September 2009 Archives
A member of the SF State men's soccer team was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest.
University spokesperson Ellen Griffin said Department of Public Safety Officer Zachary Donohue responded to a call regarding an assault at approximately 1:30 a.m. in the commons area in front of the Village Market and Pizzeria.
19-year-old assault suspect Kyle Ortiz, freshman, attempted to flee from officers during questioning and was subsequently wrestled to the ground and handcuffed, according to Griffin.
Ortiz was taken to the San Francisco men's jail at 850 Bryant St. and charged with misdemeanor drunk in public and resisting or obstructing a police officer. Charges are pending the San Francisco District Attorney's review.
No assault charges have been filed.
According to Ortiz, the initial incident was a misunderstanding wherein another male student tackled him and he defended himself by pushing him off. Ortiz, a first-year member of the Gator men's soccer team, said he ran from the police to "avoid trouble."
Ortiz was deemed intoxicated by university police and taken into custody. According to Griffin, no blood-alcohol content test is required for a drunk in public charge, and "objective symptoms and suspects' demeanor are used to establish criteria."
SF State's athletic department displays their disciplinary practices on alcohol-related incidents on their Web site. The policy states that an alcohol-related offense such as public intoxication and underage possession "constitutes grounds for disciplinary action," and that "sanctions can range from disciplinary probation to expulsion."
"It depends what happened in the alcohol-related incident," said Michael Simpson, SF State's athletic director.
Simpson explained the reason for the vagueness of the policy, saying that all aspects of an offense are considered.
Considerations include whether the athlete was of legal drinking age, whether the incident was on campus, whether it was the athlete's first offense and whether the incident was related to an athletic event.
"All this comes into play," he said.
During construction the J. Paul Leonard Library is a loud and messy eyesore. But upon completion, it will be and environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient space with more student study areas and a high-tech book retrieval system.
"The facilities staff is ahead of the faculty and students when it comes to sustainability," Carlos Davidson, environmental studies program and associate professor, said. "They've put in years of thinking and putting things into practice."
In sustainable construction a reduction in the consumption of resources is essential. For this reason, the capital planning, design and construction department integrated the recycling of as much of the existing structure as possible.
Conservation of space is also a benefit in the new Library Retrieval System. The LRS will be housed in a three-story, open space between the creative arts building and the existing structure.
"Stacks of books take space," LaVonne Jacobsen, library faculty co-chair and division head, said. "This is an appropriate way to do high density shelving in limited space."
Smaller, traditional book stacks will still be available on the floors above the LRS.
The use of a LRS frees up more space for study areas - which will have wireless internet access - while still allowing room for the collection to grow.
An increased amount of windows with low E glazing, which maximizes natural lighting while minimizing heat gain and loss, energy-efficient, T8 fluorescent lighting and computerized heating and ventilation monitoring, will help the new structure come in below current energy standards.
"The library, when completed, will surpass the title 24 energy code requirements - at the time the specifications were written - by a minimum of 15 percent," Capital Planning project coordinator Betsy Jo Carleton said.
California's current energy efficient standards, by which the library specifications were written, are effective through December 2009.
The finishing touches in the building, like paint and flooring will consists of low volatile organic compound materials.
"SF State has been committed for years to using low VOC content paints, finished adhesives and carpet," SF State Sustainability Coordinator Caitlin Steele said. "By including these aspects into the library design the occupants will benefit from a better indoor environmental quality."
The eco-friendly aspects of the future library continue outside as well. The landscaping will consist of low-maintenance, indigenous plants - reducing the amount of water usage and the west side of the building will be aligned with bicycle racks.
This feature cannot come soon enough for students who bike to school, since the campus police have begun issuing $58 tickets for improperly locked-up bikes.
From a college suicide tragedy sprouted hope, when in 2001, then University of Pennsylvania student Alison Malmon launched what is now the national college campus organization Active Minds.
Malmon believed stigma surrounding mental health issues stopped her brother, a Columbia University student, from getting help with his schizophrenia and eventually taking his life a year earlier, and she wanted to help other college students who suffer in silence.
In December of 2008, SF State started the 196th chapter of Active Minds. Promoting education on mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and eating disorders, student members and faculty of the organization reach out to students with information and resources available to them on campus.
Adviser to Active Minds and counselor at the Counseling and Psychological Services Center on campus, Yolanda Gamboa said it takes a lot for students to get counseling because they may feel like only weak or crazy people need counseling.
"Students make appointments, then cancel them or don't show up," she said. "When some of them do show up, they may still be hesitant that it's going to work for them."
Gamboa stressed the need for a program like Active Minds on campus because it's around the ages of 18-24 when most mental health related issues show up. She explained that our frontal cortex, responsible for decision making and how we internalize our environment, is the last part of our brain to develop.
According to a 2008 national study from the Columbia Department of Psychiatry and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, half of the 5,000 college students surveyed qualified as having some form of a mental health issue. Still, only one-fourth of those 2,500 students sought help.
Last spring, Active Minds addressed eating disorders by having students recreate Barbie Dolls in their own image.
Secretary for the group, Katie Byrd, 18, darkened the skin and hair of her doll while clothing it in a blue, red and green sequined traditional African dress. She said the process was "liberating" because she took what society perceives as the ideal image of what a woman is supposed to look like and got to change that.
Byrd said joined Active Minds last year because she wanted students to be aware how common mental disorders are and that stress can be the root of these problems.
"The whole point of us existing is to help stress motivate you and not break you," Byrd said. "Active Minds is about outreach."
A common misconception about Active Minds, Byrd said, is that it's a suicide or eating disorder hot line. Another misconception is that members have to have, or are plagued, with one of these disorders.
"Active Minds is about outreach and we want people to join so they can help us help other people by destigmatizing mental health issues and offering resources," she said.
This semester Active Minds collaborated with Julie Andersen, co-founder of the annual "Altered Barbie" exhibition in San Francisco. Along with other artist's dolls stood dolls up for auction made by SF State students. With added clay to give bigger bellies, busts and booties, the dolls represented a life-like version of what women really looked like dismantling the stereotype of the blond-hair and blue-eyed doll as feminine perfection.
"It's amazing that a plastic doll has made such an impact on our society," Andersen said. "We want to alter the icon and how women feel about themselves."
At the Counseling and Psychological Services Center in the Student Services Building, students can make an appointment and receive up to five sessions with a counselor to address any issues. Theses services are covered in the health fees that students pay each semester.
The group meets every other Wednesday in Student Services Building room 207. Currently Active Minds has 25 members and students interested in joining can attend a meeting or call 415-338-2208.
A car was destroyed in a fire Thursday evening in a garage at a house on Arch and Randolph streets damaging both the house and the one next to it, but no one was hurt according to a San Francisco Fire Department report.
The owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, said her son's car caught on fire. The damages caused by the fire are preventing the family from staying home. She said there were four people living in the house.
"We are going to go to a hotel, but tonight we'll probably just go to my mom's," said the owner.
According to the SFFD report, the fire department received a call at 6:47 p.m. and arrived at the scene three minutes later with 10 fire trucks. It took the firefighters almost 20 minutes to put the fire out, but firefighters stayed at the scene to overhaul the damages.
"The fire was put under control relatively quickly," said SFFD Cpt. Kevin Choker afterwards.
The owner of the neighboring house, Linda West, wasn't home when the fire started.
"I'm glad I wasn't here and everybody is safe and that there is nobody damage," said West, who works as a banker.
West's uncle, who also wishes to remain anonymous, said the fire went through one of the bedrooms, then the attic and eventually reached through the roof.
Contractors from Mark Scott arrived at the scene to board up and secure the property once the SFFD left.
Chad Smith, the general manager who worked on securing the place, said he would have to come back with the repair company and the insurance company to evaluate the costs.
SF State alumni discussed their love of food, being inspired and the value of education at the Who's Who in Food event at the university's Seven Hills Conference Center Thursday evening.
The featured alumni were Clark Wolf, author and food consultant; John Clark and Gayle Pirie, husband and wife chefs and owners of Foreign Cinema restaurant in San Francisco; and Vanessa Barrington, cookbook author and sustainable food blogger, all shared their insights into the culinary world with a small audience of SF State alumni, staff and students.
During the presentation and a question and answer section, the panelist discussed everything from their favorite places to eat to advice for future foodies to what they hope to see next in the culinary world.
"What I liked about this was they talked about the value of food and how people develop a relationship with food from any number of angles," said Raphael Allen, a consultant who is working on the 40th anniversary of SF State's College of Ethnic Studies.
The alumni speakers shared their passion for food, for learning and their chosen careers. The speakers have varied educational backgrounds and positions in the culinary world but all share a fondness and gratitude for their time at SF State.
"I cannot tell you enough, how important it is not to just do and learn, but to finish," said Wolf, who graduated in 1976 with an English Literature degree. "The idea that you learn, as a young person, to complete something is so extraordinarily valuable."
Following the panel, audience members and panelist mingled over hors d'oeuvres provided by Foreign Cinema. Attendants raved over the array, including Dungeness crab tostadas with avocado chutney, California caviar with formage blanc and Sun Gold cherry tomatoes with horseradish, calling it "beautiful and delicious."
Barrington, who graduated in 1989 with a Business degree, said being asked to participate in the panel got her thinking about why and how she ended as a food professional.
"I've never known where I was going to end up," Barrington said. "I cared mostly about being able to do what I wanted."
SF State anthropology graduate students were given hands-on experience with the exhumation of a Sonoma County Jane Doe on Sept. 3.
Associate Prof. and forensic anthropologist Mark Griffin and five graduate students were called in by the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department to disinter remains buried in a paupers section of a Santa Rosa cemetery in the 1960s.
"It was a bit intimidating at first in terms of working with the sheriff's department, but it turned out to be a great experience of camaraderie between the community and the anthropology department," said Jenn Marks a biological anthropology student involved in the dig.
Marks has been on prehistoric burial excavation sites in the past but never part of one as a forensic investigation.
"It was intense and I saw things that few people get to see," she said of her experience in Santa Rosa.
The Sheriff's department is working off new information about the Jane Doe, which they are not discussing publicly. After reviewing cemetery records and maps they brought in Griffin and the students to dig.
"The folks in the Sheriff's department, they see the importance of having this as an educational opportunity," said Griffin. "They get the expertise that they need and we get the training and the experience that we need.
After the remains were recovered they were sent to the Sonoma County coroner's office for cleaning which SF State student's assisted with. The remains were then brought to the SF State campus for further analysis.
Griffin's job is to determine the sex, race, age at death and any pathological conditions that may be found on the bones.
"They think they know who this Jane Doe is, so we are going to use the information that we can . . . and match that information up to the information that they have," said Griffin.
After the analysis is complete the skull will go to anthropology professor Cynthia Wilczak for a 3D scan using a NextEngine 3D digital scanner, so a facial reconstruction can be done..
"If you want to do a reconstruction, you don't want to use the skull itself," said Wilczak. "It will be scanned so we don't destroy any evidence."
Griffin is working long hours in his lab on campus to finish up the analysis report for the Sonoma County forensic pathologist.
"I am asking loads of questions and making certain that I absorb every detail so I can build my knowledge base," said Marks of her involvement in the continued process.
"[The experience] reiterated to me the significance of this department and the potential its graduates have to positively impact the community," she said.
Jane Doe's remains are still on campus and faculty members and students will be involved in a forensic facial reconstruction of the skull to help determine her identity. Other forensic tests like DNA analysis are being done in Sonoma County.
Organizations at SF State are joining forces and hoping to prevent further cutbacks by compiling a complaint form issued by the California State University, statewide, to gather details from programs that have been hit the hardest this fall.
Information from the "Got Classes?" form will be forwarded to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office as well as presented to CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed at the Board of Trustees meeting next week in Long Beach.
"We are a student organization that focuses on budget cuts and fee hikes and we bridge the gap between faculty and students," said Samantha Adame, 20, a fourth-year literature major and member of Students for Quality Education, working on the form committee.
The SQE is supported by the California Faculty Association. The organizations are working to bring together other campus groups, such as Student Unity & Power, in hopes of creating one voice. Each group has found ways to express anger about the budget cuts but now they are planning events together.
"We are running all around, attending different meetings and trying to raise awareness of the complaint form and to bring the groups together," Adame said.
The complaint form has been distributed throughout campus, collected by the CFA and passed along to faculty member Ben Blake, of the Labor Archives and Research Center, who volunteered to compile the data.
Blake reports a total of 505 students who submitted complaint forms. The forms document 808 specific classes to which they were denied admission. Of these classes, 79 percent were required for graduation.
"Speak Out Against the Cuts in support of the UC strike is coming up this Thursday, Sept. 24, at noon on Malcolm X plaza; it's supported by SUP, CORE and SQE," Blake said about the groups joining forces. CORE, the Campus Organizing Roundtable on Empowerment, is an alternate name for the Experimental College.
The CFA continues to encourage students to turn in their forms for the final report presentation due for submission to the governor's office mid-October.
"Some assembly people who voted on our budget somehow still don't really think that what they are doing is devastating," CFA Chapter President Ramon Castellblanch said. "We need to make the political figures who are responsible for our budget cuts, the governor and the legislature, aware of the hardship that they're creating."
To raise state legislative awareness, the groups are planning events off campus. On Oct. 15, the CFA and SQE plan to march at city hall and demand a response from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom on why higher education did not make it onto his gubernatorial plan, issued this month.
The CFA has stressed the importance of making all legislative leaders in the state aware of what the budget cuts have caused.
"I met with Assembly member Mariko Yamada a week ago and I started talking to her about the cuts telling her, 'I hope you realize that these cuts are not mild or incremental, these cuts are devastating and it's wrecking a lot of people's college careers,' And it unfortunately was news to her!" Castellblanch said.
The Coalition Against the Recreation and Wellness Center marched on campus Sept. 16, protesting the Student Fee Advisory Committee's proposal for a new Recreation and Wellness Center.
"We started organizing because we realized there were very few outlets for us to express ourselves and make a positive change on campus," said Sam Brown-Vasquez, the organizer for CARWC.
The committee is composed of Associated Students, Inc. elected officials, Vice President of Student Affairs Penny Saffold and other campus administrators and staff. It holds public meetings Wednesdays at noon in the Delmy Rodriguez Room on the fourth floor of the Student Services building.
The committee voted unanimously on Aug. 26 to use an "alternative consultation method" for approving the proposed recreation center. The consulting method will be a petition to decide whether a recreation center will be built. It is an alternative to the student body voting to approve this project.
Brown-Vasquez said the way the Student Fee Advisory Committee decided to pick an "alternative consultation method" is a violation of two provisions in the California State University Student Fee Policy and Miscellaneous Course Fee Delegation of Authority, also known as Executive Order 1034.
