CCSF students angered by class cancellations

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Despite a day of misty downpours and gray skies, students, faculty members and their supporters gathered in the lobby of the City College of San Francisco’s Conlan Hall on Wed/28 in anticipation of a sit-down with the school’s chancellor, Dr. Arthur Q. Tyler.

The meeting had been requested to discuss increasing displacement at CCSF, with the number of eliminated classes on the rise every day. Yet questions were still swirling about whether college administrators had used much-needed funds to approve higher administrative pay scales without public notice.

Students and faculty delivered a petition signed by nearly 2,500 students opposing the recent course cancellations. When they unrolled the long list of signatures, it reached from the lobby all the way up the stairs to the chancellor’s office door, a physical display of growing dissent. And with the cuts’ affect already resulting in the cancellation of 27 foreign language courses alone, student anger over the course cancellations is building.

Matt Lambert, a CCSF student for several years, said he’d been informed just that morning that his photography class had been cancelled. He said he’d “spent all day this morning talking to people who were in a similar situation as I am, everybody has a class being cut somewhere. So how come classes are being cut, when supposedly City College is getting cash from Proposition A, how come with all that cash classes are still being cut?”

Proposition A, a special tax approved by voters in November of 2012, provides for a new channel of funding for CCSF with a $79 parcel tax. This tax was intended to help the relieve a bit of the struggle that's burdened the college as of late, but now students and faculty are finding themselves fending off class cuts as enrollment declines under the ongoing threat that the school could lose its accreditation.

The meeting with the chancellor was intended to be an open discussion, but in the end, only three individuals were permitted to speak to Tyler face-to-face. A chancellor’s assistant informed the crowd the only three members--including faculty union AFT 2121 president Alisa Messer--were allowed to enter the office and represent the instructors and staff. While students were told they would have to follow the proper channels in order to arrange a formal meeting, many students regarded the move as a cop-out.

Following the meeting, Messer provided a recap. “They say they’re looking at the class numbers, and looking at what they did cut, and making sure they didn’t make any big mistakes,” she told the Bay Guardian. “And maybe they should reconsider or learn something from what they do cut. They did say that they will be setting up quite a number late start classes, which is all news to us. But we made it really clear about the quality of education, and the trust that students have in getting their education at City College, and that it is not the right time to be cutting classes.”

Despite an agenda item that was hastily withdrawn last week after being up for approval, recommending salary scale increases of 19.25 percent for certain administrative positions, Tyler is said to have denied the amount this increase, telling Messer, along with two colleagues, that “there was no intention to raise salaries by 20 percent,” that there was confusion about the lower approved salary ranges posted on the school’s website, and that Tyler is working to clarify this.

On Monday, AFT 2121 submitted formal records requests to learn the exact amount administrators are being paid.

Comments

as there is still an imperative to save money in the interim.

And a gradual rundown of the school will feel less painful than a sudden total closure.

I'm comfortable with the strategy here. It's really not up to the students at all so I'm not clear why they're complaining. Maybe they should sign up elsewhere?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 10:54 am

as there is still an imperative to save money in the interim.

And a gradual rundown of the school will feel less painful than a sudden total closure.

I'm comfortable with the strategy here. It's really not up to the students at all so I'm not clear why they're complaining. Maybe they should sign up elsewhere?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 10:54 am

A good college is being attacked and destroyed piece by piece.
Dedicated and hard working teachers have their jobs threatened while students
are told "sorry," we are closing, but you can go ten miles south if you want.
Gee .... I wonder why teachers and students are complaining?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 1:18 pm

I anticipate that new, more viable colleges will emerge to take the place of a closed CCSF.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 1:32 pm

Disaster Capitalism.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 8:18 pm

More common, I hear.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 3:06 pm

incorrectly. Quit watching the FAUX News.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 3:35 pm

socialist nations, but I see many immigrants coming here from socialist nations.

If they let them move at all, of course.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 5:30 pm

The US is a rich country with lots of resources. If you compare apples to apples, democratic socialism has shown a propensity to make people's lives better. And the US isn't really the country of choice for most immigrants anymore, except for Mexico because of the proximity.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 6:07 pm

Even new Mexican economic migration has slowed to a trickle since late 2008/early 2009, as there aren't jobs, given that Real Unemployment has consistently remained at Depression-levels since 2009 for many populations. Nationally at about 36% for native-English young adult male black & Latino workers with Bachelor's degrees & work experience, varying slightly by region, with those fully or underemployed doing work requiring no HS or merely a HS diploma.

