December 2010 Archives

Entertainment Blog: Student DJ knows music

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In light of listening to new music, this week I spent some time at KSFS, the campus online radio station, to check out "Oven Fresh Radio" with Dallas Osborn. The show features music from up and coming artists and other music that listeners may have never heard.

This is the third semester that Osborn has had his own show and his first semester acting as music director for the station. Osborn has creative control over what music is played during his show and in programming the stations loop music; what plays when a DJ is not on the air and in between shows.

"I keep it pretty diverse," said Osborn. "Stuff a lot of people will like."

Diverse is definitely an apt title for the music I heard while in the studio. I walked in to an Incubus cover of Big Pun's "Still Not a Player," definitely something worth checking out. Osborn also played a snippet of "U Smile" by Justin Bieber; this version slowed down 800 percent. Both of these tracks are the stuff the usual music lover may have never heard.

When he is not exposing listeners to new music, Osborn works at San Francisco's Live 105 radio station, operating soundboards and doing promotions.

"I gave away a Mustang last week," he said.

Osborn is expecting to graduate next semester, recently winning a radio scholarship from the John Bayliss Broadcast Foundation.

"It pays to read the emails from your teachers," he said.

Upon graduation, Osborn said he would love to land a full-time on-air job with Live 105; but in the meantime, promoting new bands to new people is just fine.

"Bands are my babies," Osborn said. " I want to see them grow up and get signed."

Questions/Comments? Shoot me an email.

Friends, family mourn loss of fellow student

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Todd Eugene Kendrick, an 18-year-old freshman at SF State, loved video games and his pet lizards. He had a veracious appetite for life and never feared trying new things. He dreamed of exploring the world before settling down and immersing himself in the vast beauty of South Dakota.

Tragically, Kendrick's promising life was cut short on Thursday, Dec. 2 when he lost control of his car and struck a wall in his hometown of Fremont.

"He was a great person, always cared about others and always put smiles on our faces," said Rachna Yadav, who had been a close friend to Kendrick since age 10. "Every time he would laugh, he would manage to get everyone around him to laugh. We definitely had a lot of good times together and I miss him dearly."

Kendrick graduated from Irvington High School where he was choir president and was working toward a degree in biology and zoology. He hoped his future degree would help lead to his own pet shop where he planned to raise bearded dragons.

Though he suffered from Cerebral Palsy and Hydrocephalus, he didn't let his disability affect him as a person.

"He touched a lot of people," said Kelsey Kendrick, his twin sister. "He was always happy-go-lucky and he would always try to make other people feel better about themselves. He could laugh about anything and he helped so many people because of that."

This was Kendrick's first semester at SF State and Ashley Pruitt, who considered herself among his best friends, said he loved everything the city and the school offered.

"It was his little escape from Fremont," Pruitt said. "There was a part of him he had to leave in the past. He wanted to go somewhere new and San Francisco was that place."

Despite only spending a semester at SF State, Kendrick's presence is something friends and faculty alike agree can't be replaced.

"While Todd was only a student with us for a short while, his loss to our community is still felt," said University spokeswoman Ellen Griffin. "He had just started on the college chapter of his life and we share with his close friends and family a great sense of loss and sadness."

Like many of his friends, Kendrick's sister said her fondest memories of him are the simple times they spent hanging out, just being in each other's company.

She reminisced about Black Friday, when they had the time of their lives shopping for deals and sharing a table at Denny's at four in the morning.

"I love him and I miss him," she said.

Both at school and work, Kendrick was the one people turned to when they needed a little sunshine to brighten their foggiest days.

"He meant well in every situation," said Ben Palmberg, who worked alongside Kendrick at Jamba Juice in his hometown. "He was a really good person to the core."

Although Kendrick's loss is upsetting, those who knew his calming presence and kind heart maintain that he is gone but not forgotten.

"If I could talk to him again, I would tell him I'm very proud of him," Pruitt said. "No matter what, he could accomplish anything."

Kendrick is survived by mother Melba and father Adrian Kendrick; twin sister Kelsey Kendrick; and grandmother Maxine Mills.

