On Friday, January 9, CCSF Chancellor Tyler abruptly informed faculty at Civic Center that their campus was not seismically sound and they could not teach their classes on Monday, the first day of the spring semester. The surprising and sudden closure raises a number of disturbing questions:
- Why were students not informed of changes to classes when the decision was made?
- Why didn’t Administration have a plan to prevent the disruption of the education of CCSF’s lowest-income, most vulnerable students?
- What will happen to student workers who depend on their jobs at Civic Center campus?
- Why were faculty informed at the very last minute? Why weren’t they allowed to use their expertise to help create a plan?
- Why did the administration ignore its legal obligation to negotiate with the faculty union, AFT 2121, over this major change?
- A report from August 2014 laid out plans for refurbishing the Civic Center campus within the next five years.
- Why did Administration believe a sudden closure was necessary, given that long-term plans were already in place?
- Where is the documentation that supports their conclusion that imminent “life safety” issues are involved?
- With enrollment numbers lowered due to the ACCJC-accreditation crisis, why is Administration displacing classes?
Before any disruptive changes and closure of Civic Center campus, we demand answers. The number one goal should be retaining the announced schedule of classes for students at Civic Center campus while administration moves responsibly to develop a longer term plan for seismic upgrade for all buildings in such need. Students and faculty should be able to return to Civic Center as soon as possible, if there are no new threats to life and safety.
Information about Civic Center: There has been an adult school at this location since at least the 1940s. The majority of classes are ESL and GED. These students are from over 55 different countries and speak more than 37 different languages. Students come from all over San Francisco and the Bay Area, but most live in the City’s poorest ZIP codes:
- 94102 (median household income per U.S. Census is $22,300)
- 94109 (median household income per U.S. Census is $58,900)
Many of the students who go to the Civic Center Campus are at a difficult time in their lives, struggling to make it in a new country, to make ends meet, or to get back on their feet. For them, the school serves as a bastion of hope and opportunity. It is truly a community college.
If you wish to tell CCSF administration in-person about the impact of the abrupt closure of the Civic Center Campus on you and your students please attend CCSF public comment on Thurs. January, 22nd at 5pm.