December 2006 Archives
Hard-hitting hip hop erupted from SF State’s Rigoberta Menchu Hall last week, when dozens of students took part in “Flip Da Skript,” an open mic hosted by the League of Filipino Students.
The purpose of the event was to not only provide good entertainment, but to raise awareness about the current Filipino human rights struggle. LFS Vice Chair Charm Consolacion said 790 civilians have been killed since January 2001, simply for expressing their political beliefs, a right that “we Americans often take for granted,” said Consolacion. Flip Da Skript was part of LFS’s international campaign called “Stop the Killings.”
“It’s really sad to hear that there are all these innocent people dying, and there is no accountability for it,” said Consolacion, 24, an urban studies major with a minor in Asian American studies who joined LFS over a year ago. “This event is important because it broadens the issues, and gives the student body information about what is happening outside of the school and in the Filipino community.”
Although Thursday night’s open mic got off to a slow start – a little over an hour late – the event was successful with a relatively large turnout, and more than eight performances from MC’s, vocalists, and poets. Special guest “Power Struggle” performed to a packed audience and lead MC “Nomi” stole the show with his politically charged lyrics, and hip-hop beats.
“Supporting your community is important, and I’ll do whatever I can to help out as far as getting our music and our message out to as many people as possible,” said Mario de Mira, 27, aka Nomi of Power Struggle. “On the surface level you could call our music political; it’s influenced by poetry, and different genres of music. We try not to sound too mainstream.”
Members of LFS recently returned from a trip to the Philippines called the “Exposure Trip,” where they met with organizations that introduced them to members of the peasant class, the poorest in the Philippines. LFS also showed documentary footage from their trip, which captures the names and faces of victims of extrajudicial killings.
According to LFS, extrajudicial killings are politically motivated, and perpetrated by state agents without the sanction of any law or court. According to LFS member Brian Ragas, 21, the trip was funded by “income generating projects” like selling buttons, stickers, T-shirts, and fliers.
“It is merely a step in what we call organizing and educating our community,” said Ragas, an SF State student with a double major in Asian American Studies and International Relations. “Hopefully people will get inspired to join us in our struggle, educate themselves, and take action,” said Ragas.
LFS has also been working on its local campaign called “Tenure Now for Professor Vergara.” The first Flip Da Script, held in October of this semester was for Benito Vergara. He is an SF State Asian American Studies and Anthropology professor who was denied tenure and promotion by the administration. If the decision stands, Vergara will be terminated by the end of the year.
Victor Eco, 24, said that it was important for him to come out and support LFS. He currently volunteers at the Liwanag Cultural Center, a nonprofit grass roots organization that focuses on Filipino culture, based in Daly City.
“I thought it was really informational, and the video they played was really eye-opening especially for Filipino Americans,” said Eco, an Asian American studies major. “It was a lot to take in, but this event is important because the more we learn the more it empowers everyone as a whole.”
Kenric Bailey led two guests into his apartment for a meeting that was never supposed to take place. In fact, the calendar that hung by the door was never supposed to be turned to December, 2006. Kenric Bailey was supposed to die 15 years ago.
Bailey, 46, was diagnosed with Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV, in 1988 – a time when the diagnosis was considered a death sentence.
AIDS was young in the United States. The first reports of its existence were only published in 1981. As the Centers for Disease Control and the surgeon general worked to communicate how the virus was transmitted, many physicians could only watch as their patients died.
Dr. Robert C. Scott, chairman of the Allen Temple AIDS Ministry and a practicing physician, began working with HIV/AIDS patients as soon as the disease was noted in the early ’80s.
“After a patient was diagnosed, they would live for three to nine months, so I was really a hospice physician,” Scott said.
Despite his diagnosis in 1988, Bailey did not seek treatment for the virus until 1991, at which time Bailey was told the disease had progressed into Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS.
“At that time in 1991, the doctors told me I only had three years to live,” he said. “I didn’t believe them and I convinced myself that I was going to fight this.”
Bailey’s fight over the next nine years was a personal one. A part of seeking care for his disease was accepting a heavy regiment of medication that would ultimately play a key role in his survival.
“I think at one point I was taking oh, maybe 24 pills per day,” Bailey said. “We’re talking eight pills every six hours.”
The medication complicated Bailey’s life in a number of ways.
“Psychologically it can break you down,” he said. “I had to convince myself if I wanted to live, I had to take them.”
Bailey was reluctant to be open about his health, largely because of the stigma that surrounded HIV/AIDS.
“It can become a hostile environment if you’re not careful,” Bailey said. “You just don’t go around telling everyone you have AIDS.”
Bailey said his ultimate response was to shut himself off from the world. He likened isolation to nausea.
It was the year 2000 before Bailey felt comfortable speaking about his health.
“I was isolated for a long time, and I just got tired of it,” he said.
While applying for low-income housing, Bailey came across a unique opportunity: the Allen Temple Manor, one of the nation’s first federally funded housing communities for people with HIV.
Bailey became the apartment complex’s building manager and one of its first tenants.
It was through his work as building manager at the Allen Temple Manor that Bailey became involved with the Allen Temple AIDS Ministry, where he volunteers four to six hours each week.
“They rolled out the welcome mat for me and I wanted to give something back,” Bailey said.
Most of the work he does revolves around the ministry’s support of the Mother of Peace Orphanage in Zimbabwe, which provides resources for children who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Bailey’s work with the ministry takes him to Zimbabwe twice a year.
It was around this time Bailey decided to go back to college. In the fall of 2001 he enrolled at SF State. He became active in SF State’s AIDS Coordination Committee, a fellow at the Black AIDS Institute’s African HIV University, and is a recent recipient of SF State’s Kolb Scholarship.
Bailey added, “It’s a miracle that I’m here today, and whatever work has been done needs to continue after my life on this earth.”
Despite the fact that medications for and awareness of HIV/AIDS have improved, according to some in Bailey’s environment, treatment of HIV/AIDS and its place in society still have a ways to go, especially within the black community.
UNAIDS reported in its 2006 AIDS Epidemic Update that between 2001 and 2004, half of AIDS diagnoses were among African-Americans.
