A student-led protest at the City College of San Francisco devolved into chaos on Thursday when demonstrators clashed with police, leading to violent confrontations.
The Huffington Post reports that about 250 people assembled last week to call for the resignation of special trustee Robert Agrella. Protesters argue Agrella does not have the school’s best interests in mind and want him to step down.
Campus and city police joined forces to block the entrance to Conlan Hall, where the demonstrators had planned to hold a sit-in. The clash that ensued ended with two protesters being arrested. One was also reportedly pepper sprayed.
— Santiago Mejia (@SantiagoMejia) March 13, 2014
“Whose school? Our school!” the protesters chanted in a manner reminiscent of past Occupy Wall Street protests.
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Robert Agrella was appointed by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors to advise City College of San Francisco’s seven-member board of trustees just over a year ago. But in July, when the college was told it would remain on “show cause” status for another year, the state effectively disbanded the board, and gave Agrella sole decision-making authority. His full title now is “Special Trustee with Extraordinary Powers”.
Agrella is an experienced administrator, and a former president of several community colleges, most recently at Sonoma and Santa Rosa.
One of the issues students are angry over is apparently a tabled proposal that would have raised administrators’ pay by 19 percent. However, Agrella says there are no plans to hand out raises. Demonstrators complain that three vice chancellors are getting 10 to 13 percent more than their “approved salaries,” the San Francisco Chronicle reports.