Police cleared a path on Market Street between Ca-stro and Gough to allow the demonstrators to proceed from Harvey Milk Plaza to the Charles M. Holmes Cam-pus of the Center. They marched behind the only transgender pride flag on the West Coast, which consists of alternating stripes of pink and blue that event founder and organizer Gwendolyn Ann Smith said represent "boys, girls, and everything in between."
According to San Fra-ncisco Human Rights Com-mission investigator Marcus De Maria Arana, 'transgender' is an umbrella term for "transsexuals, drag queens and kings, to masculine women and feminine men who may not even see themselves as transgender."
"With this epidemic of violence continuing unchecked, we have no option but to continue to raise awareness," Smith said. Since the last Transgender Day of Rem-embrance, Smith has added the names of 38 more victims to rememberingourdead.org, a web site she created to memorialize transgenders murdered in hate crimes.
Among the candle-carrying protesters was San Francisco mayoral candidate and President of the Board of Supervisors Matt Gonzalez. Gonzales said the difficulties facing the transgender community were based on ignorance. If elected mayor, Gonzalez promised to "build sensitivity in law enforcement and the community" and that the solution to the problem of transgender violence was a combination of "education and representation in government."
One of the main focuses of the observance was Gwen Aruajo, a transgendered te-enager who was brutally murdered in October 2002 at a house party in nearby Newark, California. Her m-other, Sylvia Guerrero, ad-dressed the demonstrators in the Rainbow Room of the Charles M. Holmes Campus of the Center.
"It's sad when you have to be educated to treat other people like people," said Guerrero. "People who are ignorant and unaccepting are the ones with the issue."
She remembers her da-ughter as being "very spontaneous, intelligent and creative. She was the most awesome makeup artist. She could make an ugly face look so beautiful. She was 17."
Guerrero, a legal assistant for 16 years, is working with high-profile attorney Gloria Allred to amend hate crime legislation to warrant the death penalty in certain circumstances. "I want to apply my skill and put 100 percent of myself towards Gwen's case and pray that justice will prevail."
Also speaking was California State Assembl-yman Mark Leno, one of the first openly gay men to be elected to the state assembly and author of Assembly Bill 196, which amended the Employment and Housing Act to ban gender-based discrimination.
"Let the memory of beautiful young people like Gwen Aruajo inspire each of us to great acts of bravery and the conviction that every individual that walks this earth is beautiful in the eyes of his or her creator," said Leno.
by Gennady Sheyner
In a move that may affect some of the roughly 100 City College students who serve as reserves in the United States armed forces, the Department of Defense hasbegun to alert and mobilize thousands of fresh troops for duty in Iraq as part of the its force rotation program.
The rotation calls for new divisions of reserves from all branches of the military to arrive in Iraq early next year to replace the 130,000 soldiers currently stationed there and continue the grueling campaign that has cost 289 American lives since President Bush announced the end of major combat operations on May 1.
So far City College students have generally been spared Iraq duty. While City College has approximately 230 students who receive veteran benefits, according to Carolyn Escalante of the Veteran's Educational Benefits Office said only about 45 percent of them study under Chapter 1606, the section of the GI Bill that aids military reserves. The rest are either children or dependents of veterans, or have served in the past.
Only about 10 of these student reserves, said Escalante, have been called into service in the past two school years, mostly for domestic assignments.
"The office does not get specific information about their activities," she said. "All we pretty much have is dates when they get called up and when they are scheduled to go."
According to William Goodyear, a counselor at the Veteran's Education Benefits Office, only one or two students have actually gone to the Middle East since the operation began on March 20. Most student reserves who were called up for active duty were stationed at military bases within the United States to replace the soldiers bound for Iraq.
"We are keeping our fingers crossed," said Goodyear when asked about the relatively few students sent to Iraq.
The 110,000 reserves due to arrive in Iraq by May of next year are expected to have their hands full. Although according to Paul Bremer, head of Coalition Provisional Authority, attacks on Coalition troops have declined by 50 percent in recent weeks, increased hostility in Northern Iraq has raised new concerns about the operation. One of the more gruesome episodes in recent weeks occurred on November 23, when two American soldiers were shot in the head and dragged from their car by an angry mob in the once-thought friendly city of Mosul.
Despite mixed results in Iraq, Goodyear hadn't heard any serious criticisms of American foreign policy from the City College's veteran community.
"Maybe that'll come later," he said.
