USF rises in college
rankings, named top
diverse school in the
THE UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO
THURSDAY, SEPT. 30 2021 • VOL. 119, ISSUE 04
SCENE OPINION SPORTS
Bay Area bands bring live
The health benefits that
music back to the city’s
encourage you to consider a
scene with the help of local
radio stations and venues.
CENSUS OUT: MIXED RESULTS FOR USF
University see some enrollment positives but
pandemic-driven challenges continue
The University says that enrollment is heading in a positive direction after two full academic years impacted by COVID-19. PHOTO
BY MIGUEL ARCAYENA/SAN FRANCISCO FOGHORN
Recently, the University shared the results
from its fall 2021 census with faculty
and staff members. Census Day, Sept. 10,
provides total student enrollment (both undergraduate
and graduate) for the 2021-22
academic year and will help curate the next
UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO
UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO
OCTOBER — 2021
GLEESON LIBRARY 5–6:15 P.M.
All that you touch: Climate
Currently, the total student population
stands at 10,039, which is 10 students over
the budgeted target for fiscal year 2022. The
number dropped slightly by 0.3% from last
year’s enrollment numbers. However, the
actual 5,941 undergraduate students outperformed
the University’s budgeted target by
Continue on page 3
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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS
ONLINE WEBINAR 6:30–8 P.M.
Feeling Jewish: Nostalgia and
American Jewish Religion
Women’s soccer courses
PUNK IS NOT DEAD AND
NEITHER IS THE SF MUSIC
Izzie Clark of Thank You Come Again performs
at Knockout Sept. 24. PHOTO BY CALLIE FAU-
SEY / SAN FRANCISCO FOGHORN
I’M PROUD TO BE A PART OF AN
INSTITUTION WITH A STRONG
COMMITMENT TO SOCIAL
JUSTICE BECAUSE OF MICKEY’S
INFLUENCE, WHERE MY PAS-
SION FOR CONTRIBUTING TO
CHANGE FIRST BEGAN.
Freedom and Fairness
Editor in Chief
DOES USF REQUIRE TOO MANY
DOMINIQUE CADENAS CALVO
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PHOTO COURTESY OF USF WIDEN
GRAPHIC BY SAMANTHA CADENAS-ARZATE/GRAPHICS CENTER
USF requires its students to complete
an exhaustive list of core requirements: public
speaking, rhetoric, math, science, literature,
history, philosophy, theology, ethics,
social science, and art. With nearly three
semesters of our undergraduate career dedicated
to these 11 core requirements, there is
great value in the quantity and variety of the
University’s general education classes.
The argument can be made that taking
a variety of classes outside of our majors
broadens our horizons. If a student comes
to college uncertain about what they’d like
to dedicate their lives to, completing USF’s
core requirements can be enlightening. Exploring
multiple subjects can help students
understand themselves, the University, and
our greater community.
However, the amount of time that cores
take can make completing them feel tedious.
Whether we are in a humanities or science
major, several core requirements lay outside
our general area of interest. Many students
may not be looking forward to completing
the rest of their cores once they’ve completed
the more tolerable ones. Some classes can
be heavy on reading or more technical, and
their level of feasibility depends on one’s
academic strengths. We might also feel like
our time and tuition would be better spent
focusing on field work or getting more real-world
experience in our majors through
Regardless of the major or field one
goes into, there is immense value in a broad
liberal arts education. It supplies us with diverse
knowledge and critical thinking skills
that we can draw upon, no matter our field
of work. The value comes from the versatility.
Additionally, USF uses the notion of
college core requirements to create considerate
members of society. With the innovative
cultural diversity and service learning
requirements, students are able to engage
with their community and learn more about
the importance of uplifting voices within
our respective communities and the world
It is a nice compromise that many core
classes are often curated to different majors,
and students are allowed to “double dip,”
or fulfill two requirements with one class.
For example, students can fulfill their cultural
diversity requirement with a specialized
literature class, or their service learning
requirement with a philosophy or ethics
USF’s core requirements are useful because,
without them, underclassmen would
be forced to take upper division classes in
their majors before they are academically
ready to engage with such material. They
would also miss out on the opportunity of
stepping into other academic worlds and
learning about new subjects beyond one’s
limited perspectives. On top of that, not all
students start their cores in their first year
or take them all simultaneously, so our requirements
provide a palate cleanser to help
balance the rigors of our major classes.
