April 2006 Archives
The sixth annual ‘7-Inch Heels and a Microphone’ variety show brought drag queens, stand up comedians, and punk rockers together to raise money for the Queer Alliance and the Cindy Kolb AIDS Foundation, which provides additional college funds to SF State students with HIV.
The annual fundraiser has had serious glitches in the past. The proceeds from the show were stolen in 2003 and 2005. This didn’t dissuade students from coming and co-sponsors CEASE and EROS from making this year’s fundraiser a success.
“I’m just doing my part,” said volunteer Gary Villalobos, a creative writing senior. He sold tickets for the sex toy and porn raffle that took place at the end of the show. Villalobos was rewarded with a pair of “hot cookie” underwear and a phallic sucker given by a raffle winner.
Edie Sanchez, a graduating psychology major, was collecting donations and serving “mocktails”, non-alcoholic drinks with tiny umbrellas. A student coordinator with CEASE, she said they were there to promote responsible partying.
“It’s not a bad thing as long as you’re being safe,” Sanchez said. “We’re not anti-drinking.”
Vi Le, the secretary and treasurer for the Queer Alliance, was one of the stars of the show, who appeared in drag under the name CoCoa Laguna and sang a few songs while dressed as a male crooner.
The master of ceremonies was Mistress Morgana, a local burlesque performer who has volunteered to host this event for the last few years.
“I enjoy giving until it hurts—you,” said Mistress Morgana as she demonstrated the safe way to strap one’s buttocks with a studded belt.
The night opened with some obscene but funny prose readings from Kirk Read and comic performer Bucky Sinister. A band of four SF State students, A Street Car Named Shut the Fuck Up! performed together for the first time.
“We’re still a little wet behind the ears,” said Ryan O’Connell, a 19 year-old creative writing major. That didn’t stop them from having fun.
“That’s what our band is all about, rhythm and talent is out the window,” said fashion major Andrea Hinojosa, also 19.
Performers and audience members socialized in front of the stage, and danced to some of the livelier acts.
This year they raised about $500. “It went pretty well,” said Nija Mashruwala, a computer science major who worked with the stage crew. “There was a ton of high energy high intensity atmosphere backstage.”
Mashruwala said that since someone stole their safe from their student center office last year, they have now decided to deposit the funds in a bank account.
Professor Marcia Green’s eyes welled up with tears as she talked about the end of NEXA classes. This semester will be the last time SF State will offer them, unless a department of the college wishes to take on the set of courses. Although the program was eliminated last spring, a few classes are still be offered to help students finish their majors, minors and Segment III programs.
“It hurts me deeply that my own university isn’t, in some way, shape, or form, able to hold on to their disciplinary courses,” Green said.
The actual NEXA program had been a part of SF State since the 1970’s. The name, NEXA, is an abbreviation of the word ‘nexus,’ which means a core or center. Green’s husband Geoffrey, who is a professor and the NEXA cluster coordinator, said the name implies “a meeting place, a center for ideas to converge.”
Green teaches two popular NEXA classes at SF State and is the president of the National Association for Humanities Education. The organization helps to foster humanities education, which includes NEXA classes, in public and private schools.
She is upset that she can’t save what she has a passion for, and it seems that students are also not happy with the decision. Many students desire to learn a variety of subjects that also correlate, and NEXA provided that for them.
“They keep coming back for more,” said Green who comes from the music department. Each semester she attracts 40 to 60 students per class. These two classes are the only ones she teaches.
“If you get rid of the ideas and culture, then what do we have?” said Rainer Weinbrenner, 21, a cinema and animation major enrolled in Marcia Green’s class, ‘The Demonic Pact: Faust Myth in Music and Literature’.
“I don’t think anything should be cut, but this is the last thing in line to be cut,” he said.
Weinbrenner said the course helped him to expand his world, allowing him to explore new thoughts and ideas. He was hoping to take the ‘Darwinism Revolution’ class in the fall and was upset to find that he won’t be able to. He said he’s determined to keep the classes around.
“I don’t care if I need to get in front of the guy who is trying to cancel this NEXA class,” he said.” If I have to march in and break down that door, I will.”
Last year, despite petitions from supporters and positive reviews of the courses from Harvard University, NEXA was eliminated, Green said. He was the NEXA program director before it ended.
“The money to be saved by eliminating the program has already been saved,” he said.
Although Green understands that it took money to run the program, he doesn’t see the financial harm of just listing the classes online. If the courses didn’t attract enough students, then the university could cancel the class, he said.
Dean Paul Sherwin of the College of Humanities said it’s not so simple.
“We’ve got lots of students,” he said. “But we don’t have the money.”
The College is only allowed a certain amount of money in their budget to pay for instructor’s salaries. And the average enrollment of NEXA classes is lower than other General Education courses, he said.
Although the College would like to have NEXA courses, Sherwin said that the only way to keep a NEXA class would be to trade it for another class. And that would be a decision for the individual departments to make.
Dean Sheldon Axler of the College of Science and Engineering knows it is up to the departments if they want to keep a NEXA course, but it hasn’t generated much interest as of yet.
“No one has come to me to say, ‘The class is excellent and we really want to keep it’,” he said.
The College’s main priority is to make sure students get the NEXA courses they need to finish their graduation requirements. If they do list the courses next semester it will be a one-time effort. Axler said a decision would most likely be made this week.
Sherwin agrees the departments’ main priorities are to get their students the major classes they need to graduate, even though he would like to keep the NEXA classes.
“In these financial times, we can’t do what we want,” Sherwin said.
Still, students are disappointed to see the classes go.
Johnny Quan said NEXA caught his eye when he was looking for Segment III courses.
“Whoa, that sounds really different, it sounds very unique,” was the BECA major’s reaction to the course name, ‘The Demonic Pact—The Faust Myth in Music and Literature’.
“This seemed to have personality,” said Quan, a junior.
Quan is one of several of Marcia Green’s students who have written letters to Dean Sherwin pleading for the College of Humanities to adopt the courses.
Rose Haynes, a creative writing major who is also is enrolled in Green’s class, is spearheading the activism.
“Every semester I look at the class schedule and I see all these wonderful classes,” Hayes said. “I want other students to have the opportunity I had. I think a well-rounded liberal education is an important part of getting a good education.”
Louis Gorenfeld, 26, a junior, said Green’s classes allow him the chance to talk about music, something he normally wouldn’t be exploring in his computer science classes.
“In science a lot of people shy away from the gray area,” he said. “This class deals with the gray area and that kind of reasoning is part of your education.”
“It’s a break form just straight science,” agrees Nick Salinas, 20. Salinas is an engineering major enrolled in the Einstein Revolution class.
“If you don’t have (NEXA courses), maybe people won’t understand the relationship between science and technology and how it affects culture,” he said.
The SF State Chapter of Americans for Informed Democracy (AID) hosted a town hall meeting entitled, "The Politics of Energy and Natural Resources."
AID is a non-partisan organization that encourages dialogue and discussion of contemporary global issues,
The two-hour meeting, which took place on April 28 at 5 p.m., consisted of a three-person panel that discussed different, but interconnected topics, regarding global climate change, oil consumption and national and local legislative issues. Around 30 people attended the meeting in HSS 362 at SF State.
The first panelist, Glenn Fieldman, an environmental studies and international relations lecturer at SF State, outlined the major issues concerning global climate change and emphasized that America needs to take responsibility and change the excessive consumption of energy that has become the norm.
Despite America containing only five percent of the world’s population, the nation accounts for 25 percent of all global energy use.
According to Fieldman, the trend in America over the last 50 years has been that everything needs to be bigger and we need more of everything. The average American house has doubled in size since 1950. Cars and SUVs have become bigger and there are more cars per household that ever before, he added.
“The global middle and upper classes have become more luxurious and consume more all the time, while half of the world lives on less than two dollars a day and can’t access enough energy to keep lights on at night, or have a refrigerator,” Fieldman said.
Luke Tonachel, a policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council, discussed the growing crises of America’s addiction to oil and its dependence on foreign oil supplies.
According to Tonachel, the United States gets half of its oil from overseas, a quarter of which comes from the Middle East. The Bush Administration came up with a plan to change this dependence on an area of the world where the United States has a soiled foreign relations record by buying oil from the “Alternative 8,” which include Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation, Angola, Nigeria, Mexico, Columbia and Venezuela, he noted.
Tonachel said that some of these countries present their own problems, such as instability and possible civil war in Nigeria, and blatant US hostility from the president of Venezuela.
“These countries do not have as many oil resources (as the Middle East) and we will go through it quickly,” Tonachel said. “Then we will have to go back to the Persian Gulf after refusing to buy their oil, and that probably won’t go over so well.”
The last panelist, Ann Kelly, a senior energy specialist at the San Francisco Department of the Environment, brought the issues a little closer to home by discussing what her department is doing to improve energy use in San Francisco and how they work with the utility companies in the city.
Issues that the department is currently focusing on include, toxics reduction, recycling, alternative energy sources such as solar panels, and clean air and transportation.
“The Department of Environment has a policy of sustainability and everything is connected,” Kelly said. “Part of our mission is to make people more aware of that connection.”
According to Kelly, the department has had some recent victories in improving the local environment. This June, the Hunters Point power plant will be closed, which will end the contamination and reduce harmful toxicity of that area, Kelly said.
She added that another success is that the city’s fleet includes 700 alternative fuel vehicles, which is the largest number in the nation.
“MUNI is 57 percent zero emissions and by 2020, they have pledged to be 100 percent. We’ll be there the whole time pushing them to reach their goal," said Kelly.
After the panelists spoke their piece, the floor was opened up to questions by the audience, which included a mix of students, teachers, environmental activists and community members.
“A lot of the information was like preaching to a choir, since most of us here are involved in these issues,” said Tom Ivy, a 22-year-old environmental studies major at UC Santa Cruz. “But the information is extremely important and everyone needs to know it.”
Karen Noll, a geography lecturer at the City College in San Francisco, said she learned things that could help her relate to her own students, such as what to tell them when they ask about all the conflicting research regarding global warming.
“I thought the three panelists presented a nice balance of the issues and kept the topics well connected,” Noll said. “There was a lot of information that I can take away from this.”
Ted Andersen, event coordinator, as well as a campus organizer and research coordinator for AID at SF State,
said that even if the politics of the discussion may have been a little left-leaning due to the political climate of the city, he feels it is important to have these open dialogues for people to discuss issues that affect everyone in the United States, as well as globally.
“It is important that AID stays non-partisan so we can facilitate discussions on really serious issues,” Andersen said.
According to Andersen, AID town hall meetings are always open to the community, but it is important to attract students since they are eager to learn about global issues and will be the people who will be able to incite change in the future.
The laser is strong enough to burn through skin, but student researchers at SF State have figured out how to split, bend and manipulate it in all sorts of ways. According to them, they are opening the door to a new level of high-speed communication and data highways.
Led by graduate and undergraduate students, SF State’s Quantum Optics Research Lab produces cutting-edge research, which the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and other private bodies have been very interested in. According to ZhiGang Chen, the lead investigator of the optics research lab, the military has pumped about $500,000 in grants into the lab.
“Most of the grants are used to support research,” said Chen, who has been an associate professor in the department of physics and astronomy since 1998.
Chen said some of the ways the grants help students support their research are by funding trips to conferences, paying for publishing fees for scientific journals, and also providing stipends. They have also provided resources for all the expensive equipment in each of the three optics labs.
According to graduate student and research team member Jack Young, the sugar-cube sized crystals used to split the laser cost $25,000 each.
“It’s exciting to know that Dr. Chen’s research competes with people with Ph.D.s and doctorate degrees, even when working with undergraduate and masters students,” said Anna Bezryadina, a graduate student and member of the research team.
The team said that right now they are doing fundamental research, such as testing ideas to determine the different things they can do with the laser. They are specifically looking at how the laser behaves and trying to see how they can control it through a crystal.
“A lot of people don’t know we have leading research in the world going on here,” said ChenThey see their research creating much faster communications with enhanced fiber optics, and possibly chips based on light and crystals instead of electricity and silicon like today’s electronics.
These potential technologies are the reason why the Department of Defense in particular has so much interest in the optics research lab, according to Chen. They could be the key to advancing the military to new capabilities.
The grants that Chen receives are facilitated through SF State’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. According to ORSP’s Web site, they help tenured and tenure-track faculty members “obtain and manage funds to support research, student training, and community-based projects.”
Senior personnel specialist Victoria Narkewicz said ORSP connects faculty members to hundreds of federal, state and private grants from all over the country. Some of the grants, like Chen's, are used on campus while many are used off campus. However, once approved by ORSP all grants are managed by SF State faculty members.
Through ORSP, advanced research like Chen’s is made possible at SF State.
The Cesar Chavez Student Center will be closed for one day, on May 1. The Student Center governing board voted for the closure, in solidarity with May Day immigrants' rights protests and general strike. Immigrants are planning to stay home from work and school, in reaction to the recent legistlation surrounding new immigration laws. In this webtalk, you'll hear reactions from student center workers effected by the closure.
