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Vol. 170, Issue 1 | Aug. 12 –  Aug. 26 | City College of San Francisco | Since 1935 | FREE |

El Tecolote Celebrates 50 Years of Community and Strength in Neighborhood Journalism

A mural at the corner of 23rd and Folsom St. in San Francisco’s Mission District features the front page of El Tecolote. Aug. 15, 2020. Photo by Jennifer Hsu/The Guardsman.

By Sadie Peckens

1970s San Francisco: from student strikes to small organizations uniting into coalitions, “The times dictated that people needed to be involved, and help the community,” El Tecolote Founder Juan Gonzales recalled. It was during this time that the Mission District’s community newspaper, El Tecolote, was born. 2020 marks its 50th anniversary and its history shows the power of neighborhood journalism. El Tecolote is the longest running Spanish/English newspaper in California and has earned numerous awards from the Society for Professional Journalism and the San Francisco Press Club. El Tecolote’s continued success began with a solid foundation in activism for social change. Currently, Gonzales is the Department Chair of Journalism at City College. He also serves as faculty adviser to the college newspaper, The Guardsman, and this year marks 50 years of teaching journalism; 15 years at San Francisco State University and 35 years at City College. In 1969, Gonzales was a student at San Francisco State University (SFSU) and a reporter for the school newspaper, Phoenix. He was assigned small projects despite his strong experience. Determined to do more, he wrote a

five-part series about a convention that led to the formation of the Mission Coalition Organization. His work ran in Phoenix and his research helped him establish connections in the Mission District. As Gonzales neared graduation, student strikes resulted in the formation of La Raza Studies at SFSU. Faculty asked Gonzales to develop and teach a journalism course within the new La Raza Studies program. Through these experiences, Gonzales identified a need for a Mission District neighborhood newspaper. Students and former La Nueva Misión reporters met weekly to plan. Eva Martinez, board member of El Tecolote’s umbrella organization Acción Latina, recalls the group developing core principles. First, it had to be bilingual, second, it would not accept revenue from any corporation that harmed the community, and third, opportunity would be open to anyone who wanted to learn journalism. “Our greatest legacy is that we have been able to hold on to those principles,” Martinez says. Gonzales recalls hours of discussion as the team tried to find a name that would welcome everyone. When “El Tecolote,” (“the owl” in English), was floated, people said, “Ah, yeah. El Tecolote. I like that. The protector of the community,” Gonzales

said. “I think the name helped ease us into the community.” On Aug. 24, 1970, the first newspaper was distributed. It featured a letter from El Tecolote, beginning with “My name may sound strange and funny to some of you. It may also look peculiar. Even my mere presence, surprisingly enough, may threaten some of you as well. But, I exist because you exist and because others have forgotten us,” El Tecolote, Volume 1, No. 1, August 24, 1970. From the start, the newspaper broke stories that created change. According to Gonzales, El Tecolote researched operator service and found it took an average of four additional minutes for operators to help Spanish speaking callers. Coverage of this issue resulted in changes to telephone service operations. El Tecolote also investigated San Francisco General Hospital and showed there were not enough medical translators to meet demand. The coverage resulted in trained medical translators, translations of hospital signage and prescription instructions. Today, an archive of El Tecolote provides a 50-year record of the Mission District. “Newspapers like this serve a very important role cont. on page 4

Juan Gonzales, founder of El Tecolote, sits on the steps outside his home in Daly City, CA. Aug. 15, 2020. Photo by Jennifer Hsu/The Guardsman.

2 | NEWS

Vol. 170, Issue 1 | Aug. 12 - Aug. 26, 2020

SMAC Provides Aid Remote Learning, The Reality for 2021 to Underrepresented Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic By Manon Cadenaule

By John Taylor Wildfeuer

A student-led advocacy group at City College, Students Making a Change (SMAC), is offering $500 in Direct Emergency Financial Relief in response to the COVID19 pandemic for students who do not qualify to receive money from the CARES Act. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provided $2.2 trillion in federal relief to Americans, but excluded undocumented individuals and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients. SMAC senior fellow Marjorie Blen says she fears the economic stress may be hurting City College attendance. Marjorie notes that “There were 5,000 classes dropped in spring, that worries me...we have to help students where they are.” When polled on their needs, Denise Castro, program coordinator for SMAC, said students’ “number one answer was money”. Any student who took at least five credits in the Spring 2020 semester and plans to take at least five credits in the coming Fall 2020 semester is eligible to apply on their website. Currently, SMAC is not accepting any applications, but they are advocating for more funds to provide more grants. As funds are limited, priority is given to low-income students with the highest need, and those approximately 800,000 students who were excluded from the CARES Act based on their citizenship status. Students who qualify will receive a check in the mail at the address they included in their application. SMAC is a City College studentled non-profit organization, funded by Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth, that seeks to empower underrepresented students at City College through financial aid and leadership programs, advocacy for student rights and resources and calls for budgetary reform. Since 2009, SMAC has pursued issues that concern community college students, particularly those of historically marginalized communities. When they started, they were working to increase access to vital resources by expanding college-level English and math courses, and to improve on-campus counseling, especially for AB540 classified undocumented students (who are eligible to pay in-state tuition in California). To date, the organization has

With remote instruction now in place for Fall 2020, City College is one step closer to a whole virtual academic year. Although City College officials have been long pushing for a greater commitment to online instruction, that fate may be sooner than you think if state officials have their way. California Community College Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley has declared that remote instruction will be continued through Spring 2021 given the development of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some students are not very enthusiastic about remote instruction. As a result, some 2,900 students dropped classes for Fall 2020 because of their concern for the quality of instruction and course transferability, as reported by The Guardsman on May 15, 2020. Jennifer Hsu, a part-time student, said in a recent Student Remote Education Survey, "I felt that the benefit I got out of it (remote instruction) would be the same as if I had simply learned on my own or through Youtube." On June 2, the college's Return to Campus (R2C) Task Force alerted all instructors to get trained for remote instruction in Fall 2020. Meanwhile, college officials continue to plan for a return to the campus while following strict health safety guidelines. "In-person higher education should remain closed statewide, except where supporting essential workforce activities," a California Department of Public Health official, who wished to remain anonymous, said in an email June 19 email. California community colleges will have to follow the exact protocol given by the California

