Vol. 167, Issue 8 | May 9 – May 22, 2019 | City College of San Francisco | Since 1935 | FREE
Updated facilities plan could leave creative arts students without permanent classrooms
Student selected for NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars program By Amal Ben Ghanem email@example.com
Performing Arts Education Center (PAEC) Rendering Courtesy of LMN/TEF Architects
By Claudia Drdul & Peter J. Suter firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com
The wait for City College’s Performing Arts Education Center continues as an updated facilities plan presented in April proposes construction be split into two phases, pushing classroom installations for creative arts students further down in administration’s “priority list” of projects to tackle. Serving as a roadmap for facilities development, the Facilities Master Plan provides strategies for renovation, replacement, and construction at all City College locations over the course of 10 years. The PAEC’s theater and classroom facilities were to be built in tandem under the FMP that the Facilities Committee previously approved. The purpose was to ensure that there would be enough “swing space” to house classes during construction and renovations. But the latest iteration of the FMP would leave a four-year gap between the two phases of construction in order to
address other projects and old building 12 Budget Committee members who renovations. Trustees Brigitte Davilla makes recommendations on the district’s and John Rizzo urged the administration annual budget, budget processes, and to reconsider the change at April’s budget procedures. board meeting. Trustee Rizzo is hesitant to rely on a Under the new project proposal, future bond while departments wait in phase Ⅰ would build a performing arts temporary spaces on campus. He hopes theater using money gained from a to see an alternative proposal from the November bond; the new facility would college’s consultant, Kitchell Co., that seat over 600 people and house the Diego would phase out a different building and Rivera Pan American Unity mural. The construct the PAEC altogether. plan also proposes the demolition of To avoid the possibility of escalations Creative Arts in 2021, with a STEAM costs, Interdisciplinary Studies professor building constructed in its place to Leslie Simon suggests that the college accommodate science, technology, build the PAEC and STEAM in one engineering, arts, and math courses. phase, then push renovation of other Phase Ⅱ would provide a recital hall, buildings like Cloud Hall onto phase Ⅱ. choral rooms, and classroom space for According to Chancellor Mark performing arts programs. Departments Rocha, the college must complete phase Ⅰ housed under Creative Arts will not to ensure the return of the Diego Rivera have permanent infrastructure until mural from the San Francisco Museum voters approve a 2024 bond to complete of Modern Art by 2022. phase Ⅱ. The details for installing the mural Until then, administrators plan to at the PAEC are still underway, said designate $9 million for the construction Kitchell representative Mike Owens. The of temporary bungalows to house senior project manager believes the cost displaced classrooms. of putting the entire project onto one “We’re spending money to plan bond was the primary reason for multiple to plan,” said Simon Hanson, one of phases, not mural installations.
City College student Dante Alabastro, 23, was one of 403 community college applicants across the country selected to participate in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars onsite experience this spring. The computer science and computer networking technology major began the scholar program on Apr. 15 at NASA’s Ames Research Center. After receiving an email about the program from his career adviser, Alabastro applied immediately. He reached out to teachers for letters of recommendation and wrote a personal essay about why he should be part of NCAS. “I found it was an incredible opportunity for me to get involved in this program since I’m focusing on computer science and computer networking technology. Potentially, I could learn more about the communication systems they employ there,” Alabastro said. Alabastro was “over the moon” when he received an acceptance letter. “I couldn’t believe it. I had never imagined it would be possible for me to go to NASA. My parents were also really excited and supportive,” he said. Once accepted into the program, Alabastro participated in a five-week online class last December, which included courses about research and webinars with NASA engineers. Participants were required to write a research paper by the end of the course. Alabastro focused on habitation systems, which are required to transport humans to Mars; he wrote about the components used to grow food in space and the air rehabilitation systems needed to recycle air in the International Space Station. Students who earned the highest grades were chosen to join the NCAS four-day onsite experience. Once at the workshop, students were divided into four teams of nine members, each mentored by a NASA engineer. Visit to NASA continued on page 3
PAEC update continued on page 2
College announces keynote speaker for 2019 commencement By Kassandra Dunne Contributor
As students feel the pressure of finals looming in the air, many others look forward to the semester’s end with one thing in mind: graduation. This year’s commencement ceremony will be held on May 24 at Davies Symphony Hall. Among the estimated 2,000 students completing their associate degrees this spring, around 500 students will participate in the graduation ceremony. This year’s keynote speaker is California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, a Los Angeles native raised by Mexican immigrant parents. He became the first openly gay
person of color to be elected to the California State Senate in 2012. Lara advocates for increased access to financial aid for college students statewide, especially those who are undocumented. His political work focuses on key issues that impact the LGBTQ community, undocumented citizens, and the preservation of the environment. “Our community colleges are the crown jewels of California’s higher education system, opening doors to the American dream for everyone, and City College of San Francisco is no exception. What you do is transformational for students, giving them the tools to excel at whatever they choose to do next,” Lara said.
