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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

ASG makes steps toward more EBT availability throughout SBCC campus

Claire Geriak
Standing from left, Bryan Wong, Huy Dinh, Elena Fuentes, Soph Kofed, Anastasia Savonov, and Libby Wilmer, sitting, serve as the 2023-2024 Associated Student Government on Friday, Sept. 8 in Santa Barbara, Calif. As the first weeks of school begin to roll in, ASG looks forward to adding members to this years board.

City College’s Associated Student Government reconvened for their first meeting of the 2023 school year with the introduction of a new executive board and the initiation of a new committee to launch an EBT program for students.

Electronic benefit transfer, or EBT for short, is a system that allows both federal and state governments to supply low income individuals with access to fresh food. This system has been established in grocery stores, gas stations, and participating restaurants. 

In the councils’ first meeting on Friday, Sept. 8, Student Advocate Elena Fuentes voiced her concern for the health and well being of City College students who rely on EBT cards to purchase their meals. 

“It is ridiculous, they can’t buy food on campus as of now,” Fuentes said. “You need to be able to fuel your mind and body in order to succeed.”

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Last year, Fuentes attempted to initiate a plan to instate POS, or Point of Sale, equipment in both the cafeteria and bookstore specifically designed to accept EBT transactions. The motion was halted when the City College asserted that there were “infrastructure issues.”

Fuentes argued that the lack of access to fresh food on campus for low-income students negatively sets low-income students apart from their peers when it comes to their health. 

“This year I’m trying again,” Fuentes said to the ASG executives, “Does anybody want to second this motion?” 

With support from the board, Fuentes created a new committee dedicated to introducing EBT operating systems to the City College. Fuentes plans to coordinate with City College directors and enact this plan as soon as possible. She aims to model other schools in California such as Ventura College and Oxnard College who have already successfully implemented EBT programs.

In a closing note, president of the ASG, Libby Wilmer announced that commissioner roles still desperately need to be filled. The application to join ASG will stay open until Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 4 p.m. Students can find sign up information posted around campus on flyers or in their pipeline email. 

“It’s a lot of fun, I love it,” Fuentes remarked regarding the ASG. 

The student advocate emphasized that the main goal of ASG is to, “create an environment that is inclusive and supportive for all students.”

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