CENSUS OUT: MIXED RESULTS FOR USF • Front Page
In an email to the Foghorn, April Crabtree, interim vice provost for strategic
enrollment management, said the University “should be proud” of USF’s
current enrollment numbers since there were “incredible challenges in reaching
out to students to tell the USF story given the lack of in-person recruitment
that was available.”
Among the most noteworthy details in this year’s findings is the 27.4%
increase of first-year students from last fall’s remote semester. Last academic
year’s number of enrolled first-year students was the University’s lowest mark
since 2013. Today, there are 1,455 first-year students: a 1.7% increase from
USF’s budgeted projection.
Crabtree said their office was not surprised by the findings nor were there
any missed targets or underestimates. “Our results were very close to the goals
set,” she said. The return to mostly in-person classes can be attributed to the
increase and provided the University with a better outlook. “The 2020-2021
virtual learning cycle gave a lot of students time to think about how they learn
best. For many students who are strong fits for a USF education, acting in and
with community, building relationships, and in-person learning are how they
engage best,” Crabtree said.
There were some significant demographic changes among new first-year
students. Compared to last fall, first-year Asian identifying students fell by
2.4% and there was a 0.9% drop in first-year Black students. However, there
was a 3.8% increase in first-year Hispanic or Latino students.
Meanwhile, the overall transfer student targets of 330 for this fall fell shy
of two students. Crabtree explained that this missed projection is a reflection
of the national decline in students attending community colleges. As a result,
Crabtree and her team “hope that our [USF’s] new transfer success and belonging
initiative will address some of these challenges.”
Despite some positive growth and USF’s increasing focus on virtual recruitment,
which Crabtree said provided the University “the opportunity to
invite everyone to connect in a host of new ways,” lingering effects from the
pandemic continued this academic year.
Notably, the University saw a sharp decline among international students,
particularly those from China, who typically make up the bulk of this demographic.
The enrollment of first-year international students from China
dropped 23.8% this fall.
Crabtree said they had anticipated this number. “I think we knew starting
last fall that enrolling international students and transfer students given the
pandemic would be very challenging due to factors far outside USF’s control,”
she said. “Travel restrictions, difficulties in getting appointments for visas, and
other concerns about how the U.S. has handled the coronavirus pandemic
were completely expected.”
While the sophomore return rate grew by 10%, junior retention and
graduation rates decreased. The University projected a 74% return rate for the
junior class this year, however, only 70% of this cohort has returned since fall
2019. In addition, USF’s institutional four-year graduation rate fell by 4.4%.
Jeff Hamrick, vice provost of institutional budget, planning, and analytics,
said the jump in the rising sophomore return rate surprised him since
the budget target they set for second-year retention was already high but “still
wasn’t quite aggressive enough.” Conversely, the lower junior return and graduation
rate “suggests there is some kind of differential behavior, as they’ve
[students] traveled through the pandemic,” said Hamrick.
For international student junior Nathan Te, his decision to stay home
in the Philippines and skip his first semester of junior year last fall was the
right choice. “I’ve been happy about my decision to defer because I feel like
I would've wasted a semester not getting the same learning experience as I
would with in-person classes.” Although Te admitted he gets a bit sad knowing
most of his friends are graduating sooner, he said getting the most out of his
college experience was more important.
Although USF enrollment numbers have been fluctuating, the University
again saw its discount rate, the calculated financial aid that the University provides
to all students, return to its normal long-term rising trend. Overall, the
USF discount rate rose to 33.8% compared to last year’s 32.9%. The discount
rate for first-year students has also increased by 1.1% since last fall.
The mixed enrollment results have given USF some optimism to share
and strategic admission initiatives to work on. According to Hamrick’s email
to faculty and staff on Sept. 15, “the Office of Planning and Budget is fairly
confident that forecasted total net revenue will be slightly higher than budget,
driven by a better-than-expected gross revenue outcome, a better-than-expected
mix of discounting outcomes across various student groups, and
worse-than-expected revenues from some auxiliary resources.”
Further, Hamrick said that the gap between what will be planned revenues
and expenses for fiscal year 2023 will be smaller than previously expected.
“These census outcomes have caused us to revise that gap downwards a bit. We
don’t think it will be as high as it was four months ago.”
