Tag Archives: USF

Los Locos Spreads Spirit at Spring Training

Before the Dons’ baseball team took on Pacific last Friday, Los Locos, USF’s student spirit organization, held their annual Spring Training event next to Gillson Residence Hall. Although they call it Spring Training, it is less a rigorous training session and more a festive, social get-together – a place where students can eat and ramp up their school spirit before going to the baseball game as a group.

At 2 p.m., an hour before the game began, Los Locos set up an array of games and a table filled with hot dogs, lemonade, and other foods and beverages. Last year’s Spring Training featured tie-dye t-shirts, but this year Los Locos focused on providing more interactive games for students and USF fans. Pitching, hitting, and golfing activities all added to the fun at Spring Training, as students were able to test their baseball skills before cheering on the Dons at Benedetti Diamond.

Busted! Campus Speakeasy Loses its Spirits

The top secret USF underground nightclub Downstairs Dons was shut down last Saturday night. The on campus speakeasy, nightclub, and silent rave was becoming a college rite of passage and tradition. A total of six employees from the nightclub were escorted off the campus for questioning.

Speakeasy2.jpgDownstairs Dons was founded in 2010 when a group of club crazed seniors wanted to create a nightclub that was ultra exclusive and closer to campus.

Since they began running the speakeasy—where the code word changed weekly—the club was hot and trendy. It also inspired many other college-student run speakeasies across the nation.

The nightclub was rumored to be located in an underground tunnel that connected the main campus to Lone Mountain and had a secret entrance on Golden Gate Ave. The club had VIP members that paid a total of $1,000 a semester to have a key and guaranteed access on special event nights. Students without membership were required to make reservations months in advance.

Every weekend, guests would enter the spacious venue, and listen and dance to music using wireless headphones rather than a speaker system. This ingenious idea made it even harder for authorities to shut down the spot.

Guests at Downstairs Dons were required to check in their cell phones at the door because the club had no tolerance for photo taking and texting while partying. Despite the tight policies, Downstairs Dons still remained to be the swankiest spot on campus. The nightclub was also known for their surprise performances from Bay Area rappers and pop sensations like Bruno Mars and Lorde.

All that underground fun finally came to an end this weekend when Public Safety and SFPD moved to shut things down. With the help of investigator Marty Killjoy and the San Francisco Fire Marshall, Downstairs Dons was closed immediately.

Killjoy said, “The fact that the club was able to go on all those years without being caught is remarkable. I am really glad they called me in on this and the raid turned out to be a success.”

Students were shocked by the discovery and closure of Downstairs Dons. Senior Jason Klein said, “I can’t believe this. It’s not like we were doing anything wrong.”

USF administration and authorities beg to differ, finding the club to be dangerous and beckoning for trouble. It’s the end of an era and  Downstairs Dons will go down in history as being the first underground campus nightclub.

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.

Will the Dons Go Dancing?

Examining USF’s NCAA Tournament Chances

After winning their final two games of the season against Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount, the Dons will enter the West Coast Conference (WCC) Championships seeded at number three. Coming off of a season in which they exceeded expectations, San Francisco is poised to make a splash in the conference tournament. However, WCC powerhouses such as Brigham Young and Gonzaga stand in the way of USF winning a conference championship and earning a ticket to the big dance.

The Dons are seeded in front of fourth-seeded St. Mary’s even though the Gaels possess a 21-10 record that bests the Dons 20-10 mark. St. Mary’s may have a better overall record, but the Dons’ five-game winning streak helped them surpass St. Mary’s in the conference standings.

Ranked in front of USF is Brigham Young, which ended the regular season at 21-10. BYU is behind top-seeded Gonzaga, which went 15-3 in conference play and 25-6 overall. No WCC team is currently ranked top 25 in the NCAA, but Gonzaga has been in and out of the rankings throughout the season.

Gonzaga is currently the defending WCC Champion, and has won 15 of the last 17 conference championships. Grabbing the number one seed gives them a significant advantage, and they are favored to win this year as well.

The tournament will start on Thursday, Mar. 6 with the ninth-seeded Pacific Tigers facing the eighth-seeded Santa Clara Broncos, and the seventh-seeded Portland Pilots facing the tenth- seeded LMU Tigers. The winners of those games will move on to the quarter finals on Mar. 8, where they will be paired against Gonzaga and BYU.

The Dons will also make their first appearance of the tournament in the quarterfinals, where they will play the San Diego Toreros, who are the sixth seed. If they win that game, they will move on to the semifinals, where they will most likely face off against BYU.

