In the last spring semester 2017, it was brought to the attention of San Jose City’s Associated student government that the contract with San Jose State extending study hours would not be renewed. This decision applied to five community colleges who all paid $500 per semester to have extended hour access during midterm and final schedules of a given semester.
The explanation was vague and misleading. At the time it was said to have been a student conduct issue yet no student was mentioned nor was a specific school. Then it was a budget issue. The question then is why would you not charge enough to meet the budget when you have willing participants?
Associated Student Government led by President Iriana Luna at San Jose City College promptly addressed this issue by choosing to shift focus toward extending hours at their own Cesar Chavez Library as an alternative.
Presently, San Jose State states on the record that the decision not to renewal was a safety issue.
According to Patricia Harris, Media Relations Director, there is a guest pass system that allows a community college student access as a guest in the presence of his or her San Jose State student friend.
“SJSU student’s ID’s are swiped at the door and then checked against our database so it is possible to check our student’s status. There appears to be no way for SJSU to digitally authenticate community college student ID’s,” Harris said.
San Jose State rightfully should have security concerns. Especially, in this instance where they are taking on the responsibility to host students from five other colleges.
The language of the joint venture agreement addresses this very issue stating that San Jose State is responsible for itself in an extended hour capacity. Anyone else should be the responsibility of The City of San Jose. If they are willing then they are expected to meet the cost in an equitable fashion with the university.
The question then becomes what were we actually purchasing from San Jose State University.
Was the $500 they arrive at for additional staff and security or simply a contribution to help pay their staffing level and security? Meanwhile, for five years maybe we did not have a formal physical presence there.
Also, before discontinuing our privileges, they never requested that we propose away to digitally validate our students when studying at MLK. The reality is there are ways they could have set up some sort of remote apparatus that had the ability to show confirmation of current status with coinciding student Id number matches.
It is my perspective that the next time other colleges enter an arrangement like this sharing space and privilege, they do it in such a way that they have equity. Clearly, despite the fact that San Jose State’s transfer population is almost half the school’s total population, there was a lack of respect shown here by San Jose State for their neighboring institutions and no regard for the students that used this resource.