It is a lack of awareness and lingering fear of HIV/AIDS, Scott said, that stigmatize and contribute to the spread of the disease within black communities.
“Testing is of extreme importance,” Scott said after explaining that 46 percent of blacks with HIV don’t know their positive status.
“Black men already carry a label, and to add something to it like a disease is a worst fear,” Bailey said. “It strips you of your coolness. I’m not cool anymore because I have HIV.”
One of the reasons there are still misconceptions about HIV/AIDS, Bailey said, is because “Even though there’s a lot of knowledge, it’s only there if you ask for it -- it’s not readily available.”
Scott and Wilson agree this problem could be solved if physicians regularly discussed HIV/AIDS with patients.
“Part of what we need to understand is that there’s less of a basis for fear,” Scott said. “It’s not a death sentence like it used to be.”
Scott said the most effective way to ensure a long life and help curb the spread of HIV/AIDS in any community is to follow three steps: get tested, if one tests positive then go into care, and finally to take all medication as prescribed.
For more information about HIV/AIDS, appointments can be made with a health educator at SF State’s Student Health Services.
Set to open in January 2007, the Third Street Light Rail will run along the eastern side of the city. It will replace the 15 Third bus and connect the southeastern part of the city to downtown San Francisco.
[X]press takes a closer look at the community that will be immediately impacted by this development.
Dr. H.L.T. Quan gave a guest lecture on Dec. 7 at SF State's IR Theatre (HSS 362). The discussion was based on her continuing research on developing economic and political relations between China and Africa.
The assistant professor, who is from the School of Justice and Social Inquiry at Arizona State University, raised concerns on whether China's rise in the world stage constitutes a genuine challenge to the US single world order.
Students at the California State Universityï¿½s 23 campuses will be greeted with more than just new classes and teachers on the first week of next semester. California Faculty Association members are planning informational picket lines to inform students about troubled faculty contract negotiations.
ï¿½Itï¿½s not a strike,ï¿½ said CFA communications director Alice Sunshine. ï¿½We wonï¿½t be asking people not to cross picket lines.ï¿½
On Dec. 15, the CFA will have its final mediation meeting, at which the mediator is expected to make a decision.
ï¿½We always hope that we will get a settlement, but it hasnï¿½t happened so far,ï¿½ Sunshine said.
If a settlement is not reached, the process will move into the fact-finding stage, in which a new mediator will meet with both sides and then present non-binding recommendations to the governor and state legislators for a course of action.
If a settlement is not reached, the administration has the right to implement whatever contract they deem appropriate, and the faculty gets new rights as well.
ï¿½If thereï¿½s still no settlement after fact finding, at that point it becomes legal for our side to go on strike,ï¿½ Sunshine said.
Before hitting the eggnog this holiday season, party-goers might want to designate a driver to ensure that they not only get home safely, but they don’t end up in the back of a police car.
Several California transportation departments are teaming up for the holiday season to ensure that what happened in 2005 doesn’t happen again. Based on the California Highway Patrol 2005 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, 46 percent of the fatal car crashes last year in California were alcohol related.
The departments that are teaming up to prevent these fatalities are the California Highway Patrol, Department of Transportation, California Office of Traffic Safety, Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, according to a press release by the Office of Traffic Safety.
One of their biggest weapons against drunk drivers is the 450 law enforcement agencies that will be cracking down on drunk drivers, however, the Office of Traffic Safety is also counting on another major factor to help aid in the arrest of drunk drivers: the public.
“We can’t be everywhere,” Chris Cochran of the Office of Traffic Safety said. “That is why we are asking the public to be our eyes and ears.”
California law enforcement officers are asking that if someone spots a drunk driver, he or she call the CHP with details on the location and the type of car.
“It is important to report drunk drivers right away,” Cochran said. “When we stop them it might be just in time, whereas if we didn’t they could have killed someone a mile down the road.”
According to the press release, $3.7 million of grant money has been dispersed to 94 law enforcement agencies throughout California to set up sobriety checkpoints.
“Seventy percent of Americans approve of DUI checkpoints,” Cochran said. “They are not set up so much to catch drunk drivers, but to let the public know that law enforcement is out there and we are cracking down.”
Although one SF State student, Emily Burkdoll, 21, a literature major, admits to avoiding checkpoints, she agrees they are an effective use of money. Also, when it comes to calling in a possible drunk driver, she is all for it.
“That is absolutely a good idea,” Burkdoll said. “I think everyone should be on the lookout for drunk drivers at all times, not just during the holiday season.”
In San Francisco alone last year there were 12 people killed and 541 injured because of alcohol-related car collisions, according to the 2005 California Highway Patrol SWITRS.
There were also 1,367 DUI arrests in San Francisco last year, according to the California Attorney General’s Criminal Justice Statistics Center.
The deadliest time, as shown on the 2005 California Highway Patrol SWITRS, is Saturday between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.
While many SF State students will be heading home for the holidays to the comforts of their families, others will be attempting to blanket homeless strangers in warmth.
SF State students Nadia Dao and Roy Kim are partnering up to run a two-week campus holiday blanket drive, which is intended to provide assistance for the homeless and their children in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Pablo.
The drive is Dao’s brainchild and resulted partly from her medical experiences as a volunteer, where she witnessed the long-term health effects of homelessness.
“Seeing a CT scan of damaged internal organs like the kidney, liver and bone osteoporosis revealed that living on the streets is rougher than we can even perceive of it,” said Dao, who is pursuing a master’s degree in health care administration at Capella University. “I have sympathy for the homeless and children of the homeless because they are human too.”
Once the drive is over on Dec. 17, Dao will pick the blankets up from SF State and drop them off at homeless centers and children’s shelters in the Bay Area.
Dao is also planning on organizing a blanket drive on the UC Berkeley campus in January.
As a class of 2005 graduate from Berkeley, Dao is a post baccalaureate student who is taking classes at SF State under an informal pre-medical student program.