San Francisco won both of its regular season games against the Toreros, who went just 7-11 in conference play. However, the Dons but had a much tougher time facing BYU. They dropped both of their games against them, losing by five the first time and seven the second.

Despite this, it is still possible that USF will be able to pull off an upset and beat BYU, which means that they would move on to the conference finals where they would almost certainly have to play Gonzaga for the title. Getting past these two squads will be no easy task for the Dons, but USF is playing its best basketball of the season at the right time, and they head into the tournament looking to notch their first conference championship and NCAA Tournament appearance since 1998.

According to the statstics, seniors (left to right) Staci Hoell, biology major, Sarah Rewers, English major, and Sarah Halvorsen, math major, are getting their schooling done in a majority female environment. Could the 63% to 37% ratio of female to male students be part of the reason USF has been unofficially dubbed the “University of Single Females?” (Photo: Allison Fazio)

Investigating Stereotypes: “University of Single Females”

Rumor has it that the “University of the Best City Ever” isn’t USF’s only nickname. The university has apparently acquired a small variety of unofficial nicknames, all derived from the simple three-letter acronym “USF.” But how true are the stereotypes? This week we explore the facts and hear the opinions behind USF — the “University of Single Females.”

Last year, there were 6,246 students enrolled in USF’s undergraduate program, according to the USF Fact Book. Of these students, 63% were female and 37% were male, making campus home to 3,935 females.

Information on relationship status was not made available through the USF Fact Book, (this isn’t Facebook, y’all), though some students correlate the nearly 3:2 female to male ratio with USF’s rumored status as a hub for single women.

 “There are more girls than guys, which means less people to date for straight women.”

“I think the fact that there is such a high percentage of girls compared to boys might give the nickname some truth,” Sarah Halvorsen, senior math major said. “I definitely noticed it a couple of years ago when so many USF girls would go to the bar scene at an early age, a lot of times, just to meet guys. However, nowadays, I’m not sure if the label fits — at this point, the majority of my USF friends are in relationships!”

Senior Sarah White, a psychology major, dismisses the stereotype, stating, “I know a lot of students here that are in a relationship. People just think there are a lot of single girls because of the guy to girl ratio.”

Kahanu Salavea, a junior psychology major, puts it practically: “There are more girls than guys, which means less people to date for straight women.”

According to one student opinion, another possible reason for USF’s “Single Female” nickname might stem from a second stereotype. “There is a big assumption that a lot of the men here are gay, so girls think there are less guys on the market,” Kristian Balgobin, sophomore psychology major and intern at the Gender and Sexuality Center said.

Halvorsen believes that whatever truth that may lay behind the nickname is something that changes with time. “Guys aren’t mature enough for a relationship early in college,” she said. “Now that we are all seniors and getting closer, it’s different.”

But is it really all about the guys? Salavea said he has never heard a male student say anything about the “University of Single Females.” “I think that it’s mostly heterosexual women who are perpetuating this stereotype,” he said.

The reason why remains a mystery.

Still, there are students who disagree with the nickname completely. “Everyone has boyfriends coming into school,” TJ Armand, senior finance major said. “And a lot of the girls are foreign.” Could language barriers be contributing to the stereotype of “single females”?

John Zamora, a counseling psychology graduate student from the Philippines, elaborated. “University of Single Females? That’s a first. The most common nicknames I hear of are either ‘Spoiled Filipinos’ or ‘Spoiled Foreigners’ — although I am not spoiled… nor consider myself privileged. I do consider myself lucky that my parents did support me, though.”

Verdict? USF may be home to more females than males, but student responses suggest that the stereotype is inaccurate. Next week, we investigate “University of Spoiled Foreigners.”


Accused of Censorship, Senate Reverses Foghorn Cutbacks

EDITOR’S NOTE:  This story was produced in its entirety by Professor Michael Robertson’s advanced reporting class with no editing from the Foghorn staff. Since the Foghorn is one of the parties in the dispute, the staff did not want to risk having bias or a conflict of interest affect the quality of the reporting. Sincerely, the editors.

On Friday, Johnny Chibnall, ASUSF Senate President, announced that the Executive Board had reversed the senate’s May vote to reduce the Foghorn to a bi-weekly newspaper. If the paper met senate standards for quality journalism, senate said four months ago, the paper would be allowed to resume its weekly run next spring.

