September 2005 Archives

In hopes of creating a student movement for saving the continued legalization of abortion, the International Socialist Organization (ISO) held a lecture and discussion this Thursday.

“(We need) to build a movement on campus that will last from semester to semester,” said Leigh Smith, a senior in the astrophysics Department at SF State. “And also from president to president- a movement that will last through the ups and downs of politics. Also a movement that will protest things happening at school, like budget cuts or teacher dismissals.”

The event consisted of a 20 minute lecture on the topic of why we need to fight to save Roe. “One in three women by the age of 45 will get an abortion,” said Kristin Anderson, a junior in the classics department and the speaker at the ISO event. “The legalization of abortion is not a gift. Women made this happen and had a mass movement (composed of) women from the ground up.”

Despite a late start due to two room changes, the 40 to 50 people who showed up engaged in a 40 minute discussion that grew heated as the minutes flew by. Issues such as what to do next, what the movement needs to look like and how important the right to choose were brought up. A point was made that how can women fight oppression if they do not even have control over their own bodies. Further, according to an unknown member of the audience, this makes women one step lower then men.

What was made clear during the discussion was the fact that many students were very passionate about this topic. A passion and discussion that was fueled by the newly appointed chief justice, conservative John Roberts, on Thursday.

“He won by 70 to 80 percent,” said Sarah Dopp, a Technical and Professional Writing and Chinese major at SF State. “This makes me wonder who are these people voting them in and why. They say ‘I don’t agree with him, but in the past conservatives have done great things‘- well if that’s how they are thinking then we are in trouble.”

According to the members of the ISO, the democrats have been leaning towards the right in many of the decisions they have been making lately. And now, more than ever, there needs a stance to be taken- one that is unapologetic.

With various bills and propositions that threaten the rights that abortion holds, there is much as stake. First there was the bill that enabled pharmacists to not give out birth control based on their own personal beliefs and their religion. A bill that came into affect early this year, the women are faced with sexual harassment and verbal assault if they even dare try to get birth control from pharmacists who follow this bill.

Another is Prop 73, which On Nov. 3 will go to the polls to be voted on. If passed, Prop 73 will amend California’s constitution to ban abortions on teenagers until 48 hours after a physician notifies the teen’s parents, which could create hesitation among young women who would choose to get an abortion.

“Prop 73 shows how those in politics don’t care about a women’s body,” Anderson said. “(If abortion is made illegal) women will bare the brunt of the challenges, especially the poor.”

Now, what lies ahead for ISO is to keep fighting. An event is planned on Oct. 31 for Prop 73 and more meetings are scheduled in the upcoming months.

“This issue is one that us college students can relate to,” Smith said. “Because this issue can affect us students it is made more personal- it is our fight.”

What may help make America prosper is not another tax cut, but an investment in community health.

According to Mary Beth Love, SF State health instructor, society is already paying for public health care when any of the 48 million uninsured Americans resort to emergency room visits as their primary care provider.

"Poverty is sickening," said Love. "A lot of people in low-income neighborhoods deal with violence and lack resources for upward mobility. I want to live in society where the health of the population is a higher value than corporate profits."

“It ought to be the role of our government to educate people,” she added. “The role of government is not to dictate but to provide good public health messages: that smoking is bad, to use condoms and avoid trans fats.”

Love is chair of the SF State Health Education Department. She was one of 20 faculty who partook in a special series of lectures offered this fall in Rosa Parks room E of the Student Center on Monday, September 26.

SF State is the recipient of a five-year grant from the National Center on Minority Health to investigate health disparities. The award is part of the center’s Research Infrastructure for Minority Institutions (RIMI) program. Its aim is to explain the causes of unequal access to health care and why minority populations in the U.S. are more susceptible to deficient health (according to National Lung and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study, July, 2005).

Keynote speaker at the seminar was Dr. Nicholas Freudenberg. He is the director of the program, Urban Public Health at Hunter College, City University of New York. Freudenberg showcased a power point presentation, which examined how corporate policies in food, alcohol, and tobacco industries may adversely affect the low-income or minorities.

Freudenberg maintained corporate policies play a role in “disease promotion” by encouraging unhealthy behavior. Some methods corporations used to achieve their goals were to make health-damaging products more available to selected populations he noted.

Quotes of tobacco company files supported his allegations, “The purpose of focus group sessions will be to influence the switching of Black and Hispanic smokers to Lorillard brands … billboards in Black neighborhoods across the country: Black models smoking and urging Blacks to follow suit … in many inner cities attractive women tempt passers-by with free samples.”

Yet Freudenberg illustrated how motivated communities could counteract corporate malfeasance. He cited the Uptown Coalition, a group of individuals in Philadelphia who successfully derailed a campaign to sell cigarettes called Uptown.

The coalition’s letter to R. J. Reynolds Tobacco in part said, “It is well known that African American smokers due to the practice of targeted advertising typically smoke menthol cigarettes, Uptown is a menthol aimed to reach Black smokers … This action should be stopped. It is immoral for your company to target African-Americans with a product that reduces the quality of life experienced by smokers, their friends and families.”

San Francisco residents need to examine ads critically to understand how some advertisers sway them to buy products that makes them sick or kills them said Freudenberg.

“We all pay for the consequences of industry’s efforts to manipulate people into using unhealthy products,” he said. “America has a strong tradition of collective action to protect the whole community. Restricting companies efforts to promote unhealthy products is a way of taking care of our neighbors.”

Health Education Professor Roma Guy noted the recent crisis of Type II Diabetes (symptomatic of overeating high sugar content foods and lack of exercise) in the U.S. is not just because individuals choose not to eat well.

“Corporate strategy has overwhelming influence on less healthy choices,” said Guy. “If you look at Bay View (neighborhood), if all they have are stores that sell potato chips and Pepsi then you know you’re going to have problems. The character of social conditions creates what you end up choosing for your lifestyle. It’s not a question of ‘am I bad or good’ it’s a survival choice.”

Health Education Professor Juliana Van Olphen is a former colleague of Freudenberg. The seminar made her more aware of how to alert her students to the issue. Van Olphen cited a need for greater government regulation, urge corporations to be more socially responsible and for individuals to work for change by organizing themselves into neighborhood associations.

The tobacco industry historically has marketed products toward youth in order to addict them for life and increase profits said Health Education Professor Jose Fernandez-Pena. Celebrity testimonials such as the cover of "Cigar" magazine that featured Governor Schwarzenegger in a prior issue are one of the influential methods they resort to. But he suggested alternative tactics to resist harmful policies.

“The point being is not to match corporations ad for ad,” said Fernandez-Pena. “But maybe by working with zoning departments, not allowing grocers to display cigarettes by the cashier or not allow liquor stores to pose as grocers, and limit their number in particular neighborhoods (changes policy). There needs to be more involvement of the public in city planning strategies.”

The U.S. has a moral obligation to lead the way by providing greater employment, housing, and education opportunities which all play a crucial role in improving the nation’s overall health said Fernandez-Pena.

“How we vote is important,” he said. “It’s directly related to what values get heard and what priorities are placed upon good health. Do we want to spend the next $240 million on tanks in Iraq or rebuilding the infrastructure in New Orleans?”
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Jeffery Paul Chan was in the midst of getting his master’s degree in creative writing at SF State when he was plucked from the halls and offered an opportunity to teach part time.

“They (SF State English department) gave me a part time appointment,” said Chan, who teaches Asian American Studies and English. “And what did I do? I spit in their face and joined the strike, but they kept me on (the staff).”

It was 1967 and SF State was undergoing change. Chan's eloquence helped him play a valuable roll in the 1968 student and faculty strike by allying him with other organizations fighting for curriculum changes, different course offerings, equality of entry to SF State, and literature that would make classes "more relevant to the world around them."

Now, 38 years later, Jeffery Chan is getting ready to retire.

The American-born Chinese professor played a major part in creating SF State's Ethnic Studies department. He was also a “key leader in the development of the Asian American Studies Program,” according to Ann Shadwick, ethnic studies librarian.

He has twice served as first chair of the Asian American Studies department.

Early in his career he taught creative writing in community centers and he recruited “students from low socio-economic communities to enroll in college,” according to Rosalie Alfonso, ethnic studies department administrative analyst.

Chan jokes and says he’s been here “too long,” but hearing Chan and his colleagues reflect on his career shows how much he has loved teaching.

“He is warm and caring and he has spent his life fighting for the Asian American Studies program and students at San Francisco State,” said Shadwick.

Chan has been in the Faculty Early Retirement Program that allows professors with tenure to teach one semester every year for up to five years before they fully retire. It has given him the chance to “practice for retirement,” as Chan puts it.

When he is not teaching at SF State, he spends his time teaching in Rome and at different universities all over Europe. In retirement, Chan plans to continue writing, watch the growing dynamics of the
Chinese population in Italy, and spend time with his family, especially his grandson.

He said he will miss the students and has a lot of respect for all that they accomplish while attending SF State.

“They (SF State students) never cease to amaze me,” said Chan. “At San Francisco State students take about seven years to graduate. They work full time. They hold city jobs. That makes me aware of what I will miss the most,”

Chan is still a true activist at heart, and says what he will not miss the university bureaucracy.

“This is not to say I won’t miss the bureaucrats. The people who have to do it and run all the clerical stuff are extremely important,” explained Chan. “But sometimes we forget ourselves if we make too many rules.”

After reflecting on the campus and its changes throughout the years, Chan doesn’t think that the campus changed from the “nurturing, vital, creative” place that it was in the late 60’s.

“Professor of Asian American Studies and of English, Jeffery Chan has touched the lives of thousand of students/artists and teachers and we're glad he did,” said Alfonso.

The age-old question, “is there life elsewhere in the universe?” may be answered by Dr. Geoffrey Marcy, adjunct professor of astronomy at SF State.

In September, Marcy earned the $1 million Shaw Prize, an award presented in Hong Kong to scientists and mathematicians who achieve groundbreaking new relevant work in their field.

He came to SF State in 1984 and began his research in 1987 with his then-student, Paul Butler. They started searching for planets around other stars in different parts of the galaxy. Few people believed that new planets could be found.

“It was like looking for pyramid power or hunting for aliens," he said with a laugh.

In 1995, Marcy’s research team “struck gold.” They found the first new planets and four years later in 1999, they found the first family of planets surrounding a star.

Marcy’s team at SF State is responsible for discovering 110 of the 160 new planets discovered by scientists around the world. Most of the planets they found were “Jupiter-sized,” but in recent years they have found Saturn and Neptune-sized planets as well.

In February 1996, Marcy’s work was a cover story in Time magazine. Ted Koppel covered the story at SF State shortly after.

"We now know that other planetary systems exist, but that their diversity renders our solar system just one type of many,” Marcy said in an email to physorg.com in August 2005, shortly before he was presented with the prize.

“His findings have radically changed the universe, because it enables us to compare our solar system to other solar systems,” said Adrienne Cool, associate professor of astronomy at SF State. “Everyone thinks about other planets, and now we can leap out to other parts of the galaxy.”

Cool said she can not think of a better person to earn the Shaw Prize, because “it shows what you can achieve when you work your butt off.”

“He’s done absolutely beautiful work,” she said, “reaching a level of precision no one could ever dream of 20 years ago.”

The Shaw Prize, which is considered the “Nobel Prize of the East,” was established in 2002 by Run Run Shaw, a wealthy Hong Kong filmmaker. The prize has only been given out for two consecutive years.

“It fills a gap that is not honored by the Nobel Prize,” said Marcy.

Many astronomy students at SF State are familiar with Marcy’s work, including those who have never had him in a class. He now teaches across the bay at UC Berkeley, where he also runs the campus’ center for Integrative Planetary Science.

“You always hear, ‘the universe is so big, there has to be more planets out there,’ and now we know where they are,” said Ashley Fischer, 19, a physics and astronomy major at SF State. She says it’s interesting that he “essentially found (most of this) by accident, as so many things in science are.”

Based on his findings, Marcy can predict what will happen in the astronomy world 25 years from now. Everything they have found over the past 10 years will prepare his team for discoveries to come.

"Something remarkable will happen," he said. “Humans will construct enormous telescopes to take Earth-like pictures of other planets. We hope for the first images of a pale blue water-laden world orbiting a star."

These predictions are “more than a wish list,” he adds. Scientists in the United States and Europe are already researching and designing the largest telescope built by man. It is called the “terrestrial planet finder,” and it will help astronomers determine if there are other habitable planets in the galaxy.

“Our question is, does life (on other planets) have a chance at developing into human form?” Marcy asks hypothetically. “Is there life elsewhere in the universe? And if so, how common is that life?”

The California State University system, the largest in the United States, has an exceptionally large impact on the state’s economy.

With more than 400,000 students on its 23 campuses, the CSU system has a $53 billion annual influence on California, according to a report commissioned by the CSU chancellor’s office. The figure represents the collective economic effect of CSU expenditures annually, the enhanced earnings of its graduates and the indirect affect both have on the state.

For every dollar that is invested into the CSU system, $4.41 is returned, even before factoring in the increased earnings by graduates. CSU alumni and CSU expenditures also produce more than $17 in spending for every dollar the state invests into the CSU.

“To be honest, I am completely bewildered as to why California isn’t investing more into our CSU system,” said Allen Walker, 20, junior and a BECA major. “I can only imagine that (right now) our state and federal governments are deterring funds.”

Bay Area spending tied to SF State's presence generates $989 million annually into the regional economy, according to the report.

The CSU divides its 23 statewide campuses into eight geographical regions. SF State, CSU East Bay, the California Maritime Academy, San Jose State University and Sonoma State University make up the Bay Area region.

The CSU system is accountable for 51 percent of all bachelor's degrees and 40 percent of all master's degrees received in California. One in every ten associates of California's workforce is a CSU graduate.

The CSU system is consequently a main source in aiding California's economy. Every year its campuses send tens of thousands of graduates into fields such as engineering, life sciences, business, technology, education and media.

SF State single-handedly serves more than 29,000 students and graduates more than 7,000 into the workforce each year. The CSU impact also maintains more than 13,000 jobs in the Bay Area region alone, and more than 527,000 statewide.

“It just seems so stupid to me that they would take money away from something that helps the community and state and gives so many people a brighter future,” said Brian Corral, 22, a junior and cinema major. “And not just a brighter future for themselves, but for their state and country.”

Only about $2 billion of the revenue earned by alumni from SF State is credited to their CSU degree.

“How can we have a chance to make it a better future if they keep on making cuts?” said Corral. “(CSUs) give back so much, and (budget cuts) are like biting the hand that feeds you.”

“In the end, we, the people are paying for all of these expenditures,” said Walker. “And I believe that not only should we have a stronger voice in how money is dispersed, but we should be clearly and informed about how and why money is needed.”

Ranch Corporal Joseph Tellez, a marine who recently returned to San Diego, was hit with a bullet that went through his back and out his chest, missing his heart by one and a half inches.

“It’s a funny story. I didn’t realize I’d been shot, so I turned around and saw the sniper standing on the roof. I flipped the guy off and I began to ran towards him, and then I opened my vest and saw all this blood spilling out.”

He’ll get a tattoo on his arm of his friend’s name, the one who ran to him and brought him to a medic. This friend was killed a week later when a sniper bullet pierced through the scope of his rifle and through his jaw. He had four kids and a pregnant wife.

After three tours and a total of one year and nine months in Iraq, Tellez has seen 16 of his fellows killed. A good friend of his was torn apart by a bomb.

He believes they died for a righteous cause. And he believes that questioning the president about whether or not he lied about the reasons for going to war is irrelevant.

“We get orders and we execute. Our commanders tell us not to get involved with politics,” said Tellez.
“Whether or not the president lied, we’re over there fighting for freedom. I just want people to know that we’re dying to make our country safer.”

But not all Iraq veterans from California and the Bay Area feel this is true. While some come home and join anti-war organizations, others say the anti-war movement is disgracing what they are fighting for. The split in soldiers’ views towards the war is an intensified mirror of the split in public opinion among American citizens.

Corporal Sean O’Neill is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). He fought in the initial invasion in March 2003 and spent seven months in Iraq, where he observed that the presence of American forces is only increasing hatred towards the US, and creating more terrorists than it is stopping. He points out that the military has detained approximately 42,000 terror suspects, but has released 75 percent of them after subjecting them to severe and humiliating interrogation.

“For every one terrorist we’ve caught, we release three people who weren’t terrorists before, but now will possibly become terrorists because of what we did to them.”

Corporal Ben Wetzel recognizes that terrorist recruitment is increasing, and that terrorists cells are likely operating in the US. He doesn't like how troops are being diverted from the homeland, but he believes the war is justified because it will create a pro-American democracy in the Middle East.

Wetzel, who recently returned to San Jose after 11 months in Iraq, fought in a 10-and-a-half-hour firefight to take Northern Baghdad. After the city fell, he saw thousands of Iraqi civilians celebrating in the streets. He believes that Iraqis appreciate the American forces.

“After the last shot was fired, they were lined up on both sides of the streets: dancing, crying, waving to us. Americans shouldn’t be ashamed of their military. We are attempting to install democracy.”

IVAW member Ramon Leal has served since the beginning of the war as an electronics specialist in hotspots like Abu Ghraib. He argues that the war is more about increasing the profits of the energy and war industries than about creating democracy. He argues that if America truly cared about the Iraqi people, it wouldn’t have imposed severe economic sanctions that killed Iraqi children.

“The means were political sanctions. The end was infanticide,” said Leal.

Leal refers to Columbia University research on the sanctions the United Nations, and principally America, imposed on Iraq. Richard Garfield, author of the study “Morbidity and Mortality Among Iraqi Children,” estimates that sanctions killed 350,000 children between 1990 and 2000. He explained that the sanctions intensified the severe problems caused by crippled sanitation and water-pumping systems after 90,000 tons of bombs were dropped during a 43-day Gulf War air strike.

Yet if the Iraqi government had fully cooperated with UN weapons inspectors years ago, the sanctions would have been lifted. Tellez says the American people are more willing to criticize their own government then have faith in the military.

“People need to support the troops, because we’re doing the best we can. People shouldn‘t criticize.”

But senior airman Tim Goodrich, west-coast coordinator of IVAW, says the people can’t possibly support a war that was built upon lies. He was in Saudi Arabia in 2002, and witnessed the Air Force making bombing raids on Iraq throughout the year. The bombing increased by 500 percent by the end of the year. When he saw President Bush on TV the next year, describing the threat from Iraq, he knew he was being lied to.

“Bush said that he was going to try diplomacy before we went to war. But we were already bombing them in 2002. I saw the lie. We hadn’t used diplomacy. We were using those air strikes to try to get them to retaliate, so we’d have a reason for war.”

Visit the US Marine Corps. website at: www.marines.com and the Iraq Veterans Against the War website at: www.ivaw.net

With only three weeks under her belt, fundraising specialist Donna Blakemore has fired up three new capital campaigns and has high hopes for the future of SF State.

Blakemore left her position as director of development at SFJAZZ, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting jazz in the community, and became associate vice president for university development at SF State on Sept. 12th. She has also served as a director of development and alumni relations at three other California universities: Davis, Riverside and Santa Cruz.

“With her proven track record in both the nonprofit sector and in higher education, she will add another dimension of expertise that can help bring San Francisco State to new levels in fundraising and community support,” SF State’s Vice President for University Advancement Lee Blitch said in a press release.

So far, she says she is settling in quite nicely.

“Everything is going very well.” Blakemore said. “I see us really putting sophisticated, more professional programs to work and organizing the infrastructure of the university, short-term and long-term.”

She also noted that everybody in the university advancement program was positive, supportive and looking forward to reaching their goals.

The primary goal includes a jump-start of the overall fundraising program and increasing annual support by the university so that SF State can maintain its “state-of-the-art” buildings and grounds.

Blakemore said the department is in the process of hiring a number of people to fill currently vacant positions.

“We want to recruit people with the skills and talents we need right now to incorporate organization in the structure,” she said.

The Capital Campaigns, three new building projects, are under way and will expand and renovate the J. Paul Leonard Library, and help improve the Creative Arts building and the house academic project.

The J. Paul Leonard Library project will include increasing the floor space by 300,000 square feet, expanding the sixth floor, replacing the stairs and elevators, adding a reading/conservation room, and updating the computer systems.

Mostly California State University alumni and trustees fund these projects, but Blakemore was avid that students are encouraged to participate in campaign events and in donating gifts as well.

"All these projects are really exciting," she said.

Students sick of the JEPET might be relieved that SF State may get rid of the test, but only until they hear that additional English courses may be required.

“It’s simply a waste of money,” said geography major John Niemczyk, 27, about the $40 fee for the test. “Anybody who transfers as a junior should have taken those (composition) classes. There’s no excuse not to be able to write.”

He felt that the timed pressure to finish the test resulted in unreasonable thinking that the test uses unrealistic language on the essay assignment.

“Quite frankly, no one talks like the JEPET,” Niemczyk said.

According to Dr. Dan Buttlaire, undergraduate dean of the Writing Task Force and chemistry professor at SF State for nearly three decades, recent research finds “high stakes” tests like JEPET lacking in reliability and validity. Almost 2,000 students failed the JEPET last year: nearly half of those who took the test.

“The task force recommends phasing out JEPET over a three to five year period,” Buttlaire said.

