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Staff Editorial

When Satire Creates Discourse, We Want in on the Conversation

This past week, the Foghorn released a special edition on April 1 with the hopes of highlighting issues in recent news through satire. The main intention of producing this issue was to publish an engaging collection of stories for the student body. A handful of articles in a few of our sections mocked homophobic laws and institutions, as well as USF’s administration’s obvious need to brandish a flag celebrating our diverse population on campus.

While we have received a lot of positive feedback and appreciation from students, professors and advisors, we recognize that not everyone was comfortable with how these issues were covered. We recognize that everyone’s feelings are valid, and understand that we upset students with our satire. Seeing as we are a paper meant to be a voice for the students at this university, this is of very serious concern to us. We apologize to those that were hurt by our content.

As a result, we hope that this response and commentary will lead to a productive, informative discourse. It is our desire to organize an open, mediated forum hosted by and for students, advisors and professors in order to create a mature and professional conversation around these issues.

We do want to clarify that no article was written with ill will or malice. As evidenced by our issues throughout this past academic year, we have always been supporters of the LGBTQ community and the diverse student body at USF, covering many topics and events.

Simply to clear any misconceptions in regards to the aims of our articles, the following are what we intend with our satire:

Our front page article, “Ukrainian Army Begins to Recruit LGBTQ Community as the Secret Weapon Against Russia”, and our page 6 article, “Chick-fil-A Comes to Campus”, were satirical pieces ridiculing oppressive institutions — the likes of Russia’s parliament and fast food company, Chick-fil-A. The butt of our jokes was not the LGBTQ community, but in fact, the anti-gay stances taken by both Russia and Chick-fil-A. Russia has been the target of much criticism due to its recent legislation banning the use of vocabulary in reference to the LGBTQ community and much more. In turn, our Chick-fil-A article meant to humorously relay how we had no doubt that our San Franciscan values would eventually rub off on Chick-fil-A if they ever set up camp in our cafeteria. The reappearance of the queer community in the issue was not purposeful, but merely coincidental.

Our page 3 article, “Student Pets Now Allowed in Dorms” was mocking USF’s administration and its obsessive need to “meet diversity quotas” and “increase numbers” rather than actually serve the needs of the enrolled students they boast of admitting. It is easy to admit a student, but as the educational demonstration, USF Without Their Quota, put on by MEChA de USF on March 27 stated as their mission: students of color are more than statistics and numbers; they deserve academic and financial resources that will ultimately serve their continuing success on campus.

Lastly, our page 8 article, “Dons to Switch Name to “Pink Fairy Armadillos” was a light-hearted attempt to challenge the branded masculinity of the USF athletics department. The pink fairy armadillo is a real animal, and can be found in the grasslands and plains of central Argentina.  “Pink Fairy Armadillo” is its real, scientific name. We did not make it up; we thought it was  a potentially adorable mascot. By choosing a small, obscure animal that would typically never be associated with sports, it acts as a symbol for the overemphasis on toughness and competition in sports, especially in USF’s conference where other teams have mascots like Bulldogs, Tigers and Lions.

Again, we would like to reiterate that the mission of our paper is to create and foster positive, intelligent discourse. We look forward to meeting both our supportive and our concerned readership soon, once we organize the logistics of our open forum. Of course, we welcome the submission of any letters and editorials to the Opinion section for publication. Our section editor’s email is listed below in the submission policy box.

War Memorial Gym Reports Record-Breaking Attendance

Students fill War Memorial Gym

Students from now-rivals ITT Tech and USF somewhat filled the bleachers of War Memorial Gym to watch a heated match-up between their respective teams. (Melissa Stihl | Foghorn)

Students packed into War Memorial Gym last Thursday in record fashion to see their USF Dons take on ITT Tech in a heated match-up that will most likely remain memorable in Dons history.

All five students in attendance caused a raucous atmosphere on the Hilltop as three of them were head to toe in green and gold and the other two risked their safety by wearing their Tech shirts amid the hostile crowd.
“It was intense,” said Ava Brown, one of the ITT Tech fans who made the trip to see her team.

“Our school doesn’t even have sports,” she said. “I wasn’t prepared for the heated battle that ensued.”

But not everyone was able to see the epic struggle on the court as many students were left out in the cold…literally.
“It was freezing out there!” said Karisa Miner who doesn’t go to ITT Tech or USF but said she heard people talking about the game around the UCSB campus. “I heard this was the game to see, but the security said they weren’t letting anyone else in,” she complained.

Apparently, USF’s event staff and security were not prepared for such a large crowd and had to turn away people at the door once the fifth person came in.