Now the Foghorn will be able to publish this fall the usual 13 issues instead of eight. The Executive Board’s reversal came days after senate was presented a letter from The Student Press Law Center (SPLC), an organization advocating for student journalists’ First Amendment rights. The letter argued that the original senate decision constituted censorship and was in violation of the “Leonard Law”, a California law that applies the First Amendment to private universities like USF.

Johnny Chibnall, ASUSF President

Johnny Chibnall, ASUSF President

In an interview after the reversal, Chibnall said the letter from the Student Press Law Center “was an interesting letter, and the Executive Board was very aware of it, and we were discussing it, but that’s all I can say. I have opinions on it, but it’s in legalese and I don’t speak legalese and we just want to bring it back to the issue of a hand in the quality of the paper.”

Chibnall did not further address the reasoning behind the Executive Board’s decision.

When a reporter noted that senators were rebuffing her attempts to interview them, Chibnall explained that most of this year’s senators are new and don’t have the proper context to comment on the situation yet. When Ajouni Singh, last semester’s VP of Internal Affairs was contacted, she said she could not comment on the issue “out of respect for the current team.”

Madeline Vanden Branden, editor-in-chief of the Foghorn, was thrilled to hear that the newspaper would return to weekly publication.  “We’ve been fighting for this for a long time, and it’s great we finally got our issues back. More students are getting their voices heard every week.”

Foghorn advisor Teresa Moore said, “I’m happy for student media and for the USF community, but I wish I could believe that the reversal was motivated by the ethical arguments we made last spring — that it is wrong for the government — any democratically elected government — to control and inhibit the people’s access to information and discourse. ASUSF Senate and the Foghorn are both charged with representing student interests; both are essential for a healthy campus.”

Privett Scolds Foghorn For ‘Hiding’ Behind Letter

Not everyone shared this enthusiasm about the senate retreat. Earlier in the week, USF President Stephen A. Privett, S.J., said, “Are these types of publishing decisions always a good thing? No. But I think [the Senate] should have a legal right to do this.

After the Friday announcement, Privett responded, “I think the Student Senate made a mistake by backing off its initial decision regarding funding for

the Foghorn. The threat of a lawsuit is phony and for the Foghorn to hide behind the threat of a law suit is inappropriate.”

Heidi Patton, Foghorn sports editor, was disturbed by Privett’s comments. “Father Privett should be proud of us for standing up for our rights,” Patton

Father Stephen Privett, S.J., University President

Father Stephen Privett, S.J., University President

said. “It frustrates me as a student at his university that he doesn’t see the direct conflict of interest at play here,” she added.

Patton has been with the paper since the beginning of her freshman year and authored the recent staff editorial calling for a new funding system for the paper so that senate does not have de facto control of the Foghorn.

That was one of the points addressed in the SPLC letter, written by Frank LoMonte, Esq., the group’s Executive Director. “Making budget decisions on the basis of displeasure with a student publication’s content not only is unlawful, but is an educationally unsound decision,” he wrote. He strongly advised USF finding ways to guarantee funding for student publications to protect them from interference.

Senate Backs Off Challenge To Foghorn ‘Quality’

In May, Chibnall said the senate decision had nothing to do with the Foghorn’s selection of material. He explained the budget cuts as an effort to motivate. “This isn’t jail, this is rehabilitation. We are helping (the Foghorn) to get better. We are not sending them to the gallows. We are sending them to the hospital to help them get better.”

On Friday, Chibnall reiterated that Senate had no problems with editorial content. He said what the Senate took issue with was grammatical errors and linking up pictures with the proper stories. “This was always about the constituents and them being proud of the paper and putting out quality stuff,” he said.

However, the LoMonte letter warned that one must be careful not to define censorship too narrowly:

“While we often hear ‘quality’ cited as the justification for punitive action against a student publication, withholding funding, firing the adviser, removing the editor, ‘quality’ is a perilously slippery rationale because it is so subjective,” he wrote. “If simply making a mistake became a legitimate justification for the withdrawal of funding, then the First Amendment would cease to exist at campus publications, since it will always be possible for censors to find mistakes in a publication at any level.”

LoMonte added, “Campus budget committees do not micro-manage other student organizations, or hold them to subjective standards of perfection, when deciding their level of funding. They do not reduce the funding of the glee club because the choral director chose a disagreeable piece of music, reduce the funding for intramural football because the team drops too many passes, or reduce the funding of the marching band because a drummer fell out of step.”