Photo courtesy of Dante Alabastro, 23, at NASA’s Ames Research Center during the onsite workshop on April 15.
2 | NEWS
Vol. 167, Issue 8 | May 9 – May 22, 2019
PAEC update continued from page 1
City College becomes HispanicServing Institution By Andy Damián–Correa firstname.lastname@example.org
The U.S. Department of Education designated City College of San Francisco as a Hispanic Serving Institution, paving the way for more federal funding opportunities that would improve the educational experience of Hispanic and low-income students. As an HSI, City College joins more than 523 institutions nationwide in providing better educational opportunities for students. “For City College to be deemed an HSI institution is both a responsibility and a privilege,” said Jorge Bell, dean of Mission Campus. “The Developing Hispanic-Serving Institution makes us eligible for millions of dollars in federal grants that the college was never previously eligible for.” Ilona M. McGriff, dean of Grants and Resource Development, hopes to expand educational opportunities and improve the attainment of Hispanic students. “We’re in the process of applying for grants and hundreds of thousands of dollars of new funding for the college for the next couple of years,” she said. According to the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, the number of HSIs changes annually since eligibility is based on enrollment. Latino students must make up at least 25 percent of the full-time student population for an institution to be established as a HSI. City College fulfilled the requirement during the 2017-18 academic year with 26.3 percent of full-time students being of Latino or Hispanic descent.
15th Annual Job Fair welcomes community By Andy Damián-Correa email@example.com
Over 2,500 students and San Francisco locals met with recruiters from various companies at City College’s 15th Annual Job Fair on April 18. The event was free and open to the public. Those in attendance were given the opportunity to hear what employers had to offer and discover what each company expected from potential workers. “We have over 80 employers, and it created a good will with the students and community. People want to be educated and want to work,” Dean of Mission Campus Jorge Bell said. Dressed in their best and with hands full of resumes, students filled the auditorium at Mission Center, ready to spend the next four hours speaking to different employers. “I think today was a good opportunity to kind of weigh your options and see what colleges could be best beneficial to you,” social justice studies student Jonathan Alvarez said. The annual job fair attracted a large number of applicants, who got a taste of what their future might hold at what the school describes as being the “largest and best diversity and inclusion recruiting event in the Bay Area.” “If you don’t really have a direction or know where you want to go, you can talk to people who can help lead you to your future, see your skills and what you’re good at,” web programing student Brian Reyes said.
Staff Editor-in-Chief Peter J. Suter
News Editor Casey Ticsay
Vice Chancellor of Facilities Reuben Smith was unavailable for comment during this report. Bond talks “We were bringing the project back from the dead,” Rizzo said, referring to when the PAEC was agreed to be phased out in 2017 under Interim Chancellor Susan Lamb. Rizzo explained that the decision was a made at a time when the project had $50 million set aside for phase I. If the projected 2024 bond measure features phase Ⅱ, it will be the fifth bond the PAEC has been on and the third time TEF Architecture would have redesigned the project since its inception in 1998. In 2001, San Francisco voters passed a bond measure to provide City College with $50 million to build the Wellness Center and PAEC but due to design, land, and logistical reasons, the PAEC was postponed. The PAEC, originally planned to be constructed alongside the Multi-Use Building, was also included in a $246 million bond measure passed in 2005 to fund renovations, remodeling, and new facilities. By 2012, City College entered the beginning of what students and faculty refer to as the “accreditation crisis.” During this period, Special Trustee Robert Agrella canceled the PAEC’s construction, which the Division of the State Architect said was budgeted and shovel ready. Agrella cited legal reasons and bond language as justification to spend funds from the 2012 bond measure. Over $26 million has already been spent on site preparation, including geothermal wells to heat and cool the building, design, and standard construction fees. College officials hope San Francisco voters will support a $821 million bond measure this November, $93.8 million of which would be spent on phase Ⅰ. Board President Alex Randolph says there is a significant cost factor involved and believes the college should allocate bond funds for other projects. “There’s only a certain amount of money that we can ask for and there’s a lot of projects we need to fit into that 700, 800 million [dollar] amount,” Randolph said. According to a survey conducted by Tulchin Research, 77 percent of San Francisco voters say they would support the bond measure, which only needs a 55 percent approval rate to pass. The survey also found that 69 percent of voters support the overall cost of construction for the entire PAEC. The Performing Arts Education Center The PAEC will be built by 2026, according to the current FMP that estimates a four year window in between phases. That is if all goes well and City College receives its 2024 bond.
