Letter from the AS President (March 8)

By Lauren McClain
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AS President Lauren McClain.

Hey Otters!

It is crazy to think Spring Break is right around the corner! However, we have to remain productive in the meantime. As of March 6, the Associated Students (AS) campaign season is underway. This is the time to support your friends and/or peers for the next year of leadership in AS.

Recently, we found out some things that concern us about the welfare of students on campus in regards to food insecurity.

The Chancellor’s Office released the Report on California State University (CSU) Actions to Support Students Facing Food and Housing Insecurity. The report states, “In 2015, CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White commissioned a snapshot study, Serving Displaced and Food Insecure Students in the CSU, to gain a clearer picture of the prevalence of food and housing insecurity on campus. The study results highlighted that far too many students struggle with food and housing insecurity.”

We learned from the survey on our campus that half of the students that responded reported low food security, or very low food security. The reality of this is that low food insecurity impacts students’ grade point averages. Students who reported higher food security turned out to have higher grade point averages than students who face food insecurity. Here at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB), we take food insecurity seriously. We have a plan that we hope will improve this issue.

Our first leg of our plan revolves around transportation. We have mentioned before that we are planning on providing a Farmer’s Market to campus that will potentially be launched in Fall, 2018. The next part of this is keeping the free bus system: maintaining a free bus system by finding a way to institutionalize funding for the MST contract that does not rely on student fees. We also have the Otter Snacks Map. This map was created to increase awareness, and encourage healthy food options by giving students access to a quick and easy reference of local resources (csumb.edu/sustainability/food). As far as resource awareness, we are planning on creating a webpage that supplies public information on organizations such as CalFresh, recipes, the food pantry, etc.

The last portion of our plan is to secure a permanent location for the AS Food Pantry. Long-term staffing for the food pantry will then be established by the future Basic Needs senator.

Stay strong, Otters! Spring Break is just days away. We can do it! Don’t forget you can always reach out to me with questions, concerns, or ideas.

Best,

Lauren McClain
AS President
president@ascsumb.org
Student Center, Room 125

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