Tag Archives: student life

A Reminder This Exam Season

Meerim Djunusalieva is a junior international studies major.

Meerim Djunusalieva is a junior international studies major.

Stop everything you are doing and look around you. Look at the people who surround you. Are they all running to class, constantly checking their phones or doing homework? In college, it is so easy to fall into the trap of daily routines. It feels like everything we do is done automatically. We become machines that repeat the same things over and over again.

The danger of mediocrity in life is to fall into the self-destructive spiral that completely takes away our ability to properly enjoy the beauty of life. From my own experience, it takes a tragedy or an accident for a person to realize that our life can be abruptly ended at any second and that time is such a treasure that cannot be taken for granted. However, that should not be the case. It should not take the death of a loved one or the discovery of a terminal illness to come to this realization. We think we are going to have more time to pursue our dreams, to spend more time with our family and friends, and even more time to tell to that special one how we truly feel. The truth is time is not promised to us and we will never know what tomorrow or the next will bring.

As cliché as it may sound, living in the moment and being self-aware should be one of our goals in life. We are raised in a society that constantly tells us what we should be or should not be. From this, we create ideas of what we think we want from life and where we want to be in the future. It feels like everything what we do right now is for the sake of “being happy” later. Happiness is such an ambiguous concept designed by our society that constitutes a symbol for the finish line.

The truth is time is not promised to us and we will never know what tomorrow or the next will bring.

Why not live and be happy in the moment? Things rarely go according to planned. Even if life does not turn the way you think it should have, it does not mean you failed. There is more to life than reaching an end goal as cheesy as it sounds, it really is the journey.

As important school is, we must to enjoy other aspects of life such as time spent with our friends who we may not see after the graduation. Time passes quickly. Things change fast. We change gradually. Instead of dwelling on the past, forge a path you will not regret. Of course, it is great to want to succeed, but make sure that in the meantime, you grow and embrace every moment of your existence. Every minute is a minute you will never have again.

Meerim Djunusalieva is a junior international studies major. 

 

Students hope the Loyola Village townhouses and dorm rooms located on Anza St. will be more closely monitored by Public Safety and SFPD, alike. 
(Photo: Rita McNeil)

Campus resident mugged at gunpoint, students not notified

A student and resident of Loyola Village was mugged at gun point at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 7. According to the Department of Public Safety, the suspects took the student’s belongings, including a phone and wallet containing her USF One Card and bank cards. The catch? Much of the USF community was not notified of the incident by email.

The student was walking eastbound on Anza St. when she was approached by two suspects, reported Public Safety. The suspects ran towards Masonic Ave. after the attack. The victim did not suffer any injuries. Information on the attack was sent out to faculty and staff via a Public Safety Bulletin, though students appear to have been left out of the notice.

Hannah Helser, administrative coordinator at Public Safety, said that an email was sent out to all students and faculty on Tuesday, Sept. 10 around 3:15 p.m. She suggested that there may be an issue with Information Technology Services (ITS). Usually when an incident like this occurs, “we do put these emails out immediately,” Helser said.

However, students are claiming that they still have not been notified. “It is in the best interest of students to know what parts of campus are more dangerous and when to avoid them,” Chloe Owens, a junior environmental science major said. “I still didn’t get the email and no one else seems to know about it either,” Owens said.

Email notices regarding on-campus crimes are typically sent to students through their USF Dons email accounts. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) website states: “In the event that a situation arises, either on or off campus, that in the judgement of the Director of Public Safety, constitutes an ongoing or continuing threat, a campus wide ‘timely warning’ will be issued. The warning will be issued through the college e-mail system to students, faculty, and staff.”

A report of the attack is available on the DPS website under the most recent “Timely Warnings” link.

