Tag Archives: Chelsea Sterling

TOMS Shoes Event Promotes Creativity, Social Justice

TOMS shoes can be seen on the feet of San Franciscans throughout the city. The company’s mission involves a simple compassionate principle. With the purchase of a pair of TOMS shoes, which retail from $45 to $85, founder Blake Mycoskie donates a pair of shoes to a child in need. A large shipment of TOMS shoes will be coming to USF’s campus on Tuesday, December 8th.

The USF Politics Society will host an event where students who have prepaid and preordered TOMS shoes can decorate them. There will also be food and disc jockey. Students will also be able to learn more about the company and their mission to donate over 300,000 pairs of shoes before the end of the year.

The Politics Society received funding through ASUSF’s super fund, which distributes additional money from student activity fees. As Superfund subsidized about half of the cost of each pair of shoes, the Politics Society has to cap the amount of participants at 100 students. Thus each student who signed up and prepaid will receive their shoes at the discounted price of $20.

Decorate Your Pair of

TOMS Shoes

Help a Child in Need

Tuesday, December 8th

12-3, Parina Lounge

Snacks, DJ and a Film Screening

Bad Grammar: Making You Sound Dumb Since Always

Poor grammar and bad English will be the death of the value of our education. To be fair, I will issue a brief disclaimer. I am a senior English major; I have listened to countless lectures on grammar, diagrammed many sentences and have edited a plethora of articles and papers. Speaking and writing correctly is important to me. It should be important to all students. Fair or not, your writing reflects how intelligent and how articulate you are. Being well-spoken and presenting yourself like an intelligent person will impress employers far more than a flawless grade point average.

As I was partaking in a very non-academic pastime, perusing Facebook this summer, I was absolutely appalled at something I read.

An unnamed liberal arts alumna who graduated this past May updated his/her status which read (edited to preserve anonymity—and what remains of this person’s pride): “…Their just cooler. They were exercise outfits. Its not really a long commitment.” I recognize there is a vast difference between how people write and talk in text messages and on Facebook and how they write and talk to professors, employers and other respected adults; yet should I be proud that my degree will have nearly the same credentials as this person’s degree?

I’m embarrassed and frustrated for a couple of different reasons. Obviously grammar is important to me, but also I am 95-percent sure that English is this person’s native language. Furthermore, to receive a bachelor’s degree at USF, students must complete 128 credits (approximately 32, four unit courses).  Three core requirements focus on communication skills: public speaking, written communication and literature.  However in almost any course offered at USF, you will be required to clearly explain your thoughts, ideas, opinions and relevant theories in a paper, homework or perhaps even on an exam. If a professor had to find his or her way through the maze and clutter of my poor grammar, I would gladly accept a C and perhaps bring him or her an apple in office hours for not failing me.

In the deplorable Facebook status previously mentioned, the writer and recent USF alum disgraced the English language three times. A quick grammar recap for a commonly misused homonym:

1. There- “Please put my book over there near the desk.” Used to indicate direction or a place.

2. They’re- “They’re going to Koret for a spin class.” Contraction that joins the two words they and are.  (Hint: If you can’t replace the words “they are” in the sentence without changing the meaning, you are using the wrong word.)

3. Their- “Their apartment is the noisy one next to Geary Street.” This form of the word indicates plural possession (two or more people who own something). Their car, their textbooks, their schedules, etc.

Bad grammar is unnecessary and reflects poorly on your intelligence. Before writing or emailing something, read it over quickly for any grammar or spelling issues. Unfortunately spell check will not catch mistakes like the misused homonym above. In a tough economy like this, don’t make a potential employer cringe when reading over your resume. Take the time to present yourself well; it could make a huge difference.

Spooky Halloween Fun in San Francisco

You’ve picked out your costume, purchased the appropriate hair piece, face paint and/or mask. Now you have to choose where to flaunt your incredibly well planned outfit. Here are some events to check out on campus and around the city. Remember to inspect your candy before devouring and arm yourself with a flashlight!