provided 561 students with these emergency grants, which, including other SMAC programs that provide gift cards for groceries and laptops to low-income students, amount to approximately $350,000 in student aid. SMAC was able to fund these programs with support from the Department of Children, Youth, and their Families (DCYF; grocery cards program) and the Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing (FCYO; laptop program). SMAC sent a letter to the Board of Trustees on July 23rd Illustration by Manon Cadenaule/The Guardsman. requesting that they match SMAC’s instagram : @cadenaulem Direct Emergency Relief efforts, which would provide an additional Public Health Department and Faculty Remote Spring Education $300,00 in student aid for more the California Community College Survey. than 500 students. As of August English and Women's and Chancellor’s Office. 19th the SMAC team has heard no City College’s Department Gender Studies instructor Maggie reply from the Board of Trustees. Chairperson Council (DCC) Harrison said, "The biggest Trillia Hargrove, junior fellow President Darlene F. Alioto said in challenge for me is to make the at SMAC, asserts that “there are a June 16 email, "There are some course personal and build a sense many things the institution could plans for a few classes to return of class community. I am seeking be doing to help us… it feels like face-to-face for those where it is more effective ways to build they’re avoiding us”. This feeling necessary and where the programs relationships with students and was echoed by Marjorie Blen who will lose their certification as they to help them build collaborative felt the Board of Trustees, and are not allowed to offer courses relationships with one another." some members of City College English instructor Steven online." faculty, were “unhappy with us She noted that some programs Mayer added, "The biggest for going around them to help like Aircraft Technology, Nursing, challenge is the missing sense of students… but they have so much and some Allied Health would be connection and community that more they can do than us with their allowed to have some face-to-face a face-to-face class offers. Canvas student lists and through Canvas.” is an impressive program, and instruction. On the SMAC website, "Faculty have been working I am really enjoying learning under COVID-19 Resources, extremely hard this summer with about its potentials to host online is a comprehensive list of aid mandatory formal training on discussions, Zoom meetings, group available to students affected by remote instruction through Canvas work, and peer review. I feel like, the pandemic, as well as links to so that the remote experience in with recorded lectures, online other organizations that address Fall will be much better," Alioto discussion, and group work online, student needs like food insecurity, teaching an English class is actually said. technological inequity and financial As for remote instruction in possible, and it even works quite hardship. Spring 2021, instructor support well for some students." Those wishing to support is mixed, according to a recent Students Making a Change can do so by joining SMAC Leadership Programs to become community organizers and campus advocates. SMAC Almnus Elitininanesi Mafua’ofa testifies on their website that “SMAC leadership has given my life purpose. SMAC provided safety, comfort, friendship, family, and love. And most of all, SMAC provided me with a platform to be a voice for others and for myself.” Supporters can also make donations on the SMAC website, either as a one-time donor or a “monthly sustainer”. Students who have received aid can make a difference by sharing their experience on social media, the SMAC website, or in an email to the Board of Trustees, from whom the organization is seeking contributions to Direct Emergency Financial Relief for students to match the $300,000 already Gift cards like this helps low-income students at City College with much-needed access to groceries. dispensed.

Staff Co-Editors-in-Chief Jennifer Yin Meyer Gorelick News Editor Matheus Maynard

San Francisco, CA. Aug. 11, 2020. Photo by Starr Wilson/The Guardsman.

Culture Editor Alexa Bautista

Opinion Editor Andy Damian-Correa Photo Editor Emily Trinh

Design Director Nazli Ece Kandur

Online Editor Fran Smith Social Media Editor Diana Guzman

Illustrators Manon Cadenaule Burcu Ozdemir Staff Writers Eleni Balakrishnan An Pham Tim Hill

Starr Wilson Hannah Patricia Asuncion

Elizabeth Lopez Tobin Jones Sadie Peckens John Taylor Schneider

Kaiyo Funaki Rachael Scarborough Photographers Jennifer Hsu Kevin Kelleher Melvin Wong

NEWS | 3

Vol. 170, Issue 1 | Aug. 12 - Aug. 26, 2020

Academic Counseling Faces Virtual Service as the New Normal By Hannah Asuncion

The Academic Counseling Department at City College has been under constant turmoil the past two years. The department has gone through substantial changes that impacted both students and the department alike. Now, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the department faced an abrupt change moving to a virtual environment. All of the counselors have learned to adapt to remote counseling, but it’s much more labor-intensive since there’s a lot of preparation beforehand. Each counselor has a choice of which function they prefer for meetings, whether it’s through Zoom or simply just emailing back and forth. According to the Department Chair of Academic Counseling Jack Sparks, remote counseling is “working really well. I feel like the quality the service I've provided them has been greater. I give out these handouts, which often doesn’t get looked at or kept. Through email they actually read it so the quality has gotten up.” The department also launched a new option for counseling called Virtual Express which takes place through Zoom, where there’s a set time for students to drop in. There are counselors from every department participating, aside from career and transfer services. Sometimes, students can’t make appointments and other times it’s fully booked since students are now allowed to make their own

Illustration by Manon Cadenaule for The Guardsman. instagram: @cadenaulem

appointments. Students directly email Sparks about their difficulties and he helps them. Sparks isn’t sure if the drop-in process is clear for the students, but he believes it’s easier to follow the steps on the new school website. “Eventually we’ll be in the new students services building together. Going forward I feel like we’re obviously going to continue remote counseling. Continuing EOPS [Extended Opportunity Programs and Services] counselors online, group workshops online as well as transfers online. Remote counseling is by appointment through eSARS. Virtual Express is for drop-ins

for any quick questions,” Sparks added. According to Academic Counselor Marie Osborne, “From a counselors’ perspective, services to students have been uneven at best.” She mentioned how students are having difficulties registering on the new registration platform called College Scheduler. “With the COVID-19 pandemic creating distance between students and counselors and the registration office, support to students is not always accessible. Remote counseling has been available to students since March but the technology was somewhat

