CCSF holds big sale to help save classes

In a desperate move to raise money for hundreds of classes that were dropped due to budget cuts, City College of San Francisco is having a full-blown garage sale Saturday.

Donations including vacuum cleaners, bicycles, pots and pans, along with items that will be brought by vendors will be spread across the community college’s parking lot at the Ocean Campus from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The goal is to bring back about 500 classes cut from the spring 2010 class schedule. The classes were dropped to help compensate for about $20 million cut in state funds, Board of Trustees President Milton Marks said.

The flea market idea started as a joke.

Marks said he overheard a faculty member laughing with colleagues about the idea, but he liked it enough to try it.

“People have been upset about [the garage sale]. They think it’s degrading. They think, ‘This is not the way you fund public education,’ but part of it is to make a point,” Marks said.

About 36,200 students this semester are paying $26 per credit at one of 10 campuses or online — about 2,500 more than last year — but the Board of Trustees trimmed 8 percent of classes across the board to compensate for millions of dollars in state cuts, college spokeswoman Martha Lucey said.

Additionally, the board has decided to cut all summer classes for 2010, Marks said.

This is not the first time the cash-strapped college has gotten creative in thinking of ways to raise money.

In June, CCSF Chancellor Don Griffin suggested that donors who gave $6,000 to the college could save a class — and have their name attached to the course.

Pushback on the idea from the Board of Trustees and the public, dropped the naming component of the fundraising plan. In August, the college announced that 800 classes were still available for sponsorship — about 300 cut from the fall semester and about 500 for spring — sans the public recognition.

Lucey said she didn’t have an updated count on how many classes had been spared; at the end of August only eight contributors had offered up the $6,000 donation, she said.

If the flea market is a success, it could be repeated, said Marks, adding that he’d want to talk with the neighboring residents to get their support for the Saturday sale.

Vendors who wish to participate in the market can rent an area the size of two parking spots for $35.

kkelkar@sfexaminer.com

IF YOU GO
What: City College swap meet
Why: To raise funds to help restore classes
When: Saturday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Where:  50 Phelan Ave., San Francisco
More information: www.ccsf.edu/News/Citywide_Garage_Sale

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