The provisions state that a student fee referendum will be conducted before adjusting or establishing campus mandatory fees, but SF State President Robert A. Corrigan may waive the referendum, and if a referendum is not conducted he must demonstrate the reasons why the alternative consultation methods selected will be more effective in complying with the policy.
Brown-Vasquez said President Corrigan has not explained to the public why a petition is preferred over a referendum.
"President Corrigan did formally approve on 8/26/09 the Student Fee Advisory Committee recommendation for an alternative consultation process," wrote Director of University Communications Ellen Griffin in an e-mail. "The president concurred with the committee's analysis and reasons for recommending an alternative consultation method."
The biggest concern of the CARWC is that the building and maintaining of these facilities will increase SF State students' fees and will cost roughly $93 million, according to Brown-Vasquez. The new recreation center wouldn't be available until 2014 at the earliest, and students don't get to vote on whether they want this center to be built and their fees to be raised.
Brown-Vasquez, 21, an environmental studies and Spanish senior at State, said that ASI should be supporting students in advocating for those classes that have been cut instead of diverting money to something that is not relevant to the school's needs at the moment.
"The problem is not just the Recreation and Wellness Center," Brown-Vasquez said.
"It's the way things are done on campus. It's the bureaucracy."
ASI President Natalie Franklin, who was elected to represent her fellow students, was not stirred when asked how their concerns voiced in the protest on Wednesday, Sep. 16 would influence the planning of the recreation center.
"It does not affect our vision," said Franklin.
Brown-Vasquez said that the politics on campus are reflecting the politics in the state and nation, and that students have a chance of making change in the larger society by making change on their own campus.
Brian Gallagher, 26, an alumnus who graduated last spring as a political science major and a member of the coalition, is concerned about the proposed recreation center as a taxpayer in California.
"I believe public institutions should follow the rule of law," Gallagher said. "There's nothing more dangerous than an informed individual."
"A lot of classes are being canceled and people aren't graduating on time, but they want to build something that will increase our fees," said 22-year-old political science major Jessica Alvarez.
"Those extra fees could be a meal for me," she said.
According to the student recreation and wellness center's website, student fees will be implemented gradually starting this year at $35 per semester, increasing to $160 per semester starting 2014. In addition to the $160, there will be an incremental increase of $3 every semester after 2015.
Aaron Buchbinder, a graduate student studying social work, is an activist supporting the coalition.
"I think we need to spark a dialogue and make it clear to the campus community that this is a controversial issue," Buchbinder said. "Most students should be aware of how their money is spent by student government."
"It's a budget justice issue. It's a student power and democracy issue. It's a gentrification issue. I don't want to see this school turn into an unaffordable country club."
Dressed in a pink polo shirt the shade of Pepto-Bismol and blue jeans, 21-year-old British student Jamie Trigg said he was lied to.
"Someone told me San Francisco would be sunny all the time," Trigg said. "I expected sun here; I was ready to soak it up."
Trigg is working the International Education Exchange Council's table with a group of other foreign exchange students in the Malcolm X Plaza. Laughing at the absurdity of a harpist playing on stage in the background, Trigg and his fellow British mate, Archie Maddocks, ponder the differences between people here and back home.
"Everyone's friendly, it's strange," Trigg said. "I was carrying a mattress with my roommates and some random bloke offered us a lift."
So what draws some of the 212 foreign exchange students from more than 20 countries to campus?
Coordinator and Associate Director of the Office of International Programs My Yarabinec, said first, it's location and second, SF State has had 100 percent positive results in satisfaction surveys given to former foreign exchange students last spring.
"Students overseas want to experience San Francisco and our campus is one of the top destinations," Yarabinec said.
Part of those high satisfaction marks, he said, come from the support that the IEEC gives to foreign exchange students.
With weekly social events like pub night, movie night and weekend trips, IEEC brings together international and American students, said Publicity Committee Co-chair Maffy Kelly.
Co-chair for IEEC's Special Events Committee, Deborah Patton, who loves American politics and has her own "Obama Mama" t-shirt, said she was attracted to SF State for its criminal justice program.
What Patton didn't expect was the structure of her courses. At Cardiff University in Wales, she said, students would go to lectures, receive a reading list and take a final exam.
"There's a lot of work straight-up here, you're assessed continually," Patton said. "At home you could potentially not go to class, doss about, and be lazy until the end."
Patton, 21, who's in her last year of college, said the format of her classes at SF State is better for her now that she's older. She said having to interact and talk in front of the class, as she often does here, would have made her anxious if she was a freshman. At Cardiff, she said, there is no interaction with professors during class. Here, she said, her professors "can't get me to shut up."
For marketing student Samir Nezic, 21, who loves the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco, classes are much easier here.
"You have things like multiple choice tests here," Nezic said. "We don't have any of that in Sweden."
Even though Nezic believes SF State has easier courses, he said the professors are more interactive with students, giving better examples of "real world experience."
Literature major Archie Maddocks, 20, is impressed with the strong black educational options offered on campus.
"Back home I could take one unit of race and racism," said Maddocks, a foreign exchange student from the University of East Anglia in England. "Here I could get a whole degree in Black studies."
IEEC Staff Advisor Noah Kuchins, a 2004 SF State graduate who studied in France through the exchange program, said that the experience you gain from studying abroad is invaluable.
"I would say that 99 percent of students, when done with this experience, will feel bi-cultural, like they've adopted a city," Kuchins said. "The connection with San Francisco will mean something to them, stay with them. It's almost universal with all foreign exchange students."
For more information on the IEEC and SF State's foreign exchange programs, students can visit the OIP office in the Administration building, room 458A. More information can be found at user.www.sfsu.edu.
Protesters gathered at University of California Berkeley's Sproul Plaza while being offered jugs of water and paper cups as they heated up for the battle to fight budget cuts.
Hundreds of students, parents, faculty and others in support of fighting the cuts gathered around the Sproul Hall Administration building Thursday afternoon. Many of them holding picket signs in rage of UC President Mark G. Yudof and the fee increases.
The UC Board of Regents approved a plan in July that would increase tuition and other fees, as well as making furloughs, leaving many in connection with the UC system furious.
Some students such as 20-year-old Milanca Lopez, are left struggling. Lopez is a single mother and a member of the Student Parent Association for Recruitment and Retention of UC Berkeley.
"They're going to make it impossible for parents to go to school," said Lopez, who also felt that the UC is slowly trying to get rid of minorities.
Although not a student, Michael-David Sasson has been a clerical staff worker for 11 years at UC Berkeley and has not seen this much of an impact on fighting cuts.
Sasson explained that the UC system only receives 19 percent of its budget from the state, which he considered to be a three to four percent cut. Not only are cuts being made to the system, but departments are getting asked to make class cuts of about 20 to 30 percent, said Sasson.
"My job is to move forms around so proposals can be considered for classes that offer lecture, lab, and discussions, but now some of those sections are being destroyed," Sasson said.
While standing and clapping in unison with the amped crowed, 22-year-old grad student and molecular and cell biology major Seychelle Vos, explained how her classes have been heavily impacted due to the cuts.
"Labs are not cleaned anymore, and it is a load on students because students have to now take on the role of our janitors," Vos said.
Throughout the state, other university campuses also participated in the protest. SF State students showed their solidarity while State Sen. Leland Yee made an appearance at University of California, San Francisco.
California State Sen. Leland Yee showed his support for higher education Thursday afternoon by participating in a protest at the University of California San Francisco.
Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) addressed employees and students in front of the medical center, assuring them that he will continue to fight for their cause. The strike was put on by the University Professionals and Technical Employees union.
"The State legislature no longer has confidence in the UC," Yee said during his speech. "Hard-working individuals like UC workers should be treated fairly."
Yee told the [X]press that he will keep defending the students and employees of the California State University and UC systems, and will support them during these difficult times.
"I hope the students persevere," Yee said. "We are on your side, and we will continue to fight against the decisions of the board and the effects of the budget cuts."
Yee has introduced new legislation intended to bring greater transparency and accountability to the UC system and control executive salaries.
"We will not allow executives to take these double-digit pay raises anymore," Yee said.
Employees and students in attendance were thrilled to have such an advocate as Yee participate in the event, and expressed gratitude for all he has worked to accomplish so far on behalf of California's universities.
"It's great that he came out to show his support," said 17-year laboratory technician at UCSF Allen Villanueva. "It gives us encouragement, and we need that,"
Principal surgical technologist Jeff Myers said he felt proud to see Yee speak at the protest. Myers has been working in UCSF's operating room for 11 years and didn't attend work in order to participate in the strike, leading picketers in chants through a bullhorn.
"Senator Yee has helped us through our fight," Myers said. "He's supported us through his legislation, so for him to be out here showing his support really means a lot."
Yee's words of encouragement for the strikers were met with frequent cheers, as he praised their efforts and expressed hope for the future.
"One day, the UC will be that shining star not because of their intelligence, but because they treat their workers well," Yee said.
In solidarity with the University of California's walkout Thursday afternoon, SF State students and organizations hosted a Speak Out against California's budget cuts.
The Speak Out was held at Malcolm X Plaza and was aimed at forming a dialogue between students and organizations on campus.
The event was hosted by six organizations including Student Unity and Power, Campus Organizing Roundtable on Empowerment and what was formerly known as the Experimental College (due to recent dispute the name is pending).
Phrases like "your voice matters," and "in how many years will you graduate?" were posted around campus on bright pink, blue and yellow post-it notes.
"We want to get a sense of what the student body's feeling," said 23-year-old Kathryn Saavides, a member of CORE. "We want to get the students, the faculty and the staff all talking to each other - we're all in the same boat."
Students shared their experiences revolving around the lack of classes and the lack of room available in the classes.
The event drew a ranging number of people from noon until about 2 p.m., at its height attracting approximately 70 students.
Among the speakers was a Creative Writing student who went by the name M.G. He expressed his problems through two poems that he wrote.
"The bourgeois keep feeding us peanuts, so we eat peanuts," he said in the middle of his first poem and ended it with "I don't know about all of you, but I'm tired of eating peanuts."
"I came because I'm broke, and this is my sixth year here," said the 23-year-old afterwards.
M.G. believed that this event won't do anything.
"The students are sitting around like dead fish," he said. "Obviously the organizers care, but the students don't."
Liberal studies major Morgan McGehee, who watched the event, believed the education system existed to divide the students.
"We need grassroots organizations and protests like these, but it's going to take something a lot more severe," McGehee said.
At the end of the rally, 25 students held picket signs and chanted as they walked up to 19th and Holloway Avenue.
San Francisco Mayor and candidate for California's next governor Gavin Newsom held his first online town hall meeting on Wednesday evening, fielding select questions submitted by over 300 UStream and Twitter users.
Newsom addressed questions ranging from California's budget crisis and education, to his views on immigration policy, the state's water problem and health care reform.
The most emotional and lively response from the mayor came when he was asked how he would address California's education problem and what he thought about Gov. Schwarzenegger's decision to raise tuition for higher education.
"It's outrageous. It's been our godsend and principle behind California's economic growth and prosperity," Newsom said.
The mayor scoffed at raising students' fees if he were elected, and suggested that investing in human capital would provide California with a greater investment return in the future.
"I would not increase [tuition] for community colleges, CSU's and the UC system," Newsom said. "We can't afford to continue to increase these costs."
As an alternative to higher fees, Newsom offered to raise taxes on tobacco companies and oil refineries, arguing these taxes would offset the need to raise costs for students.
Another popular question dealt with health care reform and more specifically, how successful his Healthy San Francisco Program, which makes health care services accessible and affordable for uninsured residents, was.
Newsom said the health care program has been able to insure over 70,000 people in the San Francisco so far. The Gubernatorial candidate also stressed that having universal health care across the state was vital to help compete with private insurance companies.
"A public option is essential to real reform because it holds down costs," Newsom said.
Of course, no public online forum involving Newsom and over 3,400 viewers would be complete without a question regarding the health and well-being of his newborn daughter Montana.
"It's four days into this... and the empathy I have for parents is immeasurable, especially mothers," he said.
The mayor failed to answer numerous countless questions about the potential legalization of marijuana and the overturning of Proposition 8, leaving many Ustream and Twitter users frustrated.
Daily Kos blog founder Raven Brooks, who moderated the online chat, said he picked the questions at random.
"Gavin Newsom's live town hall meeting was nothing but frustrating," Twitter user James Cargill commented on the message board. "A lot of questions left unanswered. Need to do this again soon with more time."
By this point in the semester, everyone has heard about SF State's budget catastrophe. However, the budget situation has had different effects on students, faculty and staff, and everyone has different plans on how they will deal with it.
Sophomore Greg Ji said he wasn't able to register for the classes he needed so he signed up for whatever classes still had seats open. "I just tried to get as many credits as possible," he said. "None of the classes I am taking are really interesting me. It's seems like it's been really hard for everyone."
SF State has lost about $30.1 million in funding for the 2009-2010 academic year, according to University Spokesperson Ellen Griffin. To students this translates to a 20 percent tuition increase and 339 fewer class sections this semester than last fall. To many faculty members it means a pay decrease or even the loss of their job. In fact, SFSU has lost 145 full-time lecturers since the fall 08' semester.
Many students and faculty are now wondering what can be done to fix the budget situation. Kenneth Segovia, who worked on campus for 39 years, said students should be more active on the issue. "The budget is a disgrace," he said "The reason why I say this is because the government is spending billions and billions of dollars on war for nothing. We need action."
Phil Klasky, of the American Indian Studies Department, has been active in organizing students to speak out against the budget cuts. He stresses that this situation could have been avoided. Klasky pointed out that California State University Chancellor Charles Reed and 17 of the 18 members of CSU Board of Trustees, who are appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger, rejected a tax on oil exploration that would have raised about $1 billion for the state.
He said similar tax revenue is used to fund public education in Texas and Alaska. "What kind of influences are on Reid and the trustees, as well as the governor, that led them to reject this kind of tax?" said Klasky. "While the governor says 'no new taxes' he has taxed the students."
Pacific Gas and Electric Company decided to leave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Friday and publicly announced it Tuesday due to "fundamental differences" over climate change.
In a letter written to the Chambers by PG&E Chairman and CEO Peter Darbee, it said, "As a company with a clear and strong position on the importance of addressing climate change, we have now reached a crossroads where the divergence between the Chamber's principles and ours on this issue has forced us to reconsider our future as a member."
The Chamber served as a representative of PG&E in D.C. Though PG&E is no longer a member, they will continue to lobby in D.C said PG&E spokesman Brian Herzog.
"We're moving forward, doing the same thing we've always been doing--being aggressive in D.C. for federal climate change," Herzog said. "This is the most important issue in the Nation's Capitol right now. We didn't feel like they were representing our views on this issue."
