All posts by Heidi Patton

The EMRs is comprised of 13 students who are trained Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). These student volunteers respond to emergency calls that are made on campus. (Photo courtesy of Marvin Huang)

EMRs Help Students Stay Healthy, Avoid Ambulance Rides

Emergencies aren’t something to mess around with, but when an ambulance ride can cost up to $3000, it’s worth considering whether or not it’s really necessary. USF’s Department of Public Safety responds to all emergency calls on campus, including medical ones — but public safety officers are not trained paramedics, so triaging a medical situation can be difficult. Now, since the formation of USF EMRs (Emergency Medical Response services) last fall, that responsibility falls into the hands of professionals, who are capable of providing treatment and determining if a costly trip to the ER is really needed.

EMRs is a volunteer group of 13 students who are trained EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) who want to gain experience in emergency medical care. Last semester they responded to 14 calls on campus, over 80 percent of which were related to alcohol or drug use, according to faculty advisor professor Octavia Struve. They provided basic treatment, and in some cases were able to treat a patient that would have otherwise ended up in the emergency room.

EMRs operates from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Since most of the emergency calls are related to drugs and alcohol, EMRs wants to add a shift on Thursday nights — “Thirsty Thursday” is a popular night for drinking — as soon as possible. Because EMRs and Public Safety want students to feel safe asking for help, students who call EMRs with a drug or alcohol related emergency are not reprimanded — however, EMRs is considering starting some kind of alcohol education program and encouraging students to make safer decisions regarding drinking and drugs, according to Struve.

“We learned a lot last semester, this semester we are really ready to expand,” Struve said.

USF students help aid their fellow students in the event of an emergency. The students can be reached on the emergency line of Public Safety!  (Photo courtesy of Marvin Huang)

USF students help aid their fellow students in the event of an emergency. The students can be reached on the emergency line of Public Safety! (Photo courtesy of Marvin Huang)

EMRs Public Relations office junior Marvin Huang believes he learned a lot and improved his EMT skills over the last semester. “During the emergencies that we get dispatched to, there is a lot to do in a short amount of time so we really learn how to get accurate information quickly and make decisions soon after collecting that information. I feel more comfortable under pressure and I’ve improved my ability to calmly assess the situation.”

EMRs hasn’t just been improving skills and expanding shifts; they’ve also added a new service: EMT standby services for campus events, meaning that they will provide first aid stations and do walk arounds to make sure everyone is safe.

The squad also performs a variety of other duties, including updating campus first aid kits and automated external defibrillators (AEDs), teaching CPR and first aid classes, and doing awareness campaigns for health issues like the flu prevention and proper handwashing.

So far, nearly 200 students, faculty and community members have been educated in CPR, first aid or both, but that’s not good enough for EMRs, whose ultimate goal is get every student trained. EMRs also helped the Jesuit residence, Loyola House, to get an AED and trained a resident on how to use it. They hope to eventually install an AED in every building, according to Struve.

In the event of an emergency on campus, EMRs can be reached at (415)-422-2911. 

Eric Causey fought through illness at the West Regionals in Sacramento, finishing 11th and making history as the first men’s cross country runner to qualify for the NCAA Championships. (Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics)

A Cold Can’t Stop Eric Causey, First USF Man Ever to Compete at Nationals

Breaking school records in the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter distances his freshman season wasn’t enough for Eric Causey, who is now the first men’s cross country runner  ever to represent USF at the NCAA Division I Championships.

Causey, a sophomore from Encinitas, Calif., finished 11th in the NCAA West Regionals in Sacramento on Friday, Nov. 15. He completed the 10,000-kilometer course (6.2 miles) in 29:56, despite feeling ill on race day and the five days beforehand. As one of the top four finishers from a non-qualifying team, Causey earned an individual invitation to the national championship race in Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 23.

It wasn’t the best time to get sick, but the resilient 20-year-old didn’t let it affect his attitude toward what could have been his last race of the season, had he not done as well as he did.

“The sickness definitely made the race a lot more challenging than I had thought it would be, but I kept a very positive view on it and just accepted the given situation and

knew I would give it my best,” Causey said. “I felt like I was breathing in little needles because of how [the dry weather] felt on the back of my throat. [But] I never questioned my potential and I knew that I was going to leave it all out on the course.”

Causey will be the first male Don to ever compete in the national race, and is the first individual qualifier from USF. The women have qualified as a team for the past three  years.

