The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

El Camino College, stop wasting people’s money

Athens Parducho | Special to The Union

El Camino College needs to raise over $40 million to crawl out of a major deficit, because the college has been spending more money than it’s been receiving. 

Now we’re being told, as students, that we will have to pay for parking next semester and that tuition fees for non-resident students will go up by $24 per unit, all because El Camino is reckless with its money spending.

This isn’t right.

Let’s do some calculations.

El Camino spent $20,279.59 this semester for “extra security” at night to “monitor” overnight rented equipment because, apparently, the 11 campus police officers aren’t enough to watch over plastic chairs.

They have spent $64,137.59 on lampposts to “showcase a wide range of current and former students of various backgrounds, ethnicities and identities” because we need this at our college.

A company called Brad Jacobson, Inc. will be paid $15,000 for “photography and videography services for events on and off campus.” 

The college already has a videographer. He is in charge of the college’s Instagram, filming and taking professional photos of college events.

There is something much more puzzling.

El Camino has a full-time director of public information and government relations. This position is the one that sends us updates about the college via email to let us know about upcoming events. It is also in charge of sending and looking over the letter from Brenda Thames, the president of El Camino College.

The college is paying a “freelance writer” named Mary Ann Harmon $60,000 to “provide subject matter expertise on the development of numerous documents for the district including news releases, Annual Report, President’s Newsletter, High School Newsletter, Viewbook, Neighborhood News, and remarks or speeches.”

That’s just paying another person an additional $60,000 to be a second public relations director for the college.

If we add up all these unnecessary fees, we come to a total of $159,417.18. 

All this money comes from “Fund 11,” which is essentially the college’s own money.

We could go through every unnecessary purchase order and contract El Camino has with a company, it will prove how wasteful the college is with its money.

El Camino is in a budget deficit with a possibility of bankruptcy because of its actions. Why make other people like us pay?

The college can buy extra security for plastic chairs. They can spend thousands on colorful lamp posts. They can also pay a videographer to be there “when Marketing staff are unavailable after hours and on weekends,” but these are not the necessities for students that everyone has just been begging the college for.

Vice President of Administrative Services Robert Suppelsa even said in the first budget town hall on Feb. 16, “El Camino has been spending more than it has been earning for the past 10 years.” 

Let’s all agree that there’s no hope for the years to come unless the college wises up. 

El Camino, please spend people’s money wisely.  

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