A memorial service will be held at Berge Pappas Smith Chapel of the Angels 40842 Fremont Blvd., Fremont on Tuesday, Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. The family requests that remembrances be sent to the Hydrocephalus Association of San Francisco at 870 Market Street, Suite 705 San Francisco, CA 94102.

Quorum not established, no decision made in UPAC meeting

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With Governor Brown planning to submit the official 2011-2012 budget this January, the University Planning and Advisory Council still has yet to give a recommendation as to the restructuring of SF State.

On Dec. 10, UPAC held a faculty meeting, but unfortunately no official business could be addressed because not enough professors showed for a quorum. Instead, faculty members met in McKenna Theater for an informal discussion regarding the University's budget.

A quorum is the minimum number of members of a deliberative assembly that must be present in order to conduct official business. To establish quorum at SF State's administrative meetings at least 200 faculty members must be present.

"It's exam time and people have other obligations," said SF State President Robert A. Corrigan. "I think the fact that almost 200 people came on a Friday afternoon at this time of the year, it speaks highly of faculty concerned about this institution."

According to Academic Senate Chair Shawn Whalen, the meeting was proposed with approximately 85 faculty members' signatures on a petition in early October and the goal was to address different issues regarding faculty budgeting.

"UPAC has not come to a decision about whether or not it even embraces or that it would make a recommendation to transition from eight to six," Whalen said. "We want to take a look at what kind of budget situation we're really facing. If the budget situation is good enough that we don't have to think about something like college restructuring, then I think we wouldn't recommend it."

For the 2011-2012 school year, the restructuring proposal would save the University approximately $1.5 million dollars in the midst of an $18 million deficit.

"We need the right version of restructuring," Whalen said. "I'm not sure we've identified that yet."

More than 90 percent of SF State's budget funds faculty and administrators' salaries and benefits, as well as students' financial aid.

Another concern addressed at the meeting was the lack of transparency when dealing with the University's budget.

"We don't know the breakdown of how much of that 90 percent is for administration and how much in instructional faculty," said Jerald Shapiro, former chairman of the University Interdisciplinary Council.

"Maybe it's time for there to be some open platform, where we all have the information broken down, so that we can put our collective heads together and figure out how to come up with opportunities, pathways and innovations that don't have to compromise the essential core of what SF State is all about."

UPAC has four proposals to consider and has yet to officially vote on the future of SF State's eight colleges, but the council plans on submitting recommendations next month once the budget comes out.

If UPAC suggests restructuring, then the proposal would go out to a faculty vote before being turned over to President Robert Corrigan for the final decision.

"The thing that I find most frustrating is that we tend to divide ourselves over issues where we have minor disagreements, and that prevent us from moving forward with unity," Whalen said.

One idea thrown around the forum was that the meeting was scheduled so that as little amount of faculty would show up as possible.

"I think the meeting was scheduled on a day where the chances for a quorum were remarkably low," said Deborah Cohler, an associate professor for women and gender studies.

Whalen said that the meeting schedule was picked on the basis that it was the time that the least amount of faculty members were teaching.

However, certain faculty members expressed concern over starting the meeting with less than a quorum.

"We have about 1,600 faculty members represented here by less than 10 percent of the faculty," said Trevor Getz, associate professor in the department of history. "And we're suggesting that we move forward with senate people up there and something that could turn into an official meeting in the absence of 90 percent of our peers. I have to say that I object to doing that."

LGBT activists protest UN vote to execute gays

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A group of LGBT supporters and activists gathered at the United Nations Plaza in downtown San Francisco Dec. 11 to condemn the international organization's mid-November vote to exclude gays from executions and unjustified killings while also calling for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people worldwide.

"The UN has an ethical and moral duty in its declaration of human rights to protect the rights of all, including LGBT people," said author and activist Davina Kotulski, who was one of many featured speakers at the protest. "We have got to be unstoppable in our mission to end LGBT intolerance."

On Nov. 20, the U.N. General Assembly passed a vote that removed an individual's sexual orientation from a resolution that addressed executions that occur outside the confines of law. In countries where homosexuality is not tolerated, LGBT individuals could be charged with crimes and possibly face execution for their sexual preference.

