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[X]press The Golden Gate Wednesday, May 4, 2011

FOCUS: Students: a day in

the life - Page 6 ONLINE: Pagans

celebrate start of season


Vets look back on war, hope for future

Death of Osama bin Laden draws questions of next step By Megan Taros

May 21 and 22, entitling it a ‘Rapture Party.’ American Atheists, one of the largest national groups for atheists, believes that Christians are attempting to dodge real problems in the nation and that the end times prediction highlights the problem with religions. “Some people think we shouldn’t be so direct,” Hicok said. “There’s a decided opinion in this country that religion deserves a special place, that you cannot critique it logically and scientifically. You cannot expose the fact that the emperor has no clothes. You have to cater to this emotion which

Kadie Ann Williams was in the library studying late when she heard Osama bin Laden had been killed. When she arrived home, she was too afraid to sleep. Williams, a microbiology major, was deployed to the Persian Gulf for a total of 15 months during her service in the Navy. “I kept thinking, ‘It’s just going to get worse,’” she said of her reaction upon hearing of bin Laden’s death. For student veterans, bin Laden’s death may have been symbolic of the end of suffering for many, but it will not change the war. Bin Laden was killed Sunday after a U.S. raid on a complex where he was hiding in Abbottabad, Pakistan. “It’s like the ‘Wizard of Oz’ when Dorothy dropped the house,’” said Tara Smith, who is pursuing her master’s in creative writing. “Everyone’s celebrating, but they forget that there’s another villain out there.” Smith, who was deployed to Iraq for a year, joined the Army shortly after the 9/11 attacks under the impression that she was going to help the country defeat terrorism. “I was naïve when I joined, even though I was 21,” she said. “I thought it was as simple as, ‘we got attacked, now we’re going to get the bad guys,’ but it’s not that simple. It was never that simple.” Though student veterans fear the worsening of the war, assistant professor of international relations Mahmood Monshipuri said this could be a step in the right direction for America’s War on Terror. “The only way you can counteract terrorism is when you take the disgruntled people and give them hope,” Monshipuri said. Miguel Vargas, a kinesiology major, believes the

ATHEIST continued on Page 9

VETS continued on Page 9


AMEN?: A man panhandles in front of a billboard in San Francisco’s SOMA district, posted by an atheist organization, based out of Oakland, and was the cause of controversy when a rival Christian bought a sign across the street.

Atheists oppose idea of Rapture Billboard counter’s Christian’s forecast of Judgment Day By Christine Tjandra Along Interstate 80 eastbound at Fifth and Harrison streets, a big yellow billboard with black letters screams “The Rapture: You KNOW it’s Nonsense, 2000 Years of ‘Any Day Now.’” The billboard is an American Atheist response to Harold Camping, a Christian Judgment Day advocate, and

Family Radio Worldwide’s well-advertised prediction that the world will end May 21. “The whole Rapture thing is to completely isolate themselves from the issue that we face today with our economics and social problems,” said Larry Hicok, California state director of American Atheists. “And to just totally focus on the supposed ‘life after death.’ We think there is something really wrong with that kind of perspective. Life is about living and not about dying.” To that end, while people who believe in Camping’s prediction may be worried about May 21, the atheists will be holding a two-day conference on

FINALS Overworked

Students stress, search for relief By Alberto Penalva With finals lurking right around the corner, students are taking it upon themselves to either foster or sabotage their future. Finals week is a stressful time for many students as they attempt to juggle academics while on the verge of summer break and a semester’s worth of hard work. While some Gators are model students, others may not have learned how to manage their time just yet. “I start my homework and studying at 1 a.m.” said Jeremy Capuyon, a junior at SF State. “That just works best for me. I don’t study until two nights before my finals.”


Because he works downtown with Filipino veterans for 20 hours a week, Capuyon, 20, has a difficult time keeping on top of his classes as he plans on switching from an undeclared junior into the psychology department. “I’m pretty stressed,” Capuyon said. “I have about four finals to study for. My hardest finals are for my microbiology and chemistry classes.” Other students, like senior environmental studies major Sashenka Goodall, 23, have figured out how to arrange their time around finals. “I have three finals and I’m not letting it get to me,” she said. “I make a list and prioritize what to study for.” Living in the Sunset and working two jobs 36

STRESS continued on Page 9




BOOKWORM: SF State senior Pasoon Shmadzai studies for a final in the annex May 3.


Campus - 2 A&E- 3 City- 4, 5 Focus- 6

Opinion- 8 Sports 10, 11


2 Wednesday, May 4, 2011


REFERENDUM Student government

SPEAKS ASI wins much needed funding


A weekly unscientific survey of SF State students.

“What was your first reaction when you heard of Osama bin Laden’s death?” Reporting by Juan Martinez, Photos by Erik Verduzco “I was surprised and skeptical at the same time. It has been a really long time. I hope this brings closure.” Jorge Hinojosa, electrical engineering, senior, 24 “I questioned what happened. I know it affects many people in many ways.” James Franklin, zoology, freshman, 19 “Oh they finally got him. Does this mean the war is over?” Jameila Louisville, African studies, senior, 21 “Initially, I thought it was a good thing. But, I totally agree that we shouldn’t celebrate anyone’s death no matter how evil the person is.” Usha Gubbala, special major (human nature), senior, 20 “I didn’t really think about it too much. My first reaction was that’s crazy.” Jannel Ram, physiology, sophomore, 19

