All posts by Caroline Christ

Name the Violence, End the Silence

Dear Editor,

I would like to address a piece that appeared in the April 10th issue of the University of San Francisco Foghorn. The article to which I am referring is “It Could Happen To You” featured in the News section. Though the segment was aimed at creating more awareness of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) on our campus, the reaction from many readers was negative due to the way the article presented SAAM.

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Letter: Hull-Nye’s Wording Caused Offense

On behalf of the ASUSF Senate Mission Committee, I would like to address an editorial that appeared in the November 3rd issue of the Foghorn. The article to which I am referring is “Identifying as a Catholic University” written by Dylan Hull-Nye for the opinion section. I realize that the opinion page is where writers are allowed to express their views, but the way this article presented those views offended many students.
The part that elicited a great negative response was the following:
“It may also include other moral issues such as the immorality of homosexual relations and the promotion of the virtue of chastity. Both students and the Institution have a right to speak up against immorality and injustices of our current times, and to promote…authentic Catholic values and morals.”
The rhetoric used here is not sensitive to various communities present on this campus, particularly the LGBTQ community. Students have expressed concern, not with Dylan’s opinion, but rather with the language he uses to express his opinion and the meaning derived from its usage. Students feel that what is being said in the article is that homosexuality is immoral and unjust.
USF is a Jesuit institution, and this article was written to get to the core of those beliefs and how they should be represented more effectively on campus. However, this article goes against one of the core values of our university which “include a belief in and a commitment to advancing…a culture of service that respects and promotes the dignity of every person.” The Jesuit Catholic identity of our university is grounded is this belief, among several others, in order to create a more humane and just world that accepts every individual.
This article marginalizes a particular community that has a large presence both on this campus and in the greater Bay Area by negatively referring to those who identify as LGBTQ. By isolating this group in particular, and not accepting and being respectful of each individual’s identity, we are not staying true to the mission of our school nor will we be able to “change the world from here.”
Though the segment was most likely aimed at creating more awareness of Catholic values, the reaction from readers was negative. I spoke to a student who is a member of Queer Alliance who had this to say: “The implications from this article that University support of the LGBTQ community is an injustice is insulting, ridiculous, and naive.” This was just one of several responses to the article from students across campus.
I feel the piece was well-written and had good intentions, but still had a negative effect on students. This letter was submitted to make sure that your staff is aware of the harm this article caused students, so that in the future this can be mitigated.

Thank you,
Caroline Christ
Vice President of Mission, ASUSF Senate

Hull-Nye’s Wording Caused Offense

On behalf of the ASUSF Senate Mission Committee, I would like to address a piece that appeared in the November 3rd issue of the Foghorn. The article to which I am referring is “Identifying as a Catholic University” written by Dylan Hull-Nye for the opinion section. I realize that the opinion page is where writers are allowed to express their views, but the way this article presented those views offended many students.

The part that elicited a great negative response was:
“It may also include other moral issues such as the immorality of homosexual relations and the promotion of the virtue of chastity. Both students and the Institution have a right to speak up against immorality and injustices of our current times, and to promote…authentic Catholic values and morals.”

The rhetoric used here is not sensitive to various communities present on this campus, particularly the LGBTQ community. Students have expressed concern not with Dylan’s opinion, but rather with the language he used to express his opinion and the meaning derived from its usage. Students feel that what is being said in the article is that homosexuality is immoral and unjust.

USF is a Jesuit institution and this article was written to get to the core of those beliefs and how they should be represented more effectively on campus. This article goes against one of the core values of our university which states, “The University’s core values include a belief in and a commitment to advancing: a culture of service that respects and promotes the dignity of every person.” The Jesuit Catholic identity of our university is grounded is this belief, among several others, in order to create a more humane and just world that accepts every individual. This article marginalizes a particular community that has a large presence on this campus, and in the greater Bay Area, by negatively referring to those who identify as LGBTQ. By isolating this group in particular and not accepting and being respectful of each individual’s identity, we are not staying true to the mission of our school nor will we be able to “change the world from here.”