“I always knew it was in reach, whether this year or in the future, so when I found out there was a huge sense of satisfaction knowing I met one of my big goals for this year,” Causey said. “I feel very honored to get to compete with all the top runners in the nation and I’m planning on this pesky cold to be gone by the time of the race!”

As a team, USF finished 16th overall out of the 27 teams in the West Region to complete their season. After Causey, redshirt junior Adam Smith was the next Don to cross the finish line, coming in at 32:05. He was followed by junior Jarrett Moore, senior Jimmy McManus and sophomore Nick Hicks who came in all within three seconds of each other. Freshman Tom Bradley and senior Gustavo Mena rounded out the Dons squad for the day. While Causey prepares for the national race, the rest of the Dons look ahead to the upcoming track and field season in the spring.

Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics

A better turn out than the Giant’s Parade. San Francisco turns Union Square into Gotham City to make one little boy’s dream come true. (Photo by Nicholas Welsh)

A Dream Come True: Five-Year-Old Batkid Saves Gotham City

San Francisco’s Chief of Police hopes that one day Mayor Ed Lee will praise him the way he praised Miles Scott, the five-year-old cancer survivor who saved San Francisco/Gotham City from terrible criminals last Friday. Police Commissioner Greg Suhr, acting as Commissioner Gordon, was one of many Batman characters present for the day of elaborate festivities in which young Miles’ biggest wish — to be Batman — became a reality. Miles, who thought he was just picking out a Batman costume to play around the house, ended up spending the day riding around in a tricked out Lamborghini “Batmobile” and fighting crimes committed by the Riddler and the Penguin.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation organized the event, which they say drew around 10,000 people to the streets of “Gotham City” to watch Miles rescue a damsel in distress, stop a bank robbery, and save Giants’ mascot Lou Seal from a terrible fate. A flash mob in Union Square to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” helped direct the Batkid, who was accompanied by his sidekick Robin (his little brother) and an adult Batman (acrobat/inventor Eric Johnson) to the scene of a crime. After defeating the mischievous criminals, Miles brought them to City Hall. The Riddler and the Penguin were indicted by members of the San Francisco branch of the U.S. Attorneys’ Office and FBI, and the Batkid was hailed as a hero. Miles was presented with the key to the city by Mayor Lee in front of the crowd of thousands gathered in the Civic Center Plaza.

“It was moving. That many people coming out for one five-year-old…it says a lot about how good people are,” sophomore Patrick Cairns said.

Miles, who was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 18 months old, is currently in remission. While on stage with Mayor Lee, the five-year-old held up his arm in triumph. For him, he was celebrating the victory over crime — but to the crowd, it was a symbol of his triumph over the deadly disease.

“Those people didn’t just come out for Miles; they came out for everyone who has leukemia, you know? If it had been another kid, even one who wasn’t as cute, they still would have come out,” Cairns said.

The event, which has been in the works since March, was never intended to get as big as it did. Miles’ story went viral on social media, inspiring people around the world to comment, share, and re-post. The hashtag #SFBatKid was rampant on Twitter, and even President Obama joined in to congratulate the Batkid via video after he saved Gotham: “Way to go, Miles; way to save Gotham.”

Men’s Soccer: Liam Kelly Scores on Senior Day in 2-1 Loss to Santa Clara

Seven Dons seniors played their final match at Negoesco Stadium on Sunday, a 2-1 loss to the Santa Clara Broncos. Senior forwards Liam Kelly, Tanner Smith, Michael Shaddock, Brady Jimison and midfielders Gerry Vera, Vegard Karlsen and Mauricio Diaz De Leon were honored before the game with flowers and an announcement of their accomplishments. Team captain Diaz De Leon, who was an All-West Coast Conference (WCC) First Team honoree in 2012, an All-WCC Honorable Mention in 2011 and a WCC All-Freshman Team honoree in 2010, was accompanied by USF president Fr. Stephen Privett, S.J. as he received his senior bouquet.

“I’m proud of our guys. The seniors played well,” Head Coach Erik Visser told

Kelly scored his second goal of the season about 12 minutes into his final match, chipping the ball into the net from about five feet away off a pass from freshman defender Christian De Luna. The Dons would keep the 1-0 lead for just a few minutes — Santa Clara tied the game in the 16th minute when Michael Gates snuck the ball past USF goalkeeper redshirt freshman Connor Gaal immediately after entering the game from the bench.

In the 23rd minute Diaz de Leon nearly regained the lead for the Dons on a corner kick that rebounded into a shot opportunity, but his shot was saved by Bronco goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh.

