The football field at Cabrillo College
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Cabrillo College

Cabrillo College trustees set to vote on delaying renaming plans until at least November

A subcommittee is recommending that the Cabrillo College board of trustees delay its previously scheduled Aug. 7 vote to select a new name for the college. After listening to community feedback and hearing concerns of a community task force, the subcommittee says the board should give it more time “to engage the wider community on a naming timeline and process that unifies rather than divides the greater college community.” The subcommittee intends to return to the board with a recommended course of action by Nov. 6.

Cabrillo College’s name change subcommittee is recommending the school’s board of trustees delay the selection of a new name at its meeting Monday, according to a meeting agenda released Thursday.

Previously, the board voted in November to select a new name for the college at its upcoming Aug. 7 meeting. However, a recommendation from a subcommittee of the board says it believes the board should defer until the subcommittee provides a new proposed action by Nov. 6.

The Name Exploration Subcommittee, which includes trustees Christina Cuevas and Adam Spickler, says after assessing community feedback, it believes delaying the name selection will allow the subcommittee time to “explore options for and recommend how we better gauge and engage the wider community on a naming timeline and process that unifies rather than divides the greater college community.”

In the report, the subcommittee mentions that a majority of members of the Name Selection Task Force — a 24-member community group tasked this spring with narrowing the list of 350 suggested names down to five — supported changing the name, but not now.

“They believe careful consideration of when and how to proceed is needed,” the report reads.

The board of trustees will discuss the subcommittee’s recommendation and make a decision about delaying the name change during its Monday meeting, scheduled for 6:15 p.m. at the Horticulture Center on the Aptos campus.

The subcommittee report, which was released Thursday afternoon with the agenda for the board’s Monday meeting, describes several reasons the Name Selection Task Force thinks delaying the vote is necessary. The task force expressed these concerns with the subcommittee during a July 28 meeting.

The Cabrillo College campus in Aptos

If You Go

Cabrillo College governing board meeting

When: Monday, Aug. 7, 6:15 p.m.
Location: Cabrillo College Horticulture Center, 6500 Soquel Dr., Aptos
Parking is free.

“The robust conversation revealed that some members were surprised and dismayed by the divisions that exist among segments of the larger community that became apparent through the survey responses,” the report reads, “and by recent media coverage and email messages sent to the college revealing strong opposition to the proposed names and the name change decision.”

In addition, the members said they had concerns including the “perceived absence” of student engagement in the process, moving forward without funding for the costs of changing the name and the lack of scientific polling to examine the community’s opinion.

“A majority of Task Force members voiced support for pursuing a name change for the college, albeit not now,” the report reads.

The Name Selection Task Force narrowed the candidates for new college names down to five: Aptos, Cajastaca, Costa Vista, Santa Cruz Coast, and Seacliff.

The community was then invited to respond to an online survey to rank its favorites and also was invited to attend in-person and virtual forums to discuss the options. Of the more than 1,300 responses to the web-based survey that asked for a top-three ranking, the most preferred name was Aptos, then Seacliff and Costa Vista.

“Aptos was favored across virtually every demographic group identified in the survey, although among student respondents, Costa Vista was the preferred name, particularly among Hispanic students,” according to agenda documents. “Even so, 22% of the people who completed the survey mentioned their desire to keep the name of Cabrillo in open-ended comments.”

The board is slated to hear the subcommittee’s update, discuss its recommendation and then vote on delaying the name selection during Monday’s meeting.

Have something to say? Lookout welcomes letters to the editor, within our policies, from readers. Guidelines here.