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News, City Council, Santa Monica College, Santa Monica

Santa Monica College Public Policy Institute Receives Council Support

Posted Apr. 19, 2013, 9:30 am

Parimal M. Rohit / Staff Writer

A request of Santa Monica City Council members Gleam Davis and Ted Winterer to authorize a $7,500 expenditure to cover the costs of a symposium at Santa Monica College’s Public Policy Institute was unanimously approved April 9.

With the expenditure, the college’s Public Policy Institute will have some extra cash to help “defray expenses” of the institute’s planned spring symposium, “Urban Youth: Fostering Success Through GRIT.”

The symposium is scheduled to take place May 13 through 16.

With last week’s unanimous approval, the Santa Monica College Foundation will received $7,500 from the council’s discretionary fund.

“Santa Monica College has the unique distinction of being the only community college in California that actually has a public policy institute and actually offers a two-year degree in public policy,” Davis said, adding the school is “exploring the opportunity of offering even more advanced degrees in public policy.”

The Institute offers a series of lectures and symposiums on public policy issues that affect citizens across California, such as Proposition 13 and a variety of environmental issues.

“I think it would behoove the City to support this,” Davis said.

Winterer added the $7,500 contribution would not cover the cost of the entire symposium but instead help “close the gap for what fundraising could not cover.”

“We have more than enough money in our discretionary fund to cover anything else that might come up,” Winterer said, indicating the $7,500 expenditure would not threaten other activities, campaigns, or programs the council may want to support via the fund. “We’re not breaking the bank with this.”

Santa Monica College’s non-profit foundation has a line-item in its budget for the Public Policy Institute; the funding would be allocated to that line-item.

The cost of the symposium is free to the students.

One resident, Crystal Anderson, spoke to the council members in support of the expenditure.

The four-day symposium at Santa Monica College aims to further “the life, career, educational, and personal goals of urban youth.”

Highlights include a film night with Boyz ‘N The Hood director John Singleton, a keynote address on public policies affecting urban youth by author Paul Tough, and a roundtable discussion on how municipalities can shore up youth services.

The GRIT Initiative at Santa Monica College aims to foster student achievement through focusing on strengths instead of deficits. GRIT is an acronym for “Growth, Resilience, Integrity, Tenacity.”

More information about the second annual Public Policy Institute Spring Symposium can be found at Santa Monica College’s website: http://www.smc.edu/AcademicAffairs/PublicPolicyInstitute/Pages/Upcoming-events.aspx.

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