The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Burritos and the Brown Act: The Student Senate must get serious

The Channels Opinion Pages | EDITORIAL

Two hours without food seems like a manageable amount of time, right? 

Not to the Associated Student Government, which spent over $4,000 on food alone over the course of the fall 2019 semester. On average, $300 a week is spent on catering outside food. All of this money comes out of the student representation fee, a fee all City College students must pay in addition to tuition. 

The Channels Editorial Board believes that spending hundreds of dollars a month on catered food is a substantial waste of money, especially when the campus cafeteria is less than 100 feet away from the senate’s meeting place. 

When asked about why the senate neglects to order from the on-campus food services provided, Student Trustee Kenny Igbechi said that City College cafeteria food was boring and that it was more expensive than ordering off-campus, which is untrue. 

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A classic chicken burrito from Rudy’s Mexican Restaurant, one of the senate’s regular caterers,  costs $12.50. A chicken burrito from City College’s East Campus cafeteria is $6.50.

This isn’t factoring in an average delivery cost of $5.99 from the online catering service Doordash, either. 

Not to mention, it’s wasteful. The senators often adjourn their meetings leaving an outstanding amount of leftover food.

We believe this attitude comes from a disconnection between the senate and the student body.

It is a gross disregard for the culinary services offered on campus and an insult to the students and staff working in the school’s kitchens.

The student government’s attitude towards spending money is disconcerting, especially when the college is operating in a $4.3 million deficit.

If the senators are encouraged to spend all the money in their meeting expenses fund and are consistently left with a surplus, why not lower the budget for each meeting? 

The Channels believes it is arrogant and entitled to treat funds paid for by the student body as a personal bank account, and that allocated meeting funds can be spent elsewhere. 

We believe that the student body would be outraged if they knew that they were paying for student senators’ excessive breakfasts. The fee generated $130,000 for the student government for the 2019-2020 school year. 

In a professional meeting, this kind of behavior would be unacceptable. City College’s other government bodies conduct regularly scheduled meetings sans breakfast food.

Around campus, the student government isn’t taken seriously, as evidenced by the lack of people interested in running for the seats. 

The senate neglects to post physical copies of its agendas, which is a direct violation of the Brown Act. The only real action the senate seems to take is throwing money at clubs instead of bringing speakers to campus or hosting regular student events. 

It is apparent that the Associated Student Government lacks leadership and direction, which is unfortunate for a City College with such a prized reputation. 

The Channels Editorial Board believes having a student government representative of the student body is of utmost importance.

At a time of extreme food insecurity at City College and statewide, catered, costly meals funded by the student body is entirely inappropriate. 

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