Tag Archives: freshmen

Laundry Room Etiquette for USF Students

Freshman year of college is an important year. We are settling into a new home here at USF and what we do our first year of college can affect the rest of our college experience.

When my sister was a freshman, within weeks, she was already making a name for herself. People on her hall began calling her the “Laundry Nazi.” This was due to my sister waiting until the exact moment someone’s washer timer would go off and simply removing the person’s clothes to start her own load.

The same thing is happening in the freshman dorms at USF. The only difference is that unlike my sister, students are forgetting their manners – that is, their laundry manners.

Take Hayes Healy, for example. After putting one’s clothes into the washer, the machine locks and runs until its full cycle is complete. As the machine strikes zero minutes left, apparently it’s not uncommon to find your wet clothes thrown on the filthy ground. This is not only rude, but for the person who comes back to their clothes in a messy heap on the floor, this defeated the purpose of the 38 minutes of washing. You might as well have poured hot coffee on their favorite T-shirt.

I understand that patience is a hard thing to have, but what ever happened to the Golden Rule? Can we please revisit kindergarten and “treat others the way you want to be treated?”

There has been an even bigger discourtesy happening in Gillson. As many of you know, laundry washing machines lock, but the dryers remain unlocked in order to dry multiple loads instead of just one. In addition, two dryers fail to work regularly, leaving only four left that will take Dons Dollars and another four that will take quarters. Thus, a few students have taken it into their own hands to speed along the laundry process.

Instead of waiting for the drying cycle to end, people reach in, take out someone else’s attire and put in their own clothing. When one comes back to find their whites missing and someone else using up the rest of their money, you can imagine the steam coming from that person’s kettle.

To avoid becoming the next “Laundry Nazi” of your dorm, take my advice. One, be patient. Two, if the washer timer is up and you’re not feeling particularly patient today, please kindly take out the other person’s clothes and set them nicely on top of the washer. Three, wait until the person’s dryer time is up before practicing selfish behavior.

Finally, a suggestion for victims of “Laundry Nazis”: Watch your clothes. Bring homework downstairs and multitask. Or if homework and laundry don’t mix for you, make new friends. Remember there’s strength in numbers and having someone watch your clothes for a minute could save you from losing your money or ending up with a pile of dirty apparel.

As for make a name for yourself, I wish you luck, my fellow Dons. But please remember: manners matter even in the laundry room.

McKenna Taylor is a freshman undeclared major

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Burke McSwain

Opinion Editor: Laura Waldron

More to Koret Than Just a Good Workout

With an aquatic center, basketball courts, volleyball courts, a variety of classes and all the exercise equipment one could ask for, from treadmills to stationary bikes to weights, the Koret Center is a popular place for USF students. All one needs is his/her student ID card and will have access to the entire center, but what the Koret Center offers goes well beyond its walls.

The outside activities that the Koret Center offers begin with their welcome weekends, which are offered to freshmen and new transfer students in the first few weekends of the school year. Whether it’s a trip to the Walt Disney Center, Muir Woods, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom or the Aquarium at the Wharf, the Koret Center makes it easy for new students to meet each other and comfortably settle in to USF.

Once welcome weekends are done, the Koret Center turns its attention to all students with their Outdoor Adventures activities offered all year long at a reduced price. On Saturday, Sept. 18, a USF student can go to the Giants vs. Brewers game for just $15 or go on a sailing trip the following weekend for just $25.

Events are offered all year, with deep-sea fishing, horseback riding, paintball and archery making up the October schedule for prices ranging between $12 and $35. Among the more popular ones offered by the Koret Center are the Alcatraz Night Tour and the ski/snowboard trips in the winter and spring.