The Chamber has not made pending climate bills a first concern, angering critics that see the bills as a top priority. The Chamber responded by saying that "climate change is one of the many issues these organizations address," according to PG&E's blog, Next100.com.
The Chamber is the world's largest business federation, with more than three million members.
"We do not comment on the comings and goings of individual companies," said Jay P. Fielder, media spokesman for the Chamber.
Further in the letter, Darbee wrote that company employees "find it dismaying that the Chamber neglects the indisputable fact that a decisive majority of experts have said the data on global warming are compelling and point to a threat that cannot be ignored."
"This is another indication to me that the CEO of PG&E is consistent in his perspective in the role his utility company of addressing global warming," said Dave Dempsey, SF State professor of meteorology.
This is not the first time a high-profile company has pulled out of a large organization.
Duke Energy, which is one of the largest electric power companies in the country, and French-based Alstom Power, the world leader in integrated power plants for the production of electricity and air quality control systems, left the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity at the beginning of September.
Both companies cited "differences with "influential member companies who will not support passing climate change legislation in 2009 or 2010," according to a report in the National Journal.
"PG&E is not alone in its position on climate change and the need for action," Darbee said in the letter. "PG&E considers climate change to be among the most serious issues ever for our company, our country, and the world."
Dempsy said climate change is "the greatest environmental crisis that humans have ever faced."
"It's partly in our control and partly not," Dempsey said. "I have two daughters--ages 10 and 12, and their future is what's important to me."
California State University board of trustees approved of a bill Wednesday morning that would grant bachelor degrees to individuals who were removed from CSUs from 1941-43 due to their Japanese heritage.
Assemblyman Warren T. Furutani, who is a fourth-generation Japanese American, addressed the board in Long Beach Calif., to have the bill, known as AB 37, recognized.
"Hundreds of students were removed from colleges and universities, forced to delay or abandon their dreams based solely on their ancestry," said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed.
Executive order 9066, issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, required the immediate removal of all people of Japanese decent and placing them in internment camps because of World War II.
"They went through the process to get into CSU's as part of the American dream and that dream was taken away," Furutani said.
The bill was passed without opposition and the first honorary degree posthumously went to Aiko Nishi Uwate, who was removed from SF State. Her degree was accepted by her daughter Vivian Uwate Nelson.
"It is difficult for me to stand up her and represent my mother when she was such as amazing woman," Nelson said. "I want to thank San Francisco State for this and for honoring her in the Garden of Remembrance with a plaque."
Furutani said the bill is intended to provide healing for individuals and their families and will hopefully begin mending the wounds that were inflicted almost 70 years ago.
The CSU is encouraging other individuals to inquire about receiving their degrees by contacting (562) 951-4723.
It is like any regular Sunday afternoon in the Castro, with locals and tourists alike strolling through the historic center of gay, lesbian and transgender history. Suddenly, heads begin to turn and ears perk up to listen curiously to a strong pulsating baseline emanating from somewhere.
Simultaneously, an alluring smile forms behind reflective aviator glasses atop the muscular 5-foot-9 body of 2010 the March Bare Chest cover model. John Lopez dances along the median of 18th street between moving and waiting cars, moving his hips to the beat while waving a sign that reads "Tighty Whitey Car Wash."
In a dressed-down look of t-shirt and jeans, San Francisco Board of Supervisors District 8 representative Bevan Dufty looks to Lopez as he moves among the cars and responds with a playful smile on his face .
"In this environment, you have to make things fun," says Dufty.
In the environment of Castro while the Bare Chest men wash the cars of individuals willing to donate, many people look on with curiosity, amusement and laughs. They watch the guys having fun as they wash cars in a makeshift parking lot which stands behind the local Walgreens.
The Bare Chest Calendar website states that the South of Market Bare Chest Calendar (BCC) started in 1984 as a way to donate funds to San Francisco's AIDS emergency fund. In 1999, San Francisco's Positive Resource Center was added as another beneficiary. These two groups benefit from those donating their image, time and work to help those with HIV and AIDS.
B.J. Patnode, the 2010 Chairman of the Bare Chest Calendar Committee, adds that the Bare Chest calendar raised over one-hundred thousand dollars from sales of its 2009 calendar.
The Tighty Whitey Car Wash was created by 2010 Bare Chest model Coop Anderson, who participated in a similar fund raising event in Canada before settling in San Francisco three years ago himself. Anderson says the Tighty Whitey wash shows people that raising money can be fun. He adds that at the same time it allows people to be active in the community that they are apart of while helping those affected by HIV and AIDS.
A child, recently reported missing, was found alive today near the intersection of Lake Merced Boulevard and Winston Drive, according to a San Francisco police officer.
"A missing person was found -- that's all I can say because it involves a juvenile," said Lt. Tom Cleary of Taraval Station.
About four police cars and one fire engine arrived at the scene sometime around 11:15 a.m.
"I saw a kid in the bushes and called the police because I thought he went to the school," said Sharon De La Rosa, who was at the scene when the police arrived.
The intersection where the child was found is south of Lowell High School.
The child's family was notified, another officer confirmed.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the city's Municipal Transportation Agency have decided to close a lengthy section of Market Street next week to private traffic as part of a motivated effort to inhibit congestion, according to the SFMTA.
Starting Sept. 29, private auto traffic traveling east on Market Street will be prohibited beginning at Sixth Street. Eastbound traffic will be encouraged to turn right at 10th Street and will be required to turn right at Eighth Street. Cars that get onto Market Street from Seventh Street will be forced off at Sixth Street.
However, westbound traffic will be able to flow freely, as will cars traveling north and south across Market Street; eastbound traffic accounts for most of the congestion along the thoroughfare, according to Judson True, spokesman for the SFMTA.
Signs are currently in place to warn drivers of the new change, which will last six weeks as part of a pilot program. The street will not fully be closed, as Muni buses, delivery vehicles, and taxis will be able to gain access past Sixth Street.
The mayor's office and SFMTA will also be examining the effects the closure will have on businesses along Market Street, according to mayor spokesperson Nathan Ballard.
After the trial period ends, the street closure will be evaluated by the mayor and the SFMTA to see if the city wants to expand or make the closure permanent, according to True.
This latest action on Market Street is nothing new, as city Supervisor Chris Daly pushed for a full closure of the street between Octavia Boulevard and the Embarcadero last year.
Two police cars responded to an emergency call around noon today when a man didn't move after tipping over his chair in front of Café Rosso near the Humanities building.
The unidentified man was sitting down near the cafe engaged in a telephone conversation and drinking coffee when he suddenly tipped over with his chair, according to a witness.
"He was sitting, speaking to his banker on the phone. Next thing you know, he's falling over," said Janna Denig, 41, a grad student who was doing homework near the scene of the accident. "He didn't move for 15 seconds and his face was bright red."
The doctor on the scene did not comment on his condition.
According to Denig, the man fell over with his chair, though his head did not hit the pavement. Several of the café's customers rushed to help the unresponsive man.
"I heard a loud thump," said junior Vannessa Roth, 21. "He wasn't moving. My first assumption was that he was having a heart attack."
A bystander assisted the man, sitting him upright in his chair, while another woman called the police Denig said.
"He seemed to be doing fine, he told us he has an appointment with his cardiologist later on today," said Denig.
The man told bystanders that he felt dizzy and was short of breath. Shortly afterwards, his face turned bright red again and he became motionless.
Shortly afterwards, the San Francisco Police Department and a doctor from the SF State Student Health Services Center arrived on the scene, and the man was taken to a local hospital.
SFPD would not comment on the incident.
Filmmaker Michael Moore met with a San Francisco audience Thursday night to talk about his new film, "Capitalism: A Love Story."
The Academy Award-winning director, who showed his film at The Commonwealth Club on Market Street, described his latest documentary as a film based on the current collapse of the nation's economy: Tackling the issues of working class people loosing their jobs and homes.
"It's about the wealthy people who love their money, and love our money," Moore said of his film during a panel discussion after the fim was shown.
He said he wanted to make a documentary film so "outrageous", it would make the studio want to pull the plug before the movie was finished.
The movie loosely outlines the beginnings and current situation of the nation's economy and its affect on the average American - showing small town homeowners to Wall Street executives.
The film includes many homeowners and blue-collar workers in tears over their losses in a turbulent economy.
"It was really emotional," said Lauren Stevens who was at the discussion of the film.
Moore illustrates a country that is warned repeatedly of an economic downward spiral by its government's failings, resulting with some of its greatest triumphs.
"I didn't expect it to be balanced," said Brian Pahl, an audience member who saw the film moments before the panel discussion. "There are always two sides to a story."
Pahl said it's very easy to get emotional during Moore's films, but the relevance of what he produces is too important to pass. Not every one will like it nor agree with the film, he said.
A man stood up during a screening of his film in Pittsburg, screaming "shame," Moore said.
"Making movies can matter, cinema can be dangerous," said Moore about the backlash he's already received after a few screenings across the country. "It's a good thing they're not selling torches and pitchforks in the movie theater."
Moore said he received a home-made video in the mail from a family in Philadelphia being force-evicted out of their home by sheriffs. Out of all his films, it was the most personal, he said.
Malaria nets filled Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco Wednesday in an effort to raise awareness and donations to combat the deadly disease that has plagued Africa.
The event, hosted by Nothing But Nets, is part of a national campaign created by the United Nation's Foundation to send nets to Africa and raise awareness about the lethal effects malaria has on African refugees and children.
The organization descended on the plaza near the Embarcadero and set up mosquito nets to attract people to sign a 'message of hope' canvas banner. Over 200 signatures were gathered and a donor agreed to donate 1,000 nets to displaced families in Africa.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom declared this week Nothing But Nets week.
People trickled passed the plaza, taking a second look at the nets and stopping to learn about malaria and the importance of nets.
The Nigerian Brothers, a traditional band from Nigeria, played music for the crowd.
Athletes from the San Jose Earthquakes and Golden State Warriors as well as the United Nations Foundation and the United Methodist Church attended the event to help raise awareness.
The nets will help to decrease the one million deaths each year that are caused by malaria.
"We are able to reach thousands of children and families who are at risk of dying from this very deadly and very preventable disease," said Warner Brown, resident Bishop of the United Methodist Church.
Participants signed the canvas and wrote on note cards that will be sent to Africa this fall.
"For people who are forced to flee their homes with little or nothing, a written message can mean so much," said Adrianna Logalbo, director of the organization.
Nothing But Nets was created three years ago after Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly wrote an article asking for people to donate money for mosquito nets. Since the article, the organization has sent over 2.5 million nets to 27 refugee camps throughout East Africa.
"This is a testament of people coming together," Logalbo said. "The Bay Area is leading this effort and is a model."
It costs $10 to educate, purchase and distribute the nets to Africa. Each net is treated with insecticide and will protect a family of four for up to four years.
"Bed nets can save lives," said Thomas Albrecht of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, who survived malaria after being moments from death in southern Africa.
While shuffling the pages of her chemistry book, pre-nursing student Jennifer Cosker, 36, glances up with a look of exhaustion sweeping her face. She got less than five hours of sleep the night before, common since the semester began, and she is starting to feel a crash coming on.
"I'm just so tired," she said. "Sometimes it's so hard to keep up with it all."
Cosker said her school schedule plays a major role in her inconsistent eating and sleep patterns, but SF State students plagued with lethargy, poor concentration, sugar cravings or weight gain may need one thing more than a steady schedule, they may need a nutritional tune-up.
The Peers' Nutrition Assessment Clinic in the Student Health Center was estabilished to help students by providing an effective peer network for healthy living. PNAC offers students a customized diet analysis complete with waist-to-hip ratio, body mass index testing and blood pressure and diabetes screening.
"Irregular eating patterns, demands of work and a limited income can all impact your health," said registered dietitian and nutritionist Teresa Leu. "And eating poorly, choosing convenience foods packed with excessive fats and sugar, can have immediate effects on the body resulting in low energy."
While some students already know what they should and shouldn't eat, Leu, who oversees the PNAC program, emphasizes that "peers at PNAC assist students with meal plans that help support them during times of stress and keep their immune systems healthy."
With the PNAC seeing about 250 students each semester, Leu said she sees students who often go six or more hours without eating, then consume more than their daily calorie allowance in one meal.
Dietary habits like this could partly explain the findings of a nation-wide study based on 51 million young adults published in 2008 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC's Web site reports that obesity in young adults, ages 18-29, "has more than tripled from 8 percent in 1971-1974 to 24 percent in 2005-2006." That means almost a quarter of young adults in this country are obese.
Sipping on coffee before class, sociology major Jonny Ceron, 25, junior, said he eats sporadically, skipping meals often and resorting to french toast sticks at Burger King for breakfast because he was in a rush to get to school.
"If I had the time, I'd probably eat better," Ceron said.
Students visiting PNAC will first fill out a nutrition intake form that includes everything they ate and drank in the previous 24 hours. A trained health student will then assess what dietary modifications the student needs, based on their goals, to achieve optimum health.
Students working in PNAC commit to a full year and are part of the Peer Educators Advocating Campus Health program. Generally PEACH students come from the nursing or health majors. As part of this year-long commitment, students must be trained for one semester by Leu or other Student Health Clinic staff members before working in the clinic.
Since the opening of PNAC in 2006, Leu said they have helped many students obtain their fitness and dietary goals. She recalls an athlete coming into the clinic wanting to learn how to build lean body mass. The student was consuming large quantities of protein while limiting his carbohydrates. A peer educator advised the student on the correct ratio of carbs and protein he needed to improve his endurance while increasing his muscle mass.
Out of 15 students interviewed for this article, 14 said convenience, money and time were all factors in their food choices as well as availability. From a sampling of restaurants surveyed in the Cesar Chavez Student Center, all carried some healthy choice options such as salads, wraps, yogurt and fruits.
Although there are healthy food options available on campus, for students like art major Jason Delgadillo, 21, senior, sometimes a banana or apple just doesn't hit the spot.
"I go for taste and pleasure," said Delgadillo, as he pumps ketchup on his plate of fries that accompanies his bacon cheeseburger. "I'll probably have beer for dinner. Beer's always the best dinner. That's usually how I roll."
PNAC will open Sept. 22 and be available to students every Tuesday and Wednesday from 1- 4 p.m.
A new school year brings back old challenges for the nonprofit SFSU Bookstore, including student shoplifting and organized book-stealing rings. The bookstore donates its proceeds back to the University every year and according to management, merchandise loss takes away from this effort.
Since the beginning of the fall semester, four arrests have been made by the Department of Public Safety for shoplifting in the bookstore. In the first two weeks of class, an arrest was made every three days.
