April 2004 Archives
What started as a formal town hall meeting with full dinner and dessert buffet, and roundtable seating, was transformed into a standing-room-only, emotion-packed plea for reason in Jack Adams Hall Thursday.
SF State students and faculty and prominent social workers and business leaders from the Bay Area and throughout California jammed the auditorium to fight the proposed budget cuts to the California State University system up for final revision before the State Assembly May 14 and testify about the economic consequences to the Bay Area.
They called for the nonproliferation of cuts to classes, faculty, programs and services, as well as to academic, athletic and creative arts departments.
Shortly after the start of the meeting, during the introduction of the president of the San Francisco School Board president, Eric Mar, student Ramon Acevedo walked to the center of the tables and announced his discontent with the meeting.
“Yah, hold up,” Acevedo said to the panel. "There’s about 200 students outside that are still trying to come in. If this a town hall meeting …”
The crowd interrupted the 22-year-old junior by chanting “OPEN UP THE DOORS.” They were opened. Each audience member immediately stood up, grabbed their tables and dragged them to the room’s perimeter, redefining the meeting’s atmosphere.
Within minutes the center of the floor was transformed into general seating and filled with concerned, cross-legged students who listened intently. After the second scheduled SF State student speaker, Cathy Arroyo, motivated the crowd to be proactive, Acevedo once again led much of the same crowd he brought in back out when he stood and announced he was going out to Malcolm X Plaza to try to mobilize students.
Before the students left, some had participated in an unplanned part of the meeting by offering testimony on how SF State and its programs have fundamentally improved and enriched their lives and how atrocious the idea of the cuts are. And they called for SF State President Robert Corrigan (who wasn’t there), and other administrators to take a salary cut.
The unscheduled student testimony portion was sparked by both of the two scheduled student speakers, both of whom during their speeches riled the crowd and asked the organizers of the meeting to have more students come up to the podium.
Before they turned the microphone over to the students, the scheduled student speakers set a tone of disgust at the proposed budget and abhorrence at SF State administration’s alleged strategy to pass the bulk of the burden onto the students.
“Where is the administration? Where is Corrigan?” Arroyo asked. “Because he doesn’t show up to these meetings, he doesn’t listen to us, and I think he’s a little bit afraid. ... We’re giving him a message from the students: We’re not going to stand for this shit!”
“What we’ve learned from administration is that they’re going to go ahead and they’re going to attack us when we turn our backs,” Arroyo said. “That means that when we’re in finals, and when we’re not here during the summertime, they’re going to make even more cuts. They’re going to implement even more fees, and they're going to cut even more departments…”
Despite this meeting being planned since before the start of this semester in response to the Assembly’s proposed budget revision in January, Legislative leaders sent their spokespeople in their stead. The panel included staff members for Assemblymen Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, and Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, State Senator Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, San Francisco Assessor Mabel Teng, and Supervisor Tony Hall. Actually there was San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly.
Daly explained after the meeting that he gets along well with Assemblyman Leno and state Senator John Burton, D-San Francisco, but they are already against such cuts. Locally the Board of Supervisors has its own budget issues, but after attending Thursday’s meeting, he can bring a resolution to the board and “officially chime in on the issue.”
“With the recall and Schwarzenegger in there, and whom he owes his office to, it’s a little bit juiced,” Daly said. “So it’s going to be difficult, to impossible, but the louder the voice is, the more embarrassed the governor is by the decision that he’s about to make.”
Daly, and the legislative stand-ins, also heard from leaders of our local and state economies and services, including Barry Schiller, retired vice president of a semiconductor industry; information technology journalist Peggy Aycinena; and Ron Smith, regional vice president of the Hospital Council of Northern California Pacific Medical Center. Each spoke on the devastating impact the cuts to the CSU will have on the economy now and for years to come.
One of Thursday night’s speakers, Dr. Michael Potepan, chair of SF State’s economics department, supplied an economic impact analysis.
“I’m not going to bog you all down with numbers,” he said. He proceeded with a simplified overhead projection of how the economic disaster Californians are living would worsen from the projected loss in student enrollments from the cuts.
His report showed SF State and its affiliates directly pump $341 million into the local economy; the students pump $387 million. He then explained that economists call the circulation of that money once it hits the economy the “Multiplier Effect.” It all adds up to nearly $1.2 billion.
“I found, even as an economist, dealing with large numbers in many different contexts, I was a little surprised to see such a large number,” Potepan testified. “A billion dollars in the local economy is a strong impact.”
Dissatisfied with a lack of student speakers, more than 50 students and at least one faculty member marched out of Thursday night’s Save the CSUs Town Hall meeting to start their own.
What began as an effort to include student voices in the Town Hall meeting turned into a temporary takeover of the proceedings. About an hour after the meeting began, SF State lecturer and master of ceremonies Mark Jones said that to build the type of coalition needed to be successful, he was letting two students speak to the audience. He then introduced SF State student Ed Hernandez.
Following a short speech by Hernandez, fellow SF State student Cathy Arroyo addressed the capacity crowd at Jack Adams Hall. Beginning by brazenly asking the crowd, “Where’s Corrigan?...I think he’s a little bit afraid,” Arroyo then lamented the lack of student speakers.
“It’s not enough that only two students get to speak here tonight at a town hall meeting that lasts two hours,” she said. She also claimed the meeting had primarily consisted of emotional speeches expressing solidarity. “And that’s good,” she said. “But what’s needed is an organizing meeting. Let’s get organized.”
With that, she asked any student that had something to say to come up to the podium and say it. After several students spoke to the audience about the need to save social services and gerontology, among other programs, Arroyo took back the mic.
She asked students who wanted to strategize to leave the meeting and walk downstairs to Malcolm X Plaza. “We’re gonna strategize because this is not a strategy meeting. We’ll better all this discussion and turn it into action.”
More than 50 students rose and followed her out Jack Adams Hall and down to Malcolm X Plaza, where a free-for-all discussion about the budget cuts and how to combat them ensued.
Those present at the breakout meeting suggested many ideas for action, including occupation of the administration building, a march on Sacramento and closing down 19th Avenue.
While everyone present expressed disdain for the budget cuts, the group was divided over how best to fight them. The main argument concerned whether to battle Corrigan and SF State’s administration or Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature.
Deborah Gerson, a lecturer in Social Sciences and a member of the Academic Senate, advocated cutting salaries at SF State. She said that both Corrigan and Gemello claim they will cut $10 million from Academic Affairs no matter what. However, Gerson said they refuse to consider a 10 percent cut to the salary of every SF State employee earning more than $90,000 to $100,000 a year, which she claims would bring in a lot of money and lessen the blow of the cuts.
“They’re making us decide if we want to cut this finger, this arm or this leg,” Gerson said. “It’s like King Solomon cutting the baby in half. But it doesn’t have to be that way.”
Michael Hoffman, a senior double major in physics and math, said he felt Corrigan should be held responsible for the cuts. “We need to make Corrigan stand up for this,” he said. Hoffman also advocated occupying the administration building. Citing the creation of the Ethnic Studies Department at SF State in the 1960s, he said. “That’s how we’ve won in the past. Because we shut this campus down, not because we asked nicely.”
Margaret McCarthy, an SF State junior, disagreed. “The most effective thing we can do to is to change the state’s budget,” she said. And she claimed confronting the governor and the state legislature provided the best way to do it.
State Assemblyman Gene Mullin, D, 19th district, who dropped in on the meeting briefly, recommended a similar tact. “The governor is the guy you have to get,” he said. When asked why the state wasn’t taxing the rich to solve its budget crisis, Mullin cited Schwarzenegger’s refusal to implement new taxes, instead opting only for cuts to meet the state’s budget crisis.
Mullin also blamed Republican state legislators for standing in the way of saving CSUs from massive cuts. A two-thirds majority is required in the Legislature to defeat a budget, and, according to Mullin, while every Democrat opposes Schwarzenegger’s budget, it’s not enough to defeat the Republicans who support the budget.
While students did knock around the idea to occupy the administration building May 10, the only consensus reached was to fight harder and with a more
unified front against the budget cuts and to meet again April 6 at 2 p.m. in room C-112. Those present also agreed on the dire nature of their situation.
“This is a long-term struggle for your lives,” Gerson said. “You are the first generation who are going to be living less well than your parents did.”
For most anyone that has set foot on campus this year, it is known that SF State is in the midst of a crucial budget cut more threatening than anything proposed in over a decade.
But our university is not alone in this crisis, as other California State Universities are also struggling to find the best solution to their budget woes.
Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget for the fiscal 2004/05 year dealt a whopping 9 percent cut to the CSU system, which totals $240 million dollars.
Each of the 23 CSUs will receive about a 9 percent cut to their allocated budget, according to the CSU public affairs office.
SF State, Fresno State and Stanislaus are the only state universities of 23 that have already made a formal announcement of their exact plan of action for dealing with the budget cut, said Clara Potes-Fellow, the CSU spokesperson for public affairs.
Some campuses, such as Long Beach State, are waiting for the governor’s May budget revision to make any final decisions, said Toni Beron, the Long Beach State vice president of public affairs.
“We are in the midst of a ‘Resource Planning Process,’ we have a task force made up of faculty, administration and students to look at the budget and figure out how to handle the reduction. But the process is not complete,” said Beron.
Although each campus will have differing approaches to dealing with the cuts, tuition will increase and enrollment will decrease across the board.
“This is the first time that not all students who are eligible will be admitted into the CSU system. They will be encouraged to first complete 60 units in a community college after which they will be guaranteed admission. Some students will be very disappointed because they will not have the experience of going to a four-year college and living on campus,” said Potes-Fellow.
The CSU system has projected a zero enrollment growth for the 2004/05 academic year. At Sonoma State 2,000 qualified students were denied admission for the fall semester.
Although Sonoma State has not yet formally announced their budget plans, they are trying to preserve as many classes as possible and unlike SF State, planning to not discontinue any programs.
“We are going about it a different way than SF State. We are going to make smaller reductions all the way across the board rather than vertically. Instead of 2 or 3 sections we will have one. This slows down the graduation process but it has to be done,” said Lynn McIntyre, Sonoma State Vice President of University Affairs.
Stanislaus University has announced fewer classes, earlier cut-off dates, larger classe sizes, more selective admissions, reduced support services and programs, and deferred maintenance. Besides the enrollment and faculty cuts, the university will also shorten office hours and reduce services such as advising, tutoring, shuttles and custodial work, according to the CSU Stanislaus Newsline.
Stanislaus has given layoff notices to nine permanent staff members and 28 temporary positions will not be re-filled next school year. Chico State is anticipating a five percent cut in faculty, while San Jose State is trying to avoid any lay-offs.
The Step to College Program, which is losing its supporting Faculty/Student Mentorship Program in June, will have to be cut in half to cope with the university's budget fall, according to the programs' coordinator Michael Rodriguez.
Step to College is part of SF State’s College of Education and currently serves approximately 250 students per year in seven Bay Area high schools. The 17-year-old program that has brought over 2,000 students from public high school to SF State is designed to motivate and guide public school students, especially minorities, through their transition from high school to their first year at the university.
After the program’s estimated $100,000 yearly budget is reduced to about $50,000, it will only be able to serve two schools and probably half of the number of students they currently serve, since their number of lecturers would be reduced from five to only two, said Rodriguez.
"Cut backs have been affecting us for the last couple of years, but this is the worst I’ve ever seen it," he said, adding that four years ago the Step to College Program assisted about 500 high school seniors per year.
The proposed cut to the Step to College Program is part of SF State’s budget reduction plan released by the universities Provost John Gemello on April 19 and will probably not take place until the 2005-2006 academic year, according to Rodriguez.
But the program will begin to suffer budget cut effects as early as June, when the Faculty/Student Mentorship Program (FSMP) is eliminated, said Rodriguez, who is also the coordinator for FSMP. Even though FSMP, which offers tutoring services to students during their freshman year, is a separate program, it works as a continuation of Step to College once the students are accepted into the university, he said.
"We try to get students involved with the Faculty/Student Mentorship Program not only to give them free tutoring during their freshmen year, but also because it allows us to keep contact and make sure things are going well with them," said Rodriguez.
FSMP, which has been around since 1989, is a program funded by the California Lottery, according to Rodriguez. But as of June the program will have to be discontinued. Its funds are probably needed in another area, he said.
Both programs have helped a lot of people, said Rodriguez, who was a Step to College student in 1986 and holds a master's degree in international relations. The college retention rate of students who have participated in the Step to College Program is approximately 90 percent, according to the universities web site.
"There are not many programs that do what we do and on one hand I'm thankful to the president of the university who has supported us for so many years," said Rodriguez. "But on the other, with the way things are going, the only way keep these programs is to seek outside funding because it's possible that they can just eliminate the Step to College Program," he said.
But Dr. Jacob Perea, Step to College Program founder and Dean of the College of Education, said that he will not allow this to happen. "I won't let it happen. The president of the university won't let it happen and I don't believe the provost will let it happen. I have already told them that I won't let it go. I can search for private funding. I can make it smaller. But it is just too important to let it go."
Access to university from public schools has become even more limited than it used to be when the program was founded, said Dr. Perea. "We need this program more than ever."
“We started the program with one class. So even with the number of students we are currently helping we are still doing a good job,” said Dr. Perea.
The Step to College program was designed to promote higher education among underrepresented minority students.
The program offers students education orientation and critical thinking classes. The classes are taught by SF State professors who travel to Bay Area high schools that participate in the program. Students who are in the program receive up to six university credits as well as assistance in completing CSU admission and financial aid applications. They also receive a SF State identification card that allows them to take advantage of university services while still in high school.
Not all of the students who participate in the Step to College Program end up attending SF State. Some of them may decide to go to another university such as UC Berkeley or even to attend a community college. But at least half of those enrolled in the program choose to come to SF State, said Rodriguez.
"I'm not going to say that we have been 100 percent successful with the program, but we have been very successful, especially with those groups of students that everybody thought they could not do it," said Dr. Perea.
Dr. Perea remembers a specific case of a student from Mission High School who was going to be sent to jail by the school principal when he was offered a deal. The principal said that if the student decided to join the Step to College Program and finish high school he was going to be given a second chance. That student is now a high school teacher, said Dr. Perea.
"Step to College really encourages those people who didn't think they could go to college, who didn't think they could make it," said Angelica Sabale, a former Step to College student who now works as an intern for FSMP.
“I’m extremely thankful, beyond words can express, for Dr. Perea founding this program. A lot of people don’t see it that way, but it changes people’s lives and I feel like it has changed mine, “ said Cecia Gutierrez, who was in the Step to College Program in 1993 while she attended high school. She now works as an intern for the program.
Gutierrez, as well as, many other SF State students wish these cuts and all the others the university is having to face did not have to happen. But many students say they are aware that with a budget fall of $22 million these are just the beginning of a series of cuts this university will face over the next years.
“It’s important for students to understand that we are not making these decisions," said Dr. Perea. "They are coming to us. And one of the reasons for that is because politicians are not so interested in what they say they are when they want to be elected. So my message to the students is don’t let politicians do that. Vote, come together and put that power as a group. We are the largest system in the United States. We are all voters and we all have voices."
Shannon Morgan, 24, graduated from the social work program at SF State last year and is working on her graduate degree.
“It took me a while to get an undergrad. And when I came (to the program), I found a program that was speaking and meant something to me.”
But some students might not get to experience the same benefits of the program as Morgan has. In light of $10.3 million in cuts to Academic Affairs' $113 million budget, social work and four other undergraduate programs are slated for elimination.
In an attempt to save their program, about 50 social work students and instructors walked a protest from the Quad to the Administration Building at 11 a.m. today to protest the cut.
They chanted: “We are the voice for the voiceless” and “You save money, we save lives” in front of the Administration Building while five social work students went inside to read a letter addressed to President Robert Corrigan.
“I understand cuts need to be made,” said Eileen Levy, director of the School of Social Work. “But we really need to be careful about what we cut. We cannot cut programs that enhance the mission of the university.”
“Why is a successful program being cut?” asked Diane Mahan, director of field education. Mahan places social work students into internships in the community and said 90 percent of students complete their internships. Senior undergraduates work 16 hours a week in unpaid internships.
“We represent the San Francisco community better than anyone on campus,” Mahan said. Students come from all over the world to come to our school to give back and become leaders in their communities.”
After about an hour, the five students – Kristen Rutter, Beatriz Ballesteros, Holly Landsbaum, Jessica LePak and Pam Hancock – who went into the Administration Building and the rest of the protestors gathered in the Quad to discuss the meeting with Daniel Buttlaire, dean of undergraduate studies.
“This isn’t about the students or the school,” Hancock said. “This is about serving the community.” In the meeting with Buttlaire, Hancock said he explained the implications of a program being cut. “The core of social work is advocating for the clients, and we’re speaking for the community.”
Some social work students gathered signatures for a petition to send to President Corrigan.
“Administration shouldn’t be cutting courses when students have been through them,” said Sui Mak, 23, Information systems.
Yen Dinh, a graduate of the program works for the Vietnamese Youth Development Center in the Tenderloin. SF State social work students who intern at the agency learn clinical skills and to work with families and youth.
"How can we get more social workers to help the city, state and even the country?" Dinh asked. "(SF) State has a really good program. I'm really upset, and it is very crucial to helping the community.
The Afrikan Black Historical Commemoration Committee and students from the high school on campus walked out of classes Wednesday to stand in solidarity with a ninth-grader, who witnesses say was beaten by SF State police Tuesday.
Witnesses said officers used excessive force on a 15-year-old male, who was playing rough with his friends during lunchtime.
While witnesses say five officers, one of whom was in plain clothes, swung the teen over a rail and slammed and pinned him to the ground, the university says these charges are untrue. Some students also said police beat the teen while he was held to the ground, which the university also says is untrue and added that the teen attacked an officer.
"The Department of Public Safety is aggressively pursuing the investigation of the criminal case where the student was arrested and the alleged misconduct of a police officer," said university spokesperson Christina Holmes.
The boy was cited on suspicion of resisting arrest and battery against a police officer, Holmes said. The Department of Public Safety refused to elaborate as the case is being investigated, but Holmes said the Department of Public Safety encourages witnesses to contact the police department as well as anyone who believes a complaint should be filed for misconduct of a police officer.
The boy’s mother, who declined to comment further, said she is seeking legal counsel.
According to Kate Goka, co-director of the June Jordan School for Equity, minor incidents have happened between campus police and the students in the past, but nothing of this magnitude. According to Holmes, there have been 16 incidents -- ranging from physical fights to vandalism -- in the past year.
“We are trying really hard to make this a safe school environment for the students but it has been hard at the university when the police aren’t trained to handle youths,” Goka said.
About 50 protesters marched from Malcolm X Plaza to the police station on North State Drive Wednesday. They chanted "Ain't no power but the power of the youth, cause the power of the youth don't stop."
"This incident is a prime example of extreme police presence on campus," said Sanjev deSilva, 23, senior, who works with the high schoolers. "It's sad to see this on our campus, especially since this is a progressive school. ... (The high school students) should not get treated like that."
Autumn Yamamoto said the rally was a good event because it stimulated conversation.
"We need to let kids have a voice without resulting to violence," Yamamoto said after the protest. "We can't be blindfolded from the injustice prevalent in society."
The incident began Tuesday afternoon when an plain clothes officer approached a group of students on lunch break and asked where a fight was brewing, witnesses said.
“A man in green came up and questioned the kids who were just horsing around in a crowd,” said Trevor Getz, assistant history professor. “While the boy didn’t pay attention and walked away, three police officers came out of nowhere and knocked him down.”
Getz said the teen seemed in shock when police handcuffed him and held him down with their elbows and knees in front of Burk Hall, which houses the high school. “He was not violent at all, and I feel that the use of force was high for a kid who didn’t do anything,” he said.
The incident report says the boy resisted and obstructed a peace officer after 20 male and female students were involved in a physical fight in front of Thornton Hall. Officers responded, according to the report, and determined a group of students walking toward Burk Hall was engaged in the fight.
Other high school students who were with the teen, said the police wrapped a baton around his neck and swung him over a rail in front of Burk Hall.
Holmes said this accusation is untrue. The teen attacked an officer, and it took the other officers to subdue him, she said.
High school student Joe Simon, 14, who was walking with the teen, said the man in green, who was later identified as Sgt. Todd Iriyama, walked up to the group and asked if there was going to be a fight on campus. When the boys started to walk away, police officers rushed the teen from the gymnasium area and surrounded him.
“I don’t feel safe here anymore, and I thought that I could go to the police for help. But now I think if I do, I’ll get beat up,” Simon said.