Departments housed in Creative Arts such as Music, Ceramics, Foreign Languages, Asian Studies, and Broadcast Electronic Media Arts would temporarily reside in bungalows, antithetical to the creative space necessary for proper development in those fields. Music Chair Madeline Mueller is skeptical of the administration’s decision to delay construction of classroom facilities where students can learn and grow. Mueller is often seen as the godmother of the PAEC and has been working on the project since its developing stage. She believes it is because of the arts that San Francisco is deemed a haven for the technology and startup communities. “We [City College] have an art center, because there’s a huge audience. We train those artists and provide a them with a space to create,” said Mueller. With no permanent or adequate home provided to the arts, students and faculty worry their programs will diminish while the PAEC’s construction is at a standstill. "It seems like they just don't care about the arts, and in San Francisco that's sad," ceramics professor Don Santos said. “You can’t house ceramics in bungalows.” This year, departments across the board have been trying to cope with the college’s transition to California’s new education funding formula, which grants additional money to community colleges who produce more certificates and transfer degrees. The Music and Theatre departments have seen a drastic drop in course offerings from Fall 2018 to Fall 2019. Six music and three theater classes will not be offered next semester; 23 music and 10 theater sections are also cut from the fall schedule. City College’s Music Department does not have an associates degree but currently offers two certificates of achievement in computers and music, and music technology. For years, the department has been caught in a catch22 scenario due to state and administrative requirements that have made it nearly impossible to provide degrees and additional certificates. If Creative Arts was to be demolished before the PAEC is complete, the departments would no longer be in compliance with state educational codes that requires proper facilities for arts courses. Music journalism major Rosina Ghebreyesus is enrolled in Jazz History and Funk to Hip-Hop this semester. She said she would “definitely” get a music degree if the department offered one. Ghebreyesus expressed concern after learning about the administartion's updated FMP which threatens the development of performing arts classrooms. “This is terrible, it doesn’t give space to begin with, it’s just not beneficial to students,” she said.
Performing Arts Education Center (PAEC) Rendering Courtesy of LMN/TEF Architects
Culture Editor Jerusha Kamoji
Opinion Editor Michael Montalvo
Photo Editor Cliff Fernandes
Sport Editor Matthew Paul Maes
Chief Copy Editor Antoinette Barton
Designer Director Chiara Di Martino Online Editor Fran Smith
Staff Writers Andy Damián-Correa Amal Ben Ghanem Claudia Drdul Cliff Fernandes Da Lee
Lisa Martin Illustrator Chiara Di Martino
NEWS | 3
Vol. 167, Issue 8 | May 9 – May 22, 2019
Visit to NASA continued from page 1 Each team was expected to design a company infrastructure, develop a communication plan, and manage a budget in order to test a prototype rover. Serving as a software engineer, Alabastro understood that working as a team was key in achieving success. Despite the competition, all teams were supportive of one another. Participants also had the opportunity to visit many facilities at NASA’s Ames Research Center. Impressed by the level of innovation, Alabastro was fascinated most by the world’s largest wind tunnel, which is used to improve air transportation and test aircraft, spacecraft, and rocket models. Hoping to expand his knowledge about space industry, Alabastro hopes to become more involved in other NASA programs such as CubeSat.