A brief student survey conducted by Foghorn staff indicated that most students were not notified of the crime via email. Out of 37 anonymous student responses, 24 answered “no” when asked if they had received an email from the Public Safety Bulletin regarding a crime committed on campus on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. Four students answered “yes,” while nine answered, “I don’t know.” Of those who responded “yes,” none received the email on Sept. 10, the day the Public Safety Bulletin was posted and sent to faculty and staff.

ITS staff believes the mistake was made by Public Safety. “From what I can see, [the email is] only sent to the faculty and staff. It could have been a mistake because I feel like they would have emailed it to everybody. I’m guessing [the mistake] is on Public Safety’s end,” ITS technician Kristen Scarpa said.

Students are concerned why events like this keep happening, and worry that recent Public Safety patrol isn’t heavy enough. “I’ve heard of Public Safety breaking up off-campus parties, yet real crimes are happening on campus that they are passing up. They need to prioritize,” Bernadette De Mesa, junior communications major said.

As for what Public Safety is doing to prevent future incidents, “Our officers are definitely aware of the incident and are in contact with SFPD,” Helser said. Anza St. is under SFPD’s jurisdiction, and Public Safety drives down Anza, Masonic and sometimes Geary Blvd, according to Helser.

Helser encourages students never to walk with a phone or headphones exposed, especially when alone because, “a lot of crimes we see like this are crimes of opportunity.”

For more tips on how to stay safe, visit: www.usfca.edu/Public_Safety/Crime_Prevention/

Selection Sunday Sets off March Madness Mayhem

Around this time of year, college basketball lovers have something to look forward to. It is the time of year when thousands of people frantically fill out brackets and compete with their friends to see whose is the most accurate. It is the time of year when fans can wake up early in the morning and watch basketball games until the sun sets. It is the time of year when unknown teams become cinderella stories, when promising young players become stars, and when powerhouses prove their strength, depth, and readiness to contend for a championship. It is mid-March, and with Selection Sunday wrapped up and the field of 68 teams set in stone, the chaotic, electrifying event that is the NCAA Tournament, also known as March Madness, has begun. In a year with no clear-cut favorite and a handful of teams that have a solid chance to win the championship, the next few weeks will surely be an unpredictable thrill-ride complete with wild buzzer-beaters, unlikely upsets, and surprise heroes.

For those unfamiliar with this year’s tournament format, the teams are assigned to one of four regions (West, East, Midwest, and South), and each region has teams ranked from 1 to 16. Each region has a play-in game in which the winner earns a spot in the tournament, creating a field of 68 total teams.

 

The Top 8

This year, the four number one seeds are Indiana, Kansas, Louisville (the overall number one seed), and Gonzaga, USF’s West Coast Conference foe. Although these teams are considered the most dominant in college basketball, none of them have been invincible throughout the season. It has been a uncommon year in that no team has truly proven to be ahead of the rest, as five different teams have been ranked number one in the nation in the AP poll and lots of fluctuation has occurred within the conferences.

Indiana spent much of the year as the number one team but lost to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Conference Tournament. Gonzaga has an impressive record of 31-2 and earned a No. 1 seed for the first time in school history, but their schedule was only the 72nd most difficult out of the 347 Division 1 teams, which qualifies as the weakest schedule among the four teams with a No. 1 seed.  Finally, there is not a noticeable drop off from the No. 1 to the No. 2 seeds (Duke, Georgetown, Miami (FL), and Ohio State). Duke is currently the number one ranked team in the RPI Rankings, and Miami is the first team ever to win an ACC regular season and tournament title yet not receive a No. 1 seed.

 

Bracketology

As is the case with the NCAA Tournament every year, there is much speculation as to which teams have the best chance to win the championship and which upsets will occur. Also, there are usually debates concerning the possible unfair seeding of certain teams, as well as complaints that teams that deserved to be selected in the tournament field were left out. ESPN.com’s Tournament Challenge, a game in which people submit their brackets in hopes of correctly predicting the outcomes of games and winning prizes, offers insight into what people are anticipating to happen in the tournament. So far, Louisville has been picked to win the championship in 19.9% of the brackets, a higher percentage than any other team. Indiana is second at 16.3%, followed by Miami, Kansas, and Duke.

