March 12, 2008
ADA accessibility construction on City College campuses must be fully completed by April 1
BY ANTHONY MYERS
Poor weather and a complicated design have slowed wheelchair-accessibility construction on Ocean campus, endangering the April 1 deadline mandated by a federal court.
Stemming from a 2006 lawsuit, Cherry v. City College of San Francisco, City College must spend no less than $7.5 million to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
“The critical date is April 1 for anything that has to do with accessibility,” Vice Chancellor James Blomquist said.
Construction was originally scheduled to be completed Feb. 29, 2008 — one month before the federally-mandated deadline.
Construction has been delayed by three weeks, leaving only a one-week buffer between the expected date of completion and the deadline.
If the deadline is not met, the federal court may fine City College, and Proven Management will be fined $10,000 per day by City College.
Difficult design requirements have delayed the construction.
“This is not an easy design,” Gilmartin said. “We’re working under a condensed period of time.”
Proven would have had more time if City College had approved their bid earlier, but the bidding process restarted at one point because of some questions about the initial process.
At the October board of trustees meeting, before the board voted, Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration Peter Goldstein told them he had just learned about problems with the bidding process.
None of the bidders had submitted all of the required information to complete their bid proposals. As a result, they were all disqualified and the college had to repeat the bidding process, Goldstein said.
Proven and their five subcontractors have been working overtime in order to meet the deadline, project manager Abram McMickin said.
“It’s the fastest job I’ve ever been on,” McMickin said. “We’re doing $2 million dollars a month worth of work on campus.”
Some of the work near Science Hall had to be put on hold due to the presence of students and faculty.
The switchback ramps meander uphill the hill to the two buildings. The pathway needs to achieve an 8.33 percent or less incline, Gilmartin said, or for every foot of ramp, it can go up one inch in height. This is the main barrier when it comes to disabled access.
No injuries to students or workers have been reported, and the work has gone as well as the weather has allowed, Blomquist said.
“They have gone out of their way to work even when it’s raining,” Blomquist said. “They have been exemplary.”
Pouring concrete usually does not happen in foul weather, said Inspector Todd Hitchcock. Concrete workers take the day off when it rains.
“Pouring concrete in the rain is three times more work,” Hitchcock said.
Weather has slowed some work, but just as troublesome was the plan itself.
With two weeks to go, Proven’s lead man Gilmartin is busy handling problems.
“The design isn’t always right,” Gilmartin said as one of his workers informed him the section they were working on was not level.
Ellen Silk contributed to this story.
BY BEN TAYLOR
The Metropolitan Transit Agency will implement a number of changes to Muni bus lines in 2009, some of which will directly affect City College students.
Of the 71 lines which would be changed, over 20 currently serve City College students who use Muni to get to the various satellite campuses.
The Transit Effectiveness Project, according to its Web site, is an 18-month long endeavor to make Muni service “more attractive to the public” through reviewing and evaluating the current system and proposing changes that will increase efficiency and lower costs.
While the proposed changes have sparked concern in some quarters, TEP Program Manager Julie B. Kirschbaum said that they will propose a number of changes to improve transit to City College.
“We are proposing modifications to several routes to provide better connections to City College, such as rerouting the 54 to pass closer to City College and extending the 52 to provide another connection between the Excelsior District, Balboa Park BART and (Ocean) campus,” Kirschbaum said.
The TEP will also be proposing two rapid lines to provide faster connections to City College. The 49L-Van Ness would provide limited-stop service on Mission Street and Ocean Avenue.
Also, an extended 28L would stop at key transfer points, providing faster travel times between City College and the Marina, the Richmond and the Sunset districts.
However, students who rely on the 36-Teresita line will have to make alternative travel plans if these proposals go through, as it would be re-routed and no longer provide service to Ocean campus.
The 26-line, which stops outside of the new Mission campus, will be cut completely.
“Under the TEP’s draft recommendations, virtually every Muni customer would experience some amount of change, with the vast majority of Muni customers benefiting from improved Muni service, in particular on the system’s most heavily utilized routes,” Kirschbaum said.
