By Natalia Bogdanov
CCSF Collective presented at the Arts and Education Resource Fair on Wednesday, Jan. 29 to showcase and discuss how class cuts have affected students.
In 2019, 309 non-credit classes and 554 credit courses were cut. Because of this, CCSF Collective attended the fair to bring awareness to the class cuts. They wanted to showcase which students were specifically affected by these cuts and to discuss future plans to bring these classes back. This included which board meetings to attend, future protests, budgeting propositions, and extensive knowledge on each board member.
CCSF Collective was contacted by the Executive Director of the Arts Education Alliance of The Bay Area, Todd Berman, who coordinated the event. Todd explained that the organization is primarily focused on K-12, but now they fear they have to worry about college students as well, for the first time.
“Our principal goal is to give every student in the area the primary art resources that they are looking for. Because arts education is essential to learning and sometimes it will save lives,” Berman said.
At the event, one of CCSF Collective’s goals was to find one more Supervisors to support the emergency bridge funding to bring back the classes that were cut this spring semester. This funding would come from San Francisco’s reserve. The proposal, which later passed the Board of Supervisors but was vetoed by Mayor London Breed, would have taken $2.7 million out of that reserve and given it to City College to restore some of the classes for the spring 2020 term, including the 50 older adult education classes, 100 art related courses, self defense courses, and various language courses.
Besides this, CCSF Collective was also trying to find student representation for the final reading on the emergency bridge funding on Tuesday, Feb. 4. The purpose of this would be to ask the mayor to not veto the emergency measure to restore the classes that were cut, and to ask the board members who voted no to the funding to switch to yes on Tuesday.
Eira Kien, a cognitive science major, said the point of this event was to “showcase the artwork from the students and faculty. What we have on display at the table is not only student artwork… It’s also a way to express that through the art classes here, there is a way to create a community. And why we want to promote it here is because we think that all of the organizations could be on board with supporting the mercy bridge funding,” she said.
She clarified that more classes were cut this spring semester because “the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Tom Boegel, released a list to the department chair that there was a $13 million shortfall, and because of this they had to cut 350 classes. And of those classes, 100 of them were art related…38 in art were cut, 12 in dance, two in fashion, one in museum studies, 23 in music, four in theatre arts, three in media design, and nine from the older adult program,” Kien said.
Outside of the Asian Arts Museum, CCSF Collective put together an art display. This display was a figurative piece attempting to express the literal impact the cuts had on the education of City College students. For the art piece, Josie Merer, along with other CCSF Collective members, arranged various textbooks from the cut classes and placed them on the floor painted and ruined. This display’s purpose was to evoke compassion from everyone joining the Art and Education Resource Fair. More importantly, it was to literally show just a fragment of all the wasted knowledge.