By Megan Taros Initially facing a staggering deficit, SF State’s Associated Students Inc., began to draft a budget for the next year, drastically cutting funding to its student organizations and programs. What they didn’t anticipate was that students would elect to pay more out of pocket to fund campus life. “We started planning for the absolute worst case scenario when we created our budget for next semester,” said Franko Ali, the new vice president of University Affairs. “I’m happy that we get to start on a new budget.” Students voted April 28 in favor of the $12 fee increase over the next three years, which should restore some of what was originally cut from next semester’s budget. The governing board will examine which programs are most utilized by students, and they will be funded accordingly. Approximately 1,640 voted last Wednesday and Thursday, with 63 percent of voters approving the referendum, according to ASI election results. “Students will get better services and programs now,” said ASI President-elect Andrew Gutierrez. “We don’t just want to restore money, we want to see if we want to fully fund or enhance programs. We don’t want to throw a chunk of change in and see what happens. We want the money to be used to better serve students.” Student fees will go up $12 over the course of three years, with a $9 increase the first year, $2 the second and $1 the

Vista Room teams with organization to offer fresh meals By Aaron Salazar We might question every concept served up in our classes, but when it comes to our lunch plate, we tend to consume less critically. Every day we sit down for a meal, but how many of us question the origins of its content? On April 28, the source of ingredients were the center of attention at the second Farm to Fork luncheon at SF State. The Environmentally Conscious Organization of Students partnered with the Vista Room and other campus programs to bring locally grown meals to the campus community. “We need people to be conscientious about where their food is coming from,” said Ivy Anderson, a member of ECO Students and co-founder of the event. The produce, which went into the all-vegetarian menu, was purchased from farms within a 150-


Featured media for this week

One SF State student often leaves the city cracking up with jokes that hit close to home. Zach Chiappellone, 24, gets his material from observing what goes on around him. “I’m a true believer fact is funnier than fiction,” Chiappellone said. Keeping

ASI’s six goals for 2012 • Increase student awareness of and involvement in local, national and international issues affecting higher education. • Assess current students’ needs in order to enhance ASI including programs, services and responsibilities. • Increase student knowledge on student-based ASI services, operations and resources through transparency. • Maintain ASI as a visible and participating member of Student Life. • Strengthen relationships and communication between ASI and student leadership across the University. • Sustain student leadership and involvement in the planning and development of the Recreation and Wellness Center.

Starving Gators get locally grown grub


Class clown cracks jokes about the city

third. The fee increase will be implemented this fall. Students currently pay $42 in student fees for ASI, which go toward funding for student organizations, such as the Women’s Center, as well as job opportunities. “With this money, we get to go back to what we stand for,” Ali said. “There’s always hesitation about cutting away at student organizations, but now we’ll be able to put money back in.” For some students, fee increases are only justified if the funding goes directly toward their education. “Everyone’s suffering right now, so even $12 is a lot to ask,” said Vickie Hall, humanities major. “I’d rather see the money support academic programs, but it really depends on what organizations get money.” ASI has not increased its fees since 1992 and therefore has not caught up with economic inflation. “As a student, I’m hurting as well. We can’t control that, but we can aid the campus,” he said. “I understand (students) can’t get into classes, but I can offer a service for their higher education, like legal resources or events that encourage them to get involved.” Members of the board praised this election, which garnered 5 percent of the campus vote in two days. This is in contrast to the ASI elections, which received 10 percent of the campus vote over five days. “We could have got more than 10 percent of students if the elections lasted all week,” Gutierrez said. “I’d really like to thank students who voted yay or nay for getting out there and being proactive.”


busy by performing standup all around San Francisco, Chiappellone said he hopes to turn his passion into a career one day. “If I can pay rent and do comedy, then my dream had come true,” Chiappellone said. - Brittany Doohan


mile radius of campus. “By being more conscientious about what we eat, we become more conscientious of the ecosystems we live in,” Anderson said. “And we learn the importance of caring for them.” Fresh herbs came from elementary school gardens in the city, and yerba buena, or mint, was picked from the ground right here on campus and brewed into tea. “There’s a lot of wasted energy to get produce from far away,” said Chris Albon, a senior majoring in geography who enjoyed his $13 meal in the quad. “It’s nice to support small family farms.” A long line of hungry guests stretched out beneath the trees at the center of campus awaiting the delicious treats at hand. Sunshine and strong winds brushed their backs as they were served by the students who run the Vista Room, a five-star restaurant on the fourth floor of Burk Hall. Some of the dishes served at the event were walnut pesto with pasta from Berkeley; heirloom three-bean stew with beans from Napa; curry tofu with vegetables from Watsonville; and polenta with shiitake mushrooms from

Santa Cruz. “Everything is fresh from the farm,” said Joan Frank, the dietetics director and faculty adviser for the Vista Room. Food preparation began at 7 a.m. that morning and 135 guests were served, said Yan Fei Ng, who is the Vista Room manager and a student in the dietetics program. “It’s different than what we usually serve,” she said. “It brought more awareness of locally grown food.” Last semester was the first Farm to Fork event and the Vista Room handled the gathering of ingredients. This semester, Anderson and co-founder, Davin WentworthThrasher, spent the week leading up to the eat-in meeting farmers and placing orders at farmers’ markets throughout the city. The day before the event, the organizers loaded up crates of produce and delivered them to the Vista Room, where the raw ingredients were turned into gourmet dishes and desserts. “It was a risky process,” Anderson said. “It was kind of Iron Chef-style.” The idea for the eat-in came to Anderson, an environmental

studies major at SF State, after taking a class on agriculture and food supply where she learned about the economic and environmental sustainability of local produce. “Eating is a daily opportunity to be engaged in community activism,” Anderson said. “When you’re eating locally you’re building an economy around a place you know and care about.”


Campus crime log from the past week

No license, big problem A University police officer performed a routine traffic stop on Lake Merced Boulevard around 3 p.m. May 1 and discovered the driver did not have a valid driver’s license. The driver was arrested and cited and the vehicle was released to the registered owner at the scene.

You’re all partied out While on patrol May 1, a University police officer viewed two subjects near Holloway Avenue. Officers made contact and one subject, an SF State student, was arrested for public intoxication and disorderly conduct. The incident occurred around 3 a.m.

