Tag Archives: foghorn editorial staff

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.

Staff Editorial

Staff Editorial: Staff Conspiracies

Conspiracy theories need to be treated as real news. How else can we really make any headway in national or international  investigation? We at the Foghorn believe that this is a serious issue, but after taking a mental poll at USF, we found out that only 3 percent of the student population will actually care to read this staff editorial. The following are all the recent conspiracy theories we advocate for that we have thoroughly discussed in the office and totally believe there is some truth behind:

Madeline Vanden-Branden, Head-B*tch-in-Charge: “I believe that the only reason people have not found Big Foot yet is because he is hiding in Golden Gate Park right here in San Francisco! Residents here probably just assume he’s a hipster that doesn’t shave and discount any other theories. Keep an eye out, y’all!”

Allison Fazio, Poppycock Editor: “Being the optimist that I am, I have only believed the best of what might have happened to the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. You know what I think is the most plausible theory yet? Sarah Palin’s! Why is it not believable that the Flight 370 just flew directly into heaven? Have some faith!”

Alena Musso, Font Snob: “Bill Nye is deep in this greasy plan helping airlines and other auto companies buy out teleportation technology so that they can monopolize the business. You think with our current technological progress we have not achieved some sort of teleportation invention? This calls for some investigative journalism, you guys.”

Nureen Khadr, Conspiracy Editor: “Jon Stewart for the next president of Egypt! But no really, if this is true, I will be the first person in line to vote for him. People keep insinuating that Jon — yes, we are on a first name basis — is planning a Zionist takeover of Egypt through his collaboration with his Egyptian counterpart, Bassem Youssef. If it is him taking the lead on this, I want in!”

Danielle Maingot, Instagram Professional: “From living smack dab in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle, crazy stuff has washed up on my island, Grand Bahama Island. We find old remains of pirate ships, a few submarines that did not survive the drug smuggle from Cuba, and even some skeletons! Compasses never work for me when I go fishing; my friends and I have to use the sun to navigate. There have been some close calls for me when I go out to sea. Strange phenomena is always happening on the islands. The Bermuda Triangle’s age old myth is the only explanation.”

Mia Orantia, Jabber Editor: “Tupac is very much alive. My cousin, twice removed, dropped out of college and left his fraternity to become a Tibetan monk. While he was in the mountains meditating, he met a fellow monk named Rukahs Cap II. Rukahs shared many great stories of his past life, where he wrote poems about California love and changes. Rukahs finally revealed that he was indeed Tupac, but left that life to become the Dalai Lama’s speechwriter.”

DISCLAIMER: This piece was printed as part of The Foghorn’s April Fool’s Day issue on April 1st, 2014. This article is intended to be satirical.

Staff Editorial

Staff Editorial: Hay! Where is All the Water Going?

California currently sits in the middle of its worst drought ever on record, which has taken a large toll on many of the state’s farmers as it seemingly refuses to rain day after day. It may surprise you to learn then, that during this statewide crisis, billions of gallons of water are being used to grow hay that is destined for China.

Robert Glennon, a Law professor at Arizona College of Law, told BBC News that “a hundred billion gallons of water per year is being exported in the form of alfalfa from California…It’s a huge amount. It’s enough for a year’s supply for a million families – it’s a lot of water, particularly when you’re looking at the dreadful drought throughout the south-west.”

In a time when many citizens are being asked to cut back on their water usage as reserves quickly dwindle, it may seem absurd that we would use any water to produce crops for China — especially hay, a crop that our own farmers have struggled to grow and have had to purchase from other sources.

Ronnie Langrueber, a California alfalfa farmer, told the BBC that he thinks it is all part of the global economy, questioning, “Is it more efficient to use water for a golf course for the movie stars or is it more efficient for farmers to use it to grow a crop and export it and create this mass economic engine that drives the country?”
What Langrueber fails to understand is that the majority of people affected by the drought are not movie stars wanting to play golf, but everyday citizens and farmers just like him who do not want to see their livelihoods affected because all of their crops are dying due to the inaccessibility of water.

Just last month, farmers received more bad news from the State Water Project (SWP) and the Central Valley Project (CVP) — both water projects that pull from sources in California — stating that they will no longer be allocated any water thanks to the continuing drought. Sprinklers and irrigation on many farms in the south of the Imperial Valley continue to shower water on their emerald green land as they draw their water from the Colorado River. With water property rights, there is no legal and feasible way to have farmers in the Imperial Valley share their water source with farmers in the Central Valley. Despite, the billions California spent in the 20th century on water canals for this precise purpose, there is no conveyance that would make possible the transfer of water from south to north between the two valleys. That is, if the property rights issue was resolved.

