On a day when classes were cancelled and the campus was mostly deserted, more than 60 people arrived at City College of San Francisco’s Ocean campus at 10 AM on Friday. The event, organized by WeAreCCSF (Community, Classified, Students, Faculty), was the first of several to begin rebuilding the college for our community. Together, we picked up trash, pulled weeds, and inventoried the college’s computer equipment. It was one of my proudest days in more than ten years at the college.
Community members, students, and college employees (both classified staff and faculty) worked side by side. Our goal was to put a small dent in the more than $1 billion deferred maintenance bill at the college, filling in temporarily until more workers can be hired for these jobs.
By the end of the day, the head of the college’s buildings and grounds thanked us, saying we’d done “at least a month of work.” The trash blowing around a windy campus is a perpetual problem, but college workers felt supported and appreciated and could look at what had been eyesore areas with renewed pride.
The aging computers at the college have to be inventoried before they can be replaced, so the computer inventory — now 85% complete — will benefit everyone at the college. The inventory can be finished quickly now that the amount of work is more manageable.
The mood was celebratory and positive. We laughed and joked while we worked. Students led chants as we moved from one job site to another. And at the end, we gathered in the cafeteria to eat and talk a little about the next day of working together.
Friday’s “Day On” was a small step toward repairing the broken parts of the college, rebuilding a positive culture , and restoring the community’s trust. I look forward to more days like it and to seeing more folks at the next one.