Two months after the Cabrillo College Board of Trustees approved a plan to rename the institution, it is seeking proposals from the public. The decision to change the name came after several meetings and public forums that involved delving deep into the history of its namesake, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, and his nefarious acts.
Efforts to rename the college began in 2021, joining the nationwide trend of institutions and businesses scrutinizing the history of their namesakes. In November, the Trustees voted 6-1 to rename the college by August 2023, with the new name taking effect by July 1, 2024.
Cabrillo was a Spanish explorer who came to the California Coast around 1542. During his explorations, he brutalized and subjugated the Amah Mutsun people already living in California. He became one of many Europeans whose exploits made their way into the history books but whose misdeeds were whitewashed, and accomplishments inflated.
The college is also looking to form a 25-member task force to help narrow the list of suggested names. The group will meet five times during the spring semester, from noon to 1:30pm starting on March 10.
“I’m happy to now be in this ideation phase of the process,” Board Chair Adam Spickler says. “Recognizing that the Board of Trustees has the final authority to select the college’s new name, the role of the Task Force will be to help the Board identify finalists for a name that will inspire a renewed sense of unity and support for our beloved college.”
The survey is open to the public through Feb. 22. College officials say the new name should reflect the college’s mission, values and community. The college said in a press release that it should not be named after a person.
To participate, visit bit.ly/3HelP9Q