Kim, who is also a post baccalaureate pre-med student at SF State, will be collecting monetary donations and blankets from the East Bay Baptist Church he attends in Berkeley and contributing it along with the blankets donated on campus.
Kim said the primary motivation for him to take part in the drive is his faith in Jesus Christ.
"I want to act out my faith by doing good deeds," Kim said.
Earlier this semester, Dao posted a message asking for help with the drive on the American Medical Student Association at SF State forum, through the Yahoo Groups Web site.
Dao said Kim was one of the few people on the forum who replied and offered to help out.
“Not a lot of people were interested in helping,” Dao said. “I was kind of surprised.”
A week before Thanksgiving break, Dao said, she became sick with the flu. She’s not sure how she got it, but remembers how cold she was one evening sitting in her car and waiting for her next class with nothing to keep her warm.
“Up to that point, I wasn’t sure if I was going to do the blanket drive,” said Dao. “I was very cold and that was in my car, so I can only imagine how cold it is for the homeless on the streets.”
During the summer, Dao volunteered at the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center hospital in Berkeley where she saw firsthand how much damage homeless life can inflict on the human body.
"I'm trying to work at a local level towards preventative measures of health," Dao said. "It's easier for me as a student to focus on what's local first."
Blankets can be dropped off at the box located in front of the information desk at the Cesar Chavez Student Center.
A report released last month by the Institute of International Education stated that SF State ranks first among master institutions for international students, but the report masks falling international enrollment that has cost the university millions. To curb the trend, a university-wide effort is being made to boost international enrollment.
From 2003 to 2006 the amount of revenue earned each year from non-California resident tuition and fees is down nearly $3 million, symptomatic of a 550-student decline in international enrollment, according to figures provided by the Office of Enrollment and Planning and the Office of Public Affairs and Publications.
Non-California residents attending SF State, most of whom are international students, pay an additional $339 per unit on top of normal university tuition and fees.
In the past, international students have represented a significant revenue source. In 2003 at the peak of foreign enrollment, the campus had 1,855 international students, making up nearly 37 percent of all money earned from tuition and fees.
This year non-California resident tuition and fees are expected to make up less than 20 percent of total tuition and fee revenues.
In an Aug. 28 speech SF State President Robert A. Corrigan acknowledged this decline and its affect on the university financially, and said the university has made a commitment to increasing international enrollment.
The budget for the Office of International Programs has been increased by about $90,000 for 2005 and 2006, said Yenbo Wu, director of the Office of International Programs.
Between $40,000 and $50,000 of the increase is being used for foreign recruitment trips.
“Under the original budget we were not in a position to do any recruiting,” Wu said.
In 2000 foreign recruitment halted entirely. But since fall 2005, trips have already been made to countries including Japan, Korea, Vietnam, India, Mexico, Thailand, Taiwan, China and Saudi Arabia.
“When you are not out for that long, your presence needs to be rebuilt,” said Wu who made a trip to China this year. He estimates that it will take more than two years for the trips to really pay off.
The effort has been taken up by more than just the Office of International Programs, said Jay Ward, associate director of the Office of International Programs. “Everybody is behind the effort now.”
All levels of the university from admissions to student systems have focused on international enrollment, Ward said.
Half of the dean’s retreat in October was dedicated to addressing the issue, and President Corrigan personally made a trip to China the same month, Ward said.
The sharp drop in enrollment is believed to have resulted from a number of unexpected factors.
In 2000, in the face of a statewide budget crisis, and confident that San Francisco’s international appeal would continue attracting foreign students, the Office of International Programs stopped recruiting overseas, Ward said.
“We became victims of our own success,” he said.
The university had made huge progress from 1994 when the campus had only 762 international students to 2000 when the population had grown to 1,625 students.
“We had this fabulous momentum and our numbers were not affected, there was this sense that we could save money by not recruiting,” Ward said.
But the climate changed quickly after a number of factors reshaped the face of international study.
Director of Public Affairs Ellen Griffin said President Corrigan attributed the decline to more restrictive policies placed on international students following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. These policies included the activation of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System requiring universities to provide the names, addresses, courses and majors of all foreign students.
The difficulty of applying for a student visa “multiplied a hundred times over again” and “it became extremely difficult to get a visa especially from the Middle East and Muslim countries,” Ward said.
In addition, state university budget cuts, which nearly ended the engineering program, a popular major among international students, also hurt SF State’s international appeal, Ward said.
The effects of September 11, combined with a statewide budget crisis and the absence of foreign recruitment led to a 270-student drop in international enrollment between fall 2003 and fall 2004.
“After 2003, we see this drastic slide,” Wu said. “We cannot afford to lose hundreds of them.”
Even if enrollment does improve, SF State will likely relinquish the top spot among master graduating universities in 2008 when the university offers its first doctorate program.
After 2008, SF State will start being ranked among universities offering doctorate programs, including the University of Southern California, which has more than twice as many international students.
Men may soon enjoy orgasms without making a mess or getting a woman pregnant.
According to a report by NBC's Dawn Friesen, researchers at King's College London are working on a male birth control pill that works by influencing the muscles that control ejaculation. The pill, which still faces years of clinical trials, purportedly would not effect orgasm sensation but would cause a dry ejaculation.
Some at SF State like the idea, but many are not quite sold.
“If it's comfortable, easy and effective, I could see it catching on,” said Albert Angelo, a health educator in the Student Health Center. “But I could see there being a psychological challenge – I don't know if someone wants to have a dry ejaculation.”
Angelo also said most men who come into the health center are more concerned with protection from sexually transmitted diseases than family planning. This pill wouldn't provide those kinds of protections, and Angelo sees that as another hindrance.
The pill would be taken a few hours before a sexual encounter, and would not effect sperm production, according to NBC.
“If a female has to take a pill, I don't see why a man can't,” said Paty Castaneda, 23, who smiled a bit when she heard of the potential pill. “It's nice to see a little balancing out, especially because those hormones can really mess a girl up.”
Castaneda, a sociology major, said she consider using the pill with a partner, but only if it was a serious, long-term relationship. Even in that situation, she said she would have to personally see the guy taking the pill.