The teen was taken away and detained at the campus police station for three hours. A photographer who documented the incident and was questioned by the police said the boy’s mother was not allowed to see her son for 10 minutes.
Gisele Lintz, the boy’s mother, called for an ambulance to go to the station so her son could be checked out. The boy had a red welt on his head and was seen pressing an ice pack to his face, but he was not hospitalized.
“I’m mad about the situation, and I think it is shady to do that to a kid,” said 15-year-old high school student Mikaela Hampton, who witnessed the incident.
Police officers involved in the incident are Capt. Kirk Gaston, Jeff Tipton, Jamie Haymond, Boun Tang and Todd Iriyama.
Immediately after the Tuesday incident, the Afrikan Black Historical Commemoration Committee members gathered outside the campus police station to show support for the teen.
Horace Montgomery, Associated Student Inc. leadership development coordinator, was on hand to investigate. He said he has been monitoring the high school students’ interaction with the police and said the students have had other run-ins with campus police.
The high school, which is an experiment between the university and the San Francisco school district, is housed in Burk Hall and has an enrollment of 100.
The school is designed to give students smaller class sizes and one-on-one teaching. It also aims to educate students on community building skills by encouraging communication with teachers and other adults. Most of the students come from the Bayview Hunters Point and Excelsior areas.
The high school is not coming back to SF State in the fall because of campus budget cuts. The university also said it needs the classroom space the high school is using.
Staff writer Caroline Perez contributed to this story.
The $10.3 million cut to Academic Affairs announced April 19 is not yet final as the proposal now will go through an approval process by the Academic Senate, the governing body of the faculty.
Five undergraduate and five graduate programs are on the list to be discontinued to reduce the $113 million budget of Academic Affairs.
But what is not clear is when the process will start, which Angela Sposito, Academic Senate administrative analyst specialist, said is at the "absolute" beginning. The programs only have been identified for discontinuance, she said. Faculty and department heads still need to approve the plan.
The beginning of the Academic Senate process does not include students, although a town hall meeting will be held April 29 to hear student and faculty concerns about the proposed cuts.
President Robert Corrigan said Tuesday at an Academic Senate meeting that the campus community believes pressure it put on the university saved the engineering department from being discontinued. This was not the case, he said. The engineering department wasn't discontinued because it was only on the table for discussion just like the other programs that have been listed.
Now different groups have been mobilizing their community of students, constituents, and graduates around the issue, but SF State has to face the fact that it has $10 million to cut and that programs are going to be discontinued, Corrigan added.
The campus community needs to look to their deans and their councils and trust they that have taken the smartest and most open approach to their decisions, Corrigan said.
The cancellation of a program begins with a recommendation from the faculty of the program, the college dean, the vice president for Academic Affairs, or the president of the university.
The request must be accompanied by documentation that points out detailed reasons for the cancellation based on the Academic Senate’s discontinuance policy, which takes into consideration the importance of the program to the university’s mission statement, the quality of the program, and the demand for the program.
If it were not for the need to cut $10 million from the budget, then the programs being recommended for discontinuance might otherwise be fine under the Senate’s policy.
“We will be identifying programs not because they have problems, not because there are weaknesses, not because we would be stronger without these programs,” Provost John Gemello said during an interview with Xpress on April 20. “We have to set some priorities, and we have to make some tough decisions about choosing amongst good things. I think that’s one of the hardest messages we have to get out there.”
The college deans were asked to discuss the academic cuts with their faculty and chairs last week, Gemello said. They came back with proposals of the programs they would offer for cancellation and other reductions.
After the dean’s office writes up a proposal, it is submitted to the Educations Policy Council (EPC), which consists of the curriculum review committee and the academic policies committee, Sposito said. The council will review the proposal to insure it contains the necessary criteria of the discontinuation policy. Once they’re in agreement that it is a valid proposal, EPC puts it to the Senate, which votes it up or down.
Currently, the Senate has not received a proposal from the EPC, nor do they have any idea of when one is expected, she added.
A thumbs up would mean the program is as good as gone, Sposito said. A down vote would lead the president into examining the reasons that led to the vote, which may lead to a reworking of the proposal. There also might be a second plan to bring another program up for discontinuation, or the president could just say that’s that and discontinue the program.
The last is highly unlikely because Corrigan as been highly cooperative with the Senate throughout the process, Sposito added.
According to the discontinuance policy, when a program is canceled, students will be permitted to complete their course of study at SF State under guidelines set up by the program.
The procedures consist of a preparation of an official list of students enrolled in the program, the establishment of a cut-off date for adding students to that list, and a notification to all students on the list of the following alternatives: the date by which program requirements must be met, other programs offered by the university to which the student my wish to transfer, and similar programs offered by nearby institutions.
Visitation Valley residents got answers to their concerns about their neighborhood's violence straight from the horse's mouth Saturday April 24.
A crowd of concerned citizens lined the gymnasium of the Visitacion Valley Elementary School Saturday to address Mayor Gavin Newsom and a panel of city officials with questions, concerns, and suggestions on how to make Visitacion Valley, one of San Francisco's most violent neighborhoods, a safer, more progressive place.
During the meeting Newsom, Police Chief Heather Fong, District Supervisor Sophie Maxwell and the directors of many city agencies made up the panel of 21 who responded to community issues such as the need for full day preschool and day care, productive activities for youth and health services. But most comments related to the violence that plagues the neighborhood.
This meeting marked the first time in at least 15 years that the mayor and other city officials have addressed the community needs in Visitacion Valley in such a way, The Mayors Communications Director Peter Argone said. This is the fourth time the mayor has visited the valley since he took office a little over 100 days ago, Argone said.
According to the San Francisco Police Department during 2003 the Ingleside Police District, which includes Visitacion Valley ranked third in the number of homicides and second in overall violent crime including homicide, robbery, aggravated assault and rape. Ingleside police reported 682 violent crimes in 2003. The Mission district reported the highest number of violent crimes at 806.
Due to the SFPD's new method of documenting crime statistics, comparisons of districts are not available for 2004.
Community members said services are needed to care for and educate the children of the area, give them safe places to develop their interests and prepare them for higher education and jobs. This, they said, is the first step in stopping the violence.
The Mayor agreed and said, "We're not going to stop violence just by throwing 14,000 police officers in a seven square block area ... Education by definition is one of the most critical components."
Newsom then introduced the plan for a new program to be implemented this summer called Dream Schools. It will provide activities before and after school for pre-kindergarten children through 12th-graders.
Still, further steps are needed to stump the violence and make people feel safe around their homes, the meeting attendees, which Argone estimated at 300, pointed out many times.
People would like for police to be more responsive when they are called about violent crimes taking place. One woman said she once called 911 as gun shots were being fired but that the police did not show up for 15 minutes. She believed the 911 dispatcher heard the shots, so the police took their time as a precautionary measure.
Fong told the audience that if something like that happens again to call her office directly, so she can track the time of the call to the time of officer arrival to make sure a delay like that never happens again.
Fong said she is increasing the number of officers in the area by relocating 10 from other districts to work between the Bayview and Ingleside beginning that day. Fong informed the community that she is increasing the number of homicide officers in the area in attempt to solve those that already have taken place.
Newsom said they believe they know which people committed the homicides still under investigation but in many cases need witnesses to come forward to confirm their assertions.
The witness relocation program needs improvement in order for people to feel safe about going to police as homicide witnesses, said people directly addressing the panel. Their statements were backed up by hums from the crowd.
SF State's Community Leadership Academy Emergency Response Program (CLAER), the San Francisco Urban Institute, and Visitacion Valley Community Development Corporation (CDC) sponsored the meeting.
CLAER is a program that offers support to witnesses of violent crime, grief counseling to those who have lost loved ones to violence, and relocation to people whose lives are in immediate danger. A member of CLAER suggested the city's relocation program move people out of public housing and into affordable housing by putting them at the top of affordable housing waiting lists and getting them out of public housing altogether.
Newsom said, "I don't think our witness protection program is where it needs to be. I appreciate this as another example of a good idea that may be pursued."
"We've got to get people real relocation. We got to get them real protection, and we're working to advance that," Newsom said.
Most of the issues addressed at the town hall meeting require long-term goals and significant planning. However, one woman addressing the panel passionately expressed the need for a four-way rather than two-way stop at a local intersection. She complained of the bureaucratic detour she experienced while trying to get the stop sign.
The Director of the Department of Parking and Transportation briefly inquired about her request before Newsom stepped in and told her she could have her stop sign and to hold him accountable. "Let's make it easy," he said.
Newsom's meeting in Visitacion Valley was the second of his Town Hall Meetings he will be holding monthly in various San Francisco neighborhoods, Argone said.
6:33 a.m. BURGLARY
The Bark and Bun was broken into and robbed. Loss: $285.
12:20 p.m. BURGLARY
Three of four juveniles seen spray-painting graffiti inside the School of the Arts Building by officers were arrested and booked into the Youth Guidance Center. Although nothing was stolen, they are being charged with burglary. Sgt. Jennifer Schwartz of SF State's University Police Department said that this is because they entered a closed building that is not open to the public.
1:48 a.m. AUTO BURGLARY
A stereo was stolen from a student's vehicle while it was parked near the intersection of Font and Lake Merced boulevards. Loss: $825.
10:41 a.m. AUTO BURGLARY
A student's vehicle was broken into while it was parked near the intersection of Lake Merced Blvd. and North State Drive. Loss: $390.
1:23 p.m. PETTY THEFT
A student's unattended wallet was stolen from the J. Paul Leonard Library. Loss: $5.
5:01 p.m. AUTO BURGLARY
A radio was stolen from a student's vehicle while it was parked in Lot 20. Loss: $350.
7:28 p.m. GRAND THEFT
A student's bicycle was stolen on Holloway Avenue. Loss: $650.
11:14 p.m. POSSESSION
William Cavalieri, 18, was cited and released for posessing marijuana.
12:29 p.m. FOUND PROPERTY
A money-containing wallet, found on a shuttle bus, was turned in to the UPD.
1:23 p.m. GRAND THEFT
A bike was stolen from in front of Thornton Hall. Loss: $515.
3:44 p.m. PETTY THEFT
A student's keys were stolen from her unattended jacket in the Gym.
10:34 a.m. WARRANT ARREST
A juvenile on campus was booked into the Youth Guidance Center after an officer recognized his face from a "Wanted" flyer he had seen previously. The boy had an outstanding warrant for illegally possessing marijuana, a hypodermic syringe, and fireworks, issued from Napa County.
9:54 p.m. AUTO BURGLARY
A student's vehicle was broken into while it was parked on Lake Merced Boulevard. Loss: $390.
3:03 p.m. POSSESSION
Jason Peiser, 19, was cited and released on suspicion having less than one ounce of marijuana.
3:33 p.m. POSSESSION
Alexander Farrow, a 19-year-old student, was booked into county jail for possessing hash. Possession of any amount is a felony. The subject had the equivalent of two metal bottle caps full. He had it contained in a contact lens holder.
11:58 p.m. MINOR IN POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL
Jamie Hill, an 18-year-old student, was cited and released on suspicion having alcohol at a party in the Village at Centennial Square.
10:31 a.m. Burglary
Biology lab supplies were stolen from a lab in Hensill Hall after it was broken into. Loss: $10,000.
12:24 a.m. POSSESSION
Derrick Harden, 37, was cited and released on suspicion having less than one ounce of marijuana after officers saw Harden and another person sitting in a car duck down as officers passed near the intersection of Lake Merced and Font boulevards.
Sacramento State University:
“Each of the vice presidential areas and each of the colleges within the university are receiving a seven percent across the board cut. The vice presidential organizations include student affairs, finance, university affairs and faculty staff affairs. The university is working to maximize the number of students in each section of courses offered.” -- Ann Reed, public affairs
Humboldt State University:
“Humboldt has laid off 21 plant operations employees effective July 1, 2004. Because of this cut, the school will only have 74 plant operations employees. The school is anticipating more lay offs in academic departments in May or June. Humboldt Student is receiving a $5.7 million loss of funds from CSU for the 2004-2005 academic year. As a consequence of the projected $5.7 million cut, the school will only be able to enroll between 6,917 to 7,077 students rather than the current 7,450 student currently enrolled at the university.” --Paul Mann, public operations officer
Chico State University:
“Our school is currently planning our budget for the 2004-2005 school year. We are anticipating an 8 percent across the board cut. The campus is trying to protect instruction and academic affairs at this point. We anticipate a 5 percent cut in faculty. We are trying to cut programs that can most easily be cut before we start cutting programs that will affect the students education.” -- Joe Wills, director of public affairs
San Jose State University:
“There have been no cuts and no announcements of cuts at San Jose State University. The interim president Joseph Crowley wants to avoid lay offs and is doing a resource planning and soliciting the departments to do a cost efficiency report.”-- Nancy Stake, media relations officer
Hayward State University:
“The school recognizes that there will be cuts in course offerings, but there has been no proposed figure of money that will be cut to academic affairs. The school is aware that there will be significant budget cuts in the near future.”-- Kim Huggett, director of public affairs
John Gemello, SF State provost and vice president of Academic Affairs and the university's second-highest ranking administrator, plays a major role in determining how to make the budget best fit the needs of the students, staff and faculty, and keep the school functioning in line with the university’s mission statement.
In a rare one-on-one interview the provost opened up about the budget process and the theories and intentions behind the dramatic cuts to the university.
Xpress: "What is the process for determining what programs will be cut, consolidated or reorganized?"
Gemello: "The college deans and I and the president met and talked about the potential strategies that could take place within the colleges. First of all, we’ve known we were going to have this problem for several years, so it’s not something we just came up with.
"In the last month or so we’ve accelerated the process. The deans were requested to go back and meet with their faculty and to meet with their chairs and talk with as many people as possible last week. They came back to me with proposals within their college of ... which programs they would offer for discontinuance, what other kinds of budget reductions they could make. And through that interactive process, back and forth between myself and the deans, we’ve eventually put together the plan that we got last week and sent out yesterday (Monday)."
Xpress: "What criteria is that based on (for) what programs will be cut?"
Gemello: "We will be identifying programs not because they have problems, not because there are weaknesses, not because we would be stronger without these programs. We’re going to be identifying programs because we have to cut $10 million out of our budget." We are probably going to be saying to the Academic Senate, "this program is doing a good job preparing students for jobs, we have a very high quality faculty in it. By many measures it’s a good program, but we’re still asking you to discontinue it because we just don’t have enough money, and that’s really the tragedy of the budget crises.
"We have to set some priorities, and we have to make some tough decisions about choosing amongst good things. I think that’s one of the hardest messages we have to get out there. We’re not choosing between good and bad, we’re choosing among good things.
“I think we’re trying to identify, as I said, what programs we can continue to support and get the most effective output for the students.”
Xpress: “Will people who have applied for programs in the fall such as dance or Russian be denied admission to that program even if the Academic Senate has not yet voted to discontinue it? What is the justification?”
Gemello: “Yes. If we are considering discontinuing a program in the near future, if we allow students in now, we basically have students who for the next four or five years will be trying to finish the program. And that doesn’t seem to be fair to the students and/or the faculty.
“The discontinuance policy does not speak to what happens to students in the process when your doing discontinuances, so when I met with the Academic Senate I said it doesn’t speak to that. We need to make a decision, and it seems to me that it would be best for everybody if we didn’t accept new student into these fields if we are thinking about discontinuing them. And the Senate agreed. I told them that if, for some reason, we don’t discontinue the program then they can go right ahead and accept students into the program once that decision has been made.”
Xpress: “Why have you chosen to cut deep and narrow rather than wide?”
Gemello: “We wanted the University to be as strong as possible after this budget reduction stops -- after we are finally able to stabilize. Across the board, widespread cuts sound very attractive. They are certainly easier to implement. I could probably implement them in 10 minutes because I could just say our total cut is 15 percent, so everybody’s budget is reduced by 15 percent. The problem with that is it ignores what that 15 percent means to individual departments. And so while it sounds like everybody is being treated the same, 15 percent reduction to one department might mean that department can’t provide its program at all. And 15 percent to another program might not matter much.
“What we chose to do was try to identify which programs we had to keep in the university that we wanted to be able to continue to support in the best way possible so they were strong and try to protect those. And the opposite side of it is therefore you have to identify some programs that you aren’t going to keep.”
Xpress: “Since program discontinuance takes about three years and will not immediately save money for the budget, what changes will be implemented to save money during the 2004-05 academic year?”
Gemello: “Probably what we’re going to have to do is reduce the number of classes across the campus, so probably every college, every department is going to have some reduction in classes compared to what they have had in the past.
“We might be able to do some things which you can do for a year, but you can’t do for a long period. For example, we certainly can’t run a strong and viable university without buying new structural equipment -- replacing computers, updating labs -- things like that. In the short run, we might try to cut back on that expenditure. For example, for the next year perhaps we don’t upgrade any labs because the trade off may be if you upgrade a lab you have to cancel classes.
“The idea of the long-range plan is if we’re able to implement that plan in two years then we’ll be able to get back into a balance between classroom instruction and all the things that need to be there to support the classroom instruction.”
Two SF State students competed for big cash and prizes Sunday night, when “Wheel of Fortune” taped three weeks worth of shows at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
Christy Stratos, a 22-year-old accounting major, and Weston Green, an 18-year-old cinema major, played on the show’s “College Week,” where students get the chance to play and represent their school.
Harry Friedman, executive producer of “Wheel of Fortune,” said he decided to film in San Francisco because of its landmarks, history, education and arts.
“We’ve wanted to come back to the city since the last time we filmed here eight years ago,” he said. “College Week is one of our favorite weeks, and we’ve noticed that the Bay Area gives us great contestants. We also realized it would be more fun, since we are filming here to have local universities presented.”
Stratos said she decided to do the show because she was a fan and felt like doing it. “I was watching the show, and they announced College Week and gave out some basic info. I signed up, and later got an e-mail to audition. Generally, I signed up because I love watching games shows, and the money is really good.”
Green said he did it because he had nothing better to do. “I was at the Metreon when I saw a flyer for the show. I was kind of bored, so I just went for it. I’m not a very big fan of the show, but I thought it would be cool.”
Both contestants prepared for the big day in their own unique ways.
Stratos said she watched the show more often and played the game online.
Green purchased the Playstation 2 version of the game and bought the book “Winning on the Wheel.” He even came up with a strategy to win. “I’m concentrating on prefixes and suffixes and strange words. I’m also just going to be very energetic and stay focused on what I have to do.”
When the big day came, both contestants were sequestered until it was time for them to play the game. Stratos was in the fourth show taped at 7:30 p.m. He played against students from Cal State Hayward and Santa Clara University.
Green played after her, at 8:30 p.m., going up against opponents from UC Davis and the University of San Francisco.
Unfortunately, in order not to spoil the surprise, it won’t be mentioned how far in the game each student went or how much they won.
No matter how they did, it was clear that there was a lot of love for SF State that night. Before the taping of Stratos’ game, the warm-up guy asked groups of students to cheer when he mentioned their school’s name. When he hollered for SF State, the crowd went wild, cheering and screaming as loud as they could.
It was so loud, he declared, “Well, it looks like SF State won that one.” The crowd went wild again when Stratos and Green were introduced in their respective games.
After the game, Stratos was in awe of being on the show. “I’m still in shock, very excited. I’m really glad with how I did. I’ll admit, at one point I got greedy, but I still had a lot of fun.”
Green, however, downplayed his performance. “I made some honest mistakes. Like I say: You go big, or go home. And I went big. I had fun though. I enjoyed my friends and fraternity coming out to cheer me on, especially loudly. If I could, I’d do it again.”
For those who want to know how well Stratos and Green did, watch “Wheel of Fortune” on May 20 and 21.
In a class where students learn about strength, flexibility, discipline and a whole lot of kicks, it is hard not to notice that well over half of the students enrolled are women.
Tae Kwon Do, otherwise known at SF State as Kinesiology 151, is a Korean martial art that teaches self-discipline, endurance, integrity, and perseverance, according to Master Park, the instructor.
The class was first taught at SF State by Park four semesters ago, and is yet another one of the activity classes that could be eliminated because of budget cuts.
This is unfortunate for the number of students who enjoy learning about the sport.
Zanlyn Chiew, a green belt majoring in fashion and Japanese, is one of the many women taking the class and the highest ranking student who has received her training only through SF State.
Chiew practices Tae Kwon Do for the exercise as well as for self-defense. "A lot of women don't want to take basic self-defense classes just to learn how to yell "No!" said Chiew. "This is something more that [women] can use inside and outside of class."
