By Brittany Lieberman / Co-News Editor
The hot topic at the Monday Sept. 23 ASB Cabinet meeting was the controversial Assembly Bill 955.
If passed AB 955 will offer Winter and Summer classes for students who have difficulty getting classes during Fall and Spring semesters, but may cost anywhere from $220-250 per unit.
Newly inducted ASB Vice President Ashley Smith said, “Not one student I know was enthusiastic about AB 955. Realistically most of us work and have bills. This can be detrimental to our pocketbooks.”
LBCC President Eloy Oakley explained at the meeting what the bill means. “Students will be able to add classes during Winter and Summer sessions at a higher rate, benefitting students who want to finish and transfer now, rather than perhaps spend another year at LBCC.”
Oakley explained the potentials of high priced intersession classes. “I, like you, went to Community College and had to foot the bill. I’m tired of seeing students being turned away by the thousands because of the lack of state funding. This will only add classes during a time when we normally do not have classes. Students have the choice to take them or not.”
Oakley said it is the bill must include student grants and scholarships paid for by the LBCC Foundation. Low-income students who benefit from the Board of Governors Waiver will have a third of the cost covered during the intersessions. “LBCC will still be one of the most low-cost Community Colleges in the nation,” Oakley said.
ASB Rep. of Arts Jalisa Garcia said, “I feel this bill is good because it offers a more expansive alternative, compared to something like a trade school, which can be extremely expensive. I fully support this bill.”
A split ASB Cabinet voted 4-4 and failed to form a consensus on the bill to present to the Board of Trustees. Oakley said the ultimate decision to pass or deny AB 955 lies with the Board of Trustees, none of whom oppose the bill. Students will know if the bill was passed or denied about mid-October, Oakley said.
If passed, the bill will last five years or until the colleges no longer see a high demand for Fall and Spring semester classes. Oakley added, “There were 9,000 students waitlisted during Summer 2013. If we do nothing, nothing will happen, but if we do something, some students will have that opportunity.”