“We weren’t prepared for such a large crowd,” said Brian Pumpernickel, USF’s head of Event Staff. “We had to call San Francisco State and ask them to send some backup to help us out,” he said. “I had my eye on the Tech kids because they were getting out of hand when ITT started making a late comeback. We needed more security to calm the angry USF students down.”

USF was dominating the entire game up until the last seven minutes, during which ITT Tech made a furious comeback and tied the game. One ITT Tech student, Sheila Timmer, dubbed the stunning comeback “Digital Dominance.” With three seconds left, the game was stopped as the angry USF crowd started throwing what appeared to be Crossroads pizza on the court.

“I tried to stop them, but there too many to keep under control,” said Al Waters, a security guard who came from SF State to help out. “People don’t come to our games because we’re terrible,” he said. “Also, our university does a good job of not advertising the sporting events so people don’t show up. I think USF can learn a thing or two from our zero attendance policy.”

Once the crowd was settled down the game resumed, and USF was able to score just as time expired to pull out the 14-12 thriller.

The USF fans in the crowd rushed the court to celebrate, running over Waters on their way to the hardwood. But something unusual happened once they got there.

“Nobody knew what to do,” said Timmer who actually pushed the security guard over on his way to the court. “We’re not used to this whole winning business. We should have practiced before hand, but it was so unexpected.”

Students and the USF Dons stood around looking at each other on the court for a few awkward minutes before heading for the exits.

“It was a cool win,” said power forward Milton Meyers. “It proves we can compete with the best. I was so excited to see so many people at the game. Setting an attendance record is a big deal. Hopefully next time we win we will know what to do.”

Fog ‘n Grog Reopens, Lures Students With Jell-O Shots

jell-o shots now available at the fog n grog

Jell-o shots now available at the Fog 'n Grog (Melissa Stihl | Foghorn)

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The Fog ‘n Grog, a local on-campus watering hole for students and faculty that was shut down in 1998, has reopened and is affecting classroom atmosphere throughout USF, as students have been celebrating the reopening week with free Jell-O shots from noon to 3 p.m. daily, courtesy of the Fog ‘n Grog staff.

Class attendance has reduced by 50 percent since its opening, and those showing up are carrying the party from the Grog to the classroom, stumbling past professors with shots in hand, as faculty try to discourage students from bringing alcohol into the classroom.

“They just won’t listen,” said one professor in the media studies department, who says she has tried to prohibit students from entering her classroom if they have been drinking or are carrying alcohol. Her reward for her efforts?

“I’ve been spilled on by at least half my class,” she complained. “I bring a change of clothes with me because I know what to expect. This is ridiculous.”

Teaching has become a challenge after struggling to calm the inebriated students down. Professors have been giving in and letting students finish their drinks and food in class so that they can get on with their lesson plan. But after the drunken debauchery, students are passing out.

“One student told me he had the ‘drunken munchies,’ explaining why a pizza delivery guy showed up in the middle of my lecture,” said a professor in the economics department. “When I said the pizza had to go, the whole class except for three students went with it. They stayed because they saw there was no chance for them to get any. A few minutes later, two of them were asleep. I had one student left, so I canceled class. What else could I have done?!” he yelled, frustrated.

“I was so hungry,” said the student who ordered the pizza. “And the lecture was so boring, I mean, microeconomics? Our prof was a total buzz kill. It was pizza or bounce, so we bounced.”
Students are bouncing from the class room right back to the Fog ‘n Grog in numbers that the bar can hardly keep up with.

“This place has been a madhouse all week,” said a student worker at the Fog n’ Grog who says he has been skipping class to work because they have been so busy.

With this week’s profits, the Fog ‘n Grog has already paid for the renovations needed to reopen, the liquor license, all the liquor, and staff wages. They also have donated money for more Public Safety segways so that security can get to the bar fights that spill into Harney plaza faster. The free Jell-O shots will be gone next week, but the Fog ‘n Grog does not expect business to slow down.

“I think this place will always be packed,” said the manager. “These kids love to drink.”

“This is the best thing that’s ever happened,” said one student while sitting in the Fog ‘n Grog as she slammed her empty shot glass down and stumbled over to the bar for another. “I love college. I’m considering the 6-year plan.”

USF is considering harsh penalties for students who bring liquor into class, but professors are pessimistic about the effectiveness of such a measure.

“They don’t care,” said the same media studies professor, Jell-O stains on her shirt. “Everyone is wasted and they don’t care about rules.”

The Fog ‘n Grog is open daily from noon to midnight.