Gimme my game back A resident in the Village at Centennial Square reported the theft of his video game system to University police April 29. The incident occurred between 11:00 p.m. and midnight. Officers responded and took a report. The system was valued at $360. There are no leads. — Compiled by Chase S. Kmec



Wednesday, May 4, 2011 3

FOOD REVIEW Salvadoran cuisine


Mission restaurant offers a taste of home Sara Donchey If it’s one thing of which Balompié Café reminds diners in the Mission district of, it’s that good restaurants shouldn’t have to fake it. Tucked away from the bedlam of Mission Street on the less-traveled corner of 18th and Capp streets, Balompié Café is a local favorite for authentic Salvadoran fare. Since Balompié opened its doors in October 1987, it has promised its customers two things: good food and soccer. Twenty-four years later it continues to offer just that — nothing more, nothing less. The café is as bare bones as it gets, but what it lacks in décor it makes up for in fine cuisine. In lieu of white linen tablecloths, pupusas grilled to perfection; instead of elegant candelabras, flaky golden yucca flawlessly fried. Balompié, which means soccer in Spanish, garners a cult-like following among local “fútbol” fanatics. Team banners adorn the otherwise bare walls, and true to its namesake, soccer games play endlessly on two large plasma TVs. The boisterous men that gather to watch games there have become as much a part of the restaurant as the kitchenware and cutlery. SASHA TIVETSKY — [X]PRESS True to its reputation for authenticity, Balompié PAN-FRY: A cook fires up carne asada at Balompié Café. gets the basics right. The restaurant is renowned for its plump and sa- that, either. Entrees are priced at around $10 to $15, and a pair vory pupusas, El Salvador’s take on a tortilla. A traditional pupusa consists of a flattened ball of pupusas cost around $5. For those on an even of corn flour dough stuffed with cheese, meat, veg- more limited budget, the menu features a wide vaetables or beans, and grilled, and Balompié has the riety of side orders costing less than $4. The restaurant also has a limited bar, serving recipe down pat. If Balompié’s pupusa is the star of the show, the wine and beer, in addition to serving a full breakfast menu all day long. yucca is the award-winning supporting actor. In a time when restaurant gimmicks and outYucca, a starchy root vegetable common in Latin American cuisine, is fried until its flaky golden rageous dishes are all the rage, Balompié remains as the place to go for authentic Salvadoran cookbrown crust yields to a soft malleable center. Served with meat, fish, or shrimp, ing. Balompié’s yucca dishes are the perfect compleIt tries to accomplish nothing more than produce ment to brimming plates of garlic sautéed chicken the favored food it has been cooking for over two or steak. decades. The coupling of delicious Salvadoran food and Balompié is the kind of place that doesn’t aim to SASHA TIVETSKY — [X]PRESS a lively atmosphere lends itself to the kind of meal please masses of food critics and restaurant con- DELICIOSO: Yucca frita con camarones (fried that makes one eager to hand the waitress one’s noisseurs, but through honest, delectable food, it yucca with shrimp) a Salvadorian dish at money, but Balompié doesn’t ask for too much of manages to do just that. Bolempié Cafe on 18th and Capp streets.

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City pilots parking app Service tells users location, cost of nearest open spot By Brenda Reyes Wasting gas, circling the block multiple times and handling business quickly to beat the meter is an experience Jamaal Jenkins, an SF State cultural anthropology major, regularly encounters in downtown San Francisco when parking. “It’s the worst when I don’t get back in time and find a fresh ticket under my windshield wiper,” Jenkins said. “Police officers know what they’re doing. It’s all a hustle.” Jenkins’ story is a common one among San Francisco residents and to ease the frustration, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and Mayor Ed Lee introduced a free iPhone application and website April 21 that informs drivers of the the location and cost of available parking spaces in the city. The appli-

cation will be available for other smartphone platforms in a few weeks. Jenkins, who said he drives to school 98 percent of the time, believes the new mobile application will encourage drivers to use their smartphone while on the road. “If a person pulls over to find a parking spot online, he’d probably get there last,” Jenkins said in an email. “People are in a hurry. Of course they’re going to use their smartphones while driving.” Albie Esparza, a San Francisco Police Department spokesman, said the new application may help people find parking faster, but it won’t excuse them from getting a ticket for driving while using an electronic device. “Drivers must pull over and while the vehicle is completely stopped — which doesn’t mean a red light,” Esparza said. According to Esparza, the first offense will earn the driver a $20 ticket, and any subsequent offenses result in $50 tickets. Others think the app will be beneficial. “I don’t believe it will encour-

age drivers to use their phones while on the road,” said George Turner, an SF State graduate student studying gerontology. “It definitely sounds helpful.” According to the SF Park website, parking rates will be adjusted once a month beginning this summer in increments of 50 cents per hour or less to have at least one open parking space on every block most of the time and to encourage drivers to park in garages that generally don’t fill up. Currently, the SF Park pilot project covers 7,000 of San Francisco’s 28,800 metered spaces and 15 of 20 SFMTA-managed parking garages located in the Civic Center, Hayes Valley, Financial District, SoMa, Mission, Fisherman’s Wharf, Fillmore and Marina neighborhoods. Neither SFMTA nor SF Park officials responded to emails or phone calls. This project will soon be joined by several other new plans. Later in the year, drivers won’t have to run out of class or work to feed the meter because SFMTA will make pay-by-phone service available at every meter in the city, al-


OPEN SPACES: A new smartphone application and companion website helps drivers find open parking spots throughout the city. lowing people to pay with credit or debit cards over the phone or online. The pay-by-phone service will require the driver to create an account that is linked to a credit or debit card in order to pay by entering the number of the parking

location on the meter, according to the project’s website. This optional service, which would also send customers a text message reminder before the meter expires, will cost a driver the meter’s rate and an additional 45 cents fee for each transaction.