Besides being able to defend herself against an attacker, Chiew has learned a lot about respecting others and herself through this martial art form. “But the best part is the kicking,” she said smiling.
Of the 22 girls at class on this particular Wednesday, nearly 25 percent had excelled to a higher level. The belts worn determine how many forms the students have mastered, the black belt being the highest level.
In order to move up students take an exam, at their own pace, where they are asked to perfectly perform a series of moves.
Park said the possible reason more women have colored belts than men could be because women seem to take it more seriously. Men are doing it more for fun, he said. Whatever the reason students take the class, Parks emphasizes the importance of self-respect and self-control within the martial arts.
Tae Kwon Do is indeed an art form. As the class began at 12:10 p.m., about 40 students formed four neat rows to stretch in synchronized silence. The only sounds heard are the shifting of students' bare feet across the padded floor mat, whispers and "tssh" sounds, followed by loud instructions in Korean from Master Park.
After a series of moves, stretches, and defensive Tae Kwon Do stances, the cardio workout begins. Students take turns leaping across the floor doing toe-touches and splits in the air.
By 12:30 some students are looking tired, and every student is breathing heavily.
Sabrina Kim, a physiology major at SF State, started taking the class because her boyfriend recommended it.
Kim wants to stick with it until she receives her black belt. "I like it because it gives you health, strength, and stress-relief." Her favorite part: kicking.
Kim notices that there are a lot of women taking Tae Kwon Do. It could be because of self-defense, or possibly because this kind of training is less about building muscle so that could be a reason for fewer men, she said.
Like Chiew and Kim, kicking seems to be a favorite among the class. About half way through, one student holds a kicking bag in front of their row as students take turns letting out their frustrations and practicing techniques through kicks.
Although most of the students are sweating and looking worn, they continue on, following Master Park's orders to kick and run to the back of the line.
Finally around 12:50, Master Park lines the class up in their initial straight rows to do sit ups and stretch out.
"One more thing," he yells, "push ups!"
The class groans, and a couple girls fall to hug the floor in exhaustion.
Cheryl Mennen chugs a bottle of water after a hard workout. She used to be involved in kickboxing and that is part of what intrigued her to try Tae Kwon Do. During class, her kicks were well-formed, always providing a loud smack as she hit the bag with her foot.
"There's lots to like. It's a good workout, [it] teaches you good fighting techniques, good self defense, and releases a lot of aggression," said Mennen. "For women it's more learning how to fight for self-defense."
Mennen has her orange belt, the third level, after only three months. She wants to continue on until she gets a black belt.
Kirsten Gantenbein, receiving her Masters of Science in biology, agrees that Tae Kwon Do provides a lot of relief and great exercise.
"This is a sport that everyone can be equal, an equal participant," said Gantenbein. "There's no special rules for girls. I like the ability to know how strong you can be."
SF State announced late Monday $10.3 million in academic cuts to ease a university shortfall of more than $20 million.
Five undergraduate and five graduate programs will be discontinued, according to a statement from the university. Several departments will be downsized or will limit enrollment. Tenure-track and tenured professors’ jobs are safe, but some may be moved to different departments.
This plan will be proposed to the Academic Senate, the faculty governing body, which must approve these cuts. But the buck stops with President Robert Corrigan who must approve the proposal, according to the California State University (CSU) Office of the Chancellor.
The process could take several months on top of the time the Academic Senate already has spent throwing around ideas of how to accommodate the university's $22 million shortfall. And more could be on the way with the governor’s May revise of the state budget. According to the chancellor’s office, $72 million more in cuts may hit the CSU system, which would cause more cuts and possible fee hikes.
"The grim task of identifying that magnitude of budget cuts with the resulting loss of services that can be provided to our students is agonizing," said John Gemello, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, in a press release. "In making these difficult decisions, the deans have made every effort possible to preserve academic programs."
General Education programs within the College of Health and Human Services and the College of Humanities will be downsized, according to the proposal. And the growth of the School of Engineering undergraduate programs will be limited to its current degree programs and size.
These undergraduate programs are slated for elimination. Click on links to read department reactions:
These graduate programs also are proposed to be discontinued. Click on links to read department reactions:
These programs are proposed to move to self-support:
College of Business master’s programs, School of Engineering master’s programs, some Holistic Health and Physical Activity courses, the Clinical Biological Laboratory Scientist Internship, and the Child Study Center.
In a March 3 town hall meeting on the budget, Corrigan said the university could not keep making broad cuts across the board without causing the university to be mediocre. Everyone, he said, would have to decide where to make “a few cuts that are deep, narrow and focused.”
According to the Academic Senate discontinuance policy, three factors are considered: importance of the institution, quality of the program and demand for the program.
The budget has been discussed by the Academic Senate for the past six weeks, according to members. Academic Senate member Caran Colvin, of the psychology department, said two-thirds of the faculty governing body’s time has been dedicated to discussing this subject.
“It is important from here out that all faculty are completely aware of what is going on. The process is open and transparent, so we can make the right decisions,” Colvin said.
In 16 years at SF State, Colvin said she has not seen budget cuts of this magnitude since the early 1990s. The cuts will affect the number of students admitted to SF State and the amount of classes offered to these students, Colvin said.
“People are very concerned about students and how students will be effected,” Colvin said.
Academic Senate member Deborah Gerson calls the budget cuts “tragic” and does not envy anyone who has to make the crucial decisions in the “horrendous” process.
Many lecturers will be greatly affected by the budget cuts, she said. “I will probably lose my job. It is a sad state,” said Gerson, a social sciences lecturer.
Cuts will be made over the next three years, said Gene Chelberg, an Academic Senate member from the Disability Programs and Resource Center.
“We will all feel the impact of the cuts. Stress levels will increase,” Chelberg said. “There are no good budget cuts. All cuts are painful but we must make them in order to survive.”
The university also is considering merging colleges to save an additional $800,000.
More budget cuts are on the way, according to Clara Potes-Fellow, spokesperson for the Office of the Chancellor. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is expected to unveil his official budget plan May 14, and the CSU system is bracing itself for a $72 million cut and added fee hikes.
Undergraduate students can expect to pay 10 percent more for an education at SF State, and non-California residents would pay 20 percent more under the proposed budget. Graduate students would be the hardest hit with a 40 percent hike.
As the seven graduate students made their way into the dance studio-like basement classroom of Burk Hall Monday afternoon, it seemed by their confused demeanor they already knew the critical information their instructor was about to lay on them.
Professor Dr. Frank Verducci, director of SF State’s kinesiology graduate program, announced the proposal to discontinue the master’s program and then opened up the discussion to the students.
“I’m very depressed,” Areum Kim, a first-year international graduate student, said.
Kim, who had learned English specifically to study at SF State, said she had a full scholarship to attend a graduate program at a university in Seoul, South Korea, but chose SF State’s graduate kinesiology program due to the quality of professors and classes offered.
“Its unbelievable that you would have to go out of state to get an education in kinesiology," said Dominic Daprile, who’s using the program as a stepping stone to medical school. “Basically throughout all the UC schools they’ve integrated kinesiology into their biology or physiology program.”
The university needs to be adding more classes than taking them away, Greg Bianchi, 27, said. This is his first full year here after coming from Arizona State and insists they are able to create instead of cut because the university gets money from alumni and the state to keep up enrollment, activities, classes and programs.
Before the class started Verducci said he thought the university was putting more importance on the full-time enrollment of a program, instead of its quality.
“When we established our current program, we made a decision we wanted to have quality. And in order to have quality you select the best students for your program,” Verducci said. “We’re very selective in the students we admit to our program. And when you are very selective the numbers in your program will be less.”
He added: “I think it’s going to affect our undergraduate program as well. When you have research going on, I think that contributes significantly to your undergraduate program. And when we have graduate students doing research, the undergraduate students become involved in that research.”
Verducci’s announcement stemmed from Provost John Gemello’s presentation of $10.3 million in academic cuts to program directors at a retreat Friday and an official announcement from the university Monday.
Along with kinesiology, which has a current enrollement of about 40 students, four other graduate programs are proposed for discontinuation: consumer and family sciences, gerontology, recreation and leisure, and Russian.
Students have the right to know about and be part of these decisions, said Michael Trujillo, graduate representative and a student in Verducci’s class, during the discussion. “In our weekly board meeting on Wednesday with the Associated Students I’m going to bring it up.”
SF State has had a long-standing image of a diverse and accessible place of higher education that is affordable for San Francisco and Bay Area community. This image, many feel, is now put to the test in the midst of the budget crisis.
While the $22 million cuts that lie ahead scare and alert students and teachers about the future of the university, they also put SF State in the center of public attention, said Natalie Batista, president of Associated Students Inc.
SF State currently offers 116 areas of specialization for undergraduate degrees and 95 for master’s degrees.
Batista said that cutting programs and student services will change what SF State is all about. She said she doesn’t want to see SF State turn into an “online university” with a quick, “drive-through” education.
“All other 23 universities are looking at us,” she said. “What are we going to do? If you want to make it a junior college with a few specialized programs, then continue cutting everything,” she said.
Kenneth Monteiro, the dean of Human Relations, the department recently axed, acknowledged the cuts are inevitable. But he says it is a perfect opportunity for SF State to set a strong example in a public eye by the way the administration deals with the cuts.
Monteiro said he wants the administration to take care of the students and faculty the best way they can and protect the university’s mission. It is important, Moteiro said, that “social justice, equity and diversity are maintained even through the cuts.”
“With more budget cuts, you can’t expect people to want to come here,” said Kory Biggs, 25, who is about to graduate. Biggs expressed his dislike of the administration. “They don’t make students feel they are wanted here,” he said. He suggested image repair starting with the existing students who will later tell others about their SF State experience. “If you want to attract new students, you need to impress the people that are here,” he explained.
Corey Gulley, 28, a communications major senior, came from a low-income family. He said he selected SF State because the school was diverse and cheap. Gulley supports himself as a full-time student by working part time. He said he thinks it is still cheaper here compared to other state schools, but rising fees and fewer academic programs make him change his views about SF State image. “I don’t think it’s going to be as affordable anymore,” he said.
Andy Miller, 24, a creative writing student, said the student fees almost doubled since he started his education at SF State a couple of years ago. Miller said his financial aid used to cover all his costs. Now, he noticed sadly, it barely covers half his expenses.
David Veuve, 19, who just started his education at SF State, said that cutting academic programs will “take away some of the uniqueness of the university” and turn it into “more of a business and nursing school.”
Veuve has noticed the cuts create a very tense environment on campus that makes “less of a positive image” for the university. The teachers become more “hostile” because they are too preoccupied with the future of their jobs, he said. “If teachers don’t enjoy being here, then students don’t enjoy being here either."
The affordability and accessibility of higher education at SF State allowed minority and low-income students to get high paid jobs and improve their economic status in the society.
This is what happened to Ausberto E. Beltran, who came from a low-income family then graduated from SF State’s School of Engineering and is now a vice president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers in the Bay Area. He said that education at this school opened up a window of opportunities for him. “It changed my life in so many ways,” Beltran added. “I am able to afford things I would never be able to afford.”
About 600 students have enrolled in the same School of Engineering from which Beltran has graduated. The engineering school was saved in the announced cuts to academics, released Monday. Its master's program will be moving to self-support. If the cuts sustain, he worries, the window of educational opportunities opened up for Beltran will be closed to new applicants.
SF State's budget crisis hit students and teachers hard as they now face shortage of classes, fewer academic programs, higher fees and pink slips.
Todor Cooklev, professor of electrical engineering, who might lose his job if the program is cut, said that laying off faculty members “is not appropriate for a university setting. It may be appropriate for a corporation.”
Cooklev characterized the budget cut situation “where we (SF State) want to save one department and eliminate another” as “a nasty political environment in which we don’t want to get into.”
As budget cuts threaten the integrity of many majors at SF State, the school’s administration and colleges—like business and nursing—are preparing for the worst and considering possible alternatives in order to stay alive during the financial crisis.
The College of Business and School of Nursing are considering moving some of the pre-requisite courses needed for students attempting to enroll in the graduate programs to the College of Extended Learning in order to save state funding for undergraduate classes.
In a letter to students and faculty, President Robert Corrigan explained the need for severe cuts within the university but that the school is determined to maintain good class availability for students.
“The largest share of the cuts, some $9.8 million, will have to come from Academic Affairs which, as I have noted before, comprises 63% of the University's budget,” wrote Corrigan. This figure assumes that Chancellor Charles Reed approves the fee increases passed by students through the referendums.
In a statement released Monday, the College of Business has been proposed to move to self-support. The School of Nursing has been spared.
Although no official decisions have been made to cut specific areas, President Corrigan and Provost John Gemello continuously have been communicating with deans, department chairs, directors, and faculty about the best strategy to make cuts in the most effective way.
Often when there are necessary budget cuts to make, there would be an equal percentage eliminated from each college or department’s budget, said associate dean of business Ron Beall.
However, if these type of pro-rata cuts are made at SF State there is a concern that the entire university would become a mediocre school, Beall said. This is an explanation for Corrigan’s plan to make larger cuts, possibly eliminating whole departments rather than making smaller ones all across the board, he said.
“The provost has already identified several ‘very likely’ elements of that plan … a proposed $2.3 million cut in the general fund budget for the College of Business -- achievable in part by moving some programs to self-support; and discontinuation or suspension of other academic programs,” said Corrigan’s letter.
In preparation for these cuts the College of Business has set up a number of committees to figure out how to save or raise money both for next fall as well as long term, and also how to decide which services to reduce and how to cut expenses, according to Beall.
Sam Gill, department chair of information services in the College of Business, is involved with these committees and explained the struggle his department is facing.
“There are two sides of the equation,” Gill said. “One, increase revenue and become self-support(ed). Then we need to look at cuts: what is the order in which we can make cuts? At what level will we impact the program?”
In order to become a self-supported program the College of Business is looking at converting proficiency requirements for the MBA program into courses that would be taken by the students through College of Extended Learning.
“There’s an attitude out there that says, also about nursing, is it fair to subsidize education for people who make $80 to $100,000 a year versus those who make $20 to $30,000 a year,” said Gill. “It’s hard to agree on what’s fair.”
Gill spoke about the university as a manufacturer for full-time education, and the budget cuts were basically a lose-lose situation for everybody in academia.
“We are a production machine for students,” he said, “If we do (cuts) across the board everyone suffers, if we are more selective, then we can do it in (certain areas) but we have to make up the slack in others. You’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t.”
Richard McCline, a professor in the business department, encourages the idea of the graduate program becoming self-supported through the College of Extended Learning.
The College of Business has to have a close relationship with the business community; it has to be proactive, McCline said. If the campus is located downtown in the midst of the business world where the college’s constituencies are it would be a great benefit, he said.
Business major Vanessa Hunger said she wants to go to graduate school eventually to receive a master’s in business. However, she won’t be applying to SF State.
“I heard that grad school is going to be self-support,” Hunger said. “I feel I could pay the same amount at a better school.”
As far as the overall change in the graduate program in relation to the rise in costs, Hunger said: “I don’t think the quality would suffer, but I don’t think it would improve as far as facilities or job placement.”
Marie Eim, an international student receiving her MBA in finance, thinks the shift to self-support will allow more international students to come to SF State.
“I think they’ll accept more international students because they charge us up to five times more,” Eim said. The students here don’t want to increase fees. And the administration doesn’t want to, so they could make more money by accepting international students, she said.
Private Nursing School
The School of Nursing was not on the proposed list of cuts. But it is already extremely impacted and privately funded. According to the program’s director, Dr. Beatrice Yorker, the School of Nursing has been privately funded to open a school outside campus.
Similar to the plans for master’s degree in business, nursing is considering privatizing the pre-licensure entry-level nursing courses for the graduate program through the College of Extended Learning.
This would allow the School of Nursing to charge $350 per unit for students attempting to enroll for a nursing master’s degree. This high cost, according to Yorker, is simply to stay alive.
“By privatizing, we charge higher tuition through the College of Extended Learning and it’s not available for those on Financial Aid. We have to pay faculty salaries and overhead through money from tuition to CEL.” This will allow the undergraduate program at SF State to remain more or less the same, according to Yorker.
“We don’t have the money to pay for funding of these courses,” Yorker said. “It’s labor intensive with costly facilities.”
This year alone the School of Nursing turned away 600 qualified applicants, Yorker said. The program is highly impacted because nursing is one of the highest demand service jobs in the country, according to Yorker.
People want this job because it won’t be outsourced to other countries, Yorker said. They want this job because after Sept. 11 people wanted to do a job with meaning, and the field of nursing is being portrayed as a stimulating, high-tech career, she added.
Despite the high demand and numerous applicants for nursing school there is a shortage of graduating nurses in California.
SF State graduates 90 new undergraduate nurses a year, and 50 with master’s degrees a year. If they lost state funding, they would be able to graduate about 30 with a bachelor’s degree and zero of those who already have degrees and want to get their master’s.
If emotions were given life, it is possible that delight and elation would be seen bouncing off the walls in the School of Engineering.
After weeks of intense apprehension and speculation about the future of its degree programs, the School of Engineering has come out almost unscathed by surviving the chopping block -- at least for now.
Its graduate program has been proposed to move to self-support, and growth of its undergraduate program will be limited to its current size and degree programs, the university announced Monday.
“I think it’s great the program is saved, but at the same time there is uncertainty about our future,” said Wenshen Pong, engineering professor and graduate advisor. “Due to constant budget cuts, it seems we will always be up in the air and could end up in the same situation again.”
Although the School of Engineering may be in the clear for the time being, Pong’s fears are not unfounded. News of a further $72 million cut to the California State University system leaves everyone guessing about who or what goes next.
Judy Pelton, who graduated with an engineering degree from SF State in 2002, feels that alumni must now step up and take care of their own to keep the engineering program intact.
“I am thrilled about the news but this situation is just the writing on the wall,” Pelton said. “I still feel like the program is in jeopardy, and it seriously needs funds to survive, which could come in the form of alumni support.”
Thinking about the future is definitely on the mind of Sheldon Axler, the dean of the College of Science and Engineering. But for the time being he is allowing himself to enjoy the moment.
“I am delighted the engineering department will remain at SF State,” he said. “I’m happy for the students and the faculty. I am just so happy this worked out.”
Many proponents of the School of Engineering cite Axler’s commitment to the fight as a key reason the programs have survived thus far. In what has been described as a “four-hour marathon,” Axler sat down with SF State President Robert Corrigan and Provost John Gemello last week and carefully laid out the various arguments about the strength of the engineering programs and the importance of their livelihood.
“They were open-minded and flexible. We were thankful for that,” said Axler.
Deflecting any personal responsibility, Axler said he felt the provost and president based their decision more on the idea that they realized the engineering department has a perfect fit with the university’s mission statement. Not only is the program one of the most diverse on campus, it has been the catapult to sending students to a completely new economic level he said.
Although both the president and provost were unavailable for comment, there are some who feel the public outcry of support swayed their decision-making process. In recent weeks, several articles highlighted the potential fate of the School of Engineering prompting both current and former students generated a letter-writing campaign.
Silvino Cruz was one of the hundreds who wrote Corrigan. “At the time I did not feel my letter would make a difference, I felt it was a lost cause, and I was just going through the motions.”
“Now looking back, it makes you feel good that the letters, the phone calls --that they were not a waste of time.”
Looking ahead to the future, Shy Shenq Liou, the director of the School of Engineering, said he sees a more focused department all of SF State can be proud of even in the face of pending budget cuts.
This is not to say the department will be without changes. According to Liou, the School of Engineering will be unable to hire any new faculty and as a result will declare itself an impacted major for undergraduate studies.
In addition, by the fall of 2006 the graduate program will be self-supporting and operated by SF State’s College of Extended Learning. In the meantime, no new graduate applicants will be admitted to the program while still allowing for current graduate students to complete their studies.
This news could not have come any sooner to engineering students like Sonja El-Wakil, 27, who could not contain her excitement upon hearing the news she would not have to find a new place to finish her studies.
“Students are very happy and relieved,” Liou said. “We are all energetic and we now have a lot of work ahead of us.”
SF State's gerontology department, first of its kind in the University of California and California State University systems, is part of a package of proposed cuts that might dismantle the program.
SF State’s gerontology department offers one of five masters programs in the College of Health and Human Services. As a result of a $10.3 million budget reduction required from Academic Affairs, the department is slated to be cut, according to a university announcement Monday.