The proposed changes to Muni lines are not set in stone however, and TEP encourages commuters to attend community workshops that will be held in April and May to voice any concerns.
MTA media spokesperson Judson Truce says that students who commute to City College’s various satellite campuses have been taken into consideration.
“We are confident that these proposed changes will improve overall service for City College students,” Truce said.
For more information, visit www.sftep.com.
Faculty propose to name center after Chancellor Day
BY TJ JOHNSTON
City College faculty, staff and student organizations will introduce a resolution naming the Wellness Center after former Chancellor Philip R. Day, Jr. to the board of trustees, a City College official said.
Darlene Alioto, president of the Department Chairperson Council, confirmed that eight campus groups will move for naming the physical education building for Day as thanks for expanding the college. The DCC is spearheading the measure.
“He has united competing interests throughout San Francisco, with the goal of making CCSF a vital community college prepared to serve the needs of students into and beyond the 21st century,” Alioto said. She also credited the former chancellor for his fund-raising efforts and contributions to upgraded facilities.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Associate Vice Chancellor James Blomquist said of the proposal. “(Day) was the leadership behind making the building possible. It’s a worthy way of seeing him off. It’s a testimony to his contingent support and his love for City College of San Francisco.”
In addition to the DCC, American Federation of Teachers Local 2121, Service Employees International Union Local 1021, the Classified Senate, the Academic Senate, the Administrators’ Association, Associated Students and the College Advisory Council have co-signed the resolution.
Overwhelming demand for lockers and unclear locker assignment procedures at the Wellness Center have left students without a place to put their belongings.
Student Christa Collins had been told during orientation that all lockers were already assigned for the spring semester.
“I was really excited to have access to this facility,” Collins said. “This is an obstacle that I have to deal with for the remainder of the semester. I just want to know how they assigned the lockers.”
Unsecured cubbies are available in the fitness center as well as some day-use lockers in the women’s locker room, she said. However, the day-use lockers are always full.
“I risk my belongings being stolen by leaving them in an open cubby. I can’t watch them all the time,” Collins said. ”I can’t be the only one dealing with this problem. Was it first come, first serve, or was there priority for athletes?”
Being without a locker does not bother physical education major Mike Travis, who is enrolled in a bodybuilding and conditioning class at the center.
“I just figured it was because there are so many people signing up for classes here and it was on a first-come, first-serve basis,” Travis said.
Roxanna Hollister, who is taking a hip-hop class, said while it would be more convenient if she had a locker, she can deal without one.
“I feel like my things are pretty safe, because I bring them with me into my class,” Hollister said.
Alan Wong, who takes three classes at the center, was assigned a locker.
“The facilities are really nice,” Wong said. “They have some of the best lockers I’ve seen for public use. I see empty lockers every day, so I think they should come up with a better plan to assign lockers.”
Football coach Andre Allen was in charge of matching lockers with students. He said lockers were assigned within the first three weeks of the semester, but some students did not submit the necessary paperwork in time.
“The students were required to bring their class schedule to verify they had a class — and how many — at the Wellness Center, along with their own locks,” Allen said. “Some people came without locks and did not come back with what was required until much later, after the lockers had been assigned to other students.”
People with two or more physical education classes were given priority, Allen said. The department expected enrollment for classes at the center to increase significantly, but wasn’t anticipating as many students.
“As people with already assigned lockers drop courses, we will make those lockers available for day-use,“ Allen said.
By Fall 2008, a new locker assignment policy more accommodating to students will be in place. “It is the first semester,” Allen said, “and we’re still trying to work out the kinks.”
What is the best way to make sure that you are getting a locker for the upcoming semester?
“Have a lock and have your class schedule with you,” Allen said.
BY NATASHA SIMPSON
The English department created a new English major, introduced fall 2007, giving students another popular and varied option of study right at City College.
Dr. Christopher Greger, the English major coordinator, said the department drew on an existing pool of interested students and signed them up before the major was approved. He said the major was developed to increase success rates of City College students transferring to other educational institutions as English majors but also to give students a chance to take advantage of San Francisco’s literary scene.