Buttlaire told the Academic Senate on September 20 that the task force still wants feedback from the campus. Phasing out the JEPET and improving the instruction for undergraduate English are among the recommendations the task force made.

The task force, made up of representatives from SF State’s different colleges, is working to “transform the role of writing at the university,” according to a September 17th report, outlining plans and goals to change the way students are taught English competency.

The first of these key recommendations is that performance on a single, time-limited essay should no longer be the basis for certifying proficiency in written English, according to the Writing Task Force report.

Hundreds have responded to the task force after it sent e-mails to students and faculty in early September asking for campus-wide input and commentary on SF State’s writing program. Many of the comments were highly critical of the JEPET and praised the task force for its bold proposals.

English literature major Ben Kim does not like the Modern Language Association (MLA) format used in the test and thinks that good writing does not have to stick to such strict rules. The 30-year-old senior also did not like having to write an argumentative essay on something he knew nothing about.

“Why do I have to make an argument to begin with; to pick a side,” Kim said. “It leaves less room for more complex answers. Reality isn’t that simple.”

James Boyd, administrative support coordinator in the English composition office, warned that students should not get too excited about the proposal. If the test is no longer used, all students, regardless of class standing, will have to take English 414 in order to graduate.

He maintained that the process in developing the test is very thorough, but it still has its shortfalls.

“No test is perfect,” he said.

Boyd, who also teaches English 414, lets his students vent their frustrations with the test, but maintains that the test is a far cheaper alternative than returning to mandatory composition classes.

“Students don’t like to take writing classes,” Boyd said.

Juniors and seniors who have not taken the JEPET, and have at least 80 units, are denied priority registration, and must often wait to get into a first or second year English composition class, pushing back graduation plans.

The writing task force will be accepting comments on its website until October 14, when it will use the input to revise its current draft by November 15. Visit their site atwww.sfsu.edu/~ugs/wtf.html

More than one hundred million dollars was added to the California State University budget this summer and the biggest beneficiaries at SF State won’t be those on the brink of a lengthy graduation ceremony.

Instead, it will be the freshmen.

This past July, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California Legislature came to a state budget agreement that increased the 2005-06 CSU General Fund by $134 million. It is a 5.4 percent increase in new revenue and raised the total budget to $2.6 billion. It was the first increase after three consecutive years of budget reductions.

“It’s an enormous relief that for the first time in three years, San Francisco State will not need to absorb budget reductions,” said Ellen Griffin, the university’s director of public affairs and publications. “It is encouraging that we’ve received a modest increase to fund the sections needed to meet our new enrollment target.”

Meeting that enrollment target is where most of the money is slated to be spent. This semester, SF State admitted its largest freshman class. A significant amount of the additional revenue received is planned to go towards accommodating this wave of new students.

“We haven’t yet had any meeting directly concerning this topic,” explained Caran Colvin, the chair of the Academic Senate. “But from what I know, a lot of the money will be used to open up more sections of English 114, English 214 and other lower-division classes.”

Some of the departments that suffered severe budget cuts last semester are not expecting the extra money to trickle down to them.

“There’s no indication that the money the university received will help us open up new sections,” said Midori McKeon, the chair of the department of foreign languages and literature. “Actually, despite this money, the future of the Russian studies minor program is uncertain. This is after they already eliminated the BA program.”

The other departments that had previously found themselves waiting in line for the chopping block, like social sciences and California studies, are not anticipating that the new budget will help them much either.

To some though, there is a bit of an upside to the new financial quota. It goes something in the way of: A little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing.

“The fiscal situation of the school is not the greatest,” said the director of the school of engineering, Shy-Shenq Liou. “But the department did get a little bit more money this semester. It’s still not enough but at least we can maintain the same numbers of sections open.”

Other CSU campuses are expected to use the boost in income in a way similar to SF State. They too have had a growth in freshmen enrollment and will use the money to cater to the new batch of fresh faces.

According to a memorandum from the Office of the Chancellor, the state universities will use much of the funds for such things as employee compensation increases, structural budget deficiencies in libraries, technology and deferred maintenance. Some money will also be allocated for financial aid.

For the meantime, here at SF State, the bone that the governor and legislature tossed the CSU will ensure freshmen the classes they’ll need to teach them how to write a decent essay and sharpen their math skills. As for the juniors and seniors, they’ll most likely continue to pack into stuffy classrooms and participate in the ongoing debate of whether it’s too hot when the windows are closed or too cold when they are left open.

Some of the most unlikely attendees of Sunday’s kinky leather fetish festival were under four feet tall.

Two-year-olds Zola and Veronica Kruschel waddled through Folsom Street Fair amidst strangers in fishnets and leather crotch pouches, semi and fully nude men.

The twin girls who were also dressed for the event wore identical lace blouses, floral bonnets and black leather collars purchased from a pet store.

Fathers Gary Beuschel and John Kruse watched over them closely. They were proud to show the twins off.

“They will see more than the kids with moms and dads in Iowa,” said Beuschel, who wanted to expose his children to San Francisco’s diverse community. “Every parent has to decide for themselves what is right for them. And I respect that. And we decided that this is right for our children.”

Beuschel and his girls were at the 22nd Folsom Street Fair, an annual leather event in San Francisco’s South of Market district, which showcased outrageous costumes, fetish attire, and a community obsessed with bondage, whipping, and spanking.


Every year unsuspecting tourists and families stroll into the Folsom Street Fair. Some turn away at the gates after being warned by security officials about the event’s graphic sadomasochistic nature, while others saunter in with baby strollers and young children.

Event organizers said that parents are responsible in determining whether the fair was suitable for kids. However, some people said children should not be allowed inside.

“I don’t think that a 6-year-old can understand that S&M is about trust,” said Quincey Justman, a 28-year-old graduate student from the University of California San Francisco. “Showing a kid a bunch of adults hitting each other would be damaging.”

As for Dylan Middlebrooks, it was his sixth year at the leather fair. He is 10 years old.

“It’s pretty nasty because a lot of people here are naked,” said Middlebrooks, who was there with his mother.

Organizers said that they gave families ample warning.

“We do our best – that these people know that this is an adult-natured event,” said Darryl Flick, executive director of Folsom Street Events. “I’ve seen a thousand dotting aunts and uncles, and a kid having the time of his life.”

Security volunteer Adam Hawkins said it is up to the parents to decide what was best for their kids, and that he wouldn’t stop them at the gates.

Some fairgoers said that it was inappropriate to have children at the event.

“Why do (these people) bring kids here? This is a leather fair for god’s sake,” said Bahran Aliassa, who was masturbating in public. He has been doing it annually for the past six years.

Oakland resident Veronica Charles, 36, was with a baby stroller and said her son was too young to understand.

“I don’t think I’ll bring him here when he is 6,” Charles said.

Police officer Mark Lantrip said that families could choose not to come.

Father of two, John Kruse said it is an educational experience for children. He said there were conservative parents against having kids at the event.

“Those are the same close-minded people who think we shouldn’t have children to begin with,” he said.

All they want is grass, and they won't stop until they get it.

They are the SF State Ultimate Frisbee Club, and their toughest match to date has been against the SF State administration.

"We like to call what happened 'the saga,' because we struggled to hold on to this club," said Randall Rishe, co-president of the Ultimate Frisbee Club. Ultimate Frisbee is a non-contact sport that mimics the rules of football, with players throwing a disc down a long field to try and score in their opponent’s end zone.

“The saga” began in spring, when the Office of Student Programs and Leadership Development informed the Frisbee club members that the university was putting their club on hold.

"We never asked for money or anything, so why can't we be a club?" said Rishe, an SF State senior double-majoring in criminal justice and history. "After going and back and forth between the OSPLD and Risk Management, we finally discovered it had to do with liability."

Last semester, the California State University chancellor's office audited all SF State student organizations registered with the student program office. The audit revealed that certain clubs on campus, such as the Frisbee club, were allegedly functioning as a club sport without the university’s knowledge. University policy states that if club sports members practice on campus and are injured, the university is liable, according to Vice President of Student Affairs Penny Saffold.

"The chancellor's policy demands we have insurance, and we only had insurance for the athletic clubs,” Saffold said. “So, I had to put all the club sports on hold until it was decided we could afford insurance."

However Frisbee club members refused to be put on hold.

"We're not going to wait for the university to go through their bureaucratic nonsense before we're allowed to play on the field," Rishe said.

Consequently, the grounds crew threatened to call campus police every time they caught the club practicing on the quad, baseball or soccer field, Rishe said.

"They said we're trespassing, but we're SF State students," Rishe said.

Phil Evans, the director of campus grounds, declined to comment. The club appointed Rishe their informal legal advisor, dubbed "Attorney General," and he immediately called campus police.

According to Rishe, he spoke with Sgt. Jennifer Schwartz and she found the matter to be “laughable."

“She said they couldn't arrest us because we were SF State students," Rishe said.

Rishe made a list of California Government Codes that he thought defended his case, including code 831.7.

The code states: “Neither a public entity nor a public employee is liable to any person who participates in a hazardous recreational activity.”

"So, the school isn't liable, and throwing a Frisbee on an open field isn't a hazardous recreational activity," Rishe said.

Dr. Saffold said the Frisbee club isn't telling the whole story.

"They're not a recreational club,” Saffold said. “Their goal is to compete, but they don't want us to know this." The Frisbee club's team captain admitted Saffold is right.

"Our goal is to foster a competitive spirit, but within our own players," said John Lindsey, 20, TV and radio production junior. "However, we enjoy competing against other Frisbee organizations. We gathered a group of us to go and compete, but not with the school's name, thus removing the issue of liability."

Rishe attended a campus task force meeting last March, and declared that the Frisbee club was a "social club that liked to play sports.

"I said (at the meeting) we don't have set practices, or competitions, and we don't buy equipment." The result: The Frisbee club could practice on campus, since it wasn't competitive.

However, at the beginning of the fall semester the grounds crew harassed the Frisbee club again for the same reason according to Rishe. Rishe said he whipped out the government codes, and the grounds crew left them alone.

"If the grounds crew threatens to call the cops again, I'll say, 'Go ahead my friend, here's my phone, you can use my minutes," Rishe said.

Saffold said the grounds crew shouldn't have threatened arrest. She added said that she wants to keep all the student organizations, but the chancellor's office demands that it be done in a more organized and structural way.

"The administration is in the process of getting additional insurance, and putting all non-collegiate sports under the supervision of Paula Moran, professor of kinesiology, instead of OSPLD,” Saffold said. “Then, they'll hire a coordinator for club sports, as well as for intramural and recreational sports."

Moran, the Frisbee club’s former advisor, said she could no longer advise the club due to her "busy schedule."

"I appreciate the Frisbee club's tenacity and passion," Moran said. "Everything we're doing is essentially protecting the clubs."

Right now, all clubs can register through OSPLD as long as they have a faculty advisor. Last week, Al Kielwasser, a lecturer in the BECA department, signed on as the Frisbee club’s advisor, and their membership with SF State was renewed.

"(Faculty advisor) Kielwasser has just signed off on our club, so ‘the saga’ is complete," Rishe said.

Librarians around the nation are fighting for the First Amendment rights of students by honoring Banned Books Week, and SF State librarians are recognizing the event this year for the first time.

The week, which starts Sept. 26 and concludes Oct. 1, “celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion, even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular, and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them,” according to the American Library Association (ALA).

To celebrate the week, SF State librarians and professors organized several group discussions with guest speakers and they encourage students to drop by and participate, said Susan Hawk, library campaign director.

“We have a serious responsibility to SF State,” said Debbie Masters, the university librarian. “This is a university of diverse points of view and our collections need to represent that diversity, and we will not allow anyone to change that.”

Banned Books Week recognizes books that are challenged as well as banned books. For a book to be considered banned, it has to be removed from a library or bookstore. A challenge against a book is an attempt to remove or restrict it, based on the personal beliefs of a certain group of people.

Books are banned or challenged for various reasons; books in the “Harry Potter” series were challenged due to concepts of sorcery and witchcraft. “In the Night Kitchen” by Maurice Sendak was challenged because it had illustrations of a young naked boy.

Out of the top 10 most challenged books in the United States in 2004, six of them were on the list for sexuality or nudity.

“Sex education (in schools) has been sex negative or almost nonexistent,” said Barbara Loomis, a history professor at SF State. “Millions of dollars goes toward abstinence-only education.”

“The catchword is ‘make good choices,’ and choices are based on information. Parents and schools want to control (information) as if people can’t make decisions for themselves,” said Yvonne Daley, an SF State journalism professor and [X]press magazine advisor.

Among the faculty group, the general consensus was that First Amendment rights cannot be taken from students, and that the Patriot Act is dangerous toward anyone looking to utilize a library.

“The Patriot Act is equal to McCarthyism and book burnings,” said Hawk. “It’s too ironic to be fighting (a war) for freedom, when the First Amendment is free speech (and it’s taken away).”

“Libraries are gagged when we’re contacted by the government,” said LaVonne Jacobsen, the head of library connections. She said that librarians are not allowed to disclose what information they are asked to remove.

“They want to ban information, not just books,” Jacobsen added.

“The great thing about libraries is that they keep things safe,” said Ned Fielden, associate librarian. “The bad thing is that libraries can be burnt down, and then everything’s gone.”

Daley noted that several centuries ago, thousands of people were killed because they demanded the right to read, and now many people “take for granted that right.”

“The feistiest people on this campus are the librarians,” said Hawk with a laugh. The rest of the group unanimously agreed.

From SF State to the Moon

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She’ll embark on a U.S. space shuttle with rocket boosters that will provide seven million tons of thrust. Two-and-a-half minutes into the flight, the shuttle’s three main engines, with a large fuel tank full of liquid oxygen and nitrogen, will take over. She'll be propelled further into space, going 17,500 miles per hour.

To think that once Col. Yvonne Cagle was just another undergraduate at SF State.

Ever since she was a little girl, Cagle showed a great interest in the field of science. Instead of engrossing herself in coloring books and Dr. Seuss, she would sneak into her father’s medical library and spend hours looking at X-ray pictures.

“The pictures in my father’s office were so interesting to me,” said Cagle with a soft chuckle. “They really grabbed my attention and I thought they were the coolest pictures I’d ever seen.”

She was born in West Point, New York and moved to Novato, California when she was in third grade. After graduating from Novato High School in 1977, she stayed close to home and attended SF State where she received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry in 1981.

“A bachelor’s in biochemistry includes all the course work required to enter medical school,” said Cliff Berkman, the department chair of chemistry and biochemistry. “It really shows you the fundamentals to enter a career in medicine.”

After graduating from SF State, Cagle attended the University of Washington. There she earned her doctorate in medicine in 1985. Cagle’s medical school tuition was paid for by an Air Force scholarship, which required her to spend the next several years in the military. She settled at Brooks Air Force Base in Texas, where she became a certified flight surgeon and enrolled in the aeromedicine program.

She started thinking about space travel after serving as the medical liaison for the Air Force and NASA-developing a contingency landing site for the space shuttle. Although she got to ride on jets as a flight surgeon for the pilots, she felt a need for even greater speed. Cagle’s definition of speed is different from most.

For some, going fast means putting a super charger in their souped-up car and pretending to be Paul Walker in The Fast and the Furious. For her, velocity means going five miles a second.

Upon joining NASA in 1996, Cagle became one of the 35 astronaut candidates picked from a group of 2,400 applicants. She completed the one-and-a-half year training program at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. She is now one of only four African American women astronauts in the United States and a consulting professor of medicine at Stanford University.

In 1999, Cagle was selected as SF State’s Alumna of the year and she gave the University’s Centennial commencement keynote address. Cagle’s other honors include being named Outstanding Young Woman of America, receiving a Distinguished Scientist Award from the National Technical Association, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Air Force Achievement Medal.

Currently, Cagle’s preparing for her first trip to the moon.

“I haven’t been on a space mission yet,” said the 46-year-old astronaut physician. “But right now we are working intensely on a trip to the moon scheduled for 2016. It’s a ways from now but we want to make sure we get everything right.”

After going through the graduate program at the University of Washington, soaring on numerous fighter jets in the Air Force and working on cutting edge technology at NASA, Cagle still remembers her experience at SF State with great fondness.

“San Francisco State was really the best time of my life. It taught me the fundamentals of higher education and it was an awesome experience,” said Cagle. “It’s a great institution for those who yearn to learn and aspire for a greater future.”

She went from studying sub-cellular particles at one of the laboratories here at SF State to becoming a sub-cellular particle in the vastness of space. She’s a testament to all students. Perhaps most especially to those peering into microscopes and coughing up $1,500 a semester to attend SF State in hopes to fulfill their desires to reach for the stars.

Hundreds of people gathered at Mission and 16th on Saturday to show their disgust with the war in Iraq.

“We want people to be able to express their frustration at the war, at the lack of hurricane relief,” said Kristina Anderson, a member of SF State’s Student’s Against War group.

Getting military recruiters out of public schools and the United States military out of Iraq were the two main points conveyed at the “College Not Combat, Relief Not War” contingent. The demonstration was part of a larger national day of protest that was happening all across the country.

“I feel right now, it has become very obvious that the Bush administration cares more about war and oil than people and now is the time to protest because now is the time it would make a difference,” said Lacy MacAuley, another member of SAW.

MacAuley said that there is a “breaking point in public sentiment against the war” due to Cindy Sheehan’s visit to Crawford and hurricane Katrina’s devastation of the Gulf Coast.

“A major amount of our resources went from the U.S. to Iraq to pay for the war and that’s what left us so sensitive to natural disasters like hurricane Katrina. We would have had a much more effective response if our resources hadn’t been drained,” MacAuley said.

The protest also caught the attention of politicians. Green Party member, Peter Camajo, who was a candidate for governor during the recall of Gray Davis, said what the United States is doing in Iraq is only creating more violence and endangering America.

“(The protest is) a way to protect our soldiers because the only way we can protect them and save them is to bring them home,” Camajo said.

The demonstration eventually moved down 18th Street toward Dolores Park. As the couple of hundred protestors progressed down the street they started to chant, “rise up, get down! There’s an anti-war movement in this town!”

Protestors walked holding signs that read “Military Recruiters Lie! Our Children Die!” and “Bush Hates Black People,” which was originally uttered by recording artist Kanye West after Hurricane Katrina.

Organizers did not have an estimate of the amount of people in the crowd, but said that it met their expectations.

As the protest went on people started to show up in San Francisco fashion: dressed as robots who wanted to be fed oil, wearing bush masks with signs that said he was on vacation and the Statue of Liberty with her mouth tied closed with a bandana.

In the mass of demonstrators was Harlow Williams, a Vietnam veteran who is now part of the “Veterans for Peace” group.

“I don’t see the same way anymore,” Williams said. He said he does not call what is happening in Iraq a war, instead describing it as “premeditated murder on the part of the administration.”

But though he may have very similar views on the war, he does not think that military recruiters should be banned from school campuses.

“If equal time and representation, with equal tabling space and availability is given to the students with counter-recruiting, then I think that recruiters ought to be allowed on campus,” Williams said. “Because that type of speech I believe in. I think it needs to be balanced. I would not say stop the recruiters.”

But part of the demonstration dealt with getting the word out that the anti-war movement now has a new gust of wind and people do not have to feel as if they are in the minority if they are against the war.

“We hope that it gives confidence to the other people in the anti-war movement so that the next time we have a demonstration more people are confident enough to come out and actually believe that we can stop this war,” Anderson said.

Blood Drive to Aid Hurricane Victims

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The Student Health Advisory Committee’s blood drive started with five eager donors lined up outside the Student Health Center 10 minutes prior to the actual time of the blood drive.

The “Pint for a Pint” event is the first time that SHAC will be hosting a blood drive for two days in support of the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and in dedication to the memory of SHAC officer, Vibha Sharma. For every donation SHAC will give $5 to the Red Cross and Blood Centers of the Pacific will supply the blood to sister blood banks in hurricane regions.

“This is to encourage students who were affected by Katrina and want to take action but don’t have the financial means to help,” said Janet Ho, president of SHAC.

Ho is unconcerned by the Blood Centers of the Pacific’s need for 50 donors due to the success of last year’s blood drive, which garnered such overwhelming numbers of donors who were all substantially walk-in volunteers that SHAC extended their usual one day event into two days.

“We’re not worried because we’re pretty sure that the student population will come out and support us,” said Kamal Harb, health educator at the Student Health Center and SHAC advisor.

David Meredith, chair of the Math Department, has not given blood in almost three years, but he was the very first person to take a seat in the Student Health Center’s conference room to donate his blood.

“The main thing is to get some blood in the system. There is always a need,” said Meredith.

Senior and first time blood donor, Kelly Werner was just passing by the Student Health Center when she decided to participate in the blood drive.

“This is my opportunity to help because I can’t go over there (New Orleans) and do something and although I don’t have the money, this is an indirect way to contribute and help out,” said Werner.

Blood Centers of the Pacific blood drive Supervisor Antonette Queri estimates that the process of donation will take up to 45 minutes to an hour since preparing donors, which includes filling out forms and health history consultations, will be taking up most of the time.

First semester SHAC member, Trevor Reed, 23, is impressed by the outcome of students who have already signed up to donate blood and emphasizes that more than 50 people have already signed up for the blood drive.