Pedicabs offer unique summer job opportunities

By Jennifer Terman As classes end and summer approaches, San Francisco will offer some unusual opportunities for job-seeking students. One such opportunity is being an unofficial mobile tour guide as a pedicab driver. Pedicabs, bicycles attached to two-seat passenger compartments, are a unique way to get around in some of the city’s more tourist-friendly neighborhoods and are an opportunity for some students to work a flexible, interesting job during the summer months. “What I liken it to is being a gondolier in Italy,” said Chris Donovan, a pedicab driver for about three years. “That’s kind of physical and you’re taking people around.” Golden Gate Pedicabs is a San Francisco company that primarily hires students and is continually hiring, although there is

an age limit of 21 for applicants. “We have 15 pedicabs and our drivers sign up on a first come, first serve basis,” said Golden Gate Pedicabs Manager James Tracy. UC Santa Cruz astrophysics major Scott Lange said he loves the job that has allowed him to meet different people. “You meet people from all over the world so you get to have some interesting conversations,” Lange said. It is, however, still seasonal work. “Right now this is my only job,” Donovan said. “You know you’re never gonna make a million dollars. You can get by. You pay your bills, you can afford an apartment.” Lange said being a student and a driver is an easy job because of the flexibility that being a pedicab driver offers. “It’s super flexible. I work when I need to,” Lange said. “This past week when I had midterms, I was studying. Summer-

time you hit it hard like five, six, seven days a week and three or four times in the winter. It’s definitely a good job.” Lugging around 300 pounds of cargo can be tough, but some drivers said one just need be in decent shape to be able to adjust. “It’s not too bad, and it only gets easier if you keep pedaling,” Lange said. Not only are pedicabs good work for students but also for adults who need jobs to survive as well. “I was definitely a victim of the economy,” Donovan said. “I wasn’t alone. But I saw the ad on Craigslist and thought, ‘hmm, I never thought of that.’” Donovan lost his job, but was fortunately hired by SF Student Jobs Coalition pedicab company founder Keith Saggers. Donovan said being a driver offers a sense of control that often people do not get in regular jobs.

“You’re your own boss, making your own decisions, trying to find rides,” Donovan said. Golden Gate Pedicabs and the SF Student Jobs Coalition are both located in the city, though the former is more geared toward hiring students. “The original idea was to give students some income by having them work driving pedicabs in the summer, but it evolved into a full-time job for a bunch of people who are no longer students,” Saggers said. Saggers has kept the original name of the company despite the fact that most of his drivers are no longer current college students. Saggers said drivers pay him rent each week for their pedicab and obtain an operating license while he pays for insurance and permits. “They’re independent contractors, not employees,” Saggers said. “They come and go as they please and pay rent weekly.”

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Advocates aim to open safe use sites Drug users would get advice, clean needles By Brittney Barsotti, Special to [X]Press A heroin dealer pulls into the parking lot. Astride G., a freshman at SF State, has a feeling of euphoria wash over; it is as though she is already high, knowing that she is going to get her fix after hours of anticipation. She and her friends receive their drugs and scramble to prepare their cookers and other paraphernalia. The group has one common goal — to get high as quickly as possible. Next, finding a place to shoot up. “I ended up in bathrooms sitting on the floor,” Astride said. “Definitely not using the cleanest (needles). I’ve shot up in alleys and ditches before. I never thought I would be in a place where I was so desperate to find a place to use.” It is experiences like these, endemic to San Francisco, that have led organizations such as the Alliance to Save Lives, the Drug User’s Union and the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club to advocate for supervised using or injection sites in the city, primarily the Tenderloin district. Advocates for the safe use site hope to have a public hearing with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors by the end of the year. The supervised using sites would be similar to the Insite facility in Vancouver, British Columbia, which has been operating since 2003. Insite is a place where people can inject drugs and connect to health care services that range from primary care to treatment for diseases and infection, as well as addiction counseling and treatment. “It helps them to trust and open up to

“That was scary to hear,” Astride said. other people,” said Anna Farrant, a former nighttime shift supervisor at Insite. “And “But the scariest part about it is I could tothen they can trust you to refer them to tally see him doing it.” While Phipps agrees that an injection other services, and it creates a chain.” Proponents of safe injection sites be- site may help get users off the streets, he doubts it would have any affect on drug lieve they save lives. Since the opening of Insite in 2003, related crimes in the Tenderloin. “The basic problems don’t come from there have been no deaths caused by an overdose, despite the fact that there were when people are using drugs,” Phipps 336 overdoses reported in one 18-month said. “It’s when people are buying and selling drugs that brings in the violence and study. Many believe that Tenderloin is the gangs. Where the drug users go, the dealers are going to go.” most logical place to beThe concept behind gin opening safe injection safe injection sites has sites. A few years ago, the some strong supporters. De Marillac Academy, a Glendon “Anna Conda” school in the neighborHyde, a 2010 candidate hood, had to have a drain for District 6 supervisealed due to drug users sor, has long petitioned dumping needles in front for the implementation of the school and its stuof safe use sites. dents. In fact, during his The school eventually campaign he ran on a had to hire security, acplatform of creating cording to San Francisco Police Sgt. Kevin Phipps, Astride G., SF State such areas. Yet his opponent durwho has worked in the freshman ing the election, current Tenderloin for more than 20 years. District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim, has yet Besides the safety of community mem- to take an official position, according to bers, the main arguments for the estab- members of her office. lishment of a supervised injection or usDespite the benefits of allowing drug ing site is to prevent the spread of disease, use under safe circumstances, there is a primarily HIV and Hepatitis C, as well as common belief that the establishment of save lives from overdosing. According to a supervised injection site would enable studies produced by Insite, overdose is the drug use. leading cause of death for injection drug At Insite, this concern was investigatusers. ed over a two-year period and found that “And these were the people I was put- the average Insite user had been using for ting my life in the hands of,” said Astride. 16 years and only one person out of 1,065 Astride then attempted to get clean, used for the first time at the facility. during which time five of her close friends Insite researchers also found there was died within a seven-month period. a 33 percent increase of clients checking Astride also remembers friends telling themselves into detoxification services her that if she overdosed, her boyfriend and were 3.7 times more likely to enroll in would just leave her in the ditch behind additional forms of addiction treatment. his house. Of those who enrolled in additional ser-