The Alcatraz Night Tour on Nov. 20 offers students the chance to tour the famous prison for just $20. Dubbed “The Rock” and sitting 1.5 miles from shore in the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz served as a lighthouse and military fortification early on. The island gained a reputation when it was converted to a prison and from 1868 to 1963 was a military and federal prison housing some of the country’s notorious prisoners. The chance to tour the facility at night and walk the same halls where prisoners such as such as Al Capone and George Kelly spent years is an irresistible offer

When the spring semester gets underway and the mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe are covered in snow, USF students can go on any or all of the seven trips offered to ski or snowboard at some of the best resorts in the country. The trips take students to Kirkwood, Sierra, Northstar, Alpine and Squaw Valley, site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, for a day of fun in the snow at a cost of just $45. With miles of runs and feet of snow, the Lake Tahoe resorts offer a ski and snowboard experience found in only a select few places worldwide.

Some of the trips are with small groups, not even ten, but others can reach as many as 55 people. All of the trips are offered on a first come, first served basis and refunds will only be given if the event is cancelled. For a list of all adventures, the pricing and any other information go to usfca.edu/koret or call Coordinator for Outdoor Adventures Mike Kelley at (415) 422-2942.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy Chief Copy-Editor: Burke McSwain

Sports Editor: Matt Steinbach

Freshman Reflects on First Three Weeks

You think that being a freshman would be easier the second time around. For once, you have a variety of things going for you: you are older and wiser, most likely having left the horrors of braces and acne behind for good. The people around you are there because they actually want to be (well, either that or Daddy forced them). “Yeah,” you tell yourself, “This definitely will not be as awkward and unforgiving as freshman year of high school.”

Open on day four, where I am sitting on the lawn next to the church studying under the rarely blue and sunny San Francisco skies. After a while I get up and start to wander over to the caf. About ten feet away from the fancy cobblestone, I hear a click and then – cue laughter from what felt like the entire campus – I receive my share of water from the sprinklers. Of course, I had to slip and fall so now I am thoroughly soaked and lacking dry clothes or a shred of dignity. Many awkward looks and an embarrassing elevator ride later, I was dry, late for class and fully equipped with my first college lesson: know your surroundings.

With one humiliation down, I figured the moment had come for more at the freshman ice cream social, where you make your own ice cream (did not happen) and socialize (even farther from happening) while watching Zombieland (the one piece of the plan that did occur). My roommate and I sit in an armchair, snacking up a storm, when all of a sudden someone walks up to us and starts talking. We sit stunned, while the relatively cute RA asks us about our lives. He asks for one of our oreos and leaves, promising we would talk later. “Talking later” turned out to be coming back to ask for more oreos. To this day, neither of us have talked to him since, even though we have both seen him multiple times. Lesson number two: beware of insincere moochers, especially the cute ones with glasses.

Copious amounts of smaller issues cluttered the rest of my first three weeks, so acting as a typical college student, I took to Facebook to vent my frustrations. One of my latest statuses read out: “Dear room across the hall, no matter how loud you blast Avril, she’s still going to sound like a dying squirrel. So why don’t you turn her down and put on someone who has even a little artistic talent.” In the publication of that relatively overbearing comment, I stumbled upon one of the most important and cliché lessons any college could teach me: never forget who your (Facebook) friends are.

In all seriousness, my main standby for these three weeks has been the people who keep checking in on me. In my not-so-vast experience as a college freshman, I have learned that the old ties keep you sane and grounded in a new world. I have also learned the value of hope and the dangerous wonder of freedom through experiences only a college student can have. So here’s to the new life: praying the shower drain next to you isn’t clogged up, hoping to God the café is open after the night class lets out late, looking like you have diagnosed issues on the Muni just to make sure you get off at the right stop and always looking for sprinkler heads like mines in a field.