“Campuses across the country look at SF State for foresight to promote gerontology,” said Brian de Vries, director of gerontology.
SF State's gerontology program is the only public graduate-level program of its kind in northern Cailfornia and one of the largest in the entire state, according to de Vries.
The program operates on an annual budget of $250,000, which is $26,492 less than SF State president Robert Corrigan’s annual executive salary plus compensation, according to documents obtained by Xpress.
SF State's 60+ organization, also known as Urban Elders, is under the umbrella of the gerontology department. Coordinator Eileen Ward questioned the university's proposed cut to the department.
“How huge of an impact on the budget can we have? There are only three professors,” said Ward, whose 500-member organization will be terminated with the department if the cuts are approved.
“Financially I think the department should be expanded,” Ward said.
John Fecondo, a master’s student in the department, recognized the budget crisis but still felt the program to be a necessity.
“Granted it is expensive to obtain a higher level instruction,” Fecondo said, “but education equals jobs.”
“The professors’ office space is already little, and all the classes are in out of the way basements,” Fecondo said in relating the plight of an already small program.
On the other end of the spectrum lie the instructors and members of the 60+ organization who see the cuts in separate but dreary circumstances.
“Cutting gerontology is like taking away early education,” said Jeanette Bemis, an instructor of consumer education at City College of San Francisco.
“With an ever increasing elderly population, cutting the program doesn’t make sense,” Bemis said.
“I strongly urge President Corrigan to continue the program,” said Ruth Manber, a member of the 60+ organization.
“The way they’re (administrators) spending money, they should give themselves a cut,” she said.
Manber added that the gerontology program is a very important part of the university.
In fact recently, according to de Vries, the gerontology program was one of only three programs in the United States to be offered an alliance with the European Union (E.U.) on an international gerontology curriculum.
“Our program has a solid history and is well respected,” de Vries said.
Some feel that even though the program contributes a lot to the community and the study of gerontology in general, the budget is the deciding factor.
“It’s all a numbers game,” Fecondo said.
The progressive academic program built out of investigating the grey area between science and the humanities is facing a grim future.
SF State Provost John Gemello on Monday released a list of proposed programs and departments to be cut in an effort to shore up a $10.3 million budget gap of Academic Affairs. The NEXA program found itself on that list.
The interdisciplinary program of the College of Humanities merges science and humanities to study their relationship through such courses as “The Nuclear Revolution” and “Nature, Culture and Technology.”
The program, which currently has 360 students enrolled, was started in 1975 with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Since 1979, it has been supported and funded by the university.
“To throw this program away is a disaster,” said Susan Lea, professor of physics and astronomy. “These classes show students that there’s more ways at looking at a topic…There are no others that run this way. Students will miss the opportunity to delve into different topics at the same time.”
Senior David Lucas, who prides himself on being one of the program’s lone majors, said he was shocked at its proposed elimination.
“The whole point (in coming here) was to do something creative,” explained Lucas, 25. “It’s made for people who don’t want to follow the traditional route to a bachelor degree.”
Lucas transferred here from Humboldt State in 2002 as a NEXA major with an emphasis on future studies. He says the flexible program allowed him to create a major tailored to his bilateral interests in science and its philosophical issues.
“(NEXA classes) give you an interesting perspective, which is why I think it’s valuable to keep,” he said. “Science is responsible for a lot of things that happen. There are a lot of science critics who don’t know how systems work.”
Taking its cue from the Renaissance spirit, which saw a correlation between the arts, science and humanities, NEXA's mission has been to bridge the gap between science and its cultural impact. As such, classes are often taught in tandem by two professors from different branches of study, usually a science or business curriculum coupled with philosophy or English.
“These classes really integrate what students know with other perspectives,” said Mary Luckey, professor of chemistry and biology. “It’s intellectually productive for students. I think that it will be a shame for students.”
Connor Robinson is a comparative literature sophomore currently taking the NEXA course, “The Big C: Literary and Scientific Perspectives On Cancer.” It examines cancer memoirs through the context of the biology of the disease at work on its authors.
“It’s one of the best programs here,” said Robinson, 19. “It’s a completely new way of learning … I think losing the program would be a major blow to the intellectual community. It brings the intellectual community together.”
Many involved in the program were not surprised by the news Monday. Some say NEXA was an obvious target to slashing since it draws on professors and lecturers from various campus disciplines, including philosophy, English, physics and biochemistry.
“No one is really willing to go to bat for it,” Professor Lea explained. The astronomy and physics professor also teaches NEXA 380, “Cosmologies and World Views,” which was slated for the fall 2004 semester. “They’re busy worrying about their own departments.”
Still, several people interviewed were bewildered by the program’s proposed elimination in light of the few exclusively NEXA professors. They questioned how much money the university will be saving in the end.
“It’s more symbolic than practical,” Lea said. “I’d prefer they target at things that is sound academically, rather than what is expedient.”
The impact of cutting NEXA is likely to be felt hardest in general education course offerings. Many NEXA classes are used to fulfill Segment III requirements.
According to the press release from university, the list of suggested programs for elimination will go to the university’s Academic Senate, where faculty representatives will vote on it. The process could take up to several months before any decision is definite.
SF State’s College of Health and Human Services could be forced to cut $800,000 from its myriad of programs if a proposed $10.3 million in overall academic budget cuts is approved by the president and Academic Senate.
Of the 10 departments, the School of Social Work and the consumer and family studies/dietetics department (CFS/D) could be hit the hardest by the proposed cuts.
The School of Social Work is looking at a $200,000 budget cut, and the possible discontinuance of its undergraduate program. While the CFS/D cuts are reaching $140,000, both programs will leave many part-time instructors without positions.
Eileen Levy, director of the School of Social Work, is very upset that her department is under the gun.
“It’s devastating. We have about 250 students in our program who are primarily students of color who come from immigrant communities,” Levy said.
“Most are multilingual and are in social work because they want to give back to the community. Although everyone in the program will be able to graduate we will not be taking any new entrants into our program. I feel sad for the students. It’s a total loss.”
Dr. Nancy Rabolt, chair of CFS/D, said she is disturbed the master’s degree in family consumer sciences also is being considered for elimination.
“It’s quite upsetting. It’s a small program, and it doesn’t cost very much to run our program,” Rabolt said.
The master’s program is losing four positions and popular classes like Children and Family and Adolescents and Families, according to Rabolt, who said she hopes those classes can be offered once every three semesters.
Meanwhile, the master’s degree in the Recreation and Leisure Studies also has been targeted for elimination. Recreation and Leisure Studies Chair Jim Murphy is very concerned about the possible loss of the master’s degree program and the effects it will have on the Bay Area.
The graduate program has been in existence since 1958 and is of high quality, according to Murphy. This group of leaders and managers is the hardest to recruit, he added.
“It’s really an inopportune time to discontinue the master’s degree program when we clearly have so many people in need.”
The master’s program, which currently has 35 graduate students, helps prepare and direct students to work with nonprofit associations like the YMCA, YWCA and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
“As it stands we are going to lose three classes, but I know that the provost has an unenviable task,” Murphy said.
SF State student Sterling Brown is currently studying in the Recreation and Leisure program and interns at the YMCA. While Brown is just an undergraduate, the cut in the program will prevent him from pursuing a master’s degree in the program at SF State.
“I’ve thought about continuing in the master’s program,” Brown said. “Now with the cuts, I will have to move out of San Francisco, if I decide that it is something that I want to do.”
The college’s gerontology program also is being slated for a proposed cut. The university will only save an additional $250,000 if the program is eliminated from the curriculum.
“It’s ridiculous; by 2025, 25 percent of the California population will be 65 or older,” said Brian de Vries, gerontology department chair. “Other than Notre Dame (de Namur University), SF State has the only gerontology program in Northern California.”
According to the Academic Senate Policy on Academic Program Discontinuance, which was approved by President Robert Corrigan in 1993, there are decision variables that must be considered before a program is cut.
Based on importance to the institution, quality of the program, and efficiency and demand for the program cuts may be made.
Furthermore, recommendations to discontinue a program can be made by either the faculty of the program, the dean of the college, the vice president for Academic Affairs or the president of the university.
Students enrolled in programs slated for elimination are guaranteed completion of their degrees at SF State.
SF State’s undergraduate and graduate Russian programs are two of the proposed academic cuts that will be presented to the Academic Senate for elimination.
If approved, San Diego State University will be the only college left in the California State University system to offer a bachelor’s degree in Russian, according to the chair of the program. The Russian program still will offer a minor but the bachelor's and master's degrees will be axed.
The proposal includes slashing five undergraduate programs and five graduate programs, in order to cut $10.3 million from Academic Affairs' budget. Discontinuing the program will only save $105,000 a year, according to Catherine Siskron, a lecturer in the Russian program.
The Russian program at SF State came about as part of a reaction to the Soviet Union launching Sputnik, said foreign language department Chair Midori McKeon. “It’s had its ups and downs in enrollment in the last 50 years, but it has continuously served a great range of students,” she said.
“It’s a shame for future students,” said Judy Bonhiver, a student in second-semester Russian and office coordinator for the Marian Wright Edelman Institute at SF State. “If the state or federal government was run more efficiently then maybe the education system wouldn’t be in such dire straits.”
The possible loss of the Russian program and the $10.3 million cut is supposed to be the good news. The Office of the Chancellor says there might be an additional $72 million cut coming soon from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s budget.
Ann Lin, a SF State student majoring in Russian, was surprised to learn about the possible cut to her program. She said she heard rumors last year about the program being cut, but she hadn’t heard anything recently.
“It sounds pretty serious this time,” she said.
McKeon said the program has taken several decades to build up and that once the program has been cut, it will be very difficult to ever reinstate it. She hopes student, alumni and community support will make a difference.
“I feel like I could develop a stomach ulcer,” she said. “I know I’m not fighting a solitary battle, but it is in my heart day and night, awake or sleep.”
If the programs are discontinued, they will be phased out over several years. Currently enrolled students will be allowed to complete their degrees, but no new majors will be accepted at this time, according a press release from the university.
Father Labib Kobti is quick to offer caution to those who might view the words “Arab” and “Muslim” as synonymous.
“People come up to me and ask, ‘Oh, Father Labib, when did you convert to Christianity from Islam?’ But we were Arabs before Islam,” said Kobti, a native of Lebanon and pastor of St. Thomas More Catholic Church in San Francisco.
“Marrying the words Muslim and Arab is very wrong, and as a Christian it’s offensive. I’m not a Muslim. I’ve always been Christian,” he said.
Kobti spoke about the presence of Arab Christians in the Middle East Monday during a discussion hosted by the Newman Club and Catholic Student Association at SF State in the Cesar Chavez Student Center.
The history of Arab Christians was a leading topic on his agenda, and Kobti was quick to establish the Arab presence in Christianity, a presence that reaches back 2000 years.
“Arabs were the first Christians in the world, back to the fist century,” Kobti said. “We weren’t Muslim (until) the seventh century.” He also mentioned three Catholic popes in the first five centuries who were Arab and that the festival of Easter was started by Nile Christians.
A lawyer by trade, Kobti runs the Al-Bushra Web site. He said the site promotes justice and peace in the Middle East, offers a world-view order and details the history of U.S. policy in the region.
He was critical of U.S. involvement in Iraq. Kobti said the United States didn’t take into the consideration the varying faiths and ethnicities in Iraq before attempting to impose democracy on a country made up of Sunni, Shia, Kurdish Muslims and Caldean Christians who were all, “used to living under Saddam’s iron fist.”
“Caldean’s are in a bad situation because of U.S. involvement,” Kobti said, “and they were Iraqis for 2,000 years. We’re in contact with their bishops, and they’re afraid. They don’t know what the future holds.”
Caldean Christians are made up of members of the Catholic and Assyrian Orthodox churches.
“We (Christians) had been on good terms with Muslims before the United States and Britain started putting their fingers in,” Kobti said. “The Middle East sees the West as Christian, and now the Muslims see Middle East Christians as in-league with the United States and Britain. Our beloved country didn’t know what it was getting itself into. They didn’t take time to find out.”
He was also highly critical of Evangelical Christians who have their sights set on conversions in the Middle East without showing regard for everyday people and their deep-rooted beliefs.
"(Arab Christians) have freedom," Kobti said, "and our problems are not with the ordinary Jews, ordinary Muslims, it's with the fanatics. The problem is with Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson who go on TV saying they want to send 2,000 missionaries to the Middle East to convert (Muslims). I mean, that's sick."
During his lecture, which was open to questions at any time, Kobti spoke about the diminishing populations of Arab Christians in the Middle East. According to Kobti, the Christian population in Israel/Palestine has fallen from 25 percent to 1.8 percent since the end of World War I, and in Lebanon from 53 percent to 20 percent during the same time frame.
He cited two reasons for the trend: emigration to South America and the United States due to lack of jobs in their homeland (which he attributes to U.S. policy over the Israel-Palestine conflict), and also to the exploding Arab Muslim population in the Middle East.
St. Thomas More church offers a Sunday service in Arabic to accommodate Arab-speaking Christians. He said 95 percent of one former village in Palestine attends the church. He also said family members of recently assassinated Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi attend the church.
Newman Club member Erika Castro said she was hopeful more events like today’s discussion with Kobti can take place in the future.
“We’re looking forward to getting more of the community involved not just the Catholic community,” Castro said. “We’d like to get the whole campus involved in (discussing) these issues.
“Being such a diverse university, we need to speak about these sort of things. We need to understand more of each other and learn more about every culture.”
“It’s important to educate the students the way that they want to know” Kobti said. “In a university, the young adults want to know. So such discussions are important when you answer . . . what they want to know.
“Many times you don’t read this in books, you don’t see this on the television. It’s good to have different people come and speak up, especially honest people who have no political agendas.”
San Francisco has a reputation for its leading role in education and prevention of HIV and AIDS. More than 20 years since the start of the AIDS epidemic, students at SF State continue to play a part in that legacy.
The theme for this year's Multicultural AIDS Awareness Day at SF State focused on invisible populations and shrinking resources. The event was held in Malcolm X Plaza on Wednesday.
"The effects of AIDS are felt worldwide and affect all cultures," said Rowena Basa, 24, one of the event's coordinators and biology major. "This is something we're all in together. We should all be aware."
Basa and several others at the event are members of the co-ed fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, a service-based group who played a major role in organizing the event.
Other sponsors included the AIDS Coordinating Committee (ACC), Educational Referral Organization for Sexuality (EROS), ACC PEERS, Associated Students Inc., Counseling and Psychological Services, the Department of Biology, the Department of Counseling and the Student Health Center.
Multicultural AIDS Awareness Day featured live on-stage acts of all genres. There was also music, food, art and free condoms. The event was free and open to the public, who also received information about the AIDS epidemic and where to receive free HIV testing on campus.
"Awareness is global, and that's why I support it," said hip-hop performer Estairy, 25, special guest to the SF State campus for the event. "If I didn't believe in it I wouldn't be here."
According to the San Francisco Department of Public Health, there are currently 18,000 people living with AIDS in San Francisco.
Cases of reported HIV/AIDS are reportedly rising among gay men, men who have sex with men (MSM), intravenous drug users (IDU) and the transgender community. Meanwhile, the latter was only first recognized as an individual group on medical records in 1996. Still, accurate information about the rates of HIV/AIDS for the transgender community is many times deemed inconsistent by the DPH.
Students interviewed at the event did not seem interested in addressing HIV/AIDS from an individual or categorical perspective but rather chose to embrace the issue of HIV/AIDS as it affects us all.
"It is not just a San Francisco disease. It is worldwide," said Menny Torres, 19, a biology major.
Community AIDS awareness organizations lined the plaza's lawn. Some included Axis Community of Health, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, the Native American AIDS Project, the STOP AIDS Project and Project Inform.
Tables close by displayed student's art inspired by the Latexhibition. For the project students used condoms to enhance their art in clever and unusual ways. The Latexhibition brought a sense of frankness, humor and beauty to the event that might otherwise have been melancholy.
"As usual the creativity is very evident," said Rita Walsh-Wilson from the Office of Student Relations. Of the event in general she added, "This is a wonderful event, terrific for education."
Displays included one called, "Oscar's Jewels Awards," featuring blown up condoms with celebrities pasted to the front side of them. As the wind started blowing it almost seemed as like the featured rock and movie stars were sauntering down the red carpet provided, and into the make shift auditorium for an Oscar party featuring films such as, "Saving Ryan's Privates, featuring Mr. Bate," and, "The Firm, starring Harry Dick."
Other exhibits were called, "Under the Sea," an underwater wonderland where contraceptive devices swam along side the fish, and "Exploring Your Anus," where an ample-sized condom-clad rocket ship headed for the "moon."
There was even a "Cum Ball" machine with a Durex Gold condom dispenser slot and colorful, condom-wrapped gumballs inside.
Lulue Burton, 22, a psychology major, and Lawrence Jones, 24, a black studies major, look over the displayed art work and remembered their own from last year.
"Mine was a condom ATM were you could deposit old condoms and receive new ones back," Burton said.
Jones remembered his penis pinata. "It had condoms, lube, lickable lotion and other sexual products. When you would break it open all kinds of treats would fall out."
For a moment, the dark truth about HIV/AIDS subsided as the event did something its organizers might or might not have planned. By approaching HIV/AIDS from the bright side, the event gave people hope.
"I think the event makes people more comfortable talking bout sexual things in general," said Taylor Benavides, 19, a film major.
"People need to know where to get resources like free condoms and free testing," said Stephen Monteclaro, 21, a biology major. "AIDS doesn't choose who gets it, or not and we want to let everyone know. It's not, not cool anymore to use condoms," he said.
Success Nwolise, a former SF State student who was reported missing last month, was found in Long Beach on Monday.
Nwolise, 19, was reported missing by her Stonestown Apartments roommate on March 11.
Just over a month later, officials from the Long Beach Police Department located Nwolise. It is not clear why Nwolise was in Long Beach.
“She is fine,” said Sgt. Jennifer Schwartz, of SF State’s University Police Department.
Nwolise was advised by Long Beach police to contact her friends and family who had reported her missing, Schwartz said.
In San Francisco, 1,125 adults were reported missing in 2003. Of these, 1,027 people eventually were accounted for, meaning that they either were returned, located, arrested, voluntarily missing or found deceased. At that point, the report was withdrawn or accounted for in the “other” category.
Horrified disbelief, shock, overwhelming anger and sadness, a wide range of emotion.
The news that programs within SF State's School of Engineering may be phased out and soon cease to exist sparked a massive outcry for reconsideration by alumni.
However they were left with a false glimmer of hope at the time, thinking the fate of their alma mater was not set in stone. They were not informed as to how, why and when such a decision was going to be made.
Unbeknownst to them, the graduate studies administrative division already had sent out letters to prospective engineering master’s candidates for Fall 2004, alerting them the program would not be accepting any new students pending its closure.
Most of the letters were sent out sometime before spring break, the week of March 22.
An applicant who had questions about the future of the program brought the letters to the attention of the School of Engineering. This was the first that Wenshen Pong, an engineering professor and graduate advisor, had even heard of the possibility.
Dr. ShyShenq Liou, the school’s director previously had been informed by Dean Sheldon Axler, of the College of Science and Engineering, that admissions to the engineering master’s program were on hold.
When the news became public and rapidly spread throughout the Bay Area, it was more than just the fact that admissions were being put on hold. It was that entire departments within the School of Engineering would be cut.
Close to 300 more letters were sent out. Only this time they came from desperate alumni and were addressed to President Robert Corrigan, Provost John Gemello and Axler, pleading them to reconsider what was presumed to still be a “proposal” and not a plan of action.
The alumni suggested that instead of making a large cut to an entire department, make smaller cuts across the board to release pressure from the budget strain.
Many of the letters detailed personal battles and social struggles alumni were able to overcome because they were given the opportunity to earn an engineering degree.
One letter was sent from Silvino A. Cruz, who graduate in 1988 and has gone on to become the manager of the Electrical Engineering Division for ATI Architects and Engineers, a 100-person design firm that works on various types of projects related to health care, education, high-tech and commercial facilities.
Like many of the other alumni who voiced their concern and dismay for the dismantling of the engineering department, Cruz mentioned he came from a disadvantaged socio-economic background. Only at SF State had he found that the admission criteria did not restrict him due to the limited or lack of financial and educational resources that were available to him during the course of his life.
Cruz criticized the university for not releasing a more “carefully crafted” public announcement and not setting the facts straight at an early stage. Finding out from a third-party was not his ideal source of information.