In the meantime, Crabtree said most student demographics remained
strong for the University’s diversity given that it was recently named as the
top diverse higher education institution in the country. Still, their team will
work on specific areas that need attention, including the continued decreased
admissions of male-identifying undergraduate students.
“Continuing to engage in honest, thoughtful conversations on our future
as one USF will be critical. Listening openly with empathy and grace will be
critical. Doing this together will move us forward,” said Crabtree.
The return to mostly in-person classes has led to a rebound in enrollment. GRAPHIC BY SAMANTHA BERLANGA/SAN FRANCISCO FOGHORN
In USF’s vision, mission and values statement,
one of the University’s strategic initiatives is to “enroll,
support and graduate a diverse student body.”
In the latest US News and World Report 2022 Best
Colleges rankings, USF was placed at number one
for diversity and ranked in the top third among
national universities in its overall standing.
The University jumped four spots from last
year’s diversity rankings, and tied this year with
Stanford University and the University of Nevada,
Las Vegas for the top spot.
According to the University's student demographics,
the existing data supports this placement.
Last fall, students of color comprised 75.2% of the
incoming freshmen class. As of this current fall semester,
nearly 70% of the total student population
are of color.
Specifically, 22% of total students are of Asian
descent, 21% are Latino, 8% are multiracial, and
7% are African American. USF community members
have expressed deep pride for the University’s
admirable diversity scores. In a statement provided
via email, Provost Julia Chinyere Oparah expressed
how the rankings are deeply reflective of USF’s focus
on its social justice based mission. “Too many
institutions of higher education pay lip service to
the importance of equity and inclusion, but fail to
live up to their stated commitments,” wrote Oparah.
“This ranking positions USF as a model for a
nation grappling with how to address deep rooted
patterns of racism and educational exclusion,” she
While the University prides itself on student
diversity, its full-time faculty does not quite reflect
the same data. As of last fall, white professors made
up 56% of full-time faculty, Latino professors
made up 10%, and Asian professors made up 15%.
However, out of the 453 full-time faculty members,
African Americans only made up 4%.
The University says it is always looking to improve
its faculty demographics to better reflect the
student population. USF’s Senior Vice Provost for
Equity, Inclusion, and Faculty Excellence Pamela
Balls Organista said, “I look forward to working
The University jumped rankings in student excellence, financial resources, and alumni giving categories. PHOTO BY MIGUEL
ARCAYENA/SAN FRANCISCO FOGHORN
with our schools and college to develop a diverse
faculty community that matches the rich diversity
of our student body, and has lived experience in
relation to the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender,
sexuality, class, religion, and nation.”
The rankings also highlighted USF’s School
of Nursing and Health Professions (SONHP) and
overall national standing. SONHP’s undergraduate
nursing program ranked 23rd out of 694 undergraduate
nursing schools, falling in the top 4%
nationwide. This is US News & World Report’s
first time to include undergraduate nursing schools
in its annual college rankings, given the high demand
for nurses due to the pandemic.
Sophomore nursing major Lucy Lundell
said USF’s social justice driven values “drew me
to USF’s program.” She continued by saying that
“cura personalis,” or care for the entire person, is
“carried into all aspects of our learning, especially
when we enter the clinical setting.”
USF placed as the 103rd best US college
overall, 113th best for student excellence, and a
top 100 choice for international students. US
News was not the only source to highly rank USF.
The University was also recognized by the Princeton
Review’s Best 387 Colleges Report for 2022.
The national survey acknowledged students’ praise
for USF’s small class sizes, favorable work opportunities,
and beautiful location. “A USF education
empowers students to make an impact in the world
in an area that [they] are passionate about,” said
the Princeton Review.
A week prior to the release of national rankings,
USF received another notable achievement as
the first Jesuit institute in the world to be officially
designated as an Age-Friendly University (AFU).
One of only 83 universities recognized by the AFU
Global Network, the University welcomes over
1,000 students aged 35 and over each semester
who attend USF’s Fromm Institute for Lifelong
Although the University faces new challenges,
recent accolades show optimism for USF and
its campus community members’ current standing
and overall reputation nationally.
