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March 23 – April 13, 2016 Campus Briefs

Batmale Gets Makeover

Construction began Saturday, March 19, on Batmale Hall at Ocean Campus to fix energy consumption, temperature and air-flow problems.

The seven-story, 129-room building will be brought into compliance with the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, mandated by the California Energy Commission.

“They’re going to be working on the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system,” said Marian Lam, who is interim director of the college’s facilities department. “And, it’s paid for by the Prop 39 energy efficiency bond.”

The project which costs $949,620 is slated to wrap up this July with its major construction taking place over spring break.

Poor ventilation and uncomfortable temperatures can cause “sick building syndrome,” (SBS), according to a study from Denmark’s the International Center for Indoor Environment and Energy. The center’s research concluded SBS can lead to inefficient work output.

Batmale Hall, has never replaced its original heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems that were constructed in 1978.

Cloud Hall Blows Off Steam

A steam leak on the southeast corner of Ocean Campus’s Cloud Hall that began Wednesday, March 16, was still sending billows of water vapor into the ether as of March 21.

“We just passed on the information to the steamfitters and they will deal with it,” building and grounds department worker Brian Tom said. “We get lots of calls every day about different problems.”

A small barricade prevented people from traversing the patch of sidewalk emitting gaseous boiling water. Heated and superheated water mist has been known to cause explosions, and inflict burns and sometimes death to those who come into contact with it..

White clouds were shooting about a dozen feet high from a vent on the handicapped access ramp, requiring people using wheelchairs, to enter Cloud Hall from the other end of the building.

Another employee in the office of buildings and grounds who didn’t want his name used added, “a steamfitter assessed the situation Thursday, and they’re going to fix it next week.”

USC tuition increase causes protest

A student-run protest took place in the University of Southern California (USC) on March 8 due to an almost $2,000 tuition increase for the 2016-2017 school year, bringing average enrollment costs to $51,442, according to USA Today.

USA Today reported that the USC’s new tuition makes it more expensive to attend than many other private universities, including Stanford and Princeton. If other costs of living such as housing are included, its annual total is around $70,000.    

The protest’s impetus was a screenshot of the tuition hike that circulated across student social media accounts.

Last November, USC’s Undergraduate Student Government approved a tuition freeze resolution in an effort to stop tuition hikes, but to no avail.

Right-to-die law introduced

A new law that allows the terminally ill to receive physician-assisted suicide is set to take effect in California this June, according to CBS San Francisco.

The law passed in consideration of Brittany Maynard, a brain cancer patient whose case was made known after she moved from the Bay Area to Oregon to legally end her life in 2014.

As of 2016, the only other states where the controversial practice is legal are Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

SF students to learn about sex trafficking

The San Francisco Board of Education is implementing sex trafficking education into middle school and high school classrooms, according to CBS San Francisco.

The lessons include the history of Chinese, Korean and Filipina comfort women during World War II, in addition to teaching students how to recognize signs of human trafficking.   

San Francisco City Supervisor Eric Mar stressed remembrance for those who suffered and recognition for those who are suffering.

“I also want to make sure, besides a memorial curriculum, that there is a day of remembrance,” Mar told CBS San Francisco. “That we come together to celebrate people standing up for themselves and speaking truth to power and about history.”

Board of Gov. Vote to Replace Accrediting Agency

The California Community College Board of Governors voted unanimously on March 21 to replace the the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) with a new accrediting body.

A press release from the California Federation of Teachers said the community college system has made a historic turn toward fair accreditation after facing years of harsh practices by the ACCJC.

City College remains under sanction by the ACCJC and is expected to undergo its final evaluation by the accreditation agency this fall. The ACCJC attempted to strip City College of it’s accreditation in 2013, but the ruling was overturned in a lawsuit between the City of San Francisco and the ACCJC.

In the press release, American Federation of Teachers Local 2121 President Tim Killikelly said,  “The Board of Governors’ overwhelming decision today to move to a new accreditor is the right one and we applaud it.”

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