Sarah Hulsman is a freshman Media Studies major

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Burke McSwain

Opinion Editor: Laura Waldron

Men’s Soccer Team Has Loads of Fresh Talent


With regular season play approaching fast, the USF Men’s Soccer team is working hard physically and mentally to make this season a success. A very young team with lots of new faces (19 freshmen, a new assistant coach and only five seniors) head coach Erik Visser is calling the year “a building year” with hopes to “integrate the new freshmen, build team chemistry and look to compete in conference not only this year but in the years following.” The Dons are predicted to place sixth in the West Coast Conference according to preseason coaches’ polls, underneath Bay Area rival Santa Clara. With a loaded preseason schedule including Northwestern, UC Berkeley, Stanford and the ever-challenging WCC the team definitely has their work cut out for them if they want to win a championship this year. But work is just what the boys have been doing all preseason: physically, with intense three-a-day training sessions, weight lifting and lots of running; and mentally by working with the team’s sports psychologist.

Last year the Men’s soccer team graduated a group of extraordinarily talented players. Forward Connor Chinn, mid-fielders Jonathan Levi, Leon Williams, Victor Wennberg and center defender Omar Elmasri were all major contributors both on and off the field. Chinn is now a regular contributor for the New York Red Bulls soccer team and defender Elmasri just recently quit the team to go play professionally in Monterrey, Mexico. Fortunately, the freshman class is a disciplined group of players with lots of potential.

The extremely athletic, soccer savvy freshman class is full of future star talent. “The new freshmen have really bought into the system,” said senior captain Victor Cortez, and they “know when to joke around and when to get down to business.” Karl Krafft, a midfielder from Norway, has already scored two goals for the Don’s in their opening game against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Other standout freshmen include Mauricio Diaz de Leon, Fred Loechen, Vergard Karlsen and Tommy Balistreri. Diaz is easily recognizable by his explosiveness on the ball, tricky moves and confidence on the field and will need to play a pivotal role in the upcoming season if the Don’s are to be successful. Fred Loechen is a 6’7” center back that will hopefully be able to use his size to anchor the defense. He has high-level experience playing in Norway with fellow teammate Krafft.

With so many promising new recruits it is easy to forget the hard work that the senior class has put in over the last three years. Looking to finish his college career strong with a WCC Championship, captain Cortez looks at the youthful team with hope and emphasizes the seniors’ loads of experience in West Coast Conference play as well as the incredible fitness of the team as major strengths that will help the Don’s achieve their goals. The team was ranked sixth in preseason polls during 2008 and ended up winning the WCC. This year the tactics will be adjusted to make up for the loss of a stellar mid-field but the formation will be just the same: a 4-3-2-1 with 4 defenders in the back and one forward playing high up top. The team has been working hard in practice playing in small teams to encourage passing and to learn how each other plays. This year will be a building block for future seasons as the young team will continue to learn and become closer friends.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Burke McSwain

Sports Editor: Matt Steinbach

Freshmen Feel Welcomed by Go Team

Starting a new school in an entirely different city, sometimes a strange country, may be difficult, but USF and its orientation team have gone above and beyond in joining together students with different backgrounds and cultures and establishing new friendships.

Orientation started sooner than freshmen think. It wasn’t the exact moment of setting foot on campus or the very first planned activity, but instead a different source: the internet. Meeting people and getting acquainted took on a whole new meaning.

This year, the University of San Francisco began a Facebook group for incoming freshmen, and the process started.

Part of the orientation program of USF is to introduce new students to each other, and this aspect, though it may have started out as a way simply to inform or answer questions, has opened the undertaking of future friendships.

All the activities put together by USF are very helpful in breaking boundaries of insecurity and connecting students that would never pick each other out in a crowd and become immediate friends.

From students I met with similar hobbies at the Dons Fair to the neighbors I met at the floor meetings, there were a million opportunities to branch out, introduce myself, and create a brand new bond.

One very convenient aspect is the orientation to your respective major.

After breaking out into categories in your designated school at USF, it is inevitable to meet new people.

These students will potentially be in most of your classes and are looking to gain from college the same thing as you: a new experience.

Just walking into class on the first day and seeing the familiar faces of your colleagues is a rush of happiness and comfort.