Among the present activists were several city figures including District 8 Supervisor Bevan Dufty and Veronika Cauley, commissioner of the Veterans Affairs Commission, who is also a nurse and transgender specialist.

"This (vote) is really striking us deeply," Dufty said. "There's no question that those of us in San Francisco have to raise our voices. We are here, we are making our presence felt."

LGBT rights activists outlined the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the first of the 30 articles prominently declared, "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."

The organization its charter were founded in San Francisco shortly following World War II in 1945 and is the successor to the failed League of Nations.

The obelisk featured photos of Honduran LGBT rights activist and National Resistance Front member Walter Trochez, who was murdered in December 2009.

It is believed that forces close to president Roberto Micheletti murdered him because he openly opposed the coup d'etat of exiled president Manuel Zelaya and his activeness in documenting and publicizing homophobic crimes within the country.

"Walter's death is prime example of what an extrajudicial killing is," said Michael Petrelis, a member of Gays Without Borders and organizer of the protest. "One year later, no one has been arrested for his murder. It is time to for the U.N. to embrace and protect gay people all around the world."

Honduras is one of many countries that voted in favor of the resolution, although homosexuality in that country, while punishable, is not a capital offense. Homosexuality is punishable by death in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen and Afghanistan and the vast majority of nations supporting the resolution were those found in Africa and the Middle East.

However, some countries that are known for their liberal attitudes toward LGBT rights did not reject the language of the resolution.

"South Africa is the only country in the world that prohibits LGBT discrimination," said South African artist and activist Clinton Fein whose country supported the measure. "For South Africa to vote in favor of this resolution is disheartening."

The Republic of South Africa is the only African nation with full-fledged rights for LGBT people, yet Baso Sangqu, the South African permanent representative to the U.N., voted in favor of the resolution.

Ambassador Susan Rice, the American permanent representative to the U.N., although not present at the protest, openly supported the rights and equality for all in a speech to the U.N. Dec. 10, which also marked Human Rights Day.

The speeches and gathering in San Francisco's protest culminated in the speakers and supporters hoisting the universal LGBT symbol, the rainbow flag, beneath the UN flag while singing the Wizard of Oz classic "Somewhere over the Rainbow."

Acknowledging Clinton Fein's speech, Commissioner Cauley saw the need to extend solidarity to LGBT people worldwide.

"We need to let everyone around the world know that we care about our LGBT people," Cauley said. "What affects one of us affects all of us."

Spring semester syllabi shifts

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The SF State Academic Senate recently passed a policy that will require faculty to include on their syllabi University-approved student learning outcomes.

These outcomes will be linked to assignments students must complete to demonstrate their competency.

"The policy was proposed with an interest to create a common understanding between students and faculty about academic goals," said Shawn Whalen, chairman of the Academic Senate.

The new policy, he said, will apply to GE courses in the "entire undergraduate experience" and will serve as a guideline in helping the senate determine how students learn course objectives best.

However, Fram Paiz, 20, a junior and pre-nursing major at SF State, believes the new policy will add unnecessary work to each of his GE classes.

He assumes that professors and lecturers will have to give a number of assignments that is equivalent to the number of learning outcomes.

"Now there's motivation to excel in GE classes," he said.

Even though the senate passed the policy on Nov. 2, President Robert A. Corrigan waited until the morning of Dec. 7 to sign it. The policy will take effect at the start of the spring 2011 semester.

Whalen said the senate revised and renewed the University's baccalaureate degree requirements last spring and as a result, agreed to enforce the syllabi policy.

Professor Margaret Lynch, who has a doctorate degree in psychology and teaches a general psychology course at SF State, believes the new policy will benefit students more than anyone.

"It is essential that students have a variety of ways to demonstrate academic achievement. For example, through writing and testing," Lynch said, who is currently reviewing more than 700 papers from her students.

A document available through the senate's website shows an example of what GE course syllabi will constitute in the spring as a result of the new policy.