Representing the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, SF State’s delegation received an award from the national Model United Nations conference at the U.N. headquarters in New York. It is their first one in 10 years of participation.
“It took a lot of teamwork, we stayed in character,” said 23-year-old Denis Rajic, an international relations major and president of the Model U.N. club. Although none of the team members are Laotian, they must be well versed in the politics and culture of the region to participate in the mock summit.
The delegation from SF State won Honorable Mention, the third of three levels of awards. According to Rajic, of the roughly 300 schools from around the world that send delegations to the conference, only 30 are recognized with awards (10 of each tier), placing SF State’s delegation in the top 10 percent.
Rajic said the awards are given based on how accurately the student delegates represent their countries and how well they work together to accomplish their goals. Since SF State represented Lao PDR at the conference, the delegates had to behave as actual Laotian representatives would at a U.N. conference.
“You have to be realistic,” said Rajic, citing the example that Lao PDR, as a small country, would not try to dominate negotiations as the United States would. “We tried to represent Laos as factually as possible.”
Rajic would like to see more interest in the Model U.N. club and class, and the award might assist in drawing in students.
“We hope it’s going to help us recruit,” he said.
The Model U.N. meets as a club in the fall, then the class is offered in the spring. The delegates who attend the conferences – the New York conference and the Model United Nations Far West conference in South San Francisco this year – are selected from the class.
Professor JoAnn Aviel, who is IR department chair, instructor of the Model U.N. class and adviser to the club, said priority is given to graduating seniors and to students who are well informed about the issues that will be discussed at the conference.
The country the delegation represents at the conferences stems from the number of students the Model U.N. class can afford to send. This year, the class was able to send 11 delegates to New York.
Aviel hopes the recognition from the conference will help to bring more funding to the class, which would mean sending more students to the Big Apple.
“Some would like to send a larger delegation,” said Aviel, pointing out that it would allow SF State to represent some of the larger countries at the conference.
Ko Ko Lay, a graduate student from Burma, said Model U.N. has given him valuable experience for his future career. He is studying social change design and international conflict resolution.
“The U.N. doesn’t do enough to change Burma,” Lay said. “My passion is for peace and social justice in my country.”
Lay, a Free Burma activist, hopes to someday hold a diplomatic position so he can work to improve unstable conditions in his home country.
“I want to learn the U.N. system,” Lay said. “I want to learn about intergovernmental organizations.”
Rajic said it was nice for a team from SF State to be recognized for the first time in 10 years, but the experience students get from participating in Model U.N. is most important.
“It shouldn’t be about awards,” Rajic said. “It’s about the learning process.”
The California State University sponsored the California Forum for Diversity in Graduate Education, which was aimed at promoting minority involvement in doctoral programs within research disciplines.
The event, held at the University of Southern California, included workshops where recruiters from universities around the country were invited to provide information for African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian American and other minority students.
Other topics discussed in the workshops included how to prepare for the Graduate Records Examination, how to choose a graduate school and how to finance an education.
According to Lisa White, the associate dean of graduate studies at SF State, the forum is an excellent event and the graduate programs benefit by attracting highly qualified students who will also contribute to greater diversity on our campus.
“One of the strengths of the forum is giving students access to resources about applying to graduate school as well as the options for careers once they graduate,” White said.
The concept was to create an opportunity for lower income students to come and see what their options are.
“There should be no student that is interested that cannot come because of lack of cash flow,” said Kip Polakoff, CSU director for the California Pre-Doctoral Program.
The forum, which started in 1991, is the largest of its kind in the country, according to Polakoff. This year about 1,200 students came to the event. The first forum in 1991 attracted about 400 students.
Not just any student is eligible. Through consultation with the dean of graduate studies, Ann Hallum, SF State students are assessed on their eligibility for an invitation.
The CSU also works with the University of California, which provides some of the money needed to fund the non-profit event. Other revenue comes from the fees charged to recruiters and advertising.
“The CSU has retained the leadership role in the event because of the much higher percent of minority students (enrolled in the system),” Polakoff said.
SF State has not yet hosted a conference, but is always involved in organizing the forum and has attended as a recruiter since the beginning.
“The central message of this event is that there are lots of strong programs available and there are ways that anyone can afford it with the right planning and information,” White said.
Thousands of people came from all over the Bay Area to protest HR 4437, Congress’ anti-immigration bill, demanding that Congress design an immigration policy respectful of human rights.
The protest, organized by the Coalition Deporten La Migra (Deport INS -United States Immigration & Naturalization Service), met in Dolores Park on April 23, at 11 a.m. However, the actual march to the Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco began at 2 p.m., once the crowd reached the 10,000 to 15,000 mark. Marchers carried both Mexican and American flags, and held up signs that read, “No Human Being is Illegal,” “No Mas Leyes Racistas” (No More Racist Laws), and “Amnistia – Equal Rights for All Immigrants.”
If passed, the bill would make illegal immigration a felony, as well as punish anyone guilty of providing assistance.
“San Francisco joins cities across America in demanding that Congress create a true legalization package,” not just punitive policies,” said Renee Saucedo of La Raza Centro Legal, an organization, which provides direct legal services, education, leadership development, and opportunities to organize around community issues.
Activities were monitored closely by four busloads of police officers. There was a virtual blue line in front of both the federal building and the state office. Thirty-three police motorcycles lined Larkin Street north of Golden Gate Avenue – which was blocked by protestors.
Some marchers shared whether the bill would affect them or their loved ones, or both.
“I am not affected,” said Monica Calvo, a legal Costa Rican immigrant and Berkeley resident. “But the rest of my friends are and the hard working people.”
“I am affected by the law and all my family is, too,” said Rachel Sanchez, a resident of Emeryville, and housecleaner. She and her family have been in the United States for six years.
“Family members’ll be straight locked up,” said Jose Rodriguez, an SF State student. “The law doesn’t look at people as people, it looks at them like a number.”
Protesters said that if the law were passed, they still wouldn’t give up.
Three weeks ago Maria Reyes, 53, a volunteer for Mujeres Unidas (Women United), went on a seven-day hunger strike in front of the state office.
“We’ll be here,” said Reyes’ son, Emmanuel Reyes, yesterday. “Striking and Marching, we’ll keep going.”
A group of SF State students, including Rodriguez, announced plans to go on a hunger strike from May 1 to May 5. “Un Dia Sin Immigrantes,” or “A Day Without Workers,” is scheduled for May 1.
MONDAY, MAY 1ST
The governing board has decided to shut down the Cesar Chavez Student Center on Monday, May 1 in honor of “The Great Economic Boycott.” While the closure is in response to a cause many SF State students support, some are against the action, opposing the way their money is being used for a political move, and the closing of a fully functioning center.
What did the governing board decide?
In opposition to HR4437, the bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in December 2005, the governing board and Associated Students, Inc. calls for the closure of the entire SF State community as an act of solidarity with the San Francisco immigrant community.
How are the students involved?
Students pay $62 each semester for a student center fee. With 28,950 registered students on campus last fall, almost $1.8 million was generated from student tuition to run the center. According to estimates by Leigh Wolf, the SF State College Republicans press information officer, student funds total to about $20,000 for the day, or $1,100 per hour to operate the building.
Where does the governing board stand?
In an effort to recognize the immigrant community at SF State, the board is against any bill that disallows undocumented students from receiving higher education. According to the board’s resolution, the bill is “one of the most egregious, anti-immigrant bills in this country’s history.”
What will happen?
The doors of the Student Center will be locked on May 1, which includes the closure of the SFSU Bookstore, the pub, seven food vendors, two convenience stores, study areas, offices, and conference and meeting areas that had previously scheduled events that had to be canceled.
Why May 1?
Often referred to as “May Day,” or “International Workers’ Day,” May 1 is considered Labor Day in most countries other than the United States. On May 1,1884, the demand for an eight-hour workday began, and two years later on the date, a general strike occurred, which led to the initiation of the eight-hour workday for American workers. On May 1, 1894 Coxey’s Army, made up of unemployed workers, participated in the first significant American protest march in Washington, D.C.
What can you do?
To be a part of the boycott: Join Bay Area supporters by gathering at 8 a.m. at Montgomery and Market streets, 11 a.m. at Embarcadero, 3 p.m. at the Civic Center and 5 p.m. at the Federal Building.
If you will be at school: Take part in discussions with speakers in the Malcolm X Plaza.
Summer vacation is on its way, however, SF State is already giving possible fall semester students a sneak peak of the university.
SF State held their Sneak Preview 2006: All-University Open House, on April 22, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The purpose of the event was to give incoming and prospective students a feel for and knowledge of the campus, and to understand what to expect as an SF State student. Students were able to find out about specific majors, student organizations, student services, financial aid, and more.
“This is the day for the students to take initiative,” said Stephanie Corbett, 21, a psychology senior at SF State.
She added that it is now a time when these kids can take on more responsibilities determining their college career and what they want to study.
Students walked around and talked with university professors, department representatives and gator aids about what the campus offers. About 30 gator aids took 60 people on a 30- to 40-minute sneak tour of the campus.
“We let the kids go around and be adults,” Corbett said.
However, some students brought along their parents, or legal guardians to the event.
The gator aids called the parents, “helicopter parents,” because they are always hovering over their child, making sure he (or she) is OK, according to Corbett.
One student attended with his mother, father and younger brother.
“My parents are here with me, but they won’t be when I’m in college,” said Andrew Rankin, 17.
Rankin, along with another student, compared SF State to other universities they had visited.
“I like the campus compared to Chico State for its wider space, but Chico being in a small town, feels like I’d get more of that college feel," Rankin said.
“So far, I’ve visited Cal State Fullerton and Chico State, said Chris Danti, 18. "But I like SF State for its close knit feel. “I’ve always been able to put my best foot forward and give it go.”
Outside, in front and around the Cesar Chavez Student Center, about 80 tables were set up with representatives of each campus club, organization and department, explaining to the incoming students about its goals and incentives.
One of the clubs in attendance was Circle K International, which is a community outreach campus service.
“We wanted to tell the students that this club will help develop social skills as well as having fun and doing community service,” said Anotonio Taylor, 22, the president of Circle K, and a sociology senior.
On campus housing also had a tour of their own, only it was a virtual tour using photos and computers.
“You didn’t really know what to expect until you get here,” said 21-year-old Rachel Gonzalez, who wants to major in speech mythology. “Everything was so surreal to me.”
BECA major and Apple campus representative, Donovan Ramos, 20, was dressed as a human-sized iPod, that played music wherever he went. His basic function was to answer any question that students or their parent's may have.
“Helping new students is always fun,” Ramos said.
More questions may be answered at New Student Orientations, which should not be confused with Sneak Preview day. Orientation is reserved for students who will definitely be attending SF State in the fall.
At orientation, gatoradors will walk each student through registering for their first semester, being there with them each step of the way, said Corbett.
SF State will be holding New Student Orientations through June and July 2006.
For more information, visit http://www.sfsu.edu/~outreach/sneakpreview/index.htm.
In a unanimous decision by the Student Center governing board, the Student Center will be closed on May 1.
As a result of recent immigration legislation, the governing board, made up of administrators, faculty and students, chose to shut down the Student Center for the day on Monday as an act of solidarity with immigrants.
“(The Student Center) is named after Cesar Chavez, and this is a continuation of his work,” said Amrah Salomon Johnson, governing board chair of finance. “He fought for human rights and Latino rights, many of whom were undocumented.”
May 1, also known as “May Day” and “International Workers Day,” has been a day of protest since 1884 when the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions demanded an eight-hour workday.
Supporters of immigration are asked to refrain from supporting the American economy that day and to participate in the “no work, no school, no sales, and no buying” premise of the cause.
Members of SF State La Raza support the governing board’s decision.
Biochemistry sophomore Gaby Arvizu believes that the closure is a “symbol of solidarity” that supports the many students who are immigrants.
Bay Area supporters can take action on May 1 by joining protestors at 8 am at Montgomery and Market, 11am at Embarcadero, 3 pm at SF Civic Center and 5 pm at the Federal Building.
Thousands, and possibly millions, of students around the country are expected to walk out of their classes on Monday to join workers who are not working and consumers who are not consuming.
La Raza member and anthropology sophomore Diana Rios, 19, plans on attending school on May 1, and hopes to participate in the Embarcadero gathering, admitting that it might be difficult to get there, since Muni is forbidden.
“I don’t want to have to walk there,” Rios said.
Solomon Johnson is not concerned with possible backlash by those who wish to retaliate against the closure of a building with seven food vendors, two convenience stores, a pub, an ATM machine, bookstore, offices and study areas, as such retaliation has nothing to do with the governing board’s mission.
“There are always people opposed to tolerance, acceptance and love of their fellow human beings,” she said.
According to Solomon Johnson, it is the goal of the governing board to give students a chance to pause and think of civil rights in this era.
“The fight for civil rights isn’t something (only) in history books,” she said.
