Tag Archives: koret

The Koret Deli is popular among off-campus students since it’s a convenient and stop before going to class. Photo by natalie gallo/foghorn

Koret Deli: The Best Eatery on Campus

For off-campus students like myself, buying food on campus can be costly without flexi for our disposal. Sure, a bowl of soup and bread from the Market Café may be the cheapest meal you can get there, but for about $5 it’s not much to sustain you for the afternoon. In looking for alternative dining options on campus, the Koret Deli can help stretch your wallet and fill you up.

First of all, for all those who don’t go to the gym (it’s ok, I think walking up Lone Mountain is equivalent to the stair master), did you know there was a deli in Koret Health and Recreation Center?

Photo by Natalie Gallo

Photo by Natalie Gallo

“I don’t think everyone knows about it because you kind of overlook it when you’re at the gym, but then there are some people I know who only go to Koret for the deli,” said Glencijoy David, senior.

Koret Deli doesn’t accept flexi so it probably doesn’t garner much attraction from on-campus students, but according to David, it certainly is popular with commuter students.

Sandwiches are a staple to my diet. They’re quick and easy to make, and portable to bring up to campus. Since I’ve eaten plenty of sandwiches in my three years as a college student, two years being a commuter, I’ve developed high standards for what makes a good sandwich, and Koret Deli makes a good sandwich.

The menu offers about eleven sandwich options, including vegetarian, with a choice of sweet roll, whole wheat, or dutch crunch bread. On top of that, they’ll even toast it for you, and that already makes a sandwich loads better. I opted for the New York Pastrami sandwich, rather than the usual ham, turkey, or chicken sandwiches. I paid $6 for a 6-inch sub, which is the average cost of Koret Deli sandwiches.

I went to the deli around 11 a.m. on a Monday, and there wasn’t a line at the time, hence the service was pretty quick. At first I was skeptical about how filling the sandwich would be, but after eating half of it, I was already satisfied. I got my pastrami sandwich on dutch crunch bread which added an extra crispness and balancing sweetness to the seasoned meat. Unlike the $6 pre-wrapped sandwiches at the Caf, Koret Deli sandwiches are packed with meat, and the right amount of  lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, and sandwich spread.  I often find other sandwich places load on these toppings, causing the sandwich to fall apart, however Koret Deli neatly wraps their sandwiches to prevent this, and also makes it easy to take your sandwich to-go.

The deli also offers espresso coffee and drinks, salads, breakfast bagels, and smoothies, making it a great stop for breakfast to-go or to refuel during the day. I’ve been told by Koret Deli faithfuls that there’s usually a line, so arrive early before your next class. If you’re not in a rush for class, the deli is a spacious alternative for studying with their large tables, multiple seating, and a great view of  Inner Richmond district and Golden Gate Park.

Even though the price point of Koret Deli is not significantly less than the cost of sandwiches you can get at the Caf, it’s a winner for off-campus students in terms of portability, satisfaction, and getting more for your buck. It also beats the crowd and high noise levels of the Caf.

National champion Nargis Shaghasi is victorious in a match against England in Washington, D.C. in August.
(Photo: Angelino Merino)

Not Just “Boxercise” Anymore

USF Boxing Club Boasts Three National Champions, the No. 3 Ranked Boxer in the U.S., Olympic Level Talent

Boxing is one of the most thriving, well-represented sports at USF. From the school’s boxing club to classes such as Philippine Boxing and Culture and Boxing and Social Justice, a plethora of opportunities are available for students to learn about boxing and also to experience the sport first-hand. While spirits are presently high among members of the boxing program — the club recently hosted the United States Intercollegiate Boxing Association (USIBA) National Championships earlier this year, which recognized female boxing as an equal part of the sport — there was a time when the boxing club was in a far less promising position.

“(The program) was introduced as a “boxercise,” Boxing Club Head Coach Angelo Merino said. “As we moved towards the competition side, we registered ourselves as a guerrilla movement without the University’s blessings. We were practicing at the balcony of Memorial Gym, running on the steps without bags, just using mitts and pads.”

Merino was there when the club was nothing more than an unorganized, unsanctioned “boxercise” in 1995, when he helped convince the University to turn boxing into a formal sport. Since then, the club has made significant strides, culminating in hosting the USIBA Championships, where they boasted national champions in three different weight classes.

While the team has seen much success recently, Merino has even higher expectations for this year.

“This is the best recruiting year we have had,” Merino said. “We have a few who are potential Olympians, and we have one who is a five-time world champion in kickboxing, and is ranked number three in the nation for boxing.”

