At the April 30 Las Positas College Student Senate meeting, a $6,000 donation from Student Government was approved, with funds benefitting the LPC Financial Aid Office, Library and Tutoring Center, each receiving $2,000. While this is a noble gesture, was it correct?
Due to grievances from students about a lack of available tutors in many subjects, the Tutoring Center hopes to fix that by hiring more tutors with the donation money. The additional funds will benefit all students who take advantage of the Tutoring Center, but will it be enough considering the cost of paying those tutors? Assuming tutors are paid $15 an hour which may be low, $2,000 only will cover 133 hours of tutoring, less if higher than $15. Is this enough?
It was not discussed what the intent of the $2,000 donation to the Financial Aid Office and Library is. I assume it is up to Financial Aid and the Library to decide what to do with the donation.
I think more research should’ve been done on things such as whether or not the Financial Aid Office or Library even need more money, prior to making these donations. What are their biggest needs right now?
Can Financial Aid use these funds to give out scholarships, emergency grants and loans, or would that be considered a violation of the rule that prohibits the benefitting of a single student? Student Funds cannot be used to benefit a single student, for example Student Government can’t give funds to any particular student no matter their hardship per the previous Director of Student Equity and Success, Nessa Julian. What is Financial Aid’s biggest need?
Does the library need more laptops and WiFi hotspots? An inexpensive laptop is $300, a hotspot about $200. A couple of laptops and hotspots with service will rapidly deplete those funds.
How does this donation tie in with the $1.4 million LPC is receiving from the CARES Act? Perhaps finding out their needs prior to giving out money would have been more helpful.
The donation of $2,000 is not a lot of money, particularly when compared to the $30,000 budget surplus Student Government had this year alone. Funds have also been budgeted for some things such as graduation, but aren’t being spent due to campus shutdown.
Perhaps finding out the specific needs and calculating the budget to meet those needs would have been more financially responsible.
During the transition to online learning and campus shutdown due to the COVID-19 crisis, I am sure that additional funds are needed to assist students. The Student Senate needs to be smart about where the money is most needed and how much is spent.
Alan Lewis is the photo editor of The Express. Follow him @alolewis1.