.Cabrillo name change: division precedes decision

Debate continues as August 7 reveal nears

The final community forum discussing the renaming of Cabrillo College was held via Zoom on Wednesday night. Opinions remained split over every aspect of the issue.

As at previous gatherings, some in attendance remarked that the stages of the process lacked transparency, while others insisted that they were kept well-informed and pointed out that the debate has been ongoing for three years.

Some felt that the timing of the process, which has spanned across the COVID lockdown and winter floods, hindered fair and full involvement of the community.

Kristin Fabos, Cabrillo’s Public Information Officer, said that the community forums were announced in emails, published in the media and posted on Cabrillo’s social media sites.

The nature of the name selection committee was also questioned, as was the lack of a county-wide vote on the matter.

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Cabrillo President Matt Wetstein assured the process was as fair and democratic as possible within the framework of a diverse, volunteer committee. He said that other suggested ways to involve greater participation, from scientific polling to a formal ballot-casting, were cost prohibitive.

Still, many remained unconvinced.

John Govsky, Enrique Buelna of the Cabrillo Hispanic Affairs Council and Martin Garcia, a member of the name selection committee, are all instructors at Cabrillo and were participants in the original petition to change the name. All three defended the process and insisted that Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s participation in violent conquest and colonial expansion necessitated the institution’s name change.

Opponents of the name change pointed to the cost involved and ambiguous clear plans to address the concerns of Native Americans going forward as reasons to find another solution.

The Governing Board of Trustees will announce their choice for Cabrillo’s new name at a meeting on Aug. 7.

The public is invited to attend the meeting.

Questions  and comments in advance of the meeting can be emailed to Ronnette Smithcamp, Executive Assistant to the Governing Board of Trustees at: rosmithc@cabrillo.edu

If you go:

Where: Cabrillo College Aptos Campus
6500 Soquel Drive, Horticulture Building (see map)
(moved from Watsonville to increase seating capacity)
When: Aug. 7, 6:00 pm


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