“I don’t think people know that SHAC will be donating $5 to the Red Cross because it doesn’t say it in our flyers, but I think most people donate because it’s a good cause,” said Reed.

Unfortunately, even though there is an outpour of people volunteering to donate, there are still some people turned away because they are not eligible. According to Queri, at least one out of 10 people will be turned away after filling out forms some because they are not eligible to donate blood. During history consultations, nurses ask health questions to volunteers to measure their eligibility and it’s mostly women who are turned away because they tend to have low iron said Ho.

“Last semester 90 people signed up but only 51 actually donated because they’re underweight, or they have tattoos,” said Harb.

The outpour of students willing to donate have been overwhelming that an hour and half before the blood drive was over for the day, Ho and Reed had to start turning people away and asking students to come back tomorrow.

“The fundamental problem is that there are not enough staff members to help out that students are now waiting an hour and a half instead of just hour,” said Ho.

To show their appreciation, SHAC and Blood Centers of the Pacific will be giving donors coupons for a free pint of ice cream at Baskin Robbins. The blood drive will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and tomorrow.

Folsom Street Fair Brings a Diversity of Fetishes

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Leather, lots of skin, whips and chains all came together on a fabulously sunny day in San Francisco’s South of Market district on Sunday at the twenty-second annual Folsom Street Fair, where fetishes and kinkiness ruled the land.

An estimated 400,000 people frolicked and ogled at the world’s largest leather event, an annual fair along Folsom Street scheduled for the last Sunday of every September. The weather was warm and the sky was clear, prompting most fair-goers to wear as little as possible.

No sexual fetish, fixation, kink or preference is too risqué for Folsom. There were spanking booths, porn producers hawking their wares, sex toy sales, and plenty of public debauchery.

“I like how it’s such a spectacle unlike anything you could see anywhere else,” said Yanko Guerrero, a local college student, as he took a quick break from dancing with a large group of friends clad in leather accessories and skimpy clothing. “It’s just one only-in-San-Francisco moment after another.”

Fair attire included a variety of leather harnesses, dominatrix uniforms, leather chaps, the occasional gas mask, and sometimes, nothing but a pair of shoes. Several men took in the fair while strolling about casually wearing only a cockring and maybe a backpack or fanny-pack.

The Folsom Street Fair, which is put on by a nonprofit group called Folsom Street Events, each year returns all proceeds, including gate donations and beverage sales, to local charities. This year there were 12 primary beneficiaries including the AIDS and Breast Cancer Emergency Funds, Project Open Hand, the Stop AIDS Project, and the Quan Yin Healing Arts Center.

San Francisco police officers kept an eye on the festivities but hung back from the action and allowed almost free reign to the fair-goers, even when some of the activities might have drawn unwanted attention on any ordinary day.

John Miller, 29, flew into town from Phoenix for the street fair and stayed the weekend with some friends. Though he had heard all about the fair and thought he knew what to expect, he was just a little shocked to witness men participating in fellatio in broad daylight.

“I’m sure it happens in Phoenix, I’ve seen just about everything else,” said Miller as he peered back over his shoulder just to be sure his eyes weren’t fooling him. “Just not in the middle of the street.”

Often it wasn’t too hard to tell the veterans of previous Folsom Street Fairs from their more naive fellow revelers. Some people were content to just watch the craziness around them, while others were all too happy to take part.

“My friends and I get together and have a crazy time because we know that no matter how naughty we all get, there are people all around us, some within an arm’s length, taking things further than us,” said Guerrero. “There’s less sense of guilt or shame when you’re surrounded by the truly shameless.”

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a self-ordained Order of queer nuns and a San Francisco institution, were collecting a recommended donation of five dollars at the gates in exchange for a sticker that was good for one dollar off of drinks. Big-name sponsors included Miller Genuine Draft, Finlandia Vodka, Southern Comfort, and local radio station 92.7 FM.

“I love Folsom. I always look forward to gathering with friends, going out and being free and enjoying whatever it is that’s going on,” said Braddon White, 31. “Plus it’s usually a great time to be outside and enjoy life, love and happiness.”

San Francisco State University has long been a site of political unrest, as evidenced by recent anti-military recruitment protests and anti-war demonstrations. Despite such sentiments, there is a small number of students at SF State who dedicate their time and lives to service in the military. This is the story of Marine Corps officer candidates Brittany Merriam, Richard Ma, Jason Mitchell and Raphael Minck.

Click the button on the right to meet the Marines.

Muni to Cut Bus Routes

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As of Saturday, September 24, Muni will enforce even more service cuts affecting SF State students. Besides the recent increase in fare from $1.25 to $1.50, the 26 - Valencia bus will no longer be coming to the campus.

These upcoming adjustments, which have not been as heavily publicized as the fare hike, are another action taken by Muni to make up for its $57 million budget deficit. As a result, changes will be made to over 20 bus lines.

According to Muni’s website, the adjustments will include changes in scheduled frequency, routing, and hours of service.

“It’s just another example of the poor – sighted Muni system one – upping the common man,” said Design and Industry senior Greg Schroeder.

The 26 bus line will be receiving more severe cuts than others. All service between Balboa Park and SF State will be eliminated. Students living in the Mission, Bernal Heights, Excelsior, Ingleside, Sunset and Parkside areas will have to make changes in their modes of transportation.

Muni spokeswoman Maggie Lynch could not be reached for comment.

Senior Art major Justin Rands, 21, does not think that any bus line that goes to a school should fall victim to service cuts.

“I’m shocked and appalled that this kind of lunacy is going on in our city," Rands said. “I rely on this bus everyday to get to and from school easily. The 26 bus line is now considered the ghost line in our (part of) town. That’s really disappointing.”

Besides the elimination of services, cuts will also be made to the number of runs each day. On weekdays and weekends the 26 will run every 20 minutes during the day and 30 minutes in the evening.

“I take the 26 multiple times a day and it’s always carrying other SF State students,” said Schroeder, 21. “Now I will have to make multiple transfers of routes and add in even more time to get to school.”

Muni Fare Strike representative Riva Enteen said that the elimination of a bus line that goes to a school is outrageous and disrespectful to students.

“I have two non-American women living with me and they can’t imagine any other country ending a bus service that goes to a college,” Enteen said.

According to Enteen, the recent cuts contribute to the process of depleting service in the southern part of town.

The cuts may also increase traffic as riders either refuse to take Muni or find it no longer convenient and start driving their own vehicles.

Students formerly dependent on the 26 bus will have to turn to BART and the M – Ocean View line. Options include taking either the 26 or BART to Balboa and then the M – line to SF State.

Reductions in service have also been made to such popular lines as the 14 – Mission, 22 – Filmore, 24 – Divisadero, 38 – Geary and 47/49 – Van Ness. The 7 – Haight will lose all of its mid – day and weekend runs as well. The 17 – Park Merced bus will have changes in frequency with it arriving every 30 minutes during midday and evening times as opposed to the prior 20.

Meanwhile students who must continue to rely on Muni see no other options.

“They raised the fares and cut the services, thanks a lot Muni,” Schroeder said. “I have no other choice but to continue riding among a sea of terrible planning and foresight.”

For more information on the most recent Muni service adjustments, visit Muni’s Website, www.sfmuni.com .

Are We Ready for the Big One?

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“Duck and cover.” This is more or less the extent of knowledge that San Francisco State students have on earthquake preparedness.

However, the “big one” will strike, and when it does there won’t be an emergency crew or rescue team to save you, it will most likely fall on you to protect yourself, and render aid and assistance.

According to officials, the SFSU Health Department and the SFSU Public Safety Department are prepared to deal with an emergency but many students are still blurred on what to do or where to go.

In order to help students prepare, the Department of Public Safety has posted an Emergency Procedure Handbook on their Web site, http://www.sfsu.edu/~dps/emergency/. They also mention that in case of an earthquake, the safest place to evacuate is Cox Stadium, which is located behind the Gymnasium, between the Parking Garage and Thornton Hall.

Albert Angelo, a Health Educator at the Health Center agrees that Cox Stadium is the safest place to go to but, "the most important thing is immediate safety, try to find an open space and stay away from windows.”

Most students are aware of the high risk of an earthquake, however, the diversity of reasons offered for not being prepared mirror the diversity of SF State.

“I kind of know what to do when it happens, go under something. But I've never heard anyone say how to get prepared,” said Jennifer Young, a Liberal Studies sophomore.

Most students, like Young, have been taught that going "under something" is the best option, however, Angelo said differently. "It's actually better to go beside something and not under, so you don't get pinned down if (what you are under) collapses."

Andrew Parks, a Psychology senior from Sacramento is aware that preparing an earthquake kit is a good idea, however he doesn't plan to live in San Francisco for more than a year.

“If I had an experienced (an earthquake), maybe I would prepare (for one),” said Parks.

For those not able to find time between work and school to gather the necessary gear, the American Red Cross sells emergency backpacks online. They range from $49.95 to $64.95 and take one to two weeks to ship. They include everything one might need in the case of an emergency.

Another reason mentioned by students for not being prepared is the matter of spending $50 or $60 for something that might not be needed.

“$60 (for the Red Cross Kit) is too much for students,” said Gina Dotto, a Liberal Studies senior.

Cost was also a prohibitive factor for Maria Duran, an International Business junior who said she would buy the kit “if it was inexpensive.”

Cheaper options are available for those that can’t or won’t pay $60.

First Aid kits are available at Target, they range from $14.99 to $29.99 and are approved by the Red Cross, and Wal-Mart also carries a First Aid Kit for $19.78 as well as flashlights, radios, blankets, canned food and tools.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is the Ultimate Emergency Preparedness Kit for $99.99. It even includes “an emergency light that works when plugged into any outlet, even if the power is out. “

"The biggest thing besides the (emergency kit) is communication. Put a 'in case of emergency' number in your phone so if anything happens, I can just take your phone and call your family," said Angelo.

Captain Amalia Borja of the Department of Public Safety also advises students to have minimum prepared.

"Keep extra bottles of water on hand, some breakfast bars, a change of clothes, some disinfectant and simple bandage," said Borja. "All this can be stored in the trunk of a car or in a cupboard at home."

After an earthquake, the local phone lines are likely to be out. Angelo advises to designate a friend or relative living outside the area to be the link between you and the people concerned about your safety.

"There are basic things that we all should have, like water, food, a flash light, a first aid kit and cash, like $25 in case the ATM machines don't work," said Angelo. "And if money is the reason for not preparing, build your own (emergency) kit little by little."

Alejandra Calderon juggles being a proud parent of two daughters, going to school full time, and doing at least 12 hours of research a week on Latino smoking cessation.

"I tell people all the time that you would be surprised when you're in a certain situation and you have to make things work," said Calerdon.

Calderon, along with Elena Flores, Jasmine Alvarez, Janice Cheng, Erika Torres, and Raymond Ortiz III were accepted into the national Career Opportunities in Research (COR) program at SF State, which accepts minority students majoring in sociology, psychology, social work counseling, or child and adolescent development who would like to pursue doctorates in mental health fields.

"The program addressees under representation of minority individuals in mental health research," said Sacha Bunge, SF State Professor and director of the COR program.

To be eligible to apply for the program, students must have a diverse background (such as Hispanic, Asian-American, or African American) and upperclassmen standing with at least a 3.0 grade point average. They must also express great interest in a career in mental health research.

Students who are accepted receive monthly stipends of $900 to $1000 for living expenses, tuition, books and graduate record examination (GRE) preparation. They also attend fully funded conferences held all around the country, and their application fees for doctoral programs are paid for.

The program receives majority of its funding through the National Institutes of Mental Health. SF State and University of California San Francisco match some of these funds through grants.

But the rewards do not come free to the students, according to Bunge.

"The students work for the money," she said. "Students are required to do at least 12 hours a week in a research lab."

Additionally, students must complete preparatory workshops for the GRE, a standardized test taken by students who wish to get a postgraduate degree.

Students also work with a mentor, develop their own research projects, and apply to at least 10 graduate schools.

"(The) mentoring experience is key to the program," said Bunge, who has been directing the program for five years.

Calderon agrees.

"For the first time I actually feel like I have someone that is looking out for my best interest," said Calderon. "The mentors' job is to make sure that I succeed."

Calderon, who was born in Nicaragua, is currently doing research with the University of California San Francisco smoking cessation lab. The study is conducted on Latinos who wish to quit smoking and receive free help through an Internet site.

According to Calderon, she wants to receive her doctorate in sociology through the Berkeley sociology doctorate program and work with Latino youth population. She would like to get into social work and be an "advocate" for the Latino population.

Elena Flores, 26-year-old sociology major, also wishes to pursue a career in sociology working with the Latino youth community.

"My first sociology class answered all my questions. I wanted to make a difference (through sociology)," said Flores.

When Flores is finished with school she would like to teach and continue doing research. She wants to do research on Latina women, Latino children, and adopted children.

"It's an amazing program. I never knew there was anything like it," said Flores.

Erika Torres, the youngest of the six new members, is interested with working with incarcerated youth. She admits that the program is challenging, but not overwhelming.

"It's a lot of work," said 20-year-old Torres. "But the program still gives me time to do other things. There are a lot of high expectations, but it is not unmanageable."

According to all the students in the program, it has been an intense experience. Calderon admits that the program and balancing her life in it is tough, but she manages to work through it with help from her family.

"Family support has definitely helped me through this process," said Calderon. "If it wasn't for them I don't know what I would do."

Education Put To the Test

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Education in America is in a crisis that is divided along a two-tiered system of separate and unequal schools according to SF State Elementary Education Professor Marty Conrad.

A quality education is the equalizer that enables the lower tier to progress to the middle class she explains. Only when the public makes it a priority to assist improving schools in low-income communities, will the poor escape a cycle of endless poverty and cease to be a drain on public resources.

As part of its open course/public lecture series this fall, the College of Behavioral And Social Sciences convened another panel presentation last Wednesday (9/21). Nearly 100 persons attended the forum in the Humanities Auditorium.

The forum focused on the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). This is the law endorsed and signed by President Bush in 2002 that mandated standardized tests for K through 12 public schools receiving federal Title I funds.

Title I is the main vehicle for federal investment in public schools that is aimed toward poor families. The San Francisco Unified School District gets $17 million, half of its annual federal funds for this program, according to School Board member Jill Wynns. She said NCLB is well intentioned but does not serve the minority children it intended to help because the U.S. Congress has never adequately funded the program.

But several SF State faculty complained NCLB misuses funds and that NCLB’s scripted curriculum (specific teaching materials and instructions), and Adequate Yearly Progress reports (AYP) actually make lower performing schools worse rather than closing the gap with schools achieving academic goals.

“Bush tries to convince us that NCLB will save impoverished kids,” said Conrad. “Yet we have a system of discrepancies that treats the low-income differently. We’re (Education faculty) advocates for kids in underperforming schools but they’re failing because of socio-economic disparities and not underperforming students.”

If a student does not have a high level of literacy, it is very difficult to progress in life Conrad said. And because not all students learn at the same pace, standardized curriculum denies the excitement that children require to learn, in which a more diversified method of teaching could provide she insisted.

Conrad also called tracking an evil we have known about for years. That is a monitoring system that steers higher performing students toward courses that will help them get accepted to universities and relegates the rest toward classes that will only qualify a student to gain entrance to community college or technical school.

Elementary Education Professor Kathy Emery said that in 1989 President G.H.W. Bush adopted the policy of National Education Goals. It established a system known as “high stakes” tests that mandated testing using standard measures that alleged to determine success or failure absolutely she said.

The policy functioned by a rewards and punishment system whereby high performing schools received increased federal funds but low performing schools got sanctions such as mandates to replace faculty, bring in new curriculum, pay for tutoring, or allow students to transfer to better performing schools. California passed its version of high stakes the Public Schools Accountability Act in 1999 and 15 other states passed similar laws.

One of the major affects of high stakes testing since 1989 has been the creation of a new tracking system Emery called college prep/prison prep. This tended to increase the number of dropouts who had little option but to accept low paying jobs or resort to criminal activity leading to incarceration said Emery.

The college prep/prison prep tracking system is one where low performing schools because of a lack of funding are subjected to a “drill and kill” curriculum that is deathly dull to teachers and students alike she explained. Meanwhile, better funded suburban schools were able to offer a more enriched problem solving and critical thinking curriculum Emery noted.

Former chair of the Elementary Education Department, Professor Jane Bernard-Powers said NCLB profoundly affects our students, parents and teachers, some of whom have been designated as under qualified by the legislation. But it also intrudes into the privacy of parents of high school students by providing the military with contact information of male and female draft age students, so there is in a sense military recruiting going on in the public schools she maintained.

NCLB shortchanges children and teachers who believe they can change people’s lives through independent curriculum when the federal government overstepped the prerogative of state and local school boards said Bernard-Powers.

“We now have a market,” said Bernard-Powers. “Schools are not a market for Houghton-Mifflin, McGraw-Hill or Harcourt-Brace (book publishers). It’s an amazing intrusion of corporations into the decisions of local school boards. Money that goes to NCLB could go into art and music programs. We hope we’ve convinced you about our concerns and hope you ask some hard questions.”

An expanded program at SF State aims to train the next generation of nurses to address the widely varying needs of patients from different ethnic groups.

The Diversifying Leadership in Nursing program was designed to address inadequate health care in minority communities.

Under the program, exceptionally qualified Master of Science in Nursing students from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds gain extra preparation through a series of academic and clinical experiences.

“I want to help our people, the Hispanic people,” said Nancy Rivas, 38, a graduate nursing student participating in the program. “I want to have the knowledge and power to give them what they need.

“You need power in higher levels to make a change.”

The clinical aspect of the program requires the student to do supervised hands-on work in their field of choice.

The program’s main goal, organizers said, is to prepare the student to continue their education and get a Ph.D. in nursing.

“Those who go on to earn a Ph.D. are the core of leaders,” said Hilary K. Pritchard, program coordinator at the Marian Wright Edelman Institute at SF State. “They are the researchers, the decision makers and the ones that teach in the classroom.”

The pilot program, originally called U-56, started in 2002 through funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute.

The program operated in a three-year trial period, which turned out to be a success. Due to the funding from the NCI, the initial focus of the program was on cancer treatment.

Once the trial period ended, some instructors felt that the areas of focus should be expanded beyond cancer. Students are now able to choose from many different health specialties for their focus.

“We felt if we were able to expand beyond cancer it would make it easier to recruit (new students),” said Pritchard.

When the trial period ended, many staff members said they felt that the program was a success and needed to continue, but they were going to need more funding. Through a $330,000 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services and approximately $210,000 from the California Wellness Foundation, the new Diversifying Leadership in Nursing program was formed.

The new grants will allow the program to run for another five years, with a goal of graduating 20 new students in that time.

The masterminds behind the program are Charlotte Ferretti, a registered nurse and the director of the Marian Wright Edelman Institute at SF State, and Dr. Judy Martin-Holland, assistant dean for academic services and diversity enhancement at the University of California, San Francisco.

“What a fabulous opportunity this is for students,” said Ferretti. “It’s life-transforming.”

Before the recent change of programs, only two students per year were admitted into the core curriculum. They have since upped the number to four students.

To date, two students have graduated and two more are set to finish this December. Four new students, who have already been admitted, will begin next semester.

Angela Johnson, 37, a graduate of the U-56 program, said that the program was very beneficial to her in many ways.

“It helped with the financial impact (of being a student),” said Johnson. “I was also able to meet and get to know a lot of people, like doctors.”

Rivas also endorsed the change.

“I would recommend this program to anybody,” said Rivas.

Graduate Program Moves Downtown

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Starting as soon as fall of 2007, SF State’s College of Business’ graduate department may relocate downtown in the heart of San Francisco’s financial district.

According to Nancy Hayes, dean of the College of Business, the move will not only extend the graduate department’s existing downtown campus, but also accommodate graduate business students who work in the downtown area.

“The business school does need to align itself with its students, and a lot of our students are working professionals,” Hayes said.

Although the graduate department has been considering the move for almost two years, Hayes said the university and the department do not have any firm plans as of yet, but it is an idea that they are “exploring aggressively.”

“Many of our part-time students work downtown and that is extra travel time," said Victor Cordell, director of the graduate business program. "With the new location, the students will live in one place, and work in one place, and that is one less leg in commuting.”

Cordell said he is confident that the graduate department’s “strategic decision” to move downtown will benefit the program once plans for relocation are finalized. He said the location would enhance the program’s ability to arrange internships and career assistance to students, and make it easier for guest lecturers from downtown businesses to visit the campus.

“I think that the graduate business program will have a stronger sense of identity and community when it becomes physically separated from the undergraduate program,” said Cordell. “The downtown location will give us access to the vibrant business community.”

Mathew Pang, a 22-year-old graduate student of the business program, said he is not too pleased with the prospect of the move.

Pang worries that the move will potentially lead to the program charging students “market prices” instead of the regular SF State graduate student enrollment fee.

“SFSU’s graduate program is positioned as the low cost provider of graduate education in the Bay Area.,” said Pang. “With this move, it places them in a disadvantageous position relative to other state universities and local private universities.”

Cordell estimates that graduate students might end up paying as much as three times more than the current $3,000 registration fee, but Hayes stressed that the department and university have not yet settled on a fee structure.

“It would be disingenuous if we didn’t acknowledge that the cost to the student will increase and make it more difficult for the students,” said Cordell, “but we will also have scholarships to assist those with genuine needs.”