Associate general manager Brian Zimmerman said that although this may seem like a lot so far, the arrest numbers are comparable with previous semesters, and thieves that make a living stealing books have been around for years.
"It's a huge cash business," Zimmerman said. "It's been a problem, and since books can be stolen and sold, it's an industry."
He explained that professionals select books with the highest resale value and will take an entire stack in one quick motion, with the intent of selling them back to other local bookstores with buy-back programs. Although the number of professional book thieves compared to desperate students is relatively small, Zimmerman said the damage is much more severe.
"The amount they are taking is much bigger, and they also know to take high-value books," Zimmerman said.
To help counter this, Zimmerman has been cooperating with the City College of San Francisco's bookstore general manager Don Newton to share information and catch repeat offenders. According to Zimmerman, employees are trained to look for price tag stickers, lack of apparent usage, and anyone attempting to sell multiple copies of one text.
"That's the signal to us that they might be of a suspicious nature," Zimmerman said.
Although stealing electronics such as headphones is common, Zimmerman said that so far this semester all of the arrests have been for stealing textbooks and appear to have been for personal use. According to him, students commit most cases of theft during the beginning of the semester, however professionals show up more and more throughout the remainder.
"They're doing it for a living, basically," Zimmerman said.
For an organization that gives its proceeds back to the students in many different ways, shoplifting and professional book thieves have made it difficult to contribute the way it might be able to otherwise, according to bookstore officials.
According to Husam Erciyes, director of marketing and strategic projects for the bookstore, $325,000 was given to the SF State general fund last year. When combined with event sponsorships, various donations and the book buy-back program, the bookstore returned over $1 million to students and the university in the 2008-09 fiscal year.
Erciyes said any surpluses at the end of the year automatically go into SF State's general fund, unfortunately, these surpluses are eroded by student and non-student theft.
"It affects how much we can give back to the university every semester," Zimmerman said. With a door alarm system, full-time security staff and undercover shoppers, Zimmerman hopes to continue to reduce merchandise loss with what he describes as a preventative approach.
Erciyes said that in regards to the bookstore, what's spent on campus stays on campus.
"Some of those students don't realize that when they steal from us, they steal from students."
"I feel that students should think before they steal about who it is going to be affecting," said 19-year-old Kimrey Nicholson, undecided. "I feel robbed."
With hundreds of visitors flowing in and out of its twin entries every day, Zimmerman said his philosophy is to prevent theft with customer service.
"The last thing a potential thief wants to hear is 'are you finding everything okay?'" Zimmerman said.
While the J. Paul Leonard Library is still under construction, the Associated Students Inc. has come up with a plan to build a recreation and wellness center, which students will soon get the opportunity to vote on, and which could lead to extra tuition fees over the next six years.
ASI has rescheduled a vote for this semester, from Oct.19 through Oct. 21, to determine if students are willing to pay an extra $160 per semester in tuition fees over the next six years, in order to build a recreation center on campus.
Samuel Brown, a senior majoring in environmental studies and Spanish, and who is the chair of the financing committee of the Student Center Governing Board is not thrilled with the idea. Brown feels the entire project is a flawed process coming from people in higher positions on campus.
According to Brown, the SCGB agreed to go along with ASI's decision to be a part of the process with the agreement that students could give their decisions on it, and the ASI and SCGB could remain objective, neutral and unbiased.
As listed on the Student Recreation and Wellness Center Web site, the building would add over 100,000 square feet of new recreation and activity space on campus, and according to Brown, is a $93 million dollar project.
The center would also include approximately 17,000 square feet of state-of-the art weight and fitness space and equipment, and will provide more than 100 new student jobs.
Although the new center would add more equipment and excitement to the campus, some students have mixed emotions due to financial struggles that already exist.
Eighteen-year-old Farah Soltane, freshman, says she uses the gymnasium for various sporting needs such as wrestling, pool and volleyball.
While she uses the gym heavily, Soltane said if students are asked for more money to build the center she is not in favor of it. "Financial aid given from the government is not even enough, so please don't make us pay more," she said.
Jon Smallwood, 25, junior, majoring in education, doesn't care which way the vote turns out. "It doesn't really matter to me," he said. "It will even itself out."
But Smallwood thinks that building a new gym does not guarantee a greater use of the facility.
Views like Smallwood's and Soltane, caring and not caring what happens, reinforce Brown's belief in the necessity of giving students the right to vote due to their different mindsets.
"Students would be basically taxing themselves if not given the right to vote, and that would be undemocratic," Brown said.
If the vote passes, students will start seeing the change in tuition fees over the next six years, starting by fall 2010, as stated on the Student Recreation and Wellness Center Web site.
All of the $160 fee increase would go toward the construction and operational costs of the center.
For more information on the center and the voting process, go to: www.studentrecreationandwellness.com
Will Hand has been consistently showing up to a biology class he is not enrolled in since the beginning of the semester, and hopes for the best until Sept. 22, the last day to add a class.
"On the first day of class there were 160 people enrolled and about 100 people were trying to add this class," said 20-year-old theater major Hand. "There was a line for this class on the second floor all the way through the staircase and to the first floor trying to get in."
Hand had to crash almost all of his classes this semester and has managed to get 11 units. He still does not know what is going to happen to his financial aid because he is one unit shy of full-time student status. Despite this, he knows he is still one of the fortunate students when it comes to being affected by the California State University budget cuts.
Greg Dunham, a staff member at SF State, decided that this semester's budget cuts are the straw that broke the camel's back. He said that too many students like Hand are not getting the quality of education they deserve and are paying for, and that the source of the problem is that education, along with its providers, is being devalued in the state.
Dunham, a scene shop supervisor in the College of Creative Arts, decided to start organizing a statewide CSU protest among faculty, staff and students so that the people of California will understand the severity of the situation.
"I had this dream that there was a mass walkout," said Dunham, who has been working at SF State for a decade and received bachelor's and master's degrees here as well. "And I realized that that's what needed to happen."
So far, Dunham has rounded up students, staff and faculty in the College of Creative Arts to begin the organizing process and has held three meetings to discuss and map out their ideas. They meet every Thursday in Creative Arts 134, where anyone interested is welcome to contribute.
"I don't think anything will change unless the people of California are made aware of the nature of the problem," Dunham said. "The media is not covering it so it's up to the CSU faculty, staff, and students to let everyone know what's going on. We want to work towards a very large statewide demonstration."
Dunham said that he has been going to theater faculty and staff meetings for the past 10 years and every meeting the department chair announces more cuts to the budget. Dunham said that this cut is the last of a long line of cuts.
"We have passed a breaking point," Dunham said.
Dan Rosenthal, the IT director in the College of Creative Arts, is contributing to the project by helping create a Web site to get the word out to students. He said that young people find their voice online through social networking sites. Rosenthal is working with students in the College of Creative Arts to put up videos on the Internet in a form of viral marketing in order to make people aware of the protest.
"It affects us all, and instead of complaining about it, we need to use our creative voices to further the struggle," Rosenthal said.
Torben Torp-Smith, a prop shop supervisor in the College of Creative Arts and technical director of The Brown Bag Theater Company, started helping Dunham once the idea of organizing a mass protest came up. He agrees with Dunham that education in California is being neglected.
"In California and across the nation we're continually losing jobs to foreign countries that put a priority on education because they know that by doing that they're supporting the economy," Torp-Smith said.
Torp-Smith wants the protest to make clear to the people of California that education is being underfunded in the state. He wants people to look at the situation and figure out how they want to deal with it.
"We're not telling, we're asking people, what are you going to do?" Torp-Smith said .
Jen Vaughn, a lecturer in the BECA department, is attending the protest meetings because she is interested in students, faculty and staff having a place to voice their frustrations.
Vaughn, who began teaching at SF State straight out of graduate school six years ago, is incorporating the creation of the viral videos, which will spread the word of the protest, in her class assignments. She is the only lecturer in her department who was not laid off, and said she knows the future of her job is bleak.
"I'm representing for all the lecturers no longer here," Vaughn said. "If I don't fight now I will have nothing to fight for next semester."
Associated Student, Inc.'s meeting was brought to a halt Wednesday afternoon by protesters who opposed to the planned Recreation and Wellness Center.
Department of Public Safety was called in when audience members broke into songs and refused to leave after the meeting was called to a closed session.
While the meeting was suspended and the board waited for campus police to arrive, Vice President of University Affairs Raul Amaya encouraged the protesters to visit the ASI website and send e-mails to voice their concerns.
Amaya said the board does want to hear from the students but disrupting the meeting was not the way to be heard.
Agitation among student audience members began when ASI President Natalie Franklin said public comment would be limited to two minutes per topic. She suggested a representative be chosen to speak if all students were present to voice the same concerns.
Nearly 30 students attended the meeting with plans to voice their opinions against the center.
Freshman Jack Wuranovics is not thrilled with the idea of millions of dollars being spent on a recreation center during a budget crisis and came to the meeting for concern that student opinions were not being heard.
"I'm new here but I still feel like I should have the right to participate in these discussions, it's our right to be heard," Wuranovics said. "It seems like there is a real disconnect between the students and the people who are supposed to represent us."
However, not all students in attendance were against the proposed center.
"I've been to many schools and their rec center is so much a part of their community and what makes there campus thrive," said 20-year-old Shane Hidds. "We need some place to come together."
The project will increase student fees $160 per semester for six years.
Nearly 30 minutes after the meeting started, university police officers came and were able to clear the room so the closed session could begin.
"Closed session was not a tool to silence the students," said Franklin after the meeting was over. "We were out of public comment and closed session was the next thing on the agenda."
Click here to read more on the center.
The Coalition Against the Recreation and Wellness Center marched in protest after discovering that the student fee advisory meeting they planned to attend had been cancelled without prior notice.
The receptionist in the office of the vice president of student affairs said the meeting was cancelled due to not enough members of the committee showing up.
The Student Fee Advisory Committee was supposed to meet at noon on Wednesday, to decide what the parameters of the petition supporting the proposed recreation center would be.
This is the second time this meeting has been canceled in the past month.
The committee is a group composed of Associated Students, Inc. elected officials and other campus administrators and staff. In their last meeting, held Aug. 26, members voted to deny the students the right to vote on whether or not they want the Recreation and Wellness Center. They decided instead to use a petition process.
"I think we need to spark a dialogue and make it clear to the campus community that this is a controversial issue," said Aaron Buchbinder, a master's student studying social work at SF State. "Most students should be aware of how their money is spent by student government. It is going to cost students $93 million even though it won't be seen until 2015."
Sam Brown-Vasquez, 21-year-old environmental studies and Spanish major, is the main organizer of the coalition. He said that he was on the student fee advisory committee but was kicked off and replaced without any prior notice.
"The problem is not just the Recreation and Wellness Center," said Brown-Vasquez. "It's the way things are done on campus. It's the bureaucracy."
The protesters marched through campus displaying banners and chanting, "no more fees, we demand democracy."
Students gathered around the ASI office and wrote letters to ASI President Natalie Franklin.
Alejandro Rios, the ASI business office manager, said that he would not speak on behalf of ASI.
Krystale Triggs, a 24-year-old anthropology major, said that it would be unnecessary to build a recreational center during this time of financial crisis and was impressed by the student turnout.
"E-mail and word of mouth is how these people found out about the protest," Triggs said. "In my classes, nobody knew about it."
For more information on the center, click here.
In the back room of a dimly lit Valencia store front, over a dozen people gather with one plan in mind. Their objective is simple: make as many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as possible and deliver them to people in need within the surrounding neighborhoods. This group, armed with little more than plastic knives and sandwich bags, is known as the Peanut Butter Plan.
The first volunteers arrive at 849 Valencia St. around 7 p.m. riding a black scooter, shedding motorcycle helmets and brown paper bags full of supplies. Their arsenal includes over a dozen jars of various brands of peanut butter, an equal supply of jelly and over half a dozen loaves of bread.
"What we're trying to do is get people organized and involved in their community," said Ryan Lewis, coordinator of the San Francisco Peanut Butter Plan. "We wanted to give people something that is meaningful without just throwing money at the problem, and what's better than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?"
The Peanut Butter Plan's main goal is to combine philanthropy and accessibility to not only the volunteers but to those that receive their sandwiches as well.
"We chose peanut butter and jelly because it's not only cheap but most people seem to enjoy them," said Lewis. "You can get all the supplies for about ten dollars and with that, one person could feed about ten more."
Since its initial conception in the spring of 2009 by writer Jory John, who is now based in Santa Cruz, the Peanut Butter Plan has spread across the country by word of mouth and through popular social networking sites like Facebook. The San Francisco Peanut Butter Plan has met four times since the group was founded but other groups have been popping up in cities like Los Angeles, Phoenix, Austin, Texas and even London, England.
"I'm really pleased to see this idea growing," said Mike Schachrer, a two-time volunteer with the Peanut Butter Plan. "Seeing this just helps to validate my idea that food is an inalienable right and people should do what they can to help those who need it."
Less than 24 hours after returning from San Diego, the Gators battled Cal State East Bay to a scoreless draw in Hayward on Sept. 13. The women's soccer team now stands in a three-way tie for first in its division.
The Gators earned four points this weekend in their first two conference matches of the season, starting with a shutout against UCSD in a 1-0 win on Friday. Despite being noticeably tired from their less than forgiving travel schedule, the Gators maintained their clean-sheet-weekend against the CSUEB Pioneers -- their second away match in 48 hours.
"We were tired from the trip, but I'm pleased with the weekend's results," said Women's Soccer Head Coach Jack Hyde.
The visiting Gators were out-shot 12-7 with only two shots on goal. The Pioneers' five shots on goal tested freshman Annicia Jones who recorded her first collegiate shutout.
Junior Carly Bliss credited their opponent with a solid performance. "They were less technical but more physical than USCD," Bliss said.
Sunday's match went into two 10-minute halves of overtime before the final whistle confirmed the stalemate.
Despite their slightly sluggish performance on Sunday, the Gators grabbed four important points on the weekend -- three from their win on Friday and one from Sunday's draw. The Gators are now in a three-way tie for first in the CCAA North along with Chico State and Sonoma State.
"It was difficult going from San Diego to Hayward, but we ended up with four important points" said junior Myriah Johnson.
Despite not having started in any of the Gators' six matches this season, freshman Katie Voss has played an important role leading the team with four goals, three being game-winning. Her goal against UCSD on Friday also saw Johnson record her fourth assist of the season.
"Four points is four points," Bliss said in summary of the weekend.
This Friday, the Gators will take on CSU Dominguez Hills at 3 p.m. It will be the first of two home games before the team goes four straight on the road.
Former President Clinton will endorse San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's campaign to be California's next governor, according to CBS.
