Tag Archives: Upward Bound

Letter: 3/29 Article on Protest Law Misused Upward Bound Photos

I am writing in response to the most recent headline article (“Protestors Restricted by Congress”) of the Foghorn (3/29/2012), or more specifically the photographs used to illustrate the article.

I can understand why one might choose the picture of a successful protest to juxtapose against an article warning of a threat to such protests. However, given the caption “students protest Upward Bound,” and since the picture is not referenced anywhere in the article, one could easily assume the protest was against instead of for Upward Bound. Furthermore, it is not clear from the article that the new law actually threatens protests such as the one depicted.

Last spring the Foghorn reported extensively on the responses to the proposed removal of Upward Bound from the USF campus. The protests for this project brought to the attention of others what would have been a gross injustice.

Ultimately a resolution was reached that benefited all parties and resulted in the continued presence of Upward Bound on the USF campus. I applaud the writer’s call to pay attention to this legislation, to think about how will impact our nation, and to learn more. However, the current use of the pictured protest does justice to neither the struggle it depicts nor the issues in the article, and sends the readers mixed messages.

Protesters Restricted by Congress

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On March 9 President Barack Obama signed bill H.R. 347 which would criminalize protesters who trespass restricted areas.

The bill, also known as the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011, makes it a federal crime to enter or remain knowingly in any restricted area of the White House, the Vice President’s official residence, or their respective grounds without lawful authority.

Yet buildings or grounds where the President is visiting, or spaces where anyone under Secret Service protection is present are also included in the list of restricted areas. The original law, unchanged by H.R. 347, made certain conduct with respect to these restricted areas a crime, including trespassing. According to the documents of the bill, actions in or near the restricted area that would “disrupt the orderly conduct of Government, and [block] the entrance or exit to the restricted area” are also prohibited.

Government officials were in complete favor of this bill. The US House of Representatives voted 388-to-3 in favor of H.R. 347 on February 27.

Critics have said the bill challenges the First Amendment because it allows government officials to arrest protesters if they are within a “restricted area,” without even being aware of it.

Senior politics major at USF and Occupy protester, Raffi Bezdikian, said he understands there is a justification for President Obama and the government to enact a law like this.

“Yes, glitter-bombing can be construed as “assault” , and anytime someone acts out of line by jumping the fence at the White House or doing something more threatening, it could be seen as a justification for this type of legislation. However, these are exceptions to the rule,” Bezdikian said.

Alluding to a possible disconnect between government and public opinion on the Bill of Rights Bezdikian added, “To them [the government], the First Amendment seems to be more of a privilege. Laws like this do a disservice to America by stifling the voice of the people: the most legitimate voice of governance in a country.”
The politics student also rose a concern regarding the enactment of policies by politicians whose history contradicts their legislative actions.

“I wonder why my president would sign this kind of law into place when he himself was a community organizer. That job literally depends on the First Amendment. Old Obama probably would have protested this law just like I am now,” Bezdikian said.
Performing Arts professor Francesca Rivera, who is currently teaching a class on Music and Social Protests, said the protection of civil liberties is not a major interest to Congress.

“I personally see this as one part of a trend that has been a part of our political landscape since the 9/11 anti-freedom mania that swept the country in 2001. I knew then that the Patriot Act would only be the beginning,” Rivera said, “I don’t think this particular act will have much of an effect on protest. It may mean more protesters do things to get arrested on purpose, actually, and that could be a good thing for protest in general. Note George Clooney’s big grin and the crowd encouraging him on as he got arrested in front of the Sudanese embassy last week.”

The actor George Clooney was arrested at Sudan’s embassy in Washington on March 17 at a protest, after he ignored three police warnings to leave the embassy grounds. George Clooney then reported to US congress he witnessed a campaign of murder conducted in Sudan.

Yet, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) was one of the the many Congress members who supported the act. “This bill will improve the law enforcement tools available to the Secret Service in its attempts to protect the President, the Vice President, and others on a day-to-day basis by closing loopholes in the current federal law,” Senator Blumenthal said in a press release, “The new law should punish and deal more effectively with anyone who illegally enters restricted areas to threaten the President, Vice President, or other Secret Service protectees.”
Although critics show concern that this law will affect their First Amendment rights as citizens, it is currently unknown how the law will be used by law enforcement, such as the Secret Service.

