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Perspective: How to spend Cuesta College’s $9 million surplus

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With a $9 million surplus, what should be added or improved on the Cuesta campus?
Photo by Sara VanderPoel/Cuesta Student


Collected by Sara VanderPoel
Special Contributor
Journalism 201A

This year Cuesta College has a good problem: How to spend $9 million?

Students can learn a lot about their college if they attend a board meeting, yet many aren’t even aware of the fact that they can sit in on them. Cuesta College officials reported at the Oct. 4 Board of Trustees meeting that the campus has close to a $9 million surplus.

Cuesta College has university level education for a community college. What it lacks is the university level amenities for its students and faculty, according to students.

Every student likes to believe that their college is the greatest, here are some things that Cuesta students would like to see done with the extra cash that’s laying around:

Water Bottle Stations
Gone is the day where students sit in line and count to three waiting for their turn at the drinking fountain. Just about everyone who cares about the environment uses reusable water bottles like S’well bottles and Hydro Flasks. A water bottle station would save Cuesta water and money by reducing the amount of excess water that goes down the drain when using a drinking fountain.

“The water fountains are gross and moldy, and when I try to fill up my water bottle at them most of the water goes down the drain and not in the bottle,” said Abigail Williams, a third year Cuesta student.

A Recreational Pool
Students in San Luis Obispo couldn’t ask for better weather. The spending of the surplus money, along with money from donors, could go towards the project of building a recreational pool for students and staff members.

“I would like to see a pool at Cuesta,” said Kaylee Brooks a third year Cuesta student. “Not only would it make me enjoy the campus more but it would also create possible jobs for students. I wouldn’t mind even paying for a membership, it would be nice to use when I have an hour or two in between classes.”

More food options on campus
Colleges all around have Subways, Chick-fil-a, and even college based dining options on campus. An easy way to incorporate a healthier dining option would be an acai bowl and smoothie place. Not only would Cuesta be promoting a healthy lifestyle, but also supporting local fruit growers.

“I would love if we had an acai bowl place on campus,” said Ella Yates a second year Cuesta student. “I usually drive off campus for lunch because the bookstore has limited and mainly unhealthy options. I didn’t even know we had a cafeteria.”

Rental Shop
San Luis Obispo has so many things to offer its residents. Beautiful hiking trails, good surfing, and even cool trails to take your bike on. What Cuesta doesn’t offer is a rental shop for students to enjoy some of those cool adventures with a cheaper price tag.

“A lot of my Cal Poly friends go surfing all the time and just rent the equipment from the Rental Store on Cal Poly’s campus,” said Kent Norman a second year Cuesta student. “It would be cool if Cuesta had one of those so that I could go with them.”

More class options
In an agricultural based area many students would like to see some more improvement in the classes in the ag department. In order for such classes to be relevant Cuesta could plant some trees, grow crops, and raise cattle.

“I’m trying to transfer into the plant science major at Cal Poly and they want me to have some agricultural based courses that aren’t offered at Cuesta,” said Chase Margosian, a second year Cuesta student. “It would be nice if Cuesta had more classes that appealed to the ag-related majors for students trying to transfer in those majors.”