For 20-year-old Nelson Perez, more control over family planning is a great thing.
“If it does turn out successful, we have much more control over prevention of pregnancy,” said Perez, a creative writing major. “A woman can say she's on the pill, but we can't fully trust that. So with the ability to have a male birth control pill, we can be more sure.”
The idea of a dry ejaculation did not go over well with 21-year-old Alex Oestreicher.
“I don't see it catching on,” said Oestreicher, a geography major. “Most males are really sensitive about their nether regions.”
He said he wouldn't use the pill even if it passed clinical trials because “you'll never know if it's truly effective until it's too late.” Oestreicher said he prefers to use condoms because they protect from sexually transmitted diseases, and the failure rate is mainly human error – something he can control.
Andre Ferreira, 22, said he could possibly see himself using this form of birth control, as long as it doesn't decrease the pleasurable sensation.
“Why not? It's less mess and more fun,” said Ferreira, a BECA major. “I definitely wouldn't be an early adopter though. Once it's been out for a year or two and there weren't any problems, I could see myself taking it with the right girl.”
The holiday season can bring good cheer to many people, but could have a stressful impact on the environment, and can be partly negated by buying eco-friendly gifts for loved ones, using recycled gift wrap, or simply not buying anything at all.
Americans throw away about 25 percent more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve – an additional 5 million tons of garbage – according to the University of Vermont’s Recycling & Solid Waste Program.
“I think buying nothing for Christmas is an excellent idea,” said SF State business major Vanessa Aguilera. “I’m actually ‘adopting’ an abused animal in my cousin’s name. They will send her a picture of the animal, a life story and monthly updates. But donating to charity in someone’s name is also a wonderful thing to do.”
Another way to reduce this 25 percent increase of trash is to bring your own bags while shopping, said Robert Lilienfeld of Use Less Stuf. Also, while shopping, consolidate your gifts into one bag instead of receiving a new bag at each store.
Others have additional ideas of how to buy nothing for the holidays and still give heartfelt gifts.
“Vouchers for community service done in someone’s name, tasks around the house, or even just acknowledging a mutual agreement to buy nothing” are all environmentally friendly gift ideas for this holiday season, said SF State environmental studies major Jim Eagan.
According to a recent poll conducted by the Center for a New American Dream, 82 percent of Americans would rather receive a photo album of times shared than a store-bought gift.
For those holiday shoppers who have no time to make gifts or personalize photo albums, there are environmentally aware stores online and even in your local community.
Here are a few wallet-friendly suggestions:
Product: Patagonia Freestyle Whirl Disc (a flying disc to toss around)
Eco-friendly factor: made from recycled plastic
Cost: $10.00 from Patagonia stores, $8.99 from www.amazon.com
Product: Diaries and journals from Nepal
Eco-friendly factor: Free-trade, organic and tree-free
Cost: $X.XX from SFSU Bookstore
Product: Jimi iPod Nano Case
Eco-friendly factor: Made from recycled plastic and Jimi donates 1 percent of its profits to environmental initiatives.
Cost: $19.95 from www.thejimi.com
Product: Razor Shaver
Eco-friendly factor: Sharpens disposable razors so it can be used again, and there’s less to throw away.
Cost: $12.00 from www.thesustainablevillage.com
Product: Solar Spark Lighter
Eco-friendly factor: A pocket-sized solar lighter. It is actually a stainless steel parabolic mirror, which is designed to focus the sun's energy to a precise focal point.
Cost: $9.95 from http://store.sundancesolar.com.
Product: Autumn gold-leaf earrings
Eco-friendly factor: These two-toned earrings are made from recycled materials, according to Buenostyle.
Cost: $14.00 from http://buenostyle.etsy.com
For more eco-friendly gifts and information: visit www.greengiftguide.com,
www.ecomall.com and www.greenshopping.com, www.treehugger.com and www.idealbite.com.
Kravika Nikola would not have been inspired to walk around used-car lots, trying to hand out pamphlets titled "Do you really need an SUV?" if he had passed the JEPET.
Nikola, 28, a mechanical engineer, tried to convince consumers to make a more educated decision about buying SUVs because of Jennifer Arin's English 414 class, a class students had to take since they failed the JEPET. Arin’s class is one of almost 60 English 414 classes offered at SF State.
Students said they were frustrated when they started the class, but the journey has taken them to more inspiring places.
For Nikola and his classmates, the class’s final project required them to place text somewhere in the community to raise awareness.
"I call it a blessing in disguise," said Jesse Moore, 23, senior BECA major.
Moore wrote lyrics to his song "All Alone," and compiled with other friends to make an entire CD called Lyrical Evolution. He said he passed out free copies on campus, sold copies around the city and created a MySpace page at Myspace.com/mexicaliog.
"Music is the most powerful of all art forms," Moore said, as he presented his music. "I'm trying to inspire instead of adding to the fire."
Liz Olsen, 49, senior psychology major, produced a final project that affixed text to the photographs her shelter-monitoring committee presents to the Board of Supervisors. She said she shot the photos with a 35 mm that visually expressed the sagas of homelessness and didn't think words had a place.
"I utilize photography as a way of impacting policy. Before Jennifer's assignment my thing was just going to be visual, but because of her, I have an appreciation for good writing," she said.
Olsen said if it were up to her, she would have ditched the JEPET all together and gone straight for Arin’s class. She said she definitely gained more from the class than she could have gained from writing an essay in a couple of hours.
The students consistently analyze articles from The New Yorker magazine together and practice writing and proofreading techniques, such as spell-checking essays backwards when they meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The last three sessions, however, gave every student a five-minute opportunity to enlighten the classroom with props and demonstrations. From cancer research to handmade bookmarks printed with stress-relieving techniques, the students let their true colors shine.
"I thought it's been wonderful and interesting. You can see everybody's personality come through in a formal writing class," said Anyika Hopson, 32, who presented disposable coffee-cup warmers printed with daily inspirational thoughts and actions. Students in the class encouraged her to distribute her holders on campus, but Hopson said she didn't plan on it.
Students said failing the JEPET was an ego-blow, but they said Arin's personality made the class a diamond in the rough.
