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OP-ED: There shouldn’t be starving college students

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Over the last few months, Sacramento has agreed to pass many bills into law that greatly assist federally funded educational institutions. With the passage of Proposition 30, the California Community College system was given a better chance of keeping its 112 community colleges’ doors open across the state, and students were given more access to the more affordable education that community colleges offer.

Now, another bill is coming up for consideration from Sacramento. AB832, presented by Assembly member Shirley Webber, would grant even more access to students in the California higher education system. The bill proposes that all Universities of California, California State Universities, and California Community Colleges should accept electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards on their campuses to provide better services for students.

If the bill passes, thousands of college students who use EBT will be able to get their food with better accessibility on all state-funded campuses.

And why wouldn’t people want this bill to pass?

If a state funded institution doesn’t accept other government funded programs, there is a problem with the system itself. This is true especially at the community college level, where students are granted a better chance at getting what they need to move forward in life, and everything is much more accessible and affordable. Their meals should be more affordable, too.

Webber’s bill explains the increase in EBT usage has gone up over 24 percent in the last five years. College students are part of this increase as well.

A high increase of college students using EBT has been happening for the last few years, mainly because of the recession the country is slowly getting out of, according an article in the Washington Post.

Since last year, however, there has been much more hope for CCCs, with more students flooding to them like ever before (over 2.3 million to be exact). This gives community colleges like PCC the chance to increase their Full Time Equivalent Student (FTES) load, the unit measurement calculated to see how much state funding a school will get.

It would almost seem cruel to turn down an offer to assist those with a government-funded program who are helping the college get funding itself.

Public Relations Director Valerie Wardlaw explained the administration would be meeting with the Associated Students to come to a formal position on the bill. Let’s hope the college comes to a strong position of aiding those who aid them.

Sources:

  1. http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB832
  2. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/therootdc/post/food-stamps-once-associated-with-the-poor-now-commonly-used-among-college-students/2012/11/05/36971aee-275f-11e2-b4f2-8320a9f00869_blog.html
  3. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/14251c3451676eae
  4. http://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/PolicyInAction/KeyFacts.aspx
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One Response to “OP-ED: There shouldn’t be starving college students”

  1. susieq says:

    It will be interesting if this bill passes because it would not mean that all students who are on EBT would be able to get a meal from the Piazza. Most people on EBT can get cold food from grocery stores and convenient stores like CVS but are not eligible to get meals from restaurants or what is considered hot meals unless they are homeless, a senior or disabled.. I am wondering are the people trying to pass this bill also trying to change DPSS (Department of Social Services, who distributes food stamps) rules or are they fine with most students being able to just get premade salads and yogurt?

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