SBCC Foundation CEO Geoff Green’s comments regarding housing issues facing SBCC students bear some examination. Most importantly one needs to ask how many of the poorly unhoused students are local?
I have previously expressed my support for the proposed legislation allowing community college students who sleep in vehicles to do so in community college campus parking lots where they would be more secure and have access to bathrooms and showers under existing laws. Almost certainly this population is small and transient. But the idea lurking behind Mr. Green’s proposal seems to be in sync with the recurring drumbeat of demand for either dorms or mega student apartment complexes on or near the campus.
Santa Barbara voters have rejected the idea of such an expansion of our community college. They want it kept as a local resource, not expanded into a student tourist destination. When the previous SBCC administration attempted to ignore this with the proposed Measure S it was rebuffed.
We must not let the advocates of such policies come in through the side door of alleged concern about the very few. SBCC needs to be kept as a community resource and sized to the needs of our community.
Of course, real estate speculators will continue to do their best to trick us to their economic advantage and our quality of life disadvantage. Just know what they are up to and say no.