As of fall 2010, all course syllabi required the instructor's name and contact information, office location and phone number, office hours, the course title and number, a list of texts and materials to be used throughout the course - including any additional fees or costs - as well as a description of the grading policy and teaching methods, according to the SF State Academic Senate website.

With the new policy in place, GE course syllabi in the spring will also include a chart that shows each assignment and its grade value followed by one or more learning outcomes students will meet by completing the assignment.

For instance, one of the learning outcomes for lower division written English communication is, "Articulate, in written essays, (the student's) understanding and appreciation of multiple forms and variations of human diversity, both within the United States and globally."

The senate's revision of GE course syllabi will now require faculty to assign an activity to the students in order to prove they fulfilled the student-learning outcome.

"The recently approved syllabi policy will provide a record to the University that will allow the Academic Senate to ask, 'did these assignments really help a student's learning?'" Whalen Said. "But it won't mean a great deal of change."

According to the University's website, each GE course has its own list of student learning outcomes.

Paiz, who thinks of GE courses as an opportunity to relax from his demanding science classes said, "I'll have to be more attentive in class and probably put (in) more effort."

Fix It Blog: Bathroom construction update

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The semester is coming to a close. And while we seek refuge from the rain and wind in the Cesar Chavez Student Center, the main restrooms have yet to be completed.

I spoke with Plant Engineer Tony Hayward and, according to him, the men's restroom is 85 percent complete but they aren't expected to be ready by the end of the semester.
"I would say three to four weeks," said Hayward.

The new stalls are now being put in but construction has been slowed because the crew is waiting for new parts.

According to Hayward, the main parts they are missing are for the automatic door system that will be installed in the new unisex stall.

Once renovation of the current mens room is complete, it will be converted into the new women's restroom.

The expected date of completion provided by Guy Dalpe, managing director, is the end of January. Hayward couldn't provide an estimated time but did say that construction of the current women's restroom should take less time than the men's room due to fewer renovations.

Prop 8 backers call for reversal of court ruling

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Proponents of Proposition 8 presented their case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Monday, citing procreation and children's well being as a rational basis to appeal an Aug. 4 ruling deciding that the proposition is unconstitutional.

A three-judge panel, consisting of Judge Stephen R. Reinhardt, Judge Randy Smith and Judge Michael Hawkins, reviewed the case brought forth by protectmarriage.com.

"We believe there is clearly a rational basis justifying the traditional definition of marriage," said Charles Cooper defense attorney to the appellants. "The key reason that marriage has existed at all, in any society and at any time, is that sexual relationships between men and women naturally produce children."

Proposition 8 was passed by California voters in 2008 defining marriage as an institution between one man and one woman. However, in an August ruling, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker said the proposition is unconstitutional and infringes upon equal protection rights of gay and lesbian couples. Proposition 8 proponents then issued an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Although the court has no time limit, most cases heard by the Ninth Circuit are decided between 3-12 months. If the judges decide the proponents have legal standing, their case may continue to the California Supreme Court. Else, the federal appeals court may issue a decision without referring to the Supreme Court.

Cooper argued that the historical definition of marriage has existed now and "for all time immemorial." Society has no interests in relationships such as platonic male-female relationships or same-sex relationships because of their inability to produce children, Cooper said.

"When a relationship between a man and a woman becomes a sexual one, society immediately has a vital interest in that," Cooper said. "Society needs the creation of new life for the next generation."

The interests of society are threatened by unwanted pregnancies and pregnancies out of wedlock, Cooper said, because such instances often leave the mother to raise the child alone. Cooper suggested that the traditional home of one father one mother is the most beneficial environment to raise a child.

"Society will have to step in and assist that single parent in all likelihood, that is what usually happens, in the raising of that child," Cooper said. "But as well as the undeniable fact that children raised in that circumstance have poor outcomes."

Judge Reinhart of Los Angeles responded, "That sounds like a good argument for prohibiting divorce." The statement initiated a wave of laughter throughout the courtroom.

He also questioned how such an argument would invalidate a same-sex couple from raising children in California and creating a happy, healthy family unit.