“To be in an environment where people are taking these far ideas and concepts seriously and bringing them to reality was amazing,” he said. Meanwhile, he will continue his general education at City College and plans to transfer to a four-year university. “Seeing former NCAS students who ended up becoming engineers at NASA made me think that NASA is more accessible for community college students,” Alabastro said. Students registered in a community college during the semester of the onsite workshop are eligible to apply as long as they are enrolled in at least nine hours of science, technology, engineering and mathematics coursework.
Courtesy photo of City College student Dante Alabastro with his student team and NASA Mentor during NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars onsite experience this spring.
Frustration with registration system continues By Claudia Drdul & Matheus Maynard Contributors
Despite administration’s attempts to resolve technical mishaps with the college’s new registration system, obstacles remain as students try to enroll in coursework for summer and fall semester. City College transitioned to a new administrative software called Banner 9, but since its implementation on Nov. 11, 2018, the college community continues to face registration hurdles and system malfunctions. Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Dianna Gonzales addressed the matter at a Feb. 28 board of trustees meeting. “It was a perfect storm of events of technical issues and operational issues that came together in opportune time. The technical issues we experienced were due to infrastructure and equipment,” Gonzales said. 43 percent of students experienced problems with Banner 9 since November, according to a campus-wide survey conducted by the college’s Journalism 21: News Writing and Reporting class that involved over 100 students. “Registering for this spring semester was a headache. Even when the student portal link worked, which was rare,
Photographers Amal Ben Ghanem Claudia Drdul Cliff Fernandes Da Lee Jared Lue
Faculty Adviser Juan Gonzales
loading the rest of the web pages was like rolling dice. It was incredibly frustrating,” student Isaac Loyer said. An employee from Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, who wanted to remain anonymous, believed the transition to Banner 9 was too soon despite 65 percent of students noting that their registration problems were resolved. “The new system isn’t user friendly. If the college changed it during the summer, maybe it would give students time to understand it,” they said. The registration process became inconvenient for nursing student Abby Luce, who was advised to hold off on registering for classes until the department reviewed the overall schedule. “We can’t register [until the schedule is confirmed], making it hard to plan our lives,” she said. According to Gonzales, “specific actions” were taken to stabilize the ecosystem and ensure that summer registration proceeded without failure. Meanwhile, the vice chancellor position for information technology services remains vacant amid Daman Grewal’s resignation in March. “The day before priority registration began, the IT team had a number of veterans gather in Conlan Hall to test the new Web4 registration platform,” engineering student Caramia
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Marinelli said. The students tested for error messages and course reference number functionality. Overall, Caramia felt as though everything appeared to work smoothly. Political science professor Rick Baum did not share the same optimism, after his experience with the website on the first day of registration for fall 2019. “From quicklinks, click on class schedule and there is no listing for the fall term,” Baum said in an email to the board of trustees. “Is this part of an effort to purposefully downsize CCSF and create more excuses for cutting classes? Please inform the college community as to who is responsible.” Registration mishaps pose great challenges for students and threaten the college’s chances at increasing enrollment and improving the student experience. The J21 study found that 18.2 percent of participants know someone who, frustrated with the registration process, decided to drop from City College spring semester. Following upset among students, faculty, and trustees, the college’s contract with Ellucian was terminated in January. CampusWorks, a Florida based software company, is working in conjunction with Ellucian’s transitional services.
High school seniors visit City College for FRISCO Day By Da Lee firstname.lastname@example.org
Over 1,000 high school seniors convened on City College’s Ocean campus for FRIday Successful College Opportunities Day, which provides San Francisco Unified School District students with tools to transition to college life. The ninth annual FRISCO Day held on May 4 welcomed students and teachers from 23 high schools where participants could enroll, register and explore college life. 110 City College staff members, students, and volunteers were available for guidance and assistance during the event. “We want to let them know about the good opportunities here at City College,” said volunteer Laura Newsom, who works in the department of human resources. The enrollment process required students to complete five steps: apply, orientation, counseling, scheduling, and registration. Students then took photos for their student identification cards. For a few students, however, the event had its moments of inconvenience. “The whole thing took three hours. It’s cool and helpful, but there was too many people and too crowded,” said Julian Carreiro, a student from Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts. Due to limited resources some students had to apply on paper. “There was not enough computers to complete online scheduling so I had to go through the printed fall schedule and pick classes,” Galileo High School student Calvin Liao said. Despite minor setbacks, seniors took advantage of the opportunities provided at the Resource Fair held in the Wellness Center Amphitheater. Students were able to learn more about financial aid options, diverse academic programs, student support services, and student clubs at City College.
