BY ANN-CHATRINE NILSSON
A woman was sexually assaulted near City College’s Ocean campus around 7 a.m. on Aug. 24, near the tennis courts by the North Gym.
BY JOHN SERVATIUS
A bill just passed in the state legislature that might bring $22 million in additional state funding to the college.
The bill, SB 361 — which was drafted in concert with City College — passed on Aug. 29 and authorizes a one-time expenditure of $9 million to $10 million for school maintenance and instructional equipment.
Renewable funding within the bill includes a cost-of-living allowance of 5.92 percent totaling $8 million in employee compensation and benefits, and $3 million to $4 million in non-credit course funding.
The bill is currently awaiting Gov. Schwarzenegger's signature, which City College’s administration anticipates soon.
“Based on our extended discussions on the bill this year . . . we have every reason to believe that the Governor will sign the bill sometime during September,” said Robert Turnage, the vice chancellor of college finance and facilities planning for the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.
About 40 percent of City College’s 106,000 students are enrolled in non-credit classes, the largest non-credit program in the state.
Unfortunately, non-credit courses only receive half the money from the state that credit classes receive, according to Chancellor Philip R. Day, Jr.; but the college pays the same rate to instructors, whether they teach credit or non-credit classes.
“We try to give everybody the same access to the same level of teaching, but we pay the price for that, and that price is equal pay for equal work,” he said.
If the Governor signs the bill, non-credit classes will attain 90 percent of the funding of credit classes over the next three years.
City College did not work on the legislation alone — other California community colleges and the State Chancellors Office played a part as well.
Chancellor Day said the administration also hired two lobbying and consulting firms to work on the campaign.
“It’s the best investment we ever made,” Chancellor Day said at a recent Planning and Budgeting Council meeting, referring to the $115,000 paid last year in consulting and lobbying fees to California Strategies & Communications, LLC of Sacramento and Barnes, Mosher, Whitehurst and Lauder of San Francisco.
Both firms were instrumental in designing and implementing strategies that ultimately resulted in the passage of the bill. The firms assisted CityCollege officials develop and make their own presentation before legislators.
James Brulte of California Strategies, a former state senate minority leader, worked on the legislation.
“We were on contract with City College and gave the district strategic advice, messaging on how to get the non-credit portion raised,” Brulte said.
Some administrators are already anticipating what the money could bring.
Joanne Low, dean of the Chinatown/North Beach campus — a large provider of non-credit ESL classes — mused that it could bring smaller class sizes or the hiring of more support staff.
Dawn Saunders, Associated Students I.D. Representative, was glad the college might receive more funding.“I think it’s really good that they got the money,” Saunders said.
BY JOSE GUTIERREZ
City College was awarded a $750,000 grant in October 2005 to establish The Institute for Convergence of Optical and Network Systems.
With the money, the new program has been buying new equipment, creating classes, training instructors and establishing a state-of-the-art fiber optic network, which links the college’s campuses together.
“It is now possible to teach our students cutting-edge technology,” said Carmen Lamha, ICONS’ Co-Principal Investigator. “I’m very excited to use our new resources.”
Along with Lamha, the institute is headed by Principal Investigator Professor Pierre Thiry and Co-Principal Investigator Tim Ryan.
ICONS has been spending the grant money on equipment such as special telephones, switches, and routers, as well as a fusion splicer used in connecting fibers and diagnosing connections.
“This allows us to move forward and use resources we did not have before,” Thiry said.
In order to meet ICONS’ goal, a fiber optic network has been established to interconnect all major City College campuses to a major data center.
City College now has a 100 Mbps public Internet connection; the old system was clocked at only three Mbps. The average household DSL connection is only 1.5 Mbps, which means that the college’s connection is over 66 times faster than the average home connection.
Training was also provided to instructors who will teach new courses. Under the grant, two new courses a year can be created for three years.
This year the two new courses are fiber optic technology and voice-over-IP, which deals with telephone communication over the internet; both the classes are fully enrolled.
The grant money was received from the National Science Foundation under its Advanced Technologies Education program.
“We have a good collaboration with the NSF. They want us to be part of a movement,” said Thiry.
The mandatory health fee was increased this semester to $15 by the state board of trustees.
All students who enroll in credit classes must pay the fee; the money helps fund the health center's services, which are available to students enrolled in credit classes.
According to Clinic Director Sunny Clark, 87 percent of students that use the health center’s services don’t have health insurance.
"There are tremendous benefits to supporting services like us because they get consultation and help," Clark said.
Clark said even students with insurance find the health center to be more convenient than traveling to other doctors, because the students can easily drop by before or after class.
Clark added that for some, the health center serves as a gauge for students who don’t know whether or not they should see a doctor.
According to Clark, many students in fact continue to enroll in classes at City College just to gain access to the health services.
Student Nora Noble-Christoff also acknowledged that health care options have become sparse.
“A lot of students need somewhere to go,” Noble-Christoff said.
“It’s alright to pay if it helps people,” student Shaman Haycraft said.
“If the money somehow goes back to the students then I think that’s cool,” student Tai Narusawa said.
Even though the health fee is the main source of funds for the department, not all students are thrilled about the increase.
According to student Kyle O’Brien, fees should be charged only if and when services are needed.
