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Fr. Fitzgerald speaking at an event at the Chinese Consulate in New York City honoring extraordinary Chinese graduate students in the region’s universities. Photo courtesy of  Paul J. Fitzgerald

USF Welcomes New President Father Fitz

The presidential search ended last week with the Board of Trustees voting unanimously to elect the Reverend Paul J. Fitzgerald S.J. as the 28th president of the University of San Francisco. Fr. Fitzgerald will officially take office on August 1.

“When I received word I was selected as president, I was absolutely elated,” Fitzgerald said. “USF has an impressive legacy. The chance to contribute to this environment of learning and service is a true honor.”

Fitzgerald is due back to the Bay Area in August. Courtesy of Barbara Ries.

Fitzgerald is due back to the Bay Area in August. Courtesy of Barbara Ries.

This role will bring Fitzgerald back to the Bay Area. He grew up in Los Gatos, Calif. after his family moved from Southern California when he was five. He graduated from Santa Clara University in 1980 (“that other Jesuit school,” he joked) and entered the Society of Jesus two years later. Fr. Fitzgerald was ordained to the priesthood at St. Ignatius Church on the USF campus in 1992. He currently serves as the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Fairfield University in Connecticut.

Fitzgerald also has a wealth of international experience; he attended the University of Paris, La Sorbonne, where he earned a postgraduate degree and PhD in the Sociology of Religion and he taught as a visiting lecturer in China and Kenya. He is fluent in French, German, and conversational in Spanish.

“We believe Fitzgerald is ideally suited to work with the entire USF community in delivering a Jesuit education to the next generations of USF students,” said Thomas E. Malloy, chair of the USF Board of Trustees. “He has a strong commitment to diversity, brings a global perspective, and is an enthusiastic supporter of intercollegiate athletics. He is excited about leading San Francisco’s first university and expanding our partnerships with the community.”

Fr. Fitzgerald married three couples at Santa Clara University this year. Here he is (second from the right) celebrating the wedding of Becky and Bobby Reuter, SCU ‘05. Courtesy of  Paul J. Fitzgerald.

Fr. Fitzgerald married three couples at Santa Clara University this year. Here he is (second from the right) celebrating the wedding of Becky and Bobby Reuter, SCU ‘05. Courtesy of Paul J. Fitzgerald.

Fr. Fitzgerald talks to the Foghorn in an exclusive interview

On coming back to USF and California

“I want to be back at USF because that [diversity] to me is normal, and I just feel joy in a place where everyone feels welcome. USF should look like the Bay Area.”

“In San Francisco you can eat the food from the world, and you can do that in New York City as well, but in New York there’s snow.”

 

On his campus presence 

“I want to have structured conversations, and I want to meet constituencies and groups of students, but I also want to give myself opportunities to go and have lunch in one of the student dining commons, and sit at a random table and talk to people. I want to do that with faculty. I want to do that with staff.”

On Pope Francis

“I love the new pope, I love the new pope. He is just so genuine, so warm, so loving, non judgmental; you know, he’s like Jesus. He’s challenging, and he is going to be challenging because he’s going to ask people to lead lives of virtue, generosity, kindness, charity, diversity — and those are not alway easy.”

 

On the San Francisco Chronicle calling him “tech-savvy”

“That’s nice of them. I don’t have any degrees; my degrees are in history and philosophy and theology, and sociology. What some of our conversations were on is what’s going on in San Francisco right now, which is that Silicon Valley is moving into the city. I think the students at USF will go into the tech industry, whether as an engineer, marketer or technical writer, so I think we want to pay really close attention to what are the jobs students are preparing for and what are the jobs our students want when they graduate.”

 

On technology and morals

“We need to talk together about what technology can do for us, but we also have to be attentive to what technology can do to us. When undergraduate students arrive, they’re pretty comfortable using technology. Is it really keeping them connected to people or is it keeping their relationships kind of  superficial?”