I thought this was just what I was going to do for the rest of my life. I couldn’t stop because it was just so painful to get off the drugs.”

vices, there was a 43 percent completion rate. Just having the knowledge that the services are available may be enough for some people. “When I was on drugs I couldn’t see a way out of it,” Astride said. “I thought this was just what I was going to do for the rest of my life. “I couldn’t stop because it was just so painful to get off of the drugs.” Advocates argue that in addition to saving people from pain and the spread of disease through a supervised injection site, the decrease in the numbers of those suffering from HIV and Hepatitis C would help alleviate the city’s suffering budget. However, according to Eileen Shields, public information officer for the San Francisco Department of Health, those numbers are very hard to weed out of the budget and not a priority with the current status of the budget. The argument over safe injection sites often comes down to an argument between the illegality of drug use and the benefits of preventing addicts from using unsafe methods. According to the Hepatitis C Task Force established by former Mayor Gavin Newsom, which issued its findings in 2010, 90 percent of injection drug users are infected with Hepatitis C, and 25 percent of those are also infected with HIV. The task force also found that Hepatitis B and C kill more people in the San Francisco Bay Area than anywhere else in the country. The long-term effects of Hepatitis C include liver disease, cancer and cirrhosis, liver failure and death. “It’s like having the flu all the time and constantly being in pain,” said Trish Calcote, who has had Hepatitis C since 1978. “I feel tired all the time. I’m not going to die any time soon, but it’s a quality of life issue.”


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6 Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - GOLDEN GATE [X]PRESS BOING: SF State students jump around in a bounce house on the quad. To promote stress relief during finals, campus organizations encouraged students to relax by providing activities and food.



chool henanigans


PUFF: An SF State student smokes a cigarette in a no smoking zone on the corner of Tapia Drive. Even though the corner is a nosmoking area, students still light up.

ABOVE: Sophomore theatre major Rachel Golden sleeps in the Cesar Chavez Student Center. LEFT: A sheer wall is constructed on the 4th floor of Lot 20 in SF State’s parking structure. Seismic upgrades and repairs will continue until 2012 in order to meet CSU seismic standards.


ARTISTIC: Stephanie Hayes, a junior, works on a wall piece for Ceramics 3 in the Fine Arts building.


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A PUBLICATION OF SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kelsey Avers - OPINION EDITOR Jessica Heller ART DIRECTOR Geena Stellato SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR Daniel Gamberg gamberg@mail.sfsu. edu A&E EDITOR Eric Green CAMPUS EDITOR Tom Garcia CITY EDITOR Kelly Goff COPY CHIEF Caitlin Olson COPY CHIEF John Blomster blomster@mail.sfsu. edu PHOTO EDITOR Eric Soracco esoracco@mail.sfsu. edu




Courteous patriotism


hen President Barack Obama approached the podium in the East Room of the White House Sunday, he gave America one of the defining moments of its history: the death of Osama bin Laden. The announcement spurred a rash of celebrations, including a gathering at the White House gates. The declaration resonated with Americans as the destruction of a monster, our victory over not the personification of evil, but rather evil itself. Chants of “USA, USA” filled the air of our collective conscience; we hearkened back to conclude, “Mission accomplished.” [X]press does not view the death of bin Laden in such simplistic terms. His death is a victory for the U.S., but as with any loss of life, it should cause us to pause. Those who carried out the murder of 3,000 American citizens on Sept. 11 did so proudly without wavering. We should not be as cavalier about any life—even that of a terrorist. Sunday should not have been a moment for welcoming the death of a man. Bin Laden’s death should have been an opportunity for introspection.

It should have provided an opportunity for analyzing the complexities of the last 10 years. After commandos killed the al-Qaeda figurehead and four others, Americans should ask themselves whether death is the same as justice. The U.S. is a country that embraces the idea of minority rights, one of those being the rights of the accused. Is death, or trial by jury, actual justice? Can we disregard our principles for convenience? [X]press does not know the answer to these questions, but we are disappointed that Americans simply wanted him dead; they wanted revenge, not justice. Americans are well versed in the sending of troops to war, desensitized perhaps. They are not, however, accustomed to seeing it. If there was any silver lining to be had after 9/11, it was a further appreciation of all life, not just our own. Yet, we celebrated bin Laden’s death as callously as we imagine bin Laden cheered his victims’ demise. The events of 9/11, while devastating, should have taught Americans compassion, not rage; reflection, not vengeance. Because when vengeance has consumed us, how can we justify ourselves against our enemies? We can’t.

AARON TEIXEIRA Investigative Cartoonist

SPORTS EDITOR Alberto Penalva apenalva@mail.sfsu. edu MULTIMEDIA EDITOR Aaron Williams FACULTY ADVISER Rachele Kanigel PHOTO ADVISER Ken Kobre MAGAZINE ADVISER Don Menn donmenn@mail.sfsu. edu

ADVERTISING Eva Charles echarles@mail.sfsu. edu PRODUCTION & BUSINESS Barbara Landis Erika Rae Langdon elangdon@mail.sfsu. edu Justin Morrison jjmorrison88@yahoo. com CIRCULATION Cory Rayden I.T. CONSULTANT Arun Unnikrashnan - GOLDEN GATE [X]PRESS

