Fliers question proposed BC housing before midterms

Anthony Vasquez, Editor-in-chief

During the events of the 2022 Midterm elections, a dispute between BC faculty occurred over the coalition for housing security for students. 

During the recent disputes, fliers were distributed around the neighborhoods near the main campus which included some negative remarks against the plan. The flier presents a picture of a run-down apartment complex, a title that states “Bakersfield College is building LOW INCOME HOUSING next to your home,” which is then followed by a statement that says “220 beds for low income residents (not student dorms).”

The flier also claims that the student housing is a current plan that is under the current KCCD Chancellor Sonya Christain, dubbing it the “Sonya Christain Projects.”

 Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg was also negatively called out on the flier by mentioning her support of the project, “This Project is supported by your KCCD Board Area 3 Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzenberg. Good luck changing her mind.” The statement views her support in a negative way through the fact that they are falsely presenting the project to be something that could be a harm to the neighborhood. 

A bullet list of negative aspects of the idea is also in the flier. A few of them include:

  • “loud Parties”
  • “safety issues”
  • “crime”
  • “crowded daily parking issues”
  • “overflow of parking for events”
  • “decrease in property values”

Communications professor, Christine Cruz-Boone stated in a press release that was sent out on Nov. 7, “Bringing back the residence halls to BC appeared to be supported by the Bakersfield community until the appearance of the inflammatory flyers this weekend.” Cruz-Boone also included a statement made by English Professor Andrew Bond that stated his support for the project and for the students at BC, “fake news tactics like the ad circulated this weekend are all too common in the Central Valley and often students are cannon fodder for dirty political tactics, but we want them to know their teachers stand with them.”

When asked about what the goals are for promoting the student housing projects, and the support that they have so far received, Cruz-Boone stated, “Our long term goal is to help people understand why BC students need access to housing security. Our short term goal is to counter any misinformation about student centered development at our college. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and we have become a great hub for sharing questions and information about why dorms are a huge gain for our students and community”