Arin also taught at Stanford and USF before she found her base at SF State in 2000. She knew everyone's name in the class and asked her students questions such as, "Did you get the job?" and, "Does anyone have aspirin for Angela?"
Arin said the students really made the class phenomenal. She told the class, "Day one, I told you we could make the worst of it or the best of it. It's very obvious you made the best of it. It's just been incredible."
From juvenile hall to the halls of legendary music magazine, Rolling Stone, SF State student Russell Morse has come a long way.
With a checkered academic and personal history, Morse has emerged as one of the brightest journalists on MTV's new magazine series "I'm From Rolling Stone."
In this reality show premiering in January, six writers – including two from SF State – were selected from more than 3,000 applicants to compete for a coveted staff position at the famous magazine based in New York City.
"I'm the asshole of the show," Morse joked.
The 25-year-old San Francisco native, who is pegged by the show as "talented, explosive, and self-sabotaging," started writing in a juvenile hall writing and conversation course.
The program, which allowed him to document his experience in the juvenile justice system, catapulted his career and enabled him to find work in the industry.
While writing for New American Media in San Francisco, Morse's editor sent him on a rather unusual assignment: to apply for an MTV reality show.
"I had to answer questions like, 'When's the last time I lost my temper?' or 'Am I a slut?'," Morse said.
His "bad boy behavior" definitely lent itself to good television, as Morse took the unconventional approach to interviews by challenging subjects to races and arm wrestling matches.
Some of his most memorable interviews include Method Man and George Clinton, whom he considers, "a pretty serious notch on my belt."
"It's the most invasive, exhausting, bizarre existential experiment," Morse said of being on a reality show.
But for SF State alumna Krishtine De Leon, this was the opportunity of a lifetime.
"It changed my life," De Leon said. "I had planned to move to New York for journalism since high school. It's my dream."
De Leon saw a posting for the show on Myspace.com a week before the application deadline.
"It was a sign to me," De Leon said.
De Leon was turned on to music journalism after taking a class taught by SF State journalism professor John Burks, and has since developed a passion for covering hip hop artists and issues.
"It was important to connect my background to my journalist career since I grew up with the struggle," De Leon said. "Most people see hip hop in terms of its detrimental factor to youth, but I want to show another dimension … its unifying effect in the community."
Some of her favorite interviews include Young Jeezy, Cassie, Sleepy Brown and DMX.
But nothing compared to when Snoop Dogg recognized her work from Ruckus Magazine, a hip-hop culture publication based in the Bay Area, where De Leon served as editor.
"I grew up listening to Snoop on the West Coast," De Leon said. "For him to recognize my work, it was a big deal, very satisfying."
An average day in the life of an "I'm From Rolling Stone" cast member included waking up early, scouring the Internet for music news, attending an 11 a.m. editorial meeting, and making phone calls to publicists for interviews.
"Rolling Stone has access like no other," De Leon said. "All I had to say was that I was from Rolling Stone, and I'd get a call back."
"I'm From Rolling Stone" aims to be a different kind of reality show.
"People will be impressed with how smart and groundbreaking it is," De Leon said. "It focused more on work and less on personal life. We’re not just pretty, superficial people – we're smart, working journalists."
But according to Morse, it's all the same.
"It's just like ‘Temptation Island’ or ‘The Real World,’" Morse said. "I tricked myself into thinking I'd have any dignity left."
"I'm From Rolling Stone" premieres on MTV, Jan. 7 at 10 p.m.
Since a moratorium was placed on murals at the Cesar Chavez Student Center earlier this semester, the Native American mural that was planned has been delayed.
“The decision to place a moratorium on all murals was based on the Palestinian mural,” said Hector Jimenez Cardenas, who heads the Native American mural committee, a group of students working to put together the mural. “President Corrigan hasn’t even seen the first draft of our mural.”
Cardenas explained that the decision for the moratorium was based on details in the Palestinian mural that some believed could be a symbol of violence.
Ellen Griffin, director of SF State’s Office of Public Affairs, said the reason for the moratorium was to ensure that consistent guidelines are instated and followed for murals.
“The Native American mural never made it to the president for review,” Griffin said. “The moratorium was put into effect so that the organizations would show more sensitivity to their obligations to put into effect plans and policies for utilizing the space.”
Originally, according to Cardenas and Griffin, President Corrigan asked the Student Center Governing Board to utilize the open space on the outside of the student center. The student center in turn asked the organizations to make murals that would reflect their character.
“There was never any decision on what to put up,” said Griffin. “If there are no decisions, there is no artwork.”
Although the Native American mural is still in the early stages of construction, according to Cardenas, representation of minority organizations is past due.
“The plans for the Native American Mural started in 2002,” Cardenas said. “More than one generation of students has contributed, and we are way overdue in terms of representation on this campus.”
A benefit for the Josh Wolf Legal Fund was held Dec. 7 in the Mission district, bringing together activists and assemblymen alike in the name of press freedom and the release of the jailed freelance journalist.
The “Free Josh Wolf” event was sponsored by organizations such as the League of Young Voters, Reporters without Borders, and the SF Bay Guardian, all of which employed speakers to voice their concerns with Wolf’s situation, among other political issues including press freedom.
“What the hell is going on?” Bruce Brugmann, 71, publisher of the Bay Guardian, asked. Upset that reporters have not been able to visit Wolf at the Dublin federal detention center, Brugmann said the United States is now ranked 53rd in the world for press freedom.
“We’re right in there with Bangladesh! We’re tied with Bangladesh!” Brugmann said, with a hint of sarcasm, pointing to the fact that both the United States and Bangladesh are among 26 other countries that currently have incarcerated journalists.
“This is the United States of America. This is San Francisco!” he shouted.
Event coordinator for the League of Young Voters, Heather Box, 25, said the turnout for the event, at an estimated 125 people, was as expected. From Mandeep Sethi, 17, a freshman at SF State majoring in music, who performed four original spoken-word pieces to Brugmann, the crowd was diverse and responsive to presenters.