The election will take place in 2010.
An SF State student died on the morning of Sept. 6 at a gas station in what his family is calling a suicide.
The San Francisco Police Department confirmed late Sunday that the victim was 19-year-old Anton Jungenberg, a first-semester art major from San Diego.
Jungenberg set himself on fire at the Shell gas station on 19th Avenue at Taraval Street, according to the police.
John McGee, Jungenberg's stepfather, said Jungenberg struggled with depression in the past, but improved after graduating from Fallbrook Union High School in Fallbrook, Calif. in 2007.
"As parents, we like to think it was not pre-meditated," McGee said. "Once he was exposed to San Francisco, he was really excited about the campus and the city, and he made it a priority to get those classes so he could go to SF State."
The station attendant, identified as Louis Alvarado, was doing housekeeping and replenishing sodas when he came out and saw Jungenberg fully engulfed in flames, according to SFPD Sgt. Lyn Tomioka.
The Shell Station's manager, Rocinda Mejia, said that Jungenberg was pacing back and forth at the bus stop in front of the station around 3:30 a.m. for a few minutes before authorizing a $.53 purchase with his debit card at one of the pumps and drenching himself with gasoline.
Alvarado came out from the back of the store and upon seeing Jungenberg standing completely ablaze, quickly dialed 911. According to Tomioka, an officer stopped after seeing the flames and assisted Alvarado in attempting to extinguish it.
Jungenberg was pronounced dead at the scene.
Tomioka said there was no evidence that anyone else was involved and that Jungenberg had no vehicle with him.
According to McGee, Jungenberg's sense of humor and his way of looking at the world were some of his best qualities.
"I will definitely miss his views on people," McGee said. "Anton didn't like people who were superficial and was always looking for people with true characteristics."
SF State Spokesperson Ellen Griffin released a statement Monday morning.
"We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss and our condolences for all of Anton's family and friends," Griffin said.
Counseling services will be offered in the residence hall for any student or member of the community. More information is available at (415)-338-2208.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, Sept. 19 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Peter's Church in Fallbrook.
Nearly 80 people marched from Market Street to San Francisco City Hall Sunday afternoon in support of the health care reform and for a public option.
The march started at the Justin Herman Plaza around noon. Some wore white shirts and balloons with the logo "Get Well." Others held signs with "police, fire and healthcare," and "protection for all citizens is not socialism."
As the group walked towards City Hall, the small crowd chanted "we want public option," "get well" and "public health now."
At City Hall, State Sen. Mark Leno, who represents the 3rd Senate District-- including portions of San Francisco, told the crowd how over 200,000 state workers premiums are paid with tax dollars and it's the state's obligation to take care of health care.
"If we remove the middle man we'll save $20 million, instead of wasting the money on claim adjusters," he said.
Elizabeth Ward is a 53-year-old Republican who held a sign stating "Rational Republicans for Reform." She is unemployed and with her health care coverage running out in four months, she is concerned about getting future health coverage because of her pre-existing gastro bypass condition, and her son who will also lose his coverage.
"This is not a democrat-republican issue, this is a people's issue," Ward said.
PJ Marks, who organized the event, is also concerned of losing her health coverage at the end of this year. She has a brother who nearly died a few months ago for lack of health insurance.
"We are marching to show that most of the country supports both reform and the public option," Marks said.
Eileen Nevitt, 56, from Walnut Creek, came to support the seniors.
"Seniors are experiencing bankruptcy because of raising health cost coverage," Nevitt said. "They are forced to get back to work."
The march comes a few days after President Obama gave his health care speech. He mentioned and agreed to late Sen. Ted Kennedy's belief that health care is "the great unfinished business of our society."
Patrons of the San Francisco Public Library's main branch were evacuated Saturday around 2:45 p.m. after the library received a bomb threat on the phone.
The threat turned out to be a false alarm and the caller was not identified, said Sergeant J. Dudoroff of the San Francisco Police Department's Northern Station later on.
The department's Northern Station was immediately notified and three police cars arrived at the building's entrance, followed by a canine unit that arrived a short time thereafter.
"We have to take it seriously, a walk through with a dog unit will happen at some point -- it could take hours to search the floors," said SFPD Officer J. Farrelly, who was at the scene.
Many of the library's guests didn't know what was happening and waited outside the main entrance until it reopened.
"I was just inside and the alarm went off," said Nadiyah Shereff, 23. "I didn't really take it seriously ... I didn't smell any smoke or anything. I just assumed it was a practice drill."
The library reopened its doors at about 4:30 p.m.
The Gators women's Volleyball team had their seventh-game winning streak shattered Friday night by veteran-team Chico State as SF State lost 3-1 in an all-out frenzy conference opener for both teams.
Anticipating breaking Chico State's seventh-game winning streak, the then 7-1 Lady Gators delivered an exceptional performance in their first CCAA match but fell short after a tough fourth set.
Leading with a team-high 15 kills, Gator freshman Lauren Walsh proved she was there to handle her business.
"I brought my game tonight because I knew that's what it takes to win," said the outside hitter.
Teammate senior Beth Perkins also stepped up recording 13 kills on 44 attempts. Despite the numbers however, the Gators dropped the first set 25-21.
In a fist-clenching second, the Gators emerged victorious 25-19. Chico State struggled for the lead as they were outshined 69 percent to 54 percent on team attacks. Sophomore Kyle Lamet exploded 10 kills on 21 attempts with support by freshman setter Iris Tolenada who contributed to 42 of the 50 total team assists. Walsh swiftly ended the set with a powering kill that left Chico State stone cold and the match tied 1-1.
"In order to be a go-to player, you have to push your teammates harder and help with those who struggle," said outside hitter Lamet. "I did well even though we fell off toward the end, but it was all teamwork at play and it showed."
Despite the set loss, Chico State answered back immediately as Gillian Heydorff struck the first kill for a two-point advantage in the third set (1-3). But it was Gator ball in no time after Lamet smashed another attack of her own. After an astonishing 10 tied scores in the match and two Gator timeouts, Heydorff sealed the third set 25-22 win for Chico State with a tip.
"Chico State is a mature and experienced team with a great level of aggressiveness," said SF State Head Women's Volleyball Coach Michelle Patton. "They challenged us throughout the entire game and tonight it showed that compared to them we were less aggressive. We let up tonight."
The match was essentially lost for the Gators after the third set as they were slaughtered in the fourth, losing 25-15.
"Our first loss seemed more acceptable than tonight because we were still learning about each other as a team," said Walsh. "This [loss] feels a whole lot worse than it did last time."
With two losses under her belt for the season, the only thing Patton will try to focus on is maintaining composure and guiding her team to victory. With the loss, the Gators fall to 7-2.
The Gators return to the court tomorrow [Saturday] at 7 p.m. when they play host to Cal State Stanislaus in another conference match-up.
The Civic Center morphed into a picnic area on Labor Day, as local residents gathered to share homemade dishes and learn about Slow Food's Time for Lunch campaign. Referred to as an "Eat-In," the potluck was a pleasurable protest to get real food into school lunches.
"The idea is that sitting down to a meal with your neighbors is not only enjoyable, it's a political act," said Darrow Vanderburgh-Wertz, a Slow Food San Francisco volunteer.
"The super ideal situation would be if each school could have its own kitchen and use local produce."
Similar events were held across the country, with more than 300 potlucks total and two more San Francisco gatherings in Ingleside and Portrero Hill. Slow Food is a global movement, as well as a philosophy, that encourages meals that are "good, clean and fair."
"It's a beautiful day and a great gathering," said Sen. Mark Leno, who spoke to the crowd about the need to change what children eat for lunch in school.
"We can prevent the tsunami of an epidemic if we do what Slow Food is suggesting," Leno said in his speech.
As well as raising awareness, Slow Food wants to pressure Congress into reforming lunches by adding $1 more per child to the budget when it comes time to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act on Sept. 30.
"[The way it is now] there ends up being $1 worth of actual food in every meal," Vanderburgh-Wertz said. "We're asking for an extra $1 from Congress, which doesn't sound like much but would be a doubling of money for food."
Daphne Miller, a local doctor and author of "The Jungle Effect: The Healthiest Diets From Around the World -- And How to Make Them Work For You," gave a speech about the rising trends in diabetes, obesity and heart disease she has seen in children.
"[Serving real food for lunch] is an obvious solution to childhood obesity and diseases I never saw in kids that age," Miller said. "The answer is not a biomedical one...it has to do with bringing more culture back into schools -- farming culture and family culture."
Children's Choice, a company that provides schools with healthy lunches, set up a sushi-rolling booth that was a big hit with the kids. Rolling teriyaki, California, and avocado concoctions engaged the kids in a way that CEO Justin Gagnon thinks is crucial to introducing them to vegetables and foods they would normally avoid.
"It's really fun to see them engaged in the food," Gagnon said. "My goal is to get the kids to try new things. Our kids have the spontaneity and the ability to respond. They're up to the challenge."
Alongside companies like Children's Choice, chefs, culinary students, and locals contributed homemade creations to the mix. The long lunch table was filled with a variety of picnic foods: green and red and yellow heirloom tomatoes swathed in vinaigrette, pesto pasta and cous cous, crostini piled with herbs and goat cheese.
People walked around with plates of delicately fried chicken, at least one of the many varieties of potato salad, and slices of honeydew melon or organic green apples. Hunks from a giant wheel of peppercorn cheese made their way through the masses and ended up on nearly every plate, as did saturated slices of bourbon-glazed peaches.
A planting station was set up as well, with volunteers teaching children how to grow their own vegetables.
"This is cool...we almost made vegetables," said 7-year-old Aliyah Hopkins.
"My favorites are sweet corn, pinto beans, broccoli and fruit salad," her friend Mariah Murillo, 10, added.
Bay Area Rapid Transit will cut back on night, weekend and holiday services to fill in their budget holes, according to the transit's Web site.
The reduce service will begin on Monday Sept. 14.
Trains will run every 20 minutes on weekends and holidays, and after 7 p.m weekdays. Trains running through south of Daly City will also change its service.
BART is trying to eliminate a $310 million budget hole for the next four years, according to its website.
For more information click here to visit the BART Web site.
President Obama was determined to follow through his main goals on the hotly-debated health care reform issue early this evening in an address to Congress and the nation.
Obama's three goals are to provide security and stability for the already insured, provide insurance to those without it and slow the growth of health care costs without adding one dime to the deficit.
He said that every day 14,000 people lose their coverage and that insurance premiums have gone up three times faster than wages. Obama also said that insured people pay a hidden and growing tax to cover those without insurance.
"Our health care problem is our deficit problem," said Obama, noting that costly emergency room visits for the uninsured are only making fiscal issues worse.
Jason McDaniel, an SF State political science assistant professor, said Obama spoke directly and challenged people on both the left and right sides of the political spectrum in his speech.
"I was impressed by how strongly he tried to situate himself and his ideas in the center politically but also with the core of American values," said McDaniel, who showed the speech live in his American politics class.
Obama spent a large chunk of his time going into details on how he plans to make health care a well-rounded system that will be the most beneficial.
The president also mentioned that young and healthy individuals who choose not to be insured would be required to carry health insurance the same way some states require the purchase of auto insurance -- to avoid expensive emergency room visits.
"For those who can't afford health care, that's one more bill they have to pay every month," said freshmen Natasha Newman, 18.
Other SF State students agree that requiring young people to purchase health coverage would be a lot to ask.
"If we are in school we don't have the means to be purchasing insurance," said George Tano, 18.
After laying out what exactly would be covered in his plan, he went on to clear up any misconceptions that some might have had.
Obama discussed the public option, which Albert Angelo, a health educator at SF State's Student Health Service Center, likens to having to drive a car not of a person's choice.
"The issue with a public option is really to say that everybody could get health insurance and the government could compete with Kaiser, Blue Cross and HealthNet and offer something," said Angelo. "If there's no public option then you have to pick a private organization."
Obama tried to squelch these fears by assuring that the public option would be available only to those who are not insured.
Another issue that could not be ignored was the constant talk of "death panels." Many feel that if the government becomes too involved in health care, panels of bureaucrats would decide when senior citizens would die.
Obama concluded his speech discussing a letter given to him by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. He said that Kennedy believed that this would be the year for health care reform and that it is "the great unfinished business of our society" -- a sentiment Obama whole-heartedly agrees with.
"I am not the first president to take up this cause but I am determined to be the last," Obama said early on in his speech.
A Raza Studies class was interrupted briefly and relocated after a student had a seizure Wednesday around 5:40 p.m.
The student was conscious and responding to paramedics as he was brought out on a stretcher.
Once paramedics arrived, Professor Teresa Carrillo relocated her RAZA 660 class from BH 337 to BH 227 to continue lecturing and make room for the student to be treated.
"I have 50 students in my class about three times a day and it made me realize that professors need CPR training," said Carrillo, who is also the Raza studies department chair. "Even with 100 other things to worry about, it's our responsibility to take care of students."
During the class break, about half of the 50 students remained in the room when the student began seizing at his desk. Multiple students called 911 and followed step-by-step instructions from the dispatcher.
The class began to panic as the student started turning blue.
"I freaked out and started crying," said Cristal Gallegos, 25, a Raza and political science major.
Another student shared the same concern.
"It was really hard to see it -- I felt really bad for (the student)," said Diana Velasquez, 30, sociology major. "It seemed like it went on forever."
Someone from the nursing department, located across the hall, immediately came in and tried to orient the student. Paramedics arrived five minutes later, followed by multiple police cruisers and a fire truck, which parked between Burk Hall and the Humanities building.
Once the class was relocated, students sat in silence until Carrillo came in the room and announced "he seemed fine after we left. He's going to be okay."
After this experience, Carrillo says she is seriously considering taking CPR lessons.
"I feel that I would really benefit from CPR training," Carrillo said. "Maybe that's something we should do on furlough days."
As the smell of barbecue and the thumping of Brazilian drumbeats echoed through Malcolm X Plaza last week, representatives from campus organizations staffed brightly colored tables with wide smiles and free giveaways to lure SF State students' attention during Welcome Back Week.
Hosted by Associated Students, Inc., the event promoted the clubs on campus that ASI funds while shedding light on what the organization is all about. Still, some students were in the dark.
"I don't even know what ASI is," said freshman Yolanda De Latorre, 18, business major.
She wasn't the only one. Three other students sitting nearby nodded in agreement that they were unclear of what ASI is or does.
ASI Sophomore Representative Travis Northup, 19, acknowledged that ASI needs more exposure.
"I don't think the average student knows about ASI and that's a problem," Northup said. "We need to build on our public appearance."
