CCCCD needs to create eco-friendly district


Diablo Valley College’s campus, as far as community colleges go, is extremely eco-friendly. Look, for example, at our new Commons Area — the project cost $52 million and used only native Californian plants — which are water efficient and encourage microhabitats for animals to live in — and are even watered, if need be, from recycled water. Recycled water isn’t only a theme in the new Commons Area, but throughout our campus — the grass is watered using this same method.

Now compare that to other colleges in the Contra Costa Community College District, say Contra Costa College, and although they do what they can, their school is nowhere near as eco-friendly as DVC’s.

Is this because here at DVC we’re better, more environmentally friendly people? No, of course not.

Once again this, as our journalist pals over at The Advocate like to point out, comes down to budget. DVC has a bigger budget than CCC, since we have a greater population. However, does this make it right that our district isn’t allocating as much funding to a school which is in desperate need of repair? No.

The Advocate reported, “The average age of the buildings on campus is 39 years, the oldest in the district…”

CCC — besides being a less eco-friendly college — is also potentially unsafe. Sitting on the Hayward fault line, CCC’s old buildings are in danger of a potential 6.7 or greater earthquake at any given time.

From an environmental standpoint, these buildings that average an age of 39 years, the oldest building being the gymnasium (built in 1955), could contain lead paint on the inside. Lead paint wasn’t banned until 1978 and was widely used until then. Lead also directly correlates to lower IQ’s, and a higher homicide rate, according to a Harvard study conducted by James J. Feigenbaum and Christopher Muller.

This may be speculation on our part, but it is also our understanding that the CDC believe that an estimated 14 million houses and public places still contain lead paint.

Here at the Inquirer, we believe it’s in our district’s best interest to allocate more money for renovating schools like CCC. With this, we can become a more eco-friendly district; instead of just one eco-friendly school.

We all benefit from having a better learning environment — one that is free of environmental hazards, where students don’t have to fear an earthquake potentially destroying the building they’re in, and one where there isn’t any speculation of harmful elements around them.

In conclusion, we thank our district for being environmentally responsible on our campus — and although our campus still isn’t perfect — please, look to our sister’s and brother’s at CCC and allocate a higher budget for them to create a campus that they enjoy as much as we enjoy ours.