Illustration by Elizabeth Brown

Illustration by Elizabeth Brown

1. Awkward Halloween

Awkward Silence, USF’s comedy improv team, will host a special Halloween themed show. The audience is encouraged to dress in costume and the best one will win a prize. Friday at 10:30 in the UC building, room 222.

2. After Hours Halloween Costume Party

Sponsored by the October Signature Event Committee and Late Nights @ Crossroads, this event boasts live music, a screening of the classic film “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” dancing and free food. Thursday at Crossroads at 9pm.

3. Sin & Celebrities Halloween party at Glas Kat

The evening promises to be “A Glorious Hollywood-Esque Ensemble of Lights, Camera & Satisfaction” with three dance floors and a DJ. Celebrity costumes are required and paparazzi activity is guaranteed. Glas Kat is on 4th and Bryant. Festivities start at 9pm.

4. The Haunted Presidio

A one mile walking tour of the park which includes “spine-tingling tales of the Presidio’s history” from 6:30 to 8pm on Saturday is sure to turn spooky after dark.

5. Winchester Mystery House

This carefully designed house of trap doors and secret rooms hosts a special 65 minute flashlight-led tour through the mansion. Mrs. Winchester, the widow of William Wirt Winchester, founder of Winchester rifles, began construction in 1884 after being disturbed by ghosts. She continued until she died in 1922.  The house is located at 525 South Winchester Boulevard in San Jose, CA.

6. Landmark’s Clay Theater

The theater has a midnight showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” starting at 11:45. Theater is located on 2261 Fillmore St. at Clay.

Want more? Here is a list of “haunted” places in San Francisco to check out:  Click Here

Father Lucas Designs Compass, Provides Campus Aesthetic

Fr. Lucas designed the compass rose which leads to important places on campus.  Photo by Melissa Stihl/Foghorn

Fr. Lucas designed the compass rose which leads to important places on campus. Photo by Melissa Stihl/Foghorn

Another aesthetic aspect to add to the bedazzled phoenix displayed in Harney Plaza is the compass rose, a design that adorns the pavement between Phelan Hall and the Market cafeteria.  Like the phoenix, this emblem was also planned and designed by Fr. Tom Lucas, S.J., an art and architecture professor.

Lucas explained that he adapted the design from ancient models as the compass rose has appeared on nearly every map throughout history.

The eight points of the design indicates all important points of direction: north, south, east, west, northeast, northwest, southeast and southwest. Lucas said, “The eight-pointed star is set into a circle, the most universal symbol of infinity.”  Legacy Pavers, a Santa Rosa-based pavement and design company, donated their time and materials to create the compass rose. The company finished the work in two days in late September.

When asked why the walkway between Phelan Hall and the cafeteria was chosen, Lucas said, “It marks one of the most used and important crossroads on the campus: with points that lead us to nourishment (Cafeteria for food, church for spiritual nourishment); to intellectual pursuits (classrooms and library), to living and social situations in the dorms, but also points us out to the city and the world and universe beyond: to downtown SF to the east, to the great expanse of the Pacific to the west, to the rising and setting sun.”

Lucas views this latest addition as: “A landmark where people can meet; a reminder of belonging to a larger world, a bit of beauty in the midst of getting there.”

Profile: Ivana Rosas, Globally Minded Senior

Senior Ivana Rosas speaks three languages and has traveled to Europe and Central America during her career at USF.  Photo by Melissa Stihl/Foghorn

Senior Ivana Rosas speaks three languages and has traveled to Europe and Central America during her career at USF. Photo by Melissa Stihl/Foghorn

Through study abroad opportunities and service learning trips, senior Ivana Rosas has seen many countries including Nicaragua, El Salvador, and France. Rosas, an international studies major focusing on the environment and development, considers herself a citizen of the world.