Despite his disagreement with the department’s plans, Pang is willing to give the downtown location a try.

“I plan on continuing my education at SFSU,” said Pang. “Prices elsewhere would be relatively the same and programs elsewhere would likely not allow some units to transfer, it would not make sense to transfer now; and I like it here.”

Although nothing is definite, Cordell explains that plans to expand the downtown location has been in the current agenda and that the department has been scouring available spaces.

“We’ve been visiting prospective sights and narrowed the candidates,” said Cordell. “We are in the process of trying to finalize the location that will meet the needs of the various components of the university.”

Cordell said he hopes to announce the new location within several weeks.

Even with a location in mind, it will take a while for the graduate business department and its program to make a full move downtown. The target moving date is in January of 2007.

“We already have task forces on the conceptual aspects of the move,” Cordell said. “These processes take a long time.”

Hayes said she is uncertain what changes will be made once the location and move is finalized, but said she promises that the changes will only better the business graduate program.

“I feel it’s important to be where the market is and to provide for working professionals who are also graduate students and what location is the in best position to serve that,” said Hayes.

You might think that Molly O’Rourke would be ready for a break after competing at the World Judo Championships in Cairo, Egypt at the beginning of September. But this SF State senior in Kinesiology is doing nothing of the sort.

This 22-year-old judoka – the term used for a student of judo – competes September 24 in Montreal, Quebec at an international tournament called Rendezvous. She then heads to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to compete in the USA U.S. Open Judo Championships the following weekend.

The world championship was the largest tournament that O’Rourke had competed in. Even though she was a little disappointed with her first bout – about a minute-and-a-half struggle, which she lost - she still retains her rank as the number two in the country in her weight class, 87 kilograms (nearly 192 pounds) and remains a formidable force in American judo. The competition showed her what she needed to work on.

“Going there really shows me what I need to do in order to really hang with them,” she said.

O’Rourke currently studies judo under the tutelage of Dr. David Matsumoto, SF State psychology professor and Director of the Culture and Emotion Research Laboratory at SF State and member of the International Judo Federation. Matsumoto sensei – the Japanese honorific term for teacher – is a sixth-degree-black-belt and has been O’Rourke’s primary judo instructor since 2002. Even though he has been her coach for most of her major competitions, winning medals is not what he’s teaching her. The goal of judo is self-development, not defeating opponents.

“I am more concerned about her development as a person, whether she earns a medal or not,” Matsumoto explained. “I have already seen vast changes in her self-esteem and confidence.”

O’Rourke stated studying judo eight years ago in Oak Harbor, Washington when she was in the eighth grade. She net Matsumoto in Seattle when he came to train at a dojo there. After training with him she was permanently hooked. While in high school she would fly from Seattle to the Bay Area to train at the East Bay Judo Institute, Matsumoto’s dojo.

“I would fly down on a Friday and fly home on Sunday twice, maybe three times a month,” she recalled.

Her first big tournament was as a sixteen-year-old at the Junior National Championships in 1999 where she placed third. The next year she would claim first.

In 2004 she placed second at the Senior National Championships in San Diego. In spring of this year she placed first at nationals and at the world team trials, earning her a spot on the judo team that represented the United States at the world championships.

Her accomplishments are extraordinary, but unfortunately judo doesn’t receive the same attention in the United States that it does in the rest of the world. According to O’Rourke, judo is the second only to soccer as the most popular sport in the world.

“The U.S. doesn’t care about judo,” she laments. “They just don’t understand it.”

American disinterest hasn’t diminished her drive. O’Rourke dons her gi – the white or blue uniforms ubiquitous with judo – and trains for two hours a day. She spends an additional hour in the gym working on weight training and endurance.

“School in the morning, judo at night,” she said, describing her demanding schedule.

O’Rourke still has Olympic dreams, but her coach said that she still has some sizeable hurdles to clear.

“She’ll have to continue to improve in her judo ability,” Matsumoto said.

In order to gain a spot on the Olympic judo team she will have to qualify a slot by placing in the top three in the Pan-American Union – which covers judo in the Americas. Even if she earns a slot for the U.S. team, she will still have to compete in the Olympic trials in order to retain her spot on the Olympic team. Whether or not she makes the team, her accomplishments bode well for judo recognition at the university and beyond.

“It’s good for the university to have national recognition,” Matsumoto said.

While some parents might worry about their child getting hurt during competition, O’Rourke ‘s parents are very supportive.

“My parents are really into it,” she said. “My parents tell me ‘Don’t think that you haven’t accomplished anything, because you have.’”

On Wednesday, SF State students had a platform to express feelings of disillusionment concerning Hurricane Katrina, not too long before Hurricane Rita is set to touch down on the Gulf Coast, making New Orleans old news.

The forum, entitled “Being Black during Hurricane Katrina,” was a meeting of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc.’s monthly current events group the “I”. The informal gathering of about 20 mostly African American students was held in Cesar Chavez Student Union and focused on two main themes: What were their feelings about the hip-hop community’s response concerning Katrina and media coverage of the event.

The debate over the racial aspects of Hurricane Katrina’s coverage and in turn America’s response to the tragedy has been raging since shortly after the Hurricane touched shore.

Pete Griffin, the moderator and a member of Iota Phi Theta, wanted to give people a chance to discuss the perceived racism in relation to Katrina before Rita hits and these issues are put on “a back burner.”

“There’s been a lot of questions with Hurricane Katrina,” he said. “We want people to know a lot of (what they see on TV) is untrue.”

Many of the students said they were troubled by images of African Americans looting, their constantly being referred to as “refugees,” and watching them wallow in knee-deep, unsanitary water literally for days as they awaited aid. They added that they felt people in Louisiana were being treated as though they were outsiders.

While frustrated with these images, many said they were not surprised since they say the media has historically portrayed African Americans in a negative light.

Some charged the media with denying racially biased reporting. They cited shows such as MSNBC’s Scarborough County and anchor Bill O’Reilly, who recently pointed fingers at Louisiana’s government, especially New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin, in what group participants perceived as an effort by the conservatives to prove that the media and Bush administration is indeed color blind.

“People think when you say someone’s racist it’s ‘oh (they) hate black people’, but really it’s all about power and privilege,” SF State student Corey Hill-Crudup said. “From a historical and social context, do black people have power and privilege? No they don’t.”

As the discussion progressed from the media to the hip-hop community’s response, the mood in the room shifted from resentment to disappointment. Everyone agreed that many of the people who made up those, now lost, communities make up a large part the hip-hop audience and that rappers should be doing more to directly help the people.

“A lot of money was generated in that area between (New Orleans resident rappers) Master P and the Cash Money Millionaires,” said Tarramazz Harris, 23, a psychology major. "It took awhile to respond. They could’ve been in the neighborhoods on boats.”

There was a long debate about Kanye West, one rapper who did publicly speak out about the perceived injustices. His very public, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” comment was applauded by some and criticized by others.

“I saw what the potential of Kanye’s consciousness caused him to do,” Hill-Crudup said. “If Kanye West happened to be that one spark that made everybody think, then so be it.”

Tiffany O’Neal, 29, disagreed saying that West’s outburst was an isolated incident and the majority of entertainers are unwilling to risk their popularity for something they believe in.

“Instead of looking out for black people they look to their contracts to make sure it’s okay,” she said.

The hope for the group is that with another natural disaster looming on the horizon in the Houston area, the media will not make the same mistakes in their coverage and that leaders of the black community will have a stronger and more immediate response.

Education Put to the Test

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Education in America is in a crisis that is divided along a two-tiered system of separate and unequal schools according to SF State Elementary Education Professor Marty Conrad.

A quality education is the equalizer that enables the lower tier to progress to the middle class she explains. Only when the public makes it a priority to assist improving schools in low-income communities, will the poor escape a cycle of endless poverty and cease to be a drain on public resources.

As part of its open course/public lecture series this fall, the College of Behavioral And Social Sciences convened another panel presentation last Wednesday (9/21). Nearly 100 persons attended the forum in the Humanities Auditorium.

The forum focused on the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). This is the law endorsed and signed by President Bush in 2002 that mandated standardized tests for K through 12 public schools receiving federal Title I funds.

Title I is the main vehicle for federal investment in public schools that is aimed toward poor families. The San Francisco Unified School District gets $17 million, half of its annual federal funds for this program, according to School Board member Jill Wynns. She said NCLB is well intentioned but does not serve the minority children it intended to help because the U.S. Congress has never adequately funded the program.

But several SF State faculty complained NCLB misuses funds and that NCLB’s scripted curriculum (specific teaching materials and instructions), and Adequate Yearly Progress reports (AYP) actually make lower performing schools worse rather than closing the gap with schools achieving academic goals.

“Bush tries to convince us that NCLB will save impoverished kids,” said Conrad. “Yet we have a system of discrepancies that treats the low-income differently. We’re (Education faculty) advocates for kids in underperforming schools but they’re failing because of socio-economic disparities and not underperforming students.”

If a student does not have a high level of literacy, it is very difficult to progress in life Conrad said. And because not all students learn at the same pace, standardized curriculum denies the excitement that children require to learn, in which a more diversified method of teaching could provide she insisted.

Conrad also called tracking an evil we have known about for years. That is a monitoring system that steers higher performing students toward courses that will help them get accepted to universities and relegates the rest toward classes that will only qualify a student to gain entrance to community college or technical school.

Elementary Education Professor Kathy Emery said that in 1989 President G.H.W. Bush adopted the policy of National Education Goals. It established a system known as “high stakes” tests that mandated testing using standard measures that alleged to determine success or failure absolutely she said.

The policy functioned by a rewards and punishment system whereby high performing schools received increased federal funds but low performing schools got sanctions such as mandates to replace faculty, bring in new curriculum, pay for tutoring, or allow students to transfer to better performing schools. California passed its version of high stakes the Public Schools Accountability Act in 1999 and 15 other states passed similar laws.

One of the major affects of high stakes testing since 1989 has been the creation of a new tracking system Emery called college prep/prison prep. This tended to increase the number of dropouts who had little option but to accept low paying jobs or resort to criminal activity leading to incarceration said Emery.

The college prep/prison prep tracking system is one where low performing schools because of a lack of funding are subjected to a “drill and kill” curriculum that is deathly dull to teachers and students alike she explained. Meanwhile, better funded suburban schools were able to offer a more enriched problem solving and critical thinking curriculum Emery noted.

Former chair of the Elementary Education Department, Professor Jane Bernard-Powers said NCLB profoundly affects our students, parents and teachers, some of whom have been designated as under qualified by the legislation. But it also intrudes into the privacy of parents of high school students by providing the military with contact information of male and female draft age students, so there is in a sense military recruiting going on in the public schools she maintained.

NCLB shortchanges children and teachers who believe they can change people’s lives through independent curriculum when the federal government overstepped the prerogative of state and local school boards said Bernard-Powers.

“We now have a market,” said Bernard-Powers. “Schools are not a market for Houghton-Mifflin, McGraw-Hill or Harcourt-Brace (book publishers). It’s an amazing intrusion of corporations into the decisions of local school boards. Money that goes to NCLB could go into art and music programs. We hope we’ve convinced you about our concerns and hope you ask some hard questions.”


What do students in East Timor, the Philippines, Utah and Wisconsin have in common with students at SF State?

Plenty, it seems. Nonprofit organization Americans for Informed Democracy held a videoconference on Tuesday, Sept. 20 that allowed students to discuss issues ranging from poverty and disease to
environmentalism. The videoconference was held as part of a nationwide series, “Fighting for What’s
Right,” which seeks to generate national and international dialogue about America’s responsibilities to those living in poverty in the U.S. and around the world.

“This is one of many videoconferences,” said SF State alum Veronica Canton, president of the San Francisco chapter of Americans for Informed Democracy. “We need to be aware of poverty, AIDS, terrorism, just to name a few (and) inform students not only from (the) international relations (major) but from SF State as to the foreign policies we need to be aware of.”

The event on Tuesday turned out only a handful of people from SF State, but Canton was hopeful that
future events would have a larger turnout.

International relations major Thaoly Vu, 21, said she heard about the conference via a flyer left in the bathroom.

“(I’m here) to check out the developments,” said Vu, who said she was interested in “strategies to develop global countries.”

“I only expect correct information,” Vu said. “That’s the least I expect.”
International relations major Conrad Corpus, 29, said he came to see students from other countries. “I like to hear their feedback,” Corpus said.

Canton is optimistic about future videoconferences at SF State, and said that she would like to see more conferences held, with some happening during the day. According to Canton, around “15 to 20” students show up at a typical videoconference, but there was less attendance on Tuesday “probably due to the weather.”

Those participating in the videoconference were able to discuss a variety of issues. Each team had a
discussion moderator, but any student could ask a question or pose a comment when it was their section’s turn to participate. Several technical matters were quickly ironed out, although Utah’s site was unable to resolve some visual problems, and some students from East Timor needed others to speak slowly due to the language barrier.

Canton would like to see the videoconferences attract a larger and more varied audience. “Our main goal is to attract students,” said Canton, who is hopeful that students from majors other than international relations and even high school students will participate. “We’re trying to spread out.”

SF State Students Document Katrina's Aftermath

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The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has caused a mixed number of reactions all across America. As the region struggles to rebuild itself, many stories are unfolding, shedding light on the reality of the devastation.

Three SF State photojournalism students recently went to New Orleans to document the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Here are their stories along with a gallery of images the students brought back with them.

New tenants living on campus have been here for a little over a month. We asked new tenants of the Village and Mary Ward Hall how they feel about living on-campus.

Concert Held to Aid Huricane Victims

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The Black Student Union joined forces with local rappers on Monday, fundraising to send out a message laced with music to SF State students in Malcolm X Plaza.

The BSU organized the Hurricane Katrina Relief Concert as a money and clothing drive for victims of the hurricane. Everything collected will be given directly to displaced people who are now residing in the Bay Area.

Students sitting in the sun-drenched plaza were treated to performances by local favorites San Quinn, Cell Ski, Big Rich and SF State students who wrote original pieces for the event. With DVDs being passed out, beats throbbing over the loudspeaker and CDs being thrown from the stage, the event had a festive atmosphere; however, the impassioned appeals from speakers for donations in the intervals between the music highlighted the fact that a tragedy had brought everyone together.

Through hip-hop music the BSU wanted to make SF State students aware that there are still many people displaced by Katrina who need help and there are plenty of ways for students to help the effort.

“Right now the strongest thing we have is hip hop,” said Derrick Washington, 25, a criminal justice major and member of the BSU. “We use it as a vehicle for a political message.”

The idea for the event was a collective one by the BSU. They contacted the performers, who not only performed at the event for free, but donated clothes and money. The organization felt that this was the best way to reach people, since hip-hop listeners cross many cultural lines.

The speakers included Chris Jackson, an SF State senior and president of Associated Students Inc., Matthew Clark, who was visiting campus to talk about his Katrina fundraising bike ride from San Jose to Long Beach, sponsored by Habitat for Humanity, and different members of the BSU.

JB Da Original, a 27-year-old San Francisco rapper, is friends with Washington and said he was glad to help out because he has family in Louisiana that was affected.

“(The concert) brings more unity,” he said. “We could have an earthquake out here… and we got to look out for them like they would look out for us.”

Rapper, San Quinn, 26, wanted to get involved in the efforts to help Katrina victims before, but he wanted to make sure his money was actually getting to the victims. When Washington tapped him to perform he was assured his efforts would benefit the people who need it most.

“I came (here) because I hadn’t done anything, I didn’t give anything and I didn’t take anything anywhere,” Quinn said onstage, before his performance.

Students, like Khemner Fisher, a grad student in education in his 30s, donated items to other relief drives on campus. Although he said he enjoyed the entertainment, he was more interested in the BSU’s organizing efforts.

“(This event) is important to generate more awareness of what’s going on,” he said. “But once people are aware, they need to know what to do and that’s where organization comes in.”

The donation table had a stream of students who made cash donations and the clothing table had several folded piles, as well as entire bags of clothes. A rapper who performed with JB Da Original made a dollar donation to the BSU relief fund for every CD he sold.
Overall the BSU thought the event was successful.

“It was a quick response and it was something we had in our arsenal,” Washington said summing up the event. “And it’s not over, it’s just the beginning.”

For more information about the drive you can contact the BSU office at 338-1933.

The 26th Xicana Moratorium took place on August 29, 2005. Xicanas came to commemorate those who have fought against police brutality and other social injustices. Families and friends come to support the cause in this all day event where food and clothes are sold as performers entertain on stage.

SF State Celebrates Constitution Day

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Schools around the nation are now required to honor one of the most important documents in United States history after a recently-passed law stated all federally-funded schools must celebrate Constitution Day.

The law provision was proposed by Sen. Robert Byrd, D-WV, and was passed in July 2005. Because Constitution Day is Sept. 17, SF State held their event on Sept. 19.

Although universities across the nation will plan more structured events, this law also extends to elementary schools, secondary schools and high schools.

“There is a delicate relationship between the Constitution and what actually comes out in our day-to-day life,” said Kenneth Monteiro, dean of the College of Ethnic Studies and a panel moderator.

According to Joel Kassiola, the dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, the faculty at SF State was planning for a “richer program than normal,” despite the short amount of time since the law was passed.

The faculty set up a day’s worth of discussion groups, some even overlapping each other in time, which were led by college deans and professors who have expertise in the topics. The topics included civil rights and affirmative action, the politics of the Supreme Court and disability rights. Each topic was discussed in relation to the Constitution.

“We didn’t have a heck of a lot of time to plan this,” Kassiola said, noting that the faculty met in August to plan the day’s events. “There was a big faculty response to this, so we wanted to do something more structured, more elaborate, more valued (than other colleges).”

“Next spring we’ll be able to invite students to participate,” he said.

The discussions were coordinated by Robert Cherny, the dean of Undergraduate Studies at SF State. According to Cherny, it was decided that nationally prominent faculty members would be the speakers, due to the timeframe.

“We wanted to try for outside speakers,” he said, “but we had to comply with the short planning time.”

Amy Smith, a psychology professor at SF State, spoke on a panel about affirmative action and the Supreme Court cases involving the issue. She said that she offered to speak because the topic relates to her area of expertise.

“Students at (SF State) are incredibly active and involved,” Smith said. “(This college has) an incredible student body of focused and engaged scholars.”

Fewer foreign students are choosing the United States as a place to get their higher education.

The enrollment of International students at SF State has dropped by 7.3 percent since last fall, according to a statistical summary released this week by the Office of International Programs (OIP).

"Most universities since Sept. 11, 2001 have experienced a decrease in International student enrollment," said Coordinator of International Student Services, Jay Ward.

"Since then, our government has not really been very International student friendly," Ward said. "Many International students feel that the U.S. is no longer the place to study and they basically began to look at other English speaking countries [to get their higher education]."

Ward pointed out that the decrease is also due to more competition overseas for International students, lack of recruiting and budget cuts.

But some are still choosing the U.S. to get their higher education.

SF State has 286 new International students enrolled this fall and some of them share their experience with [X] Press Online.

Raj Khadka, who got here about two months ago from Nepal to get his masters in Social Work, is one of them.

"This experience will help me a lot in my future and I plan to go to my country and work for the Nepal people," Khadka said.

"San Francisco is a great place for [getting an] education, especially for social work because of its diversity."

Anudama Sharma, 21, a Computer Science major, decided to come here instead of England to get her higher education.

"I chose San Francisco because it has a huge international population," Sharma said. "I will be getting an experience by not only Americans, but people from all over the world."

Likewise Khadka, Sharma plans to go back to her country, India, to help others.

"India is not a very rich country and it needs a lot of help," Sharma said.

"When we come here, we learn many things that we could implement and contribute to our country as much as possible."

Amouk Bachman, 24, got a scholarship to study in Sidney, Australia, but decided to come to San Francisco after meeting her Australian boyfriend, who lives in the city.

"I decided to come to San Francisco for several reasons; the beautiful city with its dynamic history, the different culture, the diversity of people at SFSU and love," Backman said.

"My main reason to be here is love, but I always want to travel and go abroad to discover different cultures," Backman said. "I was also sick of the Dutch's [being] small minded."

SF State has 2,016 International students who represent 94 countries. Japan has been the first of the top ten countries list since fall 2004.

Ward said SF State's Administration is aware of this issue and for the first time in five years has given a recruitment budget to OIP.

"We have a plan in place that the University has endorsed," Ward said. "We hope overtime this situation will change."

The number of International students dropped by 2.4 percent in 2003/2004, according to the Open Doors annual report on international academic mobility.

On Sept. 1 Muni increased its fare from $1.25 to $1.50, prompting student organizers from SF State to come together in an effort to persuade others to take part in a social strike.

Instead of trying to shut the transit system down, organizers say riders can take it over by refusing to pay the new fee.

“The goal is to force a political crisis so that they [Muni officials] have to respond to the people,” said geography major Jason Zimmerman.

Muni spokeswoman Maggie Lynch could not be reached for comment, but recently told the San Francisco Bay Guardian the measures are “about keeping the service going.”

Those not paying “might veil their theft as a transit strike, but it’s stealing,” Lynch said.

