Chancellor Judy Miner and Vice Chancellor Susan Cheu allocated $200 million to employee and student housing insecurity, discussing the decision in an informational meeting on Feb. 23.
This money comes from the $898 million Measure G Bond, which provides school funds to upgrade student facilities.
“This provides a huge opportunity for us,” Cheu said. “There are limitations to what we can do with this (Measure G) money. And that does put some parameters around what direction we can move in.”
Many care about this. A survey reported that about two thirds of students are interested in community-based affordable housing.
Kimberly Lam, De Anza Student Body Chair of Student Rights and Services, said that she thinks shared governance groups should get involved.
“I definitely think there needs to be a shared governance process to figure out affordable housing,” said Lam, a 19-year-old political science major. “I know that there are concerns about a shared governance process taking too long. But if we have an expedited governance or task force, I think that that is more than possible to achieve.”
Luke Makinson, a 17-year-old film, television, electronic media, and marketing management major, said that discussing these issues is a start.
“Having meetings like that, in general, is a good thing,” Makinson said. “Being able to voice our opinions as students, faculty, and community members is a good thing.”
Makinson added that he appreciates that the meeting allowed people to ask questions about how faculty can make concrete decisions.
“A lot of people, including myself, were attempting to ask questions on what the next step is,” Makinson said. “For instance, voting on something, getting anything going.”
Jeffrey Kasprow, 31, political science major, also said he enjoyed the discussion.
“The school did offer an opportunity to voice our opinions,” Kasprow said. “Because this is a big and important project, and we want to make sure it’s done right. Dialogue is very important for all parties involved.”
Lam added that she was grateful for simply having a meeting.
“I’m really thankful there was an informational session on housing,” she said. “I think we’ve been really waiting to have these meetings for a long time.”
But the discussion should end there, Lam argued.
“I definitely don’t think these decisions should just be made from the college leadership,” Lam said. “Students, faculty and staff need to be involved.”