unreliable at first. Many technology issues arose,” Osborne added. “Everyone was caught by surprise by the pandemic and it has taken the college some time to evaluate and respond to the many student technology needs, revise teaching platforms and maintain other essential services such as counseling and library services which were cut deep,” Osborne said. International student Emily Trinh said, “I've been to three sessions of career counseling and it's been great. My counselor is awesome and he helped me land an internship after a month so that's really impressive. Both of the times I've been to academic counseling, the people don't know International stuff off the top of their heads but were able to direct me to people who do.” Trinh believes there should be more counselors because it took her a month to get a Zoom call with one and she mentioned how the counselor who helped her was nice and helpful, but she seemed overworked. Rhaeven Pillazar, another student at City College always had a good experience when it came to counseling, whether it was before or during the pandemic. His first year at City College, they helped schedule which classes he should take for UC transfers and the Transfer Admission Guarantee program. Pillazar noticed the main thing that changed when it came to counseling is the connection between the student and the

counselor. He enjoyed the idea of meeting with his counselors in person since it allowed them to engage in conversations regarding academics or future careers. “Although that may still apply to zoom calls, it’s different when in person. I come out feeling more refreshed,” he said. Since the dismantling of the International Counseling Department in Fall 2018, International students have been put in the care of the remaining counselors causing some stress. According to Sparks, the counselors who were laid off were only part timers. “It’s made it more difficult to provide our services, it’s a stretch,” Sparks said. Last Spring, Sparks hired three counselors, but once the budget kicked in they were let go. Two of the counselors were international counselors, so his department had to split up all the work, which was difficult since no one had training to help the International students. Trinh wasn’t aware of the previous International Counseling Service. Whenever she needs assistance, especially about International services, she just emails the Office of International Programs. Sparks mentioned how most of the International counselor’s work got redirected to International programs, which helped a little. “Very short-sighted to deal with that program, since it is important for our school,” Sparks added.

Student Workers Left in the Lurch as Fall Semester Starts By Alexa Bautista

The upcoming Fall 2020 semester is now upon the students and faculty of City College, and many are still questioning how different the college experience would be. Among the many questions students have, student employment is also a very prevalent topic that has been brought up. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, City College and other universities in the Bay Area closed during mid-March. Students were not allowed on campus and had to continue their education online or wait for further notice from their instructors. However, student workers continued to get paid until the end of May. Moreover, the Student Employment Office did not approve any lab aide or federal work study (FWS) positions during the summer session. After the summer session concluded, many student workers were not notified by the college if they were able to come back to the campus to work. The Guardsman has inquired to several deans from Ocean Campus if they were aware of any new developments for student work, yet many are unaware if student workers would be able to return to campus. Alexander Chavarria, Rosenberg

Faculty Advisor Juan Gonzales

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English Lab Manager, says that during this time, there would only be a limited number of student workers, depending on the department. “As far as I know, student jobs on campus will be available through remote work if departments can provide remote work. As far as how that will be implemented or how that will be advertised I don’t know.” The Guardsman has reached out to the Student Employment Office, yet were only met with busy phone lines and no comment through email. Student workers are worried because they depend on City College as one of their main sources of income. Moreover, all students and faculty rely on student workers to help them with different resources and duties on campus such as tutoring, tours of the campuses, and to complete tasks for departments. Jowi Aizpuru, Computer Science student and Math Lab tutor said that he stopped receiving FWS benefits at the end of the Spring 2020 semester. “I stopped receiving benefits from my federal work study once the semester ended. I believe it’s because City College didn’t have the budget anymore because of COVID-19. Now, I don’t think I will be receiving it this semester because I haven’t gotten any information if I could even work remotely.” Twitter @theguardsman Instagram @CCSFjournalism

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Due to these circumstances, international students are one of the most affected student groups. This is especially true because of the scarce student work on campus and certain restrictions international students have to abide by in order to work off campus. Political Science and Psychology major Klaisyon Borges described his experience working at City College as an international student. “My first job as a student worker was at CLAD, an English Lab that focuses on ESL students. By the time of the pandemic I was working at the bookstore. As an international student, most processes related to us are conducted by the international office. I emailed them and they said that because I was working at the bookstore, I wasn’t qualified for the continuous payments as other student workers did,” Borges said. When asked what he thinks about how the college can help students, Borges stated, “Mainly studying ways and opening jobs for us. This pandemic has affected everyone. To work outside of it [campus], there is a very strict and bureaucratic process made to prevent us from getting jobs. The pandemic brought financial difficulties that harshened the ability to focus.”

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Vol. 170, Issue 1 | Aug. 12 - Aug. 26, 2020

El Tecolote continued from page 1

Editor-in-Chief Alexis Terrazas pulls El Tecolote's ten-year anniversary issue from the paper's archive. San Francisco, CA. Aug. 15, 2020. Photo by Jennifer Hsu/The Guardsman.

of documenting history in a community," Martinez says. How has the newspaper survived? “It’s basically community power," Managing Editor of El Tecolote Alexis Terrazas said. Hilda Ayala, one of El Tecolote’s first translators, said it survives because, “There is a lot

of love involved here. When my mother came to the United States, she started translating. My daughter and son also worked for Teco. And now I have a granddaughter, who also works for Teco. This is the kind of commitment that people who work for El Tecolote feel.” Gonzales adds that the

newspaper is successful because people dedicated their talent and time. Today, Gonzales continues to be, in his words, the Ambassador of El Tecolote, and in Ayala’s words, the heart of the newspaper. Gonzales is admired for his ability to inspire people to work hard for the best of reasons. Gonzales is “so appreciative to the army of volunteers who have contributed. Without that we would not be having this conversation today about achieving a milestone in community journalism. I’m so proud to be a part of that.” Looking ahead, the founder and the managing editor see an opportunity to expand the newspaper’s reach through increased on-line media. Whatever the future brings, one thing is certain. The words spoken by El Tecolote in the first edition, Volume 1, No. 1, August 24, 1970, have rung true for 50 years and show no signs of wavering -- “I am El Tecolote. I am the people. I am yours.” All are invited to celebrate El Tecolote’s 50th Anniversary through Facebook Livestream under the accounts @AccionLatina and @ElTecolote on Aug. 27, from 7 to 8:30 p.m..

Stacks of El Tecolote sit on a table inside the newspaper's headquarters in San Francisco, CA. Aug. 15, 2020. Photo by Jennifer Hsu/The Guardsman.

Acción Latina, a non-profit organization in San Francisco, CA., houses the newsroom of El Tecolote, a English-Spanish bilingual newspaper. Aug. 14, 2020. Photo by Jennifer Hsu/The Guardsman.