Strike organizers said a social strike is a form of protest that will not cause any delay to commuters. Those participating will board buses and trains as usual, but without paying a fare. They might also choose to pay a partial fare or show drivers a “transfer flyer” that reads, “Riders Don’t Pay, Drivers Don’t Collect.”

Zimmerman, who has been organizing the strike at both a city-wide and campus level with the Adventure Club, a newly formed group on campus, noted that the fare strike won’t stop until Muni reverses the fee increase as well as the service cuts and driver layoffs.

The Municipal Transportation Agency, Muni’s oversight commission, approved a series of measures, including fare hikes and service cuts, last March as part of an attempt to alleviate its $57 million deficit. These measures were strongly criticized by transit advocates and community organizations.

The main concern about the fare increase is that with less drivers and buses, riders will end up paying more for less-adequate service, according to the Coalition for Transit Justice.

“Downtown businesses should be responsible in subsidizing Muni for bringing to their steps thousands of employees working for them,” geography major Joshua Alperin said.

History major Dave Carr is also part of the organizing group.
“This is an issue that transcends politics,” Carr said. “People are just saying that they can’t afford another fare increase.”

In 2003 the agency raised its prices from $1 to $1.25, which was the first fare increase in almost a decade.

According to its guidelines, those caught traveling on Muni without a valid proof of payment can be fined $75 to $100.

However, organizers point to Lynch's statement to the Bay Guardian where she said Muni won't be able to increase the presence of fare inspectors to deal with a potential fare strike because of its budget deficit.

Several SF State students who commute by Muni regularly said they will not be affected because they hold the monthly Fast Pass, which will remain $45.

History major Adam Nelson is one of them. Although he does not believe the fare strike will change anything, he agrees with the symbolic aspect of it.

“I would join the fare strike if I had to pay the new fare,” Nelson said.

Liberal studies major Ashley Shaw, who commutes three times a week form Concord, said she will take part in the protest.

“I have to concentrate all my classes in fewer days because I can’t afford to pay so often the $12 it cost me to come to campus,” she said. “SF State should find a way to subsidize public transport for students. It’s about keeping education affordable.”

Environmental studies major Anjali Shrestha said she will not participate because she commutes from Oakland where ACT [Alameda-Contra Costa Transit] already costs $1.50. The Muni fare increase will not mean that much to her, and she does not want to be caught without paying and end up late for class.

Kinesiology major Joe Wong has a different opinion. He admitted he probably will not pay for his Muni fare “more to take advantage of the free ride.”

According to Carr, organizers are optimistic about riders' participation in the strike.

“People will realize that they have the right to livable infrastructures and they can dare to speak out," Carr said.

More Information

Social Strike Legal Team (415) 285-1011


Those who have been victimized by sexual abuse have a “safe place” on campus to turn to when they need it.

The Sexual Abuse Free Environment Place, or better known as The S.A.F.E. Place, is a rape prevention program and sexual violence resource center for students, staff and faculty of SF State.

The program is the first step in the aftermath of a violent sexual crime. Workers and volunteers help the victim by providing them with the necessary resources-whether it is housing, treatment or a referral to a counselor.

In 2004 the program had 37 reported incidents, including rape, forcible sodomy, sexual harrasment, stalking, battering, fondling and hate crimes. More than 80 percent of the victims were women.

“I find that mostly women come to us for help, but there are boys who come for help too,” said Nina Jo Smith, coordinator and co-founder of The S.A.F.E. Place.

The idea to have a campus-based program for victims of sexual crimes began in the ‘80s, when Smith was teaching a self-defense class on campus. Many of her students would turn to her for advice about sexual violence because students were not being properly informed of resources.

“There were all of these services and students didn’t know how to find them,” said Smith.

Fortunately, around the same time Smith and her colleagues were trying to start an on-campus prevention center, the California legislature passed an unfunded mandate, stating that all schools must have a sexual assault policy and allow access to all students.

Meaning that the school had to provide the students with services, but had to tap into its own resources to pay for it.

They were able to get funding from student affairs and Associated Students Inc., and the center opened in January of 1992.

“I had no idea that we [had] something like this on campus,” said Jami Shaheen, 20, a junior kinesiology major. “I think it is definitely something that can be beneficial.”

When they aren’t treating victims, Smith and her staff of student assistants and volunteers are planning rape and sexual violent prevention events. They do everything from plays like the Vagina Monologues and The Laramie Project, to holding prevention forums.

“90 percent of what we do is prevention,” said Smith.

The program also hopes to do some work with Katrina victims. Smith hasnt chosen a focus yet, but hopes to help students if they transfer to SF State.

“Often times violence and sexual violence tend to increase during a disaster,” said Smith. “Plus, we don’t only focus on sexual crimes, we are very community built.”

Smith also co-teaches a class at SF State called Counseling 606, Intro to Peer Counseling Skills, which helps individual students learn listening, responding, interpretation, decision-making, program development, implementation, and evaluation skills. The class is designed to teach students the fundamentals they need to assist with the prevention of sexual crimes.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and The S.A.F.E. Place plans to host the Clothesline Project (CLP). The CLP program was started in 1990 in Cape Cod, Massachusettes to address the issue of violence against women. Women that have been affected by violence express their emotions by decorating a shirt. They then hang the shirt on a publically-viewed clothesline as a declaration against the problem of aggression towards women.

“The Clothesline Project is a pretty intense and emotional art display,” said Smith.

The CLP Web site explains the projects as a “process of designing a shirt that gives each woman a new voice with which to expose an often horrific and unspeakable experience that has dramatically altered the course of her life. Participating in this project provides a powerful step towards helping a survivor break through the shroud of silence that has surrounded her experience.”

“It seems that so many people don’t have anywhere to turn after they have been victimized,” said Shaheen. “The S.A.F.E. Place can be their safe place.”

The S.A.F.E. Place is located in the Student Services Building, room 205. It is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and has a 24-hour crisis line - (415) 647-RAPE.

“I feel like a first year (student),” said Joey Greenwell, the new director of the Office of Student Programs and Leadership Development.

Greenwell said he has enjoyed getting to know the students and his colleagues during his first month at SF State.

The Office of Student Programs and Leadership Development recognizes and works with all student organizations on campus. From events in Malcolm X Plaza to shows in the theatre department, Greenwell’s leadership will affect every student involved in these activities.

Greenwell spent six years at Stanford University as the associate director of student activities, where he advised over 200 organizations, including the Greek circles and the university activities board.

He said he is “excited about the activism” at SF State. After six years of working directly with students, he is prepared for a good transition, even though it’s “a different environment” than Stanford.

“He’s really open,” said Jenni Nonaca, 27, a BECA and Spanish major at SF State. She is a support assistant in the office with Greenwell. “He introduced himself on the first day; he just seems really friendly.”

Greenwell plans on adding additional resources to the department to best assist students, such as adding fundraising and activism workshops for student leaders. He also plans on further collaboration with his colleagues at SF State.

“I really enjoy students, they’re the reason I do this job,” he said. “We’re all in this for the same reason – to empower students.”

Hurricane Katrina shut down a national center for oil importation, production, and refining, eliminating 10 percent of the nation’s oil supply.

Rising gas prices have financially crippled trucking companies, steel manufacturers, and airlines.

Delta and Northwest Airlines declared bankruptcy a week after the destruction, citing rising fuel prices.

PG&E announced they were raising their fees, possibly as high as 40 percent, during the heavy heater usage in winter.

And while Bay Area trucking companies are the primary victims of the high cost of energy, many local transportation agencies remain unaffected, and in a few cases, optimistic. Economists here are cautious, and say it’s still unclear how much Hurricane Katrina will directly affect the Bay Area economy.

Analysts say that the reason some Bay Area industries haven’t felt Katrina’s impact is because the consequences haven’t fully begun yet. They warn that what’s bad for the economy nationally will be bad for the Bay Area‘s bustling export industry, the second most valuable exporting region in the country.

Todd Ewing, managing director of the San Francisco Center for Economic Development, says that if the GNP falls, the Bay Area can expect a decrease in demand for its exports (GNP is the total market value of all final goods and services the country produces).

“Any downturn could have a damaging effect on what has been a fairly resilient economy,” Ewing said.

Ewing was unsure whether the GNP would fall significantly. But the hurricane has already worsened a crisis in the trucking industry.

L & A Trucking and Three Ladies Trucking, two Bay Area trucking companies, have already gone out of business. Most trucking companies in the region struggle to break even.

“Fuel prices are sky-high,” said Bill Aboudi, operations manager for Alpha Bravo Trucking. Before the hurricane, the company was barely making a profit because California already spends 30 - 40 cents more per gallon than most of the country.

This latest price increase has completely eaten their revenue.

“We were already getting screwed. Now we’re just getting screwed harder,” Aboudi said.

Alpha Bravo has been forced to charge a 20 - 25 percent fuel surcharge to their clients, a charge which has already lost them several clients.

Their problems are worsened by a busy exporting and importing season, which is forcing trucks to wait in long lines just to pick up their shipments.

Aboudi recalled an incident on Sept. 12, when one driver waited in line for a whole day, and didn’t even receive the shipment he was waiting for.

Pacer International, a national cargo-shipping agency, is also charging a fuel surcharge: 17.5 percent for railroad transport, and 22 percent for trucking. And it takes longer for the company to move shipments in the southeast.

But the company has not been too negatively affected, and executives here have optimism for future business opportunities.

“In the long-term, there might be a boom for the transportation industry,” said Larry Yarberry, the company’s chief financial officer. “We’re going to have to ship a lot of lumber, steel, furniture, and other materials to the area.”

Public transportation systems in the Bay Area were barely affected.

“We’ve had problems with fuel since the beginning of the year,” said Christine Dunn, public information director for Samtrans and Caltrain. “The price hasn’t spiked because of Katrina. It’s just continuing to rise steadily.”

Dunn said there will be no further raise in fares or any other change in the system to compensate for higher fuel prices caused by Katrina.

“The clear rise in energy costs may be distributed among many areas, said Bruce Kern, executive director of the Bay Area Economic Development Alliance for Business. “We might even see a cooling down of consumer spending. Right now it’s pure speculation.”

ASI Encourages Student Involvement

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The SF State Associated Students Incorporated held a welcoming event in Malcolm X Plaza at the Cesar Chavez Student Center this afternoon in a campaign to familiarize the students on campus with their programs and services.

As DJ music echoed throughout the scene and caught students’ attention to the event, ASI handed out free pizza to a long line of eager students just in time for lunch. By offering music, free food and free stationary goods, ASI said they hoped to draw students in to learn about their programs and get them involved in campus activities.

“Our goal for the day is to get as many students knowledgeable about our services and all about the programs and just do an outreach,” said Chris Jackson, ASI president and a senior majoring in speech communications and urban studies. “We feel today is a time we can educate while making it fun to be a student at SF State.”

Jackson also noted that it is important for students to know how their money is spent since every student pays $42 a semester to ASI.

“This is a good way to get out and to promote our services. Unfortunately, not a lot of students know our program, even though we’re located right above the bookstore, and it’s sad,” said Jamie Gillaspie, assistant director of the Legal Resource Center and a senior majoring in political science.

The staff at the Legal Resource Center has the resources to assist students with legal needs and can set up an appointment with an attorney if needed. The most common reasons that students seek assistance from the center are landlord and tenant issues, immigration issues and traffic violations, according to Gillaspie.

“A lot of the students are lower income and they don’t know all the resources available to them in the city, so we make it available to all the students who come by and help them with the number of resources that we have,” Gillaspie said.

Of the six programs sponsored by ASI, the Performing Arts, Project Rebound and the Early Childhood Education Center are the three all-year-around programs that are available to students. The Legal Resource Center, Education and Referral Organization for Sexuality and the Women’s Center are nine-month programs that are available during the spring and fall semesters, according to Maire Fowler, ASI vice president of internal affairs and a junior speech communications major.

Sarah Dopp, a senior technical professional writing major, wandered around the tables looking to get information about the ASI programs.

“I think there was a lot of information about the student government, but I would like to see more about other student clubs on campus,” Dopp said.

Judge John Roberts, who is nominated to be chief justice of the United States, is not a household name among average Americans, or the lawmakers who must confirm him. However, his impact on daily life may be imminent.

Roberts has been a judge on the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit since 2003. He was nominated by President George Bush to fill the vacancy of retiring Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in July. But with the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Bush put forth Roberts to replace him.

James Martel, an SF State political science professor, said Bush’s political capital is so low - as a result of criticism over Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts - that he cannot afford a drag out fight over Roberts in the Senate.

“Roberts will ensure a Rehnquist-like conservatism remains on the court for years,” Martel said. “The real battle now will be over who Bush picks to replace O’Connor. He’ll go for another conservative, but not an overly ideological judge. I don’t think (Roe v. Wade, a 1973 case legalizing abortion) will be thrown out, but rather, slowly eroded bit by bit.”

Marcella Roundtree, 18, is a political science freshman. She said press attention on abortion is blown out of proportion. Roundtree is a first-generation American whose father was born in Norway, and her mother in Chile. If given the chance to ask Roberts a question, Roundtree would like to see him focus on another issue.

“What is his position on immigration?” Roundtree said. “Just his whole stance on open borders … there’s definitely a little too much red tape to become a citizen.”

Hearings - where Roberts may be confirmed as the 17th chief justice - began Sept. 12, with the Senate Judiciary Committee conducting inquiries. Some senators tried to pressure Roberts to reveal how he would rule on abortion, patients’ right-to-die, or eminent domain cases.

In her opening statement committee member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D–Calif.) said, "It would be very difficult for me to vote to confirm someone to the Supreme Court, whom I knew would overturn Roe."

Roberts declined to tell the media how he might rule on specific issues, citing they may be cases taken up by the court in the future. The committee will vote whether to recommend Roberts' nomination to the full senate on Sept. 22.

A few days before the hearings, a forum to assess the qualifications of Roberts was held at Schroeder’s Restaurant in San Francisco. It was sponsored by San Francisco for Democracy, a non-partisan organization that works to ensure elected officials are held accountable. Peter Keane, a criminal law professor at Golden Gate University and legal analyst for CBS News, speculated whether a turn in judicial outlook is in store for the high court.

Keane illustrated the importance of the chief justice by recalling the Brown v. Board of Education case (1954) that legally ended segregated public education in the United States. The court originally heard the case one year prior - led by Chief Justice Vincent. Although a final ruling had not been issued, the court had indicated it was inclined to vote 5 - 4 to retain segregation, noted Keane.

But when Vincent suddenly died of a heart attack, he was replaced by California Gov. Earl Warren. Warren - who abided by the federal internment of Japanese Americans in California during World War II - now was attempting to attain belated justice for a different minority by using power he previously lacked, according to Keane. Warren convinced the court of his argument, and they voted unanimously to overturn segregation.

The hallmark of the Warren court was a legacy of preserving individual liberties, whereas Rehnquist marked his tenure by his effort to roll back the Warren decisions, and rule in favor of corporate government and police power, according to Keane.

The only records that may indicate Roberts' future rulings were documents he published more than 20 years ago when he was a special assistant to the U. S. Attorney General, Keane said. He characterized him as someone on the more conservative wing of the Ronald Reagan administration.

“We clearly see worse characters Bush could have put up there,” Keane said. "Roberts appears to be fairly thoughtful, careful. For us to have on the court that kind of quality, and survive the remaining years of the Bush administration, I think the country comes out pretty good.”

Yet Keane sounded a note of caution: “He believes that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. And he said that there is no constitutional right of privacy. Now that’s bad. That would be a big step back.”

Political Science Professor Michael Graham teaches a course in
Judicial Power and Public Policy. Graham said there would be strong pressure to replace O’Connor with another woman. He also said Roberts' qualifications are quite high.

“Roberts is likely to get confirmed given the lineup in the senate, unless something explosive is disclosed,” Graham said. “Keep in mind the hearings go beyond just giving information about the nominee. It’s a public exercise and their conduct, (senators) could be influenced by their (presidential) ambitions.”

Lighters and matches are still firing up cigarettes all over campus despite SF State's no smoking policy – but not to worry – “the lollipops are coming.”

In August of 2004 President Robert A. Corrigan announced that SF State would become a smoke-free campus, with the exception of nine designated areas. This came after the Academic Senate approved the policy in April of 2004, “in the interests of the health and well being of non-smokers and smokers alike."

In his announcement Corrigan said, “The success of this policy will depend on the thoughtfulness, consideration and cooperation of smokers and nonsmokers.” He placed the success of the policy on the shoulders of the students – but a year later the policy can hardly be called successful.

“I know I’m not supposed to be smoking here,” said 20-year-old nursing major Tung Nguyen as he sat smoking outside the Cesar Chavez Student Center. “I know that there are designated areas on campus but no one says anything to me when I smoke here.”

Another student smoking nearby said that she’s been smoking all over campus and no one has ever instructed her not to.

“I haven’t had anyone come up to me telling me that I wasn’t allowed to smoke here so I just smoke wherever I want,” explained psychology major Elyse Santana, 22, after taking a drag from her cigarette.

The fact that no one stops them from smoking outside the designated areas was a common response from most students when asked why they continue to break the rule. A lot of smokers were aware of the designated areas around campus, but said they found them too inconvenient to walk to. As long as there are no repercussions, they said, they’ll stop for their nicotine fix anywhere on campus grounds.

According to Captain Molly Borja of the university's Department of Public Safety, preventing students from smoking outside the designated areas is not the responsibility of campus security.

“The smoking policy is enforced by Environmental Health and Occupational Safety,” Borja said. “People receive tickets when they violate the law. Smoking in non-designated areas is not a violation of the law; it is a violation of university policy.”

Since campus police are not enforcing the policy, and students are not taking responsibility themselves, there has to be some other way to make the campus smoke-free.

Enter the lollipops – the first of several ideas conjured up by The Smoke Free Task Force.

“We don’t want to force smokers to stop smoking,” said Sheila McClear, director of special projects in the president's office. “But we want to do everything we can to minimize the smoking on campus. I know we don’t have anyone walking around telling students not to smoke but don’t worry, the lollipops are coming.”

The Smoke Free Task Force was formed in June of this year and consists of 13 members from the faculty and staff. The goal of the task force is to “change the culture” on campus, making it so that students are aware that it’s not okay to smoke in non-designated areas.

“When the policy first went into effect we were hoping for voluntary compliance from the students,” said McClear. “I think initially there was a great deal of enthusiasm. Later we realized that it was not going to be that easy.”

Over the summer the group brainstormed some ideas to revise the visibility and awareness of the policy around campus. In the past months the task force has put no smoking signs all over campus that show where the designated areas are located. They have also placed benches, ash trays and signs in the respective places.

In the following months they are planning to set up smoking awareness tables in key areas such as the BSS courtyard and near Café Rosso. They have also ordered large quantities of lollipops that will be distributed by members of the GatorAiders along with any other students that want to volunteer.

McClear said that the lollipops taste pretty good and that she is sure students will really like them. If the lollipops are a success then students will be able to trade in potential lung cancer for cavities.

For more information on the smoke free campus policy and the Smoke Free Task Force go to www.sfsu.edu/~puboff/smokefree/ or email smokefree@sfsu.edu

Faculty Union Breaks Off Salary Negotiations With CSU

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Negotiations between California State University and the California Faculty Association, the union who represents faculty at CSU’s 23 campuses, broke down Monday over changes to a proposed salary increase.

CFA represents 23,000 workers in the CSU system including instructors, lecturers and librarians at SF State.

The conflict stems from an informal offer made by the administration for a 3.5 percent general salary increase. CFA claims that after the initial offer was made, unacceptable conditions were added to the proposal.

“We call on the CSU administration to agree to an immediate 3.5 percent general salary increase,” a CFA press release said. “It’s the right thing to do.”

CSU and the CFA have been in contract negotiations since last Spring, and while having reached an agreement on several issues from union security to intellectual property rights, the issue of merit pay and how it will be funded and structured has prompted the CFA to call for a cooling off period, which Gov. Schwarzenegger must approve.

Stephen Strafaci, Assistant Vice Chancellor of the CSU system, wrote in a bargaining status report that negotiations turned to faculty compensation issues in which each party explored several options.

According to the CFA, junior faculty members have a serious salary problem and should receive a Service Salary Increase (SSI) to help cope with the cost of living. They are also demanding that all faculty receive the 3.5 percent General Salary Increase (GSI) that had been agreed upon in earlier negotiations.

Strafaci wrote that there were two proposals by CSU: a 3.5 percent GSI for all faculty, and a 2.65 percent GSI for all faculty with a 2.65 percent SSI for eligible faculty.

CFA proposed two options. The first is a 3.5 percent GSI for all faculty with no conditions relating to SSI or merit pay. The second proposal calls for the same pay increase with the creation of committees to further investigate merit pay and SSI.

Representatives for CSU and the CFA were not immediately available for comment.

On Sept. 3, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist died and opened a
vacancy in the Supreme Court. With the impending retirement of Justice
Sandra Day O'Connor, two appointments will need to be filled.

Click on the button to hear students' suggestions for the two empty
seats in the Supreme Court.

Hurricane Katrina's devastation has affected people everywhere. SF State will accept applications from students whose colleges have been affected. Some SF State students speak out and tell [X]press online how they feel the government has responded to the natural disaster.

Legacy of 9/11: Self Determination

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It has been four years since the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. changed the world, but the political instability they touched off still remains.

