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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Everything Must Go: City College To Try Saving Classes Via Garage Sale

Posted By on Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 7:30 AM

click to enlarge garage_sale_signs.jpg
City College wants your stuff: rusty bicycles, velvet portraits of Elvis, rock collections -- they'll take basically anything but porn, pets, and weapons. The school is accepting donations to sell at its upcoming garage sale, which seems to be an increasingly popular desperate trend to counter the effects of draconian recent state budget cuts. City College's event will take place on Oct. 24. "It's a crazy way to fund public education," said the president of City College's Board of Trustees, Milton Marks. "But the reality of where we are right now is that public resources just aren't there."

Budget cuts mean that over the fall and spring semesters, every department on campus is required to cut back its classes by 8 percent, according to Marks. That means axing roughly 800 classes total -- 270 in fall and more than 500 in spring. Marks added that he ran with the garage sale idea after someone mentioned it in an offhand way back in June. He later learned that other Bay Area community colleges have been doing the same thing for ages to raise extra cash.

Chabot College has been hosting regular garage sales for roughly 18 years, and DeAnza for roughly 30, according to City College's Dean of Public Information, Martha Lucey. Marks says he heard the schools can amass as much as $300,000 per year from the sales. He hopes to bring in a more modest $25,000, which would save about four classes total ($6,000 saves one class). Although Marks said the school has no plans to host regularly scheduled garage sales at this time, he's not ruling it out as a possibility either.

Sounds like the goods at the sale won't be all junk either. Marks said he has a friend who donated works of art worth $300 to $1,500, and Lucey said she recently donated a new juicer worth $100 (she aims to sell it for $50). The school hopes to make money both off the donated items its currently collecting, and from renting parking spaces to people who will set up their own personal garage sale shop in flea market fashion. Lucey said two regular-sized parking space stalls are going for $35, and bigger ones are going for $50.

Marks said there would be some random school items up for sale that may have been tossed into the recycle bin -- chairs, desks, and perhaps, if we're lucky, bottomless garbage bags full of CCSF Rams paraphernalia.

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Anna McCarthy

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