By Jandean Deocampo
Members of the Save CCSF Coalition organized a peaceful demonstration on Feb. 28 to draw attention to the college’s accreditation crisis, while simultaneously voicing concern over some of the changes being implemented to satisfy the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.
A crowd of more than 100 demonstrators arranged themselves into a “human billboard” as cars passed by.
“I’m here for equity,” said Nate Gallagher, a Media Studies student and member of the Media Committee for Save CCSF. “The students that are going to be most impacted by the cuts are students of color.”
Students and teachers wore heart badges and stood in bike lanes to wave large signs at passing cars, prompting them to “Honk for CCSF!” A loud brass band and a chorus line of improvised singers accompanied the demonstrators.
There were a few contrary opinions voiced at the demonstration.
“I like what Nanette Asimov writes,” City College student Ian Goldenberg said. “She’s telling the truth about this place [...] What people should be protesting is to insist that the school do what is necessary to meet the standards of the accrediting board. They hold all the cards.”
However, the vocalization of protest far outweighed the dissenting opinions.
“City College needs to stay the way it is and continue to thrive as a college for everybody,” said Nancy Kato, a City College student and an organizer with the San Francisco chapter of Radical Women. “[The accrediting committee] wants to limit it and make it for a smaller group of people, and that’s not right.”
Other people echoed Kato’s opinions.
“I’m here to call the Board of Trustees to accountability because they’re letting our interim administrators set the agenda,” Wendy Kaufman, an engineering instructor, said. “And the agenda that they’re setting is one of austerity. They’re intentionally trying to downsize this school.”
After an hour of activity and the affirmative blaring of passing cars, the protesters marched down Ocean Avenue to the Multi-Use Building on Phelan Avenue, where the Board of Trustees had scheduled a 6 p.m. meeting.
As sudden as it had started, the demonstration drew to a close. The crowd dispersed and heavy fog descended over the college like a question waiting to be answered.
Another rally is planned for March 14 at City Hall from 4-6 p.m. For more information, visit www.saveccsf.org.