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Student Sit-In At CCSF Ends With Promise To Meet With Chancellor

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A group of students stage a sit-in protest at City College of San Francisco, February 21, 2013. (CBS)

A group of students stage a sit-in protest at City College of San Francisco, February 21, 2013. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A group of about 30 students spent the night at the City College of San Francisco administration building until a demand for more communication with school administrators was met this morning as the school struggles to stay accredited.

Shanell Williams, president of the Associated Student Council at the school’s Ocean campus, said the protesters at about 9 a.m. were able to secure a meeting with interim chancellor Thelma Scott-Skillman on Monday morning.

The sleep-in at the campus located at 50 Phelan Ave. followed a Thursday afternoon rally where hundreds of students demanded to be more involved in the administration’s choices in its fight to stay accredited, which has included decisions to cut student services and school staff.

City College is required to file a report by a March 15 deadline set by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, which last July placed the school on “show cause” status.

The report must show that the school is taking significant steps to address problems cited by the commission, including an excessive number of campuses and high non-instructional faculty costs.

If City College fails to show adequate improvement, the school could lose accreditation and close after the commission issues its ruling on June 10.

A special trustee for City College said last month that the school would likely miss the March 15 deadline.

Williams said the overnight protest was successful and peaceful with no arrests.

She said she expects Monday’s meeting, which will include herself and five other students, will pave the way to a series of town hall forums at all City College campuses so more people can comment on the school’s plans.

School spokesman Larry Kamer said the administration has been working to set up a chancellor-student appointment, but the school’s main priority is keeping their accreditation.

Kamer said the meeting will hopefully be a conversation about students sharing “ideas or more energy to put behind the process of keeping our accreditation.”

As to demands for town hall meetings, Kamer said that is an action the administration has already done in years past, but administrators are willing to discuss the possibility if it contributes to plans to keep the school open.

“We have an obligation to make the changes we need to make to keep our accreditation,” he said.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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