As far as predictions for the Final Four, Louisville leads again, with 49.7% of brackets picking the Cardinals to be one of the last four remaining teams. Interestingly, Ohio State has only been chosen to win the tournament in 5.9 percent of the brackets, but 39.9% think the Buckeyes will reach the Final Four. In another curious trend, at 25% Duke is the eighth most popular choice to make the Final Four, but has been selected by 8.6% of the brackets to win the championship, good for fifth place.

At this point, the most popular upset pick has been No. 9 seed Missouri beating No. 8 seed Colorado State. The most common choice for a more drastic upset has been No. 11 seed Minnesota prevailing against the No. 6 seed UCLA.

 

An Imperfect System

A common argument among bracket experts has been that No. 12 seed Oregon should have been seeded higher, considering that they won the Pac-12 Tournament, and also that UCLA, the team they beat in the Pac-12 Championship, received a No. 6 seed. There has also been talk that Middle Tennessee State did not deserve a place in the field of 68 due to the fact that it has not won a game over an RPI top 100 team all year.

Despite possible slip-ups by the selection committee and inconsistencies in seeding, the general energy surrounding this NCAA Tournament suggests that it will be one of the most exciting and unforgettable tournaments in a long time. The lack of an obvious frontrunner has created much uncertainty and led to many different teams being given a chance to compete for the championship.

“I don’t think there’s any consensus favorite. I just don’t think there’s a team that has distinguished itself,” CBS basketball analyst Clark Kellogg said.

Later this week, the games will begin, and along the way each team will look to find its identity and make a run for the title. As the surprise upsets and outstanding individual performances arrive, a small quantity of teams will emerge as elite contenders, and opinions will continue to change until the championship game is over. No matter what happens, the intriguing premise of the 2013 NCAA Tournament ensures that this month will bring plenty of “madness” for fans to enjoy.

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.

A Word on Dormitory Etiquette

There’s an oversized water bottle filled with urine outside my window. My room, which has the unique feature of being located just above the rooftop of another building, has long overlooked the bizarre collection of objects dropped there by residents of the floors above me, mainly consisting of cigarette butts, beer bottle caps and the odd apple core, but the urine is just too much.

When the bottle was dropped there a few nights ago, I was more than irate and a little horrified at the idea that, just maybe, a few drops of someone’s bodily fluids might have splashed into my room through the open window, exposing my roommate and I to who-knows-what kind of bacteria.
Yet, eventually, a new query popped into my mind; is this really what dorm etiquette has come to? Have the students of USF reached a point where tossing a bottle of urine out of the window is permissible?
Don’t be mistaken, I believe the majority of students here are fairly respectful to their neighbors yet, over the last few weeks, there has been an abrupt breakdown in the etiquette in the dorms. At the start of the semester, there were negligible incidents, generally just intoxicated students stumbling in during the wee hours of the morning on weekends. However, even I, having been known to sleep through earthquakes and hurricanes alike, have been roused from my sleep by people running down the halls with a lot less clothing than acceptable, yelling about how terrible their math homework is and blaring music. These disturbances aren’t limited to the night or noise either, I’ve frequently found huge clumps of hair in the showers, piles of garbage outside the trash cans and chunks of three day old chocolate chip cookie scattered across the couches in the lounge.

At a certain point, the student body needs to admit that dorm etiquette is on the decline and something has to be done amongst ourselves. The last thing that we need is more interference into our personal lives on behalf of the administration; we’re all relatively responsible young adults here and should have the intelligence to recognize when there’s a problem, how to fix it and, perhaps more importantly, have the maturity to act towards a resolution. It doesn’t take that much effort to keep your voice down at night, walk down the hall to the restroom or clean up after yourself but it does take a certain degree of self-discipline to be respectful towards your neighbors, on your floor or otherwise.

