Tag Archives: Thomas Munka

Students Cannot Waste Time or Attention in Class

As a kid, whenever I came home from school, I would be asked  questions like: What did you do? What did you learn in school?” And I would typically respond with an unenergetic “nothing,” or “whatever.”

Sometimes, I really did learn nothing of scholastic value because all day I just daydreamt about hanging out with Tony Hawk for a day or playing Pokemon on the infamous Nintendo 64. As I found my way into the locker lined hallways of high school, I suppose I paid attention most of the time, but I still had a “they’re forcing me to go to school” mentality. Now, at a highly regarded university, I think my mentality towards school has changed a bit, but I’m not sure if everybody understands just what they’re in for.

Almost every single class day, I see somebody doing something like browsing Facebook and going through a friend’s album of fifty inane headshot pictures which all look the same. We all text message (even most professors do), but I see many people text message during class sessions when something important is going on. Several times, I’ve heard undergraduate students who attend USF brag about how they’re too lazy to go to class or how they just don’t feel like going.

Sometimes I wonder if modern day college students really understand the reason for their attendance. We’re not required by law to attend college; we freely choose to attend. Tuition at USF for the 2010-2011 school year was $36,000 without room and board. This means that after four years of study, many of us will have paid over $120,000. Why, in one’s right mind, would anyone browse Facebook all day long considering they’re doing it to the tune of $120,000? It is simply a waste of time and money if you pay for class and don’t show up or pay attention out of laziness.

Nobody forced me to go to college. I could have easily gone on to work a mundane 9-5 job. Instead, I chose to attend a four year university to obtain a degree so I could a work an interesting and satisfying job with a comfortable salary. I’m no 4.0 valedictorian, I’m sometimes late for class, I definitely space out and daydream during class at times, and there are many days when I don’t feel like going to class for whatever reason, but I have missed only half a handful of classes during my time at USF and you won’t find me texting away during class.

Presumably, one attends USF to prepare for a career in the real world. By not going to class and wasting your class sessions, you’re just hurting your future. If boredom is such and issue, I would advise a change of classes or just simply do something other than attend college. If you don’t care about yourself enough to go to a class you paid for, how are you supposed to care about your job and offer a service to others in the real world?

Thomas Munka is a sophomore undeclared major.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Natalie Cappetta

Opinion Editor: Vincent Patino

Efforts In Libya Marred By Possible Oil Grab

I’ve seen and heard the words “Libya” and “revolt” paired together and apart in the news at least a couple hundred times in the last few weeks. After Egypt’s people successfully and peacefully ousted their president, Hosni Mubarak, they inspired the people of many surrounding countries to do the same. Libya’s popular revolution, however, has had a different outcome. Unlike president Mubarak, Libya’s Col. Muammar Gaddafi has no intention of stepping down and is perfectly willing to hunt down and destroy his own people to stay in power.

And Gaddafi has got support. After all, in this case, he has an army that is willing to fight for him. Gaddafi’s supporters in Libya insist that his regime has brought power, stability, and prosperity to the country for forty years. So, how are the rebels now fighting against Gaddafi supposed to defeat the national army of an entrenched tyrant?

That’s where the United States comes into play.  The United States, France, and Britain, lead a so-called “broad” coalition of European and Arab nations who recently initiated air-strikes against Gaddafi’s forces. People in lucrative, technologically advanced, and productive nations, like ours, want the rebels in Libya to succeed in overthrowing Gaddafi.

Yet as much as I’d like to think  that America is in Libya solely to promote democracy, we’re in Libya for oil. Lost in all the headlines about the coalition’s “progress” against Gaddafi’s army is the fact that Libya is home to the largest proven oil reserves on the African continent, and since the revolt in Libya, the price of oil has grown steadily higher.

The unfortunate fact is we still depend heavily on oil. The unrest caused by Gaddafi’s desperate bid to keep his power is resulting in high oil prices; putting the opposing rebels in power could help to lower oil prices by bringing stability in the region, and could possibly bring a more just political system to Libya. The feeling that we are helping underdogs rid themselves of their tyrant ruler becomes dispiriting when we realize that we are simply in another foreign country again, to secure existing oil supplies or to increase our share of the supply.

As the United States recovers from a crippling financial crisis, and with a budget that can only be reined in by slashing spending or raising the tax burden; I’d definitely prefer to cut spending. Put simply, fighting in Libya, no matter how quick the operation, is going to cost tax payers. For the money we pay in taxes, we should be provided with formula-1 quality roads everywhere; instead, we’re provided with pothole-infested asphalt and a decaying American infrastructure overall.

The time has come to stop looking abroad for easy reserves and to focus on developing alternatives at home. Couldn’t we drill for oil on US land, or offshore, or allocate prime funding for research on some alternative energy source other than petroleum? Wouldn’t this create more jobs for unemployed Americans and save us the trouble of having to go to Libya and other foreign countries to fight for oil? Wouldn’t we save tax dollars by relying on ourselves? Rather than selectively focusing our foreign policy on oil-producing countries and then claiming our efforts as “humanitarian,” we should focus on our own country and decide whether or not we need a revolution of our own.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-editor: Natalie Cappetta

Opinion Editor: Vincente Patino

SF Native Skeptical of Transbay Terminal Project

Construction for the new Transbay Terminal has begun; well, actually, just demolition of the old one. The new Transbay Terminal will serve as terminal/stop for AC Transit, BART, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit, WestCAT Lynx, Amtrak, Greyhound, Muni, SamTrans, Paratransit and the future high-speed rail to Los Angeles. A temporary terminal serves commuters up until 2017 when the four-billion dollar project is scheduled to be completed.

After reading these estimates, I heard the little voice in my head say: “2017? Uh, no.” “Four billion dollars? No.” If I’ve learned anything about public projects from being a San Francisco native, it’s that they always cost more than expected and are never completed on time. The problem seems to get worse as the years go by. Take our “future” Bay Bridge for example. It’s four billion dollars over budget and will possibly be open by late 2014, seven years behind schedule. A project as complex as the new terminal is probably going to go way over budget and probably won’t be completed until the 2020’s; I hope I’m wrong. Furthermore, should we really be focusing on a multibillion dollar publicly funded project during a recession? Shouldn’t we instead be spending the money allotted for this project to repay California’s debt and attract investors to the state?

Looking at the positive side of things, the construction project is providing many jobs (such as those lost because steel pieces for the new Bay Bridge were manufactured abroad) and will be a state of the art design that will bring California’s transportation system up to par with some of the most technologically advanced and efficient transit systems on earth. The new terminal will feature a 5.4 acre park on the roof and 100,000 people are expected to use the terminal on each weekday. A new neighborhood with housing, shops, and offices will also be created around the new terminal.. USF students who travel between home in the Los Angeles area and school in San Francisco will benefit from this terminal. Students travelling from parts of the Bay Area such as the East Bay and South Bay should also find the new to be beneficial and convenient.

The new Transbay Terminal is a great idea and will probably prove itself to be very functional and appealing. The start of this project seems to be timed right; with expectations for the human population to grow in size, rush hour traffic is just going to get worse and worse, and the modes of transportation to be offered by the new Transbay Terminal should definitely help diffuse some of that traffic flow.

The time and money allotted to complete the project look good on paper, but in reality, the project will probably cost more and take longer to complete than expected. The terminal is an extraordinary project, but I’m definitely looking at the numbers given for time and money with lots of skepticism.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Natalie Cappetta

Opinion Editor: Vicente Patino