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hutton marshall senior staff writer
sdsu hits spike in faculty hires For the first time in several years, San Diego State is not expected to have a significant decline in faculty members from the previous fall to this semester. This year, 42 new faculty members are expected to balance out the number of lecturers and tenured professors lost in the past year: However, SDSU Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs Edith Benkov said, “we are nowhere near out of the woods.” Benkov said while this hiring period was relatively larger than others in the past few years, it is possible the next hiring period will be significantly smaller next fall.
despite increase in professors, math department suffers
antonio zaragoza, photo editor
“We’re not really hiring for next year at this point,” she said. “We don’t plan on this recent spike as being a trend that will continue next year.” The exact number of faculty gained and lost during the past year will not be available until October when all of the facts will be released, so commentary at this point is an estimate. Benkov, however, has confidence in SDSU’s budgeting ability during the currently challenging economic times.
“SDSU has always done well in managing its money. We’ve always found ways to get around budget cuts, but with the recent increase in cuts, everyone is stretched as thin as they can be,” Benkov said. Several faculty members in SDSU’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics share Benkov’s skepticism. The entire SDSU College of Sciences received only three of the 42 incoming faculty, and the department was forced to reduce its five fulltime lecturer staff to one part-time lecturer. In October of last year, the department wrote a letter signed by the division of mathematics and applications’ 13 faculty members to Provost Nancy A. Marlin. It outlined the crippled state of SDSU’s mathematics department in comparison to those of other California State Universities. SDSU has a ratio of .48 math professors for every 1,000 students that the letter states, “puts us at the level of universities of the lowest academic standards.” This proportion is significantly lower than other schools in the CSU system, such as Cal State Northridge and San Jose State. Both have more
than twice as many math professors proportional to their student bodies. “At our current critical levels of staffing, the education of our students and our research are both being jeopardized,” the department wrote. “We are offering fewer and larger undergraduate classes, and (have) canceled many upper division and graduate-level classes.” These cutbacks have been occurring steadily across the entire CSU system for the past decade. Since the late ‘90s, student enrollment has increased by 18 percent. Instructional faculty has only increased by 7 percent during that period and tenureline instructional faculty has not increased at all. According to the California Faculty Association, executive salaries, such as those of the campus presidents and the CSU chancellor, have increased by 71 percent while student fees have increased 263 percent. “In short, we are over-stretched beyond our limits,” finished the letter. “We are asked to do more and more with less and less.”
It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green
courtesy of walt disney records
blogger Here’s a question for all the music trivia buffs out there: What do movie composer John Williams, poet John S. Hall, rap group The Kottonmouth Kings, rock band Weezer and The Muppets all have in common? If you guessed “a Green album,” you would be right. Looking to promote the big-screen return of everyone’s favorite puppets in November, Walt Disney Records has released “Muppets: The Green Album,” a compilation of classic Muppet songs covered by contemporary artists, such as Weezer, OK Go and My Morning Jacket. Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of Disney’s need to re-release classic
soundtracks—like “The Nightmare Before Christmas”—with performances by new artists. And while I love classic Muppet songs like “Bein’ Green” and “The Rainbow Connection,” I love them as they are, performed by Kermit the Frog, not Good Charlotte. With all of this in mind, I actually think “Muppets: The Green Album” is pretty good. The album does what a lot of these types of cover compilations do not: It offers updated versions of classic songs, but still stays true to the originals. Cover songs on this type of compilation tend to be either nothing more than karaoke versions, or are “updated” beyond recognition. “Muppets: The Green Album” strikes a good balance between these two extremes.
For instance, Alkaline Trio puts a pop-punk twist on “Moving Right Along,” which is both new and complimentary to the original song from “The Muppet Movie.” OK Go’s cover of “The Muppet Show Theme” is strange and energetic -- but then again, so was “The Muppet Show.” The highlight of the album, Andrew Bird’s “Bein’ Green,” is more melancholy than Kermit the Frog’s version ever was, but it is reminiscent of Caroll Spinney’s Big Bird version, sung at Jim Henson’s memorial service. “Muppets: The Green Album” is a surprisingly good compilation of surprisingly good covers. If nothing else, Disney’s handling of this album did what it was supposed to do -- made me excited for “The Muppets” this November.