City College Launches Nation’s First Cannabis Studies Associate of Arts Degree

Illustration by Manon Cadenaule/The Guardsman. instagram: @cadenaulem

By Eleni Balakrishnan

City College’s behavioral sciences department launched the nation’s first Cannabis Studies Associate of Arts (AA) degree program this summer with an “integrative” approach that City College says sets it apart from existing programs. At a virtual open house introducing the degree in July, department chair Jennifer Dawgert-Carlin said the program will emphasize social equity and integrate three behavioral sciences disciplines: anthropology, psychology and sociology. While Michigan’s Lake

Superior State University offers degrees in Cannabis Chemistry and Cannabis Business, and universities such as Vanderbilt University and University of California Davis offer cannabisrelated courses, Dawgert-Carlin said the City College experience is unique. These universities’ programs focus on “cannabis as a single-use product -- cannabis as a substance, cannabis as chemistry or botany, and cannabis as business. And while these are really important aspects of cannabis, we felt that we have something to add to the discourse that we did not see in the other academic programs,” DawgertCarlin said. At City College,

cannabis will be a framework for “better understanding human behavior,” she added. In addition, City College will offer the only program that is free and fully available online through City Online. Demand for cannabis education has been growing for years especially since Prop. 64 passed in 2016, legalizing recreational cannabis sales in California. “A large study revealed that 80% of San Francisco residents reported interest in studying topics on cannabis,” Dawgert-Carlin said. Amber Kakepoto, 27, a health information technology student, said the new program is a step toward social acceptance of professions in cannabis. “When your parents hear that you can go to college for something like this, it changes the attitude, it changes the conversation," Kakepoto said. "You’re taken more seriously in the room.” Dawgert-Carlin said she and adjunct instructor of sociology Blayke Barker worked together to develop the degree program and the two “have been talking about cannabis for several years.” Barker developed one of the program’s three required courses; Introduction to Cannabis Studies (SOC 55). Various faculty and community members logged into the open house, including Dr. Karin Hu, who developed another required course; Psychology of Psychoactive Drugs (PSYC 50).

These two courses along with Anthropology of Cannabis (ANTH 50) will become available in Spring 2021. Until then, students can get started on the degree this fall by choosing from four electives in Health, Latin American and Latino Studies, or Administrative Justice. Nine credit hours of electives are required, making for a total of 18 units to complete the degree. Dawgert-Carlin said more elective options will be added to the curriculum over time, including a Cinema course and a Communication Studies course which are in the works. She also hopes that the new program’s courses will be transferable to four-year universities soon. At the open house, Interim Chancellor Rajen Vurdien said, “The college is known for innovation and change and groundbreaking programming. This shows how fast the college moves to address societal programs and issues, and at the same time to address the needs of the job market as they emerge.” The cannabis website Leafly’s jobs report of 2019 noted that the cannabis industry is the largest single job creator in the country. “New and expanding programming like Cannabis Studies also allows City College to stay relevant, meet the needs of our current students, and attract new students with meaningful and transferable coursework,” Vurdien

said. This is only “the first of many steps and the beginning of a series of wonderful partnerships between this college and the cannabis thought leadership and the cannabis industry here in San Francisco,” said Tom Temprano, vice president of the Board of Trustees. Members of the local cannabis industry are also excited. Paul Velasquez, 31, an independent grower from Oakland said there would “absolutely” be interest in the program among his colleagues. Behavioral science is “a segment I always felt was underrepresented [in other programs], and how cannabis affects the person,” Velasquez said. He believes more research is necessary for people to fully understand cannabis and its use. Director of San Francisco’s Office of Cannabis Marisa Rodriguez said, “Just because something becomes legal, it doesn't necessarily absolve it of its stigma. But an accredited institution that can show the importance of having not only these conversations but digging deep and identifying areas that matter, really helps us advance the cause in a way that we can't just do alone.”


Vol. 170, Issue 1 | Aug. 12 - Aug. 26, 2020

Diego Rivera Mural Moving to SFMOMA

Photo Courtesy of the Dec. 11, 2017 SFMOMA Newsletter.

By Eleni Balakrishnan

Due to COVID-19-related shutdowns, City College’s famed “Pan American Unity” mural by Diego Rivera will remain on campus until fall, when it will be loaned to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) for an exhibition. The mural is to reside on the first floor of the museum for three years, in an area open to the general public. Originally scheduled for October, the “Diego Rivera’s America” exhibition will now open on Nov. 21. However, today’s global health crisis may require further delays. “Like everything in the world that’s been affected by the pandemic, so too has the mural project,”

SFMOMA’s Communications Director Jill Lynch said. City College alumnus and resident mural expert Will Maynez said a team of Mexican engineers are currently analyzing how best to move the mural. “We were gonna go to Mexico … [but] all that is kind of on hold because they’re sequestered as well,” he said. Each of the mural’s 10 panels will be transported then installed at the museum one-by-one, a process Lynch said will likely take a few weeks. “These are not small works of art … When you have something that large on a truck, and that’s also fragile, you want to move it slowly and carefully,” Lynch said. Rivera painted the 22 by 74 foot mural at the Golden Gate International Exposition, a world fair held on Treasure Island in 1940.

The mural’s official title translates from Spanish to “The Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and of the South on this Continent,” and shows elements of Mexican and Indigenous culture alongside U.S. technology. After the fair, the mural waited in storage for 20 years before finding its permanent home at City College in 1961. “It’s been wonderful because it does bring visibility to City College that no other community college has,” Latin American and Latino/a Studies Department Chair Edgar Torres said. “Diego Rivera’s America” will showcase Rivera’s murals and easel paintings between the early 1920s and early 1940s. Rivera was “instrumental not only in forging Mexican national identity, but also in imagining a shared American

past and future,” Lynch said. When the time comes, SFMOMA will fund the mural’s move back to City College campus, where it will enter the long-awaited Performing Arts Education Center (PAEC). Earlier this year, San Francisco voters approved an $845 million facilities bond to renovate the campus and build a new PAEC. “The plan is to have [the building] ready for the 2023 return of the mural, so [the mural] has a home when it gets back,” Maynez said. He said the new building will be called the Diego Rivera Theatre, and the existing Diego Rivera Theatre will be renamed. Torres said current plans for the PAEC will have a glass front, making the mural visible from Frida Kahlo Way. Torres believes the mural “has created a life unto itself, that’s larger

than when it was first painted.” “When I’m in my office in the science hall on weekends … we’re talking about countless times that people come in here looking for the mural: visitors from out of state, sometimes different countries, coming in just to see that mural,” Torres said. Many City College instructors, especially in the English as a Second Language (ESL) department, integrate the mural into their curriculum, Torres said. When classes resume, he hopes to take his students to SFMOMA to see the mural in person. San Francisco’s reopening plan hoped to allow indoor museums like SFMOMA to reopen by June 29, but for now this step is still on hold, according to the City and County of San Francisco website.