The score was tied 1-1 at halftime, after which both teams ramped up the energy in their quest for the lead. A shot in the 63rd minute by sophomore defender Joshua Smith

looked like a goal for the Dons, but the ball was determined to have just missed crossing the line into the net. A couple minutes later Santa Clara scored a clear goal on a penalty kick into the top of the net by Mark Daus after a foul was called on the Dons’ redshirt sophomore defender Kevin Gould.

“It comes down to details and the second half we had one or two really good looks at the goal,” Visser said. “I thought maybe one was a goal, and really out of nowhere we gave them an opportunity on a penalty kick and they took advantage of it.”

One more shot on goal by Kelley in the 82nd minute turned out to be the Dons’ last attempt to tie it up before time ran out. McIntosh was able to get in front of the shot, securing the win for the Broncos.

“It was a game that we definitely deserved to win but in the big picture it comes down to a couple of mental mistakes here and there,” Visser said. “I give Santa Clara a lot of credit coming here. They did what they had to do to win.”The Dons will face Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash. on Nov. 15 at 2 p.m. They will finish out their season in Portland, Ore. against the University of Portland Pilots on Nov. 17 at 12 p.m. in the WCC Game of the Week.

Not even a missing shoe could deter Adam Smith, who pushed through the pain to finish in 53rd place despite lacking sufficient footwear for much of the race. (Photo courtesy of Adam Smith)

Adam Smith’s Shoeless Feat

Redshirt junior Adam Smith ran four miles of the WCC Championships cross country race missing his right shoe.

What happened? Where’d your shoe go?

I lost my shoe about three quarters of a mile into the race, and it was a five mile race…it was hectic and somebody stepped on my shoe. I got a flat tire, and it was kind of half-on and half-off. I thought about stepping off to the side to fix it, but the group was so tight and it was going so fast that if I had stepped off it would have been a bad situation trying to get back into the race. So I thought I would see if my shoe would stay on for a while. About half a mile later it was at such a point where I had to kick it off.

So how long were you running without a shoe?

About four miles.  At first it wasn’t too bad because the top loop of the course was very flat and downhill and grassy, so it felt okay. There’s a certain loop on the course that was dirt and gravel, it was pretty rough. It wasn’t too bad running on it, but I could feel that it wasn’t going to be fun. By the third and fourth loops I was trying to run on the side of the course where there was a little bit grass, I was pushing spectators out of the way.

Did anyone say anything to you as you ran by?

They just said stuff like “stay strong, don’t give up.” And apparently the announcers got wind of the fact that someone had lost their shoe, because it has a [tracking] chip on it. I went back and re-watched the race and they exclaimed that “Adam Smith from USF has lost his shoe, and ‘I wonder if he’ll try to kick off his other shoe to even out the feeling on each foot.’” There’s no way I could have done that. It was really painful to run just without one [shoe].

So it did hurt a lot while you were running?

Yeah, it was pretty painful, my foot is pretty cut up. Also when you run without shoes, your foot uses different muscles, or uses them in different ways, so my foot is pretty sore right now. But it’s not at the point where I can’t run. I’m still practicing, but it’s just painful.

Are you happy with your decision to run shoeless or do you wish you had put it back on?

In the moment, I didn’t think it was a good idea to stop and put it back on. But looking back, I probably should have. If I could go back I would definitely have tried to put it back on.

How did you do in the race? Did you do worse because you were missing a shoe?

Yeah, I probably could have raced about a minute and a half faster I feel like. We came in fifth place as a team. I feel like if I had run to the level I would have been at if I wasn’t in a lot of pain, we probably could have place third or fourth at the very least. So that kind of sucks.

Do you think it was the hardest race you had to do?

It was hard because I wasn’t able physically to run as fast, but I’ve had worse races from my own standpoint because I wasn’t as focused or mentally in it. This race I was in a good mentality and was pushing myself the whole time as much as I could. So I think I’ve had worse races than this past one, it might not show on paper, but [I have].

Ollie Johnson Number Retired: Ollie Johnson’s jersey number will become permanently linked to his name on Jan. 25 at War Memorial Gym. Johnson earned his place in USF history by leading the Dons to three NCAA tournaments and receiving WCC Player of the Year honors two times. (Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics)

USF Will Retire Basketball Star Ollie Johnson’s Jersey Number 32

University of San Francisco has decided to retire No. 32 in honor of basketball player Oliver “Olli” Johnson, a two-time West Coast Conference Player of the Year and a 1964-65 All-American. The No. 32 jersey will no longer be worn at

USF after the ceremony before the Dons game against Santa Clara on Jan. 25 at War Memorial Gym.