STAYING ONLINE: USF COMMUNITY REFLECTS
ON HYBRID CLASSES
In a Sept. 2020 Foghorn article, several University professors commented
on a common sentiment among faculty and students: the lost communal
sense with online education. While most campus community members have
returned to the classroom a year later, some faculty members and students
have remained online.
Currently, classes at USF are conducted through a variety of instructional
modes: online, hybrid, hyflex, and in-person. Though some faculty members
chose to continue teaching remotely because of obligatory health and logistical
circumstances, others have been assigned to continue instructing virtually
by the University.
Ken Sonkin, a performing arts professor, made the choice to conduct his
acting class online this semester in the interest of safety. “We are not done
with this pandemic,” he said. With uncertainty surrounding the Delta variant,
Sonkin said he felt a personal responsibility to hold his larger classes online.
While Sonkin said he does not regret this decision, he did admit that
there are certain elements of in-person instruction that cannot be substituted.
“You cannot teach acting on a computer,” he said. Ultimately, though, Sonkin
has been able to adapt to online instruction, finding his own, unique ways to
build a sense of community in his classes.
“Everyone has a story,” Sonkin said. He is still able to form connections
with his students by getting a glimpse of their lives through their Zoom
screens. However, when he had the opportunity to meet some of his virtual
students for an in-person workshop that he hosted outside of class, Sonkin
described it as a thrilling experience that felt more like a reunion than their
first time meeting.
Sonkin’s views were echoed by some students. Kassandra Lopez, a freshman
nursing major, said, “There are definitely things about in-person education
that cannot be replaced. Things like a professor deciding to hold class
outside because it was a nice day or having audible and authentic reactions
from other people. In-person education, in my opinion, is truly irreplaceable.”
In contrast, freshman psychology major Nikita Thomas finds that Zoom
fosters a flexible and low-pressure environment that best caters to students’
needs. Thomas said she struggles with social anxiety and when creating her
schedule she aimed to have a balance between in-person and remote classes.
“It is nice to have a break from class one day and actually go into class another
day, it brings a sense of relief, in a way.”
However, Thomas did acknowledge that online classes can become “incredibly
distracting” and said there is an added sense of personal accountability
that comes with virtual learning.
This level of distraction was a common issue through the last two remote
semesters and has continued among students for some professors. Sangman
Kim, a biology professor said, “It is understandably easier for students to feel
anonymous and it is certainly easier to get distracted.” He said the amount of
students who have their cameras off can be “discouraging to instructors” as
some students are “clearly not present despite being logged on.”
Kallie Barrie, a senior politics major, is also balancing in-person and virtual
classes. For her, there are positives and negatives to a hybrid learning experience.
“My Spanish class meets once a week remotely. It’s nice just for a foreign
language to have once a week where we’re not talking with our masks on
because sometimes you need to be able to read somebody’s lips,” said Barrie.
Her anthropology class, which is fully remote, is an 8 a.m. which she
gets to complete from the comfort of her apartment. She said, “We get to
actually do some cooking demos. We did a taste experiment last week which
we wouldn’t have been able to do if we were in person because I don’t think I
would have felt comfortable taking off my mask to eat.”
Admittedly, there are days where Barrie struggles with navigating her
classes. She finds in-person classes to be taxing because “going from seeing
the same five people all of the time to what feels like a million new faces and
having to be so social is just a different energy. It’s awkward to balance the
two of them. I definitely feel like on the days where I am fully remote, I have
more free time. Mental health wise, it’s easier to balance everything I have
After months of longing for a sense of normalcy and familiarity, a majority
of students and faculty have enjoyed the return to campus. Even so,
the adjustment to a modified classroom experience has some receptive to the
continued integration of virtual and in-person connections.
Biology professor Sangman Kim teaches his 9 a.m. class online from home. PHOTO COURTESY OF SANGMAN KIM
A ROCKING RESURRECTION: LIVE MUSIC
RETURNS TO SAN FRANCISCO
In the wake of San Francisco independent music venue reopenings, the city’s
music scene has been partially revitalized following COVID-19 logistical complications.
In line with this revival, Knockout, a bar in the Mission District, hosted
a punk show presented by Psyched! Radio Sept. 24 and featured Bay Area bands
Buzzed Lightbeer, Trash Vampires, Thank You Come Again, and Gorgeous Dykes.