This five-time kickboxing champion is Katrina Nahe, a 16-year-old prodigy who picked up boxing just six months ago. Nahe attends Deer Valley High School in Antioch, Calif., but still practices and competes with the USF Boxing Club. She will be showcasing her talents at this year’s Hilltop Cup, an on-campus boxing event on Oct. 18 that will feature USF along with up to 19 other schools. Headlining the club’s returning boxers is Nargis Shaghasi, who won a national championship in her weight class last year. Shaghasi recently made a trip to Oxnard, Calif. to compete in a five-week tournament for a spot in the Olympics.

In order to continue producing outstanding, talented individuals such as Nahe and Shaghasi, Merino’s boxing squad practices every day, using the city of San Francisco to its advantage. The club often runs at Ocean Beach and also works out in neighboring gymnasiums. Senior Adriana Bousalian, who won a national championship at the USIBA event last semester, does not sugarcoat the intensity of the boxing club experience.

“It’s a real commitment, it’s not a joke,” Bousalian said. “You’ve got to put your full effort into it; you can’t just put half, because first off you’ll lose, and second you’ll probably get hurt.”

Bousalian, who is “taking it a lot easier” this year but still training with the club, has both cautionary and encouraging words for students who may be interested in taking up boxing: “you sacrifice your social life, and sometimes even your academic work, but (the reward) is worth it.”

Along with the USF Boxing Club, the university also offers two boxing-oriented classes. One of these is Boxing and Social Justice, taught by Merino, along with professor and Boxing Club Assistant Coach Jay Gonzalez. The course not only teaches boxing, but also provides service learning experience through volunteer work to help homeless senior citizens in the Mission District, among other activities.

“Boxing is used just as an icebreaking tool,” Merino said. “It has a cultural diversity aspect to it, and it has a service learning aspect to it…there is a win-win situation between the students and the (volunteering) site.”

Boxing and Social Justice, which is in its fourth year as a class at USF, combines boxing culture with the University’s diversity-focused values. For example, boxing techniques such as jabs and hooks are used as a way of understanding cultural differences that students are exposed to when they travel to certain parts of the city.

“When we’re in the classroom teaching them to be mentors and teachers, we show them how the Europeans would throw a jab, how Cubans would throw a jab,” Merino said. “Those are the things that would break the ice.”

With a club that boasts three reigning national boxing champions, as well as numerous new Olympic-level talents, and two boxing classes that simultaneously involve students in the community, it is evident that boxing is currently prospering at USF. Regardless of what path it takes in the future, boxing has certainly expanded its influence far beyond the balcony of the War Memorial Gym.

Hike, Kayak, and Surf Your Way to New Friendships on Koret’s Outdoor Adventures

Being a student at the “University of the Best City Ever” means that countless attractions and world-renowned landmarks are only a walk or a MUNI ride away from campus. But opportunities for students to explore their surroundings also exist far beyond San Francisco’s city limits. With Koret’s Outdoor Adventures program, students can go on a variety of excursions that are organized and run through USF, and feature trip locations such as Vacaville, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the Sacramento River. The program provides a way for students, faculty and staff members to travel to different parts of the Bay Area while engaging in a variety of outdoor activities.

This semester, Outdoor Adventures is offering a total of 12 trips, three of which have already taken place. On Sept. 14 a group of Dons embarked on an all-day whitewater-rafting trip. The two other adventures that have already taken place were the “Urban Hiker” trip, a trek throughout the city that took participators from Telegraph Hill to Lombard Street, and a day visit to Great America, an amusement park in Santa Clara.

“On Urban Hiker, the students got to explore San Francisco like a local. They got to enjoy amazing views while on a four and a half mile hike. They got to explore the city’s secret stairways, hilltop views, and hiking trails,” Kristina Alai, the head organizer of USF Outdoor Adventures, said. “At Great America, students got to experience the tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster in Northern California.”

Alai, who is also the Rec Sports Department Coordinator at Koret, believes that the events present a chance for students to familiarize themselves with their surroundings as well as their fellow classmates.

“As a new student to a new city, it can be difficult to learn about the city or even find a group of friends to go on day trips with,” Alai said. “What is beneficial about these trips is that they give students a discounted rate to explore these places, (and also) the freedom to roam or be with their friends, and return back safely with the transportation we provide…this definitely strengthens our USF community.”

USF sophomore Grant Tercero went kayaking in Sausalito last year through the Outdoor Adventures program, and enjoyed the heavy exercise and opportunities for exploration.

“It was a cool outing, (and) I received the chance to know the geography of the bay a little better and row myself to four different cities in two hours,” Tercero said. “(I also) pretty much solidified a friendship with a girl named Jayne due to our kayak flipping over. Some good old-fashioned bonding there.”

Outdoor Adventure trips are offered each Saturday, and prices are generally set at a 60 percent discount. Students can sign up for adventures at the Koret front desk, and all groups depart from the Koret lobby on the day of the trip. Upcoming events include horseback riding on Sept. 21, and a San Francisco Giants baseball game on Sept. 28.