Internet dating can’t substitute real experience By Brittany Doohan


t’s no secret that, these days, most people have a Facebook or Twitter account. Some people utilize the efficiency of the Internet for dating—and even sex. The Internet is one of the biggest inventions in history and has changed everyone’s life for the better, right? Not so much. These sites are helping build a wall that blocks us from real-life experiences, including dating. The recently launched is a site where people can create an online profile and have a fantasy relationship. They can even make more than one. The “fantasy” significant others are men and women who are paid to interact with the users. Calling itself a mix between “ and,” the site claims to define your ideal self by finding your perfect mate as if he or she existed. Along with finding yourself, the site also claims to teach you how to manage a real relationship. In the bigger scheme of things, how do sites like this really help to better yourself as a person? The Internet has made it so easy to hide behind a computer screen and hope for the best. It has taken away from the rewarding experience of actually putting yourself out there and meeting people face to face. You can’t experience the strong emotional highs and lows of a real organic relationship if you never build the courage to actually have one. Just reading about a relationship or, in this case, having a fake one online, does not lay the strong foundation needed to grow and understand who you are in a relationship and what you really want in a partner. It’s similar to taking three years of Spanish classes and not actually learning anything until you visit Spain to speak with the locals. It all starts by putting yourself out there and building your confidence bit by bit. Once that confidence is built and you start to date, you will learn what you want in someone and what you don’t. These realizations take time, experience and growth. Spending a night chatting with an imaginary girlfriend will not do the trick. Not only is she fake, but she’s also getting paid to interact with you. Life is about taking chances and testing yourself. The easier technology makes our lives, the less our soul matures. What some people fail to realize is what they could experience if they weren’t in a trance via computer. Who knows, it could land you a hot date. So close your laptop, dump your “cloud girlfriend,” and go find yourself a real person to love.

FUTURE Financial success

Happiness, independence mean creating financial security By Brenda Reyes


ith the U.S. celebrating its independence July 4, have you ever considered celebrating your own personal independence? Not the independence that you gain when you move 400 miles away from home or the independence of having a job that enables you to pay for rent, food and textbooks. The independence I’m talking about is financial freedom; one that liberates us from a routine eight-hour job that establishes our socioeconomic status. After college, many of us will go out to look for a full-time job where


someone will tell us when to eat, take a break and how much our work is worth per hour. A job is necessary, but it is not the key to living the lifestyle we deserve. The vast majority of students believe that a college education will lead to high-paying jobs that will provide us with time and money to spend with family, friends and the world. Sure, we might have to work a 9-to5 job for a few years, but it shouldn’t be for a lifetime. Unfortunately, they are wrong. Because Americans are living longer, members of the House of Representatives recently voted to cut $1.7 billion in funding for the Social Security Administration. According to the World Bank, the

average life expectancy in America is 78.7 years. Yet, the House of Representatives voted on a budget that would put seniors at the mercy of insurance companies, raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, and slash Medicaid spending by $1.4 trillion, according to DailyNewsPulse. com. Do you look forward to your senior years? Perhaps for the average 23-year-old college student, social security issues seem very far down the line. The California State University budget could be cut by about $500 million next year under Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget, which translates to higher fees. But social security? It’s so far off. But with the current level of cuts and more coming, what will be left for us?

The Golden Gate [X]press is a student-produced publication of the journalism department at San Francisco State University. For more information or comments, please contact Chris Haire at


Will we be prepared to send our children to the University they choose 20-25 years later without again falling into the trap of student loan debt? It is time we change our mindset. The government does not owe us financial peace. Budget cuts to social services and education will continue. It’s time we unveil our most insatiable desires and pursue them. According to Keelan Cunningham, an author and businessman, 90 percent of people will be broke within three months of losing their job, and only 3 percent of people retire financially independent at the age of 65. Dear colleagues, what mindsets will you inherit to your future generations? What will your cry of independence be?

The Golden Gate [X]press accepts letters no longer than 200 words. Letters are subject to editing. Send letters to Jessica Heller at

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 9


VETS: Bin Laden’s death spurs different reactions continued from Page 1 success of the mission was significant to the American people because of what bin Laden represented, but repercussions could ensue because of what he symbolized to al Qaeda. “There’s no real central man,” Vargas said. “What we need to worry about is the second guy in line because no one’s gonna say: ‘He’s dead, let’s all stop doing bad stuff. We’re not just fighting people, we’re fighting an ideology.” Vargas, who is in the Army reserves and was deployed to Iraq for 15 months, was on duty at a military base when he heard of bin Laden’s death. “I had no idea what was going on,” he said. “All I knew was that our threat level went up and that we had to check around the base.” Despite the doubts, bin Lad-

en’s death is still an undeniable victory for the U.S., according to international relations professor David Fischer. “The U.S. demonstrated that it is able to carry out a superb military operation,” he said. “It restores America’s image of itself.” Shea Caspersen, international relations major and president of Our Veterans Club at SF State, said that he and other members believe the war will grow, but there is still a reason to rejoice. “It’s definitely a blood feud,” he said. “If anything, it’s at least a symbolic victory. The mission has changed a lot, but the initial message is still there. His death symbolizes some sort of justice for an act that killed 3,000 Americans, so there’s still some sort of cause for celebration.” Many veterans would like to see troops in the Middle East return home, as they do not see how the war could be resolved.

ATHEIST: End times stirs controversy in Bay Area continued from Page 1 basically says, ‘If you say negative things about my religion, I’m going to drive a plane to World Trade Center.’” The organization’s message is clear and strong, although Hicok is aware that it might be too much for some people. “It’s a demonstration of expression but I do believe that it’s pretty misrepresentative of what many Christian groups like us stand for,” said John Calderon, a liberal studies major and a member of the Newman Club, a religious club on the SF State campus. As atheists do not believe in God, they simply do not believe that Judgment Day exists. Not all Christians, however, believe that May 21 will be Judgment Day either. Camping’s mathematical approach to the Bible has caused many Christians to question his assertions. In the past, Camping predicted that the Rapture would occur in 1994, but has since said that the calculation was incorrect due to his misinterpretation of a part of the Bible where there is a poten-

tial of shortening of time of the Rapture in the book of Matthew. “No one knows about the Judgment Day,” said Pastor Jerry Shaw, who has served the homeless community in the Bay Area for many years. “I am more concerned about getting more souls to the Kingdom than Judgment Day. Judgment Day will come anyway but nobody knows.” Camping’s prediction of Judgment Day is seen by many Christians as playing God, but Evans said there are many instances in the Bible when God uses one person to convey his message to the world. When the day comes, Evans said, there will be a huge earthquake and then, the true believers will go to God’s side instead of suffering in the devastated world. This taking away of the believers is called The Rapture. He also said that this time, they have the date right. “The difference now - May 21, 2011 - there is no question mark,” Evans said. “This is the day. There is no Biblical alternative. It’s taken 18 years to learn more and more about the Bible and now we’re convinced.”