Filmmaker Kevin Epps, of “Straight Outta Hunter’s Point” local fame, spoke briefly before showing a short film he made, in which Wolf explained a little about his experience leading up to jail.
State Assemblyman Mark Leno called Wolf a “political prisoner,” saying that Wolf’s custody is a “direct assault on our democracy,” freedom of the press, and freedom of speech.
“How long could any of us hold out?” Leno said, referring to the 108 days Wolf has spent in jail.
Leno and other speakers at the event called on those gathered to respectfully ask California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, who is now the speaker of the House, to pay attention to Wolf’s case.
“There’s a concern that people are going to forget about him,” David Greene, 42, of the First Amendment Project, said the day before the event.
As one of the lawyers asked to help after Wolf’s appeal, Greene said there are no legal activities in the works for him now. Other than the chance that Wolf could change his mind, Greene said the next step would be to file a Grumbles motion, in which a judge could respond by vacating the order that is keeping Wolf in coercive custody.
“That’s the only thing left to do,” Greene said. “There’s nothing else.”
The League of Young Voters had “kits,” wrapped in pink ribbon, with pre-written letters and envelopes to Pelosi, and instructions on how to write to Wolf in jail.
With visitation rights limited to immediate family and his legal council, “it’s apparently really tough around the holidays,” City Supervisor Chris Daly said.
Asking those gathered to send positive energy Wolf’s way, Daly said, “It’s a lot more than about freedom of press, he is doing hard time for principle.”
SF State students were given a chance to voice their opinions Dec. 7 about the first draft of a Native American mural to be painted on the Cesar Chavez Student Center on the Plaza Level of the center.
Many students were interested in knowing more about the mural.
“It’s about time. American Indians have such a long history,” international relations major Tabila Vigil, 24, said.
The Student Center Governing Board (SCGB) has been planning the mural since October 2005, and hopes it will be up in April.
“It’s the first time we had a draft,” said Hector Jimenez-Cardenas, chair of the Native American committee. He said they had waited to get feedback from SF state students.
“We want to know what SFSU thinks, what they would like to see in a mural,” he said.
The proposed mural will be painted on the outside of the student center between the eateries and the bookstore, and will be painted by Toby Linwood, an artist from Oregon with a Native American background.
The SCGB decided to paint the mural to represent more of SF State’s diversity.
“It says this is who we are,” said Aimee Barnes, who works at Richard Oaks Multicultural Center and is also on the Native American Mural Project committee.
According to Linwood’s narrative explanation of the first draft, posted next to the draft, his goal for the mural is to show an image of Native Americans not portrayed in Disney and cowboy movies.
The background of the draft was an image similar to the American flag. Linwood said the stripes are upside down, when compared to the American flag. This is to represent how America has changed. Camouflaged in the stripes is a television. The screen displayed fireworks representing an Independence Day celebration. Linwood said the fireworks are made out of bombs to show the enjoyment America has from other people’s suffering.
A Native American man and woman are also in the mural draft. The woman is carrying food, which symbolizes Native Americans moving forward, and the man has a scarf on his head to show he is headstrong.
“It is important to have,” said Chris Delbuk, 23, a senior studying design and industry. “The more people who get represented, the better.”
Barnes said more revisions will be made, and another town hall meeting to get more feedback will be held next semester.
“It lets people know it is happening,” Barnes said about the meetings, “and it creates visibility.”
The process of awarding faculty members lifetime employment is about to change.
The Academic Senate approved a revised Retention Tenure and Promotions Policy that allows individual departments to set up standards for determining the approval of faculty tenure. Previously, these decisions were based on university-wide guidelines.
Academic Senate Chair David Meredith said each department will still have to follow a set of guidelines in determining tenure. Among the main guidelines are the effectiveness of the teaching, professional achievement, and community-service work.
Current faculty members will be able to choose whether they wanted to be evaluated under the new policies set by the department or the old university policy.
“The people this will really affect haven’t been hired yet,” Meredith said.
According to the SF State Office of Public Affairs, about three of four eligible faculty members have been awarded tenure since the 1998-99 academic year. Last year, 15 of 16 eligible faculty members received tenure.
The devolution from university standards to department standards won't change the overall process of obtaining tenure. Currently, the process lasts about six months, and goes all the way from the individual departments making recommendations to the university president making the final call, Meredith said.
Faculty members usually become eligible for tenure by their sixth year of employment with the university. The department recommends tenure candidates to the college dean and the dean of faculty affairs. They gather information regarding their research, teaching, and service to be reviewed by a Retention and Tenure Committee composed of at least three tenured full-time faculty within their department.
The committee also reviews evaluations by students and other faculty members, which is placed in a separate file known as the Working Personnel Action File.
Upon reviewing the candidate’s information, the committee will write a letter that may or may not recommend tenure. Upon his or her review, the candidate can look at the committee recommendation and comment on it.
The department and department chair later give their recommendations to the college dean, who gives a recommendation to both the Tenure and Promotions Committee of the university and the provost of the university. The committee and the provost both make their recommendations to the university president, who reviews all of the information and makes the final decision regarding the tenure of a faculty member.
“Academia probably has the longest trial period of any job you can think of,” Meredith said. “Because it’s a lifelong job we offer to someone with tenure, we take an exceptionally long look.”
“It’s to the benefit of the students to ensure we get the best faculty we can,” he said.
The possibility of offering discounted bus and rail passes to students and young adults was discussed during a meeting at San Francisco City Hall Dec. 4.
The meeting attracted a large crowd of students from SF State and other Bay Area schools and colleges, as well as members of the city’s Youth Commission and other activists, who listened as members of the Board of Supervisors and the Municipal Transportation Agency, which oversees Muni, discussed the idea.
No formal action on the matter was taken during the meeting of the City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee of the Board of Supervisors, other than looking at the likely financial impacts of offering more monthly passes at a lower price.
Financing the passes is a critical issue since mounting deficits forced Muni to cut service and raise fares in recent years. Recent estimates have the transit agency running $11.7 million in debt.
Supervisor Jake McGoldrick said the meeting served as a way of starting a dialogue with the community about the proposal.
