The Hub
Meeting of July 29, 2021
By Nelson Crandall
Featured Presentation: Cabrillo College Name Change
The featured speaker for the meeting was club member Matt Wetstein, President of Cabrillo College. Matt was joined in his presentation by Governing Board members Adam Spickler and Christina Cuevas. Cabrillo Assistant Superintendent/VP Instruction Paul de la Cerda was also in the audience. A summary of their presentation appears below.
Left to Right: Cabrillo College Asst. Superintendent/VP Instruction Paul de la Cerda, Governing Board members Adam Spickler and Christina Cuevas, and club member and Cabrillo President Matt Wetstein.
Introduction of Visitors
Following the pledge of allegiance, President Ken called for visiting Rotarians to introduce themselves. In addition to perennial visitor Constantin Gehriger, we welcomed Santa Cruz Rotarian Larry Wallerstein. Matt Wetstein introduced his three colleagues from Cabrillo College, Dr. Art Dover introduced his grandson, Noah, and Dave Watkins introduced his frequent guest, Sebastian. 
Left to right: Visiting Rotarian Larry Wallerstein, Dr Art's grandson Noah, Dave Watkins's guest, Sebastian Lopez.
Club Song
For the first time since March 2020, Al DeCamera and Sam Nigh led the club in a rousing rendition of the Club song. So enthusiastic was the crowd that they reprised the final chorus twice following inspired instrumental improvisations.
 Al DeCamera and Sam Nigh leading a rousing rendition of the club song.
The fun was especially unexpected because Seacliff had said they would no longer provide use of their piano, forcing Al to lug his keyboard and amps to the meeting. After months of frustrating attempts to sing the club song on Zoom, our first in-person meeting last week had to settle for an anemic acapella version when Al didn’t have what he needed to set up.
Chaminade Aug. 15 Brunch & Silent Auction Tix Auction Benefitting Walnut Ave. Center.
At Immediate Past President Michele’s request, guest Adam Spickler presented the club with two tickets to the August 15 fundraising brunch and silent auction for the Walnut Avenue Family & Women’s Center, which our club is sponsoring. Michele asked Al to auction the tickets to the members on the spot, and Al rose to the occasion, raising $140. For more information about the event, go to
Featured Joke, courtesy of President Ken.
A lexicology professor was explaining to his students that in many languages, a double negative remains a negative. In other languages, a double negative is a positive. In no language, however, is a double positive a negative. To which a voice in the back responded, “Yeah, right.”
Introduction of the Board.
President Ken introduced most of the new Board members in addition to himself: Immediate Past President Michele Bassi, Co-Presidents Elect Kendra Cleary and Laura Grinder, Secretary Nelson Crandall, Treasurer Julie Lambert, Membership Chair Dagmar Leguillon, Rotary Foundation Chair Bill Witmer, Club Foundation Chair Al DeCamera, Service Projects Chair Art Dover, Grants Chair Win Fernald, Public Image Chair Mardi Padilla, and Sergeant-at-Arms Craig Bagley.
Ken especially recognized Mardi for her work on upgrading the club website and encouraged everyone to visit it.
Al the Detective.
Demonstrating his flexibility once again, Al handed out fines to the following people with the following excuses for Al’s being unprepared: President Ken for his self-deprecating humor, Nelson for his off-key rendition of For She’s A Jolly Good Fellow at Michele’s nondebunking, Kelly for abandoning Nelson in that attempt, Craig for something having to do with badges, Trish for her 11 p.m. reminder that Ken had detective duty, Sam for enjoying himself camping in the Trinity Alps, and Dave Watkins for complaining about the chipper under his window in the property Al’s firm manages.
Home for a Lost Hat.
The previous week, Keith brought in a hat left at his house on the occasion of the nondebunking, but no one claimed it. This week, Becky was able to claim it and is happily reunited with it. Becky, write your name in the hat!
        Becky Peters claimed her lost hat!
Featured Presentation: Opening Acts
Before getting onto the subject of changing the name of Cabrillo College, Cabrillo President Mat Wetstein discussed the college’s response to COVID-19 and the ongoing housing shortage.
COVID-19 Impact on Enrollment. Last year, only 20% of the college’s courses were in-person. The college hopes to increase that to 50% in the fall and be back to normal (whatever that may mean) in the spring. Following the lead of the UC and State College systems, vaccinations will be required, with limited exceptions upon good cause shown. Matt observed that the inability to meet in-person disproportionately affected the poor, Hispanics, and residents of the south county, leading to a 25% drop in enrollment last year.
COVID-19 Impact on Health. Matt reported that only 12 faculty and staff were infected with COVID-19 last year, which he attributed to strict implementation of protective guidelines. Most of the infections were attributed to non-campus exposures. Of the college’s 10,000 students, the campus health center administered 226 COVID-19 tests, 45 of which were positive.
Federal and State Financial Relief. The college has received $16 million in federal relief. The bulk of it will be spent on equipment, including computers for faculty and students and upgraded HVAC systems better able to keep classroom air pathogen free. $2.7 million will be used for direct student aid in the form of relieving students of $700,000 in accumulated debt for defaulted registration fees that prevent them from continuing their education and direct unrestricted grants of between $1,000 and $1,500 each. Matt observed that the cost of equipment upgrades is rising as multiple institutions compete for the same scarce resources.
Housing. Last year, 22% of the college’s students report that they were homeless or getting by without a settled housing situation. This budget year, the state has set $2 billion aside for community college housing. The college has started to study the feasibility of erecting student and faculty housing on campus. It hopes to complete the study this school year.
Featured Presentation: Name Change.
Christina Cuevas reported that the college’s governing board was presented with petition from 100 members of the college community  asking to change the name from Cabrillo because of the history of its namesake. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo is best known for his explorations of the west coast of North America on behalf of the Spanish Empire. His critics allege that he amassed the wealth needed to undertake these explorations by exploiting indigenous South Americans as slave laborers and sex workers, and that the consequences of such exploitation manifest themselves as generational poverty to this day.
In response to the petition, the governing board appointed Adam and her to a subcommittee to develop a process to explore the name change. They created an advisory taskforce of stakeholders to assist in the process, which met from October 2020 through June 2021. Relying on the work of other educational institutions named for slaveholders and other alleged perpetrators of human misery, the subcommittee and task force generated a set of guidelines the investigation process will follow, with key values being a methodology that is inclusive and educational in approach. More information is available at
Following the adoption of the guidelines, the college has offered a series of educational events focusing on Juan Cabrillo the man, the persons and process that led to naming the college after him, and criticism of Cabrillo. Facilitated by Zoom attendance, the audience was polled before and after the presentations. In all the presentations, the percentage of persons favoring a name change rose as a result of the presentation. In one case, the percentage rose from 25% to 51%.
The next step will be a series of meetings in which the public will be invited to express their views, followed by a recommendation.
Matt did not address the question of how the cost of a name change will be weighed against the perceived benefit of ceasing to honor Cabrillo and the perceived harm of continuing to honor Cabrillo. This question also was not raised in the 10 minutes of Q&A following the presentation. Most of the audience questions focused on the fairness of judging a 16th century personage by 21st century morality. In response, Matt paraphrased the philosophy of 18th century philosopher Emmanuel Kant: The ill treatment of a human being is always wrong and should always be condemned.
How would YOU apply the 4-way test to this controversy?