Students from Emeritus College, a program of Santa Monica College serving older adults, have announced they are forming a union to fight for the preservation of senior courses.
The Emeritus Students Union will hold an organizational meeting Feb. 28 to elect officers and choose class representatives. Members say the union was formed to give the college’s
3,200 students a voice in affairs affecting the college.
“Never in its 37 years of existence has the college been so threatened with extinction as it is today,” said Santa Monica resident Harriet P. Epstein, one of the organizers. “In his latest budget, California Gov. (Jerry) Brown calls for the elimination of non-credit college courses which would, in effect, end Emeritus. We need to rally our collective strength to let our representatives in Sacramento know how important it is to keep Emeritus open and functioning.
“While Santa Monica has an unusually high proportion of seniors in the city, the college also serves students from Los Angeles, Culver City, Pacific Palisades, Beverly Hills and even Pasadena. By funding classes that keep seniors active mentally and physically, the state will wind up saving money on the health care part of its budget. Healthy seniors don’t need costly nursing homes and medical care.”
Epstein added, “With the baby boomer wave about to engulf the population, Emeritus and other senior programs will be even more, not less, in demand.”