The United States Defense Department posted a notice for citizens to join local draft boards on their "Defend America" website, September 23.
The notice, entitled, "Serve your community and the Nation," asked US citizens to become Selective Service System local draft board members. As a member of the draft board, one would determine who is fit to go to war.
"If a military draft becomes necessary, approximately 2,000 Local and Appeal Boards throughout America would decide which young men, who submit a claim, receive deferments, postponements or exemptions from military service, based on Federal guidelines," claimed the notice.
The notice abruptly vanished from the website when it began to receive media attention nation-wide.
Guardsman Managing Editor, Daniel Jenkins was awarded mention on the Fall 2003 Editors Honor Role sponsored by the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC). Well done!
Finding club funds:
The Interclub Council (ICC) is facing a $1500 to $1800 hole in their budget next semester due to the abrupt departure of two major corporate vendors from Ram Plaza on City College's Ocean campus.
It is the function of the ICC to allocate base funds to the clubs of City College. In early October vendors from the Bank of America and Wells Fargo packed up their tables and brochures and left due to what they believed to be harassment by members of the Anarchist Library, who heckled the vendors using a megaphone from within the confines of a self proclaimed "free-speech zone".
The vendors have since returned and the Anarchist Library has returned its club base allocation to help makeup for the monetary shortfall facing the ICC.
Over a thousand disciplinary files are currently being kept on enrolled students at City College in the office of the Dean of Advocacy Rodney Santos.
Two types of incident reports are maintained: blue files and brown files.
Blue files contain information on the incident in question, such as who is involved and what disciplinary actions have been taken and are personally investigated by Dean Santos.
Brown files are SFPD reports containing legal actions taken in response to the incident. Generally students who are the subjects of blue files are informed as to the existence of said file and given a copy of its contents.
There is no time limit to how long a file may be kept by the college.
A student who wants her or his file destroyed must meet with Santos and, with the student present, he will expunge the file through the use of a paper shredder.
By Carolyn Johnston
The Brown Act, a California law mandating open government meetings, implements the Founding Fathers' vision of government of, by and for the people, according to a First Amendment lawyer who spoke on November 17 at City College.
In a keynote address kicking off a series of events at City College celebrating the 50-year anniversary of the Brown Act, David Greene, who directs the first Amendment Project in Oakland, spoke about the significance of the Brown Act.
"The Brown Act requires that the vast majority of meetings of government agencies be open to the public," Greene told the audience of about 25 City College faculty and students. Greene, who teaches media law at SFSU, and also practices First Amendment law, said that the 50-year anniversary of the Brown Act is an appropriate time to "celebrate the principles of freedom of information and open government."
"The Brown Act is California's oldest freedom of information law, and one of the oldest of such laws in the country," said Greene. Other laws protecting the public's right to know include California's Public Records Act and Bagley-Keene Act, San Francisco's Sunshine Law, and the federal government's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
"The Brown Act applies to all meeting of any commission elected or appointed to perform a local governmental functional," said Greene. Public notice of the meeting must be posted in advance of the meeting, along with he agenda of the meeting, and any member of the public must be allowed to attend.
Greene told the audience about the Brown Act's protections for those members of the public who choose to attend public meetings. For example, attendees cannot be required to sign an attendance sheet; this provision was included to prevent intimidation and retribution against concerned citizens.
Most governmental agencies are well aware of the Brown Act, and make "earnest efforts to comply," according to Greene. However, "there's always going to be the urge to have meeting in secret."
The government's desire to keep the citizens in the dark is on the rise. Greene gave several examples of this trend, including the Bush administration's efforts to limit the reach of the Freedom of Information Act, the enactment of the Patriot Act, and Vice President Cheney's refusal to disclose any information about the advice he has received from energy companies about proposed legislation.
Greene is also troubled by Mayor Willie Brown's tendency to conduct city business out of the public eye, and about reports that the mayor intends to destroy records.
On a hopeful note, Greene noted that Arnold Schwarzenegger who was being inaugurated in Sacramento on the same day of the speech, claimed "a freedom of information fanatic." And promised that this government would be "the most open in California's history."
by Ian Leibert
City College has successfully stood its ground in the fight to repel the multitude of computer viruses and Internet worms that have caused major damage to many college campuses across the nation.
The summer of 2003 saw back-to-back waves of In-ternet infections in which City College fared far better than many others. In a sharp contrast, the Univer-sity of North Texas reported their computer technicians were removing an estimated 16 viruses every 90 minutes from students' computers and charging a mandatory $30 dollar cleansing fee for the service.