Paqui: Bringing home-cooked meals to the dorms
jennifer bowman blogger
courtesy of kiori snyder I miss the comfort of a home-cooked meal. Most freshmen think the meal plans are great here – you are constantly eating out, you don’t have to worry about making your own meals and eating on campus is fast and convenient. I think differently.
This transition has been a challenge for me. I went from cooking every meal I ate and rarely dining out to eating nothing but what is offered in the dining hall or on campus. So instead of resorting to the luxury dorm meals such as Lean Cuisine or Easy Mac, I decide to take an adventure to Trader Joe’s and do a little grocery shopping. For me, grocery shopping is therapeutic and is secretly one of my favorite pastimes – so you can
imagine the smile on my face as I grazed through the aisles of fresh food like a little kid in a candy store. That night, I came home with bags full of groceries unattainable from the usual Aztec Market. Now my mini fridge is stocked with fresh fruit and veggies and other items I can easily prepare meals with. Now I’m sure you are wondering what kind of meals I could pos-
sibly make since I’m only allowed a microwave in my dorm room. It’s actually quite easy. Last night I made what was probably the best meal I have eaten since I have been at college (partly because it reminded me of home). In my microwave, I made lemon pepper chicken and brown rice with fresh cut tomatoes and avocado on top and a splash of balsamic vinegar to add flavor. The chicken was just rotisserie-style found in the store’s
refrigerator section; the brown rice was frozen and needed just three minutes to heat up. For those of you in dying need of a home-cooked meal just as I was, feel free to try this simple and easy recipe. My meal cost roughly $5.50 (per serving) – much less than those offered on campus and for a lot more food. Not bad for a starving college student’s budget.
$500 million campaign unveiled bill crotty, news editor photo by antonio zaragoza, photo editor
“The Campanile Foundation set a goal,” Kit Sickels, chair of TCF, said. “We’ve reached the halfway point, and are now taking the effort public.” The campaign’s primary goals focus on improving the lives of students and strengthening the economy of the local region. According to SDSU President Elliot Hirshman, it will highlight the university by supporting staff and students, and this is a critical campaign because it will ensure SDSU’s ability to continue providing a high quality education for generations to come. “These funds are necessary to support our extraordinary students,” Hirshman said. “Students from diverse backgrounds; students who face financial challenges; students who have special academic, artistic
and athletic gifts; student veterans; and students such as our guardian scholars.” Hirshman, SDSU’s eighth president, and his wife made a $100,000 donation to this campaign. The four goals highlighted in the campaign are very diverse areas that involve people from every walk of life on campus, in the community and in the region. Engaging the region By supporting a variety of existing programs, such as initiatives in K12 education and assisting students veterans, the region as a whole can benefit from the massive pool of funds that will be streamlined into the many local programs supported by SDSU. The Campaign for SDSU is noted to be “A radical stimulus for the innovation of new, progressive policies and events,” which may include linking the community in the area even more closely with the university through philanthropic events, or by finding ways to help San Diego students in the K-12 system be more able to attend college. “One specific gift will go to fund an
endowment focusing on academic enhancement,” Hirshman said. “Funds from the endowment will be used to support scholarships and academic initiatives.” Hirshman also said additional gifts made this past week include a $500,000 commitment from entrepreneur Irwin Zahn to support entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering, and another $500,000 from Sharp Healthcare for scholarships in nursing. This past week’s donations, as of press time, totaled $1.6 million. Another way the campaign will promote engagement in the region is through support of the Student Veteran Organization on campus, which Tess Banko, vice president of SVO, said Hirshman is committed to. “President Hirshman said what we have in place is great, but that we need better,” Banko said. “A really significant way the funds could be used is to build or obtain permanent housing on campus for veterans, because the current home of SVO has a lease which will expire next year.”