Sadly, all this does not matter. The fact of the matter is that it is more cost effective to send the hay to China than anywhere in California. There are currently many more things being shipped from China to the United States than vice versa, so returning ships have lots of space that can be cheaply filled up with hay.

What is more startling, is the fact that domestic news sources are failing to report on this topic. Aside from the BBC, headquartered in the U.K., the New York based, The Nation, is the only reputable media outlet that has published an online article highlighting this issue. Yet, both the BBC and The Nation have a limited readership stateside. U.S. residents, mainly those in California affected by the drought, are widely being left in the dark.

In the end, it is really up to the companies who are growing the crops to decide on what they want to use them for. Shipping hay to China will be cheaper for exporters and produce higher profits for farmers for the foreseeable future, but hopefully some companies will choose California’s welfare over trade interests — after all, this is the state in which they built their business.

Foghorn Asks: What is the Most Romanic Spot in the City?

Dong Nguyen

Dong Nguyen, Sophomore

“That’s a tough question. I don’t know if there are any romantic spots on campus. The only place I can think of is the stairs walking up to Lone Mountain. It has a really nice view looking downtown, and the water. In the city I would say Golden Gate Park. There is Strawberry Hill and Stow Lake where you can rent boats to row around.”

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The Foghorn Recaps 2013

49ers Super Bowl XLVII 

On February 3, 2013, the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens played for the Super Bowl XLVII championship title in New Orleans. This game marked the first Super Bowl where both teams have appeared in, but not yet lost, as the 49ers have won all five  of their previous Super Bowls and the Ravens won their single game at Super Bowl XXXV. It also, was the first Super Bowl to be held in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

49ers entered Super Bowl XLVII in hopes of winning their sixth Super Bowl in team history. Their first win was in 1995. The game was anything but uneventful, as it earned the nicknames “Harbaugh Bowl” and “HarBowl”, as it was the first Super Bowl that featured two brothers, Jim and John Harbaugh as the head coaches on the opposing teams. Due to the 22-minute power outage affecting half the stadium during the third quarter, the game was also known as “Blackout Bowl”. The Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers 34 – 31, handing the 49ers their first loss in franchise history.

The Dawn of a New Pope

On February 11, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation—the first pope to have done so since Gregory XII in 1415. By March 13, the position as leader of the Catholic Church was filled by Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, papally named Francis. In the first year of his papacy, Pope Francis has spoken candidly and honestly about his views on homosexuality and abortion. He is noted for thinking contemporarily. In an interview he said, “We have to find a new balance, otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.” Pope Francis is the 266th, and first Jesuit, Pope of the Catholic Church.

Twerking

It can be argued that twerking has been around as early as the 90s, but in 2013, twerking became a national phenomenon in pop culture, and videos of people twerking surfaced all over the web. Twerking, coined for “twist” and “jerk,” involves thrusting and fast hip movements. The dance move was further popularized when Miley Cyrus twerked on Robin Thicke at the MTV Video Music Awards in August 2013. Since then, “twerk” has been added to the Oxford English Dictionary online, and was runner-up to the OED’s word of the year.

The Boston Marathon

bostonmarathon

The Boston Marathon bombing shocked the nation in 2013. (Photo by AnubisAbyss]

On April 15, 2013, two bombs went off at the finish line at the annual Boston Marathon. The explosion claimed the lives of three victims, and injured over 200 people. This led a three-day manhunt for brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, accused of the attack, and later killing a university police officer, and carjacking. Tamerlan died during a shootout with police, and Dzhokhar was found the next day on April 19 hiding in a boat in Watertown, MA. Dzhokhar had 30 federal charges against him, including the use of a weapon of mass destruction to kill.  He pleaded not guilty in federal court on July 10, 2013.

The Cronut

maple bacon cronut

The maple bacon cronut. (Photo by Mia Orantia)

Chef Dominique Ansel of New York’s Dominique Ansel Bakery concocted a new hybrid of pastries—a croissant-donut—the cronut. The cronut has the thin dough layers of a croissant, and is fried and glazed like a donut. Since its launch on May 10, 2013, the pastry has internationally been talked about, and imitated. Even USF’s Market Café is in on the trend and offers students with cronuts from Posh Bakery in Santa Clara.

