Tag Archives: USF

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This is How We Roll: USF Seniors Educate High School Students on the Ways of SF Cycling

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Gold isn’t just a color that shows spirit for our Dons and our 49ers here in SF, it’s also The City’s Bike Friendly Award level—that’s right, San Francisco is the gold standard in cycling camaraderie, according to The League of American Bicyclists. Five USF seniors are working towards furthering the cycling culture of San Francisco through their brand new Upward Bound Cycling Class for local high school students.

For their environmental studies capstone class project, seniors Tessa Farbstein, Tyler Doo, Alycia Cox, Sara Cortese and Daniel Dayani are collaborating with Upward Bound, a support program for low-income, first generation college bound students, and the SF Bike Coalition, a local non-profit promoting bicycle transportation, to teach the four-week-long class. At the end of the four weeks, each of the nine students will receive a free, freshly repaired bicycle, donated by the SF Bike Coalition.

“It’s a pretty neat bringing together of Upward Bound, USF students, and the SF Bike Coalition — it’s just this incredible mesh of groups that are coming together to make this course happen,” Farbstein said.

A big focus of the course, which runs from 9:30-12:30 on Saturday mornings, is on bicycle safety, but the curriculum is fairly interdisciplinary. Along with safety, the students will learn about the history of bicycling, bike parts, basic repair skills, economic aspects of cycling, environmental impacts, and more.

“It’s a very broad spectrum of bicycling,” Farbstein said.

To put it simply, the main idea is to convey the benefits of cycling to the 15-18-year-old young adults. The students are allowed to enroll in the cycling course, rather than a more academically focused course, due to their high achievement levels in school. The instructors want to help the students find the joy in cycling and maybe even inspire a lifelong dedication to the sport slash mode of transportation.

“Two years ago when I moved to the city, that’s when I started riding a lot. And I remember how scary and intimidating it can be riding in the city and that can definitely be a deterrent for people. I just want to tell people how fun it is and how useful it can be,” Dayani said.

“We ultimately want to empower them through biking and hope that they pick up a new lifelong habit of bicycling,” Farbstein explained. Several of the instructors are cyclists themselves, and have found that, just as they hope the students are, they are learning a great deal and becoming inspired by the class.

“We’re learning along with them. It’s an inclusive experience,” Dayani said.

“This class has helped re-inspire me to bike again. It’s been really nice, it’s a great way to get my day started. I’m a bit of a fitness nut…it’s really invigorating, especially going past cars,” Farbstein said.

The class will run through the rest of the semester, with the possibly of additional classes being added on to the end. If it continues to go well, the class could become a regular project for USF students as cycling education continues to spread.

Meet the 2013 ASUSF Senate Candidates!

Learn more about your ASUSF Senate Candidates by reading their bios!

Not Pictured:

College of Arts and
Sciences Representative

Diana Fabian

Freshman

International Student Representative

Tingting Fei

Freshman

International Student Representative

DooYoung Jung

Freshman

Students with Disabilities Representatives

Jordan Hartsinck

Freshman

Vice President of
Internal Affairs 

Eva Long

Sophomore

Vice President of 

Mission

Sascha Rosemond

Sophomore

Freshman Sensation Sebastian Crookall-Nixon Shines at US Intercollegiate; Dons Finish Fourth Overall

 

Sometimes a pretty performance is not enough. Entering a packed crowd at the US Intercollegiate, the USF men’s golf team put on a solid performance with a team total of 841 before eventually finishing fourth in a tournament behind No. 24 Saint Mary’s, No. 11 Texas Christian University and the eventual winner No. 9 Stanford.  Heading into the second round with a total of 275, the Dons were able to keep pace with the top three finishers — they went into the second round only five shots off the Cardinals who finished with a team total of 270.

Looking impatient, the Dons made critical mistakes that would eventually solidify their place behind the top three finishers. San Francisco hit 284 and 282 in the second and third rounds, enough to fend off UC Davis for fourth place. Rough starts and the harder setup for rounds two and three contributed to the higher scores, putting the Dons in an uphill battle.