Leading innovation Becoming a more prominent research university is another of the primary goals for the campaign. Many education professionals, including professors from other universities who are known as leaders in research, are excited for the possibilities this program may lead to. But, some professors are also skeptical about how the money will be used in specific areas. “SDSU, even more so than University of California San Diego, is positioned to get students in the field, boots on the ground, solving problems in the community,” Dr. Keith Pezzoli, director of field research and professor in urban studies and planning at UCSD, said. According to the university, SDSU will be attempting to create additional endowed chairs, thereby attracting leading scholars to enrich the academic life of the campus and enhancing the value of a degree from SDSU. Competing globally SDSU is located in a precarious region that has many geographical
attributes, such as wildfires, earthquakes and unique ecological characteristics shared across a national border. According to the university, another area the campaign focuses on is increasing scholarship opportunities for students seeking to study abroad and to bring in even more internationally recognized scholars. These resources could allow SDSU’s students and faculty to focus on regional problems within the community, such as issues related to the watershed shared with Mexico, or to work on national issues that may bring SDSU more prominence in the global society. “If they’re using the money to get more interaction between researchers and the community, that’s a good thing,” Pezzoli said. Fueling potential Throughout the past 20 years, SDSU has averaged more than 7,200 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees per year. Ensuring the university is able to continue this trend of transforming thousands of students from high school graduates into specialized field professionals
is of benefit to not only San Diego, but to the national and global economies. One way the university will continue this trend is through a part of The Campaign for SDSU called Fuel Potential Scholarship Campaign. According to the university, gifts to this specific part of the campaign will “ensure that SDSU’s most deserving students have access to the transformational power of a college degree.” So far, more than $32 million has already been raised in this area. Donations Among the highlights of this campaign are those who contribute to it and the reasons they have done so. Many donors choose to contribute to a specific area, but all because of the benefit to SDSU. “It’s a personal decision to say ‘I’m proud of SDSU,’ period,” Craig Stevens, CEO of Mar West Real Estate and ’82 graduate of the SDSU College of Business Administration, said. Gwen Notestine, who works with TCF to bring donors in, said it is great to be a part of the campaign, and
to be able to facilitate the donor’s philanthropy. “It’s exciting to watch how it makes an impact and provides more resources for veterans,” Notestine said. The bottom line The campaign will, as Hirshman put it, support students, as a group, because they will be the future leaders of society. Even more impressive than the benefit to students though, is the resounding impact this campaign has the potential to make. There are many reasons why students should be excited about this new fundraiser, but Associated Students President Cody Barbo said it best at a recent conference. “The university’s new slogan is ‘Leadership starts here,’” Barbo said. “Those of us on campus, going to school, can’t become the leaders this region needs without the support of the community.” More information about The Campaign for SDSU can be found at sdsu.edu/campaign. More information on donating to SDSU can be found through The Campanile Foundation.
In 2007, The Campanile Foundation embarked upon a goal of raising $500 million during a seven-year span in the first ever universitywide fundraising campaign in the school’s history. Aptly named The Campaign for SDSU was made public last Thursday and its staggering implication may affect every aspect of Aztec life on campus.
sustaining organic options The first Green Lunch Bag Series event of the semester was a success, according to Morgan Chan, Associated Students’ sustainability commissioner. Despite the reception of this AS initiative, another of Green Love’s movements seems to be getting the red light. “It was exciting to see every seat full with quite a few students taking seats on the floor,” Chan said. A “Go” for Green Bags GLBS, a program hosted by the Green Love Sustainability Advisory Board and San Diego State’s Center for Regional Sustainability, offers free monthly organic luncheons. The program’s purpose is to educate students, faculty, staff and administrators about issues pertaining to sustainability. According to Chan, professionals join the conversation by speaking about sustainability in their own fields of expertise, including topics ranging from sustainable energy to health and nutrition. “Sustainable might sound like New Age jargon, but college students are embracing the idea of food grown locally with ecologically sound and seasonally sensitive methods,” Bruce
Horovitz wrote in an article for USA Today. Yet as clubs such as Green Love are extending its knowledge and embracing sustainability, the rest of SDSU’s students don’t seem to be as welcoming, especially as sustainable foods challenge their financial sustainability. Aztec Shops expresses concerns At A.S.’s first semester meeting, Chan presented Green Love’s challenge for Aztec Shops: To have them sign a commitment to have the store’s produce be 20 percent “real food” by 2020. According to Paul Melchior, SDSU’s director of dining services, the “Real Food Challenge commitment” consists of four requirements: Genetically Modified Organism-free, locally-grown, humanely produced and organic food. Melchior said most, if not all, of Aztec Shop’s produce is GMO-free. He also said Aztec Shops buys local when possible, yet feeding in large volumes and having an average of 30,000 customers per day makes it challenging. “We need to go beyond the San Diego region,” Melchior said.