The May 1 nationwide immigration boycott, dubbed “a day without immigrants,” has become a day without the student center at SF State.
The Cesar Chavez Student Center is locking its doors for the duration of the day and suspending all services, leaving students unable to get to the SFSU Bookstore, cafeteria and all other commonly frequented areas of the building.
“It is pretty ridiculous that our student money is going toward a political move,” said Carl Clark, president of the SF State College Republicans, in a meeting April 25. “We plan to be very active on the day to speak out against immigration.”
“It’s a gross misuse of student funds,” said Leigh Wolf, press information officer of the College Republicans.
SF State students currently pay $62 each semester for a student center fee. With 28,950 students on campus last fall, almost $1.8 million was generated from student tuition to run the center. Wolf said he estimated that to be about $20,000 for the day or $1,100 per hour to operate the building.
“We have to pay fees,” Wolf said, “and we’re fine with it as long as we get what we’re paying for.”
Chris Jackson, president of the Associated Students, Inc., said the decision was not based on politics, but on an educational opportunity. Jackson, a member of the governing board, said all of the student center vendors agreed to close for the day.
“Many of the workers here are immigrants,” Jackson said. “They were not going to operate anyway. I commend the vendors for making the bold move.”
Student center workers will still receive pay for the missed workday.
Wolf has drafted a letter of protest. While he said a lawsuit is probably not likely, he doesn’t like the idea of paying for a center that isn’t open.
“Don’t do it on my dime,” Wolf said. “It’s a general lack of respect for the students.”
“The College Republicans will not endorse the letter because I will not have the fight,” Clark said.
Pens, pencils, and scantrons will be given outside Malcolm X Plaza to students needing them while the campus bookstore is closed. Information will simultaneously be handed out about immigration, and speakers will talk about the issue.
Jackson plans to be one of the speakers.
“I’m not taking any sides on the debate,” Jackson said. “I just want healthy discussion on this issue. This is a way to do something really dramatic to get everyone to pay attention.”
Forty-two guests attended SF State’s Office of Community Service Learning (OCSL) 5th Annual – and final – Community Service Learning Awards ceremony.
The event was held inside the campus Vista Room on April 19, at 11 a.m.
The OCSL is part of the San Francisco Urban Institute efforts to build university and community partnerships. Its role is to coordinate and promote campus efforts to incorporate community service learning (CSL) into SF State's undergraduate education curriculum.
During the 30-minute ceremony, OCSL Director Perla Barrientos announced that the OCSL will be integrating with the Urban Institute and the Community Involvement Center (CIC) by the fall 2006 semester to form one cohesive, “Institute of Civic Engagement.”
“We have a clear concept of civic engagement and social justice,” said Barrientos. “We have over 50 programs within the campus. No other university has a program that’s even close (to ours).”
The new institute will provide faculty with the same accommodations and support; students and community partners (companies that seek volunteers) will benefit from more collective organization. For example, a comprehensive and updated database will be available on the institute’s Web site, allowing students and partners to find each other with ease.
The merge into the Institute of Civic Engagement also signified a more proactive style of community involvement.
“CSL is learning about doing work in the community," Barrientos added. "Civic engagement is making a difference in civic life and taking action when appropriate."
Four awards were handed out in this year’s ceremony: student, faculty, community partner awards, and the first ever, Lifetime Achievement Award, which was given to Steven Cochrane.
Acting Director of the Urban Institute Susan Alunan nominated Cochrane for his past 20 years of work as the Community Involvement Center (CIC) Director. During the past five years, he also worked to integrate civic engagement principles within the CIC curriculum.
“I’ve learned from students and I’m looking forward to learning and sharing more,” Cochrane said at the end of his acceptance speech. “I want to see what we can accomplish over the next 22 years.”
The Community Service Learning Student Award went to Jessica Lagedrost for her teaching work at the John McLaren Rover After-School Program. She worked with the inner city children of Visitacion Valley – most of whom cannot afford dance lessons – to produce children’s dance performances.
Lagedrost works through Dance 340 - Creative Dance for Children - one of the 174 SF State community service learning courses.
Her teacher and mentor, Albirda Rose, presented the award.
“It’s rare to find a student who you admire, learn from, watch grow to be an outstanding woman in her profession, and who you want to watch grow,” said Rose in reference to Lagedrost, before giving the award.
“There’s a lot you can learn from a classroom, but you internalize it when you go out in the community,” Lagedrost said upon accepting her award.
The Community Service Learning Student Award may only go to full-ime graduate or undergraduate students who have attended SF State the entire academic year. Only faculty members may nominate students who they feel have exceeded expectations during their community service work.
Typically, a student from each SF State college receives an award. This year, however, Rose’s nomination was the one.
Executive Director of the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform Patricia McGinnis, who was unable to attend, won the Community Partner Recognition Award. This award goes to partners who have impacted student learning in addition to increasing faculty’s awareness of course content and community needs.
McGinnis has worked with SF State’s gerontology department for 10 years. She has offered internships to students and has guest lectured for Darlene Yee-Melichar’s Gerontology 745: Long Term Care Administration course.
Faculty awards went to Betsy Blosser and Felix Kury. Blosser organized international community service learning trips for students and worked with BECA students to do public service announcements. Kury, the Director of the SF State Cuba Educational Project, coordinated and facilitated an international community service learning program in which over 300 students and faculty visited Cuba in the past 10 years.
Following the ceremony, guests, award-winners and nominators alike mingled and ate at the luncheon.
One student guest, Mario Gorozpe, 20, assisted in high school math courses through a community service learning course.
“Volunteering has made me a better person,” said Gorozpe, a marketing junior, who works alongside Cochrane at the CIC. “I’m mentally, physically, and emotionally more aware. I’ve realized what’s meaningful, and I attribute that to CIC.”
Next year, the Institute of Civic Engagement, not the OCSL, will award the community service learning honors.
For more information on the OCSL, visit http://www.sfsu.edu/~ocsl/index.html.
Assembly Speaker pro Tem Leland Yee announced the nation’s first bill to protect the First Amendment's right to freedom of speech and press for college and university newspapers.
If passed, the bill - AB 2581 - would prohibit censorship of student newspapers at any UC, CSU, or community college.
“AB 2581 is an important bill for all of us who care about democracy,” Yee (D-San Francisco/Daly City) said.
Around 30 students and faculty from various Bay Area schools attended the press conference on at Skyline College in San Bruno on April 18 at 10 a.m. The purpose of the conference was to educate individuals on the new bill and its importance to college newspapers.
The bill came out as a result of a recent case - Hosty v. Carter - at the Governor’s State University in Illinois. Last year the administrators at the school wanted to view all stories prior to publication. The reason behind this was because of negative things written about the administration.
The District Court ruled that the students’ First Amendment rights were violated, but the Seventh Court of Appeals reversed the low court decision. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to let the students appeal.
Some college professors said that they felt strongly this bill should be passed.
“I hold very dear that the bill safeguards our student journalists,” said Nancy Kaplan-Biegal, a journalism professor at Skyline College, and advisor of the Skyline View campus newspaper.
In addition to professors, some journalism students also voiced strong feelings about their right to free speech.
“People in the U.S. (are) guaranteed freedom,” said Reginald James, a student of Laney College, and a representative of the Journalism Association of Community Colleges. “I am blessed to use my voice. It’s not a privilege, it’s a right.”
According to James, reviewing stories prior to publication is something that he thinks the student government should be in charge of.
SF State journalism professor and advisor, Rachele Kanigel, said that although students make mistakes in writing for their college newspaper, there are also many times college newspapers are thorough with their stories. They are well written and entailed with accurate information, she added.
“I support readers, not administrators,” Kanigel said. “Many times, college campuses get it right.”
Kanigel also said she had spoken with many students who have been sanctioned.
Kanigel spoke of a student who wrote about a school cafeteria, which had violated certain health codes and published it in the school newspaper. The student was punished for it.
“It is very important that this bill goes through,” she said.
According to Yee, there are no real negative aspects, which could occur from the bill being passed.
“I can’t imagine any,” Yee said. “Democracy demands that we have a free press.”
There are certain implications to the bill, according to Jim Ewert, a representative from the California Newspaper Publishers Association. There is a need to prevent regions at the UC and CSU level of trustees and the governing board for community colleges, he said.
The second implication is that it provides no authority for prior restraints for speech and student press activity.
Yee’s spokesman, Adam Keigwin also voiced his opinions on free speech in college newspapers.
“Having to submit articles before publication is ridiculous,” Keigwin said. “Grant them free speech rights. They should be able to practice, who else is going to watch them?”
Some students said that the bill is a tool that colleges need in order for their school newspapers to be successful and report the truth.
“It’s a big issue,” said Diana Mercado, 19, an English freshman at Skyline College. “I’m for free speech. We pay tax dollars to public schools and it’s a public institution. Just because schools fund the journalism department doesn’t mean they have censorship.”
Students from various advocacy groups criticized university administration and demanded charges be dropped against ten students at an outdoor press conference just outside university boundaries.
The press conference - which took place around the corner of 19th and Holloway avenues on April 17 at 11 a.m. - included speakers from Students Against War (SAW), the Immigrant Rights Coalition, the Campus Antiwar Network, and Todd Chretien, the Green Party candidate for the Senate. The speakers argued that their rights to free speech and to protest are being abridged by university administration.
The students, referred to as the “SFSU 10,” faced up to two weeks suspension from the campus for their participation in a protest against military recruiters at a career fair on Friday, April 14.
The administration rescinded the suspension later on the day of the press conference, according to the Director of Public Affairs Ellen Griffin.
“Our rights to be on campus were revoked,” said 18 year-old freshman Karen Knoller, one of the ten students who faced suspension before being informed of the suspension’s reduction. “It’s really clear to me that this campus and President Corrigan stand behind military recruiters and stand behind the war.”
According to participants, the protest on Friday consisted of a small group of students holding signs and chanting. They said the group was nonviolent and did not attempt to block the recruiters.
“We were about 25 feet away from the recruiters, we started chanting,” said Doniella Maher, a 25 year-old graduate student in comparative literature, who also faced suspension. “For about 45 minutes to an hour, nothing happened. We were not warned. Then, ten police officers surrounded us and informed us we were being detained.”
The campus police could not be reached for comment.
Michael Hoffman, a 25 year-old mathematics graduate student, said the important issue is to keep the administration aware of their existence and their position.
“We’ve reminded them that they have a fight on their hands,” Hoffman said. “We are going to take a stand on this campus.”
Carl Clark, a 21 year-old political science major and president of the SF State College Republicans, was also at the career fair on Friday. Clark said the protesters were loud and unruly, making it difficult for the career fair to operate.
“They were told multiple times to stop and they didn’t stop,” said Clark. “They were disrupting the entire event.”
Clark said he doesn’t have a problem with students protesting the war and military recruiters as long as they stay outside and don’t cause a disturbance.
“When people protest downtown, they stay outside City Hall. They don’t go in and disrupt what’s going on,” he said.
“As I saw it, they started screaming,” said 22 year-old criminal justice major Rob Journey, a member of the College Republicans who witnessed the incident. “They were stomping on the floor, yelling. They have a different interpretation of what free speech is.”
“They would want to yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theater,” added Gator GOP Spokesman Leigh Wolf. “They showed blatant disregard for administration and for authority.”
Knoller said that she got the message later on Monday that she could to return to campus, and was glad to be allowed to return to her on-campus apartment, but she doesn’t think the administration will drop the issue.
“We’re pretty sure they’re going to try to disband SAW,” she said.
A new exhibit created by two SF State faculty members at the Chinese Historical Society of America is the first of its kind to examine the affects the 1906 earthquake had on Chinatown and its residents.
"Earthquake: The Chinatown Story" uncovers the history behind the neighborhood’s tumultuous reconstruction by sharing the experiences of several earthquake survivors.
Irene Poon-Andersen, slide curator for the SF State art department, and Jeannie Woo, Asian American studies lecturer, developed the concept after assisting with an earthquake exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California in 2004.
“When you see photographs of the earthquake or other accounts (of the disaster), you very rarely see Chinatown even mentioned or pictured,” Poon-Andersen said.
“We really wanted to share the personal memories, the personal narratives,” Woo said. “Things that were salvaged from families that talked about the devastation, survival, and reconstruction.”
Located in CHSA’s Philip P. Choy gallery at 965 Clay St., the exhibit blends text, photographs, and artifacts with audio and video footage of survivors’ interviews.
“We actually don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on the devastation,” said Marisa Louie, exhibitions coordinator for CHSA. “We jump right into talking about the Chinese American experience, and we focus on the lives and stories of the survivors.”
At 5:12 a.m. on April 18, 1906, just two days after her seventh birthday, Lily Sung was awakened by a terrible tremor. Forced out of her Washington Street house by the approaching fire, Sung and her siblings wandered the crowded streets.
“We could feel the fire on our faces, even several blocks away,” Sung’s recorded voice says from an overhead speaker in the exhibit.