The summer of 2006 saw triple digit heat in the United States and record use of electricity. City College was hit as well, but the campus has been preparing.
City College has been developing a sustainability plan over the last few years, according to James Blomquist, who works with City College’s Facility Planning Department.
State power consumption reached a record 50,270 megawatts on July 5, the peak of the heat wave. “The school minimizes power consumption by turning off lights and shutting down air conditioning to buildings whenever possible,” Blomquist said.
Although City College does not have a solid “green” plan like some other colleges, it does use environmentally safe products. Paints and cleaning fluids are some of the products that the college buys.
City College does have a recycling program that includes the blue barrels for plastics and paper. Crima Pogge, faculty in the Ecology Department at City College, says she is more of a prevention fan than a recycling fan. “Filling a water bottle with tap water from home instead of buying a bottle and recycling it is a better idea,” Pogge said.
The college also buys Energy Star type products when available. Energy Star is a program started by the Environmental Protection Agency that rates products for energy efficiency.
All of the new campus buildings are planned with environmental stability in mind, like the new Student Health Center. The building will include what Craig Peterson, Project Manager for City College, calls a “cool roof.”
“We do what we can,” Blomquist said.
“The new technology is actually a reflective roof surface on top of the building that increases temperature insulation,” said Peterson. The center also features a switching system that turns lights on and off during peak usage hours.
“We are putting additional effort into using recycled as well as local materials on the campuses. Buying local means cutting down on the trucking in of the materials, which pollutes the air,” said Peterson.
Pogge, who is also the director for the Center for Habitat Restoration, says one of the problems facing students on campus directly is water. “We will have problems with clean water as the prices go up. That will hit students —any economic hardship affects student,” Pogge said.
Some of the University of California campuses feature completely green buildings. The University of California, Los Angeles’s LaKretz Hall has air conditioning that utilizes floor ventilation instead of ceiling vents to reduce electric usage.
The entire campus of UC Merced is green, as stated on the university's Web site. Every building is designed with a special energy management system that monitors usage to maximize efficiency.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Web site, the Earth’s surface temperature has risen by one degree Fahrenheit. The temperature continues to rise and the problem is made worse by greenhouse gases.
Gases released by cars and trucks, the heating of homes, and the production of electricity make up almost 98 percent of the United States' total carbon dioxide emissions.
Due to the California Universal Waste Rule that went into effect in February 2006, it is now illegal to throw away cell phones, batteries and other electronic items.
In response to the new rule, City College has added new recycling options for students.
“If half of the 100,000 people on all the campuses in San Francisco recycle, then I will be happy,” said Recycling Coordinator Carlita Martinez.
In order to encourage students to recycle their electronic waste, Martinez placed new recycling units in Cloud and Smith halls. The units are not only depositories for bottles and cans, but they will also serve as a place to properly dispose of used batteries, ink cartridges, and old cell phones.
Students are also involved in the collection effort — Martinez said each recy cling container on campus, including the satellite campuses, is emptied and maintained by the students. She said that students are paid about $9 per hour, and that positions are still available.
"By the time we are done hiring we will have about 12 students working," Martinez said.
Though passed in 2002, the state's Universal Waste Rule wasn’t fully implemented until February of this year. Prior to the rule’s full implementation, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control allowed several items containing toxins to be thrown in the trash that must now be recycled.
The department says that common batteries, which contain corrosive and toxic chemicals like cadmium, can no longer go in the trash. Cadmium is classified as a carcinogenic chemical and has also been linked to respiratory, kidney and liver problems. Cell phones and televisions might also contain cadmium, as well as other carcinogens like chromium.
The department also prohibits the disposal of mercury-containing items such as fluorescent bulbs, tubes and thermometers because of mercury’s link to nerve damage and birth defects.
Martinez said the college plans to place one more bin in another high-traffic area of the Ocean campus. She said that funding for the new units was provided by a grant from the California Department of Conservation.
BY LARRY SIMPSON
The board reviewed and discussed a resolution that would require it to publish on its Web site the results of collective bargaining agreements five days prior to accepting conditions negotiated with unions. While members expressed an overall need for public input into its labor negotiations, some feared that leaving the end of negotiations open to sudden change might be construed as an act of bad faith.
The board’s chief financial officer, John Delmont, presented a report on the financial status of the college in the third-quarter of this fiscal year. According to Delmont’s report, revenues and expenses for the college are on track and the estimated final budget for the year is on target.
The board reviewed a budget update for the coming fiscal year and concluded that it was completed in time to meet the state’s September deadline.
“The public has a role: they elect you to do the job, and if they don’t like the decision you make they should get rid of you next election.” - Ed Murray, president of the AFT 2121 City College Faculty Union, on the resolution to publish collective bargaining agreements five days before final approval.
City College at Large
The fall fashion business workshops continue at Evans campus with the worshop "Editing a Fashion Line" held on Tuesday nights from Sept. 12 to Oct. 10, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Students can learn what it takes to plan a fashion collection, improve their ability to analyze th market and create a concise group of products to make a coherent fashion statement. Regsiter online.
Fort Mason Campus
- The photo caption for "Industry Begs for New Auto Techs" misstated Ron Young's title. He is a tool room custodian.