“Today is not the end of this,” McGoldrick said. “This is just the beginning.”
All those who spoke during the public comment period voiced support for some sort of transit discount.
“Who here wants to pay $45 for a fast pass?” asked Jose Luis Pavon, coordinator of the Youth Making a Change program for Coleman Advocates.
“No!” replied many of the audience members.
“Did you honestly think anyone would say ‘yes’ to that question?” Supervisor Sean Elsbernd asked Pavon, in a deadpan tone.
Others shared experiences of walking through bad neighborhoods because they couldn’t afford the bus ride, or sneaking on without paying the fare.
“It’s really hard to pay $45 when you can hop on at State, or enter the back door of the bus,” said Lucianna Carvalho, 18, an SF State student who also serves on the Youth Commission.
At least two different proposals were brought up during the meeting: McGoldrick’s proposal to offer lower-priced monthly passes to all 18- to 24-year-olds, and an MTA-supported expansion of the Class Pass program for college students offering a transit pass in exchange for a student fee increase.
Gabe Cabrera of the Office of the Legislative Analyst prepared a report showing that a discount of 30 percent on monthly passes, or lowering the price from $45 to $31.50, would cost the city about $5.7 million annually.
At the same time, Cabrera said, the lower fares would lead to an increase of pass purchases of about 7.2 percent, or about 18,000 more sales.
“When you decrease the price of any commodity … there tends to be more purchases,” Cabrera said.
The Class Pass program offers a 60 percent discount on adult fast passes to college students, with the money coming from an increase in student fees. The individual colleges are responsible for distributing the passes.
Since the program’s inception in 2000, only the University of San Francisco has offered class passes. Other schools, such as SF State, have been reluctant to raise student fees in exchange for the discount, according to Judson True of the MTA.
True said his agency is continuing to send out letters and meet with school officials, including at SF State, where MTA officials were scheduled to talk to members of the Academic Senate Nov. 5.
Iqra Anjum, a Youth Commissioner who has been working with McGoldrick’s office on the discount plan, said the “class pass” proposal would not be accepted by students at public universities who can’t afford to pay more.
“USF is a private college in the city,” Anjum said. “The young people who can afford to go to USF can afford to get a fast pass.”
Bruce Wolfe, a former student body president at SF State who attended the meeting, said that a proposed semester fee increase of $45 in 1997, to be passed on to the MTA for student fast passes, drew heated debate from students and never came to fruition.
Supervisor Elsbernd, whose district includes SF State and City College of San Francisco, raised the question of whether a proposed increase in riders because of the discounts would increase capacity to the point where Muni would be pressured to add more routes and drivers.
“What I get a lot of from students, it’s not the cost that’s dissuading them, it’s the quality of service,” Elsbernd said. “The 28 bus, the M-Line, it really is horrendous.”
With the Graduate Record Examinations doubling in length in September of 2007, test takers can expect their preparation will have to increase as well.
All aspects of the test are going to change, from content and grading to frequency of administration and degree of difficulty.
ï¿½The current test takes two and a half hours,ï¿½ said Susan Kaplan, director of the Graduates Program at Kaplan Test Prep. ï¿½Next September it will go for over four hours. This will require more stamina for the test taker.ï¿½
According to the Educational Testing Service, a nonprofit organization that develops, administers and scores many standardized tests including the GRE, the new test will be a more accurate predictor of a studentï¿½s success in graduate school.
As the test stands now, it adapts to the performance of the test takers, meaning if they are doing well, they will be asked more difficult questions. Starting next September, however, the questions will be set before the test and will not change based on performance.
ï¿½There will still be comprehensive questions,ï¿½ said Kaplan, ï¿½but there wonï¿½t be an adaptive variety of levels.ï¿½
There have also been secrecy issues associated with the GRE, because some questions are used more than once.
Kaplan said there have been problems with test takers posting the questions on the Internet after taking the test. The new format will use new questions every time.
The content of the questions asked on the GRE will also be changing.
ï¿½The content will focus on higher cognitive and reasoning skills,ï¿½ said Kaplan. ï¿½In the verbal section there will be less emphasis on vocabulary, and more on critical reading and complex sentence completion.ï¿½
Both the quantitative and analytical writing sections will be shifting in content as well.
ï¿½The quantitative section will focus less on geometry and more on data interpretation and word problems,ï¿½ said Kaplan. ï¿½The analytical writing section will now focus on critical thinking and more specific essays.ï¿½
Another change is that graduate schools will be able to see an applicantï¿½s analytical essay written during the GRE.
They are also decreasing the frequency in which the test will be administered.
ï¿½Now the test is administered every day,ï¿½ said Kaplan. ï¿½Starting in September it will only be administered 30 times per year, at most.ï¿½
She cited the rising cost of administering the test for this change.
As of right now, Kaplan said there will be no increase in the cost of the GRE, however she said the cost will most likely go up in the near future.
The scoring of the GRE is going to change significantly as well.
The test is currently scored from 200 to 800, but starting in September, it will be scored from 130 to 170.
Lowering the score range from 600 to 40 will allow schools to more efficiently compare test scores. A table will be released to compare the old and new test scores.
Kaplanï¿½s advice to students planning on taking the GRE: ï¿½Take it before it changes.ï¿½
This is advice that most students are taking to heart when they hear about the upcoming changes to the GRE.
Another student, Vlad Ciupitu, 25, worried that the new schedule would affect him economically.
ï¿½As it is, the GRE is being administered on a daily basis, so I can take it on my day off,ï¿½ Ciupitu said. ï¿½I already have to put in extra hours to pay for the test, and now there is a chance that I will have to miss out on wages and have to pay a higher fee.ï¿½
Late last month Rupert Murdoch and New Corp. planned to release a memoir style book by OJ Simpson, titled "If I Did It", which alludes to murder charges that he was acquitted of in 1995. A corresponding television special was to air on Fox affiliated stations.
Murdoch and News Corp. canceled the book and television special a week before they were to be released, as several Fox affiliates reportedly refused to air the special.
Students at SF State react to the News Corp. decision to cancel the book.