A new friend is just one more connection, and you can never have too many of them. How many times have you met a friend of a friend who’s the roommate of that friend who is in your same class? It’s already happened.

Making friends is not difficult, nor is it time-consuming. The orientation team at USF helped everyone in this procedure. Numerous students also enjoyed other events such as the dance and the hypnotist. All of them gave students an opportunity to branch out into other social circles. Without even a week under their belt, they made plenty of new friends that they would be able to just text, give a call or send a message to through Facebook.

On the day of orientation, I can honestly say I knew a handful of students, and my networking already began. The Orientation Team did an excellent job. What’s the best part about this? It’s not over.

Scavenger Hunt Enlivens Orientation

Two hundred and fifty freshmen and some of their parents traveled to San Francisco during the first weekend in July to attend Discover USF and participate in the GO (Get Oriented) Game, two new orientation programs that were created in an effort to make the freshman summer orientation friendlier and more effective to incoming students. Peter Novak, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, spearheaded the new programs and the revision of Web Track. Novak utilized his performing and visual arts background to create a video that explained and showed how Discover USF and the GO Game worked this summer. More than a shiny view of the freshman experience at USF, the optional weekend program resonated with some freshmen who were able to assimilate to portions of life as students in San Francisco.

Laura Waldron, a freshman media studies major and university scholar from Phoenix, chose to attend Discover USF and participate in the GO Game. Waldron traveled to San Francisco during the first weekend of July for a preview of dorm life.  The day after hearing Rev. Privett’s convocation speech about embracing the future and “assuring parents that their kids were in good hands,” a resident advisor told Waldron and her team members, “You have four hours to conquer the city.”

Dubbed a “high-tech exploration,” students were equipped with a web-enabled cell phones that gave them instructions on their various tasks, but also timed them.  Tasks included recreating their favorite music video on a city street, doing yoga in Dolores Park, making a MUNI postcard, riding BART, convincing a complete stranger to trust them and speaking to the actors that Novak hired to discuss the history of USF and the immigrant experience in San Francisco.  Neighborhoods included in the game were Haight Ashbury, Union Square and the Mission. There were14 teams, with eight to 10 students on each team. Waldron said, “We [her team] were so into it…we all ran around and it got competitive.”  Her team earned the most points for completing their clues in the least amount of time, which earned her and her eight teammates fake mustaches, a rubber chicken, a trophy and the satisfaction of having completed their first challenge of navigating the city and its transit.

The class of 2013 was the first class to test Discover USF and Web Track and the first students to participate in the GO Game. Novak said, “Fast Track was not a good program.” The three main goals of the new orientation system are to assist student with setting academic expectations, making friends and getting to know both the city and the university. Discover USF and the GO Game were not mandatory; however, Novak estimated that 250 students, or 25 percent of the freshman class, opted to attend.  Discover USF included one academic lecture, Mythbusters, which explored the most popular major at USF: the undeclared major.  A workshop for parents tackled topics like safety and financial aid. The weekend orientation cost students $100 to attend, but included housing in the dorms.

Kate Elston, a USF alumna, recently finished filming and editing another promotional video for the College of Arts and Sciences that reviews the student experience through a series of interviews with current students, administrators and professors. Elston recalled her own freshman orientation experience as she said, “Orientation felt like camp. I remember being shuffled from place to place. Part of it was nice, it was a safe atmosphere and you felt like you were getting to know people. But it felt like you were being babied. I tried to make this film lighthearted, but informational and funny at the same time. I hope they [new students] have a better understanding of what will make them successful at USF.” Elston’s video features a wide variety of voices at USF including an athlete’s perspective and some advice from graduating seniors. Her film is part of the larger effort to open up communication with freshmen and transfer students about how to make the most out of their college careers.

Of the first Discover USF and GO Game, Novak said, “It was very successful and we will do it next year.” He was not sure of the neighborhoods that the scavenger hunt would take place in. Waldron said, “I thought it was awesome because I like exploring the city and it was good for meeting people.”