Cooper stated he was attempting to give examples of procreation to exhibit the clear distinctions among same-sex couples and opposite sex couples.

Chief Deputy City Attorney Therese Stewart responded to Cooper's statements.

"It doesn't matter how the child comes into the world," said Stewart. "Family law in California recognizes that same-sex couples do procreate."

To portray opposite-sex couples as traditional or ideal is demeaning toward same-sex couples, Stewart said, in that it implies gay or lesbian couples are less desirable.

"California does not discourage that in any way or say one is more desirable than the other," Stewart said.

Theodore Olsen, an attorney who has led the challenge against Proposition 8, reacted to comments made in the appellant's brief referring to problems that may occur with children if Proposition 8 is overturned.

"Proposition 8 needs to be enacted because the existence of same-sex marriage will make children prematurely occupied with issues of sexuality," the brief read.

"That is nonsense," Olsen responded. "If that was the course of justification, it would equally warrant the banning of comic books, television, video games and conversations with other children."

Olsen criticized campaign methods of Yes on 8 and their emphasis on protecting children from potential harm of same-sex marriages.

"That was the original rationalization--protect our children from thinking that gay marriage is okay," Olsen said. "Well, what is the matter with that? It must be something with the gay people."

Olsen said such campaign strategies promote the idea that children must be protected from "these people."

Judge Norman Randy Smith of Pocatello questioned the validity of any argument due to the equal rights that all couples share.

"What is the rational basis then if homosexuals have all the rights that heterosexual couples have?" asked Smith. "We're left with a word: marriage."

Bad Santas deck the (City) Hall

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Santa's workshop or Civic Center Plaza? The two places seemed to merge as life-size toy soldiers carrying candy cane machine guns secured the perimeter around City Hall while hundreds of people dressed as Santa, reindeer and elves gathered to celebrate the 16th annual SantaCon.

A sea of red and white-clad Santa's chanted "Ho, ho, ho!" as they flooded the streets following three different routes taking them to eight different destinations with a list of bars to choose from.

"The only thing I wonder is why don't I dress like this everyday?" said Jeff Kirby, 37, a Sunnyvale, Calif. resident and third-year SantaCon participant. "You get to go out with 3,000 people you instantly have a bond with and spread some holiday cheer."

SantaCon was created in 1994 by The San Francisco Cacophony Society, a group of pranksters who used the idea from The Suicide Club, an extinct secret society based in the city.

The event is celebrated in 173 locations in 23 countries, according to the group's website. SantaCon's official Twitter was updated throughout the event, leading its followers through the designated city bars to meet at.

From City Hall, participants headed north toward Fisherman's Wharf. Reindeer carried a sleigh as Santa's helpers handed out candy canes to nearby pedestrians with confused looks on their faces.

Ina Ceragioli, 27, fitted in a Santa-inspired dress, rather than a suit, and carried a backpack filled with candy canes that she had handed to children she passed on the street.

"In the three years I've gone, (SantaCon has brought) all the feelings of holiday spirit. A lot of people turned this into a pub-crawl, but it's really about a holiday, said Ceragioli. "I'm dressed as Santa, I'm going to say Merry Christmas."

Guidelines for Santas' behavior are available on the SantaCon website and ask that participants avoid scaring children, behave appropriately in the bars, and avoid heckling police officers.

"No vandalism, violence, theft or other criminal behavior ... Santa is about spreading joy, not needing bail," the event website said.

"There are rules like Santas are supposed to refer to themselves only as Santa instead of using their real name, and only refer to themselves in third person," said Jade Graffort, 27, who took a ferry with Ceragioli from Oakland. "But it's more about following the spirit of SantaCon than following the rules."

Before the end of the first hour, one Santa was kicked out of McTeague's Saloon on Polk Street as other Santas chanted, "Go home, Santa!"

"I learned the first year, it's a marathon and not a sprint," said Graffort, who advised first timers to pace themselves during the seven-hour excursion.