When asked how our computers on campus held up during the attacks in the summer as well as this fall semester, Mike Bravo, a help-desk information technology technician, said, "I can't think of any large problems. We have McAfee anti-virus software on all desktops and provide software patches to all end users."
City College Information Services Engineer Ben Chan explained that "we always run the college standard, supported anti-virus which is available from the college download site." Students can find and install these software updates from www.ccsf.edu/info/cmp/virus.html as they become available.
The fact City College students have easy access to campus computers, as well as the research and preparedness of the campus technicians, seems to have made the major difference in the infection rate from students-to-campus computers.
Oberlin College was reportedly requiring all arriving students to have their computers checked for viruses. The results of the scan found that 90 percent of computers running Windows software were infected.
However, one can still be affected without being infected by a computer virus. "There are new viruses on a daily basis and they have a big economic effect," Bravo said. An example is the M-Blaster worm that struck in August. "Lots of time was spent to research the worm and provide all that was necessary to those that were infected."
The virus of the future is being geared towards destruction, terrorism against data. Viruses and worms are becoming trickier, employing new ways to infect. Some can erase data through the mail. Some are worms designed to cause traffic that uses up resources.
Posted on the Microsoft virus information page are "Three steps to protect your PC." It advises use of an Internet firewall, computer updates and updated anti-virus software.
The threat of a major infection always remains no matter how well prepared you may be, so the best advice to follow is to always have a backup.
Bravo used the World Trade Center disaster as an example. "There were key elements to our economy in those buildings that were completely destroyed and the only reason they stayed in business was because of their systematic backup. It was our main- line of defense."
by Melissa Pamer
City College officials thought they had found a cure for the 25-year headache caused by the long-delayed Mission campus expansion when they purchased the New Mission Theater and adjacent Giant Value store in 1998.
Instead, the property has caused a $2 million migraine.
The San Francisco Unified School District's plans for the site, issued in a state-mandated Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in July 1998, included the destruction of the New Mission Theater, except for the exterior 70-foot blade sign. An initial lawsuit adjudicated in City College's favor in 1999 seemed to certify the EIR's claims that the New Mission Theater had no cultural or historical value.
Because there was no public outcry "We thought we could go ahead," said Peter Goldstein, vice chancellor for Finance and Administration.
But in the fall of 2000, City College officials began to face strong opposition from activists who wanted the New Mission Theater preserved. A coalition of Mission residents, City College alumni and business owners attended planning meetings but were asked to leave another meeting in October.
Banding together to form Save New Mission Theater (SNMT) the preservationists sought to convince City College that there was an alternative to destroying the 1916 movie house. The group saw the still-intact 2800-seat theater as the last remaining jewel in the once glorious "Miracle Mile" of over forty theaters on Mission Street.
The theater was designed by locally renowned architects Merritt and Jon Reid, who also built the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill. In 1932, the theater was remodeled by art deco legend Timothy Pflueger, who designed much of City
College's Ocean campus as well as the Castro Theater and the Paramount Theater in Oakland.
City College Trustee Milton Marks III, who has a master's degree in historic
preservation, said the theater is "startling because it's so intact. It's such an incredible space--it's powerful." Marks was not on the board at the time the initial EIR was approved.
As SNMT gained steam in 2000 and 2001, City College officials asked why it had taken more than two years for any opposition to arise. After all, says Goldstein, the EIR was sent to San Francisco Architectural Heritage, which could have raised the red flag immediately.
But SNMT member and Mission business owner Nancy Charraga says her group struggled to get information about the plans. "The public was kept in the dark," she said.
Preservationists had not rallied around the theater, when it was rented by the Evermax furniture store in the 1990s, Charraga said, "because nobody was going to destroy it."
City College's official Mission campus advisory committee was "assuming no historical value," said Trustee Marks. The committee was dependent on the EIR for an understanding of the property, but "the District wasn't given the right tools," said Marks.
"Often, not enough research is done up front by the real estate people," said Charles Chase, Executive Director of San Francisco Architectural Heritage, which supported the SNMT activists.
Indeed, the firm that did the evaluation, EIP Associates, "didn't do their
due diligence," said Marks. "They didn't go inside the building."
Goldstein conceded that the District could have been misled about the value of the property. "It's partially true that it may have been a misrepresentation," he said.