“The San Francisco Bay Area has one of the richest and most vibrant literary cultures in the country – the city is full of people wandering around with poems in their heads,” Greger said. “With the English major, we want to make City College at the center of this literary culture, or at least an indelible part of it.”
Dr. Bruce M. Smith, Dean of Liberal Arts at the Castro/Valencia campus said, “I think the establishment of a formal English major at City College will be a great asset, providing students with a well-organized, carefully developed program of study in English literature.”
Smith believes that English is a versatile major. “While the most obvious benefits of an English major relate to future work in higher education, it is important to recognize English majors frequently go on to a wide variety of further education and careers in many different fields.”
Greger agrees, “An English major is one of the most flexible majors out there – a Bachelor of Arts in English is an excellent starting point for people interested in pursuing a whole bunch of different careers, including law, business, journalism, and more.”
English majors are already taking the initiative, according to Greger. “Among our existing body of English majors there is quite a bit of interest. Two groups of students have already gotten together to request that we run electives that haven’t been run in years, which we’ll be doing in the fall: English 59 (literary analysis), which is a great class for students interested in going deeper into their study of literature, and English 14, which is a class that will design, edit and produce CCSF’s new literary magazine, Forum. The first issue of Forum, in fact, was largely produced by Alex Dixon, one of our current majors,” he said.
There is a student club focusing on literature in development and eventually there will be a T-shirt for English majors, designed by Peter Glanting.
“Right now the English Major focuses on honing students’ skills in reading and writing about English Literature, to prepare them to excel both as students at four year institutions but also as thoughtful, literate communicators out in the world,” Greger said.
The English major can be declared for transfer purposes as well as for an Associate of Arts degree.
Faculty and students bemoan loss of native plants
BY DOMINIK MOSUR
The Ocean campus has lost teaching resources, natural climate and noise buffers as well as wildlife habitat as a result of the trees and gardens that have been destroyed during the ongoing construction projects.
The Department Chairperson Council has asked to meet with the Interim Chancellor Don Griffin to discuss changes to the landscape made without consulting biology and horticulture department faculty.
Darlene Alioto, DCC president and head of social science department, said the loss of trees may cause energy costs to “skyrocket.”
“Some of those trees were tall and large; they provided an environmental canopy that provided shade,” Alioto said.
“Lack of shade means warmer rooms, which means the heating and air conditioning systems will go out of whack.”
Thomas Wang, an environmental horticulture instructor, said a garden, which could have served as a teaching tool for other departments, was bulldozed.
“A xeriscape garden” — a garden containing drought resistant plants — “next to the Lunch Box was demolished,” Wang said. “Once those plants grew up, the geography and botany departments could teach from it.”
Wang estimates a dozen mature trees have been removed.
Music Department Chair Madeline Mueller is worried that the loss of trees will increase noise while the loss of other plants could have other negative effects.
“Canopies form wonderful sound barriers, to protect us from sound and noise pollution,” Mueller said. “Students are having to go off campus to study, that makes it an academic and professional matter.”
Student Kaya Mac Millen, president of the Urban Sustainability Alliance, thought that the removal of plants without any warning was “kind of rude” and would severely affect campus ecology.
“They tore down all the coyote bushes below Cloud Hall, which are used by hundreds of native insects and birds,” Mac Millen said.
A meeting with Interim Chancellor Griffin has yet to be scheduled.
BY ELLEN SILK
In certain progressive feminist circles, women is spelled with a “y” to represent the removal of the masculine from a feminine word.
With a female Speaker of the House and Hillary Clinton holding 238 Super-delegates to Barack Obama’s 199 (according to CNN Politics Web site), could this March, declared Women’s History Month, herald the year of the womyn?
The Web site Campaign to Elect a Woman President states that the struggle to elect a female president began in 1870 when Victoria Claflin Woodhull announced her candidacy in the 1872 election.
According to the National Women’s History Project Web site, International Women’s Day, March 8, was first celebrated in 1911 to commemorate the 1857 strike of women working in the garment and textile industry in New York.