Students Find Voice and Share It In Poetry for the People By Sadie Peckens

Can a single course change one’s life? According to alumni and teachers of Poetry for the People, IDST (Interdisciplinary Studies) 36, absolutely. Ike Pinkston, an underground rap artist for musical group Bored Stiff, a member of the Frisco Five hunger strikers, and an active alum of IDST 36 said, “This class will forever have a place in my heart. I will never forget this course. It had that much impact on my life, and who I am today.” “Anybody going through a hardship should take this course. A lot of people turn to religion. I would say this is like a religion. It's more deeply self-medicating,” Pinkston added. “And you don’t have to know all the ins and outs of poetry….That’s part of what it’s about, opening people’s eyes to a different avenue of expression.” The course continues its legacy at City College this semester. It combines analysis of poems from multiple traditions across time with a focus on community and social justice. Leslie Simon, Interdisciplinary Studies Instructor and IDST 36 founder, began the course at City College in 1975 to create a public forum for poetry and to teach poetry as a voice for revolution. “It goes back to a trip I made with my partner in Mexico in 1974,” Simon said. “I encountered

the muralists. It was a very powerful impression. I came back to California via Chicago, my hometown, and there was a whole community mural project going on there. I thought, ‘I love that artists get to share their work…How can we do that with poetry?’” Determined to make that happen, Simon wrote and sent a class proposal to 15 colleges. She was hired to teach the class in the City College Interdisciplinary Studies department in 1975. Since that time, the course has been taught by different people, and Simon believes, “there’s a lot of magic in that. No one should own Poetry for the People.” Today, the course remains grounded in the roots of its founding. Each semester, the class brings poetry to the community. For example, Lauren Muller, CCSF Interdisciplinary Department Chair and IDST 36 instructor this semester, explained that during the summer IDST 36 students participated in a poetry exchange with students in the San Francisco County Jail. Also, there is a public reading at the end of each semester. Alumni return for end-of-semester readings because, “it’s almost like an extended family,” Pinkston said. “One of the things I try to do in the class is establish a sense of community by encouraging students to share their own thoughts and feelings,” Muller said. “In doing so, we create ‘beloved

community,’ a term that comes out of the civil rights movement. The term was invoked by Martin Luther King Jr. …it was the idea of people coming together across differences for a common movement.” Even with the course being online due to COVID-19, Muller plans to make poetry interactive and public, through online community readings, open mics, and Zoom meetings with guest poets. Ladan (Ladi) Khoddam-Khorasani, an alum of the course who will be a teaching assistant this semester, said her “number one priority is to nurture the community online.” Asked who should take the course, Tehmina Khan, English instructor and previous Poetry for the People instructor, responded, “I think everyone should take the course. Scientists, artists, people of all ethnic backgrounds.” Khan stressed that the course helps students find and develop their own writing voice. “This course teaches you to speak your truth,” Khoddam-Khorasani said. Khan explained the importance of poetry, saying poems can be the, “consciousness of our time. The point of poetry is to inspire us, to move us, and to make us feel,” Khan stated, going on to say, “We are always reading nonfiction. We are always looking for facts. Poetry takes us to a different level of truth. Facts are just facts. Poetry gives us a sensibility.” “I think we need poetry at all

Illustration by Manon Cadenaule/The Guardsman. instagram : @cadenaulem

the campuses. As credit classes, as noncredit classes, as ways of building community,” Khan said, for when in-person instruction resumes. City College’s offerings in the arts and noncredit courses have been reduced by recent class cuts. “The more opportunity that people have to express themselves, to make meaning of the day to day life we are living in, the richer we are as a society,” said Khan about the importance of the arts.

Khoddam-Khorasani believes this course satisfies a universal need. “Poetry is so necessary at all times, but especially in times of crisis,” she said. “I return to poems every day. Poems will always be there for us. I think this class is more essential than ever. I think poets and artists are absolutely essential. My wish is that every student at City College would take this class.”


Vol. 170, Issue 1 | Aug. 12 - Aug. 26, 2020

New Registration Platform Giving Students Problems

By Tobin Jones

One of the things I've learned during my too many years as a student at various institutions in the California Community College system is that while one's educational experience may differ drastically depending on the campus, some things are very consistent regardless of the school. One of these is that online application and registration is almost always, shall we say, less than intuitive, particularly for those like me who are not particularly tech-inclined. So, when City College introduced a new online course reservation program, I mentally prepared myself for dysfunction and delay. Community Colleges are notoriously bad at implementing even minor administrative changes in normal circumstances. And given that this was being rolled out at the same time that the school was trying to pull off the daunting task of transitioning to all-virtual learning in the context of a pandemic, economic crisis and budget deficit, my hopes were not high. Despite this, my initial reaction was pretty positive. At first glance, the process seemed remarkably straightforward. I selected “add course,” located my desired class sections, pressed “add course” again, and that, from all appearances, was that. Helpfully, there was now also an option to help students to plan their school schedule around other commitments by filtering out times when they were unable to be in class. I walked away from the computer, feeling pleasantly

Photography student Emily Trinh encounters yet another dead link while navigating the new City College website. Error screens and broken pages impede students from getting vital information and signing up for the right online classes before they fill up. City College Ocean Campus, San Francisco, CA. Aug. 18, 2020. Photo by Melvin Wong/The Guardsman.

surprised at how secure the whole experience had been. Had I taken the time to read through the list of instructions more thoroughly, I would have found that I still needed to complete four steps before I was enrolled in my courses. This fact only came to my attention a week ago when Journalism Department Chair Juan Gonzales called me to ask why I still wasn't on his Fall 2020 roster. I very confidently insisted that I had done everything right on my end and that there must be some mistake, before logging back in and realizing that no, I had not completed all the necessary actions. Not only was

