News Brief

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Bookloans bite Back 

By Matthew Ching

Associated Students Council Senator Raja Sutherland proposed at a Nov. 7 council meeting that the Bookloan Program charge a flat $20 fee to students who haven’t returned their Bookloan texts and then request that the holds on their transcripts be removed.

Students with records dating back as far as 2006 have been coming back to ask that their holds be removed, and Bookloan has had no choice but to oblige, free of charge. A 2010 audit reported that over $120,000 worth of books were never returned to Bookloan.

“We’re being nice enough not to say, ‘No, you need to pay for the entire book.’ This is just a $20 fee. With the number of people calling in asking that their transcripts be taken off hold, this can generate revenue all by itself.”

Suggestions have been made that the fee be higher, or even dependent by a percentage upon the value of the book itself, though concerns have been raised at the decreasing value of outdated editions of older textbooks. This proposal is thus far unresolved and has been tabled for further discussion.

Equity in higher ed

By Zack Tobita

San Francisco State University held a symposium Nov. 3 for “Equity-Minded Practices” to provide insight on how to help students of color succeed in post high school education.

“It’s up to the educators to help better the educational system,” Skyline College President Regina Stanback-Stroud said.

Laurie Scolari, City College’s interim dean of Counseling, Student Support and Services and Outreach, expressed her standpoint on student equity, saying that, “94 percent of non-Asian high school students do not have a peer with a college degree to call upon.”

Scolari said encouraging increased success for students of color will include a better partnership between K-12 and higher education school districts, as well as more data-driven decision making.

“We need to continue to build upon and strengthen our relationship with San Francisco Unified School District by using specifically made data-informed decisions and alternatives to the placement exam,” Scolari said.

On the topic of money, Scolari said that Proposition A and Proposition 30 were “imperative” to increase funds for the school systems and, more specifically, to City College.  If they didn’t pass, public schools would continue to be underfunded and more cuts would be made to their budgets.

“The less funding means it’s more difficult to focus on initiatives that support equity,” Scolari said. “Unfortunately, equity is not at the forefront of many educational institutions’ priority list.”

Scott Cline, associate director of financial aid at California College of the Arts, spoke about some of the flaws with the current financial aid system, which include the length of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid applications.

Cline said the people creating the system “are dictating the financial aid process to students and are upset when they don’t get it. This has to change.”

Cline also discussed how students are being helped through the process, stressing that it is the responsibility of financial aid advisors to accept ownership for student assistance programs.

Excellence celebrated with awards

By Lavinia Pisani

Dedicated and passionate administrators, faculty, classified staff and students received Excellence awards on Nov. 7 for the “tremendous work” they have put into City College.

The awards were presented in the Multi-Use Building, which was decorated with an array of flowers for the event. Veronica Hunnicutt, dean of the Office of Students Affairs, dictated the awards, which were received by 24 deserving people in front of an audience of about 60.

Cynthia Walker-Hamilton, senior clerk typist, received the highest award for the wonderful job she has done in Admissions & Enrollment at Southeast campus.

Hunnicutt expressed her thanks for the important role Walker-Hamilton is playing in the college. Walker-Hamilton was acknowledged by a person in the audience who said “I cannot do it without her.”

The atmosphere was light and playful as Hamilton received her award.

“I know you are working hard, thank you,” Hunnicutt whispered after giving Walker-Hamilton her prize.

Winner of the Student Leadership Award, Huy Nguyen, is a member of the Asian-Pacific American Leaders United program and is an Asian American studies major.

“Huy was selected specifically by NICOS (Chinese Health Coalition) for his commitment to the mission of the organization, and for his dedication to his personal goals of a career in health care,” Hunnicutt said in her speech.

She said that Huy’s paper was one of the best that she has read in six years since she has been an instructor.

Nguyen is a self-motivated, determined and hard-working young man, “who will without a doubt succeed at his future endeavor to become a Registered Nurse, serving others,” Hunnicutt said.

Susan Berston, a business instructor at Ocean campus, received the Excellence in Service Award. The audience applauded and yelled as she walked toward the podium.

“She is considered to be a dedicated, compassionate and exuberant person,” Hunnicutt said.

Berston received flowers from one of her student representative, who thanked Berston for her dedication.

The Office of Students Affairs offered refreshments to thank and acknowledge everyone for their excellent performances in their areas or departments.

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