Posted by saintlennybruce on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 9:12 am

15 million, says the estimates. Everyone who wants to come here has already done so, legally or illegally.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 9:25 am
Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 9:24 am

So, repeatedly in these pages and those of the Chronicle and elsewhere, we see comments denigrating the college under the name of "GUEST". Anyone want to take a GUESS as to who is writing these posts?

At least those of us who KNOW and truly CARE about affordable education and this amazing college take the time to create a profile and comment with our real connection to the place.

Thank you to the author of this blog post. You have captured the truth of the moment.

Dana Jae
Faculty

Posted by DEEjay on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 7:55 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 3:07 pm

So, repeatedly in these pages and those of the Chronicle and elsewhere, we see comments denigrating the college under the name of "GUEST". Anyone want to take a GUESS as to who is writing these posts?

At least those of us who KNOW and truly CARE about affordable education and this amazing college take the time to create a profile and comment with our real connection to the place.

Thank you to the author of this blog post. You have captured the truth of the moment.

Dana Jae
Faculty

Posted by DEEjay on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 7:56 pm

Either with the ACCJC or a certain PR flack (ahem)

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 9:05 pm

A student who has been around for "several" years is singning up for a photography class? I think one of the main issues with the accreditation is that "lifetime" students like this guy being able to take courses with no degree program for like $5 per unit. I don't like that taxpayers are subsidizing this guy's hobbies.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 8:48 pm

As the student in question, I take umbrage with your sloppy characterization of how I'm pursuing my education. I graduated last spring from CCSF with 3 AA degrees, to transfer to SFSU to achieve my bachelors degree. I've returned to City College to bolster skills in my hobby/"second career"/art and achieve a photography certificate from a well respected program. My photography class at CCSF plus my full course load at SFSU are not activities I desire to do for a "lifetime". And not any of my units (at either CCSF or SFSU) have ever been anywhere close to $5. I'm paying for my coursework at CCSF out of pocket, to the tune of $44 a unit, for a 4 unit class.
However, the real loss is the teacher who lost their job when the class was canceled, and the students who are indeed pursuing a degree in photography but will fall under unit requirements due to their inability (children, work, etc etc) to take classes at other times.

Anyways, there is no mythical "taxpayer" out there in the real world. I know you mean to use it as code for "white, middle-class property owners", but sadly, the facts of the matter don't support you.

Best of luck in all your endeavors "Guest", I'm guessing you need it.

Posted by Matt on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 7:54 am

losing money. Your teacher lost his job because of his expensive employee benefits.

And where do you get off claiming that anyone who criticizes CCSF should be accused of being "white"? As if that were the ultimate insult.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 8:11 am

One thing I learned at CCSF was how to cite sources.

"Your teacher lost his job because of his expensive employee benefits."
-Guest

Do have any for this claim?

Posted by Matt on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 8:29 am

CCSF staff have benefits that are much more expensive than the norm.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 10:16 am

Again, you make claims with no evidence. Pretty basic stuff here.

Posted by Matt on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 1:26 pm

compare them to a typical private employer.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 2:31 pm

I'm a bit puzzled why the left seems to have this cult of the expert on things and have to take classes in the cheaper hobbies and the studies non sense when buying a book would suffice.

I am a fan of CCSF and have taken classes there in the past to bone up on some skills, I hope it pulls through.

What I really enjoyed is your learned behavior, that last comment about "white middle class property owners." There are some moronic statements that can only come from someone with way to much indoctrination... I mean education. The narrowing of the mind that is so common in our leftist types is so interesting when they get all self righteous.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 8:37 am

Nothing is more inspiring than white people denouncing other white people for being white!

Posted by racer さ on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 8:55 am

haha, you're so clever Racer! Thanks for your comment!

Posted by Matt on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 9:08 am

I guess the author thinks he is a "good white," when the revolution comes he will only spend a few weeks in the re-education camp I suppose.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 9:13 am

oh gosh, you trolls. so cute.

Posted by Matt on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 9:33 am
Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 10:18 am

There is hardly anything "cheap" about photography, and many skills in the practice require some hands-on instruction. Having access to the facilities that CCSF provides is more than helpful, from darkrooms to studios to the issue room. The CCSF photography department has a vast array of equipment I could never imagine possessing and storing on my own.

Posted by Matt on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 8:59 am

I have a problem with subsidizing it.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 10:18 am

I just wonder why someone would take some of them.

A photo printer is cheap now. A few sheets of Masonite and white paint are less than a 100 dollars for the in home thing.

Students taking a few art classes are not that big of a drain compared to whole Eric Mar self pity departments.

