City College is on its way to spending $7 to $12 million to improve accessibility to over 3,000 students with disabilities on all of its campuses as a result of a lawsuit settled last spring.
The college has been in the process of improving accessibility since the May 1, which was the effective date of the stipulated judgment. So far they have paid for architectural designs and have been training faculty to review procedures for the Disabled Students Program and Services.
Peter Goldstein, vice chancellor of finance and administration, said the college also had to pay a large sum to attorneys.
“It’s very sad that the college had to pay $1.7 million in attorney fees to address a situation that we would have voluntarily resolved through serious discussion,” Goldstein said.
Virtually all buildings and parking on the Ocean campus will be affected somehow in an effort to improve accessibility. Changes will also be made to the Downtown, Evans and John Adams campuses. In addition, All forthcoming projects will feature accessible facilities.
“Most of City College is pretty accessible,” said disabled student Jason Kern. “They need to make sure there are ramps in buildings with stairs, and make sure all elevators are working.”
City College will also hire a full-time Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance Director. Some of the Director’s duties include receiving and responding to inquiries concerning physical access barriers from students with disabilities, and developing and implementing training programs for the faculty; right now the ADA Compliance Director's duties are split between three people.
“Were excited to have a full-time ADA Compliance Director,” said Kathleen Kerr-Schochet, Coordinator for Disabled Students Program Services. “They will deal with both facility and programmatic issues.”
BY MARCO A. GUTIERREZ
City College’s stem cell certification program continues to flourish a year and a half after funding, according to Biology instructor Philip Jardim.
“We are one of the only community colleges in the country that have the stem cell program,” Jardim said. “It is a chance for students to gain really valuable laboratory skills that they are not going to find anywhere else.”
Stem cells are the foundation cells for every organ, tissue and cell in any body. Proponents of stem cell research claim that the cells can be used to reproduce any tissue in the body and treat many illnesses.
Human stem cells are harvested through several different methods. One common method involves the destruction of living embryos and has generated heated controversy.
According to Jardim, however, City College’s program does not use human stem cells — mouse stem cells are used instead.
“We use both adult and embryonic stem cells,” Jardim said. “These are cells that have not yet become fated in terms that they have not become a skin cell.
“They can be induced to became the kind of cell you want them to be."
In November of 2004, 59 percent of California voters passed Proposition 71, which would have allowed the state to spend $3 billion over 10 years on stem cell research.
The money was intended for the University of California, private institutions and companies who conduct the research, but after the proposition passed, lawsuits were filed by tax groups and other groups opposed to the research on moral grounds.
City College was not directly affected by this decision. In April of 2005, the governor's office gave City College's biotechnology program $779,067 to create a stem cell research program.
City College also has a "Bridge to Biotech" program, which consists of courses in mathematics, language and biology. The program gives students the necessary background to work in the biotechnology industry, and is usually required before taking stem cell classes.
“The Bridge to Biotech teaches you the basics of biotechnology,” said student Edwin Masangkay, who went through the Bridge to Biotech program and received a certificate in stem cell research.
BY DESMOND MILLER
The Associated Students and the Inter-Club Council are working to bring an organic farmers market to Ocean campus as the first step in a revitalization of Ram Plaza, which they hope will foster community and student involvement at City College.
“I think that a farmers market will bring up a lot of different interests and cultural, social issues,” student Ramon Pavov said. “I feel that if there is more cultural awareness, and things that people can relate to, they would get more involved.”
According to Diamond Dave Whitaker, Associated Students vice president of cultural affairs, plans are being made that will culturally revitalize Ram Plaza.
“We are planning an event on Wednesday, October 18, called ‘Hump Day,’ ” Whitaker said.
The event will feature lessons by the Flowershop Collective about how to run vehicles on “veggie power,” and said that the group will bring their school bus, which runs on recycled vegetable oil.
According to Julia Waters, vice president of the Inter-Club Council, a new set of vending guidelines was implemented this semester, which she hopes will shift the content of what is being sold at the plaza.
Waters said she would like to see more local and sustainable vendors who would cater specifically to student needs rather than sell general goods which can be commonly purchased elsewhere.
Waters has been in contact with the San Francisco Agricultural Commissioner to get an application for a certified farmers market.
“This certification would allow the college to have a variety of different produce venders without having to get separate heath permits for them all,” Waters said.
Waters wants to have the market open by the end of the semester, but Skip Fotch, associate dean of student affairs, said there are a few details that still need to be worked out.
“The introduction of a farmers market on campus is a good idea — however, issues of how the farmers market will stay clean, and how much to charge the vendors as well as how much the vendors will charge the students is still a real concern and needs to be addressed,” Fotch said.
“I’m sure the students will work on this to come up with something that works.”
The California Newspaper Publishers Association awarded the City College Journalism department on Sept. 20 for the high quality of students' work on The Guardsman and its sister publication, Etc. Magazine.
“You guys are doing such a great job with your paper that you were given a check for $1,500,” said Steve Proctor, a CNPA representative and deputy managing news editor at the San Francisco Chronicle.
City College's Journalism department was one of six recipients chosen from across the state to receive money for equipment upgrades.
Juan Gonzales, Journalism department chair, said the money would be used for new computer equipment to assist students’ work on the publications. He said he was proud that the organization of professionals decided to invest the money, which he said would return to them in the future.
“Their decision to give us funds points to the belief that we have a program that is worth supporting,” Gonzales said.
“The students we are training will eventually be working for member newspapers of the CNPA.”
BY ELIZABETH SKOW
The Queer Resource Center, opened by student volunteers in the fall of 2005, is closed this semester due to concerns of administration and faculty advisors after several conflicts between students occurred there.
BY NINO BOLES-KING
• Associated Students Council President Anthony Navarro told the board that military recruiters have visited Ocean campus. he added they are not following their agreement with the college to notify Skip Fotch, associate dean of student activities, five days before they appear on campus and are instead appearing unannounced.
• The board discussed a plan to build a performing arts complex on the site of the existing reservoir. Trustee Milton Marks III opposed the plan, saying “I can’t support this because I feel it has not gone through the necessary process to let the
City College at Large
Students get to design a fashion logo, the first step in branding a product, at a six-session workshop for logo design offered on Tuesdays, Oct. 31 through Dec. 5, from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The cost for this workshop is $150.
Fort Mason Campus