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4 | CULTURE
Vol. 167, Issue 8 | May 9 – May 22, 2019
Dance Department bids final farewell to faculty members By Da Lee email@example.com
Last Friday’s “Rise Up” annual dance concert conjugated a full house at City College’s Diego Rivera Theatre. The invigorating event showcased a variety of dance styles and gave three City College Dance Department faculty members a warm send-off. “Rise Up” was a lively two hour performance directed by Jeanette J. Male and Kirstin E. Williams, dance department instructors. Connie Lee, a Computer Science major said, “I was blown away from the amount of diversity in each dance in terms of age and music choices, from hip hop to swing to more classical pieces like waltz dancing.” The performance began with seven dancers adorned in green, gold, and red costumes to show the rich culture and movement of Afro-Haitian dance.
A group of dancers posing with shades at the end of their piece on May 3, 2019. Photo Coutesy of Dance Department
One of the following sets, Baby Workout, was performed by dancers in loose-fitting dresses and suits brought the audience back to the 50s’. In the spirit of Swing, the performers moved to the rhythm of the crowd clapping. In honor of retiring faculty members, Theresa Gensler, David Blood, and Annie Roak, a slideshow was presented to exemplify their contributions to City College. “Some people don’t know them…they’ve been here for a long time and have given a lot to the department,” Williams said. When asked about the name, “Rise Up”. Director Male said, “When members of our community move on to something else, it’s a bitter and sweet moment. Even though we say a temporary goodbye to them…we continue to rise up, rise up forward and keep pushing for the future for our dance community.” The concert gave audiences a cultural perspective on dance, whilst showcasing the talent that City College’s dance department and community has to offer.
In the first dance Haiti, the performer is turning with a fan in her hand on May 3, 2019. The red and green color costume represents Haiti, a national flower of Afro-Haitian. Photo Coutesy of Dance Department
CULTURE | 5
Vol. 167, Issue 9 | May 8 – May 22, 2019
Summer in the City Film & Art STREETFOTO SAN FRANCISCO FESTIVAL
StreetFoto is a a weeklong celebration of street photography, a style of photography known for it’s shoot-from-the-hip candids of people, places and things in public spaces. Festival organizers will host exhibits, lectures, neighborhood photowalks, workshops, portfolio reviews, and announce the winners of the International Street Photography awards. Location Dates Price
The Harvey Milk Photo Center and other locations throughout the city June 3 – June 9 Most of the exhibits, events, lectures, and photowalks will be free. Workshops start at $750.
This annual festival dedicated to documentary films, will open with a screening of Cassandro the Exotico!, about the first openly gay Lucha wrestler, and feature documentaries that touch on issues and lives lived across the globe. Some screenings will be followed with special programing afterwards like Q&A sessions with the filmmakers. Besides seeing films, attendees can join dance parties and even go to a “bad art” art exhibit. Locations Dates Price
Brava Theater 2781 24th St at York, Roxie Theater 3117 16th at Valencia and 518 Gallery 518 Valencia at 16th May 29 – June 13 Regular tickets are $15 at the door, Opening night tickets at the door are $20. The DocPass, which gives access to all screenings and parties, is $240
The Center for Asian American Media puts on this annual festival to showcase the work of Asian American filmmakers. This year’s festival will feature over 120 events and film screenings of works that range from documentaries to Opening night will see the world premiere Chinatown Rising, a documentary about 1960s activism in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Location Showings and events will take place at multiple theaters, galleries, Dates Price
libraries and museum in both San Francisco and Oakland
May 9 – 19 General Admission tickets are $14, but opening night, gala, closing night, and centerpiece screening cost between $17 - $90
SAN FRANCISCO FROZEN FILM FESTIVAL
This film festival takes submissions from around the world and focuses on sharing films created by the kinds of independent and student filmmakers who haven’t gotten a Hollywood deal. Film categories featured in previous years include documentary, film stock and digital, music videos and even VR films. Location Dates Price
PianoFight 144 Taylor St. Roxie Theater 3117 16th at Valencia July 17 – July 21 Unlisted
Music STERN GROVE
Stern Grove Festival Association is a non-profit organization whose mission is to make live musical experiences accessible to all. Every year since 1938, the organization presents Stern Grove Festival, a free concert series in a beautiful outdoor amphitheater. Locations Sigmund Stern Recreation Grove (19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard) Dates June 16 – August 18 Price free
GOLDEN GATE PARK BAND
The Golden Gate Park Band is a non-profit organization that offers a variety of music at its concerts including classic band favorites, operas, marches, Broadway show tunes, orchestral transcriptions, novelty tune, folk music, big band swing music and original works for concert band. Locations 501 Stanyan St. Dates Every Sunday from April 28 – October 6 Price free
UNION SQUARE FESTIVAL
The 2019 Union Square Live festival presents dozens of free events like live music, swing and tango dance lessons, film nights, circus arts, and more. Locations Union Square Park Dates May to September Price free
Drive Electric Earth Day comes to City College By Caoilinn Goss The end of Earth Month brought students and community members to City College in celebration of Drive Electric Earth Day. The event, which was organized by the Golden Gate Electric Vehicle association, gave people the opportunity to test drive electric vehicles and educate themselves about the importance of eco friendly transportation. “Electric cars are the direction everything is going in,” Marc Geller, who is the Vice President of Plug In America
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Veggie
and a key organizer of the event said. Manufacturers such as Tesla and Smart Car, and advocacy groups like 350 Bay Area Transportation set up booths in front of the Multi-Use Building. “We hope to encourage car companies to stop making gas cars,” Geller explained. This would help the state of California toward the goal of being carbon neutral by the year 2040. In 2018, the baseline cost for electric vehicles made by Tesla, Nissan and Chevrolet was Photo courtesy of Jennifer Veggie between $22,000 and $72,000 (Energysage). However, the up-front cost of purchasing “Electric cars are a growing field. Infrastructure develan electric vehicle is projected to be compa- opment for electric cars employs thousands of people and rable to the cost of purchasing a gas vehicle students who are interested in energy, electricity, environby the year 2025, according to Jack Lucero mentalism and transportation,” Geller said. Fleck, a representative of 350 Bay Area. Plug In America hopes to partner with the college for Furthermore, charging an electric another, likely off-campus event this September to honor vehicle is significantly more affordable National Drive Electric Week, an event held in hundreds than filling a gas tank, so over time electric of cities with the support of the Electric Auto Association vehicle owners recoup on their investment. and the Sierra Club. Buying an electric car isn’t feasible Geller encouraged students interested in learning more for many City College students, however or getting involved to attend one of the Golden Gate Electric Drive Electric Earth Day was also meant Vehicle Association monthly meetings. to educate them about the importance of Meetings are held every first Saturday at Luscious investing in electric vehicles to better steer Garage, 475 9th Street in San Francisco. the future of transportation.
