Class Cuts Affect Us All – And It’s Time for Us To Speak Out
By The Guardsman Staff
As the staff of The Guardsman, we no longer feel as though we can stay silent as our classes are swept out from under our feet and our peers are rendered unable to graduate on time.
Approximately 225 credit sections and 63 non-credit sections were removed from the Spring 2020 schedule, according to an official College Statement released by the Office of the Chancellor on Nov. 21.
Per their contract with the faculty union American Faculty Teacher ( AFT 2121), the school cannot cut under enrolled classes until after the enrollment period is over (after classes have actually begun). By making the proposed cuts known to deans and department chairs only two days before enrollment began, the administration created a crisis in which educators were forced to scramble to protect what classes they could.
Many programs, like Metal Arts, were advertising their offerings at the RAM Block Party on Nov. 21 without realizing the administration had cut the same classes they were persuading students to enroll in.
Some part-time instructors will be losing their jobs because their classes have been cut. One department chair has advised the faculty in his department to consider their unemployment and food stamp options.
To add to the confusion, some of the cut classes are still appearing on the online registration site, but are being listed as if they were full with full waitlists so students still are unable to enroll.
The effects of these cuts are more far reaching than we had imagined as international students, including those in the journalism program, could have their citizenship status jeopardized if they are unable to meet stringent class requirements.
There is a larger problem with lack of transparency at the upper levels of administration at City College, as department chairs and student representatives did not receive adequate time to give their input on the eliminations.
The lack of financial accountability as well as institutional deficiencies in the area of leadership and governance is unacceptable. It’s time to reconsider the role of the campus administrators and the future of our community college.
It seems as though AFT 2121 has been doing far more to establish alternative means of funding for the college than administrators, whose job descriptions include seeking additional funding sources.
They have proposed a Community Higher Education Fund (CHEF) and are working hard on next year’s Schools and Communities First property tax reform measure.
City College plays an important role in the community, because it makes a good education possible for people of all backgrounds. The college is a public good that benefits not only those who attend the college, but those who live in the city.
Having next semester’s classes gutted shouldn’t be quintessential to the City College experience, but it’s quickly becoming a school tradition. What students can do is connect with their peers to unite against class cuts.