In fact, all SF State students are part of ASI when they pay the mandatory $42 fee each semester. With more than 30,000 students enrolled this semester, according to enrollment management on campus, this is a student body association that handles a sizable chunk of change --- over $2.5 million dollars.
Part of the reason for that unawareness is students' lack of connection to the campus, explained Northup. He finds the term commuter school "annoying" and is searching for ways to bridge the gap. Setting up weekend events like the breast cancer ball, Northup said he hopes to draw students to campus for social events.
Where will the ASI's multimillion dollar budget go this year? According to Mayra Saldana, director of marketing and public relations for ASI, most of the budget gets recycled back to students via services, programs and scholarships.
Such services include the Early Childhood Education Center, offering child care based on a sliding scale, the Legal Resource Center with low- to no-cost legal services and scholarships for students.
One ASI program, Project Connect, offers a book loan service for low-income students.
"I wish I would have known about this sooner," said senior Antonio Garcia, a 22-year-old psychology major.
Project Connect offers at least two books to financial aid students on a first come, first serve basis. Books are supplied through faculty donations and book drives.
Standing outside Project Connect's office, located in the Cesar Chavez Student Center, Garcia said he found out about the program through a friend in ASI. Garcia said the bookstore is too expensive and uses other online sites, such as Chugg and Amazon, to buy his textbooks.
ASI funds 200 different campus organizations and any registered student organization in good standing can petition for money. In the past, ASI has funded groups such as Jabulani Black Graduates, MEChA Graduation Celebration, The Step Show and The Luau, to name a few.
"We service the student body as a whole," Saldana said. "ASI is the front line for students."
For organizations to receive funding, they need to first fill out an application that's available in ASI's finance department in the student union.
Meeting every Wednesday in the Rosa Parks conference center at 2 p.m., the 19 elected student representatives who make up SF State's Student Board of Directors have the final say on how funds are spent. The first two minutes of the meeting are saved for public opinion, where students can address the board with any questions or comments.
Northup stresses that students can make an impact. Each of the 23 CSU campuses elects a representative to a state-wide organization called the California State Students Association. With issues such as the budget cuts and furlough days, SF State's representative voice, along with the other 22 CSU campus-elected student representatives can affect state policy, he said.
"It's going to get worse before it gets better unless we intervene."
Galaxies far, far away are no longer exclusive to science fiction movies. The idea has become reality -- and it began here at SF State.
"Planets are the only place we know where life is formed," said SF State adjunct professor of astronomy Chris McCarthy. "We don't know if that's happened on another planet so we look for others that exist."
Since 1995, originally led by Prof. Jeff Marcy, SF State's astronomy team has discovered over 200 exoplanets, which are planets that orbit other stars outside of our solar system.
Prior to their discoveries, scientists assumed there were exoplanets but never had solid evidence. The University's research team beat all others and found the first exoplanet. Since then, all other schools have been working to catch up.
In a very condensed explanation, as a planet orbits a star, the planet causes the star to wobble. That wobble can be detected in light. When the star wobbles towards Earth (or in the direction of the telescope) it gets bluer and as the star wobbles away, it gets redder, explains Joseph Barranco, theorist and assistant professor at the department of physics and astronomy.
Currently, researchers can only find close planets because the further away wobbles are, the longer it takes to find them. Researchers have to detect the same wobble for many years before they can infer that it is a planet.
The telescopes used to locate these exoplanets are the Keck Telescope located on Mauna Kea in Hawaii, one at the Lick Observatory near Santa Cruz (where most of the exoplanets are found) and one in Chile.
"It's San Francisco. The weather sucks," Barranco said. "It's too bright so you can't look at stars here."
The telescopes are controlled by computers, allowing SF State to do research without physically being at the site.
When Adjunct Prof. Debra Fischer took over in 2008, the university participated in the Space Interferometry Mission. Designed to let several teams of scientists come up with their own way to hunt for Earth-sized planets orbiting stars other than the sun, SF State came in first place, ahead of Berkeley, Harvard and Princeton.
"Scientists test theories to understand where planets are from," McCarthy said. "We can test those theories by observing our solar systems and others."
The study of exoplanets is headed towards programs like the Keppler Mission. Launched by NASA, it is designed to find planets the size of the Earth, which are more likely to have life.
"It's really taking off. It's a very exciting field," McCarthy said. "Everyone's getting in on it now; it wasn't popular before."
McCarthy worked under Fischer as a graduate student before he became an adjunct assistant professor of astronomy at SF State.
"Planets seem to be kind of bizarre. Our notion of what planets are like is very limited," McCarthy said."You can have planets in strange orbits. Planets as big as Jupiter are going around their sun in only three days."
Thanks to a recent donation, the astronomy department will team up with UC Berkeley to refurbish a telescope in Berkeley's Lick Observatory. The controls will be at SF State so students can use the computer to take pictures without actually being at the telescope.
"I came to SF State as a graduate student because of the research they're doing. I find it very exciting because I'm a science fiction nerd," said graduate student Chris Johnson [AGE]. "It's certainly one of the better institutions for finding planets outside our solar systems."
"When I first bring it up [exoplanets], it usually piques peoples' interest in astronomy," Johnson said. "It piques the interest of not-science-based people. They go online and look stuff up after."
At SF State, a few graduate students are still working with Fischer, even though she has taken a position at Yale University this year. Fischer could not be reached for comment.
For more information on SF State's research with exoplanets, visit http://tauceti.sfsu.edu.
The tone in the Domingo lab was energetic as students filtered in to talk about a new grant awarded to the biology department, allowing a stem cell research program to begin this fall.
"All of the funds up to this point were for major research institutions and CSUs were prohibited from applying until this new program," said Prof. Carmen Domingo, who wrote the grant proposal.
The California Institute of Regenerative Medicine is an organization regulating stem cell research programs in California to ensure ethics are being applied and that the National Academies of Science guidelines are followed. CIRM's recent funding is intended to create programs that will train new researchers.
"They put a call out for proposals that would train a workforce at more junior levels, that would train students who reflect the diversity in the state of California, to become skilled in the techniques associated with stem cell research," Domingo said.
Domingo explains the importance of the program to the science field and how every human organ and muscle has stem cells that, if damaged by illness or injury, could be repaired if they can understand how to stimulate those cells.
"The idea is to take these cells that have the ability to give rise to any cell type of the adult and cure illnesses that in the past we haven't had any methods or treatments for," Domingo said.
SF State was one of 10 CSUs to receive funding from CIRM. The grant awarded $1.7 million dollars to SF State that will be used toward each student in the program for their second year as a researcher.
Jason Liu is one of 18 students accepted into the master's program this fall.
"My goals are to work in translation medicine and to bridge the research behind stem cells and its application for therapy. My grandmother had Parkinson's disease, so I am sort of aware of the potential that the science has for treating people," Liu said.
In 2004, a 59 percent majority vote by the people of California on Proposition 71 allowed the research to take place, when legal restraints across the country were making stem cell science difficult to pursue.
"I remain committed to advancing stem cell research in California, in the promise it holds for millions of our citizens who suffer from chronic diseases and injuries that could be helped as a result of stem cell research," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told CIRM.
This fall with be the first semester the stem cell master's program will be offered at SF State. The program is also in partnership with facilities at Stanford, UC Berkeley and the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, to name a few.
"In terms of the grant that was written for the CIRM program, it was purely for the sake of training. This program has opened up an opportunity. I've never seen grants like this and I believe that the faculty here deserves recognition for seeking these things in the first place," Liu said.
For more information visit: http://biology.sfsu.edu/faculty-pages/cirm-bridges-stem-cell-research-awards
With high rents and limited on-campus housing, students are looking at home in a whole new way.
According to Philippe Cumia, associate director of University housing, the wait list for the past three years has stayed close to 500 -- but only 200 of those students usually get housing.
Freshman Eva Tang applied for on-campus housing in February after receiving her acceptance letter to SF State. She was number 421, but by the end of July, the University had only contacted the first 169 people.
"There were only two or four people moving off the list every e-mail," said Tang.
With the fall semester approaching, Tang decided that getting housing from SF State wasn't likely. Through Facebook, she was able to find other students stuck on the waiting list and moved to the Ingleside district with them.
"It's [campus housing] overpriced, but I didn't really have anywhere else to go," said junior Samuel Guntner. After a failed attempt to find off-campus housing, Guntner moved into the Village his sophomore year.
"I knew a girl looking for housing who was always crashing from couch to couch. It was sad watching her not have a home. I'm pretty sure she slept in a friend's car for a while."
"In general, though, I think people think they can't afford housing in the city. You have to look for weeks, sometimes months for something that fits your budget and everything, but you can find something," said junior Dasha Matsuura, a previous Mary Park hall resident.
Over the last 10 years, the California State University's budget has continuously decreased. But for the first time ever, it's putting a financial strain on students' wallets, and faculty and staff are seeing the cuts in their paychecks.
Johnetta Richards, associate professor of Africana studies, has been a faculty member at SF State since 1988 and said she has seen a lot of positive changes, such as more diverse programs offered to students over the last few years. However, Richards explained that during her career on campus, she has never witnessed as difficult a time as right now.
"The budget cuts that have taken place this semester are absolutely horrific for students, faculty and the school as a whole," Richards said.
Richards also said the budget cuts are a damper because they affect faculty morale.
In fall of 1999, SF State's budget was $190.4 million for the entire campus, compared to $295.1 million during the 2008-2009 school year, according to SF State's website.
Although the budget in 1999 may seem like a small amount, it was a lot of money to disburse in order to cover various campus needs such as student affairs.
According to Richards, the College of Ethnic Studies has expanded over the last 10 years, offering services to students such as the Cesar Chavez Institute, Vietnamese American Study Center, Arab and Muslim Ethnicity and Diasporas studies and many other ethnic programs.
Although she wasn't a student 10 years ago, 24-year-old Celestine White, senior and intercultural communications major, said that during her three years of attendance, one of the more positive effects she's seen is a more diverse campus.
"Each year I've seen more international studies students," White said.
However, 23-year-old Elaine Hicks, senior and psychology major, said that too many classes needed for graduation and grad school are being cut, which may result in her having to take classes at another university.
"The school should have all the funds for classes that meet everyone's graduation requirements," Hicks said.
Not only has the financial state of the school been an issue, but oversized classes and lack of help given to students have made it an uneasy learning environment for some.
White said that when she first began attending SF State, teachers were more passionate about making sure students were grasping all the information needed to excel in their future professions.
"Today, in the instructors' eyes, you either get it or you don't," White said. "I feel as if you can't learn everything you need to know if you have questions just in class," she said.
Richards said she believes that the CSU system is asking faculty to do much more with less money and hours. "It's demoralizing," she said.
"I'm not going to cut off my students' learning because of a 10 percent pay cut; I'm giving my students 100 percent," Richards said.
Richards said those who are serious about education still give quality assigned work to their students.
As Richards puts all her efforts into her classes, students like Hicks are putting all their energy into graduating.
"I'm looking forward to graduating this spring, because the longer I stay, the worst it's going to get," Hicks said.
Hicks said she senses that it is just a matter of time before SF State turns into a private school because tuition is going to keep increasing, and only students with elite lifestyles will be able to afford the costly fees.
As some students and faculty look into the future state of SF State, many feel that it is going to get worse before it gets any better.
SF State's faculty, aware of the severity of California's fiscal situation, is opening up a wave of dialogue with students about the current budget cuts and furlough days.
In July, the state legislature and governor reduced funding from the California State University system by $584 million, the amount given by the state to support roughly 95,000 students. SF State's campus suffered a $31 million cut.
In addition, most full-time staff and faculty must take a 10 percent pay cut and face university-wide and individual furlough days.
Even though there is less instruction, full-time SF State undergraduate students must pay a fee increase of $672.
"This is a great time for students who are going to be angry, confused and frustrated to learn more about what has caused their pain and suffering," said Tom Thomas, an associate professor in the College of Business. "A state that used to have one of the very best higher education systems in the world is falling into tatters. A good way to channel that frustration would be to engage in a discussion of why this is happening and how we got here."
Thomas said the California budget crisis is something that has been brewing for decades, not months or years. He said one source of the problem is Proposition 13, introduced in the 1970s to lower property taxes and limit further increases, allowing retirees on fixed incomes to avoid being forced out of their homes due to rising property values.
Thomas said there are two provisions to Proposition 13 that created havoc in the state budget.
Because Proposition 13 includes commercial property, the business sector is paying a much lower portion of tax obligations than they used to. The state is relying on individual taxpayers for revenue, placing a burden on them and as a result, burdening educational services provided by the state and its counties.
Another problem, according to Thomas, is that 33 percent of the legislature can block any compromise because all budgets must have a two-thirds majority vote to pass if a tax increase involved.
"We need a constitutional convention of some sort to go back and undo the damage of propositions and initiatives that have been passed and misconceived or ill-represented," said Thomas. "It is going to require more than voting in and out representatives and the governor because our hands are tied by this proposition."
Robert Gabriner, director of the doctoral in educational leadership program at SF State, said that members of the program are in constant dialogue with each other about the issues students are facing in the educational system. He said that Californians have to turn to a different type of political and financial organization to survive the 21st century.
"It's a period of transformation," said Gabriner, who has spent 40 years working at community colleges that he said have been under funded for decades. "Right now it's ugly, but hopefully in the future there will be a focus on the needs of the people in the state."
Gabriner said that during the Vietnam War, professors spoke about foreign policy issues with their students. He said it's normal to stop the usual business and focus on the problem at hand.
Raïsa Van Olden, a 21-year-old psychology major studying abroad from the Netherlands, said she didn't expect prior to coming to SF State that students would be so impacted by California's economic woes. She experienced a fee increase last year at the University of Amsterdam but the students protested and wrote letters to their government. Their efforts were a success and the fee increases were revoked.
"In Holland, if there's not enough space, they'd teach outside if they had to," Van Olden said. "They wouldn't turn a student away if they had already paid and they really needed the class."
Van Olden said her friends back home are in disbelief that students are struggling to add classes.
"In Amsterdam, if we don't agree with it we go on the street screaming, and here people say this sucks but they don't do anything," she said. "But I don't know if they have a choice."
Van Olden said her teachers are doing a good job trying to explain what is going on and relating with the students.
Sam Brown-Vasquez, a 21-year-old senior majoring in Spanish and environmental studies at SF State, said that students have had a poor working relationship with teachers.
"In order for a dialogue to be successful for students and teachers we have to sit down as equals at the same table since we both are equally affected," Brown-Vasquez said. "We both have to respect each other and understand each other. Only in the past few weeks have I begun to see teachers reaching out to students. I feel like we're starting to come together."
Ali Borjian, an assistant professor of elementary education, said that not having enough access to higher education is economically and culturally detrimental. When access is denied, he said, the huge social gap that already exists will grow.