Danny Neeson, 26, a philosophy graduate student at SF State and first-time SantaCon participant, bought his Santa suit at a Walgreens shortly before the event began, but many other participants created their own version of Kris Kringle's uniform, from incorporating the Star of David, to dressing as a red iPod, or taping the popular World Series phrase, "Fear the Beard," on their backs.

"It feels silly, but it's fun. As my Santa outfit depletes, I might change and see how ragged I look," said Neeson. "I already have beer on my Santa suit."

Outside Maggie McGarry's in North Beach, excited Santas took over the block between Green and Vallejo Streets as two Santa's volunteered to direct unsuspecting cars around. Drinking beer out of plastic cups and brown paper bags while dancing to music playing from speakers hooked up to a bicycle, one Santa exclaimed, "I'm going to get arrested, I can feel it coming on."

Ken Smith, 26, put on his Santa suit for the second year in a row and brought two friends who were new to SantaCon.

"Up to a certain age, there is a time when Christmas was exciting, but at a certain point it's not as exciting as you thought," Smith said. "SantaCon is one of those things for twenty or thirty-somethings that gets you excited about it again."

Hundreds march in support of education for undocumented

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More than 200 people marched through downtown San Francisco Dec. 3 in support of the U.S. Congress' pending vote to pass the controversial Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, which seeks to provide a path to citizenship and educational opportunities for undocumented students.

The crowd, which consisted mostly of college students from Berkeley, San Jose and as far away as Los Angeles, gathered at the San Francisco Federal Building before marching down Market Street as chants of "We are people, we are not illegal" and "Education not deportation" rose above the crowd.

"Our parents came to this country with a dream," said Evergreen Valley College student Paul Candia, 22. "When we're denied the right to live here, we're having our dreams and opportunities taken away."

The International Socialist Organization and United Farm Workers, as well as a number of smaller groups, joined the students in solidarity as the march culminated in a gathering at One Post Plaza.

If passed, the DREAM Act would grant a conditional path to citizenship for undocumented students under the age of 30 who were brought to the U.S. as minors by their parents.

In order to remain in the U.S., one must have attained a high school diploma, receive admission to an institute for higher learning or fulfill military service, and have no criminal record.

Under the proposal, if none of those conditions are met within six years of arrival, one's residency status is revoked and deportation could follow.

However, the prospect of military service, even as a path to citizenship, did not sit well with some protestors.

"Sixty-seven percent of undocumented students join the military instead of going to college," said Berkeley resident and antiwar activist Pablo Paredes, who led a small group of Oakland High School students to the rally. "The DREAM Act would be beautiful if more undocumented students had access to an education."

A 2007 report by the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education revealed that of the roughly 65,000 undocumented students who graduate from high school each year, less than one in five have adequate funding for higher education.

If the DREAM Act passes, undocumented students would not be eligible for Pell educational grants or other federal grants under their conditional residency status, but would be eligible for loans and work-study agreements.

"It's unfair what they're (the government) trying to do to undocumented Latino students," said Matthew Cabrera, 38, a Bakersfield College student who made the drive to San Francisco with friends. "Everyone, illegal or not, should be entitled to an education."

Senate Republicans filibustered the progression of voting on the bill this past September, but President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats called for the reintroduction of the DREAM Act Nov. 29. It will be put to a vote Dec. 8 under the title Senate Bill 3992.

Since first being introduced to the House of Representatives and Senate in 2001, several revisions have been made to the proposed bill, mainly concerning the age limit of what defines an undocumented minor. Currently, one must arrive in the U.S. before 16 and be between 12 and 35 if and when the bill is enacted.

"It's high time that Congress stop playing games with the DREAM Act," said Maricruz Lopez, 22, a recent graduate of the University of Michigan and immigrant rights activist from Los Angeles. "For once, we're demanding that our politicians represent us."

Overall, the march and rally went smoothly for those involved, despite police temporarily blocking the Market and New Montgomery intersection.

"This was a great turnout," said rally organizer Mike Casas, who serves as the director of Activities of Associated Students at San Jose City College. "It was peaceful, we were escorted by police, no one was arrested. Hopefully we can get another rally in the next few weeks."