A Polk Street gallery is currently holding its second annual show that may be perfect for students with minimal space for art and even more miniature budgets.
“Tiny” features mixed media pieces, fine-art paintings and jewelry by nearly 100 Bay Area artists. Each piece is smaller than 7 by 7 inches, and nothing costs more than $200.
“We thought they’d be good gifts,” Studio Gallery owner Jennifer Farris, 45, said of herself and husband, Rab Terry, an SF State alumnus. “A lot of people live in such small spaces, they don’t have room,” Farris said from her desk inside the 500-square-foot gallery.
“Great idea,” said a gray-haired customer who would identify himself only as Richard. “It’s nice to see canvases at this size," he said, browsing the gallery. "They’re like small windows.”
With more than 200 pieces up at any given time, Farris said they are supplied with more than one piece by some artists, and will consistently have to replenish what is on display until the show comes down Christmas Eve.
Artist James "Ganyan" Garcia, 32, who graduated from SF State in 2002 with a degree in painting and printmaking, has participated in “Tiny” both years. This year Garcia sold a painting of a nameless Filipino folklore-based character he’s been working on developing. As the lead painter of the five-year-old Filipino mural on the Cesar Chavez Student Center, Garcia is familiar with the difference in scale. “I like the fact you can cram a whole bunch of different art into one gallery,” he said, adding that from the buyer’s perspective “it’s cool” because it’s kept affordable. As an artist, Garcia said, “It’s a challenge for people to paint that small, or create something that small.”
Some of the larger objects being shown in the gallery are plaid stuffed-animals, sitting together with attached nametags. “Cutiepies” by artist Candy Miller, 30, who briefly studied art and geography at SF State in 2002 and 2003, are what she describes as “old-fashioned toys,” with a hand-made, worn-fabric feel.
“They have a lot of personality,” she said. “They have the kind of face that makes you want to take care of them.”
As someone who is interested in arts and crafts and works in many different mediums, Miller has participated in both “Tiny” shows as well.
“I like seeing what everyone is doing,” Miller said of the many involved local artists, describing them as “really talented people who are active and prolific” in what she calls “community art.”
With teeny photographs, typewriter-key cuff-links, and ceramics, Farris said that, although the gallery is familiar with many of the artists who participate, this show also gives them a chance to try out new art and get feedback on pieces they might not otherwise show.
No longer advertising a call-for-entries, because of a list of contacts that exceeds 700 artists who also refer friends, this year’s show grew by a third compared to last year.
“It’s a good, fun thing for all of us,” Farris said.
SF State student Ryan Keating would toss and turn at night with hunger pains and intestinal cramps. During the day he would resist passing gas with fear of soiling himself. He lost 10 pounds in nine days from not eating.
These were symptoms Keating chose to experience during a detoxification diet known as the Master Cleanse (MC).
The MC, also known as the lemonade diet, is a liquid mono-diet that cleanses and detoxifies the body as it stimulates healthy tissue growth, according to Peter Glickman, author of “Lose Weight, Have More Energy & Be Happier.”
“Fasting has been a health-rejuvenation for thousands of years,” said Glickman, who also recognizes that Beyonce and Robin Quivers’ recent completion of the MC could have popularized the diet for younger generations.
“I was hesitant at first because I thought not eating for 10 days could in no way be healthy for me, but I guess that’s my western upbringing, said Keating, 24, who heard about the MC from a friend. “I decided to try the diet because I feel detoxing is important for everyone to try.”
To completely detoxify the body, the faster consumes laxative tea each night before going to bed, which wakes most fasters in the morning with intestinal cramps. Then the faster drinks 32 ounces of non-iodized salt water as fast as possible.
“The salt water is flushed through your intestines, which grazes them to collect waste that has been stored there for who knows how long,” said past faster and SF State geography graduate Leslie Goodyear, 24.
The salt water takes around 30-60 minutes to flush through your intestines, according to Goodyear. “Once the salt water has done its thing, you’ll know. You have a massive need to eliminate.”
Goodyear said a faster must allow for ample time in the morning during detoxification.
“The salt water flush was the worst part of the cleanse for me,” Keating said. “Gulping it down in the morning was horrible. But, it is a huge part of the detoxing processes.”
Food, alcohol and smoking are not allowed during this fast. The lemonade drink consists of fresh squeezed lemon juice, organic grade B maple syrup, cayenne pepper and spring water, and is consumed six to 12 times a day.
“Just not drinking for an extended period of time really made me feel great,” Keating said. “And now that I completed the diet, I find myself eating healthier and smaller amounts of food.”
The lemonade diet was created by the late Stanley Burroughs in 1941, a pioneer in the field of alternative health care, and published in “The Master Cleanser” by Burroughs Books in 1976. Burroughs was renowned for his research in the role of toxemia in disease.
Although the MC is nothing new, generation Y is beginning to diffuse the 60-year-old innovation all over again.
Some say the lemonade diet has changed their lives for the better.
“I am much more aware and conscious of what I eat since completing the Master Cleanse,” said SF State political science graduate Morgan Shidler, 23.
“At first the lemonade drink was rather disgusting, but as it became all I ate, it became really good. I dropped 10 pounds in seven days, even though I did not start the fast with weight loss intentions. I really thought it was a good idea to get rid of toxins that my body has been storing.”
Glickman said there are always some in the main stream medical community who say the Master Cleanse is actually bad for you, and that an individual cannot live on it.
“But they miss the point,” Glickman said. “This is a diet, not a way of life. People don’t live on this. Some say there is no protein or there are not enough vitamins. But it’s like saying ‘you have a hammer and a nail but can’t cut this board.’ Well, no kidding, that’s not the point.”
SF State health educator Albert Angelo agrees fasting is not to be considered a long-term plan, but he also said one should get advice from a nutritionist about healthy eating patterns instead of fasting.
“If it works for you, that’s fine,” said Angelo. “But I like healthy nutrition and a balanced diet. The problem is when people think this is new when it’s just a fad. I remember when I was younger, everyone played racquetball, or did tae bo and they went out of style.”