“Unfortunately, the decision makers at the University were probably insensitive to the needs of the public. They do not see the valuable contribution SFSU’s engineering school makes in improving people’s lives and leveling the playing field of opportunity. … SFSU helped prepare me to work in a multi-cultural and racially diverse environment. This experience, in my opinion, cannot be duplicated elsewhere,” Cruz wrote in an email response to Xpress.
Some of his other cherished memories from SF State include 99 cent pizzas, the beautiful women on campus, beer at the Pub and long walks to the Science building.
Cruz’s story is not totally unique, as others share his background, experience at SF State, success in his field, and being upwardly mobile as a result of the training he received here.
Judy Curry Pelton was never handed anything in her life. Her parents were “the Grapes of Wrath Okies,” who came to Northern California during World War II to work in the Sausalito shipyard. Pelton describes how her parents, having only an eighth-grade education, scraped by to survive, barely being able to feed their family, let alone themselves.
“My past is filled with dysfunctional tales,” Pelton writes. She details her experience as a teenage bride with only a high school education, her many visits to drug and alcohol rehab during the 1960s and 1970s. Two divorces and a pregnancy later, Pelton found herself in San Francisco with a three-year-old daughter to support and a chance to start her life over.
She made that start at SF State in the School of Engineering. Now Pelton, who graduated in 2002, works for Coastland Civil Engineering Inc. with what she describes as good pay, good benefits, and good relationships with co-workers and her community.
“I realized that so many people are inspired by my success. People have told me that my experience leads them to understand that it is never too late to begin,” Pelton wrote.
In regards to the letters being sent to the prospective applicants about the closure of the department, Pelton wonders why the administration was able to take a unilateral step of such magnitude.
“The timing of the announcement can be compared to an earthquake with the same connotations. It has rocked my foundation, heart and soul.”
Twin bills pending legislation in the U.S. House and Senate will give the president the authority to reinstate the military draft. If passed, all men and women ages 18 to 26 will face the possibility of fighting in combat in the name of the United States.
The bills -- officially known as the Universal National Service Act of 2003 -- were introduced to the House and Senate on Jan. 7, 2003, and will require all young adults in the United States to perform two years of military or civilian service intended to improve national defense, health and safety and homeland security.
Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., and Sen. Fritz Hollings, D-S.C., who introduced the bills, wrote a letter to their colleagues on Jan. 27, 2003, explaining their reasoning. The letter states: “Both of us are extraordinarily concerned that our military's current capacity would not allow it to fight multiple wars at once. We remain unconvinced by the Department of Defense's claims that the current all-volunteer military can meet any contingency that might arise … we do not have the personnel to fight a multi-theater war.”
The day Hollings introduced the bill to the Senate, he said in a press release: “We all share the benefits of life in America, and under this plan, we all help shoulder the burden of defending our freedoms.”
That same day, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said in a Department of Defense news briefing, “We are not going to re-implement the draft. There is no need for it at all.”
Under the new draft bills, there will be fewer protections for people who wish to protect themselves from the call of duty. All young men and women will be wanted, and escaping the draft will be much more difficult than during the Vietnam era. The bills are designed to ensure all are drafted equally.
No Protections: Students, Women, Married, Parents
According to the bills H.R. 163 and S. 89, the draft, if reinstated, will take in citizens and long-standing residents -- with college no longer providing protection. High school students and college seniors will be allowed to complete courses necessary to graduate, and all other college students can finish only the current semester.
For the first time in U.S. history, women will be included in the draft under these bills.
"We want civil rights, but not necessarily civil rights to kill," said Sheila Tully, a lecturer in women’s studies.
“If we don’t include women in the draft then we will be turning our backs on resources that might otherwise be useful,” said business management major Jason Gayheart.
“I don’t think anyone should be drafted, but if I’m going to get drafted I think women should, too,” Jorge Rivas said. “I would like them to open it to women for the sole purpose that it would create more drama, and we could end it sooner.”
Under the bills, people will be drafted regardless of marital or parental status.
According to the Selective Service System, Conscientious Objector (CO) status, which formerly protected a select few from the draft for religious or personal beliefs, will no longer ensure exemption.
The bills require that everyone drafted participate in military or civil service, so people seeking CO status will be assigned to alternative service in their communities performing jobs that make meaningful contributions to national health, safety and interests.
Really a Necessity?
The only way it would be necessary to reinstate the draft is if there was a significant decline in military enlistment and reenlistment, said Robert Smith, a political science professor.
Military personnel were unable to comment on current enlistment rates.
If the situation in Iraq continues the way it is now, more troops will be needed. There are currently about 130,000 soldiers in Iraq, and many people think that twice as many are needed to perform a successful mission, Smith said.
Gayheart said he would not mind if the draft were reinstated if there is a need, but he is not sure a need exists. The military needs to reevaluate itself and determine how to best fight the new enemy, he said.
“I’m not sure that more troops are necessary,” Gayheart said. “Having a smarter more nimble military might be more beneficial.”
If more people have to go to the military, it gives politicians more reason to go to war or use military might to scare other countries, alumnus Amir Dastgah said. “Other countries could get a hold of weapons of mass destruction to prevent invasion- basically it would create chaos,” he said.
“The U.S. wants to bring democracy to every country by force. That’s not an option,” Datsgah said.
The Selective Service System must provide a report to the president by March 31, 2005, on the status of preparations to reinstate the draft, which will include establishing offices to process draftees and deferments.
David Tabb, a political science professor, said that if the draft does become an issue, it would only be after the November elections. It would be political suicide for either President Bush or Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts to publicly support it, Tabb said.
Bush and Kerry have both kept quiet on the issue, however Kerry's Web site said, "John Kerry will set a goal of one million Americans a year in national service within the next decade."
If the draft is reinstated, it is less likely the administration would go to war, Smith said. There would be more pressure to keep troops home if the military is made up of the children of corporate executives and well-off people. There will be far greater opposition than if the military is made up of the poor. Afraid of being drafted and killed, people will turn out in far greater numbers to protest the war, he said.
The current anti-war movement has been relatively mild, partly because college-age Americans are not likely to be called to serve, Tabb said. The overall level of political involvement of today’s youth is not likely to increase until the quantity of body bags coming home from war increases, he said.
During the Vietnam War, it was not necessarily the war that sparked the youth’s interest. It was the 20,000 to 30,000 U.S. casualties who were returned in body bags after the draft was revved up in 1965 that inspired them to protest the war, Tabb said.
Some had perfectly done-up hair and makeup, some just happened to be passing by, some were nervous, and some were hopeful.
But whatever their case happened to be, 126 SF State students made their way to the lower level of the student center last Thursday for a 15 second shot at soap opera stardom on "The Young and the Restless."
Auditions began at around 9 a.m.; students were asked to fill out a short questionnaire, take a picture, and sit and wait. The room remained over half full throughout the morning as potential actors and actresses mouthed their lines in the air and chatted amongst each other, exchanging competitive glances as names were called out to audition.
J.L. Zbacnik, one of the first males to audition, exuded character even while sitting in the corner of the dimly lit waiting room. Dressed in a black, collared shirt, cowboy boots, and perfectly molded hair, he smiled after exiting his audition.
"I would like to act on a soap opera," said Zbacnik, 24, a theater arts major, "Work constantly, you get a script, memorize it and it's done that day. It's not the same scene and same story day after day."
Zbacnik and his friend Sarah Hunter, 20, found out about the auditions through the theater department. As Zbacnik headed off to another interview, this time for a bartending gig, Hunter sat waiting for her audition.
"I'm just here for fun," said Hunter. "I've never seen ["Y&R"] before. Soap operas are cheesy and overdramatic. But it's worked for a lot of well-known actors. It's a paycheck."
Many of the students waiting admitted they never watched soap operas. On "Y&R" characters intertwine in various dramatic episodes involving love triangles, family scandals, and evil-doers of some sort. While the shows aired on CBS are packed with attractive new stars in interesting situations, the auditions for these day-time dramas, however, are much less glamorous.
The room for the auditions was held in the back of the student center in a small conference room. Outside in the waiting room a television set played the day's episode of "Y&R" as some students, who had no idea about the auditions, sat in padded chairs by the women's restroom studying.
Once inside the room to audition the nerves seemed to settle in as students, often in groups of four or more, stood in front of the show's crew to prove their acting skills. Students met the casting director, the producer, and actress Lauren Woodland, who plays Britney Hodges on the show.
In shaky voices performers gave their name and the reason they wanted to audition. Another innerving aspect was the script they had to read, involving a flirtatious situation between a waitress and a male patron. There were fewer men auditioning later in the afternoon so the part had to be read with the female casting director.
After introducing themselves, casting director Marnie Saitta attempted to shake the amateur actors's nerves.
"Just have fun with it and really let your personality come through," said Saitta as she switched in to character… "Anyone ever tell you you have beautiful eyes?" she asked seductively.
"It is really hard to do and very nerve-racking," said Saitta after the auditions. "The actors on TV make it look easy. But I was pleasantly surprised [with the auditions]. A lot of people showed up, a good turn out of boys and girls."
Saitta also said this was one of the main differences she noticed between real actors and the students auditioning for parts. "It's mostly the nerves that's different," she said. "I have to be able to look past the fact that they are going to be nervous and see the talent there."
In the middle of auditions, Saitta gave students props for their willingness to stand in groups and audition among their peers in the badly lit, underground room that barely anybody knew existed.
"If I asked any actor to do this in Los Angeles they would freak out!" joked Saitta about the slight lack of professionalism in the situation. "So you guys are absolutely great."
Saitta explained that the criteria for finding a winner were fairly simple. "We're looking for talent, someone with the innate ability to act, confidence, enthusiasm, that natural instinct to be an actor."
The staff of "Y&R" teamed up with CBS's "The Early Show" to find fresh talent among college students. SF State was the last of five college campuses to hold auditions.
According to CBS producer Nancy Ross, SF State was chosen because of the high number of people who watch "The Young and the Restless", and San Francisco is very viewer-friendly for "The Early Show."
"This is the third round of doing this. We were very successful with 'As the World Turns and Guiding Light,'" said Ross of the previous college campus auditions conducted for other soap operas.
"Y&R" producers and Saitta will select one male and one female finalist from audition tapes from each school, ten in total from the five schools.
The winners will then be flown to New York to do a live screen test on "The Early Show" with an actor from "Y&R" during the week of May 17. Viewers of "The Early Show" will vote on their favorite college soap stars and the winners will be announced on May 23. The winners will appear on one or more episodes of the daytime drama.
SF State students auditioning on Thursday seemed to keep a light attitude about the situation. Many had never seen the show, and were only in it for a good time and, of course, the possibility at success.
"My mom used to watch ["Y&R"], so I caught a couple episodes," said Cleveland Berto, 21, a cinema major waiting to audition. "Only soap opera I watch is WWF."
"If I win, I would jump at the chance," said Berto.
"I love everything about acting," said Kristin Burke, 21, a humanities major, "It's such an expression, an emotional catharsis."
Burke's desire for acting, as well as her impeccable makeup and bright pink skirt, may have put her at an advantage for the part; but Burke also said she was doing it just to see if anything happened, and there wasn't much riding on it for her.
Those are probably the safest expectations to have, considering the worst part of the audition is not getting a call back, and even the casting director Saitta said that is the most difficult thing she deals with in her job.
"The worst is not being able to give everyone a call back," she said. But for two lucky and talented SF State students, soap opera stardom could be in the near future.
Winners' names will be announced live on CBS's "The Early Show" on Friday, May 14.
"Beauty" and "superstition" are themes that dominate popular culture and religion. And according to a new museum exhibit in the Becker-Colonna Egyptian Gallery at SF State, these themes have persisted cross-culturally throughout history.
The exhibit, “Eyes on the Nile; Beauty and Superstition in Ancient Egypt,” is completely student-produced. From the theme to the piece selection, down to the lighting and promotion activities, what you see is the result of efforts by Museum Studies 730, the exhibition design and curation course.
“It's a really great opportunity for students to put a real life experience on their resume and to see how a gallery actually works,” said Christy DeWitt, a master’s student in museum studies who's acting as student curator for the exhibit.
The course utilizes artifacts from the Sutro Egyptian Collection, containing many pieces originally brought to San Francisco in the 1880’s by Adolph Sutro, a wealthy San Francisco landowner and former San Francisco mayor. He purchased several of the artifacts during his world travels.
After Sutro’s death, ownership of the collection changed hands many times until finally being solicited by SF State's former Dr. Becker-Colonna, for scholarship and research purposes.
The collection became the foundation for the museum studies masters program, which now houses, oversees, and almost completely owns the entire collection, according to department documents.
“It seems like an easy thing (to create an exhibit) but it is really a complex monster,” said Valdemar Duran, an undeclared major who took the class because of personal interest in ancient cultures, especially Egypt. Duran was in charge of the artwork for the exhibit.
Inside the gallery, tiny elaborations decorate and inscribe scarabs and amulets. These vanity objects rest atop a circular mirror, allowing for them to be viewed 360-degrees. In ancient Egypt between 2040 and 1786 BCE, such artifacts served both as a homage to beauty, worn in a fashion similar to beads, while also playing to Egyptian superstition, symbolizing continual death and rebirth of the soul.
And what would an Egyptian exhibit be without mummies and sarcophagui? These types of artifacts represent the ultimate in superstition and religious speculation about the afterlife.
The triple stacking sarcopahgui, in which Nes-Per-N-Nub, an Amun priest dating to 1000 BCE, was buried, is a pride of the collection and displayed in tall glass cases standing against the back wall.
“It’s interesting to see the process and how a museum exhibit is put together from beginning to end, from picking the title to selecting artifacts,” said Dawn Colgan, a physical anthropology major in charge of photography for the exhibit.
The exhibit runs from April 7 to May 7, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday in the Becker-Colonna Egyptian Gallery, Humanities 510. Admission is free.
Tuesday, April 6
3:12 p.m. VEHICLE TAMPERING
The license plates of a staff member’s vehicle were taken while it was parked on Tapia Drive. The plates were recovered the next day.
Thursday, April 8
2:46 p.m. PETTY THEFT
A credit card and some keys were stolen from a person in Mary Park Hall.
3:53 p.m. AUTO BURGLARY
A student’s vehicle was broken into while it was parked on Lake Merced Boulevard. Loss: $478.
11:02 p.m. STOLEN VEHICLE
A student’s black 1987 Nissan Pathfinder was stolen while it was parked on Holloway Avenue.
Friday, April 9
1:22 p.m. SUSPICIOUS PERSON
A person was asked to leave campus after acting inappropriate to others near the J. Paul Leonard Library. He cooperated.
3:13 p.m. SIMPLE BATTERY
An employee was escorted off campus after slapping another employee on the buttocks.
10:50 p.m. POSSESSION OF A WEAPON ON SCHOOL GROUNDS
A dagger-carrying intoxicated juvenile who was on campus was booked into a youth guidance center after fighting and urinating in the Mary Ward Hall Cantina.
Saturday, April 10
12:17 a.m. BURGLARY
A navy blue Toshiba laptop was stolen from a Mary Park Hall resident’s unlocked room while she went to the restroom, located down the hall. Loss: $1,200.
Sunday, April 11
1:51 a.m. THREATS
A student reported that he was threatened by another student outside the Gym the week before and that she wanted the incident documented. The case is currently under investigation.
Monday, April 12
Success Nwolise, the former SF State student reported missing last month, was found in Long Beach, safe.
Over spring break, SF State's administration dealt a blow to tenure-track diversity hiring in cutting the California State University’s only office that ensures affirmative action.
Robert Corrigan, SF State president, announced that most of the Office of Human Relations (OHR) will be closed at the end of the semester. With the closure of most of the OHR all but certain, the future of any further push for diversity in tenure-track faculty hiring is uncertain to some.
Dean Kenneth Monteiro of OHR will return to a faculty-level position at the end of the spring semester. He said OHR acts as a major resource for campus colleges and departments that found hiring a diverse tenure-track positions a must for their respective faculty.
Tenure-track is a path to lifetime employment as a professor at the university. Each department has different requirements for those on tenure-track to achieve in a five- to seven-year window. It can include assembling a record of activities i.e. speeches and publications and following a course of good student-performance evaluations.
“Budget or not, this university needs to show a continued commitment to diversity,” said Nina Fendel, SF State field representative for the California Faculty Association (CFA).
“It saddens me that we take budget cuts in the area of diversity,” she said.
Malcolm Collier, an Asian American studies lecturer, fears diversity will take a hit from the budget cuts.
“Cutting lectures and faculty due to the budget will most surely have a negative impact on university diversity,” Collier said.
The SF State department of Human Relations and the Affirmative Action and Employment Equity Program (AAEEP) that operate in the OHR were cut during spring break and their respective duties are set to be parceled out to various colleges and departments.
“Human Relations is leaving a blueprint of their diversity training with the university,” Monteiro said.
“The whole campus is now accountable for diversity; that includes the Academic Senate, the administration and the students,” he said.
The Human Relations advisory council, which includes at least one senior adviser from each vice president’s cabinet, the chair of the Academic Senate and the Associated Students Inc. president, will be left intact, Monteiro said, but the key is to hold all responsible for continued diversity.
According the SF State Affirmative Action Plan in 1999, President Robert Corrigan is responsible for the Equal Employment Opportunity Policy and the Affirmative Action program. The plan also charges Monteiro with the task of periodically reporting the university progress “toward achieving equal employment opportunity/affirmative action goals and objectives to senior administrators.”
“If there is no identifiable means to track the diversity issue, then it will not receive attention,” Fendel said.
“Diversity is not a top priority, even though we’re being given lip service,” she said.
The California State Employees Association was not a fan of the work done by the Office of Human Relations. The group gave the OHR a vote of no confidence, claiming that the office failed to seriously investigate charges of discrimination by staff, faculty and administrators against CSEA-represented employees.
Monteiro said that claim is false. “The office seriously investigates all complaints of discrimination filed by any staff, faculty or student. Most specifically, the office has continuously accepted and investigated complaints from members of the unit represented by CSEA,” he said in an e-mail.
“The facts of a case dictate our conclusions. An individual can still disagree with our findings and has the ability to appeal those findings. When outside agencies have been asked to review our findings, they have routinely upheld our conclusions.”
Monteiro also laid out the grounds in which the university could continue to diversify without the Office of Human Relations.
He said he has given a pilot plan to each university vice president, college dean and department chair for continuing diverse hiring and a guide for how to attract a wide pool of diverse applicants tailored to the needs of the college or department.
None of the vice presidents, college deans or department chairs has formally implemented the plan, according to Monteiro.
“No one has to wait for a person (vice president) to tell you to do the right thing,” Monteiro said.
But not all Californians believe that affirmative action is the right way to achieve diversity in hiring.
Since the passage of Proposition 209 in November 1996, the state has taken a stance against any type of affirmative action.
But Proposition 209 conflicts with federal law. Since the Kennedy administration, equal employment opportunities in hiring practices and later in education admissions have been mandatory.
California is not the only state to ban affirmative action -- the other two being Washington and Florida to a lesser degree -- SF State has maintained an affirmative action program.
It is the university's policy to attract a diverse candidate pool to the tenure-track search in the first place.
“California doesn’t use all the Ph.D candidates of color it produces,” Monteiro said.
In 1990, The California Forum for Diversity in Graduate Education, which is composed of graduate deans from the University of California and the CSU systems, recognized the need for diversity in doctoral programs, which in turn provides a more diverse hiring pool for future tenure-track professors.
The result is semi-annual conferences in which some of California's minority undergraduate and graduate students gather to discuss ideas and provide a boost for underrepresented students to make the move to either a master’s or doctoral program. The most recent was held on the first weekend of this month, according to UC Santa Cruz’s Web site.
The mission of the April forum is “designed to meet the needs of advanced undergraduates and master’s candidates who belong to groups that are currently underrepresented in doctoral-level programs, according to the site.
Many CSU campuses have an affirmative action plan, but SF State has the CSU’s only OHR, according to Monteiro. Some feel that cutting the oversight of the OHR leaves the university at a disadvantage.
“I’m just worried about the lack of experience of those who have to oversee the program now,” Fendel said.
Though the administration said that it would release a new plan to oversee the duties of the OHR, neither Monteiro, Fendel nor Collier has seen such a plan.
“The future of hiring at SF State is unpredictable,” Collier said.
Unlike many kids who find it difficult to see the silver lining in a cloudy day, Sergio Franco remembers loving the rains. Franco was born to parents who were sharecroppers, growing up during World War II in a small village in Northern Italy. His family had no money for toys, lest it took away from food that could be served at supper. So Franco used his ingenuity.