 

On how USF can lead the conversation on tech and morals

“Some people arrive having had the experience of cyber bullying so how do we have conversations around being kind and being caring in a digital format? If we can be a place where people from different religious traditions have deep conversations, maybe we can help folks in the city do that, as well.”

 

On student media

“I promise I will never ever ever censor the newspaper. Student media is educational; students are learning how to be journalists; but also they serve a really important function of building community and that also involves presenting difficult questions and brokering difficult conversations.”

 

On interacting with outside community

“Jesuits have always, for 450 years, thought of our schools as a place where we educate our students, but also a place where we engage the larger community; and sometimes we do it through our students. USF wants to be, and is, and should be more and more, a university for San Francisco, not of San Francisco. We can help the city think of ethical questions about inclusivity and respect. We can have the city ask itself “what are the values of this community that we’re willing to stand up for?”

 

On his morning routine

“I do yoga. I sit for 25 mins or so, say my prayer. I do these yoga poses: salute to the sun, the cat. There’s a lot of them. I get cleaned up and have breakfast and get the paper and eat with other Jesuits and we chat a little bit.”

 

On what newspapers he will be reading at USF

“The Foghorn! The [San Francisco] Chronicle, and I hope we get the New York Times and Le Monde.”

 

On speaking many languages

“We get students from all over the world, and we want to send students all over the world, and we want students to have a sense of global citizenship.”

 

 

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San Francisco Chronicle Keen to Transform Traditional Reporters into Digital Storytellers

Audrey Cooper pays a visit to USF to discuss how the paper is building a legacy

The San Francisco Chronicle is eager to attract new readers in the digital age. Their goal is to become a digital media site that happens to produce a newspaper, explained Audrey Cooper, 36, the first woman and the youngest person to fill the role of  managing editor at the 150-year-old newspaper.

Cooper is known for spearheading the “incubator,” a training process that aimed to transform the Chronicle’s employees into digital storytellers by teaching them to use multimedia and digital tools. “Never before has it become more important to have reliable sources of news, but we have to work to reach readers on their preferred platform.”

cooper_audrey The Chronicle’s office in the South of Market area is a stone’s throw away from Twitter, LinkedIn, and other tech companies, and there’s no reason to disregard that, Cooper pointed out. The incubator seems to be inspired by the kind of innovation that lead to economic success for these tech giants. “Nowhere are we better positioned to do that than in San Francisco, one of the most digitally advanced and sophisticated areas on the planet.”

In response to what skills are becoming more valuable in the industry today, Cooper said she’d hire a reporter on the spot if they knew how to code an interactive graphic or analyze databases from a journalistic perspective.

Journalism Professor J. Michael Robertson, who organized the talk, said that he appreciated Cooper’s approach. “If I was a student, the lesson I would take away is to get some basic software and play around with it and don’t be self conscious about not being the ultimate expert.”

Cooper, a Kansas City native, graduated from Boston University magna cum laude with a B.S. in journalism and a separate B.A. in political science, and she has a concentration in counterculture history and activism, which she said was very useful for her San Francisco Journalism career.

“Like many students, I was also pretty poor — I had four jobs and internships at one point my senior year,” Cooper said in an email exchange with the Foghorn. In college, she waited tables, interned at the State House, interned at a newspaper, and worked as a resident assistant. “Graduation and getting a real job was comparatively easy.”

Before taking the reins as managing editor, Cooper worked as the Chronicle’s City Editor. Her newsroom won awards for their coverage of the San Bruno pipeline explosion caused by safety failures at Pacific Gas & Electric Co.; the new Bay Bridge’s potentially disastrous construction flaws, and the years-long fight for gay marriage.

Shianne Motter, a sophomore media studies student said that Cooper’s talk was filled with useful information for modern day hopeful journalists. “I left the talk inspired to take a web design or coding class or maybe even pick something of the sort as a minor.”