Slum Life: Annoyed Residents Agree Phelan Needs Renovation

Plumbing issues, including hot water faucets that do not work, in tbe bathrooms on the top floors of Phelan Hall are deemed unbearable by residents.  Photo by Cass Krughoff/Foghorn

Plumbing issues, including hot water faucets that do not work, in tbe bathrooms on the top floors of Phelan Hall are deemed unbearable by residents. Photo by Cass Krughoff/Foghorn

With the upcoming renovations of the University Center, and, at some point in the future, the Harney Science Center, some students are wondering when exactly it will be Phelan’s turn.

“USF should not be wasting money on laying brickwork stars in front of the cafeteria or trying to beautify our school with new landscape; they need to get their priorities in order and focus on the interior,” said Montana Dillenberg, Phelan resident.

Phelan Hall, which  is the oldest dorm on campus according to USF’s website, has been showing signs of its age for a while, according to the students who live there.

Nick Wright, English major, said that “The heaters here don’t make your room warm at all.”

“Well, ours won’t turn off,” said biology major Mari Feuz.

There are a variety of other complaints, regarding both building-related and non-related issues–showers that take a long time to heat up, noisy halls, a puddle of vomit that remained uncleaned in the bathroom during the Lovefest weekend–but above all, the residents’ main plague seemed to be related to the bathrooms.

“Once a week we get puddles in the bathroom from old plumbing that hasn’t been fixed,” said Wright.

Dillenberg said that four out of the seven sinks on her floor’s bathroom don’t have functioning hot water knobs.

Feuz agreed, and also demonstrated that tiles are falling in the showers, and that two of the stalls on the sixth floor bathroom have doors that cannot close.

The plumbing may be a contributor to the mysterious stench that several residents observe.

“There’s been a horrible smell in the past few days,” said Taryn Larribas, psychology major. “I think it might be the plumbing.”

Dillenberg went further to state that “Living in Phelan is like living in a communal garbage can. Quite frankly, it’s disgusting, the sixth floor in particular. Not only do the bathrooms carry a horrible stench, but the hallways as well.” Because she cannot access the internet from her room, she has to “sit outside in the hall that reeks of horrible odors to get connected to the internet.”

Internet connection has been another complaint that seems to be cropping up; “The internet is absolutely terrible in Phelan,” said Wright.

Steve Nygaard, director of the Office of Residence Life, said, “ORL has worked with ITS to improve the wireless access setting on the network equipment in Phelan that prevents non-ITS network devices from providing unauthorized network IP Addresses.  The setting only allows a ‘trusted’ server to provided network addresses.  The typical ‘Non-ITS’ network devices that we see are consumer-level routers  that are commonly used at home to share Internet connections. Often students do not understand the impact of the plug-in devices to share a network connection with their roommate or visiting classmate/friend.  This is common in Phelan where only one data port is available per dorm room. With improvements to USFwireless coverage we have seen less issues relate to ‘rogue’ routers.”

Regarding the plumbing, he said, “The administration is in complete agreement that the Phelan plumbing facilities are in great need of repair. When the University renovates Phelan, in addition to addressing the plumbing issues, it is also looking to improve the privacy of the restroom facilities, create floors with the potential for co-ed facilities and greatly improved lounge/common area spaces.”

When will these renovations actually be taking place, however? Dillenberg said she contacted ORL, but that they did not give her any information on the time frame for the renovation. Attempts were also made to contact Mike London, assistant vice president of facilities management, but a response was not received by the time of publication.

Until that indefinite time, students must continue to deal with the occasional plumbing leak and wafting bathroom odor. While some, like Dillenberg, remain angry and frustrated, most are willing to wait.

“Calling it unlivable is a bit overdramatic,” said Wright. “If a few little things got changed, I’d be fine with it.”