,” said Kim Palmore, English professor. “So I think it’s our responsibility to take care of them.”

Academic Senate is focusing on giving students more security and other benefits, especially after DASB passed their overnight parking resolution with little emphasis on students’ security and amenities.

“When we passed the resolution, security was definitely a big concern,” said Bhuvi Natarajan, DASB representative. “But De Anza is not liable for it and the student will be responsible for their own security.”

At this moment, one senator interrupted Natarajan and said De Anza is responsible for students who are on campus property.

But Mia Breen, accounting professor, said that when she brought the idea of this bill back to her department, not one faculty member supported it.

“Our job, our mission, is to teach these students, not house them,” said Breen.

The resolution will be sent to the Academic Senates of the California Community Colleges to request the body to support the bill.

Questions and concerns regarding decreasing enrollment, funding and having a new president at the meeting were then brought to Chancellor Judy Miners attention. After her departure, senators expressed their discontent with Miner’s replies.

“I feel worse, not better,” said Cheryl Balm, physical sciences, mathematics, and engineering division. “I feel like we were blown off and Mari’s [Tapia, sociology professor] questions weren’t even answered.”

“We were mildly lectured about how much more creative Foothill is,” said Balm.

“Everything we have ever tried to launch has been shut down by our administration or approved too late to recruit any students.”

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