Students of color and minority students came together on Gleeson lawn last Thursday in an organized, educational demonstration meant to voice the needs of diversity students. (Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Cruz)

Marginalized Students Unite for Protest

A student-organized demonstration called attention to the lack of resources and support available to diverse students at USF, and encouraged the community to start talking about diversity in terms of experience, not in terms of numbers.

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Foghorn Exclusive: Ukrainian Army Begins to Recruit LGBTQ Community as the Secret Weapon Against Russia

On the eve of a military confrontation with Russia, Ukraine’s Army has begun to advertise positions for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) soldiers as part of a special national guard.

“It’s both offensive and progressive,” said Sam Reed, director of a local LGBTQ Rights Organization. ​”We’re in a little bit of a conundrum.”

“We clearly need a secret weapon,” a top general was quoted saying. The Defense Ministry is urging the Ukrainian parliament to pass a bundle of LGBTQ civil rights bills to make it easier to enlist the LGBTQ community into the army.

We asked the only 2 Ukrainian Students at USF: “Do You Support the Russian Annexation of Crimea?”

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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.

Business Student Admits That He Has No Idea What “Innovation” Actually Means

Buzzwords “innovation” and “entrepreneurship” are heard all over the Bay Area but student David Chang, an Entrepreneurship and Innovation major, has admitted that he has no idea what the industry jargon really means.

“When I arrived in San Francisco I kept hearing other ambitious young people refer to themselves as innovators and entrepreneurs, so I followed suit. It’s been 3 years and I am still not sure what that entails but apparently it looks good on your resume,” said Chang.

buisinessmanChang switched majors during his junior year, from Business Management to Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “I haven’t seen a change academically, but I’ve been getting more job offers in the Bay Area. I highly recommend it,” he said.

However, Chang said he was very confused about what he’s studying and what job he will be performing after he graduates.

When asked what the most challenging part of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation major was, Chang answered,  “the vocabulary.”

“How do you integrate platforms? What is a C-suite and why does everybody want to be in it? Are Angel investors God’s bankers?”

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.

International studies student Diana Fabian performing those more appropriate intern duties, like taking notes, carrying materials, and running errands. Photo by Danielle Maingot/Foghorn

Interns Not Protected from Harassment, Discrimination

Assembly member Nancy Skinner Introduces California Bill to Protect Unpaid Interns

Lihuan Wang, an unpaid intern at a TV station in New York City, sued her employer last year for sexual harassment claiming that her supervisor, Zhengzhu Liu, lured her to his hotel room promising that he wanted to discuss her job performance and the possibility of hiring her full-time. When the two were alone inside his hotel room, Liu attempted to kiss her and “squeezed her buttocks,” the lawsuit claimed. Wang said that after she denied his advances, Liu expressed no interest in hiring her as a paid employee.

In January, a district court judge ruled that the case would be dismissed as Wang didn’t qualify for employee protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, because she wasn’t an “employee” in legal standards. As an unpaid intern, Wang never received a paycheck from her workplace, Phoenix Satellite Television, therefore she wasn’t protected from sexual harrassment or discrimination like a paid employee would be.

Wang’s case inspired California Assemblymember Nancy Skinner of Berkeley to introduce a bill to give unpaid interns the same protection as regular employees.

“Interns should not have to give up their basic civil rights just because they are willing to forgo pay,” Skinner said in a press release. “Interns deserve the same legal protection against discrimination and harassment in the workplace.”

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects employees from sexual harassment, but a recent state court decision made it clear that FEHA does not protect “volunteers,” i.e., unpaid interns.

“The recession has forced young people to rely on these unpaid positions to build resumes and contacts in an incredibly competitive job market,” Skinner said. “Employers owe them a safe and fair workplace.”

Assemblymember Skinner’s California bill would explicitly ban workplace sexual harassment and apply general workplace civil rights protections to unpaid interns. The only state to already implement legislation of this kind is Oregon, where a state law was passed to extend such protections to unpaid interns last June. Skinner is expected to introduce the bill, to the California State Assembly in March.

You can find the bill here