Born in San Cristobal, Venezuela, Rosas’ family moved to Los Angeles when she was five years old. Her family returned to Venezuela frequently and of these visits she remembers, “I would spend time with my cousins, aunts and uncles. We would celebrate birthdays. I had my first communion there.” Adjusting to her new life and learning English was not difficult for Rosas. She said, “I was in an ESL kindergarten class. My teacher spoke in English all the time. I don’t have recollections of [learning English] being really hard.” At her parents’ insistence, Rosas spoke only in Spanish at home so she could maintain her native language. Today she listens to music in Spanish and also speaks with her parents and cousins in Venezuela to keep her Spanish sharp.

Rosas studied French in high school and continued to take courses at USF. In the spring of 2008, she studied for a semester at the Catholic Institute of Paris in France. By the end of the semester, she was fluent. Rosas now speaks three languages and is learning a fourth: Portugese.

Of the study abroad experience, she said “I really enjoyed feeling like a foreigner and being completely lost to my surroundings, regaining a sense of self, making my own niche in a different society and discovering what it means to be a global citizen.”

Through a liberation theology course, Rosas was offered the opportunity to travel to El Salvador to observe firsthand how liberation theology was affecting communities.  Within a few months of this trip, Rosas again boarded a plane for Central America. Last summer as part of a service learning based project, Rosas interned at the Foundation for Sustainable Development in Nicaragua. She worked with a women’s environmentalist group that sells products made from recycled paper, specifically working on marketing and internal management. “The knowledge I gained was how to do more with community organizing and questioning what is development and taking it further by asking what is sustainable development especially in “third world” countries,” Rosas said.

After she graduates in December, Rosas plans to continue her work at the Global Women’s Fund, where she is part of a team that receives fund proposals from different organizations, like the Central America Women’s Fund.  After taking a year off, she plans to apply to graduate school to study urban planning or architecture. She said, “Studying space is so interesting and the relationship that humans have with space and their surroundings, both manmade and natural.”

Rosas holds her world traveling experiences very dear and strives to maintain her global citizenship, which to her means “being aware that while we may have our own identities be they multicultural or not, we are all responsible for our own existence and we have to be aware of and respect others’ right to exist as well.”

“USF Steps Up” Offers State Students Classes

In response to the sweeping budget cuts that have left many California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) students struggling to enroll in all of the classes they need, USF’s College of Arts and Science has created USF Steps Up. This program will allow state students to enroll in general education courses at USF’s regional campuses on a temporary basis.

In July of 2009, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the University of California voted to cut $813 million from their budget. At the same time, Charles Reed, CSU chancellor, also began implementing cuts in hopes of reducing their budget. According to the article, these budget cuts affect staff and faculty salaries and course availability for students as a result. The Golden Gate Express, San Francisco State University’s newspaper, reported that 81 sections of courses had been cut and that many students were crowding into classrooms in hopes of adding the courses.

USF has four regional campuses in Santa Rosa, San Ramon, Sacramento and Cupertino. BJ Johnson, vice provost for academic and enrollment services, said these locations primarily serve working adults by offering courses on evenings and weekends. State students will receive a fifty five percent discount on the seven general education courses that USF Steps Up will offer; each unit will cost $560 versus the $1200 per unit on USF’s main campus. These discount courses are available only at the regional campuses.

Johnson said that there is no room on main campus and that “the experience of being on campus is very different. These students will not benefit from the services offered on main campus.” The extension campuses will offer art, math, philosophy, public speaking, Spanish, social science and writing. Johnson said “We (College of Arts and Sciences) have been hearing from administrators and faculty, especially CSUs, about how difficult it has been and that many students have not been able to get their courses. We wanted to help students so they don’t lose time.” The courses are tailored to fulfill general education classes required by every four year college. With the exception of Spanish, the other courses are all three units so they can transfer back to CSUs and UCs, which operate on a semester schedule.

Johnson said that USF Steps Up will run in the spring of 2010 as a pilot run. After the semester, the College of Arts and Sciences will evaluate how the program went and decide if they want to continue it.