In his Friday interview, Chibnall also said, “Senate will not be implementing a review system that will hold the Foghorn accountable. We will be encouraging them and supporting them in any way that they need help,” though he did not specify what form that help would take.

Patton agreed that the Foghorn staff would like to like to produce a cleaner paper with fewer mistakes. “We are a fully student run organization with a frequent turnover of staff members. We are learning on the job – there really isn’t another option. Take a close look at some professional publications and I guarantee you will find both mistakes and a corrections box from the last issue. Perfect just doesn’t happen.”

Former Foghorn editor James Tedford had this perspective: “The Senate as much as the Foghorn is an experiment for students to learn real-world roles. They are going to make mistakes along the way.”

In an email to the Journalism 2 class, which is responsible for this story, Teresa Moore explained the limits of her role as advisor. “I advise the Foghorn. I don’t edit it.”

Moore said she trains staff at the beginning of the semester and does extensive critiques the day the paper comes out. “But I don’t check the editors’ work before the paper is published. That is what is called ‘prior review,’ and it is illegal under the Leonard Law.”

She said neither she nor the Foghorn staff was aware of the Leonard Law until “about a week ago.” We weren’t engaging in prior review because it defeats the purpose of having a student paper if the end product is the work of a non-student professional.”

Although senate has reinstated the Foghorn as a weekly, the issue of funding remains. “I think the University needs to find a way to fund student media outside of government,” said Bernadette Barker-Plummer, the chair of USF’s Media Studies department. “It’s a conflict if media can’t report on government. I think there’s a teaching moment here. It’s not something that needs to be hostile,” she added.

Gregory Wolcott, assistant vice provost for student engagement – essentially an advisor to the student senate – felt that the issue was communication. “It’s always good to bring people together and have conversations about process, about the success of each organization. I would definitely like to see more consultation between the Foghorn and the Senate,” Wolcott said.

Online Editor David Boyle says Farewell to USF Community

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In three weeks time I’ll be getting one of those pieces of paper that says I’ve completed my degree in Politics and African Studies at the University of San Francisco. You may be wondering how someone with that academic background became the online editor of the school paper and let me assure you, I’m still wondering the same thing.

It’s the Professors not the Building

A school that could allow that type of job placement is reflective of USF’s size and excellent staff that gave me the ability to follow my passions and interests no matter how far off they were from the normal curriculum path. Graduating in 2013, our class has experienced USF at an interesting time of growth- construction for a new science center, a new marketing campaign, and even a new logo and tagline. While all of these changes are positive ones, they are still just the bells and whistles to decorate the larger tenets that have continued to make this university a breeding place for great minds committed to social justice since 1855.

What truly makes USF isn’t the buildings but the teachers who occupy them. All of the professors that I interacted with throughout my four years were excellent mentors who profoundly changed the way that I think about the world and have helped to shape who I am today.

Joining the Foghorn team in my last year, I thank the Foghorn editors and staff for accepting me into their community. I also thank our advisor Professor Moore whose tireless dedication to truthful and relevant news has always made me feel like I’m apart of something larger than myself. I have full confidence in next years online editor, Matt Miller, who will be carrying the online paper on into the future.

The Future of The Foghorn

A question that come ups up regularly is whether the online could replace the print paper. If you asked me years ago, I would say ditch the paper; the Foghorn should be an online news subscription all the way. However, after sobering from the buzz of the social media cool-aid, I realize that online and print content are two different mediums that serve different purposes.

Print media is the final word. It has gone through series of editing and copywriting and serves as a physical manifestation of the happenings and conversations that have been going on in the USF community. Additionally, the ingestion of print media  fires the neurons in the left and frontal part of the brain more associated with internalizing and memorizing that information. On a lighter note, it’s pretty cool having your name up on the printed newspaper.

Digital media on the other hand is collaborative by nature and more up-to-date. It allows for ideas to spread (don’t make me say “viral”) and allows people to share news stories with their own opinions attached to them, thus fostering a stronger and more opinionated student community.

Print and digital media can’t be pitted against each other, but should be used as complements to better interact with the news and allow the Foghorn to serve as the student’s voice on campus.

Stewards not Editors

We call ourselves “editors” but really we are stewards of the paper. We’ve filled the positions of those before us, and now we pass it off to other students to do the same. The medium by which that content is distributed is important, but either way to core ethos remains: The Foghorn is a vehicle for serving as the student’s organized voice on campus.

Farewell USF Community, it was a pleasure to serve.