There are still pro photographers, as opposed to the limited career opportunities of a studies major outside the new class.

-matlock

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 10:46 am

As a taxpayer, I might be willing to subsidize more substantial careers, but not the "arts and crafts" mob.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 11:40 am

I've got no problem subsidizing all sorts of creative enrichment for our community in addition to the rigorous academics that CCSF is known for.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 12:16 pm

rest of us subsidize your idiosyncracies.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 12:30 pm

Most San Franciscans agree with me.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 8:26 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 04, 2014 @ 8:42 am

I can play that game too! As a taxpayer, I'm totally willing to subsidize the arts, but not the "MBA" career track mob.

Posted by Matt on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 1:28 pm

And artsy-fartsy classes are.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 2:30 pm

Because there's a whole host of considerations that fall outside the "A photo printer is cheap now. A few sheets of Masonite and white paint are less than a 100 dollars for the in home thing" summation. You might want to reserve judgment on how the arts are taught if that's how you understand them.

Posted by Matt on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 1:31 pm

as the trust fund kids who want to be artists can pay for them in full themselves.

I know plenty of people who have taught themselves to take great pictures. No need for anyone to subsidize them.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 2:33 pm
heh

If you rely on the Community College to keep you busy around "the arts" then I seriously doubt you have a better understanding than me.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 3:12 pm

Hello Guest,

First, perhaps you are in another state so you don't know the fees students currently pay at CCSF and all California community colleges -- $46 per unit for in-state residents, and $203 per unit for out-of-state and international students.

Second, studying photography is not necessarily a hobby. CCSF graduates talented, professional photographers and photojournalists. We have top departments in photography, film, broadcast studies, and journalism that have attracted students for many years.

Third, taxpayers in San Francisco have repeatedly voted to support CCSF because they value the education of residents. Sadly, the statewide budget cuts hurt all levels of higher education starting with the recession of 2008-2009. This is a specific problem of educational funding that goes back to Prop. 13 in this state, and CCSF instructors in economics and political science have put forward both the issues and proposed solutions in our classes for years. You might consider taking a course here to learn more -- if you're actually local -- assuming we get the opportunity to keep educating our students about these crucial issues.

Deborah Goldsmith
Instructor, Economics,
CCSF

Posted by Deborah Goldsmith on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 9:25 pm

As a property and parcel tax paying homeowner and as the son of a professional photographer and as a photographer hobbyist myself, I think it is fantastic that CCSF offers San Franciscans the opportunity to become educated in a technology like photography that can serve as a career as well as a hobby.

The more creative folks who live in San Francisco, the more interesting a place it is to live.

At the rate that simple things like toast are becoming commodity fetishized in this economic hot house of ironic hipsterdom, I am sure that even basket weavers educated at CCSF could set up boutique shoppes to fleece the hipoisie amongst highly paid workers in the networked applications field of their discretionary income by fetishizing obscenely priced woven baskets.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 9:19 am

That's the beauty of roads, bridges, tunnels, trains, buses, cars and boats.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 9:27 am

I thought one of the alleged benefits of home ownership was that home owners had a stake in their communities and were more prone to act in their community's best interests than allegedly transient tenants? Are you suggesting that it is wrong for a home owner to support an educational institution that improves their community whether providing career education or hobby education? I want more of both because both improve our community and I am willing to pay for it through my property and sales taxes.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 10:28 am

My point was limited to saying that you can run a business in SF without living in SF.

SF is just the downtown of the Bay Area, where 60% of the local population lives.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 10:41 am

San Francisco has a population of about 825K. The Bay Area has a population of 7.15m. We are not the downtown of anything.

We are a small moderately populated dense urban city and most of we residents like it this way, that is why we live here.

Another thing that we like are stable communities that serve our needs rather than bend to the whims of the external market.

And we like to live in a well and continually educated, well rounded community and we put our money down on that over and again.

I can understand if you prefer ignorant and uncreative people living in an inhospitable environmentally compromised backwater, but that is why Coalingua exists.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 11:03 am

San Francisco Guardian. That difference is important because it is the politics of the entire urban area that matters here and not just one town, area or neighborhood.

People freely move between the nine Bay Area counties, usually without really noticing that they have crossed city or county lines, precisely because there are few differences you'd notice.

We build things like BART so people can move quickly between the different parts of our urban area.

So if a photographer wants to make money in one neighborhood, they can just as easily live in another. The community is the Bay Area. Whether you live in Fremont, Hayward or San Leandro doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 11:15 am

You obviously have never worked as a photographer.

Posted by Matt on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 8:11 am

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