Featuring four teams ranked on the top-25 list, the U.S. Intercollegiate was hosted by the Stanford Cardinal at the Stanford Golf Course in Palo Alto, whose performance as hosts did not disappoint spectators. The beautiful weather and scenery provided a nice backdrop to TCU’s Paul Barjon’s performance, shooting 199 (-11) and coming away with a medalist honor. Three Dons would enter the individual Top Ten as freshman Sebastian Crookall-Nixon, senior Taylor Travis and junior Cory McElya would share places among the leaderboard. Freshman sensation Crookall-Nixon finished sixth with a pleasing 207 that featured three birdies and an eagle on the par-5 seventh hole, cementing his status as a person of interest to watch in the upcoming competitions.

“There were sometimes that he could have easily let the round get away from him but he kept calm and stuck to the game plan,” Assistant Head Coach Matt Miller said.

With the end of the season nearing, the Dons now turn to Bremerton, Washington, April 15-17 where they will compete in the 2013 West Coast Conference Championships. With seemingly only St. Mary’s in their way, senior Dash Lindsell and Taylor looked to finish on top and fulfill preseason expectations by winning the elusive West Coast Conference title.

An Extra Innings Victory and Two Key Home Runs For Dons in Series Win over St. Mary’s

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This past Easter weekend, the USF Dons played host to rivals in the WCC, the Saint Mary’s Gaels, at Benedetti Diamond. The series ran from Thursday to Saturday, and resulted in the Diamond Dons taking two out of three from the visiting Gaels. With the series win, USF improved to a season record of 13-14 and 5-4 in the WCC.

The three game set did not start out well for the Dons, with them dropping the first game to the Gaels 6-0. Saint Mary’s starter Ben Griset was dominant, allowing just four hits and striking out 10 en route to a complete game shutout. Sophomore outfielder Bradley Zimmer went 2-for-3 of the day while sophomore third baseman Bob Cruikshank and redshirt senior outfielder Bob Mott contributed one hit each. Other than the lack of offensive spark, the Dons’ poor defense played the biggest role in the upsetting loss. USF committed a season-high five errors, leading to three unearned runs by the Gaels, and ultimately the loss.

On Friday afternoon, the Dons turned it around and showed extreme resilience on the field, earning the win in extra innings. Just a day after their disappointing loss, USF displayed stellar defense behind junior starting pitcher Alex Balog and senior reliever Haden Hinkle, robbing the Gaels of a handful of hits and keeping the game close. The Dons jumped ahead early, pushing two runs across in the first inning and padding their lead with a double from Cruikshank that drove in a run in the third. Though Saint Mary’s came back to score two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth, USF managed to limit the damage to send the game into extra innings. With the score tied at three in the top of the ninth, senior center fielder Justin Maffei made a spectacular diving catch that robbed the Gaels’ leadoff hitter of extra bases.

Zimmer led off the bottom of the tenth with a walk. Pinch-hitter freshman Harrison Bruce immediately followed with a sacrifice bunt to advance Zimmer to second. With two outs and a runner on second, Mott drew a walk, leading to a two out, two on situation for sophomore first baseman Brendan Hendriks. Hendriks drove the first pitch he saw up the middle to score Zimmer and give the Dons the walk-off victory, besting the Gaels 4-3 in 10 innings.

After the game, Hendriks credited the two Dons pitchers, Balog and Hinkle, for keeping them in the game and giving the team the chance to win. He also acknowledged the team’s offensive strength at the end of the game.

“I was just glad to have the opportunity. They put together good at-bats ahead of me, Bob Mott had a great walk there, gave me the chance, and I got lucky. The ball got through, and I’ll take it,” Hendriks said of his game winning hit.

Riding on the momentum of game two, USF took the victory in the last game of the series 2-1. Through four innings, the Dons’ bats stayed relatively quiet. In the bottom of the fifth with one out, senior left fielder Mitchell Rowan and Hendriks ignited the offense with back-to-back singles before junior shortstop Josh Miller connected with a long home run into left field, tying the game at four apiece. In the sixth inning, Zimmer proceeded to seal the win with a line-drive home run to right field, and the Dons eventually defeated the Gaels 5-4.