Because many factory workers were female immigrants, Women’s History Day and Women’s History Month have always had an international spirit. Since then, the occasion has evolved from a day into a month.
“They can’t confine us to one month,” Leslie Simon of the women’s studies department said.
The conference, held April 3-5, will feature speakers Yvonne Yabro-Bejarano, chair of Chicano/a Studies at Stanford University, and artist Irene Simmons, who will host a hands-on dress adornment workshop.
“The dresses made at the conference will hang in the third floor hall and each office is going to adopt a dress to take care of while they are being exhibited,” said Simon in honor of all the murdered and missing women.
This year’s theme “Women make Change” at City College will also have events like the film screening of “The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter,” and an open house on March 19, 12 to 1 p.m. at the Women’s Resource Center.
At the “Womyn of Color” gathering hosted by the City College Women’s Resource Center, student Marcelina Camacho said, “I am like Mother Earth who fights the struggle, overcomes oppression and gives birth to the revolution.”
Each year, March is designated as National Women’s History Month to ensure that the history of American women will be recognized and celebrated in schools, workplaces and communities throughout the country.
“The stories of women’s historic achievements present an expanded view of the complexity and contradiction of living a full and purposeful life,” states the NWHP Web site.
53 New Computers Installed on Campus
Fifty-three new 3 GHz computers have replaced older, slower old 450-750 MHz machines that suffered sever viral attacks to improve chance to surf the Web without fear of being infected.
Service to be Held for Slain Instructor
A memorial for John Alfred Dennis Jr. at the Pierre Coste Room at Ocean campus is planned for Wednesday, March 19 at 2:30 p.m. Dennis, an instructor in the Social Sciences department, died over the weekend of Feb. 9-10.
Body Mass Index Analysis Offering
The Student Health Center is offering free body mass index analysis and smoking cessation support groups on Fridays in March. BMI analysis will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. The smoking support group meets 11 to noon. Contact Barbara Conahan at email@example.com or (415) 239-3192 for details.
Polar Explorer to Discuss Environment, Global Warming
Robert Swan, who completed expeditions by foot to the North and South Pole, will speak at the Ocean campus Thursday, April 10, 1 to 2:30 p.m., in Science 136. The talk is free . For details, call (415) 239-3580.
Trustee Lawrence Wong's name was misspelled in the Feb. 27 issue.
SATELLITE CAMPUS FOCUS
With Global Exchange and The Solar Living Institute, the Southeast campus will offer a new “green career internship program” this summer. Interested students are encouraged to attend an environmental advocacy crash course March 29 and a career conference April 5, after which they will be assisted in applying for a one- to three- month paid internship at a local green business. For more information, contact Southeast campus Dean Veronica Hunnicutt at (415) 550-4347 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE GUARDSMAN ON WATCH
$250,000 reward for tips leading to arrest of murderers of Ali Shahin
City College student Ali Shahin, 18, was shot to death in September as he waited for a friend at Candlestick Park.
Mayor Gavin Newsom has offered a reward of $250,000 for information leading to a conviction of his murder. The San Francisco Police Department is trying to determine the killing’s motive. Shahin’s body was found outside his car and his wallet was untouched.
He is son of Imam Sayed Shahin, one of San Francisco’s largest mosques.
Reportedly, the SFPD is near the end of a months-long investigation and they have a suspect in custody.
CAMPUS CLUB SPOTLIGHT
The Urban Sustainability Alliance is club highly dedicated to promoting awareness of sustainability issues that affect City College students and faculty, according to Club President Kaya Mac Millen.
USA is currently working with the school administration to promote planting native vegetation in areas affected by construction. Native plants are more sustainable than exotic species in requiring less water, pruning. Having adapted to local soil conditions they also thrive without artificial fertilizers.
The club meets every other Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m. in Room G of the Martin Luther King Center. USA is also active in the City College of San Francisco Sustainability Subcommittee that meets on alternate Wednesdays in Bungalow 704 at 3 p.m. Students are encouraged to attend.