After a day of rain, he would play barefoot in the muddy roads, manipulating the troughs and tracks left by cars. He made rivers and dams, diversions and waterfalls. Using nature’s building blocks, Franco made his own fun. With no way of knowing it at the time, he also was performing the fundamentals of electrical engineering. Circuits and electrons, he says, are not much different from water and mud channels.
That creative vision was the spark that pushed this farmer’s son to finish high school, continue his education at the University of Rome and at the University of Illinois, where he would get his doctorate in electrical engineering, and eventually lead him to SF State's School of Engineering.
This Italian engineer in his early 60s is not one of the hundreds of alumni and current students who have sent letters to President Robert Corrigan and other administrators protesting the possible elimination of the School of Engineering in an effort to close a $12 million budget gap.
He’s not one of the scores of former students, many of whom are minorities, who share stories of commuting six hours a day to attend SF State’s engineering program because other institutions nearby carried price tags that were not an option. But many of those alumni wouldn’t be where they are professionally today, if not for Franco and nearly two-dozen like him.
Franco is one of 20-some professors teaching at the School of Engineering who could potentially lose their jobs if the possible closure of the 45-year-old school is made a reality. For Franco, who’s been teaching electrical engineering here since in 1980, that means seeing 23 years of his life’s work wiped away.
“I’m close to early retirement,” he admitted. “So perhaps it would not damage me from a practical point of view. But it would certainly wound me in terms of psychologically. Like the all the work I’ve done here over 23 years is going down the drain. … It could scar people.”
Like other colleagues, Franco has had the benefit of seeing the department grow over time from a one-major, generalized program to a school offering specialized and highly marketable undergraduate and graduate engineering degrees.
“There is a passion that goes into making a circuit work. I’ve been trying to convey this passion to my students.”
At 61, Professor V.V. Krishnan has been teaching in the engineering department before many of the SF State’s student body was even born. Since 1974, Krishnan has ferried students through the laws of physics as they apply to the intersection of mechanics and electrical engineering. He was here as the department was first accredited in the mid-1970s by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, ensuring its superior quality. Krishnan, like Franco, is proud of the contribution he’s made during his tenure here.
“You feel like you’re really accomplishing something here,” he said. “The students may not be the best educated when they come here, but they’re hard working, very committed. And when they finish with the program they’re just as good as anybody else in their industry. That’s the biggest reward in teaching.”
Krishnan, who was raised in India and came to the United States in 1965 to attend college at UC Berkeley, says for the first time in 40 years he’s found himself doing something he hasn’t done since his days back at Berkeley: He’s become an activist again.
“It’s a different kind of activism,” admitted Krishnan, who, with the rest of the engineering faculty, has already spent countless hours strategizing ways to save the program. “I don’t see this as political, this is social. And that’s one of the reasons I came here. It was seen as much more political active than Berkeley. When people protest here, it means something to them.”
To the program’s current 600-plus students, many who come from lower socio-economic levels, it could mean not being able to realize their dreams.
Sharing a similar working class background, Franco appreciates what the opportunity has meant to students over the years. SF State’s engineering program not only provides an affordable, quality education, it opens the door to a profession some still view as a noble pursuit and a ticket out their economic situation. And Franco is proud to have made a contribution to those students’ aspirations.
“If you talk to a white blue collar worker and say, ‘what is your dream for your kids?’ Many will say, ‘I want my son or daughter to be a doctor or a lawyer,’” Franco explained. “If you ask a Hispanic or Filipino, ‘what do you want your son or daughter to be?’ They will say to be an engineer or a doctor. … There is still a respect for the engineer.”
On the other end of the faculty spectrum in terms of tenure is assistant professor Michael Holden. This is his first year teaching in the engineering department. While the program’s possible closure will wound veterans like Franco and Krishnan, who might have to watch years of investment be wiped away, it also will be difficult for new tenure-track faculty, who imagined an equally long and productive future teaching here.
“Everybody told me the first year is the hardest because everything is so new,” said Holden, 32. “I was perfectly willing to work the late nights to work out the teaching material. Now if I can’t reuse the material…”
He continued, “But really the biggest impact is on the students. The faculty here are all highly trained profession who can go find other opportunities. The great part about this job is that we care about the students.”
SF State is sandwiched between UC Berkeley and Stanford, both of which have national and internationally recognized engineering programs. But they also are the type of high-profile schools where a professor’s performance is tied to how much research money he or she brings to the university, SF State professors say. Often times, this results in a professor’s priorities lying more in research and less in imparting knowledge to the fresh crop of curious students. Teacher Assistants are often the presence in classrooms.
Holden, who earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, said the focus on student/faculty relationships and smaller classes at SF State’s School of Engineering was one of the biggest draws in teaching here.
While professors here are still encouraged to do research, he said, “you’re also expected to be a good teacher, it’s not just an interruption to other things you’re doing. I haven’t found any reason why I wouldn’t want to work here for the next 30 years.”
Most disappointing, said Holden and other faculty, is the cost to what drew them to the academic atmosphere in the first place: It’s supposed to be above the reactionary layoffs and slash burning that is common place in the industry sector.
There is also a camaraderie among professors and students that is created by having such a small program. There’s an intimacy one isn’t likely to get at large, prominent universities. This above all else becomes clear as Franco shares the story about one former student who wrote in. The student moved here from India and lived with his brother in Santa Rosa because he couldn’t afford a place of his own. For four years this student rode the bus six hours a day to attend the engineering program.
“Do you know what he said in the letter,” Franco asked, fighting back tears. “‘That was time very well spent, that was time well spent.’”
It’s not just about the laws of gravity and thermodynamics, the engineering program is also about the people who inhabit it.
It’s 3 a.m. on a recent Thursday, and Ryutaro Maeda is studying at SF State’s all-night study area. He sits with headphones on, books spread across the table and a bright-green coffee cup at his side.
“There’s no distraction here,” said Maeda, a senior international relations major. “In my place there’s Internet, TV and I have three roommates. I talk with them when I have work to do. Here, I stay up late and I wake up the next day around twelve or one.”
For about eight years, the library’s first floor quiet study area and computer lab has been open around the clock – excluding some holidays – providing students with a place to concentrate on schoolwork when their own cramped dorm rooms and apartments can’t cut it.
Both areas provide students with a well-lighted place, 24 hours a day, but a hard-core group of students prefers the hours after midnight when the only disturbance comes from the buzz of the fluorescent, overhead lighting.
“Late at night, it’s a lot more peaceful,” said Francisco Castañeda, a junior majoring in economics. “Half the students come in to sleep.”
On any given night, life can be found in the sealed-off areas, but the heaviest traffic comes in Sunday through Thursday nights and during the stressful days preceding midterms and final exams.
According to many of the regulars, these periods can get a bit stressful. Waiting to use a computer can be a bit like a visit to the DMV, with students working feverishly to get their papers done on time in the two hours allotted to each computer session.
In 1996, Dr. Barry Munitz, then chancellor of the California State University, charged every school in the system to devise a plan which would make sure students had access to computers around the clock, said Deborah Masters, a librarian at the university.
While other CSU campuses required students to buy their own computers, SF State went another route, keeping part of the library open nonstop.
Staff has kept unofficial head counts and found that the demand for the area has grown dramatically since it began.
“It surprised us, to tell you the truth,” said Masters. “It showed what we thought wasn’t going to happen, that there was going to be so much use.”
According to Masters, the 24-hour area is in the process of being expanded as part of a $100 million building project slated to be completed in summer 2008. The project plans to add another structure on the west side of the library.
But in the meantime, students, half sleeping, work on papers while others pull jackets over their heads and dose off. Some determinedly stare at calculus homework with a Big Gulp at their side, clearly violating the library’s no food or drink policy.
“They’re kind of anal about bringing anything in,” said Castañeda.
One business student agreed. “You have to stack yourself on candy, water, coffee, whatever, before you come in… I guess when it all wears off, it’s time to go home,” said 20-year-old Kartik Garg. “That’s one thing they don’t have, is a vendor that’s always open.”
Garg is representative of the typically night owl, male demographic, but a few couples are usually to be found holding hands and whispering over their books.
The library opens its doors to everyone, including non-students. Sometimes, unwelcome strangers disrupt the tranquility.
Campus police constantly patrols the area, and the computer lab is supervised by a library community service officer. While police declined to go on record with their policies regarding loitering, many students said that they often see police escorting people out those who weren’t studying or were distracting others.
“I did see a guy once. He was very suspicious, and kept looking around, checking everybody out. Then he’d take a book out of his pocket and pretend like he was reading, and then he’d stare again,” said Castaneda. “He disappeared, and later I found out the cops came.”
“Sometimes homeless come in and they usually sleep on the chairs, and then the police come in,” said Maeda.
For 39-year-old Ramon Lazo, distractions such as these have never been a concern.
He recalls attending SF State 15 years ago when there was nothing available for students who wanted a place to study after the library closed. It was a lot different than his experiences when he lived in New York where everything was open 24 hours.
“The cool thing about studying at night is that during the day you really have to fight for resources,” said Lazo, who came back to SF State to enter the ITech graduate program. “For people that really want to succeed and get ahead, coming in at night is a good thing.”
Several SF State faculty members and students received awards of recognition for their outstanding community service learning work.
The Office of Community Service Learning (OCSL) held its third annual Student, Faculty and Community Partners Award ceremony and luncheon on Wednesday.
OCSL places students into community service positions that correlate to their field of study. This enables students to get hands-on experience in the field they are pursuing as a career while community members receive the benefits of interacting with people knowledgeable about their societal situation.
It offers project in 289 courses throughout the university with approximately 4,000 students and faculty participating annually.
Among OCSL 2004 student award recipients were BECA senior Thanh Cao, health education senior Jennifer Christy, Asian American studies junior Cassandra Fung, psychology senior Alisha Garr and Stephen Williams, a senior double major in Classics Egyptian literature and creative writing.
All of these students have gone above and beyond in helping OCSL provide volunteer work to nonprofit organizations, said Roza Terrazas, OCSL associate director and organizer of the event.
“Knowing that members of the community need help and knowing that I can help makes me feel good,” said Cao who has participated in a community service-learning course at SF State since spring 2003. The course gave her the opportunity to manage a production team and work together with a nonprofit organization that supports a culturally diverse community of theater artists in the Bay Area.
“I feel really honored to receive this award,” said Christy, who has been doing community services for eight years. “It’s really amazing that nonprofit organizations show a lot of support for the community, and I wanted to be part of that. I started doing community services on my own, but through the community service class I involved myself more.”
Christy was enrolled in a service-learning course last fall. The course, entitled "Community Organizing," is designed to promote students learning through active participation in service experiences, and it led Christy to serve as a volunteer worker at Quan Yin health Clinic, located in the Mission District.
Steven Cochrane, director of the Community Involvement Center- Office of Community Service Learning, nominated Stephen Williams, who is currently enrolled in a course entitled “Volunteer Internship for Professional and Personal Development.” Through the course Williams works to educate inmates in California State Prisons.
Williams is going into a culture that is invisible to society and bringing them care and education and improving the quality of life for many of these inmates, said Cochrane during the ceremony.
“Regardless of how we carry ourselves as individuals, we want to be identified as groups. If I want to feel like a full citizen, I have to be concerned with cultural problems that may not affect me,” Williams said.
Three SF State faculty members also won recognition awards: Jennifer McNaughton from the College of Humanities, Dr. Erik Rosegard from the College of Health and Human Services and Dr. Julia Marshall from the College of Creative Arts.
McNaughton won a faculty award for her work as coordinator of the Reading Assistance Program (RAP) in which SF State students tutor at-risk children at Lakeview Alternative Elementary School. Since she became coordinator in 1999 both the number of interns trained to tutor and the number of children served doubled.
McNaughton described the most rewarding aspect of her service, “ I love to see the kids reading improve, to see them grow more confident in themselves. But I also love to see the tutors as they become successful and more confident in themselves as tutors and experience the joy in teaching.”
OCSL also awarded a Community Partnership Award this year. That was given to the Charles Tindley Academy of Music Inc. for their contribution in providing Bay Area urban youth with artistic, academic and personal development activities designed to encourage discipline, commitment, excellence and accomplishment.
The Office of Community Service Learning and the Charles Tindley Academy of Music have worked as partners for six years on projects such as the Citywide Tutorial AmeriCorps Program and America Counts. Both programs utilize SF State students as tutors to local youth.
"Giving something back is very pleasing to us,” said a member of the academy’s Board of Directors, Carol O’Gilvie, who said she was the single African American student in the SF State’s Business Department in 1954.
Students begin to trickle into the gym a little after 7:30 a.m., eager for their body sculpting class to start.
But there is something distinctly different about these students. They are not truly SF State students, at least not in the purist sense. Instead, they are members of the faculty and staff being led through the class by a college student.
Yes, the power roles have shifted in this table-turning event and SF State student Allison Content is giving the adults the instructions.
Content teaches the class every Tuesday and Thursday morning as a part of her internship with the FitnessPlus program here at SF State. For the first few classes, she had only two students, which has now grown to six.
“The women are really awesome…one lady said it has been a huge step for her because she has never been involved in exercise and this class has given her motivation…In a sense I am changing someone’s life,” said Content, a graduating senior and kinesiology major. "Another teacher offered to write me a recommendation," Content added.
Beth Kelley has been running FitnessPlus, the grant and membership-supported program for almost two years now. She employs both SF State students and professionals.
FitnessPlus is an example of a worksite wellness program, offering exercise and health resources onsite for employees, in turn raising employee productivity and sanguinity and lowering negative health occurrences and insurance costs, according to Quench Incorporated, a company that specializes in corporate and business solutions.
These services are available for a small fee to anyone who works on the SF State campus for 20 or more hours a week, including student employees. The program offers aerobics, yoga, weight training, and swim classes, in addition to body composition assessments and personal fitness consulting. Currently, there are 132 paying members, mostly members of the faculty and staff.
Several different levels of membership range in price from $50 to $85 for the session, with three sessions a year: spring, summer and fall. For those who want to join mid-way through the semester, a half-session membership can be purchased at a reduced cost.
"I go because it is convenient and I get my workout out of the way. Plus it helps relieve stress," said Vickie Rence, a staff member who does accounting for the science and engineering department.
Along with offering exercise options to people on campus, FitnessPlus acts as a training program for students majoring in exercise science, health education, recreation, nursing, and holistic health.
“Students don’t realize the resources that are available to them,” said Kelley, a former professional with field experience who was recruited to not only run the program, which was formally known as HealthStart, but to lecture as well.
Kelley describes it as a “win-win” situation for students because they not only acquire both a mentor and guidance, but the location is convenient.
“It offers real-life experience with an adult population right here on campus,” Kelley said.
Content, who had previous experience teaching aerobics at 24 Hour Fitness, said it has been great to see the administrative side and discover “things you can’t learn in a classroom.”
"I used to workout at home on a stationary bike and doing ab tapes, but it's better to exercise with a group of people-- you get more energy from the other people," said Canice Anyeung, a staff member new to Fitnessplus this year.
Get involved with FitnessPlus by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
In an attempt to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), SF State’s Plant Operations Department is, building by building, updating door numbering and braille signage.
Until now, there has not been a uniform way in which door signage in public settings are placed. Most of the buildings around campus have a rectangular sign to the left of each doorjamb with the written number on the left side of the sign, the braille on the right. In 2000 however, an effort was passed by the ADA in order to make all public building signage uniform.
At SF State, the new design is being constructed in buildings, as signs need replacing. The ADA requires that only newly constructed buildings conform to the new signage style at the point of construction. Since SF State's buildings are much older than the ADA signage correction plan, the university is only required to change signage to the new style, as the signs need replacment from years of wear and tear.
“A lot of the original signs were not uniform and put in the proper location when the ADA first developed its current code,” said Gene Chelberg, SF State’s Disability Programs and Resource Center Director. “The signs are now being replaced up to current codes, both Federal and State,” he said.
In a time when the CSU budget is tight, one can easily get worried about what the cost of sign replacement will be.
“We don’t have an exact figure, but I’m guessing that campus wide, the cost will be somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000,” said Chelberg.
According to SF State's Plant Operations Department, the signage updates are being done to SF State's roughly 25 buildings, one per semester. The door signage change began last semester with Burk Hall. Last week, Associate Journalism Professor Venise Wagner heard a scraping sound outside of her office in the Humanities building. She peeked outside of her office to find maintenance removing her door sign, and replacing it with a new one.
Wagner described the new signs as “square with the lettering on top and the braille just below the lettering.”
Aside from design, the new signage is also being brought up to compliance in terms of placement. According to Don Spuhler, SF State’s Plant Operations Project Coordinator, the new signs are to be, “60 inches from the ground and 2 inches from the doorjamb.” He also said that the new ADA regulations require a square shaped door sign, with the brail underneath the lettering.
The ADA, which was introduced in 1990, was created out of an attempt to give people with physical disabilities easier access to everyday necessities. To date, there are more than 50 million Americans with physical disabilities. Features such as wheelchair ramps, wheelchair-accessible parking and braille lettering by doors and elevators are now a federal requirement for every public facility.
While SF State is under state as opposed to federal regulation in terms of accessibility, according to Chelberg, California Title 24 is at least as stringent, as the federal regulations for disability access.
However, even this system can fail, sometimes.
Katie Phan is a 25 year-old SF State Communications student; she was born blind. She had heard great things about SF State’s disability programs and accessibility, so she signed up as a student. She is not impressed.
“It’s horrible…elevator levels are marked wrong; room 256 in Burk Hall says 216 in braille,” said Phan.
Phan has had to endure the embarrassment of walking into what she thought was her classroom, only to accidentally walk into another class going on-because the room numbers were marked wrong.
While Phan has complained numerous times, she often feels as if she is fighting an uphill battle.
“I feel like I have to give an arm and a leg before anything gets done to resolve the disability issues,” said Phan.
SF State Criminal Justice student Paul Heibhues also utilizes some of the accessible features for the blind. Heibhues, while only partially blind, said that he can usually "read the large print on the doors, instead of reading the braille on the doors"; he also said that the accessible features "have been helpful".
A 55 percent majority of SF state students voted April 6 to 8 to pay $30 more a semester for the Cesar Chavez Student Center.
Only 2,198 students cast their vote in the fee increase proposed in Proposition C. SF State’s Fee Advisory Committee now will consider the proposition and then present the referendum to President Robert Corrigan. Corrigan can California State University Chancellor Charles Reed can turn down the fee increase still.
The additional student fee, which will go into effect Fall 2005, would increase by $10 every fall semester until 2008.
Guy Dalpe, managing director of the Cesar Chavez Student Center, already has a master plan for renovating the building and providing additional restaurants with the extra money the center will receive.
“We would like to bring additional restaurants, possibly Thai, Japanese or Filipino, to the West Plaza,” Dalpe said. “The small vendors outside, such as Bark ‘N' Bun, we would like to rebuild, so that they’re up to code fire, plumbing, heating and ventilating wise.”
Dalpe foresees the production of additional restaurants going into effect within a year. He also has plans to renovate the restrooms on the Mezzanine floor of the student center within a year and a half.
“Our last referendum increase, from $30 to $52, was in 1991,” Dalpe said. “We budgeted the increase to last us until 2001. We managed, however, to stretch the fee to 13 years."
The student center is a separate entity from SF State. The center does not receive state funding, leaving them completely reliant on sale revenue and the student fee.
Kristen Farr, SF State student and SFSU bookstore clerk, agreed that the Cesar Chavez building could use some beautification.
“Downstairs is like a dungeon,” Farr said of the lower Mezzanine area. “I know that it’s a basement, and there’s not much that anyone can do about that. But it’s cold and stinky down there.”
Dalpe also said that the additional funds the Student Center receives will give them the option of offering better medical and retirement benefits and more competitive wages.
“We would also like to extend the center’s hours of operation,” Dalpe said. “Right now, a lot of the businesses close at 7 p.m. We would like to extend those hours until at least 9 p.m.-- possibly later -- if students show an overwhelming approval of the later schedule.”
While the administration is busy stretching SF State's budget for maximum protection of academic resources, it is also planning to build a new research facility that will increase university assets.
The Lakeview Center, which is in need of repairs, will be torn down and replaced with a new building that will better meet the needs of faculty, staff and program research projects, Vice President of Administration Finance Leroy Morishita said.
In preparation for demolition of the current Lakeview Center, the San Francisco Urban Institute, the Public Research Institute and other similar programs recently moved to a new off-campus location, the Pacific Plaza.