After evacuating his family, Lee Yoke Suey returned to his store in Chinatown to retrieve his birth certificate. By the time he got there, the area had been closed under Marshall Law and he had to sneak in. He found his papers, but before he could get away a guardsman charged into the store and bayoneted him in the side.
“He survived,” Louie said, “and we have on display the birth certificate that he went back for.”
In another room, the exhibit examines the broader effects on the community, the refugee experience and how Chinese Americans helped other refugees.
Businessman Lew Hing took it upon himself to convert his Pacific Coast Cannery in Oakland into a shelter for the hordes of weary Chinese coming over by ferry.
But this was only a temporary solution. At least a year prior to the quake, city officials and private interest groups had been eyeing Chinatown’s valuable real estate as a possible business district. Now, with the neighborhood in ruins, new proposals suggested pushing the Chinese into Hunter’s Point or the western part of the Presidio.
“After the earthquake, with the Chinese out of Chinatown, the mayor and various city officials began to talk about whether it was possible to relocate Chinatown,” Louie said. “Before the earthquake, there had been several attempts to purchase the property ... and evict the Chinese, and then to redevelop the land.”
A committee on the matter was formed, though Louie said it was devoid of Chinese input.
However, recognition of Chinatown’s economic value, international political pressure and rapid rebuilding by neighborhood merchants and organizations contributed toward reconstruction, according to CHSA.
“In some sense, the Chinese American experience during the earthquake is very unique,” Louie said. “The fact that Chinatown was essentially destroyed posed this moment for Chinese Americans to
become something else.”
Asian style architecture was incorporated during Chinatown’s rebuilding as a way of bringing tourism and business to the neighborhood, as well as making a clear symbolic statement.
The exhibit is open Tuesday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. through Sept. 18.
Due to concern about the record-breaking rainstorms that have flooded the Bay Area in recent weeks, a group of Environmental Studies student group, Ecostudents, has postponed their campus Earth Day events.
From May 9 to 11 they will host an Earth Day and Green Machine exposition, showcasing alternative modes of transportation and alternative fuel, according to Suzanne McNulty, student assistant to the Environmental Studies department and head of Ecostudents.
"We're working on getting a hybrid car and a bus that runs on vegetable oil," McNulty said.
The Earth Day events will include a stuff swap table, for people to donate reusable items they no longer need.
"You don't need to bring anything, you can just walk by and take stuff," said McNulty.
Blake Boyer continued to scribble down notes as the smell of garlic from the processing plant he was touring started to get to him.
“My eyes are burning,” the 24-year-old SF State student said, above the deafening sound of machinery running in the background.
Boyer and several other students and faculty members from SF State's engineering department proceeded from building to building, observing the motions and measurements of conveyer belts, fans and other types of machinery with an inquisitive eye.
The team is a part of SF State’s Industrial Assessment Center. By applying what they have learned in books and lectures, students gain hands-on experience in the field, while at the same time provide a useful service to manufacturing plants.
The IAC is a government funded program that conducts free on-site energy use assessments to manufacturing plants in the Bay Area. Their services are part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s "Save Energy Now" campaign aimed at educating the public on simple but effective ways to reduce energy use. The team passes on customized energy-saving tips to plant coordinators after each assessment.
“It’s really exciting for us to have this done because we usually have to pay to get an energy assessment,” said Janette Codiga, vice president of the garlic plant the students toured in Gilroy.
The IAC has conducted over 330 industrial assessments and is one of the longest lasting, externally funded projects on campus, said Dr. Ahmad Ganji, the director of SF State’s IAC who is currently on sabbatical.
IACs first appeared on university campuses in 1972, but the one at SF State opened in 1992, with Ganji serving as director since its conception. The center at SF State is one of 26 established in universities throughout the country.
In order to be eligible for IAC services, facilities must have fewer than 500 employees, have an annual utility bill between $100,000 and $2 million and make less than $100 million gross sales per year. They also must not have an in-house energy expert. The IAC assesses every type of manufacturing facility as long as they meet three out of four criteria.
The majority of factories are in the food industry due to the Bay Area locality. Recently, the IAC has assessed a Hershey’s chocolate plant and a paper cup plant.
“[The IAC] is a good opportunity to see what’s out there because we’re always seeing something new,” said Aren Hofland, 28, a senior mechanical engineering student on the IAC staff. “It’s great that you can put your education to use, which is so much more useful.”
After the initial tour, the student and faculty team makes energy and waste-related measurements and observations in the plant. They then analyze their data and put together a detailed analytical engineering report addressing ways to save energy, reduce waste and improve productivity. Companies receive this report approximately two months after the visit, and may request a presentation on the IAC’s findings as well.
While companies are not required to implement changes, 40 to 50 percent do, said Ganji. According to the IAC website, “Recommendations from industrial assessments have averaged about $55,000 in potential annual savings for each manufacturer.” The majority of savings come from making adjustments in lighting, refrigerators, boilers and compressed air.
“What we’re doing is a good short term solution to saving energy,” said Sasha Spoor, 30, a senior mechanical engineering major and IAC staff member. “Our reliance on fuel is ridiculous so any amount saved is important.”
Students working for the IAC get paid anywhere from $8.50 to $13.50 an hour, but they also build connections in the process. According to Ganji, SF State’s engineering department is known in the industry by companies like PG&E to be active in energy efficiency.
“The IAC at SFSU has been very successful,” said Ganji. “We really have not failed in our work and I think most companies are very happy with us.”
SF State student Megan Rush wept profusely. What began as an extra credit assignment for a human sexuality class left the 20-year-old biology major overwhelmed and inspired to mobilize her generation in the fight against HIV.
Cleve Jones, former SF State student and AIDS Memorial Quilt Founder, delivered a harsh, bleak message about the epidemic and the state of political activism to about 200 students at Jack Adams Hall on April 18.
“You’re such a passive generation. You need to speak up,” said Jones, 51, as he thumped the wooden podium.
His message struck a chord in Rush and other students.
Rush approached Jones after his speech. She was crying. Jones wiped her tears and embraced her.
“If he touches one person and that one person touches another person, it’s a huge chain of effects,” said Rush about the AIDS Memorial Quilt founder.
Jones, who is HIV-positive, told SF State students during his speech that he had lipodystrophy – selective loss of body fat – on his face, a side-effect of anti-retroviral drugs. He has had multiple silicone injections to restructure his face.
“This is not fun,” he said.
Jones also spoke about his near-death experience from having pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, a disease common among people living with HIV because of their weak immune systems.
It is the second time Jones was invited to speak to students from AIDS biology and human sexuality classes on campus.
“He is a leader and he has the whole story of AIDS from the very beginning,” said kinesiology student Joe Yeary, 52.
AIDS biology instructor Ann Auleb said the co-founder of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation never fails to inspire his audience.
“We want people to get emotionally vulnerable to new information. And Cleve has that effect,” said Auleb about Jones, who dropped out of SF State 28 years ago.
At the Cesar Chavez Student Center, the crowd laughed when Jones said, “I am everything I am because of SF State.”
“I didn’t go to class very often. I was too busy burning police cars,” he said, recollecting the political activism of his youth. He said he regrets not graduating.
An urban studies and political science major in the late 1970s, Jones interned at San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk’s office.
He left the university soon after Milk, the city’s first openly-gay leader in office, and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated on November 27, 1978. They were shot by former supervisor Dan White, who opposed the enactment of Milk’s gay rights bill.
“It seemed to me that everything that we struggled for was over,” he said. “It was such a terrible loss.”
When White was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to seven years in prison, Jones, along with other outraged San Franciscans, took to the streets, carrying clubs and torches. Jones said he burned every police car he could find.
He was later offered a health committee position in Sacramento by the California State Assembly.
While working at the state capital, Jones learned of Kaposi’s Sarcoma and other opportunistic infections, related to HIV, which were infecting previously healthy gay men. Soon many of his friends, lovers and the gay community in the Castro fell ill and died, he said.
Jones later tested positive for HIV.
“I was ready to die,” he said. “Everybody already had.”
The HIV activist said he was angered with the government’s slow response to the epidemic.
In 1987, Jones, who founded the AIDS Memorial Quilt, created the first quilt panel in memory of his friend Marvin Feldman who died of AIDS. Feldman was also a SF State student.
Sophomore Pardis Esmaeili, 19, said she was teary-eyed when he spoke about coping with the death of his loved ones.
The atmosphere in the room was somber when Jones said he was frightened by the present generation’s apathy toward political activism and HIV. He does not want today’s youth to suffer the same fate as himself and his friends.
“I sincerely hope that everyone of you live to be very, very old,” he said. “I wish you all long and healthy lives.”
Most parents want to be able to look their child in the eye and say, honestly, that they can be anything they want when they grow up: president, astronaut, CEO of a multi-national conglomerate.
America has always promoted the idea that through hard work, dedication and, perhaps most importantly, education, real-life rags-to-riches fairytales can come true.
In March, however, former deputy chief economist for the United States Department of Labor Jared Bernstein said that there is less social mobility today than during almost any other period in United States history.
“Sure, there’s more inequality; but is there not also more mobility, enough to even offset the gaping gaps in income, wealth and opportunity?” asked Bernstein during a panel discussion.
“Sorry, but no,” he answered.
Bernstein, who is currently directing the Living Standards program for the Economic Policy Institute, continued to say studies have shown that most people, close to three quarters, stay in the same class they were born into.
He also said the United States has fallen behind countries like France, Canada, and Denmark, whose social welfare systems make them traditionally stagnant, in terms of mobility.
And the problem may be getting worse.
“The rate of mobility hasn’t grown at all over the years,” he said. “If anything, there’s evidence that where you start out is now more closely tied to where you end up.”
According to Tamara Draut, author of “Strapped: Why America’s 20- and 30-Somethings Can’t Get Ahead,” young college graduates, between 24-35 are making the same amount, adjusted for inflation, as they were three decades ago.
This sounds like stability, but when you take into account that the prices of many essential goods and services like higher education, healthcare and housing have grown much faster than inflation, both Generation X and Generation Y are falling behind, she said.
According to Draut, education, and particularly higher education are prerequisites for entrance into the middle class.
“Education is the cornerstone of social mobility,” said Draut at an event in February. “The US has relied on education as the prime engine of moving up the ladder. When we don’t invest, we see a breakdown in mobility.”
Donald Matthewson, professor of political science at California State University, Fullerton, agrees that education is the "key variable" for determining economic mobility.
"It doesn't even matter where you go to college, where you get your degree, as long as you get the degree," he said, referring to a recent study.
"The problem is that those students in the bottom 20th economic percentile, their chances of going to any four-year college is minimal," said Matthewson.
For low-income students, access to higher education is based on access to financial aid, through grants, scholarships or loans.
A study by Kenneth Redd of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, “Lot’s of Money, Limited Options,” highlighted several changes in financial aid policy that are affecting access for low-income students.
The cost of a college education is rising much faster than financial aid assistance, there continues to be a gap in college preparation between high- and low-income students, and there has been a shift in financial aid to favor “merit-based” grants, which are based on grade-point average, and loans, versus “need-based” grants, which are based on family income.
“From 1995 to 1996 to 1999 to 2000, average institutional grants to families with income of less than $20,000 at four-year public colleges grew by just 1 percent, but average grants to students from families with income of $100,000 or higher increased 159 percent,” wrote Redd.
According to Barbara Hubler, director of financial aid at SF State, one of the major issues affecting access is the fact that the federal government has not increased funding for Pell Grants, which are distributed based strictly on financial need, in years.
“The government is being very stingy with resources for education,” said Hubler.
Hubler added that the small size of grants and the reality that many students have to take private loans to pay for college might scare some students away from four-year institutions or delay their entrance.
The California State University system has began working with Gov. Schwarzenegger, the University of California, and community colleges statewide, to formulate a plan to aid soldiers finished with active duty transition from veteran to college student.
The Veterans Education Opportunities Partnership, proposed by the governor last month, pledges to provide educational outreach, counseling and enrollment plans for armed forces veterans.
The CSU announced their decision to assist the governor on April 6. So far, the Partnership has met twice and is at the beginning stages of deciding the next actions to be incorporated with the Transition Assistance Program.
The Program, which provides information on all aspects of returning to civilian life, is mandatory for all people exiting the military, according to Allison Jones, the assistant vice chancellor for CSU’s Academic Affairs.
“We have just started the dialogue with the military to understand more clearly what students need when they leave the military,” Jones said. “Now we can come together to provide them the proper assistance.”
According to statistics from Schwarzenegger’s office, California has 175,000 residents in active military duty and one in nine of all men and women in the U.S. armed forces are stationed in California.
“We want California to be the most friendly state from a college and university standpoint to veterans in the United States,” CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed said in a statement.
In addition to providing outreach, information, financial assistance, and priority admission to California residents, veteran educational benefits are also extended to military personnel that are stationed in California to enter the CSU without having to pay exorbitant non-resident fees.
According to Jones, one aspect of the Veterans Educational Opportunities Partnerships is to provide dual admission for veterans who attend community college to be simultaneously involved in the CSU.
