Students continue fight for housing


Quan Bach

Flint Center

Andrew Jaramillo, Staff Reporter

Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees President Pearl Cheng welcomed students and faculty who spoke about the ongoing issues of student homelessness and the future of the Flint Center at the Nov. 4 meeting.

Cheng said that the Board of Trustees is on students’ sides in advocating for student housing.

But students did not receive the assurance positively.

Students’ time to speak at the public hearing was cut down from five minutes to two minutes.

Associated Students of Foothill College senator Jimii Lewis said that cutting student’s time at the podium showed that the board didn’t care what students and faculty had to say.

“You didn’t really want to take the time to let people talk,” Lewis said, questioning Cheng’s decision to limit speakers’ time.

Many other students used their two minutes at the podium as a plea for transparency regarding a future bond measure, which has the potential to provide affordable student housing to those students going without.

“Explicitly, I’d like to state that students want a specific amount of money designated to affordable student housing in the bond measure,” DASB Senate president Shelly Michael said.

DASB senators were able to highlight their request to replace the Flint Center with student housing via “The White Elephant,” a short film they created.

In the video, various De Anza students were interviewed on campus and asked for their opinion on affordable student housing. The interviewees agreed that the Flint Center’s space could be better utilized as a dorm to house struggling students.

De Anza College Student Trustee Genevieve Kolar and Foothill Student Trustee Tiffany Nguyen gave up their speaking time to ensure that the video was able to be shown in its entirety.

Foothill-De Anza Chancellor Judy Miner voiced her own ideas for the Flint Center in regards to the bond money.

“I think De Anza absolutely should be a venue for Cinequest,” Miner said, focusing on a possible multi-purpose seated theatre with a front door facing Stevens Creek Boulevard.

Board Vice President Peter Landsberger said that the wording of the bond measure was most important in appealing to voters.

“Housing isn’t a great selling point,” Landsberger said. “Not by itself.”

Landsberger suggested that a “dedicated conversation” regarding the bond measure would be necessary to obtain and use the funds as needed.

A special board meeting was scheduled for Monday, Nov. 25 to further discuss the bond language.

The deadline for the board to submit the bond is the first week of December. Approval from voters would give the district access to the funds as early as March 2020.