Letters to The Editor

Letters to the Editor

We’ve waited long enough for the Performing Arts Education Center (PAEC).

It’s finally time to build, but it faces a huge hurdle. The city of San Francisco is aggressively moving to allow a private developer, AvalonBay, to build more than a thousand housing units on the Balboa Reservoir.

Neither City College administration nor the Board of Trustees has spoken up to make the PAEC a priority or to ensure the housing project doesn’t undermine the needs of students. The proposed design decimates the essential parking on the lower lot used by students and staff. No parking means no attendance for many students.

San Franciscans approved bond measures in 2001 and 2005 to fund a state-of-the-art facility that would serve the college, but also house community events and spaces that the college could rent out as a revenue source. The PAEC was fully funded and ready for completion in 2012. When the State Chancellor’s office improperly took over City College during the accreditation crisis in 2012, it redirected the $38 million dedicated to building the PAEC by Sacramento in 2011 to another community college.

The Balboa Reservoir development is far from a done deal. Sizable pushback from students and the public can turn this around.

Speak up. Contact the City College Board of Trustees, your city supervisor, and the CCSF Associated Student Council to voice your support for the PAEC and objections to the AvalonBay development.


Fred Muhlheim

CCSF Student

Chancellor Mark Rocha published a letter in April titled “Just One More,” in which he asked if anything was “stressing” us out, and if so, how could he help? He declared his door was always open, but I have tried to meet with him several times since he became our chancellor in the beginning of Fall 2017 and I still have not been able to get a meeting with him.

When Rocha was applying for the position as chancellor, he told students at his candidate forum that he would be available to meet with us if he got the position. Unfortunately, that wasn’t true.

So in response to his question, is anything stressing me out? The short answer is, Yes, I’m hella stressed, and here’s why:

As a single mother of a six-year-old and a full time student at Ocean Campus, I am stressed out because all responsibilities fall to me with little to no help or understanding of my situation. As a student organizer at City College, I’m stressed out because thousands of students don’t know about their right to enter directly into college-level math and English classes. Instead, most students get stuck in low-level remedial courses where, in some cases, 93 percent of students fail to even make it to the transfer course they need.

I’m stressed because AB 705 is one of the most significant civil rights laws passed by California’s governor benefitting community college students and almost no one is talking about it. Myself and my team of organizers in Students Making a Change, a recognized club on Ocean Campus, have been working to spread the word to about AB 705 and have asked City College and the chancellor to inform students of our rights.

We are asking City College to fully implement the new law by Fall 2018 by taking the following immediate actions:

  1. Immediately remove the block in Banner that prevents students from enrolling in transfer-level English and math classes.
  2. Ensure that high school GPAs are used as the primary placement tool for all entering students.
  3. Make placement testing optional for all students. Students should only take the placement test if they choose to.
  4. Enable the feature in CCC Apply that allows all prospective City College students to self-report their GPA.
  5. Immediately inform all City College students of their right to be placed in transfer-level English and math courses.
  6. Allocate additional resources as needed for tutoring, advising, and professional development to help faculty and staff who are working to get City College into compliance by Fall 2018.

If you are a student and would like to exercise your right to succeed, visit our website at ab705.org, sign our statement to show your support for implementing AB 705 at City College, or stop by our club meetings in the Student Union every Wednesday from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.


Kashmiere Young

Student leader for Students Making a Change

One thought on “Letters to the Editor

  • Jon Winston

    There are several inaccuracies in the Balboa Reservoir letter.

    Avalon Bay is not the only developer working on the much-needed housing in the lower reservoir. The development team includes non-profit developers Bridge Housing, Mission Housing, and Habitat for Humanity and will include 550 affordable homes There are even ongoing talks to provide affordable housing to CCSF students and faculty. The plans also call for a large public park and walking paths to Ocean Avenue.

    The project will also provide a parking structure for CCSF students and faculty who must drive while also improving the “last mile” to transit by upgrading the walking and biking route to Bart. Better bike facilities on Campus and a free Muni pass for full-time students are also under discussion.

    Thirdly, building the PAEC in the upper reservoir a new neighborhood in the lower reservoir can have equal priority. Neither will obstruct the other.

    All of the members of the Balboa Reservoir Community Advisory Committee as well as all of the neighborhood associations support the PAEC and hope to see it built soon. It will be a great asset to CCSF as well as to the community at large. Likewise, the housing crises demands that we use this land that the PUC owns but has never used for water storage to house as many people as possible in an affordable, livable, and walkable neighborhood that contributes to the welfare of the CCSF community.

    We urgently need both.

    Jon Winston
    Balboa Reservoir Community Advisory Committee

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