Morishita said the administration is not using and has no intention to use money from the university's general fund to help pay rent at the Pacific Plaza or for the Lakeview Center project. "You don't know how this stuff will work out, but there are no plans for school dollars to be spent there," he said.
Money the The Public Research Institute receives for conducting research for outside sources will pay for construction of the new Lakeview Center and rent at Pacific Plaza, Morishita said.
The Public Research Institute receives grants for research projects from a variety of sources including, municipal, state and federal governments and agencies. These grants are used strictly for housing research projects and the research itself but none goes to the university's general fund, Jim Wiley, director of the Public Research Institute said.
The Public Research Institute has to raise money to pay rent during the seven-year lease. They cannot be a drain on the campus resources, Wiley said.
"We're content with that," he said. "We have to be self-supporting."
Because the SF Urban Institute and the Public Research Institute are university projects that receive outside funding they are able to be moved off campus and pay rent, said SF State's Office of Space Management Sr. Project Manager Zalinda Zingaro.
The San Francisco Urban Institute receives funding from the university to pay core administrative costs. However, their projects are supported through grants, gifts and scholarships, Executive Directory Brian Murphy said. Even so, they are not responsible for paying rent at the Pacific Plaza, the administration is taking care of that, Murphy said.
Morishita said the rent is paid entirely through the Public Research Institute.
Other occupants of the Lakeview Center such as the Office of University Advancement, Public Affairs and the SFSU Foundation will also be moved out of the Lakeview Center eventually, but will remain housed on campus because they are divisions of the university, Zingaro said. The Urban Institute and Public Research Institutes move to an off-campus location was necessary because the campus does not have any empty space to house the groups, she said.
Christina Holmes, director of public affairs, said although they will be required to move eventually, Public Affairs will remain in the Lakeview Center for at least the next few months.
The new location in the Pacific Plaza is beneficial to the Public Research Institutes cause because they have more space for research and housing new research projects. People like to see them in a good location and research environment, it encourages funding for more research, Wiley said. The office environment of the Pacific Plaza suits the institutes research needs. They specialize in behavioral and social science that can be done in an office-- science labs are not needed.
Some current projects of the Public Research Institutes include: analyzing a survey done for the San Francisco City Controllers Office to determine citizens views on city services; research for the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities determining ways to build an infrastructure to train educators to research and teach the subject; and measuring alcohol consumption for the National Institute of Health.
The University is keen on developing space for research, Wiley said. With State funding going down the university is relying more on external sources, which means broadening its mission to include research. Having the facility makes research possible.
Wiley said some benefits allow faculty to make research a part of their careers, enabling them to learn about advancements in their field and pass that knowledge on to students in the classroom.
Horrible. Crazy. Terrible. Horrendous. These are the first words that come to mind when many SF State students think about parking -- or lack thereof -- in San Francisco.
At least 38 percent of the San Franciscans do not own a car, according to U.S. Census figures. Many of the residential buildings, particularly in the downtown and Marina districts, where car ownership can be as low as 25 percent, have one-for-one parking limits. This means that residential houses tend to only allow room for one automobile per house, regardless of how many automobile owners there might be living there.
Imaginably so, this can be quite frustrating to San Francisco residents who might have to park several blocks away from their homes. According to the same U.S census, some residents sold their cars because of the parking limitations.
“Parking sucks in San Francisco,” said Mike Newton, 23, a speech communications major. “I usually have to search for at least 15 or 20 minutes to find parking anywhere in the City, and when I do find parking it’s 10 blocks away from my destination."
Unlike other cities in the Bay Area, San Francisco doesn't have many large commercial parking lots. Save for the Sunset and Park Merced districts, parking is restricted to sidewalks and consolidated parking garages that average $2 per hour, some being as much as $5 per hour. And, while only a mere 62 percent of all San Franciscans own automobiles, there is still the problem of commuter traffic.
According to a recent article by the San Francisco Business Times, only 31 percent of all who work in San Francisco commute by way of public transportation. While this ties San Francisco with Boston, Mass., for the third highest national rank in public transportation usage, it still leaves an overwhelming 69 percent of commuters traveling by automobile. Tied in with the 62 percent of San Franciscans who also drive, as well as commuter buses and trains, San Francisco has got some pretty congested, automoblie-filled roads.
"It’s crazy, you have to park at your own risk most of the time,” said 23-year-old marine biology senior Elizabeth Santos. “You have to worry about being ticketed, or having your car broken into if you park on the street. But, if you park in any of the garages, it can cost you several dollars an hour!”
Then comes the cost of parking tickets -- or worse, facing the nightmare of heading back to an empty parking space after the car has been towed.
SF State small business management student Brian Luzar paid $35 for each of the 14 parking tickets that he said he received upon his first semester at SF State. He also had his car towed twice during that time.
Luzar, 27, who is originally from the East Bay, now lives in the San Francisco's Ingleside neighborhood. He is still adjusting to the street-cleaning schedules.
“When I lived in San Ramon, there was never a set time each week where our cars had to be off of the streets for cleanings,” said Luzar. “And, if a street cleaning did happen, we were given at least a month’s advance notice.”
Luzar also said that he had to get used to the street cleaning-signage. “I’m so used to being able to park anywhere, without having look at my surroundings, or worry if my car is going to get towed or ticketed.”
“You just don’t remember half the time to not park your car on the street the night before a street cleaning, when you’re coming home from work at 2 a.m.,” said Luzar.
“San Francisco parking is the bane of my existence,” said 36-year-old nursing student Paddy Peters. "I purchased a home with a garage in the Sunset District so that I would have parking space for both of my cars.”
Peters, however, is still having problems with being ticketed, particularly on street cleaning days. She has received an average of one ticket per month for having her cars parked in front of her own home. Inevitably, she has grown more than frustrated with both the San Francisco Traffic Department and the DMV.
In the same vein, traffic seems to also be a problem for a lot of SF State students. Political science major David Garza said that it takes him 45 minutes to get to school from his home in North Beach.
“I use my car to drive to school, but that’s all,” said Garza. “I walk to work, because parking is just horrible in the North Beach area. It’s kind of a blessing in disguise, because it’s made me a more active person.”
In light of the traffic problems that seem to come along with driving in a busy city such as San Francisco, many San Francisco residents say they take public transportation simply for the convenience. Travel time averages about the same, if not less, than in a car.
Kinesiology major Rodrigo Biris, 28, lives right in front of a MUNI station and takes public transportation by choice.
“It’s more convenient than driving,” said Biris.
DAI/Asian-American studies major Sarina Tom added that MUNI is a lot less stressful than driving because of all of the traffic in San Francisco.
The School of Engineering was the first one to hear that their civil, mechanical and electrical engineering degree programs are on the preliminary list of programs that could be discontinued starting Fall 2004.
John Gemello, the university provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, who is putting the list together, has been meeting with the deans, chairs and faculty of all colleges to discuss which programs and degrees can be eliminated. The official list of proposed programs scheduled for release at the end of April. Gemello was unavailable for comment.
“This is a total shock to us,” said ShyShenq Liou, the director of the school of engineering. “To us engineering should be on the list of programs that should be preserved,” he added.
Christina Holmes, the interim director of the Public Affairs office, explained that the administration has decided to make their cuts “deep and narrow rather than across the border.” This means that some programs and degrees will be discontinued instead of all the programs taking smaller cuts, she explained. “We are now reviewing every program and every major here on campus," Holmes said.
Although the proposed list of programs due for termination has not been made public yet, the School of Engineering found out early due to the two “special circumstances,” Holmes said. Right before spring break the engineering department was ready to hire four tenured staff members and establish a new student exchange program in Malaysia. “It was not wise to do so,” said Holmes if the program could be discontinued. After the administration notified the School of Engineering about such possibility, new hiring and the student exchange program were stopped.
According to SF State policy, the discontinuation process is usually complete within one calendar year from the date of initial suggestion. During this year the Academic Senate, Educational Policies Council and faculty will establish a cut-off time by which students are expected to finish their degrees.
If the program is eliminated, SF State may stop enrolling new students in the degree as soon as Fall 2004 and the existing students will have two to three years to graduate. After this happens, the faculty will be laid off and the remaining students who did not finish their degree will either have to transfer to another school or to another major.
More than 600 new students have enrolled for Fall 2004 semester in the three programs that could be discontinued. If it becomes official, these new applicants will have select another major or another school.
Since the School of Engineering heard the news, faculty, students and alumni have been mobilizing to save their school. They have collected more than 2,000 signatures from students, encouraged alumni to write letters, and are currently seeking support from professional engineering societies and politicians. Their main goal is to take their school off the preliminary list.
“It seems very senseless to cut it when it's starting to get good,” said Benjamin Rasenow, a control system engineer for the East Bay water municipality, who graduated with an engineering degree from SF State in 1995.
Rasenow views the engineering school as an investment on the state level that should not be cut short. He, and many other supporters, brought up the same reasons to save engineering programs as to save the entire university.
Among arguments are claims of diversity, professional recognition, educational opportunities for financially disadvantaged, and service to the community.
The School of Engineering currently has 600 undergraduate and 97 graduate students enrolled in all four programs. The students enrolled in these programs are more ethnically diverse than the student body of the entire university by eight percent. Engineering has been recognized by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, which assures the high quality of the program. Many graduated students work at Public Utilities companies, transportation departments and water municipalities - jobs essential to the community.
“I would like to save engineering,” said Sheldon Axler, the dean of the College of Science and Engineering because “they are doing a good job.” Axler emphasized that no decision has been made. Various factors including diversity, achievements and cost affect such decision, Axler explained.
“There is a 50 percent chance that engineering will not be on that list,” said Axler who is currently looking at other programs within the College of Science and Engineering that could be cut. He and Gemello, university provost, will have to decide which programs make the list.
A possible elimination of the engineering school is only the tip of the iceberg.
According to SF State President Robert Corrigan, the university faces a total $22 million in permanent cuts for two years 2003-2004 and 2004-2005.
“Looking to 2004-05, we face a need to identify permanent cuts totaling approximately $22 million -- the remainder of the 2003-04 reductions that we addressed on a temporary basis this year plus the projected additional budget reduction of $11 million for 2004-05,” said Corrigan in his e-mail address to colleagues and faculty Friday.
Almost $10 million, Corrigan says, will have to come from Academic Affairs this year, which comprises 63 percent of the university’s budget. If the proposed tuition fee increase, voted in by students last month, is approved by Chancellor Reed, it will bring $2.9 million to SF State. If not, this sum will be added to cuts of the academic programs.
Cutting mechanical, electronic and civil engineering programs will save the university only about $1 million, Dean Axler said. But Holmes said in an April 6 article in the San Francisco Chronicle that closing the School of Engineering will save the university $2.5 million a year. Dean Axler explained that “they (SF State administration) are looking at the gross figure. $2.5 million is the entire budget of the engineering school.”
The actual savings will be a lot less, about $1.2 million dollars, because computer engineering, one of the four programs the school offers, will not be cut, Axler said. The school will also lose part of the money coming in from international students enrolled in programs that could be cut, he added.
The rest of the $10 million cut would have to come from all colleges within the university. Currently, SF State includes 9 colleges: Behavioral and Social Sciences, Business, Creative Arts, Education, Ethnic Studies, Extended Learning, Health and Human Services, Humanities and Science and Engineering. To comply with $10 million reduction plan, all colleges within SF State may have to cut something.
“None of these cuts are going to be easy,” said Holmes. President Corrigan stated in his e-mail address to faculty and colleagues Friday that “numbers equal people” and that “no academic program will be discontinued without a full and open discussion.”
While candidates running for Associated Students Inc. positions said they have really high expectations for the election results, a large part of SF State students did not appear to be fully informed about the candidates during Tuesday through Thursday's election process.
According to Christina Holmes, who said the elections results would not be available until Friday afternoon, during the first day of elections about 700 people went to the polling locations spread around campus to choose the members that will represent next year’s Associated Students.
According to Virgina Sandoval, elections commissioner for the Associated Students Inc., they expect to reach Wednesday a total of more than 1,000 votes by the end of the day. That is about half of last year’s total votes 1,960, according to Leslye Tinson, who was last year's elections commissioner
“We hope we would have a total of 5,000 votes by the end of the election (Thursday)," Sandoval said. “Students without a vote are students without a choice.”
However, many students say they don’t know much about the candidates they are voting for, some don’t even recognize candidates names that are on the ballot.
“I just voted because I didn’t have anything else to do,” said Elena Winopo, a cinema freshman. “I only voted for the president position because my friend told me to vote for him (David Abella). So I just left the rest of it in blank, but I think voting is important, and I would like to know more about the people I vote for.”
Election campaigns started on March 16. Since then some of the candidates have been handing out flyers to students and posting signs with their names outside on the campus. But that has not been enough to help students make an informed decision, they said.
“My main goal was to publicize this election as much as possible,” said Sandoval. “I have put out posters, banners. We have held a candidate’s debate last Tuesday and we had one scheduled for yesterday, but that had to be canceled because no students showed up.”
Candidates from both slates, Think P.I.N.K and Generation X, have spent the day campaigning, talking to students outside and handing out flyers. Both of the presidential candidates sound very confident about winning this election.
“Even though I do respect the fact that I have a strong opponent, I think I am going to win," said presidential candidate David Abella, from Think Pink, who said that if elected he would develop a Student Initiated Outreach Program and mobilize students to oppose the university’s budget cuts in Sacramento.
But Abella’s opponent, Monolito (Lee) Twyman, from Generation X, said he has very good chances of winning. “I am very student oriented, and as we face all these budget cuts I plan to make sure students have what they need and to make sure the university hears our voices,” he said.
“I voted for David, even though I don’t know who he is. But I think he put a big effort to his campaign and that at least tells me something about him. It shows his interest. When I thought of his opponent I actually don’t remember seeing anything about him at all," said business junior Peter La.
“The difference between my opponent and I is that I have been promoting my slate and he has been promoting himself," Twyman said.
If a student votes for a candidate that belongs to a specific slate it does not mean that the student supports all the other candidates on that slate, explained poll worker Travis Jones.
“A slate is nothing more than an easier way to campaign,” Abella said.
“I just wish students would be more interested in voting as well as running for positions.”
There are no candidate choices on the ballot for junior, sophomore and freshman representative positions. The same applies to Humanities, Health Human Services and Behavioral and Social Science representatives. That happened because no students showed an interest to run for any of those positions, Sandovall said.
So “write-ins,” would determine who would be appointed for the position. A “write-in” is just any student’s name, anyone the voter knows and thinks would make a good president for example, Jones said.
The person who receives the highest numbers of write-ins would then go through an eligibility process, Sandoval said. That process includes a grade and unit level check, she said.
“With write-ins we could have another presidential candidate within the next 24 hours if some one wanted to do it. All they have to do is to put a name on a flyer and start campaigning,” Sandoval said.
The fate of the Cesar Chavez Student Center is being decided today, as SF State students enter their second of three days of voting for the fee referendum.
Proposition C, as it is being called by the university, was put on the ballot in order to enable the Cesar Chavez Student Center to maintain and enhance programming and services to students, faculty, staff, alumni and guests of SF State.
The referendum’s purpose also is to provide funds to support the maintenance and improvements to the building infrastructure and continue to have sufficient funds to meet debt obligations and remain fiscally viable through 2015.
Currently the total student fee is $52, but if the referendum passes, the fees for the student center will increase incrementally by $30 over a period of three years.
The fee increase would not come into effect until Fall 2005 when the total student fee would go up $10, and would continue to go up $10 for the next two years. In Fall 2007, the total student fee would peak at $82.
If passed, the fee will finance building improvements, provide salaries and benefits to SF State employees, service the building bond debt, extend service hours and increase the balance of reserve funds to meet California State University contingency guidelines.
Voting for Proposition C began Tuesday and will continue until April 8, with three polling locations located outside the business building, the Cesar Chavez Student Center and outside the Humanities building.
The first day of voting brought out a dismal 600 students, but Public Affairs Director Christina Holmes expects a much greater turn out over the next two days. “This referendum has to do with students and their money so I think that students will display a great interest in what will happen,” Holmes said.
Although Holmes expects a decent voter turnout, she does not expect as many students to vote for this referendum as they did for the March referendum. “In March, there were four different things to vote on, and I think that it brought many more students to vote because of it. But this vote is not nearly as big,” Holmes said.
Many students who did vote feel that this referendum is as important as any other. “I voted yes, because I am on the governing board, and I know how desperately funding is needed. The dollar does not add up as much anymore, and we need money to com from where ever we can get it,” said 21-year-old senior Tina Wong.
Most students polled agreed that this was an important referendum that must be passed. “I need the Student Center to get my work done. The library is nice, but I think students need a place where they can study but also have the social aspect at the same time,” said 21-year-old junior Crystal Carothers.
“I voted yes, because while this is a burden on us, we must realize how the times are and that we need these increases,” said Criminal Justice major Tyrone DeMartra.
Yet not all students feel that this fee referendum is necessary. “I voted no, because I don’t think it’s right to put the burden on us when there is money being allocated the wrong way,” said senior Carmen Figueroa.
While students struggle with whether to vote for the fee increases, other students simply don’t care. “I’m not real educated on what’s going on, so I’m not voting,” said Molecular Biology senior Rosa Uribe. “I am too busy with other stuff.”
Every Tuesday and Thursday, cinema major Meriah Miracle rides a bus to school to take a 50-minute class, which she describes as a life-changing experience. It's the Capoeira class at SF State.
But due to devastating cuts to SF State’s dance department, next semester Miracle and other students might not have the chance to experience this class at SF State, said the class instructor Wandenkolk Oliveira, who prefers to be called Mestre Preguiça, his nickname in Capoeira.
Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian art that combines dance, martial arts, music, acrobatics, and self-defense techniques. But for Miracle, as to may other students, Capoeira goes beyond that. It improves their self-esteem, teaches them about self-discipline, respect, responsibility, and even history, they said.
The class was brought to SF State 17 years ago by Mestre Preguiça, and for years it has always been threatened by budget cuts, he said.
“Every semester, it is the same old story. Last year, as in previous years, I even offered to teach the class for free since what the university pays me is so little anyway,” he said showing his monthly paycheck of $664. “But the department chair back then (Jerry Duke) said I couldn’t do it due to liability and union-related reasons. So I said they could pay me $50 per month to solve the problem but it was worthless.”
"Preguiça did say that. I think it was about two years ago, and the administration expressed some concern about it. But there were never official talks about that because the class was never cut," said Jerry Duke, who is now the coordinator of the dance department. "However, I have brought that up this year and this time the concern doesn't seem to be there. So I think that would be very beneficial to the school and to the students. But again nothing is official yet. We don't even know for certain which classes will be cut and if Capoeira will be one of them."
But as dance professors talk about major budget cuts to the next academic year, Mestre Preguiça and many other lecturers in the department said they were told their classes, including the Capoeira class, would be cut.
Therefore, students enrolled in Capoeira have been desperately trying to gain support from other students, holding rallies and performing Capoeira out in front of the student's center. They have a petition with over 400 signatures and a letter that will be personally delivered by two students to SF State President Robert Corrigan’s office this week, said Mical Neill, leader of the movement and a double major in Spanish and world comparative literature. They also plan to mail this letter to CSU Chancellor Charles Reed.
The letter questions the reasons the university has for terminating the class. “For a class that has historically doubled the allowed enrollment of paying students, using a space that the university has already built and is in fully usable condition and with a teacher that makes less than $10,000 dollars a year to teach this class, how is it that there is not enough money?”
About 55 students are currently enrolled in the Capoeira class. According to Mestre Preguiça, the class limit should be around 25 to 30 students. And even though he stretches that limit, many students are still not able to add the class every semester, he said.
The Capoeira class, which fulfills part of Segment II requirements in the humanities and creative arts section, accounts for over $30,000 in students’ tuition, according to Mestre Preguiça.
"I see what Preguiça is saying, but things don't work like that and classes don't pay for themselves based on tuition. The entire university is facing budget cuts, not just the dance department," said Duke. "The Capoeira class has not been singled out at all. In past years we have cut other dance classes and kept Capoeira."
“This class is of international importance. It directly educates people about the Brazilian history and culture,” said Miracle. “But I don’t think the administration sees that as relevant to education."
In addition to the twice-a-week practice, students are required to attend the weekly 50-minute lecture on the history and origin of Capoeira, which involves the history and culture of Africa and Brazil.
“This class is probably the most rigorous one I’ve ever taken, but I love it. It has changed my life,” said Guadalupe Figuera, a sophomore majoring in BECA. “I have been growing and improving physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.”
