San Francisco

City College of San Francisco Students, Faculty Dealing With Cold Classrooms

NBC Universal, Inc.

For the last couple of weeks, many students at City College of San Francisco's Mission Campus have been going to classes with no heat.

Some instructors have been posting some orange and yellow logs on their classroom doors as they documented how cold the classes get.

The coldest one spotted was on the third floor at City College's Mission Campus, where night school courses were taught in temps ranging from 42 degrees to 46 degrees.

“In class, do you always have to wear your jacket?” NBC Bay Area reporter Sergio Quintana asked.

"Yeah. I Always, always have jackets,” said student Nayele Rivera.

CCSF student Diana Vasquez told NBC Bay Area that when she is in class, they can really feel the chill and she has to bring a couple layers.

To help provide some heat, school administrators have provided some small space heaters.

“We can only have one per classroom because, evidently we'll short out the electrical circuitry if we have more than one. So, the students, who are sitting in the back are comfortable,” said said Tom Kennedy, an instructor at City College of San Francisco.

According to some instructors, the heat hasn't worked properly at the Mission campus for years.

During the pandemic, classes went all-remote, so cold classrooms weren't a problem. But students and instructors began complaining when in-person learning resumed.

Teachers told NBC Bay Area Wednesday that this year's string of rainstorms has really made cold in their classrooms a very serious issue.

Malaika Finkelstein is one of the instructors, who've been keeping a blog of the cold classroom concerns. She said that three campuses are affected and instead of giving a clear timeline on when the building's heat will be fixed, administrators have focused on other solutions like distributing hand warmers.

“The little chemical packets, you use it once, then, it becomes landfill. Which is just insulting,” Finkelstein said. “What am I going to do, hand that around and have each one of my students hold that for 30 seconds?”

The school's chancellor has not replied to NBC Bay Area's request for comment.

The president of the board of trustees says they're set to approve money to replace inoperable boilers at City College's Mission Street, Main Campus and the John Adams Campus. But it will take months to get the heat back on.

“Unfortunately, the bidding process takes a while as well,” said Alan Wong, City College of San Francisco's Board Of Trustees President.

Wong is hoping work will be completed on those campus boilers by the summer semester, around the time when most students will be thinking about air conditioning.

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