The Diamond Dons will head for a nine game road trip and return to play a three game series at Benedetti Diamond against Loyola Marymount on April 19.

Kappa Alpha Theta to host “Theta Touchdown” this Friday

 

Do you love football? Do you wish USF had a football team? Well then, you should join the women of Kappa Alpha Theta for their second annual philanthropic flag football tournament, Theta Touchdown! at Welsh Field on Friday, April 5th at 2:30-6pm.

The women will be hosting a flag football tournament to raise money for two charities: CASA, which helps foster children find security needed to reach full potential, and Theta Foundation, which provides financial hardship grants for Kappa Alpha Theta members.

There will be free drinks provided by Red Bull and Hi-ball energy, as well as free energy bars courtesy of KIND bars. If that does not motivate you enough, there will also be a food truck serving mouth-watering burgers and more! Winners of the tournament will get a trophy and their own personalized medals, and there might be a surprise performance…you will just have to come and see!

So if you are interested, check out the Kappa Alpha Theta Facebook event page or contact Kappa Alpha Theta’s Service and Philanthropy Director Elsa Medeiros at sfthetaservice@gmail.com. Gather seven of your friends or more and come out to support a great cause! $7 per person, $49 per team.

 

Ki Alpha Thetta presents:

ThetaTouchdown

Friday, April 5th 2:30-6p.m.

Welsh Field

Cost: $7 per individual, $49 per team

The Lingering Tragedies of the Iraq War

The tenth anniversary of the Iraq War came and went recently, passing us all by with little comment from above.

Americans have a problem with remembering history, partly because our government encourages us not to, but also because we just don’t want to. It’s easier not to question patriotic fervor and not think of Vietnam, and Kuwait, and all of the other wars we’ve been suckered into over the decades of American military might. Easier not to think about the American veterans psychologically and physically scarred by being paid and trained to kill. And most of all, easier not to think of the millions of civilians — men, women, and children — who will be killed in massive bombings or will be cited as collateral damage in reports. It just makes things simpler for the next war.

But the legacy of the Iraq War is not just in the graveyards, but now in the living as well. According to prominent toxciologist Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, 2,000 tons of depleted uranium (DU) weapons were used in Iraq, including ammunition made of DU; not only this, but white phosphorus munitions were used as well, a property that is highly toxic when inhaled orally. Because of this use of toxic materials at a scale far greater than in previous use in Kuwait, ten years later, the effects on the public have trickled in.

Cancer rates in Iraq have at least doubled since 1995. And Savabieasfahani, studying the two Iraqi cities of Fallujah and Basra, has found a massive increase birth defects in hundreds of children, with fifteen percent of newborns showing defects. I have seen pictures of some of these children in other articles; one has an extra head in the back of his neck. Another has extra limbs sprouting from his body. Others have blood disorders, spina bifida, and other massive issues. I have two little siblings, one four and another seven. If their places had been switched with an Iraqi child, they could have similar and terrifying circumstances.

I do not blame the American soldiers; to do so would be naïve and unfair to many suffering from PTSD, paralysis, and shrapnel injuries. I blame the oligarchs, politicians, and oilmen who pushed this war, who happily lied and backed death and destruction for their own profit and to boost American power. People, whether American or Iraqi, bleeding for the sake of their dollars, are forgotten and easy to sacrifice. They will never be prosecuted for their crimes, because it just wouldn’t do. Their freedom is worth more than the life of the seven year old with cerebral palsy, or the newborn with respiratory problems.

I do not know what else to say, except that I am sorry. I am sorry that my government is based on greed and violence. I am sorry that that violence continues in drone strikes. I am sorry that so many people have died. I am sorry for the children whose legacy from America is literally physical and mental damage. I am sorry that my government hurts people rather than helps them, and that I don’t know if I can do anything to make it stop. I am so, so sorry.