“Veterans will be able to fulfill specific CSU requirements while attending community college and be involved in the culture of CSU campuses,” Jones said.
Despite more than 96 percent of armed forces personnel enrolled in the federal Montgomery G.I. bill program, which provides 36 months of educational benefits, only about 50 percent of veterans use the services provided.
According to Jo Volkert, assistant vice president for enrollment planning and management, SF State can not organize a new plan for veterans until the decisions have been made at the CSU and state level.
“We are waiting for final legislation and orders from Chancellor Reed’s office to see what the expectations will be,” Volkert said.
Currently there are 142 certified veterans enrolled in classes for spring semester. Volkert says that SF State is very supportive in aiding veterans into school and hopes to offer more counseling and outreach after CSU finalizes the Veterans Education Opportunity Partnership.
Educational benefits vary depending on the specific soldier and particular personal history. Each returning veteran will be eligible for certain benefits depending on each individual circumstance, according to Shan Yue, a representative of the San Francisco County Veterans Service Office.
“Length of service, honorable or dishonorable discharge and rank are all factors that are taken into account when deciding a soldier’s benefits,” Yue said.
Schwarzenegger, who often voices his support for educational and military issues, wants to improve educational opportunities by making counseling and advice more available to veterans and expand the use of allowing them priority admission to colleges.
“Today we are focusing on ways to do all we possibly can to create a veteran-friendly college system,” Schwarzenegger said in a press conference. “The men and women of our armed forces put their lives on the line to protect us, to protect our country, our state and our freedom.”
The CSU and Schwarzenegger hope to build upon the skills people have learned in the military to fill much needed positions in the California workforce after graduation, specifically health care professionals and K-12 math and science teachers.
“The goal is to get people to expand on skills they already have and get people into math and science teaching positions and get people into nursing, where there is a shortage of qualified people,” Jones said. “We need these people to enter and help the California economy and therefore help all of us who live here.”
Recreation and Leisure Studies students organized Care Break as an alternative to loafing about the house or partying in places like Cancun. Students spent the first half of the semester organizing daily activities that would take place over spring break. They boxed food that would later go to the Ping Yuen housing project in Chinatown, donated blood, provided games and crafts for the elderly and developmentally challenged, talked to 9th graders in Hunter’s Point about college, and removed non-native plants to make the environment more welcoming to local wildlife.
Click the yellow bar on the right to view the multimedia.
Three candidates in last month's ASI elections stood before a judiciary board Wednesday in an attempt to disqualify elected members of the SF4U party, but were ultimately turned down.
Although Abtin Forghani, Mike Silberg, and John Bergman pled their cases for nearly two hours, citing violations of the campaign posting rules in the Election Code, all three grievances were dismissed by the board.
The alleged campaign violations include posting materials on bulletin boards, windows, lampposts, and other areas of campus and the dorms without permission. The plaintiffs presented photographic and video evidence and called two witnesses. The board, none of whom ran in the current election, agreed that proof of violations must show the actual, physical act of candidates unlawfully posting materials.
Bergman, who ran for VP of Finance, blasted the board for not implementing the rules that are in place.
"This is an issue of principles and integrity and the code of standards that we all agreed to," said Bergman at the hearing. "Now the election codes are worthless. What's the point of a conduct code if no one follows it?"
Graduate representative Isabel Millan, the appointed chief justice presiding over the hearing, said that the board only had the authority to "disqualify or not disqualify" candidates, and that the evidence presented was not strong enough to lead to such severe punishment.
"There is only A and B. There is no middle ground," said board member and Education Representative Hazel Jay, 28. "It wouldn't be fair to give you the outcome you want."
"You have to look at it holistically," board member and Sophomore Class representative Nadia Moreira, opined. "We can't deny the hundreds of willing voters who elected these people."
"Yes, there is proof of illegal postings, but there is no way for us to know who put them there," Millan said.
"We need to physically see someone placing flyers illegally," said board member and Ethnic Studies representative Joshua Castro, 26. "I'm just hearing a lot of 'He said, she said'."
Mike Silberg, 33, who ran for president, noted that his LEAD party had ample opportunity to also illegally post campaign materials but decided against it. "We knew it would cost us votes but we wanted to run a fair and honest campaign."
Maire Fowler, the ASI president elect, stood to lose her position had the board voted to disqualify. She said the board made the right decision.
"I think it was appropriate," said Fowler, 22. "And getting students more involved in the process is the best outcome of this."
Before the hearing Silberg said in a statement, “It’s unfortunate that the Associated Students judiciary has never disqualified a candidate no matter how many violations were committed. It’s lead to a culture where violating election rules is considered acceptable.”
Throughout the hearing, Castro acknowleged that the Election Code was "vague and imperfect and needs to be amended," but Silberg argued that that fact had nothing to do with the case at hand.
Abtin Forghani, who ran for Creative Arts representative, thought the level of proof the board required was "unreasonable". Because ASI falls under state non-profit laws he said a petition for a lawsuit will be filed with the Superior Court of San Francisco.
"We have representation. We expected this, we knew it would happen," Forghani said. "I trust the actual judicial system and not the school's."
Sirens wailed on Market Street as a horse-drawn fire truck made its way through a crowd of thousands at 5:12 AM on April 18, one hundred years after the 1906 earthquake hit and sparked fires that left the city in ruins.
Before Mayor Gavin Newsom and others city representatives laid the traditional memorial wreath on Lotta's Fountain, the San Francisco Rising ceremony celebrated the rebirth and renewal of the city.
“The pioneering spirit that defines our past, I would argue defines our present, and gives me optimism of the future," said Mayor Newsom. "San Francisco, a city of dreamers. And San Francisco, a city of doers."
Newsom interviewed eleven survivors of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, including centenarian Norma Norwood, who called herself a "result of the earthquake".
“I was conceived and born in a tent in Golden Gate Park” immediately after the quake, Norwood said. The crowd went wild when she explained how she had been looked after by prostitutes as her parents worked each day rebuilding the city.
Three blocks of Market Street were blocked off, and the tightly packed crowd forced many to watch from giant monitors parked a block away from the fountain. After the wreath-laying there was a moment of silence for the thousands who perished during the quake and three days of fire.
Molly Murphy and her brother Mike Murphy, fifth generation San Franciscans, were dressed in Victorian costumes. Their great-grandparents were supposed to be married the day of the quake but the church they had booked burned to the ground. The marriage was postponed ten days, and they joined many of the other 250,000 homeless survivors living in tents in Golden Gate Park.
“My great grandmother said that after the quake there was nothing left, so (the government) baked bread over in Oakland and ferried it across the bay in pillowcases," said Murphy. “She said in the mornings, you could smell it baking all the way in Golden Gate Park.”
Hannah Silver, another predawn Lotta’s veteran, has lived in San Francisco for 25 years. She wore a dress and bonnet for this year’s big spectacle. Although she wasn’t here for the “Big One,” the many San Franciscans who survived the October 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake have embraced April 18th as a date to celebrate our city coming back from disaster.
“They used to serve Bloody Marys (on this date) when Willie Brown was mayor,” Silver said.
SF State alumni George Masson, a volunteer with the Neighborhood Emergency Response Team, wore his yellow NERT helmet.
“This is a celebration of the rebirth of the city. And the fact that we’re survivors,” said Masson.
The magnitude 7.8 tremor that shook the city for 40 seconds was “The Earthquake that changed the science,” said John Caskey, professor of geology at SF State.
Caskey said the 1908 final report of the State Earthquake Investigation Commission headed by UC Berkeley geologist Andrew C. Lawson was the first systematic study of earthquakes and faults.
“Earthquake prediction, although imperfect, came from this report,” said Caskey.
Last weekend Caskey took interested SF State students and faculty on a bus tour of the many sites where SF State’s Creep Project measures the strain along the fault line. Creep is an important indicator of how much elastic energy is building up, the release of which is what causes earth quakes.
“This has to potential to alert geoscientists that the fault is experiencing high strain,” said Caskey.
If you want more information about how to find out where and when the next big quake will hit, visit: http://funnel.sfsu.edu/creep/
After 20 years, SF State is designing a new master plan that envisions “a unified and more vibrant community” and builds “better bridges to the world outside campus borders.”
The Master Plan Open House enabled Wallace Roberts & Todd Inc. (WRT), design planners and architects to showcase various design options to the campus community and its neighbors at the lobby of the Administration building on April 12, which began at noon, and lasted until 3 p.m.
Jiin Son, the landscape architect for WRT - a national planning and design firm - said that the intention for the open house was to generate more public options of the existing framework. They wanted to further brainstorm ideas for the university with discussion and comments from the people.
Brainstorming for the new design have been in progress since Dec. 9, 2005, when the presidents, faculty, staff and students of SF State met with the steering committee - members of the master plan - to participate in a visioning charrette as part of the master planning process.
Alex Zeh was one of around 40 people who showed up to see roughly 20 diagrams, which presented each phase of the different plans for the campus.
“I think this is one of the worst connected campuses,” said Zeh, a design and industry senior at SF State. “It is too far from the city and a poor connection with the community.”
Zeh's complaint is popular among the students, according to Wendy Bloom, the campus planner, and landscape architect for the WRT.
Students said that crossing 19th Avenue to get to MUNI is dangerous, said Bloom. She added that the WRT wants to make transportation safe and easier for commuters by moving the MUNI line closer to campus.
“Now this isn’t an easy plan,” she noted. “We have to get support from MUNI and Cal Trans. It is a long process.”
To address student concerns of the MUNI line in general, Bloom said that a future plan is to try and stretch MUNI to Daly City.
However, accessible transportation is just one part of the master plan.
WRT’s Principal Director James Stickley said that they want to redesign and build a completely new gymnasium and Creative Arts building. They also want to build a museum to house various pieces of art.
“The university has so many different art displays in each department, so it would be nice to display the collectives in one central building,” Stickley said.
The plan also includes the creation of a visitor or conference center with an iconic structure, providing an accessible and multi-purpose meeting space for students, alumni and visiting members of the community, according to the campus plan Web site, www.sfsumasterplan.org.
However, Bloom emphasized that none of the ideas for the campus are set in stone as of yet.
There will be another opportunity to witness and discuss the new designs at a second open house on April 13, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Diversity and acceptance of different beliefs is common these days, but there is still one group of people out there who are publicly judged and criticized: atheists.
A recent study from the University of Minnesota revealed atheists to be the least trustworthy people by a majority of those polled, with Midwesterners harboring more contempt for atheists than coastal dwellers. According to the study, atheists rate lower than Muslims, recent immigrants and homosexuals in many households.
“We have hidden for far too long,” said Jim Heldberg, 65, the coordinator of San Francisco Atheists and national affiliation director for American Atheists. “Atheists have been much too quiet. We are changing that.”
Heldberg founded the San Francisco Atheists eight years ago. As head of the organization, he works toward making atheism more public and better understood. He attributes society’s overwhelming mistrust of atheists stems from false impressions people hold.
“It’s easy to hate someone you don’t know,” Heldberg said.
Though he grew up in a Methodist family, Heldberg was never able to fully connect with what was being taught in church. He decided he was an atheist when he was in high school. He earned a bachelor of sciences in education from Kansas State Teachers’ College (now Emporia State College) with the intention of being a high school science teacher, though he never ended up working as one. He entered the Navy in 1963 and served on active duty until 1968.
Heldberg doesn’t have contempt for religion, he simply doesn’t believe in it.
“Churches are very important. As a social structure, they’re very useful,” Heldberg said. “Wherever people gather to be together is good.”
He added that many churchgoers feel that belief in God is necessary in order to be moral, so atheists must be immoral people.
“There are good atheists and there are bad atheists,” he said. “People are people. There are heroes and bums in every group.”
Heldberg said roughly 12 percent of the population are atheist, but lack of organization has caused many atheists to feel alone. His goal as an atheist activist is not to change the way people believe, but rather to help atheists find each other so they don’t feel so alone.
“I have no interest in converting Christians,” he said. “I want to connect people.”
Heldberg hopes to bring more diversity into the San Francisco Atheists, and he particularly wants to spark the interest of young people.
“The future of atheism is not gray-haired people like me,” he said.
Dornian Jones, a 23-year-old psychology major, is Christian, though she doesn’t always agree with everything her church says.
“I’m not going to take the Bible literally and let it control my life,” she said.
Jones said she doesn’t know much about atheism, but she understands why many Americans don’t trust them.
“It’s kind of like not having a conscience,” Jones said. “You’re going to be more willing to do something that’s wrong if you feel like no one’s watching.”
“I think it’s because most people have a very skewed idea of what atheists are,” said 41-year-old David Fitzgerald, a San Francisco insurance broker. “When I tell people I’m an atheist, they’re surprised. They think when you don’t have a religion, you can’t have morals.”
Fitzgerald was brought up Baptist, but had an “atheist epiphany” when he realized how unsure he felt when taking the Christian side of an argument.
“I was following what I was taught,” he said.
