Mark Rocha, San Francisco City College’s new chancellor, put his support for undocumented students and DACA recipients front and center Thursday afternoon.
“This is a sanctuary campus of a sanctuary college, in a sanctuary city, in a sanctuary state,” he said at a mixer with teachers, administrators and neighborhood leaders at Mission Campus.
He also called on all those in attendance to spread the word about the college’s resources, especially now that they have been made entirely cost-free through a citywide initiative.
“I’m turning you into recruiters for Mission Campus,” he said.
In an interview, he called Mission Campus “the people’s campus” and said his plans also include expanding programs.
Jorge Bell, the campus dean, said he hopes to grow the course schedule to make it easier for students to take multiple classes a day, without having to travel to different centers around the city. He also wants to make sure resources are always available to assist students through the process of getting educated — whether that means getting a certificate, transferring to a university or just building skills.
“Every campus, every door that a student opens for any center, they should be welcomed,” Bell said.
The campus serves students from a variety of backgrounds and ages, but it is an immigrant-heavy community, according to Mario Lopez, a volunteer who helps counsel students.
“We hope something good is coming,” he said. He said he hopes the campus will serve, in particular, the city’s growing Latino community and improve its programs, equipment and responsiveness to student concerns.
City College Student Bouchra Simmons emphatically believes Rocha is the man to do that — the former student trustee, who is still active in a variety of student groups on campus and political causes outside of it, also sat on the committee to select a new chancellor.
“I know his heart is in the right place and he has all the tools to move CCSF forward,” Simmons said.