Johnson, a 6-foot-7-inch power forward from Washington, D.C. played at USF from 1962-1965. He led the Dons to the conference championship and NCAA tournament appearances in all three seasons, picking up All-WCC honors each year along the way. In his final season, Johnson led all players in scoring and rebounding average during the NCAA tournament, racking up 36 points per game and 18.5 rebounds per game.

With 1,668 points and 1,323 rebounds in his career, Johnson is top-ten all-time for the Dons in both categories. After playing out his eligibility at USF, Johnson continued playing basketball professionally. He was drafted 8th overall by the Boston Celtics, but was cut from the team before making his NBA debut. He then joined the San Francisco Athletic Club in the Amateur Athletic Union and was named an AAU All-American in 1965. The following year, Johnson went abroad to play professionally in Belgium for three seasons.

Johnson will be the 10th Dons athlete to have their number retired. Here’s a quick look at what the other nine Dons did to deserve eternal ownership of their USF jersey number.

No. 4 K.C. Jones — Men’s basketball. 

    Jones and teammate Bill Russell led USF to NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956. The duo also helped Team U.S.A. earn a gold medal at the Melbourne Summer Olympics in ‘56. Jones won eight NBA championships with the Boston Celtics, the only team he played for in his nine-season NBA career.

No. 6 Bill Russell — Men’s basketball. 

William Felton “Bill” Russell led the Dons to two NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956, and was part of the gold-medal winning U.S. Olympic Team in ‘56. He won eleven championships in his NBA career as a center for the Boston Celtics, which lasted from 1956 to 1969. He was a twelve-time All-Star and five-time NBA Most Valuable Player.

No. 7 Brittanie Budinger — Women’s volleyball. 

     Budinger was All-West Coast Conference First Team in 2002 and 2003. She was key in earning the Dons their first ever post-season NCAA tournament appearance and was “the most dominant player in USF history,” according to

No. 15 Mary Hile-Nepfel — Women’s basketball. 

     Hile-Nepfel is the all-time leading scorer and rebounder for the USF women with a career total of 2,324 points and 1,602 rebounds. She is one of few Dons to average a career double-double. She also led the Dons to a NCAC championship in 1980, and was a three-time Kodak Regional All-American and two-time finalist for the Wade Trophy, the highest award in collegiate women’s basketball.

No. 17 Mike Farmer — Men’s basketball.

The 6-foot-7-inch forward was part of the Dons’ glory years with Bill Russell and K.C. Jones. Farmer was first team all-American in 1957-58. He was taken third overall by the New York Knicks in the 1958 NBA draft and played seven seasons in the NBA. No. 19 Taggert Bozied — Baseball. Bozied was the West Coast Conference Player of the Year in 1999, earning a Triple Crown in season play. He had the highest slugging percentage and the second-most home runs in NCAA Division I, beating out future MLB star Jason Bay. He was first team All-American at third base and second team All-American as a designated hitter. He played in the minor leagues for 10 years.

No. 20 Phil Smith — Men’s basketball. 

A non-recruited walk on who was spotted playing pickup ball on campus, Smith was all-WCC and the leading scorer for the Dons in each of his three varsity seasons. He helped USF to successful appearances in the 1972, 1973 and 1974 NCAA tournaments. Smith was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 1974 and played the next nine seasons in the NBA for the Warriors, the Clippers and the SuperSonics.

No. 24 Bill Cartwright — Men’s basketball. 

Cartwright, a 7-foot-1-inch center, was another Don who averaged a double-double, finishing his four-

year collegiate career with averages of 19.1 points and 10.2 rebounds. He was second team All-American in 1977 and 1979, and took USF to the Sweet 16 and 1978 and 1979. After leaving USF, Cartwright was chosen third in the 1979 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks. He was traded to Chicago in 1988, and went on to win three NBA Championships as a member of the Michael Jordan-led Bulls squad before retiring in 1995. He is currently the head coach for Osaka Evessa in Japan.

No. 40 Brittany Lindhe — Women’s basketball. 

Lindhe was the first four-time selection for all-WCC honors in conference history. She holds the record for most points scored by a USF woman in a road game, with 37 points against Gonzaga. She led the Dons to three WCC championships and a Sweet 16 appearance in 1996.