New UCSC student body president Alfredo Gama Salmeron stands in front of Stevenson House 7 on campus.
New UCSC student body president Alfredo Gama Salmeron stands in front of Stevenson House 7 on campus.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Big questions in education, student revolt at UCSC & Measures N and O

Hello again, dear readers. It’s Wednesday, Oct. 19, and after that long overcast stretch last week, Santa Cruz County is in for another toasty day, with highs in the 80s and 90s before cooler temperatures return as we head into the weekend.

If you’re already warmed up and ready to explore Lookout on your own, here’s a roadmap.
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The temperature was elevated on the UC Santa Cruz campus Tuesday night, Hillary Ojeda reports, as Student Union Assembly officials pushed for a vote of no confidence against student body president Alfredo Gama Salmeron. Gama Salmeron, facing accusations including poor management and “harmful language,” has apologized and says he’ll remain in the role.

Also new this morning is the first installment of a series from Hillary on the big issues confronting local schools as we head toward an election with a number of education measures on the ballot around Santa Cruz County, in addition to races for local school boards. Key among those issues, as you might expect, is teacher retention and staff pay.

Wallace Baine is along, too, catching up with UCSC professor emerita Bettina Aptheker on her new book, “Communists in Closets” — a history friends have told her she was uniquely qualified to write.

On the politics front, meanwhile, we have analysis and video from this week’s Lookout forum that put Santa Cruz city propositions Measure N and Measure O in the spotlight, so keep reading to find that — and register here for Monday’s final forum, a free event at Hotel Paradox or virtually via Zoom featuring candidates for state Assembly District 28 and Santa Cruz City Council.

Another packed set of headlines also includes the latest in food and drink news from Lily Belli, so time to get down to brass tacks.

The five biggest issues confronting public education in Santa Cruz County

Soquel High School math teacher Katrina Del Carlo chats with freshman Leslie Ruiz Vega
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

As voters head to the polls to decide on school board candidates and school bonds, what are the concerns those in the school system — students, teachers, administrators and parents — have? We talked to more than two dozen of them. Read the first part of Hillary Ojeda’s series here.

FROM AUGUST: Affordability, teacher housing, student well-being: Superintendent outlines county’s top challenges (Lookout)

Revolt against UC Santa Cruz student body president builds

An Instagram post from UCSC Student Union Assembly President Alfredo Gama Salmeron
(Via UCSC Student Union Assembly / Instagram)

In a chaotic Student Union Assembly meeting held late into Tuesday evening, SUA officers pushed forward a no-confidence vote against recently elected president Alfredo Gama Salmeron. The accusations: delays in student organization funding, “harmful language,” “massive retaliation” and more. Gama Salmeron apologized — and pledged to stay on the job. Hillary has details.

GAMA SALMERON Q&A: ‘Care over profits’: UCSC student body prez organizing to elevate student voice


liz lawler for state assembly email ad

Santa Cruz County Job Board

A packed slate as usual, with more on the way. Follow Lookout on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay abreast of goings-on around Santa Cruz County, and click here to sign up for breaking news alerts and all of our other newsletters.

Community support is the backbone of everything we do here at Lookout — so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member. And to our members, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Hydrate, motivate, dominate — that’s how I’m rolling this Wednesday. Let’s get after it!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz