On Thursday, March 13 City College students calling for the resignation of Bob Agrella and the reversal of the new tuition policy were beaten and pepper-sprayed by the police. Yet the CCSF administration is now claiming that it was the students who were violent.

What are the facts?

For months Special Trustee Agrella has refused to meet with student representatives, leaving them no option but peaceful protest to make their voices heard. On Thursday, the Agrella administration continued to shut out students and provoked police violence through two unprecedented decisions:

  1. It closed Conlan Hall, a school building open to the public in which many past demonstrations have been allowed, and
  2. Rather than rely on campus police, it brought in dozens of San Francisco City Police, who escalated the situation.

In response, students attempted to open the doors to hold their planned peaceful sit-in. Allegations that students struck or assaulted officers in this process are completely unfounded: video footage clearly shows that all physical assaults were by police against students — not the other way around. Did students such as Otto Pippenger and Dimitrious Philliou deserve to be met with police batons, punches, and pepper-spray for simply trying to enter Conlan Hall to defend their right to an education?

The next day, members of the SF Board of Supervisors and State Assembly denounced the police violence, and are putting forth a resolution calling for the removal of the STWEP and the return of the duly elected CCSF Board of Trustees at the Tuesday, March 25th Board of Supervisors meeting. 

CCSF students remain committed to non-violent protest to demand the resignation of Agrella and the cancellation of the tuition payment policy. Join us this Thursday, March 20th at 2pm in front of Conlan Hall for a peaceful vigil against police violence, to collectively reaffirm why we love our school and why we never want the police violence of last week to occur again.

– Save CCSF Student Committee
Please watch and share the following video which shows the facts about Thursday’s protest: http://vimeo.com/89166943

Constituents Denied Their Legal Right to Public Comment for CCSF Board Meeting

Chief Barnes refusing entry of faculty to Administration Bldg

Chief Barnes refusing entry of faculty to Administration Bldg

Video of Event:
Attempt to give public comment – Part I
Attempt to give public comment – Part II
Attempt to give public comment – Part III
Attempt to give public comment – Part IV

About a dozen police officers locked out a crowd of constituents who showed up at the administration building of City College of San Francisco in an effort to reclaim their legal right to public comment on crucial decisions affecting the college.

Last summer the State Chancellor of California Community Colleges dismissed the democratically elected Board of Trustees and appointed the Special Trustee With Extraordinary Powers, (STWEP) Robert Agrella to have sole decision making power for the college. Although required by law (Education Code 72121) and board policy (B.P. 1.10) to hold public meetings and provide the public opportunities to participate at these meetings, since coming to power the STWEP has not allowed this.  A board “meeting” is the STWEP meeting with himself.

A number of particularly controversial resolutions were scheduled for the Thursday, February 27, 2014 board agenda relating to inflated administrator salaries. Resolution 55 (http://www.ccsf.edu/BOT/2014/February/55.pdf)  stated that it will “memorialize” salaries that were “previously approved” and Resolution 54 (http://www.ccsf.edu/BOT/2014/February/54.pdf ) authorized top administrative salaries to “be independently adjusted based on market variations.”

Constituents, in an effort to reclaim their legal right to public comment asked the STWEP, or a designee to hear their comments. When they arrived at the administration building they were locked out by police officers guarding the doors. Eventually, Jeffrey Hamilton, recently hired administrative assistant to the Chancellor, came outside and announced his willingness to receive written comments only.

Had she been given the chance, Alisa Messer, English instructor and president of the faculty union was prepared to read from a letter (http://www.aft2121.org/wp-content/uploads/Feb-27-2014.pdf) that included calling “on the District to immediately and retroactively rescind these unlawful payments of excessive salaries to top administrators and pay these administrators in accord with the established schedule.

“Such egregious violations would not likely have occurred if this District were operating with open Board meetings and under the watch of its publicly elected Board of Trustees. Restore the voice of San Francisco voters and bring democratic decision-making, transparency, and public accountability back to CCSF by restoring the duly elected Board of Trustees.

“Faculty made the difficult choice to ratify a contract with a significant cut in pay last fall at the same moment the College hid these unprecedented increases in administrator salaries.”

Report from CCSF Delegation to Washington D.C.

CCSF students in front of Capitol

CCSF students Martin, Lalo, Sharon, Lizette, Loana and Itzel in front of the capitol.

The CCSF delegation of 6 faculty and 7 students went to Washington, D.C. from December 11th – December 14th in order to present oral third party comments at the Department of Education hearing on the ACCJC.

This hearing was part of a process whereby the DOE periodically reviews the agencies that accredit institutions. The ACCJC was up for it’s regular 6-year review.

More information about the process.




How did the CCSF Delegation spend their time in Washington?

  • They prepared and practiced their presentations.
  • They gave their comments at the formal hearing of NACIQI.
  • They visited congressional offices to inform and lobby for action on behalf of a fair and transparent accreditation process.
  • They saw a few sights.

Taking video or pictures was not allowed in the hearing. A transcript will be available in a month or so. In the meantime enjoy the links below to various aspects of the trip. This will be updated as more information is sent to the webmaster from the delegates.

Practice Sessions
Mike’s Analysis

Oral Comments of the Delegates
Read the oral comments of Martin, Wendy, Karen, Muriel, Sharon, Mike, Lalo, Loana, Itzel, and Shanell

We may not have obtained exactly what we wanted (delisting of the ACCJC by the DOE), however, if we had not gone, the outcome would have been far worse. We succeeded in having ACCJC’s continued recognition contingent on their coming into compliance within 12 months, and submit a compliance report that demonstrates the agency’s compliance with all issues in the staff analysis report.

Read the explanation from Carol Griffiths Executive Director of the Accreditation Group at DOE.

Read article from Inside Higher Ed

CCSF Delegates with Jackie Speier

Tarik, Shanell, Karen, Alisa, Muriel, JACKIE SPEIER, Martin, Jeff, Lalo, Wendy

Congressional Reports
The AFT National Office set up several lobbying visits for us. Here is the list of visits that we conducted, not counting the one with Jackie Speier. You can see who went to that from this picture!

Met With Staff Representative
Team 1: 
Martin Madrigal Nicholas Hromalik The Honorable Jared Huffman
Karen Saginor Shawn Tiegs The Honorable Michael M. Honda
Muiriel Parenteau Brenna Barber The Honorable Lois Capps
(AFT Jenn & Craig) Priscila Hammett The Honorable Judy Chu
Team 2: 
Shanell Williams Emily Burns The Honorable John Garamendi
Alisa Messer Katelynn Anderson The Honorable Eric Swalwell
Jeff Freitas Sara Nitz The Honorable Karen Bass
(AFT Sarah) Mavonne Garrity The Honorable Alan Lowenthal
Julia Steinberger The Honorable Mark Takano
Team 3:
Itzel Medina Calvo Mariah Jones The Honorable Barbara Lee
Tarik Farrar Ben Gutman The Honorable Zoe Lofgren
Wendy Kaufmyn
(AFT Tor & Alyssa)

Our purpose was to inform our representatives as to what is happening with California Community Colleges and the ACCJC. We want them to work on behalf of a fair and transparent accreditation process. We told them that the first step is for them to reach out to the community colleges in their districts and get informed. We will be following up with more specifics at at a later date.



Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Muriel said the artist of the Lincoln Memorial was deaf. Karen, Wendy and Muriel verified that Lincoln’s hands are reposed in the shape of the letters A and L of American Sign Language.


Viet Nam Memorial

Viet Nam Memorial



The facial expressions are not typical of a war memorial.



Washington Monument

Washington Monument