Last summer, Aztec Shops began to sell cage-free eggs on campus. The commitment was expensive, according to Melchior, and cost the not-for-profit corporation $20,000 per year, but egg prices were not raised to students because of the change. Having all organic produce is the toughest request, according to Melchior. “If the campus community wants to buy all organic and are willing to pay extra then that’s what we need to provide,” he added. According to Melchior, the University of California, San Diego has signed the commitment. Yet UCSD has a different operating module than SDSU and Aztec Shops’ operation. Aztec Shops, functioning primarily as an auxiliary of the university, cannot sign for the university. Melchior also said SDSU has a different student base. “They keep telling us they want lower prices and better value,” Melchior said. “They’re not telling us they want organic.” Four years ago, Aztec Shops made its salad bar 100 percent organic.
arturo garcia staff writer
The food was labeled organic and thereafter students were asked about the change: For 95 percent of students polled, the change was not important. After a semester of apathy, more money was invested in having prime rib and more seafood. Melchior said he does not know what percentage of its produce is currently organic, but he is confident it is less than 20 percent. “We are a not-for-profit organization and 100 percent self-funded so we are not able to commit to covering the extra cost to provide organic at no extra cost to the customer,” he said. “We are here to present to you what you want to buy.” There are several “green” things currently being done without the need of a signature. Two years ago, Styrofoam was eliminated from campus, reusable containers were introduced to East Commons and all pre-consumer food waste on campus was composted as well as post-consumer waste in the dining room and faculty staff club. The next GLBS lunch will be on Oct. 12 and Aztec Shops will be participating in Food Day on Oct. 24.
“they keep telling us they want lower prices and better value. they’re not telling us they want organic.” - paul melchior, sdsu director of dining service
antonio zaragoza, photo editor
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alum inspire at happiest place on earth After years of aspiring to work for the imaginative world of Disneyland, Scott Sabens and Dylan Olson were both given the opportunity to live their dreams as Disney engineers. “I always wanted to work in the amusement park industry but I never thought that I would be working for Disney as an Imagineer so soon out of school. It’s been a dream come true,” Sabens said. During their junior year at San Diego State, Sabens and Olson participated in the ImagiNations Design Competition where they designed a ride based on the Disney-Pixar film, “The Incredibles.” Last year, they won the semi-finalist title, meaning their journey stopped after the competition. After a long year of contemplating whether to enter the competition again, they both decided to give the dream another shot. Their task in this year’s competition was to “design a unique, diverse and
creative experience that maximizes enjoyment for guests.” This year, the two-man team won the finalist title for their unique ride concept “The Curse of Mythica Mine.” This ride was a thrilling adventure through the dark and abandoned caves of Mythica Mine. Their idea wasn’t inspired by any Disney film, but was based on myths and folklore from the old west days of the Gold Rush. “We developed a hybrid enhancedmotion vehicle roller coaster ride experience that subjects riders through a series of exciting thrills,” Sabens said. The one-week process of creating the “The Curse of Mythica Mine” involved a lot of teamwork and time from the SDSU team. “Together, we came up with the concept, designed the ride system and layout, developed the story of our attraction, and built the models.
I drew most of the artwork, but besides that it was a mutual effort,” Olson explained. Because the competition was only to enhance students’ imagination and creativity, the rides were not showcased or built at any of the Disneyland theme parks. However, after being part of the final six teams, Sabens and Olson were granted an interview for the opportunity to participate in an internship as Disney engineers. “I started (the internship) in February of this year and since then I have probably worked on about 15 to 20 different projects. Our office is very fast-paced,” Olson said. Since beginning his internship, Sabens has workied at Disney California Adventure creating “Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree,” a ride inspired by the Disney-Pixar film “Cars.” This attraction will be located in the all-new Cars Land and will be open to the public by next summer.
Another task in his internship has been to build and test the new Red Car Trolley that will run along California Adventure and Buena Vista Street, through the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, ending at the Tower of Terror. “This attraction, along with the new main entrance design, will bring the excitement and romance of Los Angeles as Walt Disney himself saw it when he first arrived to California to begin his adventure,” Sabens said. Sabens and Olson, who are still interning for Disney, said they have learned many new things and hope to extend their stay. They encourage any SDSU engineer student to compete in ImagiNations. “It was one the most memorable, eyeopening, overwhelming and exciting weeks of my life. You will never know the meaning of all-nighters until you start designing an attraction, but it is a great opportunity,” Olson said.
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