Marking the anniversary of the hijacked planes that destroyed the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and claimed nearly 2,800 lives, a panel of specialists convened in SF State’s Humanities Symposium Room to examine the post-September 11 world on Monday afternoon.

History Professor Jules Tygiel moderated the discussion, which was sponsored by the History Department, and included faculty from other disciplines. He welcomed an audience of over 60 and explained the commemoration had become a tradition at SF State to honor those who died and to reflect on how the political environment has evolved.

Tygiel focused his remarks on the role of the United States in Iraq at the moment. He said the Iraq War has been a disaster on almost every level and that those who oppose the conflict failed to organize a coherent anti-war movement. He recalled how in the fall of 2002, just before the Congressional elections, the Bush Administration set a political trap for the Democrats.

By going before the public and claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and links to al-Qaida extremists, Bush convinced Americans Iraq threatened the U.S. Tygiel noted. This made it impossible for any politician desiring to run for president in 2004 to vote against the resolution authorizing President Bush to use all available force back then and allowed Bush to form a bi-partisan policy.

“Kerry lost the election because he had no coherent policy as what to do in Iraq,” Tygiel said. “And in the absence of somebody on the Democratic side with a vision, people turned to Bush. But I’m not aware of any major political figures who have taken a leadership position on the war that makes any sense.”

Polls show most Americans do not favor Bush’s handling of the war, but it does not necessarily indicate anti-war sentiment Tygiel explained. Even among opponents, there is anxiety of what would happen if America withdrew its troops.

“Iraq was clearly not central to American security or interests before we went in,” Tygiel said. “But it is very possible that it is central to world security now that we are there.”

Whatever course the U.S. takes, it already lost its credibility when it invaded Iraq, according to Tygiel.

“That was the argument that we faced in Vietnam (losing credibility) that kept us in a very long time,” Tygiel said. “Within 15 years of the end of the war in Vietnam worldwide communism collapsed. I’m not saying it’s a cause and effect. One of the lessons of Vietnam is that we abandoned Southeast Asia to fend for itself and we’re looking possibly at the same legacy in the Middle East. We’ve destabilized the region tremendously and the consequences may be felt when we pullout.”

According to History Professor Maziar Behrooz, the Bush Administration originally planned to occupy Iraq only for a transition period, during which Iraqis drafted a constitution and then elected their own leaders. But in the constitution recently drafted, the Shiites and Kurds, the two major populations in Iraq, disregarded the Sunnis, who make up a fifth of the country. That plan, which alienated the Sunnis, is not viable said Behrooz. It is just a matter of time before the U.S. pulls out and the void will not be filled by anyone he explained.

“You’re going to have one impoverished Iraq in the middle (Baghdad region) and two rich Iraqs (holding oil deposits), one in Kurdistan in the north, and one in the Shiite territory in the south,” Behrooz said.

However, continued U.S. presence will not improve prospects for peace in Iraq said international relations Professor Sanjoy Banerjee. The best solution would be to partition Iraq into three sovereign nations, which would avoid civil war, he explained. It will instigate a Sunni/Shiite divide, but that may not be bad from the standpoint of the U.S. State Department he maintained.

“It will create new opportunities for the U.S. to go back and forth between them and reassert our influence,” Banerjee said. “I don’t see the U.S. worse off if it pulls out before the 2006 (U.S.) elections.”

Kristin Lubbert, 20, an economics and international relations junior said the legacy of 9/11 is a complex issue. She suffered no personal loss but was aware of the strong emotional ties for people with a more direct connection to the horrible events. Yet, she was disappointed the panelists did not connect all the dots between 9/11 and the Middle East today.

“I stay optimistic,” Lubbert said. “Hurricane Katrina made a marked change. It was a wake-up call to look at the political situation we’re in now. If enough people are drawn to social movements then it can change policy.”

New 19th Avenue Fines Vetoed

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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill Sept. 7 which would have doubled fines for traffic violations along 19th Avenue.

Assembly Bill 452 - authored by Assemblyman Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) - passed by a vote of 24 - 13 in the Senate, and 55 - 21 in the Assembly. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had 12 days to sign or veto the legislation.

According to a California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) report, double-fine zones are ineffective to traffic safety. To have impact on motorists, the fines must be accompanied with beefed-up law enforcement, public education, and stricter safety regulations. And this bill neglects the prescribed measures, according to Schwarzenegger.

But in a statement released by the bill’s author, Assemblyman Yee said, “It is simply unacceptable that we continue to lose innocent lives including children because of high speed avenues in our residential areas.”

19th Avenue, from Junipero Serra Boulevard to the Golden Gate Bridge is part of California State Highway 1, which the legislature has jurisdiction over. According to the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), there have been 14 fatalities on 19th Avenue since 2001, five of them pedestrians. Srijaya Dalton, 22, was killed while crossing 19th Avenue on May 26, 2003. One day after graduating from SF State, a hit-and-run driver struck her. The driver was never caught.

Emily Drennan, a 2003 graduate of SF State's public administration master's program, is now the director of Walk San Francisco, a pedestrian advocacy group. The group cited the intersection of 19th Avenue and Holloway Avenue as the fourth most dangerous in the city.

“A cultural shift needs to happen in San Francisco,” Drennan said. “People block the box (leave cars overhanging in the intersection when caught by red lights), don’t always yield to pedestrians, speed and run red lights.”

Drennan said traffic calming measures would make for safer streets. She explained that planting street trees would act as a visual cushion for pedestrians and as a psychological cue for motorists to slow down since overhanging branches would act as a buffer of peripheral vision.

Drennan also proposed adding yellow ladder striped crosswalks to make them more visible to motorists. She also recommended additional pedestrian countdown signals that warn pedestrians of the time remaining before the light changes. And she would like to see “bulb-outs,” sidewalk corners that mushroom out into the street and cut down the distance between curbs.

“We’re trying to make San Francisco more enjoyable for walkers through community organizing,” Drennan said.

Had the bill passed, all traffic fines along 19th Avenue would have doubled. Reckless driving resulting in bodily injury would have gone from $500 to $1,000; Driving Under the Influence (DUI) would have increased to $780; speeding would have been increased to $50 for every mile per hour over the limit ($200 if more than 25 mph over); drinking alcohol while driving would have rose to $140 and reckless driving would have doubled to $290.

Major engineering solutions to 19th Avenue have been proposed before, according to Tom Radulovich, the president of Transportation for a Livable City (TLC). TLC is a non-profit organization dedicated to making the city more sustainable by decreasing auto dependence and improving alternative transit modes.

In December 2000, a countywide transportation plan was drafted by the San Francisco Transportation Authority, but never implemented, Radulovich explained.

The plan included building a tunnel under 19th Avenue for faster moving through traffic. The idea was to fund the project by “FasTrack” tolls with motorists billed by an electronic toll register mounted on their dash. However, a $2 billion price tag and a new San Francisco Board of Supervisors sworn in at the beginning of 2001, convinced city leaders to redraft a new transit plan that ignored the proposed tunnel, according to Radulovich.

Radulovich said a more viable idea would be Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). This would pave over a portion of the reserved medium strip of the M-streetcar line and have a limited bus line share the medium.

“The goal is by making buses run like rails, a lot more people would be attracted to transit,” Radulovich said. “The bus is intended to make fewer stops than standard lines but more than the Muni subway.”

The estimated cost for BRT is $200 million. Proposition K, which passed in 2003, extended Proposition B’s half-cent sales tax an additional 30 years, and could pay for BRT Radulovich said. Studies are underway to adopt BRT by the Transportation Authority, but a priority has been given to Van Ness Avenue and Geary Boulevard, Radulovich said.

Some students said doubling fines would make them think twice before taking risks. Ismael Celedon, 25-year-old kinesiology major, drives to school. Celedon said he has seen cars start to creep and rush pedestrians, or honk their horns while they are still on the crosswalk.

“I’ve seen some serious case of road rage,” Celedon said. “Drivers on 19th need to be more aware of residents. Make signs more visible … crosswalks with blinking lights, anything to make people aware somebody is walking across.”

The Department of Health and Human Services is set to grant the SF State nursing program $330,364 in order to fund a new program called Diversifying Leadership in Nursing.

The program is designed to correct health care disparities by recognizing exceptionally qualified, underrepresented students from the Master of Science in Nursing program and support them through a string of academic and clinical experiences. The main goal is to prepare and enable the student to go on and get a PhD in nursing.

“The purpose is to increase the number of nurses at the highest level,” said Hilary K. Pritchard, program coordinator at the Marian Wright Edelman Institute at SF State. “Specifically, nurses that represent communities that have health care disparities.”

The Diversifying Leadership in Nursing program was originally named U-56 and was funded by the National Institutes of Health through the National Cancer Institute. The initial focus was cancer, but with the new grant there is a new name and a new focus. The students are not limited to one specific health issue anymore. They now have a choice between many; such as, heart disease, birth defects and diabetes.

“We are building bridges between minority and premier institutions,” Pritchard said. “We want to set the research agenda nationally.”

Before the change of agenda only two students per year were admitted into the program. They have since upped the number to four students. Two students have already graduated from the course and six more follow in their footsteps.

Chiedu Ozoh, a graduate of the program, said that the clinical research opportunities provided by the grant will be applied toward his future doctoral work.

“After completing my doctoral education, my future plans are to return to Nigeria and establish a nonprofit foundation to provide sustainable agriculture, education and health care for underserved rural populations," Ozoh said.

The new grant will allow the program to run for another five years with the goal of 20 new graduates. With the help of professors Grace Hardie and Skip Davis, Pritchard said she feels they will have much success.

Charlotte Ferretti, RN, EdD, director of Marian Wright Edelman Institute at SF State, describes the program as amazing.

“What a fabulous opportunity this is for students,” Ferretti said. “It’s life transforming.”

While some SF State faculty are grooming the policy leaders of tomorrow one is enlightening civic leaders of today in order to guide sound urban development.

Professor Philip King, chair of the economics department, has been a consultant for the last two years to a number of central valley towns (Stockton, Lodi, Chico, Bakersfield, and Tracy.) King educates the towns on the potential environmental impacts of “supercenters.” Supercenters are big-box retailers that include a full-size grocery store and have a total floor space that is three to four times the size of a conventional supermarket.

Premised on economies of scale (eliminating wholesalers), low prices and customers demanding increasing value, super centers are ratcheting up the competition among independent retailers.

Wal-Mart is one of the dominant entrepreneurs in discount merchandising. While providing employment to many individuals and tax revenue to cities where they open new branches, some are questioning whether the perceived benefits are actually trumped by the costs to local governments.

“Jobs are a wash,” said King. “You gain some jobs but lose them when groceries start to close. (Wal-Mart is) much lower paying and have fewer benefits. There’s plenty of objective data. It’s not my opinion.”

The Bay Area Economic Forum is one of the databases King cited as a tool he relied upon for his research. The forum is a coalition of business, government, labor and community leaders, which assesses and applies programs to improve the Bay Area’s economic competitive edge.

The forum’s 2004 online report, “Supercenters and the Transformation of Bay Area Grocery Industry,” was written by Dr. Randall Crane of UCLA and Dr. Marlon Boarnet of UC Irvine. According to the report Wal-Mart is the largest grocery store in the country by sales volume ($48.7 billion) and fifth largest by number of stores. Wal-Mart has 133 discount stores in California but no supercenters, but expects to open 40 over the next several years.

The forum reported that many California cities gather sales tax windfalls from “cash cows” such as auto dealerships and big-box stores like Wal-Marts. Cities entice big boxes with promises to overlook zoning regulations, make road improvements and offer tax rebates.

King has focused his attention recently on a proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter in Stockton. He noted Wal-Mart typically builds on the periphery of main business districts because the land is cheaper, but also because central or neighborhood business districts can’t accommodate the size of a supercenter.

The average supermarket according to the forum is 44,000 square feet. The planned supercenter next to Interstate 5 in Stockton will be 200,000 square feet. And the forum noted supercenters are often surrounded by parking lots three to four times larger and may require a total of 17.5 acres of land.

Expanding markets such as Wal-Mart create situations where persons may be harmed and any loss to society needs to be remedied said King. He added that there are many grocery stores and pharmacies in Stockton already struggling to survive. Competition from a Wal-Mart Supercenter may force some retailers to close he explained.

Wal-Mart has maintained that there have been few closures of smaller competitors in the past and even in cases when it has occurred others will re-tenant the vacancy said King. But he noted that evidence has shown that is not always the case. The new supercenter is projected to generate $500,000 to $600,000 annual taxes for Stockton.

“A lot of that tax revenue is a wash,” said King. “Wal-Mart doesn’t increase retail sales; it is just shifting away tax revenue from other retailers. There is no real net gain.”

The Wal-Mart currently operating in Stockton declined to comment on allegations of uncompetitive practices.

According to the forum report, the average grocery store job in the Bay Area pays a wage and benefit (wages, healthcare, vacation, holiday, and sick-leave) package of $42, 552 annually. Supercenters, said the forum, paid $21,000 less. In hourly wages unionized chains paid $23.64 an hour in wage and benefits, but Wal-Mart paid $11.95 an hour.

Bay Area grocery workers earned a total of $1.5 billion in 2001, said the forum report. If big-box stores get 6 to 18 percent of market share (which is now less than 5 percent) over the next few years the wage and benefit payroll will fall between $353 to $667 million. Lower regional income will likely lead to less spending on other goods and services, said the forum.

Stockton recently allocated over $1 million to renovate its downtown area said King. Smaller supermarkets there are often the anchor store he explained. According to the forum report, the loss of a supermarket to a supercenter jeopardizes the economic vitality of surrounding stores that benefit from foot traffic generated by supermarkets.

Any closures can lead to unfilled vacancies of individual stores and entire malls said King. This in turn can spur vandalism, graffiti, urban decay, and it’s an issue that needs to be mitigated he explained.

“There needs to be a mechanism to address store closings,” said King. “(Law suits) are not the best method. CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) is the vehicle to do that.”

CEQA enacted in 1970 is a permitting process that requires a draft environmental impact report (DEIR) before any building permit is authorized. It must list all the major physical changes a project could inflict and efforts that could lessen the effects and must be completed within a year. There are some exemptions for a report but most proposals must file a report with a regulatory agency assigned to oversee each project. Once the DEIR is complete the public has 45 days to respond. The agency then has six months to approve or deny the permit.

Because of perceived increased traffic and liquor licensing controversies, litigation has stalled five Wal-Marts in the central valley said King. He said his job is to provide information and he does not advocate for or against a project. King also said his consulting work has affected his teaching by making him more sensitive to objective data, which he gets mostly from government sources and to consider other variables other than just “letting the market decide.”

“We have other institutions,” said King. “Economists care about environmental regulation, workers rights, and the plight of the third world. We need to make a balance.”

Students Informed on How to Help Hurricane Victims

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The Office of Student Programs Leadership and Development (OSPLD) along with the Bay Area chapter of the American Red Cross came together to raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina on Friday afternoon at Malcolm X Plaza.

Donating was not the only theme of the afternoon. Raising awareness about the various ways students and the SF State community, as a whole, can join the relief efforts by volunteering was also addressed. Doing their part to contribute, the steel pan band, Coconut Hut Entertainment, volunteered to play for this event without charge.

“A lot of people want to help but don’t know how to get involved and this event is a way to get that information to the students,” said Joey Greenwell, director for OSPLD.

From the very beginning of the event, Greenwell called for a moment of silence from the crowd to reflect and send thoughts to the victims. A moderate amount of silence ensued from those in the general vicinity of the plaza, which were not many. Total in attendance minus the volunteers and the representatives from various organizations were about 60.

Much of what was said and done in the name of the hurricane victims fell on deaf ears, since the event was held on a Friday when much of the student population is not on campus.

Despite this downfall, the student, faculty and staff onlookers plus those merely passing through, managed to reach into their pockets and donate whatever amount of money they had to spare to the Red Cross donation buckets.

“In a little over a week, $450 million has been raised, but the damage caused by Katrina is estimated at about $100 billion,” said Red Cross Fundraiser Coordinator Melody Chandler.

In the wake of this crisis, charity scams in the name of helping victims have surfaced which have subsequently caused reluctance in many to donate. According to information found at the Web site charitynavigator.org, an independent charity evaluator, most of the money (.92 on the dollar) donated to the American Red Cross goes directly to the victims.

The money collected will be used to provide food, clothing, and the daily operation of shelters. According to Chandler, more money is needed and despite the overwhelming number of volunteers flooding the Red Cross, many more volunteers are still needed.

For those not in attendance on Friday and would still like to donate or volunteer, go to SF Gate to obtain a list of reputable organizations as well as contact the San Francisco Urban Institute, SF State’s liaison for local volunteer opportunities.

SF State Graduate Gives Back to the School

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SF State graduate Sun K. Yom revealed her solo exhibition, “Edge of Sa-Lang” (“Sa-Lang” means love in Korean), and her contribution to the Cesar Chavez Student Center in honor of its 30th anniversary this month at her reception Thursday.

To celebrate the student center’s anniversary, Yom, 32, created “Rejoice,” a unit comprised of 30 squares made on canvas with gesso and oil paint.

Approximately 37 layers of gesso are on each square and are painted with a lot of gold and yellow hues.

“These are very positive colors. The student center is very vibrant and important and I wanted to use very organic and radiant color pallets,” Yom said. “It’s organic in that it represents the student center.”

Yom has been a part of the student center for two-and-a-half-years. She explained that she wanted to contribute something to the place that “is precious to me. I appreciate what it [the student center] does and what it represents, therefore I wanted to give back something that has given me so much.”

The name “Guy” is also in one of the squares. Yom explained that Guy Dalpe is also a reason for her contribution to the student center because he is the managing director, or the “top guy who runs the show.”

Yom mainly paints with oils, frequently adding in diatomaceous earth to create texture and using a variety of tools such as spatulas, sticks, nails and gardening tools to enhance and modify the texture. She prefers to use a wooden painting support which allows for many layers of paint. Her focus is primarily abstract with occasional figurative elements.

Yom began painting when she was 8. She was born in Korea and came to the United States in 1980. Yom said she was immediately drawn to the arts and the spiritual liberation her creations gave her once she left the male-dominated culture of her hometown.

In 1989 she received a scholarship and grant to the Art Institute of Chicago’s Early College Program and went on to receive a full one-year scholarship and grant for The Chicago Academy for the Arts in 1990.

Yom completed her studies and earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts at SF State and now thrives as a painter in her home studio in San Francisco.

Though many intense and vibrant colors are used in her work, the use of red hues is apparent in all her paintings.

“I love exploring the color red. It has different intensities,” Yom said.

Japanese major Christina Lopez said she enjoyed all of the paintings at the exhibit.

But “Entanglement” was the one she liked best. “I like the colors. There’s lots of earth tones. It reminds me of a warm sun rise; the start of another day.”

Lopez, 22, explained that she thought it was more sensual than the other paintings. “It’s got more happier colors.”

Craig Howell, Yom’s husband, was also present at the reception. Howell, 34, said he loves and enjoys Yom’s work.

“Art gives her the outlet to express herself. She has lots to say and lots to share and sometimes it’s hard for her to put things in words, but her paintings help her express her feelings.”

Yom explains that a piece generally begins with a memory or the surfacing of a current experience which she works out while gessoing, sketching and sometimes writing a short poem expressing the feelings the memory or current event causes which she later displays along side the finished piece.

“When I paint, I’m trying to translate a moment or feeling. My paintings are very fluid with lots of layers. Art is my passion and emotions are the flavor of life.”

Yom’s exhibit, “Edge of Sa-Lang,” is on display until Oct. 8 in the Art Gallery in the Cesar Chavez Student Center.

With funding cuts and record enrollment numbers, how hard has it been for SF State students to get classes this fall?

A decrease in graduate enrollment at SF State over the last two years has been affected by a complex dichotomy surrounding the ebb and flow of the United States economy.

Although it has been common for students to pursue their master’s degree to aid their future endeavors, SF State has been recording a decrease in graduate student enrollment. In a report compiled last year by the Office of University and Budget Planning, the amount of graduate students enrolled has decreased 19 percent since the fall of 2002.

Since graduate enrollment for fall 2005 is still being processed, Vice President of Enrollment Jo Volkert cannot comment on the status of the trend this semester.

“It’s a counter-intuitive process. Right now in particular, graduate enrollments are down, but there is a big increase in the freshman class,” said Volkert. “It’s all internal waves-when one goes up, the other goes down.”

Volkert explained that graduate enrollment is a reactionary process which tends to follow the rise and fall of job opportunities within the economy. In the face of economic growth, jobs are more accessible to students with undergraduate degrees, but during an economic recession, students find greater competition in the workforce, causing them to resort to graduate school.

Although supplemental employment has caused the numbers of graduate enrollments to decrease, there are still some students who feel that graduate school is the only way to beat out competitors in the job market. Brad Weber, a 32-year-old graduate student, still has two more years before he receives his master’s degree in business administration.

“A bachelor’s is not enough to prosper in the business world. My peers who did not continue their education are starting in entry level jobs-the kind of jobs that they could get without a degree,” said Weber. “I also know of a number of people that have their bachelor’s degree in other business areas who cannot find decent career-making jobs.”

According to Volkert, the waning of graduate students is also due to the repercussions of the terror attacks.