Egyptians Overthrow Morsi

According to Google, June 30, 2013 possibly marks the largest human gathering in world history. Egyptians protested and rioted with the support of the military, until July 3 when they took down former-President Mohamed Morsi. They rationalized their uprising only one year after his election, for failing to follow through with his promises of adhering to the values of the January 25 revolution. As Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, had previously stated, “There is nothing new in Egypt, Egyptians are making history, as usual…”, as they removed two presidents in two years.

Word of the Year: “Selfie”

With society being more plugged into technology via smart phones and apps like Instagram and Snapchat, it is no surprise that the Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the year is “selfie.” Oxford defines “selfie” as: “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”

The Year of Spying

This year whistleblower Edward Snowden confirmed what most of us knew all along — that big brother is watching. The NSA leak proved that the government isn’t just watching, but is also storing enormous amounts of digital communication in one big data center somewhere in the middle of Utah. Reactions to the leak ranged from shrugs to protests. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “spying on friends is not okay at all.”

Rapper’s Delight

If you are a fan of hip-hop music, it was probably one of your better years. Throughout 2013, the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye West, Eminem, Drake, J. Cole, A$ap Rocky, and Mac Miller put out successful solo albums that put “ringtone rap” in the background and brought back the focus on lyrical talent and innovation. Eminem’s “Marshall Mathers LP 2,” and Drake’s “Nothing Was the Same” currently have the second and third highest first-week sales of any album released this year, and eight different hip-hop albums have debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. With so many new albums from premiere artists, the hip-hop genre has taken a step forward in 2013, and there is plenty of quality music for those who have grown tired of unoriginal dance songs and club records. Who said hip-hop was dead?

The Birth of a New Prince

The Royal family welcomed Prince George of Cambridge on July 22, 2013. He is the first son of Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton. Prince George is also third in line to the throne after his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. Prince George was born in St. Mary’s Hospital, London, the same place where the late Princess Diana gave birth to Prince William and Prince Harry.

Government Shutdown

The Government can do that? was my incredulous question when news broke that the U.S. Government had shut down after Congress failed to enact legislation appropriating funds for the 2014 fiscal year. The shutdown lasted 16 days (Oct.1-Oct.16). During that time, most government-funded services were stopped (i.e. National Parks, Monuments, Museums) and many employees went without a paycheck.

freepressusfonline

Staff Editorial: USF Moves Forward with Healthcare Reform

What the Foghorn thinks of the student clinic changes

Attention all students under the weather: USF’s student health clinic has gotten much better! Okay, it might be too early for holiday rhymes but it is never too early to catch a cold — and though nobody wants to spend their November afternoon stifling sniffles (and who knows what else) in the doctor office waiting room, we at the Foghorn are extremely grateful for the improvements made, both practical and ideological, to the USF student health clinic, especially in regards to oral contraception.

As of June 2013, USF’s student health care clinic has relocated to a new floor with a new staff and new caregivers within St. Mary’s Medical Center — and apparently, it is all in the name of better accommodating us, the students. With a larger freshman class accepted into the university each year, it follows that the percentage of students who suffer from extensive health problems also increases. In response to the growing need of more accommodating health services, Kamal Harb, the director of health promotion services, and various other members of the university community struck a mutual agreement with nurse practitioners to move the USF student health clinic elsewhere in the medical center.

The new student health clinic, as a result of the nurses, administrators, and two responsive and fast-paced primary physicians, offers more available appointment times, shorter waiting lines, and a wider range of health services for students.

USF’s new student clinic accommodates far more than extensive health problems; it also gives students more access to oral contraceptives. Both USF and St. Mary’s are Catholic institutions, and the medical center has long since abided by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services that forbids the condonement of any sort of preventive contraceptive, unless in extreme cases. USF is now in a contract with Dignity Health Medical Group, the new owner of St. Mary’s, and the physicians at the USF student health clinic can now prescribe oral contraceptives to female students.

While a California mandate has required that all state health insurance policies with prescription drug benefits include coverage for prescription contraceptives since 2004, Catholic institutions around the nation have since been adjusting to the recent federal contraception mandate. The president of Georgetown, the oldest Jesuit university in America, sent out a university-wide email on Aug. 15 of this year, that read: “These regulations give us the opportunity to reconcile our religious identity and our commitment to providing access to affordable health care.” The email also said that the university’s insurance companies would cover the cost of contraceptive services for faculty, staff, and students who opt to use them.

In recognition of the steps taken to accommodate students’ diverse medical needs, we applaud USF for embracing change and progress of the times. As a Jesuit institution, we must appreciate the fact that USF has decided to move forward in terms of providing coverage for such a necessity despite the religious controversy that surrounds oral contraception.