Editorial: De Anza must engage in budget decisions

De Anza students, staff and faculty: Be engaged and informed in the college and Foothill-De Anza District’s decisions on upcoming budget cuts. If you are not involved, the powers that be will not act in your best interest.

At De Anza, programs under review for cuts are wildlife science tech, dance, music, photography, the Red Wheelbarrow poetry magazine, massage therapy and paralegal.

Sports under review are baseball, badminton, football, men and women’s tennis, water polo and basketball.

Languages under review are German, Italian, French and Spanish.

The number of counsellors at De Anza will be reduced, making those left much less accessible to students that need help with their academic planning. One custodian and one landscaper will be cut as well.

These decisions are made by De Anza’s planning and budget teams which sent their first drafts to the Viability Advisory Team, who will make recommendations. Then the budget teams will make final drafts and send them to College Council, who will send them to the District’s Board of Trustees.

These cuts will massively affect De Anza, and our administration has not approached decisions with an appropriately methodical strategy. De Anza’s Internal Planning and Budget Team, which makes recommendations on which programs should be reviewed for cuts, haphazardly chose some of the programs to review without much consideration.

Start discussing budget cuts in your classes and with your professors.

For example, badminton was put under review for cuts after barely a minute of discussion at the end of an Internal Planning and Budget Team meeting on May 15. All the languages under review were thrown in during the last five minutes of that meeting after more than an hour of discussing sports. The team made rushed decisions with huge impact, without students and faculty from the departments at the meetings.

De Anza has a bottom line to make almost $6 million in cuts within the next year and a half. If you want to input your thoughts, show up at DASB Senate, Academic Senate and other shared governance meetings.

Start discussing cuts in your classes and with your professors. Go online and read through the minutes of the governance committees.

Over the past two weeks, La Voz News posted short documentaries to our YouTube channel allowing students and faculty in programs under review to talk about why their programs are important. We have made videos about the dance and photography programs and the Red Wheelbarrow poetry magazine, and will continue to release more.

Through our coverage of the cuts and official De Anza resources, you can stay informed. If you put in the effort to know what the district is doing to our programs, you will have the power to defend programs that are important to you.