Buzzed Lightbeer, who describe themselves as “SF fem slop rock,” a sub-genre
mixed of grunge, ‘60s garage rock, and blues, were the first to take the stage. Their
sound is reminiscent of American punk rock bands like Destroy Boys. They began
the show on a high note, with loud, distorted electric guitar riffs, heavy drum beats
and basslines, and brought a lot of raw energy to the small bar.
Following Buzzed Lightbeer was Trash Vampires. According to its lead singer
and guitarist Mark Gee, the band’s name originates from The Halo Benders song
“Your Asterisk,” in which there is a line referring to someone as a trash vampire.
“I was that trash vampire,” said Gee. “And then I summoned the rest of my
garbage piles and we started a band.”
During their set, audience members could be seen crowd surfing to the band’s
songs like “Man of Wax.” The song comes from their album “Not Anger, Anxiety,”
which features heavy, loud instrumentals and hardcore vocals.
“The vibe is there, the love is there, the energy is there,” said show attendee
David Hill in reference to Trash Vampire’s set.
Influenced by American rock bands Papa Roach and Smash Mouth, guitarist
and self-titled “spiritual leader” of the band Jared Amdahl described their sound as
“garage rock or grungy.”
“They always told me to just listen to Smash Mouth on repeat to prepare for
the shows,” said the band's new keyboardist, Darren Ivano.
This was Trash Vampire’s second performance since live shows resumed in the
city. Gee described the resumption of playing live shows as “wildly stressful,” which
was met with nods of agreement from the rest of the band’s members.\
“For me, it’s hard to know when it’s right to play a show,” said Ivano. “It’s a
constant battle between determining whether it’s appropriate to go out for health
concerns, but also the people need music and we can provide that, so how do
we balance consideration for people’s physical health with [that of] their spiritual
For the members of Thank You Come Again, it was their first show since
Feb. 2020. Lead singer and guitarist Izzie Clark described the band’s genre as “an
explosion of every past mistake and future hopeful dream that you ever want, with
a side of speed metal.” Their energetic set had the crowd moshing and people head
banging at the front of the stage.
Thank You Come Again’s origin story began with Clark and guitarist
Danny Lomeli meeting outside of Cafe du Nord on Market St. in 2018. Clark
had approached Lomeli for a lighter and in return told him a
joke, which led to a conversation about music. Candid
connections like these were missed when lockdown
caused the widespread closures of many independent
music venues in the city.
“I thought I was gonna be nervous and
scared, but it actually just felt very comfortable
and I was ecstatic to play
again,” said Clark, a senior
media stud- ies
major at USF.
“The pandemic happened right as we were starting to play more shows, so that
was rough at first,” said Oakland-based artist Lucy Bayne of the Gorgeous Dykes, a
new wave, post-punk band who closed out the night. Bayne and her partner, fellow
frontwoman Ana Ayon, both said it was overwhelming to be around such a large
number of people.
Despite the nerves from performing and an uncomfortable interaction the
couple had with a man who tried grabbing Ayon’s hand as an attempt to hit on her
after their set, Gorgeous Dykes were filled with excitement over sharing their music
live once again. They said that they used the time during quarantine to evolve their
style and take more risks with their music.
“The songs we were most looking forward to were the last two in our set,
‘Diablo Creek’ and ‘Swords Reversed,’” said Ayon, describing the songs as dancey
and fun. “We get really playful on the guitar and bass and really enjoy the energy
Back in May, the Foghorn spoke to venue managers involved in the SF Venue
Coalition, an organization created to support independent music venues, to get
more insight into how venues had been impacted by the pandemic. Mickey Darius,
the manager of The Lost Church, said that venues struggled just to stay afloat, with
over 100 SF venues shuttered.
Darius had predicted the reopening of venues to be “clunky” but with a focus
on safety. “This means seeing what does or doesn’t work,” said Darius in an email
to the Foghorn in May. “Not relaxing in our vigilance around safety and care, but
having patience around accepting that the road will be bumpy and mistakes will
Venues now have to follow the city’s COVID-19 guidelines in order to host
events. This includes audience members wearing masks and proof of vaccination
being shown at the door.
“I work in a couple of venues so enforcing the mask mandate is very hard right
now, especially when it gets hot in the pit, it's really hard for people to keep their
masks on,” said Clark.
