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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Competing interests at SBCC factor into controversy surrounding Antioch

The Board of Trustees sees Antioch University as a revenue source, but faculty members are concerned
Claire Geriak
The Interdisciplinary Center on SBCC’s campus hosts both City College and Antioch University classes. Created on Canva on Nov. 19.

The city of Santa Barbara has been a home to Antioch University, which has a number of campuses across the United States, since 1967. This year, their newly established presence on City College campus has been unwelcome to a number of community members. 

At the beginning of the fall 2023 semester, the Board of Trustees highlighted the terms, prices and more of a facilities usage agreement with Antioch from July 5 through Sept. 16, with an additional extension of the contract from Oct. 2 to Dec. 16.

During this time, Antioch will pay a total of $215, 820 in rental fees to use facilities including nine classrooms and four office spaces. As the term of the agreement nears its end, Antioch’s contract to remain on campus has yet to be renewed. 

The Board asserted that City College wants to use the revenue from Antioch’s rent to improve classroom technology in the Interdisciplinary Center, and as an alternate source of income for the college. 

In this time, faculty and staff in the IDC building have expressed concerns with this newly-shared facility, asserting that these problems could’ve been resolved if there was communication from the administration before the agreement was signed. City College faculty asserted that lack of communication caused many classes to be scrambled around and therefore affected City College students’ education.

Mathematics Professor Bronwen Moore emphasized that Antioch University has been using items such as chromebooks, dual projectors, furniture and more that were specifically purchased for City College students, simply because the classrooms containing this equipment have been occupied by Antioch. Moore goes on to explain how it feels like Antioch students have taken priority over City College students, though she hopes that this isn’t really the case.

Even while these concerns rise in the IDC, Antioch students have started to trickle over to the Luria Library, causing more confusion from faculty.

Because the Luria Library is a public institution, physical spaces in the library are available for anyone to use, regardless of whether they are a student or not. Outside of City College, people are able to apply to be a community borrower to check out items from the library. However, there have been counts of Antioch students looking for resources or using study rooms in the library, which caused some confusion with the staff. 

Library Department Chair Ellen Carey emphasizes that her main concerns with Antioch’s presence in the library is maintaining space and accessibility for City College students. 

“We care so much about providing the right resources for students,” Carey said, asserting that her and her staff’s top priority is asking themselves how this is going to affect students

Carey goes on to explain that a common issue has been miscommunication with students and professors at Antioch about what resources they can and cannot use, emphasizing that Antioch students have their own online library database. As many Antioch students are on track to receive a doctoral certificate, City College often doesn’t have the resources that Antioch students are looking for. 

Carey explains that all of the databases and resources at the Luria Library are carefully curated by librarians and teachers with specific attention paid to City College’s educational paths, not Antioch’s. 

As more faculty and staff have spoken up and held discussions with Antioch representatives about how to continue this collaboration more effectively, the City College community anticipates these problems resolving with more communication and collaboration from administrators.

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