“Cutting the Capoeira class would be denying other students from discovering and experiencing all these,” said Juan Lopez, a kinesiology major, who plans to become a Capoeira instructor in the future.
Wan-Lee Cheng, associate dean of the College of Creative Arts, said that even though there will probably be major cuts to the dance and music department, they have not yet determined which classes will be actually cut. He said these decisions would probably be made within the next two weeks.
But Mestre Preguiça insists that he was already told by the dance department that his class would no longer be offered next semester.
Mestre Preguiça's and other dance lecturer's fear started during a faculty meeting held in February when Keith Morrison, dean of the dance department, said that "it looked like most classes would be cut," said Duke. "But then the administration backed off and said that nothing had been decided and that they were still working on the issue. So they have not officially said that the Capoeira or any other class in the department would be cut."
“They can't cut this class. This is the cultural type of class that we need here at SF State. Diversity is the reason why I came to this school," said Figuera.
“They (the administration) don’t see the big impact the class has on the students. They think it’s just physical, just kicking. If they only knew it is much more than that, they would understand how valuable this class is," said Lopez.
“In this class I’ve learned how to be a human, how to treat people the way you want to be treated,” said Lopez. “I was a shy person but this class and Mestre Preguiça have helped me gain more confidence.”
“Mestre Preguiça challenges you to strive for the best. If you slip in the roda -- circle of players in which two players at the time perform Capoeira movements – you get up, learn from it and move up. That’s how life is,” Lopez said. “Those kinds of connections with real life is what makes this class so significant.”
Mestre Preguiça, who has taught Capoeira for over 40 years, was born and raised in Brazil, where he became homeless at the age of 10, and lived on the streets for several years. He said that it was during this period that he became interested in learning the art of Capoeira, which gave him enough self-confidence and discipline to receive a four-year college physical education degree and even to take courses at universities in Germany and Austria. Capoeira has changed the path of his life, he said.
“If it wasn’t for Mestre Preguiça and his attitude towards life, maybe this class would not have that big of an impact on us,” said Miracle. “I wish he was my grandpa.”
Monday, March 29
3:56 p.m. PETTY THEFT
An unidentified man in the J. Paul Leonard Library stole a student’s textbook from her backpack. Loss: $200.
5:29 p.m. PETTY THEFT
An unsecured bicycle was stolen from in front of the Cesar Chavez Student Center. Loss: $300.
Tuesday, March 30
1:30 p.m. FOUND PROPERTY
A wallet containing cash was found and turned in to the University Police Department.
3:47 p.m. BURGLARY
An unknown person entered a Village at Centennial Square resident’s unlocked apartment and stole his XBOX, a video-gaming system, while he was sleeping.
8:31 p.m. SUSPICIOUS PERSON
Three unidentified people were seen on Holloway Avenue pulling vehicle door handles but were gone when officers arrived.
Wednesday, March 31
12:33 p.m. AUTO BURGLARY
A student’s vehicle was broken in to while parked on Lake Merced Boulevard. Loss: $1,000.
Thursday, April 1
8:42 a.m. AUTO BURGLARY
A student’s vehicle was broken in to while parked on Lake Merced Boulevard. Loss: $150.
7:29 p.m. MEDICAL ASSIST
The San Francisco Fire Department treated and released a student at Mary Ward Hall after her recently pierced tongue began to bleed profusely.
Friday, April 2
12:36 a.m. POSSESSION
Samuel Rattigan, a 19-year-old student, was cited and released on suspicion of having less than one ounce of pot after a person reported smelling a strong odor of marijuana near Mary Park Hall.
2:08 a.m. OPEN CONTAINER; POSSESSION IN PUBLIC
A student was cited and released on suspicion of having an open container of alcohol in public.
11:05 a.m. FALSE EVIDENCE OF REGISTRATION
A student’s car was towed from Lot 20 after an officer saw that the vehicle had improper registration tabs. The registered owner was later cited and released.
3:26 p.m. PETTY THEFT
A VCR was stolen from the Cesar Chavez Student Center. Loss: $2,000.
Saturday, April 3
1:30 a.m. DISORDERLY CONDUCT
A Mary Park Hall resident reported that some unknown suspects were possibly peeping into her room and trying to photograph her while she was dressing.
Sunday, April 4
4:28 a.m. VANDALISM
Matthew Robles, a 21-year-old student, was taken to San Francisco General Hospital then booked into county jail after he and another broke a fire alarm in Building “A” of the Village at Centennial Square. The sound of breaking glass led a curious person to report that they saw two people running away the fire alarm station, one person with cuts on his hands. Responding officers who searched the area located an intoxicated Robles and took him into custody.
Last year running on a platform with 15 other students became an ugly experience for current Sophomore Representative Chris Jackson, so this year he decided to run as an independent for vice president of external affairs of the Associated Students Inc. board of directors.
“I don’t want to be fighting for what I stand for with a group of people who don’t share my beliefs,” Jackson said during the first day of elections Tuesday.
“Since most candidates run with the same ideology and have the backing of their team, candidates aren’t working for the students but for their political group as a whole,” he said.
Jackson, 21, is the only independent running in the election and has found it difficult to get his campaign heard by students. “I have not been able to have a debate with my opponent,” Jackson said.
Josh Castro, who is running against Jackson, was unavailable for comment.
If elected Jackson’s first aim is to expand the term in office into a two-year staggered period in order to actually get policies implemented. “What happens is that the first year we are learning how the system works and then all of a sudden your term is up,” Jackson said. Currently, a student is in office for one year.
Jackson, a speech communication major, got interested in politics during the Bush and Gore 2000 presidential campaign, and said that he would like to create more public forums and debates on campus. The university did not have one debate last month during the referendum to increase fees at SF State, he said.
With the help of his fraternity brother, marketing major Pete Griffin, 20, Jackson campaigned throughout the school on Tuesday to encourage students to vote. “He stands by his word, and his decisiveness really won me over,” Griffin said. He said that although other candidates talk about making a difference, Jackson is actually making progress.
This year Jackson helped organize the Feb. 23 rally to save the Educational Opportunity Program and helped coordinate students to travel to Sacramento to protest student fee hikes for community colleges. He also created the first environmental affairs officer to create a more environmentally friendly campus.
Outside school Jackson is an intern for Chris Daly, San Francisco District 7 supervisor. “I love the democratic process and … debating two sides of every issue,” Jackson said.
Jackson lamented at the fact that there is no ASI newsletter to keep students informed on what the organization does. Starting a newsletter would be on his priority list if he is elected. “We need to better educate the student body here, and we have failed to get students involved in what is going to ultimately influence them.”
The protests that took place in 250 U.S. cities against the war in Iraq were more subdued than last year, judging by the number of protestors and arrests made.
Organizers from Act Now to Stop War and End Raciscm (ANSWER) estimate that while 50,000 protestors attended the "global day of action" to end Iraqi occupation on March 20, 2004, 87 arrests were made, compared to the 200,000 protestors who turned out last year when 2,300 were arrested.
Activists rallied in an attempt to motivate protestors with speeches, music and by displaying posters and signs with anti-war messages at Dolores Park. Meanwhile, police waited in five nearly packed buses to see what would happen nearby.
When asked what they were doing, one officer said, "We're just going to march along with the crowd. Once we get there we don't know what's going to happen."
The protest was largely peaceful.
As a symbol of the hope for peace internationally expressed by protestors, Mathew Hoffman and his friends carried a giant and soaring peace dove high above the heads of protestors. "People are building these all around the world," the 28-year-old said.
This year's demonstration, which marked the one-year anniversary of the launching of war on Iraq, was recognized by many for the number of issues being protested. Last year the sole cry of the anti-war movement was to stop the war before it started.
LeiLani Dowell, 26, a labor studies major at SF State said, "We're against occupation anywhere." Many of the protestors linked issues, like occupation of Iraq with Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and U.S. occupation in Afghanistan.
At the steps of City Hall, a large group of people protested the anti-war protest, hoisting pro-Israeli picket signs high in the air and voicing support of the war. Many declined to give their names after being interviewed.
The shouting matches that ensued across conflicting political lines at the feet of City Hall sparked a response from police Officer Frazer of the Mission Station. Police lined between the two sides, not permitting one from the other to cross the very visible line.
"This is a counter demonstration," Frazer said, motioning toward the line of Iraqi occupation supporters. "Everyone has the right to free speech and we're just trying to minimize the conflict."
At the end of the day, 82 people were arrested for failing to obey traffic officers, a misdemeanor, and five for aggravated assault, a felony.
There are two more days to vote in the Associated Students Inc. board elections. And this year the Generation X slate is taking on Think P.I.N.K.
Slates are similar to regular political parties in that groups of candidates run together on a similar platform and share campaign materials. But slates don't last all year or carry over subsequent elections.
Generation X, flanked by ASI presidential candidate Monolito Twyman, states under its “Points of Unity” that “students should not be forced to bear the brunt of the budget cuts.” The slate is against any type of budget cuts and demanded in campaign literature for “spending increases in education, financial aid and job creation, autonomous of militarism,” referring to its opposition of a potential Reserve Officer Training Corps on campus.
ASI presidential candidate David Abella leads the charge for Think P.I.N.K., which is an acronym for Passion Integrity No-nonsense and Knowledge. The slate takes the position that looming budget cuts are inevitable and that “opposing will only get us so far.” According to its team goals, Think P.I.N.K. proposes the creation of a student outreach program that reaches out to local high schools to ensure they get precise information that might lead them to college.
Both slates also say that any possible cut to the Educational Opportunity Program should be anchored by student-oriented programs that bring in future students and will help serve the community as a whole.
Generation X states many times that SF State should be a university that is devoid of racism, sexism, classism, homophobia and xenophobia (a fear of anything foreign such as different cultures).
Overall both slates are concerned about the lack of student involvement with Associated Students Inc.
Think P.I.N.K. would like to see the next ASI slate do more to communicate with students regarding their issues and want to find better ways to serve the student population as a whole, according to its team goals in campaign literature.
Adversely, Generation X would like to see a student-oriented, politically conscious ASI board that will stand for student justice. The slate says the current ASI board takes an agenda of the administration -- and not hte students, according to its campaign literature.
Over the next two days, students are given the opportunity to vote for the slate that best determines their view of next year’s SF State. The following is a list of candidates running on both slates. Students can vote at the Cesar Chavez Student Center:
Monolito Twyman (President),
Asa Randolph (V.P. of Internal Affairs),
Manar Elmashni (V.P. of Finance),
Joshua Castro (V.P. of External Affairs),
Jaih McReynolds (Representative at large),
Rakita O’Neal (Representative at large),
Raul Alcaraz (Ethnic Studies representative),
Jacqueline Fernandez (Science and Engineering representative),
Chasiti Effort (Education representative),
Marisol Almaguer (Senior class representative),
Yasmine Rafidi (Sophomore class representative),
Neha Shah (Freshman class representative)
David Abella (President),
Julie Costa (Representative at large),
Jamie Domingo (Business representative),
Michael Trujillo (Graduate representative),
Jonathan Kakacek (Creative Arts representative)
The Student Center Governing Board is asking students to approve a referendum, Proposition C, to vote to increase fees for the Student Center on April 6, 7 and 8.
The proposed $30 increase would be implemented gradually over three years, with the first $10 increase coming in the fall of 2005. Students currently pay $52 per semester for the student center.
The Cesar Chavez Student Center is entirely funded by the Student Center fee and revenue from vendors. It is a separate entity from the university and receives no money from the state. The proposed increase would allow the Student Center to continue to improve and expand its facilities, programs and events, including live bands and music in Malcolm X Plaza and The Depot, exhibits in the art gallery and an expanded Jack Adams Hall.
Unlike the referendums students voted on in March, the student center referendum was not born out of crisis and has been strategically planned.
In fact, it is overdue. According to Aimee Barnes, program development officer for the Richard Oakes Multicultural Center, the referendum is a proactive step designed to be easier on students and their pocketbooks.
“In 1991, students affirmed an increase for the student center that was designed to last 10 years. We’re already three, really four, years over the original plan,” Barnes said.
If the students defeat the referendum, the Student Center would be faced with cutting back on service hours, possibly having to charge for services they offer for free, such as meeting rooms, the art gallery and live shows at The Depot. The mom-and-pop food vendors could be pushed out by higher rent prices or raise prices to pay their rent. Staff also would have to be cut. Students make up 85 percent of the employees in the Student Center.
“One dollar now doesn’t mean what one dollar did 14 years ago,” added Karen Carrington, accounting supervisor and student. “Students were open to receiving information and learning what they are getting for their money. Sentiment seems to be ‘Wow, this is really necessary.' ”
Opponents of the Student Center referendum don’t feel that all of the students at SF State should have to pay for something that only some use.
A statement against the proposed fee adjustment in voter information pamphlets circulated on campus said, “It’s unfair to expect that students who are already financially strapped to spend additional dollars to fund lounge and study space that should be included in the tuition we pay! Not all students should have to pay for the Student Center.”
Should the students vote no on the referendum, the Student Center Governing Board will regroup and plan for next year, without any immediate major changes since the increase would not be implemented until fall of 2005.
Two words not often paired – anonymity and accountability -- characterize a new service at SF State.
For those who feel discriminated against, want to speak out but fear losing their job or see Enron-like behavior happening at SF State, an anonymous forum has been created in hopes of making administrators more accountable for their actions.
“There are lots of people who won’t come forward because they are afraid of losing their jobs,” said Steven Kovacs, a cinema professor who brought this service to SF State.
While existing forums, like the open-session time at the beginning of each Academic Senate meeting and opinion pages in newspapers allow people to speak their minds, they require identification. In these forums, conventional theory is that names add credibility to the statements being made.
Yet in some cases this exposure makes people feel vulnerable. Kovacs believes that being identified when reporting sensitive information actually prevents some from speaking out.
“It will create another element in check and balance system in the university and provide a way to gather opinions and information,” Kovacs said, adding that anyone can comment on any issue they view as important.
Responses to the idea of this forum have been mixed.
“The sharing of information and points of view could be very valuable. On issues where I feel vulnerable, I cannot speak freely,” said Sergio Aragon, professor of chemistry, in an e-mail interview. “At the same time, the discourse must be intellectually honest and respectful. The last thing I would want to spend my time on is to participate in a public (anonymous or not) name-calling, emotional diatribe against any group.” Aragon pointed out that this forum can also be used for “intellectual discourse,” not just grievances.
"Open communication is an asset, but as a member of the Academic Freedom Committee I also feel some apprehension that dissemination of anonymous comments could threaten academic freedom for individuals or for the campus as a whole,” said Jamie Newton, professor of psychology, in an e-mail response.
Shannon Green, a senior majoring in cinema, supports the open forum idea.
“I believe that some sort of student unionization is very necessary especially during this very dynamic period involving budget cuts,” Green said. Mainly, Green’s grievances with the university are about misguided advice and lack of guidance given to students.
Some students don’t see the merit of this forum unless it’s proactive.
“We want to see action, not just talk,” said Michael Kayman, Kovacs’ graduate assistant who's been at SF State since 1995 and is now enrolled in cinema’s master program. He said he’s been “disillusioned at State with things.”
”I used to be more active, wanting to change things. But the do-nothing-stand (that the administration takes) made me less encouraged to participate,” he explained.
While responses to this forum idea have been mixed, and calls have yet to be logged in the system, Kovacs sees this anonymous forum as an opportunity to gather opinions people may not otherwise express.
“What appealed to us about this is a chance for people to report on things that are not done properly in the university,” Kovacs said. “It is not just money, it is a way they dictate policies.”
Kovacs’ main problem with SF State is that it is run more like a corporation than a school.
“There is no shared governance. The university should be democratic,” he said. “The administration is there to serve the faculty and the students, not the other way around.”
Corporate scandals—like Enron and WorldCom—prompted federal legislators to pass the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002, which called for more corporate accountability. Additionally, the act requires corporations to provide employees with means to anonymously report corporate misdeeds.
Getintouch.com, the service Kovacs brought to SF State, caters to businesses seeking to comply with this act. This Minnesota-based company provides their services to SF State free of charge as help for a “good cause” and with hopes for more business, said Peter Lilienthal, founder and president of the company. Lilienthal is also Kovacs’ old high school friend.
While SF State will be the first university to have full access to this service, a test run was done about three years ago in the business department of a university in southern California. Lilienthal declined to name the university to protect his client’s confidentiality.
This department, Lilienthal said, had over 3,000 employees, from groundskeepers to accountants. “It was a very successful program,” Lilienthal said. “It got them some very interesting feedback about discrimination on campus.”
Lilienthal made clear that the messages recorded are just information.
“There’s no analysis of messages, we don’t investigate them,” Lilienthal said. “It’s up to the recipient to decide what’s good information and what’s not.”
|HOW IT WORKS:|
Complaints can be filed two ways: send an email to email@example.com,
or call the toll-free number 1-877-MY INPUT (694-6788), then dial SFSU (7378). Leave a message about any issue of any length pertaining to the campus, anonymously or not. The message is then transcribed, erased, and typed up. Transcripts of these reports will be available in FA 339.
The university that touts diversity has just canned the office that ensures it.
SF State’s President Robert Corrigan in the opening days of spring break announced the closure of the 20-employee Office of Human Relations (OHR), due to budget cuts.
Two of the three programs — Human Relations and Affirmative Action and Employment Equity Program (AAEEP) — that operate within the OHR will be cut and their duties reassigned to other departments. The third, the Disability Programs and Resources Center (DPRC), will remain intact and merge with Student Services.
Joe Torres, director of the AAEEP, will lose his job.
“My position has been eliminated and I will have to leave the university,” Torres said in an e-mail on Wednesday, March 25, that was forwarded to Xpress.
Dean of Human Relations and psychology professor Kenneth Monteiro, whom Torres reports to, will lose his deanship and return to his faculty position. Monteiro was unavailable for comment.
The rest of the staff in the human relations and affirmative action programs will be given other positions on campus, said Christina Holmes, interim director of the Office of Public Affairs.
While Holmes characterized the cut as “draconian,” she stressed that SF State is experiencing a financial crisis.
“The university is facing an $11 (million) to $14 million budget reduction for the 2004-2005 fiscal year,” Holmes said. “Every division within the university will be taking painful cuts.”
The fiscal year begins July 1.
By cutting this office the university will save $402,013 – the OHR’s annual budget. This will compensate for between 2.9 percent and 3.7 percent of the university’s budget reduction.
Responsibilities of the OHR are to ensure SF State complies with state and federal regulations on equity and discrimination, provide conflict resolution consulting services and help create educational programs on diversity, according to its Web site.
The AAEEP ensures campus work environments are free from discriminatory discrimination and promotes diversity through specific actions, according to its Web site.
The office will close on June 30, Holmes said.
Corrigan's decision to close the OHR shocked and outraged some.
“Fundamentally, the president's decision is a clear statement on the importance of Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity at this university,” Torres said.
“His actions say we can't afford it ... It's not a basic value of this university ... that its programs have little or no priority and people won't question or challenge his judgement (sic) on the elimination because he's in the midst of a budget crisis.”
The duties of the OHR, including Affirmative Action, will be reassigned to other departments in the university, Holmes said.
“Issues of affirmative action, discrimination and sexual harassment will be parceled out to other SFSU offices,” said Mary Grant, chief steward of SF State’s chapter of California School Employee Association (CSEA).
Torres questioned the president’s decision, saying Corrigan cut the office to appease critics.
“Other than the generic budgetary rationale that has been given to us, the President has not give us any specific reasons as to why OHR was chosen for complete elimination,” Torres said.
“I can only assume that we were politically (vulnerable) and made 'sacrificial lambs' to appease critics of Corrigan's administration during this budget crisis,” Torres said. “The fact that Ken (Monteiro) and I have aggressively pushed for diversity in various areas at this university for the past 6 years did not endear us to some in the administration as well as some in the faculty.”
Corrigan was unavailable for comment on the OHR closure.
Some contest that the OHR was not fulfilling its stated mission.
“While I agree that OHR does an exceptional job of arranging forums, staff experiences on issues of discrimination and sexual harassment have not been good,” Grant said.
“CSEA has been extremely disappointed by the failure of this office to seriously investigate charges of discrimination by staff, faculty and administrators against CSEA-represented employees.”
After several years experience in dealing with the AAEEP office, Grant said the employee association issued a vote of no confidence and now utilizes services elsewhere.
“CSEA will do whatever we can to support its closure, and we welcome the fresh air as well as the opportunity to adjudicate our issues in other venues,” Grant said.