Upward Bound Improves Presence on Campus

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The February announcement that USF administrators would not renew Upward Bound’s federal grant triggered the development of initiatives from community leaders and members of USF to increase the program’s presence on campus.

Vice Provost for Diversity Engagement and Community Outreach, Dr. Mary Wardell said, “One of the outcomes we have seen are faculty from across campus working directly with Upward Bound students, wanting to know how they can better integrate into their service learning and the amount of integration with curriculum is awesome.”

Upward Bound is a high school college preparatory program that works with low income and first generation students to make going to college a reality. They provide guidance through the college application process, provide mentorship opportunities and host a summer bridge program that allows students to live on a college campus for up to five weeks. Upward Bound has been at USF for twenty-seven years.

From their offices in the Under Hill building, Upward Bound runs their classic program and a math and science program.

Darlene Conwell, Associate Director for the Math and Science program said, “There’s been a tremendous outpour of support from the university faculty, staff and even students continuing to support the program particularly within the math and science component.”

USF Computer Science Professor E.J. Jung collaborated with Math professors Paul Zeitz and Cornelia Van Cott to initiate Upward Bound math circles— one hour classes taught over the duration of seven weeks on campus.

Professor Van Cott said she and Professor Zeitz are teaching about 16 students this semester. After having taught two classes Van Cott said, “The students are hardworking and willing to learn… It is too early to know how the class will impact them, but Paul and I hope that the class is one piece of the puzzle that encourages them to continue their education in math and science after high school.”

The classes focus on highlighting how math can be used in everyday situations.
Students from the School of Management have also been sharing their marketing skills in a service learning project with Upward Bound.

In the city, Upward Bound’s chapter at USF was also recently recognized for their partnership with UCSF’s Medlink program. The partnership allows Upward Bound students to shadow medical students that show them how to diagnose patients and enter a morgue. Conwell said the program is meant to teach students interested in becoming doctors about the typical days of medical students.

Conwell also said 30 out of 43 of their current seniors are way ahead of deadline in submitting their CSU applications which became available online on October 15.
Looking back on the idea of not having been able to remain at USF, Executive Director Janice Dirden-Cook said, “It caused us to reassess what our values and the level of commitment we really have to multiculturalism and embracing diversity not just tolerating it but celebrating it and really making it a part of our culture.”

An Upward Bound Advisory Board developed in June as a requirement for Upward Bound to remain on campus.

A group of about ten faculty and staff members have also developed a committee that collaborates with the advisory board in improving Upward Bound’s professional staff development, fundraising and program management.

Dr. Elena Flores, an active faculty member on the committee spoke about what fuels her commitment to keeping Upward Bound on campus. She said, “Upward Bound youth belong to our USF community and as community members should benefit from the rich knowledge, skills, and resources of our faculty, students, and staff.

At the same time, we have much to learn from Upward Bound youth creating a mutually enriching learning experience.”

Upward Bound’s staff is currently working with the USF Office of Sponsored Projects and Grants to write the grant proposal that would guarantee the Upward Bound chapter remains at USF for another five years.

Foghorn Staff Has a Final Word on Protests

Often one can see a protest or a demonstration and wonder if all that effort is worth the trouble. When the United States decided to invade Iraq in 2003,  thousands turned out in the United States (indeed, millions around the world) to protest the invasion. On February 15, 2003, 3 million of people turned out in Rome alone against the U.S.’ intentions.

The end result of some of the most vocal public expressions in history?  The invasion of Iraq went forward, as planned, and operations continued in that country for seven years.

San Francisco is no stranger to protest. On April 13th, for example, at San Francisco Sate, dozens of students occupied the administrations building at their university to protest tuition hikes and overcrowded classrooms. As it stands now, tuition will still rise, and classrooms will still be crowded as before.

So it comes as surprise to when public displays of opinion do effect change, both on campus and off. In the case of off-campus change, most notably, we have the people-initiated revolutions of Egypt and Tunisia, which sucessfully occurred without the military intervention of foreign governments and were largely peaceful.

In the case of on-campus change, we have Upward Bound, where university leadership had first decided to sever ties with the program when the contract expired in 2012. After a consistent public outcry in the form of vocal town hall meetings and two campus protests, USF has now decided to renew sponsorship for Upward Bound and allow for its limited use of university facilities.