Though the segment was most likely aimed at creating more awareness of Catholic values, the reaction from readers was negative. I spoke to a student who is a member of Queer Alliance who had this to say about the article: “The implications from this article that University support of the LGBTQ community is an injustice is insulting, ridiculous, and naive.” This was just one of several responses to the article from students across campus.

I feel that this article was written very well and had good intentions, but still had a negative effect on students. This letter was written to make sure that your staff is aware of the harm this article caused students, so that in the future this can be mitigated.

Thank you,
Caroline Christ
Vice President of Mission, ASUSF Senate

Nonprofit Campaigns Against “Dirty Energy Prop”

Two weeks ago, a state-wide nonprofit group called Environment California tabled at different locations across campus to get stu- dents in opposition of Proposition 23, one of California’s statutes on the ballot this November.

According to its opponents, it is also known as the “Dirty Energy Prop,” and it aims to suspend the California Global Warming Act of 2006, also known as AB32, and as a result is projected to create more jobs in California (supporters name it the “California Jobs Initiative”).

AB 32 has served as California’s landmark clean air legislation; this act set high standards for energy, with the hopes of reducing CO2 emissions and caused a large shifting of energy to renewable sources by public utilities across the state. It was passed by California State Legislature and signed by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006.

For hours on end, Environment California tabled in the entrance of Market Café and Harney Plaza. The tables had information on Prop 23, pledges and voter registration. USF professors and students have been getting involved in the campaign.

“For all of its faults, California is a great place and there has been a greater acceptance here from the beginning,” Professor Stephen Zavestoski, associate professor and chair of sociology and environmental studies, said.

Zavestoski was so moved by the proposition that he contacted Environment California to come to USF. Environment California helped pass AB 32 in 2006 and are one of the guiding forces in the campaign against Prop 23.

Zavestoski believes that Prop 23 is not the right answer.

“If there’s a place for green living to come into existence,” he said, “it would be California to do it and push the envelope. Whatever position people hold on climate change is irrelevant because there is not much petroleum left, so we must move to renewable sources.”

Sean Carol, a field organizer for Environment California, worked the tables last week. Carol has worked with the group since he graduated from college five years ago.

“The reason I got involved is because I was mad at politicians and their legislation, but I stayed involved because of what we have done as a group,” he said.

Environment California has been at 45 different college campuses across California to get students involved in the campaign against Prop 23. The nonprofit group is funded by citizens and is working in a coalition with other groups in California to get 35,000 students to vote no on Prop 23.

Their largest goal is to educate and contact students face to face across the state in the hopes that 160,000 students will sign pledge cards.
In addition to tabling, the non- profit organization also hosted informational speeches in USF classes and recruited students to volunteer.

Freshman Shannon Lynch was introduced to Environment California when they came into her politics class. Lynch decided she wanted to volunteer her time to the cause.

“I am going to vote no on Prop 23 because the wording of prop 23 made it out as a temporary thing but it is actually taking away the law that protects emissions, setting a low bar for the rest of the country,”shesaid.“Iwasinspiredto volunteer because I want to make a difference and spread the word at USF.”

Other USF students like Lynch have been volunteering their time by working at tables around campus and going dorm to dorm to have students sign pledges. By the end of the first week, 550 students had signed pledges to vote no on Prop 23, over half of the 1,000-count goal.

Students who are from out of state can also vote in November and can sign up at the Environ- ment California tables. Environment California will continue tabling with information, pledges and voter registration until the elections in November.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Burke McSwain

News Editor: Erick Montes

Senate Election Results Announced

The candidates for the ASUSF Senate positions waited in anticipation for the election results at a meeting held by the Electoral Governing Board (EGB) on Sept. 23. This past week, students voted for these candidates to fill the different positions that were open from the spring.

