Tag Archives: Off Campus

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

Students Face Tough Housing Choices

Every year during spring semester at USF, all returning students have to make a decision about where to live the following year.

For freshmen students, the decision is made for them by the Office of Residence Life. Almost all sophomores are required to live in campus housing, with the exception of those who want to file for a housing exemption and try to live off campus.

Students who are currently sophomores and juniors are not required to live on campus the following year and must decide whether they want to live on campus in Pedro Arrupe, Layola Village, or as a Resident Advisor, or if they want to find housing off campus. Although the decision may at first appear to be relatively easy, there are a variety of factors that can make it significantly more complex.

First, there is the Office of Residence Life, who does not make the housing selection process easy. Freshman students who file for exemption must provide proof of a medical condition or financial situation that makes them unable to live on campus. Once they provide this proof, it can take weeks to hear back from Residence Life about whether or not they actually received an exemption. By this time, all of the residence halls are filled to capacity and if the freshman does not receive an exemption, they will have some serious problems finding on campus housing.

This year, every sophomore residence hall except for Fromm, the all girls hall, was filled to capacity by the end of the first registration day. This means that students who were assigned the second day to register had no on campus options to choose from. Because the Office of Residence Life operates in this way, the Foghorn contends that sophomore students should not be required to live on campus until a more effective system of housing distribution is established.

For freshmen and upper classmen, the housing decision-making process extends far beyond Residence Life policies. Students must take into account the various advantages and disadvantages of living on or off campus. Financially, students will almost always save money by living off campus. Double rooms in each residence hall cost approximately $4,000 each semester and meal plans cost just under $2,000 each semester. If each semester is 4 months then students pay about $1,500 a month for room and board. Craigslist advertises average 3 and 4 bedroom apartments in the USF area at between $2,500 and $3,000 a month. This means multi-bedroom apartments would cost about $800 a month for a student with their own bedroom, plus the cost of food. Unless students get financial aid to cover their housing, they will most likely save money by living off campus.

Community involvement, safety, and accessibility are all reasons to live on campus. First, living in the middle of campus makes it easy to get involved. Club meetings, sports events, and extra curricular activities are at each student’s finger tips, which gives each student an opportunity to make connections and meet different people. This exposure is stifled to an extent once students move off campus. Second, living on campus gives students the ultimate amount of safety possible. The front desk of each residence hall acts as a buffer between students’ living space and potential off campus safety threats. By living on campus students avoid the risks that come with walking home alone at night. Lastly, on campus living gives students access to a large amount of amenities that much of the student body probably takes for granted. Laundry services within each building, wireless internet, flexi meal plans, and heating systems are all huge benefits for students living on campus.

Ultimately it is up to the individual student to decide which aspects of on or off campus living are most valuable to them. Some students many consider finances most important and choose to live off campus, while others may enjoy living in the middle of the USF community and choose to stay on campus. Either way, students should be given the opportunity to make these decisions for themselves and choose the living environment that will make them the most comfortable.