“International students are frequently more likely to be graduate students but after 9/11, it made it much harder for students to attend the graduate programs here,” said Volkert.

Victor Cordell, director of the College of Business graduate program, explained that the aftermath of September 11 has made it more difficult for international students to obtain student visas. The government has applied stricter laws for students entering the country, forcing international students to pursue other alternatives.

In a statistical summary provided by the Office of International Programs, international graduates entering SF State has declined 20 percent in the past two years.

“We’ve been hit hard because of 9/11. International and Asian students in particular are the heart and soul of our graduate program,” said Cordell. “International prospective students look for other alternatives, and regretfully there are other alternatives.”

Australia, United Kingdom and China have been seizing the opportunity to establish their own graduate programs by recruiting international students who are unable to attend graduate schools in the United States. China alone is planning 400 MBA programs, according to Cordell.

Saurabh Khandelwal, a graduate student from India who has been attending SF State for one year does not fully agree with the faculty members who conclude that September 11 is the main reason for the low numbers of international graduate students attending the university.

“The cost of living is quite expensive here,” said Khandelwal. “Also, India has an increase in opportunities and situation is vastly different than it was five years ago.”

The accessibility of the Internet has also played a part in the decrease of graduate enrollment. Online programs have made it possible for students to obtain their MBA online for less money and time than attending a conventional university.

Cordell says some online programs are credible, but would generally advise against using them.

“Most employers are still going to discriminate online programs because they realize they don’t get the richness, the balance, the challenge, the interaction with other students and faculty members that you get from a real program,” Cordell said.

With factors such as job opportunities, the threat of terrorism, and international and on line competition, Cordell said it is difficult to determine when the declining graduate enrollment will bounce back.

It has hosted the likes of Bobby Seele to Michael Douglas. Jane Fonda to Rosa Parks. It has served as a movie set and as a center for some of San Francisco’s most famous protests. And this month the Cesar Chavez Student Center is celebrating its 30th birthday.

There have been sit-ins, speeches and thousands of other events held in the eclectic building. Its unique blueprint was designed by Paffard Keatinge Clay in 1970, in an attempt to combine sculpture and architecture.

“The exterior is alive in Clay's Student Union, stepped pyramids rise, angles thrust, permitting visual and physical exploration,” said Meredith M. Eliassen, a curator in the SF State Library, “And endless vantage points for loungers and observers.”

Today more than 95 percent of SF State’s roughly 28,000 registered students walk through the Cesar Chavez Student Center every time they are on campus.

Students rely on the union for many of their day to day needs; anything from grabbing a cup of coffee in the morning, relaxing between classes during the day or renting a movie on their way home.

“I just feel that it really brings students together because of the high percentage of commuters,” said Kristin Niemeyer, 23 an apparel merchandising major. “It’s a central place where you can get pretty much anything.”

This summer three of the union’s merchants renovated their own restaurants. In addition to their new look, Asia Express has expanded, the Gold Coast Grill added a self-serve salad bar and Italian Creations changed its name to Pizza and Pasta. The pub was also repainted.

“It was really nice all of the vendors decided to do their own renovations,” said Edina Bajraktarevic, retail/commercial services manager of the Cesar Chavez Student Center. “I can’t talk numbers, but let’s just say they all spent a lot of money.”

The idea of a student center dates back to 1936, when it was proposed by Dr. Lawrence L. Kinnaird, a member of the social sciences department. He envisioned a headquarters for all students to meet socially for informal relaxation and conversation. Unfortunately SF State didn’t have enough money and it was nearly 25 years later before students rallied together to raise funds and to begin designing the union. There was an enrollment fee increase, of which a small percentage would go toward the $8 million cost of the building.

Students remained completely in charge of the project. They initially chose Moshe Safdie to design the union, but the plans fell through and Clay replaced him in 1970. After years of planning and construction the doors finally opened on Sept. 9, 1975 to what we now know as the Cesar Chavez Student Center.

Since then many events have been held at the hub of campus. In 2004 alone there were roughly 2,200 events at the student union.

Monday kicked off the 30-day celebration of the union’s 30th anniversary. In addition to the daily food and music, the Richard Oakes Multicultural Center is hosting a seven-week film-viewing of the Third World Liberation Front and the 1960s student strikes on the SF State campus.

“Our Student Union building is like a time capsule for the early 1970s,” said Eliassen. “They could shoot an episode of That 70's Show today.”

Is an MBA Degree Worthless?

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Working professionals can spend 40 hours or more a week at their job, come home and do homework, then go to school seven hours straight each Saturday so they can earn a Master’s in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from SF State. But if they're trying to get the degree to become a wealthy tycoon, looking at the Forbes 400 list might discourage them.

In the magazine's list of the 400 richest people in the world, the 21 richest don't have an M.B.A., and only four out of the top 50 even have the degree. Michael Dell (founder of Dell), Steve Jobs (co-founder of Apple), Larry Ellison (founder of Oracle, the second largest independent software company in the country), and Bill Gates (Microsoft founder and the richest man in America) were all college dropouts.

But criticism of graduate business education extends beyond whether the master’s degree will make one rich. The academic world is debating whether the M.B.A. is helping students at all. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the international agency that gives business schools accreditation, released a recent report criticizing M.B.A. programs for not sufficiently preparing students. It states, “Preparation for the rapid pace of business cannot be obtained from textbooks and cases.” They observe that most graduate business schools teach outdated information technology and base their curriculums too much on theory and academia rather than on real-world business practices.

Victor Cordell, SF State director of business graduate programs, said that SF State is responding to widespread criticism of M.B.A. programs by researching what abilities businesses require most. He says the school is using these findings to improve the curriculum.

“We’re guided by what we learn from the marketplace in terms of what skills companies most desire,” Cordell said.
Chad Usowicz, assistant information systems professor, said that SF State is teaching current business technology. “SFSU is certainly up to date, and it does some things that are at the front edge of bringing in technology,” Usowicz said.

Usowicz notes that SF State is the first national school to bring Internet access to students (six months before Harvard) and that professor Sameer Verma first brought wireless Internet onto the campus by rigging a network of Pringles cans.

Aleksandar Sasha, an SF State student currently working towards his Master of Science in Business Administration degree in marketing, says his education isn't helping him become accustomed to the fast pace of the business world. But he does believe the degree will provide him with a valuable foundation to build a career on.

"What the school maybe lacks in fast pace, it makes up for with a lot of background information, theories, ideas, and concepts that prepare you so that once you leave, you can learn things much quicker," Sasha says.

Jeffrey Pfeffer, a Stanford management professor, is a longtime critic of graduate business education. In an essay entitled "The End of Business Schools? Less Success Than Meets the Eye," he writes, "What data there are suggest that business schools are not very effective: Neither possessing an MBA degree nor grades earned in courses correlate with career success, results that question the effectiveness of schools in preparing their students."

After sifting through 40 years of research, Pfeffer finds no connection between having an M.B.A. and making more money, and finds that those who achieved higher grades in business schools didn’t make more money than those with lower grades.

But SF State faculty members argue that students are earning their M.B.A.s for more significant goals than money.
“Students feel so much more confident and so much better about themselves that they don’t care about monetary gains, they’re doing something socially redeemable," said John Dopp, head of SF State's Executive MBA program, an accelerated program that allows professionals to obtain the degree while working. "They want to contribute better to society, it’s really about the educational value. If your goal in life is to closely monitor profit margins and make the most money, you should probably get your priorities straight.

“Our students aren’t charming that kind of life. They’re looking for something more suitable to reality,” Dopp said.
Despite Pfeffer's criticism, he still believes that earning an M.B.A. from an elite, top-15 school is a worthwhile investment. SF State students dreaming of excessive riches may consider abandoning the M.B.A. program and instead try to get the degree from Wharton. The Pennsylvania university is consistently ranked one of the best business graduate schools in the country, but to get an M.B.A. there, it’ll cost nearly $138,500.

The same degree from San Francisco State can cost as little as $8,400, and SF State business professors hail from top-ranked schools like Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, and MIT. Also, students who’ve earned an M.B.A. from SF State make an average starting salary of $65,000 a year, only $9,000 below the average starting salary of all M.B.A. graduates in the nation.

“We’re the best value in graduate education,” said Cordell. “And we have the advantage of being in a vibrant and highly diverse business environment, with access to resources like Silicon Valley and the SF Chamber of Commerce.”

Students Reflect on Muni Fare Increase

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Muni rose fares for trains and busses for many students on Sept. 1. Students reacted to the increase with little enthusiasm while they waited in front of SF State.

In an effort to promote awareness about the death penalty, the newly formed campus organization, the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, hosted a discussion on Tuesday to inform students about issues surrounding their cause.

Members of the group said they hope that events like this one will create awareness and activism among SF State students.

“This event is like our kickoff for the semester,” said member Stephanie Rodarte. “We are here to recruit new people- to show that there is a physical movement against the death penalty.”

Death row inmate Stan Tookie Williams was scheduled to speak to the group via telephone from San Quentin State Prison, but at the time of the discussion, he was unable to make the call. Although Williams was not able to take part, an hour long discussion took place addressing concerns and questions about the death penalty.

Williams, who was a co-founder of the Los Angeles gang the Crips, was convicted of murdering four people during two robberies and sentenced to death row in 1981. For the last 23 years, Williams has been in San Quentin where he has written nine children’s books and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times.

By using Williams, the Campaign to End the Death Penalty said they hope to provide a face for the issue.

The group stressed throughout the event how death row inmates, regardless of the crimes they have been convicted of, are indeed human, yet the legal system treats them and their families as less than that.

“What confuses me is the process for death row,” said Gregg Taylor, a SF State student who attended the event. “When you appeal your conviction does that mean you want to be let out or does that mean you want to be sentenced to life in prison?”

This is just the start for the Campaign to End the Death Penalty. Next on their agenda is to get the tour, “Voices from Death Row,” to come to SF State. The tour consists of former inmates and inmates’ families who talk about their experiences with death row and their lives now.

“1 in 7 people on death row are innocent,” Rodarte said. “A majority of people in California are opposed to it [the death penalty], yet people still say that we need it, that people are incapable of change. But what are you waiting for? The death penalty does not give anything back.”


San Francisco Responds to Aid in Relief Effort

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In response to the displacement caused by Hurricane Katrina, the city of San Francisco has readied 300 beds at St. Mary's church and SF State announced it will accept applications from students whose colleges have been affected by the flooding.

Students from regionally-accredited colleges in the Gulf areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama may be admitted conditionally and can enroll in fall semester classes, even if they do not have proper academic documents, according to a statement released by SF State officials on Friday, September 2.

Counseling and Psychological Services has also launched drop-in hours for students who wish to speak with counselors without an appointment.

“We are committed to working with students one-on-one to help them sort through the best options at this difficult time,” said Jo Volkert, associate vice president for enrollment planning and management, in the statement. “Counselors will help to expedite admissions, explore financial aid, identify classes with available space and suggest other options.”

Chris Gordon, an executive assistant for Counseling and Psychological Services, said services will be offered for students who feel personally affected by the effects of the hurricane.

Gordon said students will be able to seek professional help and voice any of their personal problems and concerns they may have to the counselors during drop-in hours.

"You can see one of the professional counselors," she said. "This is something we felt would be of good service to students."

Derethia DuVal, a clinical counselor, said all of the service members who are dealing with students are professionals, including licensed counselors, therapists, clinical and social workers and psychologists.

"We're all therapists," DuVal said. "Students can just come in at any time."

Alan Harris, a 21-year-old history major, said he grew up in Florida and is pretty familiar with hurricanes. He said he thinks it might be beneficial for students affected by the hurricane to have access to counseling services but what will be beneficial is if the community at SF State to help the victims of the hurricane.

"I wouldn't think there would be that many people [here] who are directly or indirectly affected by the disastrous aftermath of Katrina," Harris said. "I think the best service this community can offer the people along the Gulf Coast is to donate to the Red Cross, which is what I plan on doing."

The counseling center is located in room 208 of the Student Services building. DuVal said counseling hours will be held Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Students also have the option of coming in at nights on Tuesday between 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Wednesday between 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information on undergraduate enrollment, call (415) 338-2037 or email outreach@sfsu.edu. Graduate students should call Graduate Admissions at (415) 405-3506 or email gradystdy@sfsu.edu.

Students Affected by Katrina Come Together

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A Freshman and a Senior met for the first time.

Last week, they both crossed paths on SF State's campus and collaborated on what each have heard about Hurricane Katrina from different people they know in the affected areas.

Mila Gonzalzles, a 29-year-old BECA major, traveled from New Orleans the week before classes started to work on completing her degree, while Diana Wong, an 18-year-old marketing major, left her hometown of Morgan City in Louisiana three weeks ago to begin her first semester at SF State.

Five days after classes began, they both found themselves in a crisis. Katrina struck their hometowns.

Instead of beginning their first full week of classes by studying their notes and new textbooks, they began spending most of their time collecting scattered information through text messaging and the internet about the whereabouts of missing loved ones. They said they received a lot of bleak information about the current conditions in the affected areas.

"I can't believe this happened," Gonzalzles said. "There was no indication of it happening."

Gonzalzles and Wong said it would help them to share information about the hurricane's toll. They shared information they knew from friends and family who were stuck in affected areas by contacting different people who shared different insight about the disaster.

"I don't know anyone here but family," Wong said. "Friends and family there are very important to me."

Gonzalzles and Wong are both safe in their homes in the Bay Area but they said they are overwhelmed by the devastation and uncertainty left by the hurricane. There have been a lot of evacuations but the hurricanes usually have missed their areas.

"We were due for a big one, this is the biggest one ever," Wong said. "Thinking about how it's gone now is scary. It's like a nightmare and we're all waiting to wake up."

By the end of last week, they said they both found most of their missing friends and relatives but they each still know of at least one person whom they have not been able to get in contact with. Friends in the South told them that there are no words to describe the amount of destruction over there.

"People I have talked to, who are from the area, are just traumatized," Gonzalzles said. "The thought of living the way it is now, is completely unthinkable. If it was written into a manuscript, no one would have thought it was believable."

Wong said she has old pictures of the Gulf Coast. When she watches news coverage of the hurricane's toll, she said she recognizes which structures once stood where. She lived in Louisiana for over 12 years, and participated in many activities in her high school. She remembers shopping with family in New Orleans on Sundays.

"Louisiana is getting closer to becoming like a Third World country," Wong said. "Everyone is in the streets."

Gonzalzes and Wong said it was tough for them to search for friends and relatives because the storm knocked out land lines and wireless phone service throughout the Gulf Coast but they discovered a valuable tool: they could still text message people through their cell phones.

"Text message is the only way you can get in contact with people because text message doesn't require a direct hookup," Gonzalzles said. "It's the only way to get through."

Gonzalzles lived in Louisiana for 24 years and said her mother's side of family all have strong ties in Louisiana, dating hundreds of years back. She once worked on Bourbon street and she fears she might never get to go to the Jazz and Heritage Festival, Mardi Gras or to any of the Halloween parties, again. She said everything she was in contact with then, ceased to exist.

"My entire family I've ever seen growing up, is falling apart," Gonzalzles said.

Gonzalzles said she believes New Orleans may not be a functional city for a long time and the locals may begin to start new lives in new parts of the country. New Orleans is currently flooded by broken levees, according to state officials.

"It's a bizarre, alienating feeling, a disintegration of civilization itself," Gonzalzles said. "It's mind-blowing to me."

Coastal sections may not sustain permanent protection by levees and will receive repetitive destruction, according to Dr. John Monteverdi, a professor of Meteorology at SF State who studies unusual storms.

"If San Francisco was repeatedly destroyed by earthquakes, say, once every ten years, at some point one wonders whether it is wise to rebuild." Monteverdi said. "But we are dealing with people's lives, and our decisions cannot be made so cut and dry."

Since access is limited to parts of the Gulf Coast, the internet has been the most powerful tool for information for people trying to find information from the area right now said Matt Morales, a 23-year-old BECA alumnus who is from Slidell in Louisiana. He said he posted a "roll call" on his internet blog and website which asked his friends who are okay to reply.

"I have emailed every New Orleans area friend I have in my address book," Morales said. "So far, I have gotten good news. If it wasn't for the internet, I wouldn't know a thing."

SF State Responds to Hurricane Katrina

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In the wake of the disaster toll caused by Hurricane Katrina, SF State will accept applications from students who attended colleges in the affected Gulf regions.

Students from regionally-accredited colleges in the Gulf areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama may be admitted conditionally and can enroll in fall semester classes, even if they do not have proper academic documents, according to a statement released by SF State officials on Friday, September 2.

Counseling and Psychological Services has also launched drop-in hours for students who wish to speak with counselors without an appointment.

“We are committed to working with students one-on-one to help them sort through the best options at this difficult time,” said Jo Volkert, associate vice president for enrollment planning and management, in the statement. “Counselors will help to expedite admissions, explore financial aid, identify classes with available space and suggest other options.”

Chris Gordon, an executive assistant for Counseling and Psychological Services, said services will be offered for students who feel personally affected by the effects of the hurricane.

Gordon said students will be able to seek professional help and voice any of their personal problems and concerns they may have to the counselors without an appointment necessary during drop-in hours.

"You can see one of the professional counselors," she said. "This is something we felt would be of good service to students."

Derethia DuVal, a clinical counselor, said all of the service members who are dealing with students are professional which include licensed counselors, therapists, clinical and social workers and psychologists.

"We're all therapists," DuVal said. "Students can just come in at any time."

Alan Harris, a 21-year-old history major, said he grew up in Florida and is pretty familiar with hurricanes. He said he thinks it might be beneficial for students affected by the hurricane to have access to counseling services but what will be beneficial is if the community at SF State to help the victims of the hurricane.

"I wouldn't think there would be that many people [here] who are directly or indirectly affected by the disastrous aftermath of Katrina," Harris said. "I think the best service this community can offer the people along the Gulf Coast is to donate to the Red Cross, which is what I plan on doing."

The center is located in room 208 of the Student Services building. DuVal said counseling hours will be held Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Students also have the option of coming in at nights on Tuesday between 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Wednesday between 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information on undergraduate enrollment, call (415) 338-2037 or email outreach@sfsu.edu. Graduate students should call Graduate Admissions at (415) 405-3506 or email gradystdy@sfsu.edu.

An appeal for justice to the Cheesecake Factory

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Young Workers United, along with current and former Cheesecake Factory employees, held a press conference in Union Square on Thursday and victoriously announced a $4.5 million lawsuit settlement from the company filed by workers alleging mistreatment at the San Francisco restaurant.

According to the Young Workers United website, there were a host of allegations. Employees said they were not given meal breaks when they worked shifts over six hours (which are mandated by state law), that managers verbally harassed them, and that there were instances of racial and sexual discrimination.

The bulk of the individual claims filed by employees with the Department of Labor Standard Enforcement were wage claims for missed breaks. A California law passed in 2000 entitles workers to one hour of pay if they are not given a meal break, but many who filed said the Cheesecake Factory denied them meal breaks up to March 2003. In an effort to remedy this situation the restaurant had employees come in an hour early, do side work (such as folding napkins), then take a half-hour break but still work a six hour shift with no other rest periods.

This settlement comes as a landmark victory for employees at the Cheesecake factory and for all workers’ rights in San Francisco.

Chris Jackson, an SFSU senior and president of Associated Students Inc., sits on the board of Young Workers United and said that pressure from the employees and members of the community finally led to the company giving in. He hopes other corporations will see this as an example.

“The [settlement’s] great, but the fight is not over,” he said. “This is a great victory…but [we’ve] got to keep on fighting and get organized.”

Although the action in California started with the individual claims that workers made in San Francisco, it was actually a second movement of other organized workers in Southern California that led to the settlement. According to Tony De Vencenzi, a current employee and 2004 SFSU graduate, he and others filed their individual claims with the DLSE and no immediate action was taken by the Cheesecake factory for over a year. It was only after workers in San Francisco joined the class-action lawsuit that was started in Southern California that they began to see results.

“I think it was the harassment [that got them to settle],” said Patty Senecal, a former employee and SFSU alumni. “They knew that we weren’t going to go away and they wanted to get rid of us.”

For those involved, the lawsuit is only the beginning. They all agreed that they have to reach people on an even wider scale letting them know fair treatment in the workplace is a right.

But De Vencenzi said he feels that for now, the idea of winning is liberating.

“It was a cathartic thing,” he said. “It was great to feel a victory. It was a culmination of the events of the last two years.”

Social Strike not Prevalent on Campus

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The anticipated Muni social strike against the fare increase did not gain momentum at campus bus stops during Thursday’s early morning commute as many students chose to pay the new fare.

In an effort to alleviate its $57 million deficit, Muni fares were raised by 25 cents to $1.50. Along with the fare hike, the agency plans to start cutting service along some of its runs, meaning riders will pay more for longer waits between buses.

As a term of the strike, organizers and supporters encouraged passengers on trains and buses to either pay a partial fare, or no fare at all. Operators were also encouraged to not accept fares.

Knowing that today was the first day of the strike, some students were expecting delays in their ride to school. However, the 28–19th Avenue bus was on schedule with no disruptions.

Although students were aware that fees have increased and services have been cut, they said they would only be interested if they knew it would directly affect their commute.

“I know absolutely nothing except for those stickers that I see once in a while,” freshman Emily Chang said.