6 | OPINION
HAVE YOUR SAY BY MICHAEL MONTALVO
“They should take care of their community like San Francisco did with establishing Free City so students can go to college for free.” P
— Anthony Fregoso, Counseling Da Lee
“Community colleges have a lot of resources and benefits for students if they don't know what they want to do yet. Their role is to help new students adjust to college.” — Oliver Chanax, Studio Arts
“Their role is to help students get into higher colleges and help them through the experience.” — Henry Sanchez, Graphic design
“I think community colleges should support their community. People locally should be able to utilize their benefits.” — Alice Serenska, Chemistry
By Cory Turner A critical new report from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General finds the department’s student loan unit failed to adequately supervise the companies it pays to manage the nation’s trillion-dollar portfolio of federal student loans. The report also rebukes the department’s office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) for rarely penalizing companies that failed to follow the rules. Instead of safeguarding borrowers’ interests, the report says, FSA’s inconsistent oversight allowed these companies, known as loan servicers, to potentially hurt borrowers and pocket government dollars that should have been refunded because servicers weren’t meeting federal requirements. “By not holding servicers accountable,” the report says, “FSA could give its servicers the impression that it is not concerned with servicer noncompliance with Federal loan servicing requirements, including protecting borrowers’ rights.” “It’s hard to look at this as anything other than completely damning,” says Seth Frotman, a consumer advocate and former government, student-loan watchdog who is now executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center. “This is the most damaging in a long line of investigations, audits, and reports that show the Department of Education is asleep at the switch when it is responsible for over a trillion dollars of student loan debt.” The Education Department’s independent watchdog reviewed FSA oversight records from January 2015 through September 2017, a period that includes both the Obama and Trump administrations. Among the Inspector General’s findings: While FSA did document servicers’ many failures to follow the rules, it did not study these isolated failures to identify broader patterns of noncompliance that could have hurt many more students. The Inspector General’s office writes that, without looking more broadly, the department ignored the possibility of patterns of failure by servicers that could result in “increased interest or repayment costs incurred by borrowers, the missed opportunity for more borrowers to take advantage of certain repayment programs, negative effects on borrowers’ credit ratings, and an increased likelihood of delinquency or even default.” The audit documents several common failures by the servicers, among them, not telling borrowers about all of their repayment options, or miscalculating what borrowers should have to pay through an income-driven repayment plan. According to the review, two loan servicing companies, Navient and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), better known as FedLoan, repeatedly placed borrowers into costly forbearance without offering them other,
— Zachary Rosenfield, Electrical Engineering
more beneficial options. Representatives from Navient and PHEAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In comments included with the report, FSA “strongly disagreed” with the OIG’s conclusion that it had not done enough to make sure servicers followed the rules. FSA also argued that it had already implemented or would implement all of the Inspector General's recommendations and had improved its oversight since the period reviewed in this report. The Education Department, through FSA, is required to complete monitoring reports that include listening to phone calls between student borrowers and loan company representatives — to ensure that borrowers are given the best, most accurate information. For this audit, the Inspector General reviewed all monitoring reports that FSA produced through 2015, 2016 and much of 2017, and found that 61 percent of those reports showed evidence of servicer failures. While all nine loan servicing companies occasionally failed to follow the rules, some did so more frequently than others. According to one review of borrower phone calls from April 2017, servicers failed to comply with federal requirements in 4 percent of calls, on average. But PHEAA failed to give adequate or accurate information in 10.6 percent of its calls with borrowers. A review of more than 850 calls the following month found that PHEAA representatives failed to follow the rules in nearly 9 percent of those interactions — more than five times the average failure rate of the other servicers that month. The Education Department’s internal review arrives in the middle of a standoff between the department, led by Secretary Betsy DeVos, and many state leaders. Stories of loan servicers failing to act in borrowers’ best interest are easy to find. In the past year, NPR investigations have documented sweeping failures in the management of both the federal TEACH Grant program and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. But as state lawmakers and attorneys general have tried to step up their own oversight of servicers, the Education Department is opposing them, arguing in court that only it has the authority to police these loan companies. In a memo entered into the Federal Register nearly a year ago, the department defended its role as sole watchdog: “The Secretary emphasizes that the Department continues to oversee loan servicers to ensure that borrowers receive exemplary customer service and are protected from substandard practices.” The Inspector General’s report appears to contradict this assessment. Even when the Department found evidence of widespread servicer error, the report says, federal officials were reluctant to demand a refund from servicers or to penalize them by scaling back future contracts.
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Vol. 167, Issue 8 | May 9 – May 22, 2019
Federal watchdog issues scathing report on Ed Department’s handling of student loans NPR Ed team
“WHAT DO YOU THINK THE ROLE OF COMMUNITY COLLEGES SHOULD BE?”
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SERVICE PAGE | 7
Vol. 167, Issue 8 | May 9 – May 22, 2019
COMMUNITY CALENDAR 9 MAY
CCSF FACULTY RETIREMENT CELEBRATION 4 pm – 7 pm | Ocean Campus, Chef’s Table.