Public Safety to Replace Segways With Rascal Scooters

The economic downturn hit close to home at the budget meeting this past week with the board of trustees. USF’s Department of Public Safety was hit hardest when the group learned that its transportation budget would be sliced in half for the upcoming school year. After hours of debate on how best to acclimate to the sudden drop in funds, it was decided that all current methods of transportation would be sold and the department would invest in a new fleet of Rascal scooters for patrolling officers.

“We examined many resources, but Rascals always seemed to come out on top. They’re electric, they’re reliable and they have a lifetime guarantee from The Scooter Store,” said Dan Lawson, Director of Public Safety.

Rascals can reach top speeds of 30 miles per hour, where Segways could barely top 20. “This added 10 miles per hour was what made the Rascals stand out from the rest,” said Lawson.

Negotiations are currently underway to sell off the remaining patrol cars and Segways to charities in Africa who are there fighting the AIDS epidemic. USF is cutting the charities a break and offering good prices for the Segways, which is apparently an excellent mode of transportation in the rural African jungle. Unlike jeeps and Landrovers, Segways are immune to sand build-up, which can reduce a car’s speed and performance. Lawson only had this to say on behalf of the group, “One word: Karma.”

While some officers are taking the transition well, others are upset by the change. “That Segway was like my partner. I put a lot of hard work into that little guy. I even fashioned a personalized horn for the handlebars,” lamented Peter Thorn, a patrol officer at USF. “I’ll never be able to call one of those maroon scooters my own. I’m ashamed to even ride one.”

While this year’s entire transportation fund has been spent on the new fleet, the Department of Public Safety already has a wish list composed for next year. Accessories such as beverage caddies, front and rear baskets, folding trays and ‘coon tails comprise the list. A veteran officer, Scott O’Neal, pointed out, “The Rascal scooters expose us to the harsh winter elements and bitter wind of San Francisco…’coon tails are a must if we don’t want our heads to freeze.”

The only problem that Public Safety can foresee with the scooters is that officers might start being confused with members of the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning. Lawson and the rest of the department have examined this possibility, but hope that the personal ‘coon tails they’ll receive next year will negate this dilemma.

The new fleet of scooters have been ordered and are on their way, and within a week USF will be welcoming a new fleet of power chairs to its walkways.

Crossroads Receives Five Star Rating From Zagat

Crossroads gets rave reviews

Crossroads finally received positive feedback on their food and menu when they received a high ranking in the Zagat review. (Melissa Stihl | Foghorn)

In an unexpected series of events, the well-respected Zagat dining guide for San Francisco put USF’s own

Crossroads Café in their 2010 book, and awarding it their highest honor of five stars. The review calls the small café “avant-garde,” “cutting edge” and “a hip, fresh take on campus dining.” This is the first time the small student-run café has been featured in Zagat or any other guide book. Though Crossroads has long been featured in popular restaurant review site Yelp.com, the café only received a dismal rating of one star by Yelpers.

Zagat reviewer Jacques Lefluer first caught wind of the café when visiting campus for a lecture. On a stroll through the campus he saw students emerging from an underground lair in the University Center with some most unusual culinary concoctions in hand. One was eating a slice of pizza that held an innovative combination of toppings: tuna fish, sliced potato, and barbecue sauce, Lefluer recalled. Another was eating what appeared to be pasta, but was undercooked and seemed to crunch in his mouth, unlocking exciting flavors and freshness. The Zagat crew, always intrigued by independent and experimental dining establishments, set up a date for a full dining experience.

Lefluer returned to dine and rate and review the full experience. Though Crossroads was marked down for lack of valet parking, lack of coat check, inability to make reservations, and the obscene frequency of Family Guy and South Park reruns playing on the big screen television, he was otherwise blown away by the food and service.

He began his meal with a chicken Caesar salad, which was made by an exceptionally cordial Crossroads employee who actually greeted him with a smile and the word “hello.” Moving on to the main course, Lefluer had a cardboard tray of cheese tortellini with a pinkish red sauce situated between the red sauce and the white sauce, which seemed only appropriate to be named “middle sauce.” He filled a second cardboard tray with Crossroads’ signature entrée, pizza. He took one slice of chicken, bell pepper and potato, and one slice of pineapple, pesto and bacon.

Grabbing a plastic fork and knife, Lefluer sat down at an available table, wiped away the crumbs, and began his supper. First the salad: with crisp lettuce and chilled chicken, it was an ordinary Caesar salad. Though the lettuce was still quite wet from being washed and inadequately dried, he enjoyed the puddle of watery dressing left over as he finished the salad.