The Foghorn is not saying that all our problems, both campus-wide and globally, have been solved through public demonstrations. For example, Libya and Syria’s demonstrations for government change were met with violent and forceful resistance from Muammar Qadaffi and Bashar al-Assad, respectively.

Back at home, when KUSF went off the air suddenly in late January, the station rallied support for its reinstatement through hosting public events (see KUSF Lives(s)) and through petitions to the FCC. However, the doors to the old radio studio and transmitter are still locked. Also, the optimistic news of the FCC initially blocking of the transfer of KUSF’s transmitter was dampened by construction permit the FCC issued on April 12 to KDFC for a new transmitter in Sausalito, implying an eventual completion of the transfer of the 90.3 signal to KDFC.

In short, the Foghorn is advocating this: advocate however you can, because it does have an impact. It is worth the trouble to protest, demonstrate,  and advocate  (in the special case of the USF community), for both our student interests and for the rights and concerns of people around the world.

Whether the fight is to keep a funded account’s budget from going under the knife year after year, or to inform the university of the troubles its new housing policy has generated for underclassmen seeking housing, or to rally against military endeavors your government does in your name, demonstration and public expression is important and necessary; The alternative; i.e., apathy, automatically makes change an impossibility.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief copy-editor: Natalie Cappetta

Opinion Editor: Vicente Patino

USF Back on Board with Upward Bound, Search is on for Off-Campus Locations

Months after USF announced it would discontinue Upward Bound at the university, USF has agreed to continue sponsorship of the college-prep program. The announcement came four days after a second protest in front of the School of Education.

Mary Wardell, associate vice provost for Diversity and Community Engagement, made the announcement via USF Connect two weeks ago. In the announcement, Wardell said, “we forged a genuine partnership with the community, and agreed to form an advisory board that will provide Upward Bound with a new level of oversight and accountability.”

The collaborative efforts of various community members helped seal the decision.

USF originally planned for Upward Bound’s contract to expire fall 2012, forcing the program to find another host-institution. The university has decided to continue its 40-year affiliation with the program and provide classrooms as available. The program will still need to find an off-campus location for its administrative office and other classrooms.

Upward Bound is currently drafting a grant for the federal government to renew the program for the next five years.

Director of Upward Bound Janice Dirden-Cook said, “We are going to experience challenges in terms of space. As it looks now, we will have to locate off-campus office space just to handle the administrative responsibilities of the program. We will be able to continue to utilize the campus space for program delivery as available.”

Wardell said, “Upward Bound would be able to use classes as they are available after all the USF programs had been scheduled.” Wardell also added, “Space is going to be an ongoing issue for the university because we’re getting ready to break ground. I think we can kind of envision how that may impact our lives but we won’t know until it happens.”

Wardell said the main issues the university needed to be addressed are accountibility for Upward Bound, availability of classrooms on campus and integration to the teaching and  learning mission of the university and a genuine partnership with the community.

In the months that Upward Bound’s whereabouts were unknown, USF students began Bound for Social Justice, an initiative to secure the program at the university.

USF graduate student Cipolla-Stickles helped organize Bound for Social Justice, along with fellow grad student Kym Glanville after meeting during student orientation in January. When they heard the University would discontinue Upward Bound, Cipolla-Stickles said, “I was mostly shocked and outraged and confused.”

Both students did not know much about the program when starting the group but Cipolla-Stickles said, “It’s important to believe in social justice and be socially responsible. We know what education means to young people.”

Elisa Cabrera, a junior at George Washington High School, considers the Upward Bound program a second home to her. When Cabrera found out Upward Bound would stay at USF, she described the news as a miracle. “I didn’t think it was gonna happen,” she said,  “I really thought [the university] was gonna kick us out.” She aspires to go to a UC or CSU after graduating.

Cabrera was an active participant in the protests, speaking at the vigil held March 3.

She said, “[The community] needs to know what we do and why we want to stay. Not just because we want to stay but because we have a reason to serve minorities.”