In February 2001, SNMT received a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to formulate an adaptive re-use plan for City College. The College also hired a preservation architect to consider alternatives.
As the battle escalated, Chancellor Phillip Day suggested that saving the theater would put the entire Mission campus at risk. At a January 2001 public meeting packed with City College supporters, speakers accused the preservationists of working against the goal of education.
Charraga, who was at the meeting, said "innacurate statements were made to scare people" into thinking preserving the theater was in conflict with education. "There was a thick environment of intimidation."
Goldstein was frustrated by what he saw as a small minority of those affected by the campus plans. "I never saw more than nine people at any of these meetings," he said. City College, he felt, had broad community support
to proceed, yet the group was successful in getting its concerns acknowledged in the long run. Supervisor Tom Ammiano was a vocal supporter of the preservationists.
In November 2001, the New Mission Theater was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. To the delight of preservations, the listing occurred in spite of the San Francisco Landmarks Board's lack of recommendation. The recognition wouldn't have legally impeded City College's
plans, but officials thought it would have increased public opposition to the theater's destruction.
Meanwhile, SNMT had received a grant to hire an architect to present City College with a plan for adaptive re-use of the theater. Architect Alice Carey met with City College's own preservation architect to go over plans, but fundamental differences caused the meetings to go nowhere. "We spun around for a long time," said Goldstein.
There were vast differences in the projected costs presented by the two groups. Goldstein said the preservationists weren't considering required seismic retrofitting. Charraga contended that SNMT couldn't afford a
structural engineer to verify estimates. "We were out-resourced," she said.
Ultimately, the root of the disagreement was City College officials' belief that even if preservation had been an affordable alternative, the school did
not need a theater. SF Architectural Heritage's Chase acknowledged that City College's needs for the new campus were very "rigorous," but he bemoaned the school's "lack of ingenuity and creativity" in the process.
A compromise was never reached. In June 2003, the College entered into a long-term lease with the Unified School District for the new campus site at 22nd and Bartlett streets. The New Mission Theater and Giant Value store are for sale.
The preservationists' main concern now is that City College finds a buyer who will preserve or adapt the theater and serve the community. "It's sort of a white elephant," said Charraga of the theater, "but it's obvious the Mission wants it."
Goldstein agrees that City College has an obligation to sell the theater to a community-minded entity. Goldstein, however, is relieved to be rid of the theater. If it weren't for the deal with school district, "it was clear [the preservationists] would have sued....We'd still be in court with them today."
"A lot of feelings got hurt on both sides," said Trustee Marks. "I don't think this was the finest hour for the College."
For her part, Charraga said, "This is all water under the bridge...I wish the new campus all the best."
Update: On December 4 the Board of Trustees released a memo announcing the acceptance of the $4.7 million bid to purchase the property at 2550-2560 Mission St. by Jerremiah Cullinane and Eileen M. Long.
by Mousa Rebouh
The state budget crisis is still fresh in the minds of community college students and faculty who intend to lobby for a fair share of the money they need to keep the doors open to higher education.
As a young professional bodybuilder, Arnold Schwarzenegger attended Santa Monica College in the 1970s to study business and economics. His campaign highly advertised his modest beginnings as an immigrant and community college student who made it through the system.
The day Schwarzenegger took office, hundreds of community college students, staff, teachers, and administrators from across the state gathered at the Senator Hotel Atrium in Sacramento, in hopes that the new governor would listen to their concerns. The governor did not appear at the community college-sponsored reception.
"I'm disappointed Arnold did not come out for us," said Greg Turnage, the Associat-ed Students President who made the trip to Sacramento with other council members.
In the governor's place, the newly appointed Secret-ary of Education Richard Riordan came to speak to the audience about the governor's commitment to community colleges. Since the onset of his campaign, Schwarzenegger promised that cuts to education were off the table. The state will begin the 2004-05 budget year facing a $10.8 billion deficit, according to a report by Hill.
In an effort to balance the budget and make up for lost revenue from his first executive order to revoke the vehicle tax increase, Schwarzenegger is proposing cuts of $3.8 billion from social programs in the next 19 months, yet he did not cut community colleges.
"I'm glad he spared community colleges, but he's looking for dollars in the wrong places," said Allan Fisher, president of the Teacher's Union AFT 2121, the day after Schwarzenegger proposed mid-year cuts.
Last spring's "Keep the Doors Open" statewide campaign for community colleges will continue, "Because the state still faces a tremendous budget problem and there are no clear solutions being presented at the moment," says Leslie Smith, dean of Government Relations at City College.
