cabrillo college
Cabrillo College Watsonville Center. —file photo by Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

The Cabrillo College Board of Trustees voted Monday to defer renaming the college until 2028. 

The 6-1 decision, with Trustee Steve Trujillo dissenting, ends a three-year process to replace the name Cabrillo with one unassociated with colonization.

The Name Exploration Subcommittee that wrote the recommendation—whose members included President Matt Wetstein and Trustees Christina Cuevas and Adam Spickler—will be dissolved. It will be replaced in October by a subcommittee tasked with implementing the other recommendations, which include creating scholarships for Indigenous studies students and establishing a faculty position in Native American studies, among others. 

Held in Cabrillo’s Sesnon House, the meeting attracted more than a dozen members of the public. 

Most who came to share their opinion of the resolution were against delaying the change, with some accusing the trustees of caving to moneyed interests. Some, like faculty member John Govsky, conceded that the community could benefit from a delay, though he called five years “excessive.”

Trustees Spickler and Cuevas stressed that their decision to delay renaming the college is based on concerns over the need to fully involve and inform the community. They explained that the length of time chosen for the deferred name choice is somewhat arbitrary and could be changed at a future time.

Spickler stressed that he refuses to back down from his belief that a name change is inevitable.

“Let’s not get entrenched in a ‘yes-no’ over a college name, where you dig in your heels and that’s the only thing you see,” Spickler said. “That was never our intent. We’re a community that cares about people. Let’s get back to that.”

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