I not registered in anything for the semester, but two out of my three desired courses were now full. Several people I talked to had issues with the new system. Someone who had experienced problems similar to mine was Brent Lok, who I shared a Mandarin Chinese class with during the spring semester, back in the quaint days before “attending class” meant squinting at the screen of my out of date smartphone. Brent was confused by the fact that upon selecting a class section, it was added to the “shopping cart,” but unlike shopping apps that employ the imagery of “carts,” there was then no option to “check out.” Instead, after selecting a

class section, students must then click “Generate Schedule,” then “View Schedule” to make sure there are no time conflicts, “Save Schedule,” confirm everything, and then “Register” to complete the process. One could argue that both Brent and I could have avoided these missteps by slowly and carefully reading the instructions before attempting to do anything. To which I say, “Yeah, fair enough.” I'm not trying to dodge responsibility for what are at the end of the day my screw-ups, and I would encourage any students who have made it this far into a column on this less-than-gripping topic to

make sure that they're enrolled in a course before stepping away from the computer. But pupils attending community colleges are more often than not busy people inundated with other responsibilities and distractions at the best of times, and the circumstances we find ourselves in 2020 are by no sane person's metrics “the best of times.” Inevitably, a lot of enrollees, overloaded by job, family, and financial obligations are going to skip reading the directions and try and get the task done as fast as possible. If, by tweaking the system, we could reduce the recurrence of these kinds of issues, why not do it? It seems to me that simplifying the process would probably result in significantly fewer mishaps on the part of absent-minded registrants such as myself, which would result in decreased stress, not only for students, but also for the overworked tech support workers and instructors who right now are probably dealing with hordes of students trying to gain access to courses at the 11th hour. And in a year that has consistently been unpredictable, confusing and overwhelming (and in all likelihood will become even more so before the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31, I would contend that making anything even a little bit easier would go a long way towards helping us get through the rest of 2020 with our sanity intact.

Why To Wear Masks By Starr Wilson

City College campus requires us to wear masks and social distance, but will students cooperate? I hate wearing a mask. What stops me is science and the fear of the unknown. More than that, my twin sister lives in a state that does not require covers and told me that three of her neighbors have died of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) even though they wore masks. One had gone to the hospital and contracted it there dying a week later. The other two had played cards with six friends, all masked, and all fell ill within a week with two dying later on. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said, “We are not defenseless against COVID-19. Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus — particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.” University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) epidemiologist George Rutherford, MD, and infectious disease specialist Peter

Chin-Hong, MD, in this month’s UCSF patient newsletter, spoke about the CDC’s reversal on mask-wearing. “We should have told people to wear cloth masks right off the bat,” Rutherford stated. “Culturally, the U.S. wasn’t prepared to wear masks,” ChinHong stated. “Even now, some Americans are choosing to ignore CDC guidance and local mandates on masks,” he added. In a study of 15 states, Health Affairs found that mask mandates led to a slowdown in daily COVID19 growth rates, which became more apparent over time. In two cases of mask-wearing saving lives, Rutherford and Chin-Hong cited the case of a COVID-19 positive masked man flying on a plane from China to Toronto, whereby no other passenger tested positive for the virus. Another example was that of two hairstylists in Missouri who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus while having contact with over 140 clients. All wore a mask, and none of them tested positive. Rutherford further stated that you can contract the virus through the membranes in your eyes, which masks do not cover. The latest forecast from the

Mar. 16, 2020, the first day of the Bay Area shelter-in-place ordinance, a senior customer shops with mask on at Andronico's Community Market in San Francisco, CA, while younger patrons roam the aisles mask-free. Photo by Kevin Kelleher/ Special to The Guardsman.

Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation cited in the UCSF newsletter suggests that 33,000 deaths could be avoided by October, if 95 percent of people wore masks in public. Chin-Hong continued, “The concept is risk reduction rather than absolute prevention.” Rutherford and Chin-Hong cautioned against N95 masks with valves because they do not protect

those around you. The one-way valves close when you breathe in, but open when you breathe out, allowing unfiltered air and droplets to escape. Chin-Hong said that anyone wearing a valved mask would need to wear a surgical or cloth mask over it. Chin-Hong said, “Alternatively, just wear a non-valved mask.”

Masks with valves do not comply with the city's face covering order. The bottom line is to take responsibility for your health. Stay home as much as you can as COVID-19 has infected five million Americans, and the medical community is still uncertain how exactly it is transmitted nor how to best combat it.


Vol. 170, Issue 1 | Aug. 12 - Aug. 26, 2020

Financial Challenges Still Plaguing City College By Andy Damián-Correa

I started my dream of earning my associate’s degree at City College, as a Mexican immigrant, wanting to learn and develop new skills that will prepare me for my future career in journalism. The Free City program made that dream almost possible, and I say almost, because the administration has to solve many challenges. The biggest obstacle is the projection of a loss of $27 million in state funding. Suppose City College does not adjust how it spends next year. In that case, the $19 million initial deficit projection for the college will balloon to a $35 million deficit in 2020-21 budget, stated Senior Vice Chancellor Administrative and Student Affair, Diana Gonzales in a May 2020 statement. The question is, how can the administration balance this deficit during the COVID-19 pandemic? Class cuts, the layoffs of 60 adjunct English as a Second Language (ESL) instructors, drastic cuts to non-credit departments, and the closing of the vibrant Fort Mason campus have been made. The City College Teachers Union, American Federation of Teachers, Local 2121 (AFT 2121) reported that the Administration informed Dr. Ramona Coates in

the African American Studies (AFAM) department that since former chair Aliyah DunnSalahuddin was on leave, her position could not be filled. AFAM Professor Tarikkhu Farrar retired in Spring 2019 and AFAM was left without any fulltime faculty. Limiting the press’s access to the administration will not help. Journalism students are here to hold this administration accountable, because City College represents the door to a better future and quality of life. I’m proud to enjoy great teachers in my field, but the safeguarding of information is wrong in a democracy for our college campus. The new chancellor, Rajen Vurdien, Ph.D., has much to do and rebuild, because the priorities of the school are here and now, and those who do not allow development for a better education and benefits for students will have to leave. To be clear, City College is not a bank where administrators draw high salaries and benefits while marginalized students suffer. The $364,481 resignation settlement paid to former Chancellor Mark Rocha in March was a budgetary blow. A school already in financial hot water can’t afford to continue doling out cash to failed leaders. Mr. Vurdien, Interim

Satellite Campus Closures Jeopardize Non-Credit Learners By Tim Hill

Illustration by Manon Cadenaule and Jennifer Yin/The Guardsman.