Ben Lynch, an organizer for By Any Means Necessary, an organization which fights for equality and immigration rights while defending affirmative action policies, said he sees hope for the future of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

"Today we march, tomorrow we march. I'm optimistic about young people organizing and protesting these issues further," Lynch said. "Our organization has been fighting for the DREAM Act at every level and we will not stop until it's passed."

Saving Money Blog: Public transit gets thrifty

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Most students at SF State use public transit as their main mode of transportation. It's cheap, easy and fairly dependable, especially if a car is a little beyond your college budget.

Even though public transit is usually the cheaper option, it can still add up. If you're smart, use transit consistently and have a chunk of money, buying a Muni pass is usually the way to go. Unfortunately, most of us either don't use public transit enough to make the Muni pass worth it, or don't have a chunk of change at once to spend on a pass; instead, we live day by day, $2 in change at a time. Thankfully, they cut us a break (could this be good karma for all the times I've gotten stuck in the tunnel and been late, well, everywhere? Maybe). In the spirit of the season, public transportation on every Sunday in December will just be $2 for an all day Muni pass. They call it Sunday FunDay.

Think about it. Every Sunday in December you can venture to a park, explore different neighborhoods, visit friends without worrying about transfer time and explore this great city without blowing your budget. It's just plain silly to be actively trying to save money and then spend $2 every 90 minutes to get around. It may not seem like a lot at the time, but that's half the problem. In my head, I can almost always afford $2 but I don't see the long-term costs. And that, my friends, is what really becomes a wallet buster. Every miniscule few bucks you shell out adds up to a pretty large sum over time.


Until next time...

-Lindsey Leake

Green Blog: Have a drink for the environment

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So the holidays are here and what better way to kick off these first few weeks of December than with a eco-themed holiday celebration.

Local non-profit and networking group, Green Drinks, is throwing a holiday celebration this Tuesday at 111 Minna Gallery from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Join other green enthusiast to talk about ways to be generous to the community and how to promote a more sustainable lifestyle.

Expect flyers and job listings from various green organizations around the Bay Area. The group also encourages other groups to bring flyers for their organizations, so if you have any personal events going, bring those as well!

And of course, there will be drinks. In fact, the first 25 people to show up wearing their, "best holiday sweater," will receive free drinks! Holiday cheer, sustainability and booze! How could you go wrong.

What: SF Green Drinks Holiday Party - "Celebration of Gratitude & Community"

When: Tuesday, December 7 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30.

Where: 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna St., San Francisco CA

Map from SF State campus:

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Lack of optimism for future of CSU budget in CFA meeting

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A small group of the SF State branch of the California Faculty Association gathered in the administration building Dec. 1 to discuss the severe budget reductions that will soon be facing SF State and the entire California State University system.

With CSU's directly affected by California's projected $25 billion deficit for the 2011-12 fiscal year, public education in the state lacks adequate funding and the staff present were not optimistic about what lays ahead.

"The worst is yet to come," said SF State Academic Senate Chair Shawn Whalen. "What we faced with the (2009) furloughs will pale in comparison to what might happen next year."

If talks within the state legislature fail to secure funding for higher education, additional student fee increases and faculty layoffs would be likely. This is despite a 300 percent increase in CSU student fees dating back to 2001.

Whalen said he "would not be surprised if many if not all CSU's would initiate faculty layoff."

These talks fall shortly after the University Planning Advisory Council's proposal to lessen the number of SF State colleges academic from eight to six.

The decision to shrink the number of colleges has not been finalized.

Nevertheless, there was some optimism to the meeting as philosophy lecturer Ann Robertson called the meeting "productive," as less painful alternatives to layoffs including reduction of faculty hours and reduced pay were discussed.

"We also ask the question on how can we influence long term what California can do for public education," Robertson said.

Associate Professor of Health and SF State CFA President Ramon Castellblanch, who delivered the agenda to faculty, also found the session productive.

"We don't know what's going to happen, but we should prepare for some rapid development in our budget," Castellblanch said. "Getting concrete ideas for solving these budget problems is a positive step and we plan to meet again and discuss these."

An additional meeting is scheduled for December 8.

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