Matt Grove, a freshman at SF State, said he “had no thoughts about it basically.”

Others point out that the monthly Muni pass is still $45 and those who use it will not be impacted by the change.

“Because I usually buy a monthly pass, it’s not going to affect me,” senior Michala Hamilton said.

However, some feel they cannot afford the increasing fares on top of their mounting school expenses and have taken more direct action against the rising fees.

Anna Marie Cabarloc, a junior at SF State, has been riding her bicycle to school from her home in the outer Mission. She thinks it is unfair that students now have something else to be stressed about.

“It all adds up for us. It’s bad enough that we have to worry about textbooks and everything else, but now we have to worry about transportation and how to get to school," Cabarloc said. "If they had student [Muni] passes, a lot of people would be paying for it.”

Some students said that the drivers are sometimes lenient and understanding when it comes to paying the fee.

“Often times they let you get on even if you don’t have the right fare,” Hamilton said.

While there was not too much activity around campus bus stops, several students did observe some strike participation on their way to and from class.

“I don’t think anybody paid on my bus ride from Kirkham to Holloway,” senior Juan Andrade said.

Although there were no outright fare hike protests on campus, many students went to the Mission and Downtown areas to voice their anger. At 16th and Mission and Market and Fourth streets, strike advocates stayed busy peacefully handing out flyers and urging riders to refuse to pay the fare.

According to the Web site, www.socialstrike.net, the strike will not end until “Muni backs down and satisfies our demands by repealing the fare hike and reversing all service cuts and layoffs.”

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is attempting to give California one of the toughest sex offender laws in the country by proposing the Sexual Predator Punishment and Control Act (SB 588 and AB 231).

“Today we are making it perfectly clear to all cowards who want to victimize innocent Californians,” said Gov. Schwarzenegger in a press release on Aug. 16. “We will stop you, we will catch you and we will punish you.”

The new sex offender bill would intensify the current Megan’s Law. New measures would include a life-long Global Positioning System (GPS), tracking devices for registered sex offenders, longer sentences to sex offenders who use date rape drugs and increased parole length.

If the bill is passed a number of changes will occur.

The current law requires that convicted sex offenders, who have committed crimes against children, be banned from living within a quarter mile of schools during their parole. The new law would lengthen the quarter mile, or 1320 feet, to 2000 feet and include not only schools, but parks too.

It would also mandate that the average parole for sex offenders be lengthened from three to five years to up to 10 years. Ten-year paroles are usually reserved for only the most severe sex crimes.

Possession of child pornography, currently a misdemeanor, would become a felony under the new bill.

The current law specifies that sex offenders who commit sexual assault using a date rape drug have an additional three years added to their sentence. The new law would increase that to five years.

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Jeffery Snipes had contrasting reactions when he initially read the bill.

“My gut reaction is that portions of the bill dealing with increased penalties seem reasonable,” said Snipes in an online interview, "but that the lifetime tracking of sex offenders and the restraints on where they live seem to fly in the face of a modern, progressive, re-integrative punishment strategy.”

Students on campus have mixed opinions on the bill.

“It is a good and bad idea,” said Heather Schiffman, a 22-year-old broadcasting major. “It is a good idea in theory, but the likelihood of it working is slim to none.”

Some students think the bill will be beneficial.

“I think it’s a good thing for the safety of children,” said 22-year-old mother Tina Worku, a child development major.

While other students, such as 26-year-old mechanical engineering student Rob Curcio, think the bill should be rethought.

“A blanket punishment doesn’t always work for every situation,” said Curcio.

Under current California laws, sex offenders must register with their local police department. Before the sex offender is convicted he or she has to fill out a form with the California Department of Justice that states personal information, including all names he or she uses, birth date, physical description, convictions and any visible identifying marks. Their information is made public on the Megan’s Law website.

Most sex offenders must then register with their local police department every year, about five days before his or her birthday. Homeless sex offenders must register with the police department that he or she is located in every 30 days. Sex offenders who are considered sexually violent must register with their local police department every 90 days.

If sex offenders do not register, they are found in violation of their registration. The violation can count as a strike under California's "Three Strikes" law and the offender would have to return to prison.

There are 15 registered sex offenders living around campus and two of them are in violation of their registration, according to the current Megan’s Law website. Throughout San Francisco there are 584 registered sex offenders.

The Megan’s Law website let’s people know personal information like birth date, personal description and exactly where the offender lives.

According to Assemblyman Leland Yee’s, (D-San Francisco), spokesman David Burruto, the governor's recently proposed bill hasn't had any recent action in the legislator.

“The last action on the bill was the 18th (of Aug.),” said Burruto. “I don’t think any of these bills will do anything. They are essentially dead.”

If the bill is not passed through the legislature the governor has stated that he will bypass it and try to put the issue on the ballot.

For more information about sexual offenders in your area you can go to www.meganslaw.ca.gov.

SF State professor Roma Guy is among 1,000 other women finalists nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Guy, who lectures at SF State’s Department of Health Education, described herself as “stunned” when she heard her name was chosen to be amongst the 1,000 women.

“I knew I was going to be nominated, but I didn’t really think I would be selected,” said Guy, who teaches in the Master of Public Health Program at SF State.

“I think it’s well-deserved,” said Len Finocchio, Adjunct Professor of Health Education, who has known Guy for five years.

The first peace prize was awarded in 1901. Since then, only 12 women have won the prize. The Swiss-based “1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005” project, under which Guy was jointly nominated, was introduced in 2003 to draw attention to the millions of women who work to promote peace. It includes women from more than 150 countries. This year, 40 are from the United States, and 14 are from the Bay Area.

Project coordinators and regional advisory boards pre-selected candidates in various areas, and an international project team decided which 1,000 women to select as finalists earlier this year. The peace prize will be awarded in December.

A longtime community activist, Guy has served as director of the Bay Area Homelessness Program, executive director of the Women’s Foundation, and founded the Women’s Building, which is home to several San Francisco community resources and programs. Guy also served on the San Francisco City and County Health Commission, and founded and serves as an advisory board member of the Stay-In-School Family Resource Center at SF State.

According to Guy, her activism was the reason she was nominated for the peace prize.

“It’s central,” Guy said. “I don’t think I would have been nominated if I hadn’t been an activist.”

Guy - the eldest child of eight - grew up with an activist family, including a father who participated in many community projects. He helped in the founding of the first all-day high school in the community, and the first hospital in the community. Her
father “brought awareness to our household,” according to Guy.

“I grew up in a community that had principles of fairness for everyone,” Guy said. She believes that her family and community contributed to her present-day activism. Guy also recalls living through the civil rights movement, and describes it as bringing a “new layer” to activism.

According to Guy, who considers herself part of a “global women’s movement,” activism isn’t brought about by “fantasy,” but by hands-on activities, and most especially through teamwork.

“I saw that social change had to do with people changing things,” Guy said. “You couldn’t do it by just thinking about it.”

A celebration in the Bay Area is being organized on Dec. 10 in preparation for the announcement of the winner’s name.

“We’re hopefully all going to be (at the celebration),” Guy said. “We want to say what we think peace is all about.”

“We’re all pretty excited for her,” said Lesa Gerhard, a graduate student. “She’s a great woman.”

Regardless of the outcome, Guy is pleased just to be nominated.

“It’s a wonderful idea and I’m thrilled to participate in it, win or lose,” Guy said.

For more information, visit http://www.1000peacewomen.org.

Two SF State student organizations involved in a protest last March have filed a lawsuit against SF State for violation of their First Amendment rights.

Attorneys for Students Against War and the International Socialist Organization said the protestors were exercising their First Amendment rights by organizing a protest against military recruitment on campus. The attorneys also said that SF State was not following its own anti-discrimination policy by allowing the military, which has a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, on campus. SF State placed both groups on probation, but the university has not yet imposed punishment against any single student.

“There has been a petition filed, you could call it a lawsuit,” said Joshua Sandheimer, one of the lawyers handling the case on behalf of the two groups. “We have a team of lawyers working on this.”

The groups said they demand to be taken off of probation, and that SF State adopts an official stance against the military’s discriminatory hiring practices. The student groups are also demanding the right to protest effectively.

The chaos began six months ago, on March 9, in Jack Adams Hall at a recruiting fair sponsored by the College of Science and Engineering. About 150 protesters surrounded the recruiting tables of the Air Force and the Army Corps of Engineers, forcing them to leave early. The SF State Career Center refunded over $6000 in registration fees to various job recruiters in attendance because the protests made it impossible for employers to talk to prospective hires, according to the Director of the Career Center Jack Brewer.

According to Title V of the California Code of Regulations, any disruption of campus activities is a possible ground for expulsion from the California State University system.

Paradis Esmaeili, a 19-year-old biology major and member of SAW, said she was one of three protesters removed from the event. She has yet to find out what her punishment might be.

“It can be anything,” she explained. “(Anything) from a slap on the hand to expulsion.”

The groups hope to force the university to say that military recruiters use discriminatory hiring practices, Esmaeili said. They also want to see an end to the Solomon Amendment, which can take federal funds from campuses for not permitting military recruitment.

"It was clear from the evidence we've collected that certain individuals at SFSU were bent on punishing these student groups and didn't seem to care about ensuring the student groups had a fair hearing," said Sharon Adams, the lead attorney handling the case, in a press release from the National Lawyers Guild.

“We demand that the student groups on probation are removed from probation,” Adams said.

The groups are demanding that the university publicly state that even though they must allow military recruiters access to campus, they disapprove of the military’s discriminatory hiring practices, which lawyers say is in direct conflict with the school’s hiring policies.

“We all recognize they have to allow them on campus,” Adams said. “We want a statement that they’re not supporting the military.”

The university has not yet responded to the demands, but they are currently in negotiations with lawyers handling the case. University spokeswoman Ellen Griffin was unable to comment.

The ISO and SAW have been active on SF State campus in their protesting the war on terror. Last April, the ISO brought several speakers to campus to speak out against the war.

Among those were former president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Matt Gonzalez, Lynne Stewart, the lawyer representing Sheikh Abdel Rahman, the man convicted in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and Cindy Sheehan, the Vallejo mother whose protests outside President Bush’s Crawford, Texas ranch have reignited debate about the war in Iraq.

"It is appalling that University officials would choose to punish students for a basic
free-speech activity, while allowing military recruiters on their campus in violation of their own anti-discrimination policy," Adams said.

A recent report by the Government Accountability Office has stated that the rise in textbook prices may be attributed to bundled books: textbook packages that contain CD-ROMs, study guides and other forms of multimedia.

The GAO report, issued in July 2005, explained that textbook prices have increased at twice the rate of inflation for the past two decades, and that book prices tripled between 1986 and 2004.

These bundled, shrink-wrapped packages usually cost students at least $100. They range in subjects from first year science to graduate-level business.

According to the report, publishers offer a discount on bundled packages, which can be a selling point among retailers and professors. Publishers have told GAO that they “incur significant costs to promote innovation,” and the increasing multimedia supplements are their way of keeping up with changing technology.

The report also states that in 2003, the average cost of books and supplies for a first-year, full-time student at a four-year college totals $898 for an academic year.

This issue has received over a year of attention on Capitol Hill, culminating in the report that, according to a bulletin from the National Association of College Stores, has captivated students, university faculty and higher education officials.

“Since I’ve been taking business courses, I’ve had to buy four bundled books and they have all cost over $100,” said Graziella Bileti, 20, a junior business administration major. She said that out of the four books, she has only needed the supplemental material from one.

“All we needed the extra disc for was to load a program onto our computer, and then we were done with it,” she said. “I don’t think that book publishers are willing to find an alternative way to sell.”

The American Association of Publishers countered the GAO report in August, with concerns that the report portrayed an unbalanced picture of the actual costs to students.

“Publishers strive to continually develop materials that meet the ever-evolving needs of faculty and students,” said Patricia Schroeder, the association’s president and chief executive officer, in an August press release. “[The GAO] relied on data that does not reflect the true cost of books to students.” Schroeder also said in the release that their research found that the average student spends $580 per year on textbooks, roughly $300 less than the GAO reported.

Supplies are more than pencils and notebooks, she said. “They may include computers, calculators and lab equipment … by combining textbooks and supplies [in their data], they created an inaccurate picture of the actual costs of textbooks to students.”

Schroeder also stated the report failed to include the money students receive for selling their textbooks back at the end of the semester.

“You can’t sell back those bundled books,” said Bileti. “They come wrapped and you can’t even get a refund unless it’s unopened.”

Sarah Ingham, a junior kinesiology major, has had to purchase expensive textbooks in the past. This semester she is taking second-year general chemistry, and the required text costs $145. It comes with a bonus study guide and “owl” guide.

“I need the owl guide, not the study guide,” said Ingham, 22. The bundled package will cost her an extra $20; she cannot buy the “owl” guide separately with a used text.

“I think [bundling] benefits the publisher, not the students,” she said. “I only get [a certain amount] in financial aid a semester and I have to spend it wisely and budget. The price of these books is becoming detrimental to my food and rent costs.”

Jane DeWitt, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at SF State, said that although the newer products in bundled packages claim to do more, students do not always have time to check out the multimedia options when faced with the assigned work in class.

“It gets overwhelming,” DeWitt said, “both for the instructor to sift through the [bundled] material to figure out what might actually help students, or for the students to surf through the material and find out what’s right for them.”

The National Association of College Stores will provide an in-depth look at the GAO report to college bookstores on Sept. 8. The GAO staff will explain the major points of the report and will allow NACS members the opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback.

As the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina's wrath is assessed in much of the South, SF State students from that region worry about their families back home.

Hurricane Katrina slammed into Florida as a Category 1 and trailed into Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi on Monday gaining momentum to a Category 4 with winds as high as 140 mph. The damage is extensive in four states, and many cities and towns were left severely flooded. Many people were killed and over one million were left without power. Katrina could be one of the most costly storms in recent history, according to state officials.

SF State student Erica Murray was in Florida when Katrina first hit land. The 19-year-old hospitality management major said when she looked out of the window of her family's home in Miami she could see how strong the winds were blowing because all the trees were moving in the same direction. The next morning, she and her family saw leaves everywhere, tree branches outside their front door and a couple of uprooted trees.

"Hurricane Katrina was definitely an unexpected surprise," Murray said. "It wasn't as bad as Hurricane Andrew back in '92, but it did a lot more damage than anyone expected it would."

After hours of cleaning up, Murray said she and her family drove around to calculate the total damage.

"Everywhere we drove there was nothing but trees turned over which broke down fences, walls, and some major flooding," she said. "We drove around in a parking lot and saw a tree had fallen over and took up the curb, and landed on the back windshield of a Cadillac. There were also signs that had fallen off and shattered on the ground."

Diana Wong, an 18-year-old marketing major, said she has watched this kind of destruction on television, but it has never hit this close to her hometown of Morgan City, which is west of New Orleans. She said her family was safe but many of her friends in Mississippi have no homes to go back to.

"I have been relentlessly trying to reach my friends who stayed for the storm, but I have not been able to contact them yet. I do not know if they are dead or alive and I am deeply worried," Wong said. "The Gulf Coast was like a second home to me, and now it's barely there."

Scott Hutton said he thinks his family's home in Louisiana might be flooded.

"I heard that a nearby hospital has seven feet of water on the first floor," the 21 year-old kinesiology alumnus said. "I can only assume that my house has just as much water."

With home and cell phone lines down, 19-year-old nursing major David Chan said he was not able to reach his family back home in Alabama. He was initially worried when Katrina became a Category 4 hurricane but found out Katrina only left minimal damage in his hometown of Mobile.

"I called a family friend and he said my family was fine. My family went to a friend's house to play Ma Jong [a Chinese card game] to pass time since all power was out," Chan said. "This is not the first hurricane my family has endured so it was a piece of cake."

Dennis Naquin said he has not been able to reach his family or friends in his hometown of New Orleans since Friday. He hopes his family listened to the order for a mandatory evacuation.

"We get hurricanes every year around this time," the 18-year-old student said. "I've evacuated so many times in the past couple of years for false alarms. Everyone kept saying that we are due for a big hurricane. That's what we got."

If you wish to donate to the National Disaster Relief Fund for victims of Hurricane Katrina, please visit the Red Cross website at Redcross.org

The anticipated Muni social strike against the fare increase did not gain momentum at campus bus stops during Thursday’s early morning commute as many students chose to pay the new fare.

In an effort to alleviate its $57 million deficit, Muni fares were raised by 25 cents to $1.50. Along with the fare hike, the agency plans to start cutting service along some of its runs, meaning riders will pay more for longer waits between buses.

As a term of the strike, organizers and supporters encouraged passengers on trains and buses to either pay a partial fare, or no fare at all. Operators were also encouraged to not accept fares.

Knowing that today was the first day of the strike, some students were expecting delays in their ride to school. However, the 28–19th Avenue bus was on schedule with no disruptions.

Although students were aware that fees have increased and services have been cut, they said they would only be interested if they knew it would directly affect their commute.

“I know absolutely nothing except for those stickers that I see once in a while,” freshman Emily Chang said.

Matt Grove, a freshman at SF State, said he “had no thoughts about it basically.”

Others point out that the monthly Muni pass is still $45 and those who use it will not be impacted by the change.

“Because I usually buy a monthly pass, it’s not going to affect me,” senior Michala Hamilton said.

However, some feel they cannot afford the increasing fares on top of their mounting school expenses and have taken more direct action against the rising fees.

Anna Marie Cabarloc, a junior at SF State, has been riding her bicycle to school from her home in the outer Mission. She thinks it is unfair that students now have something else to be stressed about.

“It all adds up for us. It’s bad enough that we have to worry about textbooks and everything else, but now we have to worry about transportation and how to get to school," Cabarloc said. "If they had student [Muni] passes, a lot of people would be paying for it.”

Some students said that the drivers are sometimes lenient and understanding when it comes to paying the fee.

“Often times they let you get on even if you don’t have the right fare,” Hamilton said.

While there was not too much activity around campus bus stops, several students did observe some strike participation on their way to and from class.

“I don’t think anybody paid on my bus ride from Kirkham to Holloway,” senior Juan Andrade said.

Although there were no outright fare hike protests on campus, many students went to the Mission and Downtown areas to voice their anger. At 16th and Mission and Market and Fourth streets, strike advocates stayed busy peacefully handing out flyers and urging riders to refuse to pay the fare.

According to the Web site, www.socialstrike.net, the strike will not end until “Muni backs down and satisfies our demands by repealing the fare hike and reversing all service cuts and layoffs.”

Students Against War Discuss Work Ahead

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Kristin Anderson stood with a smile on her face as the room erupted into applause.

The clapping came after Anderson recalled how her organization, Students Against War, kicked military recruiters off of the campus last semester.

SAW began its first meeting of the year by reminding the crowd of 32 people in Rosa Park Conference Room E of the reasons why they were all there. The group went over President Bush’s low approval rating, the high death toll of Iraqis and talked about what they believe is an upswing in anti-war sentiment due to Cindy Sheehan’s visit to Crawford, TX to speak to the president. But they explained the biggest work ahead of them is to get military recruiters off high school and college campuses.

“They’re coming back next semester and we need to let them know they’re not welcome,” Anderson said.

SAW invited Aimee Allison to the meeting as a guest speaker to help push this message along. Allison calls herself a counter-recruiter and has been in Crawford, a place she calls “Disneyland for the Right Wing.”

“The military is unlike any job you can have,” Allison said. “You’ll put your life on the line but you don’t have any say and you can’t quit.”

Allison was recruited straight out of high school in 1987 in Antioch at the age of 17. She said she did so because she was promised $20,000 to help put her through college, which she said she never saw.

In 1990 her reserve unit was activated and she received papers that told her she was being sent to Kuwait. She began to look deep into her own personal beliefs of war and decided that she had to refuse her orders. In 1993, she was honorably discharged.

Allison now wants to stop other young people from getting themselves into something they may not agree with either, but are stuck because they have signed a contract with the government.

“I’m trying to make my experience meaningful for others,” Allison said.

Allison, along with SAW and other organizations are trying to push Proposition I, the “College not Combat” ballot measure, that would make it illegal for the military to recruit young people on any public school, college, or university in San Francisco.

“You sign a contract and they own you,” Anderson said. “It was your choice but it’s like being a slave.”

Michael Hoffman, another member of SAW, said that the organization will hopefully make some changes in the way the military recruits people and somehow end the war in Iraq.

“The majority of the population opposes the war and our activism and coordinated efforts can help make that majority heard,” Hoffman said.

On September 24, SAW will join in a national day of protest to push for a withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq and to keep recruiters off school campuses. Anderson believes that their efforts have helped in the anti-war movement and points to army recruiters not being able to meet their quotas since January of this year, when the counter-recruitment movement began.

Karen Knoller, an SF State freshmen, said what people had to say at the meeting inspired her.

“I was taken aback by people’s intense feelings,” Knoller said. “Back where I came from, I never had a venue to express my feelings.”

Anderson and Hoffman explained that this meeting was specifically set up to let people know who they are and what they are about. They understand that there are those who may not agree with their interpretation of the war and the current administration.

“I’m not the one they should be blaming,” Anderson said about those who may be upset with SAW’s anti-war movement. “They should be blaming the person who brought them over there in the first place.

“They should stand right beside me and demand that the troops be brought home.”

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