Fitzgerald does believe the world is becoming more welcoming of atheists, citing that 500 years ago they were burned at the stake, thrown in jail just 300 years ago, and less than a century ago could have been fired from their jobs. But he acknowledges there is still a long way to go before atheists are accepted.
“I don’t know how long it will be before atheism is not thought of as such a negative thing,” he said.
He added that the most important way to spread understanding is for atheists to be open about their beliefs.
“Let people see you, see you’re a decent person,” he said. “I’m so much happier as an atheist than I was as a religious person.”
Mai Dinh, a 22-year-old English Literature major, doesn’t subscribe to any religion, but she does describe herself as spiritual. Dinh said she thinks atheists are so widely mistrusted because atheism is equated with lack of morals.
“America is a very religious country,” she said. “A lot of people associate religion or having God with being good. If you’re opposed to that, they think you can’t be good.”
For Heldberg, the most important goal is connecting atheists. He said that many times an elderly person has approached him at an event with tears in his or her eyes, and said, “I thought I was the only one.”
“Atheists need to get better organized,” he said. “There are friends out there.”
The controversial delicacy, foie gras, may be dissappearing under California bill SB-1520, which will ban the sale and production of the fatty duck livers in 2012. Although the bill has been passed, chefs and one of the three national producers of foie gras, Sonoma Valley Foie Gras, struggle to save gastronomic tradition despite the views of animal rights activists.
In the nation's capital, the streets of San Francisco, and in towns and cities in between, immigrants and their supporters rallied on Monday, April 10th to call on Congress to reform immigration laws and create a path to citizenship for the millions of immigrants living and working in this country illegally.
A bachelor’s degree is supposed to take four years, but many SF State students find that earning one can take a lot longer than that.
To address the issue of long, drawn-out college careers, also known as 'The Six-Year Plan', students and faculty members discussed obstacles to graduation at a summit held in the student center last week, stressing communication as key.
“This is a historical summit, a conversation to facilitate graduation,” said Chris Jackson, president of Associated Students Inc. “This panel is here to listen.”
The summit, which was open to all students, consisted of a panel of faculty members who met with students at the conference room tables to discuss the most common problems that impede students’ progress toward graduation and work out solutions.
The event began with an opening speech from Jackson, followed by open discussions in smaller groups. After the discussion, a member of each group presented the main points his or her group had considered.
Among the concerns most commonly mentioned were impacted classes, too few sections of required courses, general education requirements that are too much and too broad, and lack of communication between students and advisers.
Jackson said he believes one of the main problems is that many students do not know about or take advantage of resources available in the Advising Center.
“I truly feel that once we start connecting students with resources, graduation will increase,” he said.
In addition to talking about various roadblocks to graduation, participants discussed strategies that worked or are working for them.
“For me, it was study groups,” said Will Flowers, director of the Career Center. “I had to have other people support me in these groups because I learn differently.”
Flowers also said a revision of general education requirements so they are more suited to each major, and regular meetings between students and general education advisors would both speed up the process.
“Personalized contact can make a significant difference,” he said.
Jamie Domingo, a 22 year-old year senior double-majoring in finance and economics, said careful planning enabled her to progress smoothly toward graduation. Domingo, who will graduate this semester, said she was very deliberate when choosing her classes throughout her college career.
“I really planned it,” she said.
Domingo will have been in college for five years when she graduates and as a double major; she feels she stayed on the right track.
Maire Fowler, ASI vice president of internal affairs and ASI president elect, expressed concern over the effects of budget cuts on education, citing impacted classes and students who are poorly prepared for college upon graduating high school.
“Higher education is in a state of crisis. K-12 education is in a state of crisis,” Fowler said.
Fowler emphasized the need for university administration and faculty support for student causes.
“When students advocate, I would like to see faculty and administration out there, too,” she said.
Chris Jackson hopes the summit will be an annual event. He emphasized the importance of continued communication between students and faculty, citing the summit as an effort to get through one of the barriers to graduation.
“One roadblock is that we never had this discussion before,” Jackson said. “Now we can come up with some serious solutions.”
“You don’t know how happy I am that we’re talking,” he said.
A growing number of college students choose to spend their spring break volunteering in communities across the United States and the world. A group of students from Pepperdine University, Malibu, California, worked on disaster relief in New Orleans.
Fifteen of them emptied the flooded house of Robert Wood. The 80-year-old has been evacuated in Jefferson Parish after Hurricane Katrina hit the city on August 29, 2005. He had not received any help, until the volunteers arrived.
When the AIDS epidemic emerged to the public eye in 1981, headlines repeatedly splashed death-sentence messages to reflect the horrific impact of the disease. Today, the majority of these headlines have disappeared – while the numbers of those infected have not.
A 2004 Kaiser Family Foundation study examining 22 years of news coverage found there has been a steady decrease in the number of stories about AIDS. Coverage reached a peak in 1987 and then began to decline. There were slight peaks in coverage with developments such as Magic Johnson’s announcement that he was HIV-positive in 1991, the introduction of anti-retroviral therapy in 1996, and the increasing interest in the global epidemic.
“I definitely think there’s been a change in coverage,” said Roberto Ordenana, director of community programs for the San Francisco LGBT Community Center.
The study also concluded there has been an increase of coverage of the global epidemic – particularly in the African and Asian populations. AIDS is the leading cause of death for African American women, aged 25-34, according to a study by UC San Francisco. This segment makes up the fastest rising portion of new infections in the United States.
“AIDS coverage is still strong, though in places like San Francisco it isn't as emotionally charged because the gay community, in particular, isn't being decimated in the way it was in the 1980s,” said Phil Kipper, the BECA department chair. “For this reason, the public may not be paying as much attention to the coverage that is there.”
In San Francisco, however, gay men represent the highest numbers of HIV infections. While new estimates say the numbers of HIV infections of gay men in San Francisco have decreased by about 20 percent since 2001, 87 percent of all HIV infections in the city are in gay men.
Kipper said early coverage of the AIDS epidemic was persistent and in the forefront of the news because there was tremendous shock at the number of deaths and the fact that whole segments of the community were being devastated.
The media initially bombarded the public with coverage of disease control efforts and the various treatments, but publicity has ceased in the past few years.
“I wouldn't say that the drop in coverage was due to (reader) burnout,” Kipper said. “It had more to do with the perception that the threat had eased.”
“My sense is that the media perceived that the public had tired of the story,” said Dr. Betsy Blosser, a BECA professor at SF State. Blosser said there is nothing sensational right now, which is keeping it out of the limelight.
She said the public feels inundated with coverage to the point that they feel they need to “tune out” to deal with enormity of the story.
John Burks, SF State journalism department chair, said so much has already been written about the epidemic that journalists need to find a new angle on the story.
“It’s a real challenge to find something fresh that will truly count to these readers,” he said. “They’ve sort of OD’d on reading about it.”
Burks said there is still coverage of AIDS, but these stories are often buried inside of the newspaper.
An October 2003 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 72 percent of the U.S. population retrieved the majority of its information about HIV and AIDS from the media.
With a decline in coverage, a bigger issue might be on the rise: Younger generations – that are not able to remember the negative consequences of the disease reported in earlier years and who see new treatments controlling the disease – are now becoming sexually active.
“I think students are as informed as they want to be,” said 19-year-old Jasmine Mitose, a sophomore theater major in outreach and publication with Queer Alliance.
Blosser said the media now have to find a way to reach out to those who have tuned out coverage, along with this younger group, to warn them of the risks involved.
“It’s among the most horrific diseases visited upon mankind,” Burks said. “If it took hold of the U.S. ... it could decimate the population as it has decimated the population in Africa. So is it important? Yeah.”
Over spring break, I was fortunate enough to travel to New Orleans and join the Common Ground Collective, a grass-roots relief organization that began in Algiers but is now centered in the 9th Ward of the city.
The 9th Ward was one of the areas that suffered extensive devastation from the flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina, and yet the area has received notably little aid from FEMA or other government agencies. Seven months after the storm, it looks as if the hurricane hit two weeks ago, and most residents still lack electricity, drinkable water, and schools for their children.
Common Ground was one of the first organizations set up to help the residents in these neglected areas of the city. Through the months of March and early April, Common Ground received over 2,700 volunteers from 107 different colleges. Students gave up a week of drinking and partying to join other volunteers.
While there, I was placed in the difficult position of both documenting and participating in an overwhelming relief effort.
Days in New Orleans usually consisted of strenuous physical labor, such as removing destroyed furniture and gutting the insides of houses contaminated by toxic flood water, spreading soil and working in bioremediation gardens, or rebuilding community centers for the residents to come back to. Those who didn't venture out to the worksites worked long days keeping the volunteers fed and sheltered while simultaneously organizing medics, donations and residents that are still trying to return to their homes.
However, most of the volunteers told me that despite the hard work, they didn't want to leave, and I found myself agreeing with them. There was something so gratifying about not working for money, grades or connections, but for the sole purpose of helping people with nowhere else to go.
Residents welcomed Common Ground with open arms, thanking them for coming to help and occasionally sharing their stories and experiences during the storm.
During my short time there I was only able to capture a small fraction of the efforts and energy of volunteers and residents as they try to rebuild communities. Both volunteering and documenting this organization was an experience that I can't possibly sum up in the limited amount of space I have here, but I found myself agreeing with Meredith Drake, a 21-year-old physical therapy major at Whittier College.
"I've never been so dirty and tired, yet so content in my whole life. I'm leaving tonight, and I'm already planning to come back," Drake said.
If you would like more information about Common Ground or would like to know how to volunteer, please visit www.commongroundrelief.org
Students of The College of Extended Learning’s Music and Recording Industry (MRI) program are putting on a music show at Slim’s. The event is scheduled for Monday, April 17 at 8 p.m. and features Mouth to Mouth, Humboldt Squid and Karate High School. The MRI program offers courses surveying fields such as publicity, artist management and audio production.
Every year, MRI’s courses spend a semester planning and executing a public music event.
Slim’s owner Dawn Holliday leads Behind The Stage, an MRI course where students gain real-life concert experience by learning how to book, promote and oversee a performance.
This year, music business publicity instructor Jennifer Otter is also including her pop music marketing class in the event planning. Otter, who is the former regional marketing director for Interscope Records, teaches students how to publicize the shows through radio, print and guerilla marketing.
According to MRI student, Zrinka Divic, students submitted music from musicians and bands they knew or liked. After a listening session, each class chose whom they thought was the best fit for the show. "Jen [Otter] then handed these CDs over to Dawn who made the final decision of who was going to play," said Divic.
Divic’s role in the project is handling the local press, including college papers, weeklies and zines.
"The classes got together on a couple occasions to establish what is who's role in this project, we got split into four groups to cover the publicity aspect and our main mode of communication with each other and other classmates is e-mail," said Divic.
Prior to this event, Otter taught her classes how to write press releases, pitch letters, assemble press kits, and how to use those marketing tools to get publicity.
"This is a great exercise for me seeing how my aim to get into the publicity aspect of the music industry," said Divic, who is taking both of Otter’s classes this semester. She considers the classes beneficial.
"I have an undergrad degree in marketing but have always had a passion for music so I thought this program could help me combine my skills and interests," said Divic.
MRI student Amy Heiden, 22 agrees. Heiden designed her own major, music business management and is currently taking the Pop Music Marketing class. "We are learning the basics about costs, types of marketing and what marketing tactics are essentially the most effective for the industry," says Heiden. "If I chose to pursue a career in marketing, I'll have a great foundation of the skills needed to begin my career."
San Francisco’s Mouth to Mouth features singer Jonny Scullion, lead guitarist Alex Lasner, Scott Funkhouser on bass and keys, drummer Andrew Keating, and rhythm guitarist and keyboardist Davar Saleh. Mouth to Mouth recently played the Captiva Showcase music festival South by Southwest. They are currently in the studio, working on their second full-length album.
Bay Area rockers Karate High School (KHS) have been gaining airplay on Live 105’s Soundcheck and recently released "Arcade Rock." KHS are currently preparing to embark on a nationwide tour, throughout May and June. Band members include Paul McGuire (vocals and keys), Gabe Ausiello (guitar), Ray Bautista (keys), Ken Kaiser (bass) and Sean Martin (drums).
Indie and punk rock band Humboldt Squid comes from Santa Cruz and formed in 2004. The two piece band features Mark Quinn on drums and Marc Brown on vocals and guitar.
While holding signs that read, “Raises, Rights and Respect,” about 30 members of SF State’s local chapter of the California State University Employee’s Union (Local 2579), held a brief rally.
On March 29, the picketers chanted slogans as they marched through the crowd at another protest and then around the administration building to draw attention to their struggle to reach a fair contract with the chancellor’s office.
The union, which represents 16,000 CSU employees, is demanding a 13.5 percent pay raise across the board, which the chancellor’s office has denied. At this point in the bargaining, the chancellor’s office’s proposal still does not include raises, citing budget constrictions.
Union members, however, expressed outrages at the fact that while their salaries remain low and stagnant, top administrator’s salaries continue to rise.