“The popular ones tend to be the Giants game, whitewater rafting, sea kayaking, and the ski and snowboarding trips offered in the spring semester,” Alai said. “This is the first year we are offering laser tag and indoor kart racing. It will be interesting to see how students enjoy them, since they have requested to have these trips offered.”

Joey Jordan leading a Zumba dance at New Student Orientation on Aug. 19, at Swig Pavillion in Koret. 
(Photo: Courtesy of Joey Jordan)

Zumba the Night Away With Sophomore Zumba Dance Instructor Joey Jordan

It is often true that the things we are hesitant to do end up being the things we enjoy the most. 19-year-old USF sophomore Joey Jordan, lead instructor for Tuesday and Thursday night Zumba classes at the Koret Center, can certainly relate to that statement.

“When I first joined a gym back home in Boston, before I started teaching Zumba, I was hesitant about taking a group exercise class,” Jordan recalled. “The only workout I knew was running on the treadmill. However, I challenged myself to take almost every class that was offered, and I ended up liking Zumba so much that a few months later, I became certified to teach it.”

Jordan taught as many as 11 classes each week in the Boston area last summer. Before his Zumba classes began at USF this year, he performed with a group of other students for the New Student Orientation during Koret Night.

“I had a blast going up on stage and dancing to one of my new songs in front of everyone,” Jordan said. “Not to mention, there were about a hundred people the following night at the first Zumba class of the semester.”

Jordan makes $30 for each class he teaches at Koret – but it’s clear he is involved with Zumba not just for the money, but because of his passion for exercising and teaching others.

“The best part of being a Zumba instructor is interacting with the people who take my class,” Jordan explained. “The energy and enthusiasm they bring each week motivates me to push myself, and to always be working on new choreography for my classes…I also try to promote a healthy lifestyle to my students, from eating the right foods and remaining active each day.”

As an energetic, animated form of dancing, Zumba offers many physical and health-related benefits. It can also provide a much-needed break from the overwhelming nature of college, and act as a form of rejuvenation for mentally fatigued students.

“Personally, being active throughout the week has greatly helped my school performance. I feel like I have more energy during the school week, and working out is a fantastic way to relieve stress,” Jordan remarked.

Dons Show Promise Despite Fourth Straight Loss

The San Francisco women’s basketball team lost its fourth consecutive game Saturday, falling 69-64 to Santa Clara in front of 489 at War Memorial Gym. San Francisco also lost 84-46 at home last Thursday against Gonzaga. With Saturday’s loss, the Dons dropped to 9-15 overall (2-9 in Conference play) while Santa Clara improved to 13-11 on the season (5-6 in the WCC).

Despite a strong second half, the Dons could not dig themselves out of an early hole. San Francisco trailed 11-2 four minutes into the game and 23-5 later in the first half.

“Digging ourselves a hole like that does hurt us,” senior guard Mel Khlok said after the game. She led the Dons with 16 points, six rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

A three-pointer by freshman forward Taylor Proctor reduced Santa Clara’s lead to 38-24 with 4:29 left in the half and capped an 8-0 run for the Dons.

With 3:33 remaining before halftime, Proctor appeared to make a layup and draw a foul, but she was called for an offensive foul instead. Many in the San Francisco crowd booed and some directed harsh insults at the referee.

Just before the end of the half, Santa Clara turned the ball over and Khlok fired from beyond the arc at the buzzer. She missed the shot but drew a foul, and was awarded three free throws. Khlok sunk two of three, and the Dons went into the locker room trailing 44-32.

Led by redshirt junior center Ruta Zurauskyte’s 12 points on 6-7 shooting, Santa Clara shot 62.5% in the half. Twenty-one of Santa Clara’s 44 first half points (47.7%) came off of San Francisco turnovers.

“Every team has converted on our turnovers,” Khlok said.

“Once we take care of the ball and rebound, we will be all right.”

When play resumed, the Dons immediately lived up their reputation as a second half team. A block of 6’4’’ Zurauskyte resulted in a three-pointer by sophomore guard Taj Winston just seconds into the half.

Soon after, a strong defensive stop and rebound by the Dons led to the second of four three-point baskets by junior guard Alexa Hardick, which made the score 46-40 Broncos with 17:31 remaining.

About four minutes later, a San Francisco steal resulted in a three-point play for Khlok that trimmed Santa Clara’s lead to two (51-49).

“Our defense is always, always what brings us back,” Khlok said.

The crowd at War Memorial Gym erupted when Hardick hit another three-pointer that gave the Dons the lead on their next possession.