Chancellor, there is a lot of work to do. The primary role of the College is to take care of student's needs, provide quality education, and a variety of courses. Young people and local society demand a school that meets our needs for

a better future. The future is uncertain, and during this ongoing public health crisis, good intentions are not enough.

A Guide to Virtual City College By Starr Wilson

City College students can expect a full remote campus as they return to the Fall semester. Many services to students will still be available, but mostly in a different format. The return to the campus is far from being business as usual. First off, it’s a closed campus, so contacting anyone is going to have to be via telephone, email or Zoom. The Information and Technology Services and Educational Technolog y departments at City College are working tirelessly to make sure The reliable San Francisco fog shrouds City College's Ocean campus. July 29, 2020. that all the online tools are fully Photo by Melvin Wong/The Guardsman. functioning. However, glitches 415-484-3352 and bugs can happen, and students make appointments or just talk to Registration (adds, drops, Student Activities: Email: should contact either one of those someone. Most resources and services withdrawals): departments to report issues. Tuition & Fees & Chromebook Loan All classes will be utilizing provided at City College will Canvas and Zoom in some capacity resume in the Fall semester with Enrollment Verification: Program: chromebookloanapp for the delivery of instructional an adapted format. Here's a quick sampling: Testing Services: testing@ Student Health Services: materials. Counseling Services Community resources -Many campus services will You can book a 30 or 60-minute The CalWORKS Program: Zuckerberg Adult Urgent only be accessible online or a phone call -- no more walk-ins. phone, email, or zoom (video 415-452-5700 or Email: calworks@ Care Center: 628-206-8000 or UCSF Acute Care Clinic And hopefully, students will be meeting) academic counseling EOPS/CARE: 650-239-3075 at Parnassus: 415-353-2602 able to maneuver through the appointment by sending an email or Zuckerberg Psychiatric online cloud community until to or Email: Family Resource Center: Emergency Ser vices: City College resumes face-to-face Concurrent & Dual High 415-855-1967 628-206-8125. classes and services. Financial Aid: 415-239-3577 Resource Center: Email: In the meantime, the City School Admission: hsenroll@ or Email: College web page is supposed Residency & Free City: Guardian Scholars: 415 To access many of the City to be more user-friendly and 239-3982 College student services log onto visually appealing than previous Graduation: graduate@ccsf. H A RT S P r o g r a m and on the front iterations. The website contains all (homeless s e r v i c e s ) : page, click on Virtual Campus. the relevant information on how to edu Admissions & Records: 415-452-5355 Happy Discovery! access resources offered, including Queer Resource Center: the all vital Student Health Center Transcripts (outgoing): Email: or by way of a virtual counter to

Plans to retire its satellite campus at Fort Mason and to cut back classes at the Civic Center have some older adult and non-English-speaking students feeling abandoned these days. The Board of Trustees cut 800 classes in the coming academic year. Once hosting three non-credit classes and 110 credit classes, the Fort Mason lease ended in June 2020 and the college decided not to renew it in an attempt to alleviate a hemorrhaging institutional budget. While the lease there was considerably less than Civic Center’s (Fort Mason being $400,000 to Civic Center’s $1.1 million), the college is continuing to seek solutions to its budget crisis. At one time, City College had scheduled five credit and 39 non-credit classes at the current Civic Center location on 1170 Market St., as well as 110 credit classes and three non-credit classes at Fort Mason -- totaling 326 students and 23 faculty for the academic year. “It’s unfortunate. Lucrative companies are targeting lots of vital real estate. These assets allow the college to be influential throughout the city. We need these satellite stations to better serve the community,” student Peter Suter said. The closure of the Fort Mason campus marks the institution’s second property closing in recent times, when the administrative offices closed in July 2019 and moved from 44 Gough St to the Ocean campus. “When Fort Mason [campus] closed, Tom Temprano and the Board of Trustees didn’t get the kind of break they’d hope to get,” Labor Studies Department Chair Bill Shields said. Ending the leases at Fort Mason and 1170 Market St. would save the financially strapped college $1.5 million in lease costs alone, but leaves questions for continuing programs largely for seniors and students learning English as a second language. The Civic Center campus in the Tenderloin has faced long-standing seismic retrofitting delays at its 750 Eddy St. location. Today it no longer has a specified timeline. “Eddy St was bizarre. Just a few days before the Fall semester they discovered the seismic fault and immediately closed the campus. The earthquake retrofitting has been going on ever since.” Shields said. A recent noon rally in the Fort Mason parking lot called on saving instructional facilities. The Board of Trustees issued reassurances that no programs would suffer as a result of the lease expiration, a claim that thus far is impossible to confirm.


Vol. 170, Issue 1 | Aug. 12 - Aug. 26, 2020

COVID-19 Pushes Fall Sports to Spring 2021 By Kaiyo Funaki

The California Community College Athletic Association Board of Directors has agreed to execute the Contingency Plan, a proposal that effectively reschedules all 11 of City College’s sports to the spring of 2021. The plan was one of three possibilities suggested by the board in June. The board proposed the Conventional Plan and the Contact/Non-Contact Plan in the hopes of preserving at least some of the fall sports schedule. However, with California still shut down due to COVID-19, the Contingency Plan became the clear choice as the safest option for both athletes and coaching staff alike. “I think it was a decision that had to be made. It was inevitable with the current circumstances, and we support the CCCAA's decision to make safety a priority for our student-athletes and coaches,” Women’s Athletic Director Jamie Hayes said. The blueprint pushes basketball, cross country, football, soccer, women’s volleyball, and women’s water polo from fall to early spring. As of now, these teams would start practicing in mid-January for two weeks, then play out the regular season from early February to mid-April. It also tentatively schedules baseball, track and field, women’s badminton, women’s swimming, and women’s tennis to begin practice in late March to mitigate schedule overlap, with the season lasting from mid-April to late June. Each sport will have their seasons reduced by at least 30% and will play only conference and

