On Sept. 28, Associated Students of Riverside City College held an open forum discussing what would happen if prop 30 fails and what should be done if “Plan B” must be implemented.
Following a brief introduction by Doug Figueroa, Rhonda Taube, instructor of the art and representative of the teachers association, explained the differences between proposition 30, 32 and 38 urging students to vote for proposition 30.
“You have to get the word out that it’s yes on 30, no on 32, and no on 38,” Taube said. “We have to do what we can to make sure that prop 30 doesn’t fail… If you can get your friends, if you can get your parents, if you can get your relatives, anybody you know to vote yes on 30.”
If proposition 30 fails, then the school will have to implement an $8.2 million trigger cut that is the focus on plan B. However, if proposition 30 does pass, further cuts will not be implemented as long as the income tax increase on those who make more than $250,000 and the quarter of a cent sales tax brings in the anticipated revenue.
“What the district is proposing is closing one of the intercessions, either winter or summer, and we think that is unacceptable,” Taube said. “That is going to cause entire programs to shut down, it’s going to back you up and jam you up even more when you’re trying to transfer.”
If the district cuts one of the intercessions it will save $5 million but there is still $3.2 million deficit.
“The district has said we, [the district], will absorb $1 million of that,” Taube said. “They have yet to take a cut yet… What we would like to do as the faculty union, what we are proposing is that there are many alternatives which the district will not look at.”
Among these cuts which the faculty union is proposing is funding for the Riverside school of the arts, now known as the Coil School of the Arts, which Rhonda said isn’t serving classes yet. Another cut the union is proposing is to cut the Ben Clark Training Center which they believe the county should take over.
In order for the district to serve the students best interest, Taube urges students to voice their opinions.
“The one thing you can really do is to present a unified voice at board meetings,” she said. “Board meetings are something that are so important that our board of trustees hear from you, your individual voices, and I think it’s crucial that you form this unified voice.”
For their part, ASRCC is attempting to help unify that voice and bring as much of the student body together to present ideas to the board of trustees on what should be cut, what shouldn’t be cut and what other sources of revenues should the district and colleges look at.
“This is just the beginning of the student voice,” Figueroa said. “This is where we start doing our brainstorming the next step is putting this all together and then communicating to our district to our board of trustee members.”
Cutting summer and winter sessions will be a “quick solution” according to Figueroa but “we think different.”
After splitting up the crowd into small groups, students were asked to brainstorm and present ideas as to what the district could do differently to best serve the students.
The area which students did not want to cut included summer and winter sessions, childcare services, disability services and class sections.
Students preferred to cut cost from the top down including getting rid of the cell phone stipend for administration, raising the co-pay of health benefits from zero dollars to ten dollars and requiring the district do business on campus rather than leasing the office space in downtown riverside which RCCD uses.
Among the most innovative solutions to produce revenue for the school and district were to lease space for food vendors, lease out parts of the school for special events and get rid of the alcohol ban on campus.
“Leave your legacy,” Figueroa said. “What I’m hearing most from the students and what I will take away from this and tell the board is to cut from the top down and to not let the district impact students ability to attend college.”