The Broncos answered when Proctor fouled Santa Clara freshman guard Brooke Gallaway as she attempted a three-pointer, putting her at the line for three shots. Gallaway hit two of three free throws, opening a 7-0 run for the Broncos.

Santa Clara maintained a one-possession lead for much of the second half, until Zurauskyte hit a jumper that made it 65-61 Broncos with 1:20 remaining.

Hardick answered with a three-pointer that trimmed Santa Clara’s lead to one (65-64) with 51.1 seconds to go.

The Broncos made a field goal, however, followed by a missed three-pointer on the other end by freshman guard Zhané Dikes. Two Santa Clara free throws later, the Broncos defeated the Dons 69-64.

Despite the loss, San Francisco outscored the Broncos 32-25 in the second half, and Santa Clara collected just two of its 23 points off of turnovers during that span.

“The first half was a little rough for us,” Proctor said after the game.

“I think in the second half we wanted it more than them. We are a second half team.” Proctor notched 14 points and five rebounds in the loss.

“We don’t want to give up. We’re fighters. Even though we get down, we always fight back. We’re the kind of team that will never give up,” she said.

Khlok suggested a simple way the Dons might turn close losses like this one into victories.

“We’ve got to come out in the first half with the same fire we have in the second half,” she said.

Khlok, a senior, also acknowledged that this team’s future is bright.

“The program is going in the right direction, and it’s been amazing. We came from getting beat by every team by 30-40 [points], then Coach Azzi came in and we started losing by smaller margins. Now look at us, we’re right in games. Once we fix the little things…we will be all right. We will win.”

Lifeguards Find other Work during Pool Closure

Excitement surrounds the Koret pool as it’s getting ready to open again on Feb.14. Koret users have had to adjust to a pool without water—but, at least, they didn’t lose their jobs. Indeed, swimmers and avid gym-goers are not the only ones who have been affected by the pool closing. Lifeguards have had to take their business elsewhere, since their lifeguard chairs were swapped out for sky-high scaffolds.

Although they’ve had to uproot, the show must go on. One lifeguard who has made it work is sophomore nursing student Matt Lucchio, who has been a lifeguard for 13 years. Lucchio said he was “bummed” about the closing, not only because he enjoys swimming, but because coming in early had another benefit. “It was a good way to find parking.”

Without the pool, Lucchio said he has stayed active by surfing more and by staying employed by lifeguarding off-campus at the Rossi Community Pool. Luckily, his job as a lifeguard for the city allows him to guard at other pools, though he still misses Koret. “I love Koret because the hours were six-to-nine.  Other pools are only open for an hour or two,” he said.

Koret’s pool re-opening next week will be great news for both Lucchio and the patrons who have followed his footsteps to Rossi’s swim pool.  While the closing was a shock to many, for someone like Lucchio who participates in Alcatraz swim races, it was nothing he couldn’t handle.

As for other pool staff, Koret’s closing brought a long, unwanted break from work. Junior media studies major Allison Fazio has been a lifeguard at Koret since her first semester of sophomore year, and pool construction has brought a complete halt to her lifeguarding days. Fazio, who worked four to five days a week, was shocked when she first heard the news of the construction. “I didn’t believe it at first! We found out, like officially, just a month or so before the pool actually closed so I had to find a new job, stat,” she said. “In the end, it wasn’t that bad.”

Like Lucchio, Fazio found her own way to deal with the construction interruption. “It closed down before Thanksgiving break so I used my extra time to study for finals and enjoy the city a little more.”

U.S. history major Marisa Lennon, another student lifeguard, welcomed her time off with open arms. She shared her point of view on the opposite end of the spectrum: “The pool closing has not affected me that much besides being a great excuse not to work.” While Lennon, who has worked at Koret for her entire enrollment at USF, appreciates the paychecks, she also said that working as a lifeguard at Koret can become very monotonous. “[You’re] just staring at a pool, and I think many of the lifeguards would agree with me that the closing was a welcomed break – this job can drive you crazy,” she said.

Like Fazio, Lennon used her time off to relax and has not looked for another job. “I usually come back and work during intersession because there are a lot of hours, but this break I stayed in Connecticut with my parents,” she said. Lennon did not mention missing out on swimming as her biggest adjustment. Instead she said: “I guess my biggest challenge was being dependent.”

While an unexpected break in work is undeniably an adjustment for anyone, Lucchio, Fazio, and Lennon have all found their own ways to deal with it. For Fazio and Lennon, the Valentines Day re-opening of the Koret pool means finally being able to swim after months on dry land, and for Lucchio, getting back into the Koret lifeguarding routine means having a reason to get to USF early to win the parking battle. From participating in swims to Alcatraz, to going back east to visit family or simply taking the time to explore the ity, these students made sure their time off was far from the monotony that can sometimes come from sitting up in the lifeguard chair.