Next he took a bite of each variety of pizza. His mouth adjusted to the shock of being exposed to such an unconventional combination of toppings and he devoured them fully, taking notes passionately in his notepad. Finally the pasta: his fork attempted to spear one plump tortellini soaked in the creamy tomato sauce, but it failed to puncture the pasta’s hard skin. He stabbed again and again until the fork broke through the very “al dente” pasta. The pasta crunched in his mouth. His eyes lit up, wondering why no other chef had ever thought to cook pasta for such a short amount of time! He crunched and chomped the rest of the pasta, which was so hard he almost chipped a tooth.

For dessert, Lefluer enjoyed a slightly undercooked churro. He was going to sip a latte along with his dessert, but the employees at the coffee bar had decided to shut down early, even though it was still an hour before the restaurant’s closing time.

Lefluer left with a strange aftertaste in his mouth, and suffered indigestion that evening, but was satisfied nonetheless. He gave Crossroads his highest praise in his review and a five star rating.

Since the review was published, Crossroads has increased in popularity within the San Francisco epicurean community. Socialites, celebrities and foodies regularly stop by USF for the surprising pizza specials and the now world-famous pasta with middle-sauce.

San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom has already been photographed extensively in the Crossroads Café with his actress wife Jennifer Siebel. Munching on a five-dollar bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Newsom said, “This is the kind of dining we need in a city like San Francisco. We need to be audacious with our choice of pizza toppings, and push the limits of how crunchy our pasta ought to be. Bold – that’s how I’ve always served as mayor of San Francisco, and that’s how I would run a campus dining facility.” Newsom then realized his cereal was stale and threw the rest away.

Lefluer’s final words before leaving campus were “Bon Appetit.”

ORL Adds Quadruple Rooms

In a bold move to deal with the housing shortage that USF goes through every year, the Office of Residence Life has announced a change in housing next semester, allowing four students to live in a double room. ORL sources have also suggested the possibility of moving underclassmen out to tents on Welch Field.

Ashelynn Banks, a sophomore in the astrology and social justice program, said that she was shocked and angered by this development.

“This is just ridiculous. I live in a triple, and it’s already hard enough making room for everything and sharing closets and a fridge and whatnot,” Banks said. “I mean, there’s just so little space! Where are we supposed to hide the vodka now?”

“The housing quality will not decrease,” said Keith Nagayama, one of the residence hall directors responsible for the change. “And, just as they did this year for students in triples, RHA [Residence Hall Association] will continue to give students in triples and quadruples a free USF tote bag, a spiral-bound notebook and a few snacks. That will definitely make up for the inconvenience of the living arrangement for a year.”

However, ORL appears to have overlooked the future tent residents, and students are outraged about this.
“This goes against USF’s mission of social justice,” said freshman Leah Fish. “What if I end up living in a tent? Where’s my bag of goodies?”

According to Nagayama, the tent experience will not be vastly different from that of dorm life. “We try to keep everything as fair as possible. The amount of personal space each student will have in a tent,” he said, “is quite similar to that of a triple room; in other words: almost none.”

In order to keep the quality of living equal to that of the residence halls, a single Port-a-Potty will be set up on the field for use by all the tent residents, to mirror the student-to-bathroom ratio in the dorms. Showering will be made possible with a hose.

“However,” said Nagayama, “if the students living in the tents want to replicate the shower experience from the dorms, I’m afraid they’re going have to take matters into their own hands and sprinkle the field with hair and germs by themselves.”

While the changes to the housing system may be unpopular with the majority of the USF community, some students welcome them.

“I really don’t see why doubling up in the double rooms is that big of a deal,” said freshman John Johnson. “With tuition and housing fees as high as they are, I think the less we have to pay, the better, even if it means forcing a tiny, cramped living space meant for two people to support four students. Heck, why not five or six?”
Some students have decided to take action in opposition to the new housing options they say are unfair to freshmen and sophomores, who are required to live in on-campus housing for their first two years of college. A meeting was held Monday to discuss the event; three students attended.

“Some students obviously have a completely unfair advantage over regular students in their tent-building skills,” said Fish, who was present at the meeting. “This is just one more reason why the ROTC program needs to leave our campus.”

When asked about his concerns with the issue, Jedediah Goodbody, a freshman in the astrology and social justice program, expressed doubt and questioned ORL’s decision.

“Actually…uh…I haven’t heard much about this. I dunno. I’m not really up to date on this thing, but what I can say is, I’m not sure it’s good for students,” he said. “What’s this about again?”