In this election, 18 seats were available to candidates. By the end of the elections 15 out of the 18 seats were filled. As far as the three seats that were not filled (Students with Disabilities, Nontraditional Age, and International Student Representatives), they can be appointed by Senate executives. In that case, the Senate executives run an interview process for those who show interest and then fill the additional seats.

This semester, 12 percent of USF students voted in the elections, showing a 2 percent increase from voter participation last fall.

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Electoral Governing Board president Hannah Dekay annouces the 2010 Fall Senate Election results. (Cass Krughoff/Foghorn)

Freshman Alisha Alvarez voted in the elections, not because of the great prizes EGB had on display, but for personal reasons. “After seeing the posters virtually everywhere on campus I was inspired to vote. As a freshman, I want people who will make the school a better place for my future here at USF and that can only be guaranteed through voting,: she said. To her and many students voting is essential to our school and that is why the EGB works to have a large voter turnout.

The election process is a great experience and freshman Shashi Aryal is no longer a stranger to this. Shashi won the position for Freshman Class Representative and was ecstatic, “I’m so happy I won! I couldnt be more thankful of everyone who voted for me and I’m excited to represent the freshman class for a wonderful year we have ahead.”

The elections this semester showcased great representatives and an increasing voter turnout, which the EGB had been hoping and aiming for.

EGB Vice Chair Cass Krughoff plays an important role in the Senate elections and felt this was one of the best campaigns he’s seen. He said, “We’re excited about how many people came out to vote, it was a really good turnout. The candidates ran well ethical campaigns. There were no complaints at all whatsoever. I’m proud of everyone, they worked very hard. Also, I look forward to spring elections and an even higher turnout.” Other students on the Executive Board of EGB were pleased with all aspects of the elections.

Although the turnout of the Fall Senate elections increased from last year’s numbers, EGB  hopes that the spring elections will bring an even larger voter participation.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Burke McSwain

News Editor: Ericka Montes

USF Bookstore Offers “Rent-A-Text” Program

From tuition and fees to room and board, the costs of college can be  exhausting. Buying textbooks alone is a financial burden.

To alleviate the costs of textbooks, the USF bookstore has offered a new alternative to purchasing books in full. The bookstore’s collaborative partner, Follett Higher Education Group, has made a “Rent-A-Text” program available to USF students this fall. The program saves students money by allowing them to rent books for a fraction of the full price. Instead of purchasing a new textbook, students save 50 percent or more. Follett Higher Education Group is one the nation’s foremost bookstore operators.

Over 400,000 faculty and 5 million students use the program nationwide. Follett Higher Education Group created the program in fall 2009.

Many students have been waiting for a program like this to be offered at USF. Senior Tessa Lindsey said she is upset that this program was not offered before. “I think the book rental program is a great idea and saves students a lot of money. I was sad though because as a senior I only will be able to rent books this semester and next semester,” she said. “But I’m so glad USF finally introduced a program like this.”

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Students like Hannah DeKay (foreground) have considered renting textbooks in order to save money. (Cass Krughoff/Foghorn)

With Rent-A-Text students are allowed to write and highlight in their books without incurring any costs for wear and tear. The books can be returned at the bookstore or online.

This semester rented textbooks are due Dec. 18. Students who fail to return items on time will be charged an additional amount for each item not returned.

To save money, many students also buy their books from online companies like amazon.com or textbookstop.com.

“Renting books is more affordable and you don’t have to worry about selling your books back,” freshman Stephanie Peterson said. “Renting books was so affordable that I was able to use the money I would’ve spent buying books on my shopping addiction.”

Sophomore Connor O’Farrell said she used Amazon because it was cheaper than buying books at the USF bookstore. Although she opted out of the Rent-A-Text program, she said, “I think it’s a really good idea and I’ll probably do it next semester.”

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Burke McSwain

News Editor: Ericka Montes