Borjian stressed the importance of establishing a dialogue with students. "Teachers are agents of change and advocates for students, not just conveyors of information," said Borjian, who said his concern with the budget cuts is not focused on his pay but on the restriction to students' quality of education.
Jenny Lau, a professor in the cinema department, supports the plan for students, faculty and staff at universities to join together in a statewide protest on Oct. 26, a furlough day, in their respective cities.
"If you have enough people adamant about this issue then the rest of society will pay attention," Lau said. "If you're secretly angry or sorry, nothing is going to happen."
SF State biology Prof. Frank Bayliss waits in pleasurable expectation for the day he can drop everything and fly to Washington, D.C.
"I'm just looking forward to meeting the president," Bayliss said. "I think it's cool."
Bayliss is one of 10 recipients of the 2008 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. President Obama is expected to present the award -- at an undetermined date this fall -- at the White House.
"Surely there can be no one who more completely deserves recognition for his success in mentoring students in the science, engineering and mathematics disciplines than Dr. Frank Bayliss," wrote James Kelley, SF State dean emeritus of the College of Science and Engineering, in his nomination letter.
Bayliss began his career at SF State 34 years ago, first in an administrative role, then as an instructor. During his time in the classroom he recognized a frustrating trend among minority students.
"Graduate students were taking four, five, six years to do their master's," Bayliss said. "So I had to find some way to buy students out from these distracting jobs, to get them into being full-time science students doing research."
Bayliss' solution to the problem is the Student Enrichment Opportunities office. Today, Bayliss devotes most of his time to the SEO, which consists of nine undergraduate and seven graduate programs, five of which Bayliss founded.
His two undergraduate programs are the Minority Access to Research Careers and the Research Initiative for Scientific Advancement. There is also a RISE program for graduate students, as well as the M.A.-M.S./Ph.D. Bridge to the Future and the Genentech Foundation Dissertation fellowship.
"These programs have brought in over $60 million since I've started," Bayliss said. "Genentech called me up and asked me if I would be interested in applying for some money," he said. "That is the first time that has ever happened. But that's what happens when you get to the point where you are successful and you perform. That's the key."
Money isn't the only support students receive because of Bayliss' work. His programs also include one-on-one mentoring by Bayliss and other science and engineering faculty.
"Dr. Frank Bayliss is my hero," said graduate student Andrew Carriman. "His mentorship has assisted me immensely, and if I am successful, it is through Dr. Bayliss' mentorship and encouragement."
Bayliss' encouragement extends beyond the classroom. He sometimes finds himself nurturing the students in their personal lives and occasionally bridging the gap between generations and cultures, explaining to families how important a continued education is.
"Dr. Bayliss has been an incredible source of support and inspiration in my life," said Yudy Cristo, 31, a graduate student in cellular and molecular biology.
Cristo, a single mother of two who plans to start a neuroscience Ph.D. at UC San Francisco in fall 2010, had to contend with personal and family related challenges on top of her educational responsibilities.
"It has been during these critical and difficult times that Dr. Bayliss' support has been an essential component sustaining my academic life," Cristo said. "His leadership has re-energized me, has strengthened my vision, and has fired up my passion."
Bayliss said he has enjoyed the opportunities for reconnecting with old students this award has given him, and gets a kick out of imagining the things he will say to the president when the time finally comes.
He said he thinks President Obama has had a rough go of it lately, and would just like the opportunity to tell him how much his work is appreciated and that he is doing a good job.
Along with the award comes a spot on a committee at the National Science Foundation, which Bayliss said yields some power in policymaking.
"A lot of these committees are filled with people that were born with silver spoons in their mouth," he said. "They are wonderful people but they haven't got any idea what it's like to have (the CSU) experience."
Bayliss is also the recipient of the 2009 distinguished professional mentor award from SACNAS -- Advancing Hispanic/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.
Bayliss said this award means a great deal to him as well because he was nominated by his students. The professor said he is humbled by all the attention he has received. He tells his students to always follow their passion and said he feels lucky he is able to heed his own advice.
"Hey, I'm happy," Bayliss said. "Everything I get now is just extra."
An earthquake of magnitude of 3.6 hit around the Central California area around 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The area included Aromas, Pajaro, Las Lomas, Watsonville, Hollister and San Jose City Hall.
However students felt the earthquake at the top of the Cesar Chavez Student Center at SF State.
For more information please visit the USGS Web sit// at http://earthquake.usgs.gov/
The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge reopened early this morning after crews were able to fix a crack in a steel link on the bridge, according to an SF Gate article.
The bridge reopened at 6:30 a.m., an hour and half later than what was originally planned two days ago.
Caltrans officials announced yesterday afternoon of the bridge's closure for an extra day after workers were unable to fix a significant crack that was found on the eastern portion of the bridge during the weekend in time for its original reopening 5 a.m. Tuesday.
The bridge was closed from last Thursday evening to allow workers to start placing a new double-deck section on the eastern span of the bridge. It is schedule to be completed in 2013.
The Gators cruised victoriously Saturday morning into their first meet of the season taking home both men's and women's CSU Monterey Bay Invitational titles in Seaside, Ca.
SF State women's cross-country captain Tanya Ferreira, junior, lead 7 Gators of the top 11 finishers to a time of 18 minutes in the 4.06-mile race. Returning sophomore Karen Marchan finished thirteen seconds behind Ferreira.
"She had a good pace and they all ran in a pack," said SF State Head Cross Country Coach Tom Lyons.
The lady Gators finished ahead in points over Cal State Stanislaus, Sonoma State, Cal State East Bay, CSU Monterey Bay and Notre Dame de Namur.
"I was happy to see that we took seven of the top eleven spots in the race," said Lyons.
On the men's side, junior Max Fernandez came in 12 seconds behind the individual champion from CSU Stanislaus.
"Max was in the top 3 for the first 3 miles of the race and in the last hundred meters out-raced the third place finisher to put him ahead," said Lyons.
Men's captain Kyle Fujitsubo, junior, pulled ahead in the last mile-and-a-half to earn him a 4th place individual time of 22:36. Following him were freshmen Tyler Deniston and Brian Trejo, who finished 6th and 7th, respectively.
"(The freshmen were) fantastic and ran a smart patient race," said Lyons.
The Gators have their next meet at Mills College in Oakland on Sept. 19 for the Mills College Invitational title.
"Mills will be low key and nice for our younger top athletes," said Lyons.
Lyons' eyes however are set on the weekend after when he takes his top runners to the University of Minnesota for the Roy Griak Invitational. There the SF State will compete with teams from all over the country.
"This was a good start to the season and I am excited for the upcoming meets," said Lyons.
After sweeping a 3-0 victory Saturday night against Dominican University, Gator fans witnessed yet another outstanding performance by SF States women's volleyball team.
To begin the last day of the 2009 California Clash Tournament this weekend at SF State, the Gators played a solid three-match game to shut out Saint Martin's this past Saturday.
The Gators destroyed the entire first half leaving Saint Martin's trailing once by 13 points. The final score was 25-13.
"We started slow yesterday [Friday], but today we were definitely stronger," said SF State Women's Head Volleyball Coach Michelle Patton.
Saint Martin's stepped up their game in the second match to tie the score six times, but the Gators didn't approve. Out of the five total team blocks, Sophomore Robyn Hall held the highest with four and the match ended abruptly at 25-16.
"I found out this morning that I was playing middle in today's game," said Hall, who's original position is outsider. "I wasn't nervous, I was just getting excited. For me it's more fun than nerve racking."
It was an intense third match between the two teams, but the Gators managed to prevail once more. Senior Beth Perkins led the team with 11 kills and served the last two points to end the game.
The Gators finished strong with 25-13 in the last match.
"Yesterday we were a little off but we were feeling confident and it showed because today we came together pretty well," said Perkins. "We were definitely ready to do it again."
"We had two days to prepare for this tournament but what I want is for all my girls to be more mentally ready and prepared," Said Patton. "It's about getting better on our system and doing things that make us a good team − repetitively."
The Gators devoured yet another team tonight winning 3-0 against Dominican University in what marked the second day of the California Clash tournament at SF State.
The women's volleyball squad started the game in complete focus chomping their rivals at every chance they could get.
Fans arrived and everyone was hoping for another great game from the Gators. SF State cheerleaders sat in the stand bringing school spirit to the tournament.
"We just want more people coming to these games, the team is good," said sophomore cheerleader Jessica Disanto, 19.
Set one lit the competition on fire with the Gators winning the first game 25-21.
"We knew what kind of fire power Dominican had and we knew that they were gonna come to play so we responded," said Women's Volleyball Head Coach Michelle Patton.
The Gators mangled Dominican in the third set leading the score at 25-17. Freshman Jennifer Jasper stepped up and showed her star quality with a .538 percent attack.
"JJ responded tonight, she worked harder in the middle and the result was a success, she had a great game," said Patton.
The third set sealed the win for tonight's tournament with a score of 25-21, but the bout was a nail biter all the way to the end. The set stayed at a tie for a while until Dominican constantly served out of bounds. Dominican's errors gave SF State the extra two points it needed for the lead and eventually the hard-fought win.
The tournament ended on a high note, with smiles, cheers and high fives.
"The Gator volleyball girls dominated the court and deserve nothing less than roaring fans," said freshman cheerleader Kelly Nelson, 18.
The Gators extended their winning streak to five in a row. In the final day of tournament competition, SF State will tomorrow face Saint Martin's at 2 p.m. and Chaminade at 7 p.m.
A pedestrian was hurt in an incident with a Muni Metro car Thursday morning at Broad Street and Plymouth Avenue, and was taken to the San Francisco General Hospital, according to Muni's spokesperson.
The unidentified woman had "non-life threatening injuries," according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesperson Judson True.
The hospital was reached, but was unable to give more information on the woman's condition.
The accident, which happened around 11 a.m., affected the M-line connecting downtown to SF State. Regular service resumed around 12 p.m.
According to True, he had no information on how the accident happened. The San Francisco Police Department also had no information on the incident.
SF State senior Gabi Beck waited for the Muni at the Church Street station for 30 minutes before he was able to get on an M train, only to be told shortly after leaving the West Portal station that the car was changing to the K-line.
Beck was more than 30 minutes late for his class because of the incident.
"It's a drag to say the least," Beck said. "There were about fifty of us waiting for a shuttle at Saint Francis Circle."
Muni riders were also able to take the Bus 28, True said.
Although students living near the university were not affected, some had problems with the way Muni was dealing with the situation.
"Muni has to be more vocal if there's an accident," said Leah LaCroix, a freshman at SF State. "They have to notify people, especially students."
Beck also agreed.
"A lot of people depend on Muni to get to work or class on time," he said. "It's just an example of how this problem is getting ignored."
According to a presentation to the city's board of supervisors on Aug 10, Muni has reduced collisions more in this quarter then in the last six years. For every 100,000 miles last year, there was an average of six accidents. This year, the number has fallen to five.
Morgane Byloos contributed to this report earlier.
An SF State student organization hosted a meeting in the Business building around 7 p.m. Thursday to introduce their goals and discuss possible initiatives concerning the budget cuts.
The Student Unity & Power, a student organization dedicated in liberalizing education, met with students from various majors who came to express their anger and anxiety as they are faced with having to take fewer classes and drop out because of lack of space in classrooms.
About 50 students were present at the meeting. The group originally met at Malcolm X Plaza before heading over to the building together.
"Our main goal is to let people know about our mission statement and what our ideology is," said Brendan McHugh, a member of SUP and a women and gender studies major. "We want to let them know why we think it would be beneficial if we fight against it with militant action."
McHugh expressed his discontentment about the furloughs before the meeting started.
"Furlough days are not a vacation," he said. "It's a rip-off."
During the meeting, students who were not members of the SUP, raised some concerns and threw in ideas on what they could do to make the university administration and California react. Among those ideas included the possibility of shutting down the Golden Gate Bridge, writing letters to representatives or sitting in SF State President Robert Corrigan's office.
Anastasia Gomes, a member of SUP, said in an e-mail later on that one of the proposals included "doing systematic network and chapter building of student resistance cross-campus..."
"I thought that maybe we could try to change something (about the budget cuts) before dropping out," said psychology student Bridget Rodman.
The organization would like to work with other groups, but they want to insure that their mission will not change, said McHugh.
Alex Schmaus, a member of the International Socialist Organization and liberal studies major, said his organization was looking into working with other groups as well.
"We are looking for what the prospects are for joint struggle on the left to fight against the budget cuts," he said.
The Malcolm X Plaza roared with debate as students gathered in the sun to witness heated arguments and protest against an evangelist group from Fremont.
Students watched, some with amusement and some with disbelief, as representatives from Cry to God Ministry preached at passing students for hours on the plaza.
Four members, who refused to give their full names in fear of repercussions, each began by quoting out of a bible, and eventually resorted to name-calling, labeling individual students as sinners and fornicators.
"We try to communicate and get Christians to talk about their faith to some of these people that never even heard the gospel and are sheltered by our culture," said Christian, one of the members.
Equipped with signs of protest against fornicators, drunkards and homosexuals, Christian, J.K. and his wife, Evangelista, travel to campuses statewide with their messages of God.
"About four years ago God called on me to preach," said J.K., who was wearing a purple and yellow "Trust Jesus" t-shirt. "So we gave away all our possessions, sold our house and hit the road."
The consensus across the quad was that this campus belongs to the students and that they weren't going to tolerate outside groups expressing hatred. They responded by writing protests in chalk on the floor and holding signs reading "'I do' support the freedom to marry."
"Someone from this campus was actually talking about how she wanted to become a street preacher after she saw us," Evangelista said.
Ecumenical House, an SF State student-based group, was tabling nearby for progressive Christianity. One of its members, Lilly Thomas, joined with Reverend Carolyn Talmadge in holding up signs from their table supporting equality within Christianity.
"We like to counter religious right and put some sense, peace and loving, back into the Christian faith because that's what it's really about," Thomas said. "It's not about hating, its not about excluding people, it's about welcoming and knowing that you can be a Christian as well if you're a homosexual."
According to 22-year-old international business student Trent Downes, this is nothing new to SF State, and the group tends to make it out about twice a semester.
"They get the same reaction every time," Downes said. "If everyone just ignored them, they would never come back, but it's entertaining, kind of like a comedy show."
According to JK, they have been to 42 campuses over the past 3 years and have repeatedly had their cameras broken, tires slashed and cars keyed.
The group plans to come back two or three times this year to talk to students.
Nathan Codd and Theresa Seiger contributed to this report.
The SF State Experimental College had a high-energy first meeting Wednesday in the Cesar Chavez Center and saw a sizeable turnout.