CCSF CITY SHORTS STUDENTS FILM FESTIVAL 6 pm – 9 pm | Ocean Campus, Diego Rivera Theatre
WORKFORCE LINKEDIN ESSENTIALS 3 pm – 5 pm | Mission Campus, Room 469 RSVP https://tinyurl.com/CCSFLinkdIn
CCSF CITY SHORTS STUDENTS FILM FESTIVAL 7 pm – 9 pm | Mission Campus, The Roxie Theatre
18 & 19 MAY
AUDACIOUS CCSF FASHION SHOW 5 Pm – 8 pm | Ocean Campus, Diego Rivera Theatre For more information, visit www.ccsf.edu/fashion
recycling tips Did you know? • Every part of your coffee cup can now be recycled: lid, sleeve, and cup. • But remember: empty liquid before recycling For more information, contact Recycling Coordinator Carlita Martinez at firstname.lastname@example.org
the department of rehabilitation (DOR) now offers appointments for DOR Student Services at the Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) office, rosenberg library room 323, every friday. for more information (415) 452-5481
8 | SPORTS
Vol. 167, Issue 8 | May 9 – May 22, 2019
CITY COLLEGE JUDO CLUB, UP TO THE CHALLENGE By Matthew Paul Maes The City College Wellness Center was covered with grey and red colored “tatami” mats, quiet the contrast to the squeaky shiny court. The sound of bodies slamming and an occasional grunt clearly indicated that something was different in the gymnasium as the City College Spring Invitational Judo Tournament got underway with over 300 judoka in attendance on April 28. One of the longest running sanctioned judo tournaments in Northern California, put on at the end of each semester by City College’s Judo Club, the events has been attracting card carrying Judo initiates since 1986. City College club members were in charge of checking and weighing in contestants, running all the tables, pool sheets, time keeping, working the award podium, and making sure the overall event ran smoothly. “This is part of the student’s class project so this tournament is completely run by our Judo students,” Tournament Director Samir Golubovic said, as he took a short break from working at the announcing table. Teammates Abdurakhim Rodzhabov, left, and Lazare Gubeladze grapple for position during City College Spring The day began early for Judo club members starting at Invitational Judo Tournament on April 28, 2019. Photo by Amal Ben Ghanem / The Guardsman 8 a.m. as they worked to check in and weigh the contestants. According to Golubovic, “Everybody gets split up. We go Created in 1882 by Jigoro Kano the philosophy of Judo to that it really influences character development so you by the sex, male and female, then we separate by the belt is, maximum efficiency and mutual welfare. Ju or Judo, liter- learn perseverance, self control, courage, humility the ideal levels, white belt, green belt and then we separate them by ally means softness and gentleness. Learning the basics of state of mind, its calmness, calmness under chaos.” weight so they have their own specific pool sheets.” the art of Judo starts at a young age, as seen out on the As the meet continued towards the end of the day there From the little ones just starting out in the sport compet- mats or “tatami,” were the judoka utilize techniques, or was still plenty of calmness except when vocal and enthusiasing in the junior division to the older and more advanced “waza” that even Olympic level athletes must adhere to. tic spectators cheered for their favorite senior division judoka. Judoka in the intermediate division there was some intense There is the nage waza, which emphasizes unbalancing Two of City College’s top finishers, Lazare Gubeladze and grappling and throwing going on. an opponent, the katame waza which emphasizes grap- Ariana Chandra, won first place in their division. Gubeladze David Nguyen, a seasoned Judoka, described a typical pling techniques and lastly there is the atemi waza the had particularly good day by winning 3-4 of his bouts, “I class trend saying, “People take Judo one or two semester vital-point striking technique. think that my last match was the toughest match because courses because it is a physical education requirement.” He City College Judo instructor and mentor to many he is a teammate of mine [Abdurakhim Rodzhabov] and went on to describe how he’s seen many in the club end up judoka, Sensei Mitchell Palacio offers his own philosophy we were going up against each other a lot in practice and I coming back and progressing through the various degrees to his students. knew that he was going to be really tough,” Gubeladze said. of belts because “they find that they like it and they keep “It is a fun dynamic combative sport that helps to develop coming back and working their way up.” athletic competency and great mental discipline, in addition
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City College Spring Invitational Judo Tournament on April 28, 2019. Photo by Amal Ben Ghanem / The Guardsman
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Judoka participants take to the mat during City College Spring Invitational Judo Tournament on April 28, 2019. Photo by Amal Ben Ghanem / The Guardsman