The campaign will in-clude letter writing, lobbying efforts, press conferences, billboards, an art installation project entitled "Missing Student Project," and a march in the State Capitol on March 15, 2004.
The most specific recommendation Schwarzenegger made on the campaign trail concerned Prop 98.
"I will propose the Leg-islature fully fund community colleges under Prop 98 requirements," reads the governor's website.
Full funding of 10.93 per cent under Prop 98 would make a difference of more than $700 million for the community college system, when compared to the current level of 9.6 per cent, according to Scott Lay, budget analyst for the Community College League of California.
Schwarzenegger's promise to community colleges was kept when he formed his new government and included many of his friends from Southern California community colleges.
The day he took office, Governor Schwarzenegger set the tone for his administration: "To those who have no power... to those who've dropped out too weary or disappointed with politics as usual I took this oath to serve you."
Joining forces with the Coalition of the Homeless, the HARTS (Homeless at Risk Transitional Studies) program is planning to begin a housing program for low income students at City College.
The plan, as described by HARTS coordinator Chris Shaeffer, is to negotiate a deal which will convert a hotel on Mission Street into student housing. This hotel, which has been empty for nearly 3 years, will best be acquired by making a deal with the current owner to set up a co-op. The prospect of using the hotel for student housing has not been submitted to the administration yet, but Shaeffer believes by bringing in the Associated Students, this plan can be put into action. "They (the AS) are a good umbrella," says Shaeffer.
The idea was originally developed by the Coalition of the Homeless in three meetings devoted to putting together a proposal.
Despite the fact that a campus housing project sounds expensive, Shaeffer says that there is "no real money involved." A contract with the owner and people being ready to move in and pay rent is all that is required. "It's a win-win situation," says Shaeffer.
City College once offered housing to Army GI's on campus, while the ideas are similar, Shaeffer describes the relationship between the two housing programs, as "Not much." "This wouldn't be campus housing," says Shaeffer, "This is essentially for people trying to get their lives together." He says he would eventually like to see classes held in the student housing, as well as providing other services such as health care. Shaeffer believes that homeless students will benefit by being provided with clean and sober living. "This can show what City College can do," says Shaeffer, "There's no program like this." He sees no potential disadvantage and he wants to turn the control of the building to the students eventually.
With programs like financial aid, the Extended Opportunity Program and Services and the Learning Assistance Center,
the housing program will build City College's image as an institution that assists students in need.
When asked about the completion of the project, Shaeffer replied "God only knows." He hopes there will be something by the summer. "There are quite a few students that need a place to stay," says Shaeffer.
by Jerome Steegmans
In an attempt to bolster awareness and support of community college issues in the face of pending budget cuts, City College Dean of Governmental Relations Leslie Smith has masterminded "The Missing Community College Student," a statewide art installation project designed to represent community college students denied access to classes across California this year.
A study presented by community colleges Chancellor Thomas J. Nussbaum at the November 4 meeting of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges indicated the statewide headcount of community college students is down 5.2 percent from fall 2002 to fall 2003, representing a loss of approximately 90,700 students.
Artist Kin Kwok has been commissioned to create two life size molds one male and one female. From these templates, 200 fiberglass models will be created, each representing approximately 500 students missing from classes this year. The hope is for each California community college to turn two of these models into "Missing Community College Students."
Artists from each school will paint, adorn, and transform the figures. When completed, the models will be shipped off to Sacramento, where they will be installed upon the Capitol lawn in time for the second March on Behalf of Community Colleges (tentatively scheduled for March 15), when students will join the 'missing' students for a rally in support of community colleges.
These fiberglass models will cost $433 each. While each figure abstractly represents 500 students who won't be making it to classes this year, each will represent, in a very real and direct way, one absent full-time student, whose fees would be covered by the $433 price tag (fees for a full time student here at City College come out to $432).
"I'm very excited," said Leslie Smith, "for once we are up front with the issues here, and moving forward ... At the rate things are going, we are [financially] on target all of our up-front costs are covered." Many student organizations across the state are still in deliberation, discussing feasibility and funding possibilities.
Kin Kwok will be displaying his work at the Cesar Chavez Student Center Art Gallery at San Francisco State University through Dec. 11, as part of "The Art of Clay", an exhibit featuring 17 emerging local artists.
To contribute to the project, or for more information, please contact Leslie Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 452-5132.