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Community opposes enrollment growth of UC Santa Cruz

Community opposes enrollment growth of UC Santa Cruz

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - Some community members and city leaders in Santa Cruz are voicing their concern over the potential enrollment growth of UC Santa Cruz. 

Several groups from the city are gathering next week to discuss what needs to be done to eliminate the possibility of the school growing.

"We've reached the limits here in Santa Cruz and everybody needs to understand that," says former County Supervisor Gary Patton, "there just isn't the capacity in this community. Housing is critical, we are really in trouble. Traffic is a grieving to most people and it would only get worse, and we have a real water security problem."

This comes after UCSC announced their 2040 Long Range Development Plan. The plan looks at a variety of things including what it would take to expand the student body by more than 8,000 students in the next 20 years.

Some groups do not even want the option for growth on the table. "We need the campus and the university system to realize that we are not a community that can absorb this growth, and they need to figure out a different way," says Patton.

The University said this is not a set plan to expand the student body, but they are looking at what would need to be done if that growth is needed. UCSC Spokesperson Scott Hernandez-Jason says there are several things to keep in mind, "we put out a figure of 28,000 as something to study and you know that 28,000 looks at a 20 year window so this is really as the name suggests a long term exercise to look at the planning, it's not a figure that set in stone."

Hernandez-Jason says the school has decreased it's impacts on the community in the past decade while still increasing the student body, "we are using less water than a decade ago, we have less traffic trips to the campus than we did a decade ago and we are doing a great job at housing as well. We house approximately half of our students on campus and we have a housing project in the works right now that would add 3000 new beds to UC Santa Cruz and all those beds are aimed at students who would otherwise be living in the community."

There is a community meeting scheduled for April 19th to discuss and strategize the best way for people to voice their concerns. It will be in the Santa Cruz Police Department Community Room at 7pm.

 

ORIGINAL STORY:

Some community members and city leaders in Santa Cruz are voicing their concern over the potential enrollment growth of UC Santa Cruz. 

Several groups from the city are gathering next week to discuss what needs to be done to eliminate the possibility of the school growing.

This comes after UCSC announced their 2040 Long Range Development Plan. The plan looks at a variety of things including what it would take to expand the student body by more than 8,000 students in the next 20 years.

The University said this is not a set plan to expand the student body, but they are looking at what would need to be done if that growth is needed.

Those in opposition said they don't even want the option for growth on the table.

KION's Ashley Keehn will have the full story tonight at 5 & 6.


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