APTOS, Calif. (KION-TV): The Cabrillo College Governing Board voted Monday night 6-1 to push off a decision on renaming the college for the next 5 years or possibly longer.
Cabrillo College staff is focused on finding solutions for current issues at the school before any discussion surrounding the selection of a new name. It's a moment to self-reflect before a new identity.
"What we want to do is give people an opportunity to look at the full breadth of what was brought to us in July 2020," said Adam Spickler, Cabrillo College Trustee and member of the Name Exploration Subcommittee. “Which talked about not only the harms of the name as it is for some members of the community, but the many ways which we can improve, how we, as a college, do our work within native-indigenous communities.”
Cabrillo's College Governing Board pushed back the decision to rename the college because of two main factors. They want more community engagement and they want to focus on creating resources to support their Native American and indigenous students.
"Establishing an indigenous and Natin-American faculty position, scholarships for students majoring in indigenous & Native American studies," said Spickler, Cabrillo College Trustee and member of the Name Exploration Subcommittee. "They would all be tied to establishing or really get fully established in a multicultural center for the college."
Staff said the name of the college has ties to conquistadors. The college is named after Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who was a Spanish explorer.
Cabrillo's college staff said Native American and indigenous students and other minorities do not want a name that honors the horrors of colonization.
"That's a dissemination of their ancestors," said Spickler, Cabrillo College Trustee and member of the Name Exploration subcommittee, "And to have a college in your community, as a community member, and I would assume, more so as a student or an employee at a college named after this historic figure that did these wrongs to your ancestors, there is a historic trauma there."
That is why their goal is to engage with the community when they decide to re-look at the possibility of renaming the college.
Cabrillo's college Name Exploration subcommittee said in order to have resources for their Native American and indigenous students, they would need help from their faculty senate.