By Lynda Brommage
The Multi-Use Building (MUB) has students, teachers and faculty in an upheaval regarding the proposed idea of classroom space taken away for administrative purposes that was meant for student learning.
The proposal has been put forth due to the need to relocate 85 City College employees from the 33 Gough building that is leased out to developers for the next 75 years starting July, 2017.
In doing so, 20 of the 34 total classrooms meant for student instruction in the MUB would be used for administrative purposes such as human relations, City College finances and payroll – but will also include student services such as consolidating financial aid from Cloud Hall, counseling services, matriculation and creating a larger student testing lab according to Assistant Vice Chancellor Linda De Silva.
“This would be a one stop first contact for student services,” said De Silva. “It would make operational sense.”
The move will take up the entire third floor and half the second floor displacing the Link Center which many students depend on for computer use and health services. It will also disband the Child Development and Health Education Programs which many students attend for their certificates.
“I was astounded when I reached out to my union representative Athena,” Gender Diversity Project Coordinator, Andrew Ciscel, whose office lies in the Link Center said. “I was looking for representation that would impact my job and the staff here but instead she wrote back that the student perspective seemed entitled.”
The argument boils down to the fact that the MUB was created by a bond issue approved by San Francisco taxpayers to create a learning facility for students at City College to grow enrollment and serve its community.
Most objections relate to twelve of the classrooms to be used solely for non-student related administrative business.
In a video recording of the February 23, City College Board of Trustees meeting held in the MUB to discuss the topic many students, faculty, teachers and all those affected by the proposal voiced their strong objections to the proposal.
Students complained that this was the newest of City College’s buildings, with state of the art facilities for student instruction and many of the classrooms equipped to handle technological capabilities and hold student events. Students also addressed the fact that many come from all over the Bay Area and the move displaces them and their programs, impacting them greatly.
In the video City College student Ashley Shroder spoke to the board “the MUB is very important to us,” she said.
Health Care Chair Beth Freedman also had strong words for the board at the meeting. She said, “This is a prime facility for student learning, created by a bond for instructional learning for students. This is not good PR for CCSF.” Freedman also argued that none of the department chairs or deans affected by the plan were consulted or notified.
Darlene F. Alioto, Chair Social Sciences Department and President Department Chairperson Council (DCC), in an email letter to the City College Board of Trustees also expressed her objections to the proposal stating that “it is totally unacceptable in every way imaginable to take the highest quality and newest instructional space on this campus – many of the classrooms specifically designed for certain programs – in order to house administrative offices.”
The situation will be ongoing with all sides considered and all possibilities taken into consideration for relocating 33 Gough Street employees. In a recent phone interview Da Silva said, “We are circling back at other options other than MUB.”