The resurrected independent study course is aimed at teaching students to network productively with other students, organize around important issues and take action accordingly.
The meeting drew about 50 students. Some wanted to learn how to become activists, some wished to find a way to take action against the budget cuts, but nearly everyone came for the credits.
Established in 1966,the first experimental college arose out of very similar feelings of student unrest and dissatisfaction with the state of the university and of California's public education in general.
The 1-4 unit student-run class was helped back into existence by two former SF State students who were involved in the historical 1968 protest, Connell Persico and Roger Alvarado.
Persico and Alvarado helped Campus Organizing Roundtable for Empowerment members for four months conceptualizing the college and were in attendance to answer questions and help push the organization in the direction it needed to go.
"I do not want my great grandchildren to come to this institution in the condition that it's in," Alvarado said.
Persico and Alvarado spoke about what the students should be working toward as a group, adding personal experiences and strategies they adopted while defining the original in '66.
"You are talking about coming together to learn things you can't learn anywhere else," Alvarado said.
CORE leaders did an overview of the vision the organizers have for the college, the tentative curriculum and course requirements.
Organizing CORE members then led a question-and-answer period with the students, focusing on the different educational issues the class would like to discuss and eventually organize around politically and intellectually to solve.
"There's an amazing energy in the room," said 22-year-old cinema major Alex Fu. "People are coming in here not just looking for extra units, but saying 'I've never been an activist before, teach me how to organize.'"
Persico advised the students from experience that the most important things to remember to do in this type of situation are to remain active, continue to build up the cause and to remain kind to each other.
"I don't know if you have to accept in your mind that you are in a corrupt institution," Persico said. "But it would help."
CORE member and organizer Jerald Reodica was thrilled with the very diverse turnout, and said he felt "energized" after the three-hour period and plans to build on this energy.
Students in attendance were supportive of the "work in progress," however, some felt that so far, the program lacks structure.
"I love the idea, but it actually seems a little unorganized," said 19-year-old Adrienne Scruton.
The SF State experimental college will meet again on Wednesday, Sept. 9 at the Richard Oakes Multicultural Center, located inside the student center.
After subsequent meetings, CORE is planning to group students according to availability and split up into different sections with different times, in order to accommodate more.
More information is available at http://sfsuexperimentalcollege.blogspot.com
Students and faculty this semester can say hello to a handful of new and hip places to visit on campus.
Over the summer SF State underwent a few renovations: new restaurants, remodeled cafés, modified menus and a unique bike path connecting campus to the Stonestown Galleria.
This fall, the Cesar Chavez Student Center will welcome Tuk-Tuk Thai SF, a new restaurant in the lower conference level, right next to The Pub. Offering lunch combos and specials like Pad Thai and Sweet Chili Salmon, along with Thai Iced Tea and Coffee, the restaurant's grand opening is scheduled for Sept. 11.
This summer Café Rosso was forced to close for a few days in order to begin remodeling. To avoid overcrowdedness and help distinguish between the two order lines, the left side is now reserved for all pick-up orders. In addition, they updated their menu and now brew Peet's Coffee and sell BBQ Cheeseburgers with garlic fries.
Those searching for a place to enjoy a meal or to get a quick cramming session in before class can find additional seating in the west plaza of the student center. After clearing regulations with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a total of 14 tables with chairs were installed and completed in July.
The money used for the installation process was funded by the student center after meeting their budget limit.
"It wasn't just the Board of Directors' decision, but the students', too," said Retail and Commercial Services Manager Neha Shah. "We have to be careful with money we spend; we're here for the best interest of our students and what they need is our priority."
"I think it's better and makes it look more like a campus," added junior Carmen Leung. "It's definitely better than before."
Through the west plaza entrance to the student center, near the bookstore, both new and returning students can prepare to greet the Whole Foods-inspired food store -- Healthy U.
The concept of Healthy U is similar to Whole Foods, offering all-natural and high quality organic products in an effort to promote a healthier education at SF State. Aiming for a more contemporary look to match the theme, SF State hired a designer to put up pictures of fruits and vegetables along the walls inside the store. Healthy U is scheduled to open sometime this week.
"I prefer organic foods but when I go to school there's always pancakes and soul food cooking everywhere," said Rachel Christensen, a senior in the kinesiology program. "It's pretty exciting to know that I can buy an all-organic meal without having to venture off campus."
For cyclists, however, venturing off campus is quite usual on a daily basis. This November, once the repairs of a few minor leaks in the cement are finally completed, students can say goodbye to the ongoing construction happening in the student center.
With one less build up in the way, cyclists now have the opportunity to take a different route to the Stonestown Galleria without ever having to go onto 19th Avenue.
SF State students, frustrated with paying more money for fewer course sections, will be able to agitate for change and add units through a new student-run independent study course.
Sponsored through the department of political science, the new SF State Experimental College, also known as Campus Organizing Roundtable on Empowerment, will allow students to come together and discuss ways to have their educational needs met while securing up to four units.
"It's basically a student-run class where you get credit for organizing around things like budget cuts," said 22-year-old Honora Keller, health education major and member of Students for Quality Education.
CORE is a diverse group of campus activists who are anti-oppression, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and in the process of becoming organizers, according to their Web page.
One of the program's organizers, Jerald Reodica, said that the Experimental College will attempt to boost "critical consciousness" and give students the opportunity to raise pressing issues that are affecting their educations, beginning with the budget cuts.
"These cuts are lowering the quality of higher education in California," Reodica said. "We need to create a university for us, not the board of trustees or the governor."
Reodica said that such a project would not accomplish its goals through e-mail.
"In order to have a better delivery, we have to physically meet with each other and discuss our ideas," he said.
According to Reodica, the course is designed to produce a politicized campus community and build solidarity between students, while providing a forum for them to invent alternatives to the recent direction of their educational careers.
"People think that students are apathetic," said Samantha Adame, 20, a literature and Raza studies double major and SQE member. "But that's not true."
Adame said that with a typical workload of school and employment, most students simply haven't found the time to become involved with such organizations and in most cases are satisfied with just focusing on graduating.
"This gives students a chance not only to get credits, but to use that time to make a difference in their educations," Adame said.
Reodica said that students also have the opportunity to make proposals on things they're passionate about both on and off campus.
According to its organizers, the Experimental College is still a work in progress that is scheduled to begin on Sept. 2 at the Richard Oakes Multicultural Center in the Cesar Chavez Student Center.
The first day's curriculum will include a documentary on budget cuts and offer students an opportunity to meet veterans of the 1968 SF State strike.
For more information visit www.sfsuexperimentalcollege.blogspot.com
SF State teachers are being backed into a corner by mandatory furlough days, forcing them to work for free, or sacrifice portions of students' education.
Full and part-time faculty members are required to split 18 furlough days between the fall and spring semesters.
Eight of the nine required furlough days this semester are already set -- Sept. 4 and 8, Oct. 23 and 26 and Nov. 23, 24, 25 and 27.
Faculty and staff are required to take at least two flexible furlough days and no more than nine per semester.
"I cannot work for free," said English composition teacher Georgia Gero-Chen, who said she will take all of the remaining furloughs on classroom instruction days.
Gero teaches five days a week, making missed instructional days unavoidable. She said she feels it's important for teachers to send a message when scheduling the furloughs. "If the ill effects of furloughs are not visibly felt, it will be assumed that it is OK and it is not OK," Gero-Chen said.
She also said she dislikes the idea of taking time away from the students. She said she won't be able to prepare this year's students as well as she has past classes and feels "they're getting cheated."
Aida Seballos, a second-year Spanish teacher, is leaving her five furlough days unassigned for now. She said she fears there won't be enough time to cover all the material required for her advanced class.
"Taking the time off from the students, that is what I worry about," Seballos said. "If I feel like I can fit it in I will let them know ahead of time."
Another point of agreement between the two instructors is how students should respond to furloughs.
"They need to get active and angry," Gero said.
"The students have more power than we do," Seballos said.
But the students have other problems on their minds, like not having classes to go to in the first place.
"If they want to take days off that is fine, I just want to take the class," said Marat Bogomolny, 20.
Olga Rios is worried about the loss of financial aid funds and being kicked off her parents' insurance if she can't keep her full-time status by taking enough units.
The furloughs are intended to ensure less work for less pay -- a 10 percent monthly pay cut for full-time faculty and 9.23 percent for part-time -- but may create the opposite effect.
The diminished course offerings force sympathetic teachers to take on bloated classes, adding to their workload and boiling down their teaching schedule on new syllabi.
"Preparing the syllabus was very, very time consuming," Seballos said. "I think it took five times as long."
Other SF State employees are also subject to furlough days. Full-time faculty, like the department chairs, will take 24 days for the academic year and librarians, counselors, and coaches must take 20. So far, teacher's assistants, campus police and instructional student assistants are not subject to the unpaid days.
SF State's new drop deadline has been extended four days as a result of the furloughs. Despite the extension, students will still need to decide whether they wish to drop a class 11 days sooner than they did last fall.
The two-week window to finalize classes, a reaction to budget cuts and class availability, is expected to remain the same in future semesters.
The University's Academic Senate pushed the drop deadline for the fall 2009 semester from Sept. 7 to Sept. 11, taking into consideration the furlough days on Sept. 4 and 8. The senate adopted the new policy at its May 12 meeting.
"We wanted to make sure that students who plan to drop a course have to do it a little earlier so that other students can get added into the vacated seats," explained Academic Senate Chair Shawn Whalen.
Taylor Stice, a freshman wait-listed in a Raza studies class, expressed her frustration as she competed with more than 10 students to add the class. "It sucks. I don't know what to do if I don't add my classes," said Stice, who is already enrolled in 10 units, but wants 16.
For Raza Studies Professor Alejandro Murguia, getting more students into class is not about moving up the drop deadline, but considering new ways to invest in education.
"What matters is that politicians are destroying education," Murguia said. "Education is not a priority in California, which is tragic."
Murguia emphasized that the California State University board of trustees voted against State Assembly Bill 656 in their July meeting. "Students were there protesting and were ignored," he said.
AB 656, an oil-extraction tax, would have generated more than $1 billion for public education, according to Phil Klasky, coordinator at the Ethnic Studies Student Resource and Empowerment Center.
"Students are scrambling to enroll in any class in order to maintain their class standing, financial aid, housing and health care," Klasky said. "These policies are all counter-productive to a well-planned, quality education, where students can take the classes they need to advance their academic career."
Mona Pertiu, a second-year business and psychology major and exchange student from London Metropolitan University, said she understands the frustration of other students.
"I am lucky because I was able to enroll in all my four classes, but I think it's good that students drop a class early as possible," she said. "If you don't add a class early you miss information and that's not good for exams purposes."
However, graduate student Jonathan Terhorst, said he didn't understand why the senate moved up the deadline. "I don't know why they did it," Terhorst, 26, said. "Yes, it will benefit those trying to add, but there's less time for people to make a decision."
SF State's Environmental Health and Occupational Safety Department (EHOS) is moving from Science 107 to Administration 252, said Michael J. Martin, Executive Director of Risk Management.
EHOS develops safety education and monitors programs complying with campus environmental health and safety policy and various regulatory agencies' policies, as charged by the SFSU Injury and Illness Prevention Program.
EHOS responds to hazardous waste spills on campus, including blood, chemicals, and others that may cause harm. Their staff are specially trained in dealing with hazardous waste management and emergency response, electrical safety and radiation safety.
The department is moving "in order to ease collaboration with Risk Management and other HR working groups. Safety services have been maintained continuously, without interruption," Martin said.
The EHOS main phone number is x81449. In the event of after hour emergencies, call the University Police Department via 911. Thereafter, the police will contact the EHOS staff.
Students and faculty gathered in front of the Cesar Chavez Student Center Tuesday afternoon and marched through campus to protest the budget cuts, show solidarity and "stop the insanity."
Protestors carried signs and chanted as American Indian Studies lecturer Phil Klasky led the crowd to 19th Avenue while beckoning others to follow.
"Come on and join us," Klasky said to onlooking students. "We're marching for your classes, we're marching for your financial aid."
Students joined in the march, and the crowd doubled in size as it crept up the hill and through the quad.
"A lot of my friends are trying to crash all their classes, classes they deserve," 18-year-old business major Dustin Staples said. "It's gonna make them stand up for what they know is right."
After leading the rally through the Quad to the corner of 19th Avenue and Holloway, California Faculty Association members and SF State students addressed the crowd and those passing by. Speakers expressed their disgust with the state of educational funding in California, and pushed for alternatives to furloughs and urged the entire campus to support one another during this crisis.
"It's not about you and your classes, and it's not about us and our jobs," SF State CFA Executive Board Vice President Sheila Tully said. "It's about the future of this state."
One of the guest speakers included Margaret Leahy, a veteran of the historic 1968 SF State strike, who was thrilled to lend her experience and her voice to this very familiar cause.
"I haven't used one of these in 40 years," Leahy said while grasping a bullhorn.
In addition to educating the SF State community on the budget crisis in general and its effects, CFA members also suggested ways in which the state might raise revenues without continuing to cut California State University funding.
According to Klasky, an oil extraction tax called bill AB 656, written to fund public education, as similar legislation does in many other states, would generate enough revenue for the CSU to reinstate all faculty and classes. But CSU board of trustees voted down the bill.
"We are destroying California's future," Klasky said. "This makes absolutely no economic sense."
Tully, who wore a sign that read "UCB PhD, will teach for food," said hundreds of long-time lecturers have no classes for the fall semester and have subsequently lost health insurance for themselves and their families.
The CFA organized the rally and involved everyone on campus who was concerned about what was happening to the students and to SF State.
"The idea is that students, staff and faculty must work together to defend public education in particular and public services more generally," Tully said, who is also an anthropology lecturer at SF State.
Collaborating with CFA to promote this event, is the brand-new SF State chapter of Students for Quality Education. SQE hopes that by offering their full support, they can show lecturers that the students are on their side and will support them during these difficult times.
"It's the same struggle that we're both facing," said 20-year-old Literature/Raza studies major and SQE member Samantha Adame. "We're also hoping to get student voices out there too to express their feelings."
Activist leaders, like Tully, feel that the state's government is failing the students and as educators, and that something must be done. The California Master Plan--the idea that every qualified student who wants to go to college would have a place in the University of California, CSU, or state community college system--is being abandoned, according to Tully.
"The promise is being broken, and this is destroying the dreams of many first-generation college students," Tully said.
According to SF State chapter CFA president Ramon Castellblanch, this is the first of many actions planned at SF State and a precursor to a statewide "week of actions" scheduled to begin Oct. 12.
"The worst cuts may be coming this spring, and by the fall whole departments may be gone," said Castellblanch referring to what has been projected by SF State President Robert Corrigan's office.