STRESS: Preparation for final exams bring anxiety continued from Page 1 hours a week, Goodall has had no choice but to adapt to the stress. “I’ve given up what basically looks like a social life,” Goodall said. “When I’m not reading on BART, I sleep on it.” According to a national study, titled “The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2010” that interviewed 200,000 incoming students at four-year colleges, stress levels for freshmen are at an all-time high, while mental health is at an all-time low. The survey has been collecting data for the past 25 years. The study also found that the most common reasons students are feeling stressed are the economy and their ability to find jobs and the future debts they will incur from student loans. The numerous students who said their mental health was “above average” have steadily de-

clined by 12 percent from 64 to 52 percent in the past 25 years. To help students manage with their ever-increasing stress levels, the Counseling and Psychological Services Center put together a list of “Wellness Tips” for the student body to peruse. If the deluge of homework and finals has taken too much of a toll, the center offers counseling for stress during the fall and spring semesters.SF State even offers the Peggy H. Smith Counseling Clinic, which the department of counseling runs for individuals, couples and group support as training for graduate students. Campus organizations helped to ease the tension of on-campus students by hosting the annual Stress Relief Day where they offered educational games and ice cream with the biggest draw being a bounce house. Matthew Maxion contributed to this report.


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10 Wednesday, May 4, 2011 CALENDAR OF EVENTS Track & Field 5/5-7 CCAA Champi onships Turlock, CA Baseball 5/6 Cal State Stanislaus 3 p.m. 5/7 Cal State Stanislaus (DH) 11 a.m. 5/8 Cal State Stanislaus 12 p.m. For more information on game dates, visit www. sfstategators. com - GOLDEN GATE [X]PRESS

Gators lose series to CSDH Toros Baseball team drops four home games, continues descent By Juan Martinez It was deja vu for the SF State men’s baseball team as they lost yet another series, dropping three of four to visiting Cal State Dominguez Hills over the weekend. With a 14-32 overall record, the Gators have endured a disappointing season under second-year head coach Mike Cummins. They are 9-27 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association and 10-16 when they play at Maloney Field. The Gators have not won a conference series this year. “Bad thoughts start to creep in when you are losing,” Cummins said. “We need to be better defensively as a whole for sure. It is just one of those things. We got to get the baseball gods on our side.” The Toros (22-23, 17-19) torched SF State in the four-game series that began April 29 by outscoring the home team 23-13. As a result, the Gators lost their seventh series of the season

against conference opponents. “The reason why we have been losing is a combination of things,” Cummins said. “We have put the reps in, and it is not a lack of practice. It is more of a mental thing. We have lost some earlier games and have simply fallen into a pattern.” The problems all began in game one. SF State hit the ball well, but in the end the team was undercut by fielding mistakes. Although the Gators led for much of Friday’s contest, scoring four runs on 12 hits, they also committed six errors and allowed the Toros to come back. Down 4-2 in the top of the eighth inning, Cal State Dominguez Hills scored three runs after three different SF State infielders committed three errors. Junior infielder Will Klein and senior catcher Kevin Dultz extended the inning by allowing sophomore outfielder Kevin Logan to reach first and eventually make it to second base on two back-to-back errors. After left-handed relief pitcher Steven Dea walked senior infielder Carlos Leyva, senior catcher/designated hitter Kyle Pond hit a deep fly ball over the 345 sign in left field for a three-run home run. “Errors killed us,” said senior right-

handed pitcher A.J. Comaskey. “If we had not done any errors, we would have won.” Comaskey played an important role in helping the Gators avoid a sweep in the Saturday doubleheader match. SF State split the doubleheader with a 2-1 win in game two, the Gator’s only of the series, before losing game three 8-3. Still, Comaskey was scrappy and resilient in his performance. Not only did the April 25 - May 1 Wilson/CCAA pitcher of the week throw a complete game tallying 105 pitches, he also struck out a career-high 11 batters and gave up one earned run on five hits earning him his first win of the season. “I felt good and was relaxed when I took the mound,” he said. “I was not really looking for much. I basically had a mentality of don’t take nothing. My slider was working along with everything else. Dultz called a great game. The season is ending. We got to get it done.” As hard as the Gators tried, they could not avoid doing the one thing that has plagued them this entire season. They trailed the Toros on Sunday’s series finale by as much as three runs until they closed the gap in the bottom of the sixth inning when ju-

nior outfielders Dustin Wold and Trevor Pasiecznik each hit RBI singles to make it 5-4. Cal State Dominguez Hills would go on to seal the win in the final two innings by scoring three crucial runs. Wold, who leads the team with a .344 batting average and had a terrific series going a combined 7-13 with three RBIs and one run scored, thought games one and four were eerily similar. “We had 11 hits and there was a four-run difference because of errors in Sunday’s game,” he said. “We made six errors on Friday and five on Sunday. If we clean up our defense, we would win some games.” Wold also said that with four games left, the team hopes to finish strong, especially on May 8, when eight senior players will be recognized for playing their final game for the Gators. “We are trying to take these last four games,” Wold said. “We want to sweep Cal State Stanislaus. It has been a long season. Our seniors deserve our last game to be their day. Some of those guys are who set the example for the younger players. We emulate them. That goes for Ben Mielke and the rest of the seniors. Mielke sets the bar for us outfielders.”