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief copy-editor: Natalie Cappetta

News Editor: Ericka Montes

Second Protest Revisits Upward Bound Issue: Demonstrators urge University leaders to continue sponsorship

Over a month after protesters encircled Welsh field in support of Upward Bound, dozens of students and community leaders lined the sidewalks and lawn in front of the School of Education last Monday afternoon. The second demonstration rallied against USF’s decision to no longer host the federally-funded college preparatory program because of an acute shortage of campus facilities.

Upward Bound, which traces back to the administration of Lyndon Johnson, operates nationwide. The program prepares underprivileged high school youth for a post-secondary education.

Upward Bound chapters supporting local high-school students are housed on college campuses, making use of its host institution’s classrooms and dormitories.

The program has existed at USF since 1966.

Only a handful of people sat in the pews of the First AME Zion Church by 4 o’clock. The church, situated merely one half-block east from the university’s Ulrich baseball field, is home to the congregation led by Rev. Malcolm J Byrd. Byrd is a key organizer in the movement to sustain Upward Bound at USF.

Byrd and  USF Upward Bound Director Janice Cook and USF Professor Bernadette Barker-Plummer, greeted demonstrators while also reading through a letter released minutes before from the university’s Associate Vice Provost for Diversity and Community Engagement Dr. Mary Wardell.
Wardell’s message, distributed via USFconnect around 3:45 p.m. that day, listed four conditions that Upward Bound could retain USF’s sponsorship, which included “direct oversight of the program by an advisory committee…which will ensure accountability for the program’s management”, a requirement that the “program must be integrated into the life of the University”, and that “facilities must be located off the USF campus.”

Demonstrators were optimistic about the letter, but doubts remained over the ultimate future of Upward Bound at USF.

Undergraduates Hennessey Donovan and Claire Brennan attended the protest.

“I was told about [Upward Bound] in class by my American history professor, and anyone else I’ve talked to about the issue has been immediately [in support of] Upward Bound,” Brennan said.

“To be honest [though], I think Fr. Privett is going to do what he wants to do,” Donovan added, “But that doesn’t mean we should do something.”
Undergraduate student and freshman Gabriel Vancea works in the Upward Bound office as a tutor. He credits his participation in University of San Diego’s Upward Bound program for being able to attend USF. He said the future of the program was “very unpredictable,” because of the administration’s inconsistencies.

Dominique Byrd, Rev. Bryd’s wife, felt strongly about recent efforts to retain the program at USF.

“I have no idea what is going to happen,” she said. “God’s will is going to be done…but we can’t let this discussion happen without doing anything about it. We want to exhaust all our resources before the decision comes through.”

By 4:30 p.m. there were about 100 demonstrators in the church. After an opening prayer by Rev. Byrd, the group left the church in a police-escorted procession to the front of the  School of Education.

The procession was joined by Rev. Amos Brown, president of the San Francisco Chapter of the NAACP and pastor of the Third Baptist Church of San Francisco.

During the one-and-a-half-block walk to the intersections of Tamaulipas and Turk, the crowd carried enlarged prints of individual Upward Bound students’ USF ID cards, and chanted “Keep around, Upward Bound.”

The demonstration also drew correspondents from the San Francisco Chronicle and KPIX 5, the local television affiliate of CBS.
Protestors distributed letters from students, alumni, and parents. Some students read aloud the letters.

Impromptu speakers included Dan Daniels, the Coastal Area director of the California NAACP Daniels is also a former student of Upward Bound.
“Growing up a poor boy in Oklahoma, I would not have had the money to attend college were it not for Upward Bound,” he said, while the Rev. Arnold Townsend, another pastor, urged perseverance, telling the protestors to not become “one-issue” people who stop demanding rights once one issue is resolved and to “become consistent in their demonstrations.”

The rally continued into its second hour, with an Upward Bound student quoting John F. Kennedy in connection to the fact that USF was a Jesuit Catholic institution.

An elderly community member said, “Stay fighting for what you need and what you want…fight until your 30’s, your 40’s, 50’s 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s.”

“I’m glad to see what the students can do,” said Dr. Bill Goring, who addressed the crod drawing from his time as the director of Upward Bound at USF in the 1970’s. “Keep up, Upward Bound.”

Certain individuals had scheduled a meeting with Dr. Wardell the following day to discuss the possibility of continuing the program with USF support.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Natalie Cappetta

News Editor: Ericka Montes