By Arleeny Escarcega
Administration officials have been forced to host high school outreach programs off campus after student leaders opposed use of The Spot at a meeting in late March.
“Students feel very passionate about [the Spot]. All of the safe places students have on campus are being depleted and this is one of them. It has been continuously closed down,” said Luis Mejia, chair of the Spot Committee.
A petition started by the Spot Committee last week to show how important the Spot is to current students collected over five hundred signatures.
Renovations on campus, especially the removal of trees in front of the C-Building and Dunlap Hall, have made it harder for students to find a place to relax in between classes and for administrators to host events.
The Johnson Building will be closed for renovations for two to three years. The Spot will be located in The Village, in a much smaller room, although it will have newer, state-of-the-art facilities.
“The Johnson Center has always been the center of our campus; now it won’t be,” said Lilia M. Tanakeyowma, Dean of Student Affairs.
Every spring high school seniors who have applied to Santa Ana College are brought on campus for Early Decision Registration. They are brought on for orientation, advisement, academic planning, and enrollment.
“When high school students come to the Santa Ana College campus, they should be able to see all of the perks of being a student at Santa Ana College and a perk of being a student here is that we have a place called the spot where students can relax,” said Kyle Ryan, a sociology major at SAC.
Tanakeyowma came up with the idea of using The Spot for the orientations. This would have meant it would have been closed off to current students for about a month and student workers would be placed elsewhere. To offset this, Tanakeyowma proposed to compensate ASG and the Spot Committee for their sacrifice with money that could be used to take care of money made off of the games, buy new equipment, and for the student wages.
Regulars of The Spot voiced their concerns at an Associated Student Government meeting March. Many students are on campus all day and go to the Spot to hang out in between classes.
“This is where I come when I have spare time , to do homework or just hang out and if it’s closed down, I wouldn’t know where to go. In the library, you have to be very quiet and I have a very loud voice so it’s kind of hard,” said Ashlie Navarro, a human development major.
Tanakeyowma made it clear before the Senate’s meeting that took place on March 22, that even if ASG voted against her request, administration would not take the Spot from the students.
“We’re going to have find out how we can get engaged the students that are here with the village. We’ll have lots of challenges, good opportunities to think of ways to engage students that maybe we haven’t done before,” said Tanakeyowma.