Mt. SAC Departments May Rework Budgets In Pandemic

The Mt. SAC Academic Senate discussed possible budget evaluations facing a projection of a large state deficit

Academic+Senate+members+assemble+inside+Founders+Hall+%28This+photo+was+taken+before+the+college+closed+due+to+COVID-19%29.+Photo+Credit%3A+Hernandez+Coke%2FSAC.Media.

Academic Senate members assemble inside Founders Hall (This photo was taken before the college closed due to COVID-19). Photo Credit: Hernandez Coke/SAC.Media.

The Academic Senate met over Zoom for their regularly scheduled meeting on May 14 to discuss future plans for the college community during the ongoing pandemic.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced many schools to rethink their budgets for the academic year. Schools are now having to supply themselves with masks and gloves to allow for protection while at work. These items are necessary, but have an impact on a school’s budget.

During the meeting, a board member said, “[There is] a projection of a $54 billion deficit. Under that projection, that would mean funding for public schools and community colleges would fall by about 18 billion.”

Speakers urged departments to reevaluate their budgets and focus on essential items that are needed.

Due to low voter turnout, the executive board election was deemed invalid. Only 68 votes were present, while 75 are needed for the election to be approved.

“I’ve been trying to figure out ways to promote student voter turnout during the elections, especially when Mt. SAC has over 60,000 students enrolled for the school year,” Associated Students representative Amy Truong said. “On behalf of Associated Students, we would greatly appreciate it if staff and faculty can spread awareness of the special elections.”

A special election will now be held from May 25 through May 29, and students will be able to vote again through their portals.

Lavender Graduation is an annual event that recognizes and honors the accomplishments of graduating or transferring LGBTQ+ students. The Pride Center has cancelled the graduation and plans to move to a virtual format. Program director Melinda Bowen hopes to have a presentation completed soon.

To register for the Lavender Graduation, a form must be filled out.

Another service has been provided by the college called Virtual Vigil. The Mt. SAC community came together on May 19 at noon for a virtual vigil held on Zoom to honor all those students, staff and faculty members who have lost loved ones to COVID-19.

The college has transitioned many tutoring services online and provided resources for students. There are online workshops and face to face synchronous tutoring sessions. The online service is open Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The next Academic Senate meeting will be held May 28 at 11:30 a.m. via Zoom.