regional opponents. Though the CCCAA canceled all state championships, teams will still be able to qualify for postseason conference matches. The association also adjusted eligibility rules to accommodate for the pandemic. “The programs that participated in the spring [of 2020]…won’t be charged with a season of eligibility,” Men’s Athletic Director Harold Brown said. “If you were a freshman, for instance, playing baseball and your season was cut short due to COVID-19, you will still go into the 2021 season as a freshman.” With 300 to 350 studentathletes participating across 15 teams and 11 different sports, maintaining communication has been crucial for coaches to keep their players engaged as they wait at least another five months before official in-person activities. “The biggest thing is encouraging individuals to keep taking care of themselves and keep improving on their training and skills,” Women’s Swimming and Waterpolo Head Coach Phong Pham said. Ram’s Football Head Coach Jimmy Collins has stayed positive despite the delayed season “For our players, this will be one of the best things that have ever happened to them, assuming the virus doesn’t directly affect any of our guys,” Collins said. “We now have a goal that each and every one of our players is going to attempt to graduate from their four-year college with at least one season of eligibility still intact.” Though there is still a possibility that the season might get postponed again or even canceled, the athletic department has taken precautionary measures to deal

with variables in their control. “All of our coaches have submitted a plan for social distancing, safe practice, and also cleaning. We have been in touch with the custodial department, and they have done a great job ordering things we need to keep everything sanitized and making sure we do the best we can do to abide by all compliance issues,” Brown said. Men’s Basketball Head Coach Justin Labagh described the process of ensuring everyone’s safety as “extensive.” “We’ll have temperature checks, a ton of sanitizer, clean the gym and close the gym down 45 minutes in between groups practicing,” he said. “Groups will never…cross paths in the building.” While student-athletes were disappointed to have to wait until the spring to compete, there was also a collective understanding that the governing body made this decision to protect everyone involved. Second-year athlete for both the swim and water polo team Melanie Beavan-Szabo expressed concerns about playing two different sports in the same semester. “I’m glad that training will be starting soon, but of course, I’m going to miss water polo being in the fall. Having the competition at the same time in the spring semester will be a little stressful.” Second-year shooting guard for the basketball team Ezekiel Holman also felt that it might take a while to adjust to this new reality. “Obviously, it’s going to be a little bit of like a learning curve for all the sports that usually take place earlier in the year, he said. “Ultimately, I think it’s smart to see how the whole pandemic progresses.”

The soccer field sits empty during our shelter in place. San Francisco, CA. July 29, 2020. Photo by Melvin Wong/The Guardsman.

The football field will require less upkeep in maintenance this year since the football season is rescheduled to spring of next year. San Francisco, CA. July 29, 2020. Photo by Melvin Wong/The Guardsman.

According to the city ordinance of park closures due to COVID-19, recreational fields, such as the tennis court at City College, are off limits. San Francisco, CA. July 29, 2020. Photo by Melvin Wong/The Guardsman.

A Tradition of Winning: Men’s AD Committed To Success On And Off the Field

Men's athletic director Harold Brown sits inside Brad Duggan Court, City College Ocean Campus. San Francisco, CA. Aug. 19, 2020. Photo by Kevin Kelleher/ Special to The Guardsman.

By Kaiyo Funaki

Representing City College has taken many different forms over the years for Men’s Athletic Director Harold Brown, 62, who now helps shape the college that shaped him as a young man. His ties to City College date back to 1977 when he was a rising basketball prospect out of Balboa High School. Brad Duggan, the former chair of the athletic department and legendary head basketball coach at City College saw his immense talent as a student-athlete and

convinced him to become a Ram. “Brad Duggan believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself,” Brown said. “He saw things in me athletically and academically… that I didn’t see in myself.” Brown delivered on his potential, winning a state title and first-team All-State honors in his two seasons with the team. “City College, the two years I played there were the best two years of my life,” he said. After playing at Gonzaga University on a full scholarship and getting a master’s degree in education administration at Saint

Mary’s College, Duggan once again came calling, but this time with a job offer. Swayed by his mentor, the San Francisco native ultimately returned in 1984 as a physical education instructor and the men’s assistant basketball coach. He quickly worked his way up the ranks, taking over for Duggan as the head coach in 1988 and leading the team to conference championships on three separate occasions. Brown eventually stepped down from that role after 11 years but remained a teacher at the college until 2009, when he assumed duties as the men’s athletic director. In his new position, Brown immediately earned the trust and respect of the department by developing a winning culture on and off the field for every single student-athlete. “The guys loved him and really respected him because they knew he was a really hard worker. He wanted all of our teams, not just basketball, to do well. In that role, he’s been successful because we have a fantastically successful athletic program,” Duggan said. Brown helped improve the transportation system for teams and

The Wellness Center gym gets its name after Brad Duggan, the school's former chair of the athletic department and Brown's mentor. City College Ocean Campus, San Francisco, CA. Aug. 19, 2020. Photo by Kevin Kelleher/ Special to The Guardsman.

focused on evenly distributing funds throughout every sport, ensuring “all the men’s programs had a compete at the state level.” However, supporting studentathletes in their academic pursuits and athletic goals remains his utmost priority to this very day. “We send more kids to fouryear schools, I think… than any other [junior college] in the state on full scholarships,” Brown said. “Guiding kids and helping coaches guide kids to a point where they can receive a full scholarship to attend a four-year school and have a possibility of graduating and earning a degree and changing their lives — I think that’s what we’re in it for, and I know that’s what I am in it for.” Brown devotes so much

time and effort into City College student-athletes because he often sees parallels between his own upbringing and theirs. “I have been where they are. I know struggle. I come from a place where opportunities and resources are limited. It’s just working with these kids, working with these coaches, to make sure that I can do everything I can to make them successful on the field, in the classroom, and in life.” After seeing 38 years at City College from every possible perspective, Brown understands just how lucky he is to have found his life’s calling. “I’m truly blessed and honored to have been part of City College. City College has been good to me, and I love what I do.”

Profile for The Guardsman

The Guardsman, Vol. 170, Issue 1, City College of San Francisco  

The Guardsman, Vol. 170, Issue 1, City College of San Francisco  


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