MISHAPS Hands of stone

State falls short, errors undermine their offense

By Juan Martinez A combination of sloppy defense and a wind-shortened left-field porch combined to help sink the SF State men’s baseball team 6-4 against Cal State Dominguez Hills in the first game of a four-game series April 29. Though SF State recorded a season-high 12 hits, five Gators committed six errors throughout the contest, and reliever Steven Dea capped a haphazard eighth inning by surrendering the decisive three-run home run to the Toros’ Kyle Pond on a blustery day when three balls made it over the left field wall at Maloney Field. “The ball got up and traveled a little more than it usually does today,” said SF State head coach Mike Cummins. “Nevertheless, we lost the game because we did not do the little things. We did not run the bases well, put pitchers in tough situations and extended innings, and made six errors. Our pitchers kept it close and allowed us to compete, but they took advantage.” The teams traded leads early in the game on home runs by the Toros’ Barrett Ceverha and SF State’s Trever Pasiecznik, one of his three hits in the game. Andrew Suvunnachuen, Kevin Dultz and Dustin Wold also notched two hits apiece in the Gators’ 12-hit effort. Junior pitcher Branden Petrangelo pitched seven innings for the Gators and received a no decision, allowing three earned runs on eight hits while both walking and striking out four. The offense backed him with four runs and a 4-3 lead before Dea blew the save in the eighth amid a cacophony

of errors and slipshod play. With one out in the top of the eighth, the Toros’ Kevin Logan reached first on an error, stole second and ad-

vanced to third on another Gator throwing error. Dea walked Carlos Leyva to put runners at the corners before Pond launched a 1-0 pitch over the left-field wall, his second of the season. “Branden threw well today,” Pasiecznik said. “If we played an errorless game, then we would have won. It leaves a sour taste in your mouth when you play hard, but give the game away. The ball just hasn’t bounced our way this season. We have lost a lot of close games.” Wold, who entered the first game of the series with a team-high .292 batting average, did not seem concerned about the team’s pitching and defensive struggles. “I am not worried about our pitching,” Wold said. “Branden and the rest of the pitching staff battle. We sim-

ply had some little mistakes with runners getting picked off. Still, we want to come out with more fire and salvage the rest of the season. We are trying to win our last seven games.” The Gators’ remaining schedule has them playing four conference games versus the Cal State Stanislaus Warriors. SF State will host the Warriors May 6 and May 8, with the May 8 contest being Senior Day, the final regular season game for eight senior Gator players. “We are obviously sick of losing,” Pasiecznik said. “We want to do whatever we can to win a game.” “That senior class was here when I came,” Cummins said. “We are still in rebuilding mode. We are not where we want to be for sure that’s an understatement. I’m going to miss guys like Ben Mielke. He is our spiritual leader, has been really supportive, and has played his but off this season. Guy’s like that you will miss for sure.”


The latest game scores and statistics

BASEBALL 4/29 CSU Dominguez Hills L 4-6 4/30 CSU Dominguez Hills (DH) W 2-1, L 3-8 5/1 CSU Dominguez Hills L 4-8



¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Enjoy the day and your celabraciónes responsibly.

[X]Press Advertising Department




Wednesday, May 4, 2011 11

LEGACY Chip off the old block

Pitcher dedicated to family sport By Al Scott Just one year after being placed on the first-team All-NorCal selection at San Jose City College, junior pitcher Matthew Cummins packed his bags and headed up the US-101 freeway to SF State where he would begin a new chapter in his baseball career. Knowing that his uncle was leading the team at the swamp at SF State, Cummins made up his mind to transfer to SF State as soon as he was eligible. It wasn’t a difficult decision. “When Coach Cummins got the job here at SF State, I knew I wanted to come here,� Cummins said. “It isn’t everyday you get to play for your dad in high school and your uncle in college.� Coach Mike Cummins, Matthew’s uncle, is part of a long line of baseball players in the Cummins family. He began coaching the team last year and led SF State to 22 wins the previous year, the team’s most victorious season in four years. “Matt’s a fierce competitor,� said Gators head coach Mike Cummins. “He’s a guy who we want to have the ball at the end of the game because he competes and gets the job done.� At Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Matthew also played for his father Mark, who played in the minor leagues and continues to maintain his position as head coach. In high school, Matthew Cummins was a two-time Blossom Valley Athletic League player of the year and was also selected to participate in the 2007 Bay Area World Series. Cummins is one of 17 transfers who joined the Gators this season. On the field, he has been a major contributor to the team this season, leading the team with a 3.06 earned run average and four saves.

HEATER: SF State reliever Matthew Cummins pitches against Fresno Pacific Feb. 24 at Maloney field. “Matt’s a big part of the team,� said SF State outfielder Ivan Otsuka. “He brings good energy and confidence while closing out a game.� In addition to pitching, Cummins also assists in the infield, though he enjoys the sense of empowerment that pitching provides. “I like being in control,� Cummins said. “I like knowing that I’m better than the opponent. After I get the sign from the catcher, I focus and hit the spot. I like to think,


the love for the game that was passed down from generation to generation. While Cummins gets encouragement from his teammates and coaches, he draws the most inspiration from his late grandfather, who encouraged him not to quit and stay positive through tough situations. “My grandpa inspires me to play the game,� Cummins said. “Everyday when I am out on the baseball field I think of him and I know he is watching me and is very proud.�

aim small, miss small.� As Cummins has high expectations for himself, he has the same expectations for his team, which has had a forgettable season thus far. The team is currently in last place in the California Collegiate Athletic Association conference, but Cummins believes the team has a chance to improve toward the end of the season. Though the Gators won’t see postseason play, Cummins continues to embody



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12 Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - GOLDEN GATE [X]PRESS

Golden Gate Xpress Issue #14  

The student publication of the San Francisco State University Journalism Department.

Golden Gate Xpress Issue #14  

The student publication of the San Francisco State University Journalism Department.