“Staff (members) are the backbone of the university,” said academic coordinator and Union member Bridget McCracken. “The machine that wants to cut us, will cut itself.”
Before marching, the campus employees from information systems, clerical support, janitorial and healthcare positions, attended a lunch meeting where Chapter President Russell Kilday-Hicks spoke about the status of the negotiation.
Since its inception in 1984, Local 2579 has never gone on strike. As California employees, the workers would not be allowed to strike while still under a contract.
The current contract will expire on June 30, and the goal is to have a new one in place before July 1. If an agreement is not reached, it is likely that the current contract will be extended into July, said Kilday-Hicks.
“The chance (of a strike) is very remote right now,” he said, although they do have a strike fund for a “rainy day.”
According to Kilday-Hicks, there is a 15 to 17 percent disparity between staff pay and the cost of living in the bay area. Other areas of contention are additional hiring for vacant positions and vacation allocation.
Union volunteer and labor studies major, Joseph Jelincic, 23, said that while tuition has gone up 73 percent over 4 years, university President Robert Corrigan received a $53,000 raise this year.
“Corrigan gets a $12,000 a year car allowance, while I spend $45 a month on transportation,” he said.
According to Jelincic, there are plans to raise the salaries of top administrator’s by 49.5 percent over the next five years.
Kilday-Hicks regarded the pay raise disparity between top administrative and staff level positions as, “symbolic of the priorities of the system,” and part of a “corporate mindset.”
According to Kilday-Hicks, the board of trustees has justified their decision to raise pay for the presidents as necessary to compete with other schools for the best president.
“Shortsighted people treat the handful of top brass as though they are special, but the whole system is special, and California needs to hear that,” he said.
If no contract agreement has been reached, another rally is planned for the end of July.
Graduate creative writing major, Page McBee, 25, is not surprised that the university focuses their resources on top level administrators.
“The pay issue sounds ridiculous, but it’s not outside the realm of what happens generally in education.” she said. “People should be paid fairly, it’s not so much a money issue, but a human issue, about being treated fairly.”
Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum selling artist, Peter Kater, walked across the stage, sat down in front of a piano and began to play.
Kater's performance kicked off the start of The Future of Health Care Conference 2006: Reinventing Medicine and Integrating Health Care Alternatives, which attracted around 500 people to Jack Adams Hall at 9:30 a.m., including California State Assembly Speaker pro Tempore Leland Yee, who served as host.
Organized by the Institute for Holistic Healing Studies at SF State, the conference examined how alternative medicine is changing the face of health care, and its effects on the public.
The event included various workshops which were all located within the Cesar Chavez Student Center. Workshop titles included: Integrated Medicine – Training, Environment and Practice; Herbs, Nutrition and Natural Pharmacy; Biofeedback, Bodywork and Somatic Therapies; Holistic Nursing and Midwifery - Issues and Education; Environmental Health and Community Based Health Care; and Art and Spirituality in Health and Healing.
In one workshop, Michael Samuels, founder and director of, Art as a Healing Force, spoke more about the healing power of the mind, and said that a pivotal moment was occurring as a result of the convergence of medicine, art and spirituality.
“The fundamental revolution is a recognition that we are more than our bodies,” he said. “The medicine of the future will use spiritual techniques to cure.”
Keynote speaker, Larry Dossey, M.D., and former executive editor of, "Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine," also spoke about the power of spirituality and positive imagery in medicine.
“The bottom line happens to be that optimists simply live longer,” he said. “And they have a lower instance of just about every disease you want to look at.”
Dossey said that since 1998, all graduating M.D.’s in the United States are required to be able to take a spiritual history from their patients.
“We are involved in a very awkward transitional phase in scientific medicine,” he said. “I don’t know where the future of medicine is headed … but one thing is going to happen in the future, we are going to restore consciousness to its rightful place as a factor of preeminence in medicine.”
Saybrook psychology professor Stanley Krippner discussed shamanism and myth and the technique of allopathy – a practice that combats disease by using remedies that produce effects different from or incompatible with those produced by the disease treated.
“From a psychological perspective, myths are statements as stories that address existential human concerns and have behavioral consequences,” Krippner said.
The World Health Organization estimated that only 20 percent of the people in the world were being serviced by allopathic biomedicine, the other 80 percent got traditional medicine, Krippner added.
Massage therapy was offered in a small room around the corner from Jack Adams Hall, and featured acupressure, shiatsu, and Chinese massage.
“There’s so much pressure and stress in so many people’s lives," said Michael Reed Gach, director of the Acupressure Institute in Berkeley, adding that acupressure releases "stress and tension, and promotes greater circulation and healing.”
Gach said that he was pleased to see so many different non-traditional healing practices represented at the conference.
“This is a fantastic event because it brings together so many different spokes of the wheel,” he said.
Another keynote speaker, Wayne Jonas, M.D., discussed what he called the "optimal healing environment," and the use of biomedicine – a branch dealing with humans’ ability to tolerate environmental stresses and variations.
“Biomedicine works, there’s no question about it,” said Jonas, who is the founding director of the Samueli Institute for Information Biology. “Perhaps, the healing environment actually contributes the most to recovery and repair, and the medication should be on the other side (in terms of importance).”
He said that modern knowledge indicates there are not individual causes for most diseases, but multiple agents including spiritual, psychological, social, behavioral, physical and environmental. “The mind, the spirit and the body are one unit, and they react as a unit," he added.
Kenn Burrows, one of the event organizers, presented Assemblyman Yee with an award for his support of the holistic health movement. Yee thanked the crowd and spoke briefly about such techniques as biofeedback – a training technique that allows a person some element of voluntary control over autonomic body functions.
“Biofeedback ... said there are things that are happening to you that you don’t necessarily have to see, but it’s still real,” Yee said. “Through biofeedback, we started to develop technology and strategies and techniques, whereby you can change things even though you may not be able to see them.”
A panel discussion exploring complementary and alternative approaches to cancer outlined some of the problems with traditional treatments.
“The biggest problem with conventional medicine is the side-effects, and the cure rates aren’t getting any better,” said Paul Reilly, founding staff physician of the Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center. “It doesn’t do any good to cure a person of cancer if you haven’t changed what caused them to get cancer in the first place.”
Reilly said that it’s crucial to look at environmental issues since there are many factors that are essentially poisoning our genes.
“Cancer is a systemic and cellular problem, and if you don’t address the issues that permit it to grow, it’s going to be more difficult to treat and more likely to reoccur," he added.
Burrows added that one goal is establishing a society where cancer is not so dominant.
“We, as a culture, basically lead the world in cancer causes and cancer cases,” said Burrows, who is a lecturer from the Institute for Holistic Healing Studies at SF State.
The goal for some of the guests at the event was to learn more about holistic healing.
“I was interested in getting some questions answered about alternative health and how they practically fit it into local healthcare,” said Benjamin Liu, a solar electric systems project organizer, who attended the conference to learn more about the feasibility of non-traditional medicine.
Student volunteer Amanda Fay, 24, said that growing up in the Big Sur area, she had always been familiar with holistic healing and enjoyed the event thoroughly.
“My major is accounting, so I decided that I was going to do a minor in holistic medicine to try and balance it out and find a happy medium between the two," she said.
Kater’s piano stylings marked the end of the conference shortly after 5 p.m., followed by a public reception at 5:30 p.m.
For more information, contact the SF State Holistic Health Learning Center, located in HSS 329, or call, (415) 338-641.
In the midst of tight sequenced mini-dresses, one-inch acrylic nails, and long blonde hair, Kitty Couture, a self-proclaimed drag queen veteran, got SF State residents in the mood to talk about safe sex.
“We’re going to talk about screwing a bit,” she told about 70 students, kicking off the Third Annual Sexhibition at the Cantina in Mary Ward Hall on March 23 at 8 p.m.
The Sexhibition, a sex-education program disguised as a drag show, was the fourth event in the Spring Fling Week at Mary Ward Hall, an annual pre-spring break program aimed at encouraging students to have a safe vacation.
Organized by the residential advisors and one of the resident’s gay-straight alliance called Everything Great About You (EGAY), Sexhibition was open to all campus residents from the Towers, Mary Park and Mary Ward Hall.
Circulating around the room were free condoms, plastic leis, lubricants and bubbles.
“We heard it was going to be crazy,” said freshman Kayleigh Loe, 19, before the show began. “We heard about the drag queens and the condoms.”
“We’re looking forward to it,” said Loe, a music major, who lived on the first floor. Loe and other residents received flyers and saw the posters advertising the event.
Along with the performances of other residential advisors, the 6-foot diva, Couture, lip-synched songs, and strutted her stuff in 8-inch platform shoes, keeping students entertained while they learned about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), sex toys, lubricants and protection.
“As one of our RA’s say, ‘most people can’t retain information by being preached to, but when a drag queen is yelling at them about it, they remember,’” said Anthony Morin, 18, an international relations freshman, and EGAY member.
According to Morin, the founders of EGAY started Sexibition three years ago to help students talk about sex. The program this year included speakers from the Educational & Referral Organization on Sexuality (EROS) program on campus.
Couture introduced the two “sexperts” from EROS, Ryan Stemmler, a 23-year-old EROS volunteer and a physiology major, and Erica Model, a 21-year-old assistant director of EROS and a junior who is studying human sexuality. The pair educated the group about STDs. The audience seemed to be familiar with most of the STDs, except for one, parasitic worms.
Stemmler explained how there were three levels of infection, the third ending with the worms buried in the genitals, rendering them useless.
While Couture departed momentarily to change into her “serious suit,” a cropped black halter top and a fringed mini-skirt, an 18-year-old biology major, Miss Robby, came on stage, lip-synching and gyrating to the song, “Sweet Transvestite,” from The Rocky Horror Show.
Under her black trench coat was a black spandex halter top, black garter belt and stockings. She moved around in high-heeled black platform boots.
As a performer in a Rocky Horror Show in Oakland, Miss Robby whose full name is Robby Laetz, performed there every Saturday night for about two years.
At the event, however, she gave advice on sex and genital piercings.
“It’s a lot of fun, but you have to be careful,” she said with a smile. She told students that they had to make sure their protection didn’t rip because of piercings.
In between Couture’s costume changes and the other lip-synchers in drag, volunteers from the audience participated in sex contests. The first had contestants on their knees as three girls raced to see who could put a condom on a dildo the fastest.
“It’s funny, it’s fun, but I’m not going to take too much pride in it,” said Shana Kelley,18 photojournalism freshman, in reference to winning the contest.
Other contests had to do with dental dams and lubricant taste-testing.
“It’s like butter, sex butter,” Couture said of the lube. “Flavored sex butter.”
“At first it was a little bit awkward,” said Mike Gassaway, 19, a roman history freshman, who was the only male lube-taster on stage. “But then you start concentrating on the flavors and you kind of forget what you were doing.”
The event had students laughing and talking about sex for almost two hours.
In his closing words, Couture sent students off with warm wishes.
“From the bottom of my heart, and my pelvis, I thank you,” he said.
Every 9 seconds, a woman is beaten in the United States.
The Web site for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) also reported that domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women, especially to those between 20 and 34 years of age.
To raise awareness on the issue of domestic violence, over 200 students and social workers from across the Bay Area gathered together at Jack Adams Hall on March 24 for an eight-hour conference, which began at 9 a.m.
The public meeting, organized by SF State graduate students in social work, Lisa Shapiro and Stephanie Manfre, offered education on the issue and certification for practicing social workers throughout the community.
According to Manfre, the idea for the event stemmed from the observation that nowhere in the curriculum was domestic violence included for a masters' degree in social work.
ï¿½A background in domestic violence is crucial, the more education there is, the more we can work to prevent it,ï¿½ Manfre said.
The conference brought out many speakers, including Assemblyman Leland Yee.
ï¿½Each one of us can in fact make a difference,ï¿½ Yee said.
Speaking briefly on his participation in the White Ribbon Campaign (WRC), Yee explained how one staff person - who started the effort in San Mateo - brought the campaign to his attention.
The WRC - established in 1991 by a small group of Canadian men - is now the largest effort in the world of men working to end men's violence against women, according to its Web site.
The campaign includes distributing education and action kits to schools and speaking out on issues of public policy.
ï¿½Domestic violence is not just about women,ï¿½ Yee said. ï¿½...so maybe, we should get men to start talking to men. We all have to stand up and say, ï¿½enough is enough.ï¿½ï¿½
According to the Web site for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 5.3 million incidents of intimate partner violence against women reported each year.
ï¿½It is important to think about how many people weï¿½re talking about here,ï¿½ said Lisa Polacci, one of the speakers and the community director for La Casa de las Madres, San Francisco's oldest and largest shelter for battered women and their children. ï¿½One in five young women have experienced domestic violence.ï¿½
The conference covered issues ranging from challenges facing immigrant and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community (LGBT), victims of domestic violence, to childrenï¿½s involvement and navigating the criminal justice system.
ï¿½Domestic violence crosses all lines,ï¿½ Polacci said. ï¿½It does not discriminate based on culture, race, age. Itï¿½s in every one of our populations.ï¿½
Shawna Virago, the program director of the Community United Against Violence (CUAV), spoke to the specific concerns of the LGBT community.
ï¿½Queer people face a lot of biases,ï¿½ said Virago, a domestic violence survivor. ï¿½There are not a lot of queer sensitive agencies, queer sensitive batterer intervention programs, and they face a lack of gay shelters.ï¿½
Beyond the standard types of domestic violence power and control, Virago noted that the homosexual community faces abuse in the form of hiding HIV medications, or in the case of the transgendered, hiding hormone therapies. In addition, the gay community is threatened with being ï¿½outed," he said.
Beckie Masaki, executive director of the Asian Womenï¿½s Shelter in San Francisco, addressed the specific challenges faced by immigrant victims of domestic violence.
The power and control tools used to oppress women in immigrant communities frequently come in the form of language barriers, immigration status, and societal expectations, she said.
Women are unable to leave their oppressors because they do not speak or understand the language used around them, said Masaki, adding that they fear deportation because they may not be ï¿½legalï¿½ residents, or they are restricted to the role their culture assigns them.
Hong Mai, a second year graduate student in the social work program, attended the conference for specific reasons.
ï¿½There is still so much to know about domestic violence,ï¿½ Mai said. ï¿½As a practitioner, I am hoping to learn the right language and mannerisms for dealing with victims of domestic violence.ï¿½
The culmination of Shapiro's and Manfre's efforts to organize such a conference took over a year to finalize.
For more information on the NCADV, visit www.ncadv.org.
For more information on the WRC, go to www.whiteribbon.ca.
For the CDC, visit www.cdc.gov.
What initially started off as a bake sale, eventually turned into a protest involving about 100 SF State students, in regards to the new, anti-immigration bill.
On March 29, the College Republicans, a student organization, held a bake sale at the Malcolm X Plaza, which began at 11:30 a.m. According to the club's secretary, Trent Downes, 19, the purpose of the sale was to show that there were other alternatives to immigration reform besides House Resolution 4437 (HR 4437). The bill would make illegal immigration a felony, as well as punish anyone guilty of providing assistance.
The club held a booth, with a sign that partly read, "We believe: Legal immigration is vital to the American way of life. The members were dressed in camouflage pants and green shirts that read, "Border Patrol."
This display soon erupted into a student protest. The voices of screaming students filled the side of the plaza as students began crowding around the authorized personnel orange caution tape around the Republican booth. Students and protesters seemed outraged by the organization’s humor behind the matter.
Students called the organization names, such as, “racist pigs,” and others asked, “Does it make you feel better to dress up as border patrol?” They also chanted, “Don’t give into racist fears, immigrants are welcome here.“
Downes responded to the students' allegations.
"Their only argument is that we (College Republicans) are racist and it’s really frustrating,” said Downes, business freshman. “It’s really hard to have a good debate with someone who listens to you and not just speaks to you.”
However, a counter student organization remained skeptical of the club's motives.
“They (College Republicans) are really out here to get media attention” said Michelle Montoya, 19, president of the College Democrats, and a political science sophomore.
The College Democrats also held a bake sell right across the Republican booth to raise proceeds for the La Raza Legal Center on Valencia Street.
They were among students from other club organizations, such as, Students Against War (SAW), the International Socialist Organization (ISO) and La Raza, who were against the passage of HR 4437.
Among its many provisions, the 300-word bill, entitled, “Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005,” will criminalize illegal migrants who cross the borders, in turn making it difficult for them to gain U.S. citizenship. The bill was introduced by the House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) on Dec. 6, 2005.
HR 4437 has already passed by the House of Representatives, and is currently under debate in the Senate.
Some students expressed strong concerns toward the bill.
“I’m angry at the world economic system who allows people to do these things,” said Alex Fu, 19, a sociology freshman, and ISO member. “We have to force people to run across the desert with no water to come here.”
In an Academic Senate meeting, Chair-woman Caran Colvin led a discussion on the Renne/Brown report regarding the incident involving Professor Antwi Akom.
Colvin said the purpose of the March 28 meeting was to “provide space for conversation on a difficult issue and not to take a position.” Colvin asked academic senators and guests to make suggestions, such as new policies or regulations, which will help prevent future incidents revolving around race, ethnic background or gender.
Sen. Jan Gregory felt that most people are low on facts in regards to the Akom incident. She said that the Renne/Brown report missed many points and suggested the production of a “substantive study we can trust.”
Senators suggested that all staff, students, and campus police become familiar with current building policies and jurisdictions.
Senators raised the issue of confusion about the regulations of campus buildings in regards to hours and distribution of keys to the buildings. Many were confused as to why certain faculty members have keys while others don’t, and proposed that to be a potential problem as seen in Akom’s case.
Other suggestions involved creating new committees. Some senators recommended creating a committee that would monitor racial, cultural and gender issues on campus. Another senator suggested an overseeing committee on the Department of Public Safety, the same department that employs the officers involved in the Oct. 25 incident.
Vice Chairman Robert Williams asked senators and guests not to take sides, but instead, figure out what is best for the entire academic community.
The Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) is scheduled to review and discuss an investigative report on the now closed Akom case.
President of ASI, Chris Jackson, said that the idea behind the meeting is to “promote awareness of the report and to facilitate a student discussion.”
He added that SF State students could attend the meeting, and that a “Vote of Confidence” at the end of the meeting would allow each ASI member to voice his or her stance of confidence in the investigative report.
“District Attorney Harris found that this was not the fault of Dr. Akom, but the kangaroo court that performed this investigation said that this was professor Akom’s fault,” Jackson said. “This all comes down to, ‘What do you believe?’”
He said that the report, “makes an attempt to absolve the university from fault.”
Antwi Akom, an African studies professor, was arrested last October for allegedly assaulting a university officer and resisting arrest. San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris dropped criminal charges against Akom on March 17.
The 102-page investigative report was compiled by a commission, led by former San Francisco City Attorney Louise Renne and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. It was released one week before the charges were dropped, Jackson said.
The meeting will be held at 2 p.m. in Rosa Parks, rooms A-C, which is located in the Cesar Chavez Student Center.
Twenty tables with bright green tablecloths and balloons tied to either side in high traffic areas made the first ever smoke-free campus event a site to be noticed.
A pair of faculty members or students manned each table on March 27, offering passers-by information and resources for smokers who would like to quit, as well as a chance to enter a drawing for prizes like an iPod, a one-month reserved parking space on campus (or one-month Muni pass), and two one-month memberships at the Village Fitness Center, to name a few.
The event, which began, at 10 a.m., and lasted until 1 p.m., was hosted by the Smoking Task Force, in association with the Office of the President.
“The idea was to see a presence on campus strongly advocating a smoke-free environment,” said Albert Angelo, a health educator and task force member.
An SF State student, who worked at one of the tables for most of the afternoon, said that he observed such a presence, adding, “There are enough tables to get people’s attention, then the give-aways get them excited,” said Mike Silberg, 33, a cellular molecular biology major.
Many people stopped to enter the drawing or pick up a lollipop and chat, but the mission of the event was clear and embraced by many students wanting to help make campus a smoke-free environment.
“It’s definitely good to try to deter smoking on campus, and it does bother me especially when I’m waiting for my food,” said Maura McGowan, 22, a theater arts senior, as she stopped by a table beside Café Rosso and picked up a map of the designated smoking areas. “It's like a silent protest, a lot of people know that there are designated smoking areas but feel that anywhere outdoors is free domain.”
There were two tables set up near Café Rosso. Angelo and other task force members focused on areas of high traffic and places where people tended to smoke, regardless of whether or not it was a smoking area. Despite SF State’s no smoking policy, Angelo had seen many students smoking around the Business building and had tables set up all the way around the area. There were two set up at 19th Street and Holloway Street, a few on Centennial Street, and more lining the walkways through the quad.
While students like, McGowan, just dropped by to show support, others took advantage of the information and resources the event had to offer. Students and faculty, who were working at the tables said that more people approached them for information and resources to help a friend quit smoking, rather than themselves.
Nkeiruka Oruche, 22, a health education senior, who worked at a table outside the Cesar Chavez Student Center, spoke to a few smokers, giving them hand-outs on resources and how to quit, then redirecting them to a campus smoking area.
“It’s a policy on campus and it needs to be enforced,” Oruche said. “All you have to do is ask them to move and they will.”
All in all, student and faculty workers said that they were pleased with the turnout.
“It’s important to adopt a healthy campus and encourage students to adopt a healthy lifestyle,” said Angelo. “Recognizing that effects of tobacco is dangerous is part of that lifestyle.”
However, not all SF State students recognize such effects as dangerous.
Eighteen-year-old Sashaenka Goodall said that she’s never been asked to go to a designated area while smoking on campus and probably wouldn’t go if asked.
“When I saw the tables I lit a cigarette,” said Goodall, biology freshman. “It’s stupid, cars pollute more than secondhand smoke does, and we’re outside,” she said, smoking in front of the Humanities building.
For more information on the smoke-free campus policy and the Smoke Free Task Force go to www.sfsu.edu/~puboff/smokefree/, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Colleges and universities could be forced to make drastic changes in availability of phone lines on campus.
The Federal Communications Commission proposed a plan that could increase telecommunication costs by 10 times or more.
The plan is being opposed by university organizations that say that the colleges and universities are being “unfairly assessed with exploding contribution requirements,” according to a letter sent to the FCC on behalf of the American Council on Education (ACE), Association of American Universities, and several other groups.
The FCC has held a principle of “universal service” for the last decade that provides telephone service for all Americans by passing on higher fees to paying customers. The Universal Service Fund benefits low-income Americans, as well as public libraries and schools.
However, the new FCC plan would switch to a numbers-based formula calculated on how many phone numbers are being used.The plan would charge businesses and organizations that use many phone numbers the most.
Since most colleges and universities provide phone numbers for students living on campus, staff and faculty, university phone bills could go up astronomically.
According to Dave Ostrom, the Chair of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for the Association for Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education, the FCC will not make a final decision on whether the new plan will go into effect until the Senate approves the one empty FCC commissioner position.
“I am quite optimistic that we (the higher education community) will make our case with the FCC and prevail,” Ostrom said.
Ostrom said that he expects the case will not be resolved until sometime this summer.
Even if the proposed plan goes through, colleges and universities have some ways of avoiding budget-crippling phone bills.
A major focus will be on-campus residence halls where each room often has its own phone line. With the prevalence of cell phones among college students, these landlines have become much less used. An option to reduce costs would be to have one single phone in the hallway of each floor, according to
Ostrom said that one drawback with this plan is international students who may not be able to get a cell phone without an American credit card will have less access to phones.
Taryn Hinschberger, a freshman English major who lives in the dorms on campus, said she has never even plugged in her university-provided phone and has no idea what the phone number is.
“I only use my cell phone, especially to call back home (to Southern California),” Hinschberger said. “It just makes sense because I have free long distance and free mobile-to-mobile minutes with my family.”
However, Hinschberger said that phones in the dorms must be in use since she hears them ring in other rooms quite often.
Another major concern of limiting the number of phones is student safety. It is difficult for 911 operators to locate calls from cell phones, especially with high altitude calls, such as those in multi-level student dorm buildings, Ostrom said.
According to Ostrom, campuses may also change the phone service for faculty as well. At SF State, faculty members have their own office number, as well as private cell phones.
One option to eliminate extra phone numbers is to adopt an “auto-attendant” voicemail system that would have one primary number for a department and then extensions for individual faculty and staff members.
According to Jonathan Rood, the associate vice president for information technology at SF State, the IT department is waiting for the final decision by the FCC before setting a concrete plan on how phone service will change on campus. However, Rood is also optimistic that the FCC will realize that universities should be given a break.
“Because of groups like the ACE intervening, I think the universities have a good case,” Rood said. “We are not like other big businesses with thousands of employees. Safeway or Home Depot doesn’t need to provide a phone number for every single warehouse worker or cashier, but our faculty members need phone lines. We are in the business of communication.”
SF State does not yet have a plan on limiting phones available to students who live on campus, even with the prevalence of cell phones.
“Cell phones are not completely reliable,” Rood said. “They can have network outages and dead batteries, and we need to make sure everyone is safe and protected.”
According to Clara Potes-Fellow, director of media relations for the California State University System, there has not yet been a discussion of this issue within the Board of Trustees. The CSU will begin discussing a system-wide plan after the FCC has made final announcements of the new fees.
According to the letter sent by the ACE to the FCC, aside from the communication restrictions and safety concerns that arise with higher phone bills, the increased costs could drastically impair university abilities to upgrade their telecommunications systems and provide the most modern technology for their students and faculty.
“Telecommunications services form an essential part of institutions of higher learning,” David Ward, president of the ACE, wrote in a letter to the FCC. “Telephones and data connections link students to each other, to their professors, to the college itself, and to their families.”