Thank You Come Again’s fill-in bass player Eva Seay, a San Francisco State
University cinema student, echoed Clark’s concerns. “I felt safer being onstage than
in the audience,” they said. However, they did appreciate the crowd’s energy and
said they welcomed audience interaction.
“You could tell they were having a great time, which is the most important
thing,” said Seay. “It was not an angry energy, everyone was just stoked to be there,
and that was great.”
Izzie Clark and Danny Lomeli
of Thank You Come Again stand
back to back while performing at
Knockout Sept. 24. PHOTO BY
CALLIE FAUSEY / SAN FRAN-
POETRY FROM THE PANDEMIC: THE FIRST LYRICIST
LOUNGE HELD IN PERSON SINCE COVID-19 BEGAN
Student musician Audrey Walker performs a song during the Sept. 24
Lyricist Lounge. PHOTOS BY BAILEY STEADMAN / SAN FRANCIS-
The Lyricist Lounge stage features lights and pieces of fabric strewn across
the space. PHOTO BY BAILEY STEADMAN / SAN FRANCISCO FOG-
The Cultural Centers hosted their first Lyricist Lounge of the fall semester
Sept. 24. This marked the first time that the student-run poetry slam was held
on campus since the pandemic began.
Jazz Toyama, a senior double majoring in international studies and environmental
studies, led and hosted the open-mike night. As an intern at the
Cultural Centers, they play a significant role in planning the event.
“My role is coming up with the theme and ideas for the graphic, and advertising
the event and hosting it,” Toyama said. In order to provide performers
the opportunity to share their works created during quarantine, the theme
they chose for this year’s Lyricist Lounge was “Poetry from the Pandemic.”
Many of the poems were about quarantine-induced exhaustion and lessons
learned through the pandemic. Performers shared how they dealt with
waves of pain and stress as well as how they have grown. Toyama introduced
each artist to the stage by saying what they learned from quarantine such as
“the little things matter” and “the world keeps on spinning.”
“People may feel the same as I do where it’s like you’ve written all this stuff
but you don’t have a place or an opportunity to share it,” Toyama said. They
emphasized that they wanted to create a safe space for students to “share their
writing and feel comfortable sharing their emotions.”
Student performer Mikayla Brown, a sophomore communication studies
major, said she enjoyed listening to the other poets and appreciated the ambience
of the event. “I shared an original song I wrote and if I could describe
the message briefly it would be ‘not wanting to say goodbye but knowing you
have to.” Brown continued by saying, “Overall, it was just a wonderful night
with very talented people.”
Toyama described the significance of the Lyricist Lounge being held in
person again.“It’s a broader symbol at USF that things are getting back to
Coordinator Jazz Toyama speaks at the Lyricist Lounge, held Sept. 24 in the
UC. PHOTO BY BAILEY STEADMAN / SAN FRANCISCO FOGHORN
normal and we'll be able to have a similar college experience as we did before
the pandemic hit,” they said.
Toyama clarified that being able to host in-person events meant a lot to
them because hosting the Lyricist Lounge online during quarantine wasn’t the
same. “People are less willing to talk in front of their peers online,” they said,
adding that the number of attendees dropped significantly when the event was
held on Zoom.
Asia Bryant-Wilkerson, a USF alum and queer Black artist from Los Angeles,
attended the event as a featured poet. Bryant-Wilkerson is a professional
performer and spoken word artist, and it was their first time performing live
since the pandemic hit.
“I haven’t had a live show since January 2020, so for this to be my first
in-person show since then feels like a homecoming of sorts.” Bryant-Wilkerson,
alongside their friends, played a large part in the success of Lyricist
Lounge before they graduated from USF in 2016. “When we started as freshmen,
Lyricist Lounge would get like 12 people, and by the time we graduated,
we amassed about a hundred a night.”
Bryant-Wilkerson added that it was exciting to be back five years later. “It
was nice to see the poetry and performance community here at USF grow,”
they said. Their pieces consisted of sensitive topics such as mental health, race,
and finding oneself. Their poetry was fueled by the emotions brought on by
the pandemic. “We’ve all been stuck in the house without physical contact or
communication, everyone just wants to be heard right now.”
They also emphasized how having this space for students to be heard
was transformative. “That’s the beauty of this space: everyone’s here with their
notebook, all the feelings they’ve been holding on to, all the thoughts that
have been sitting with them,” they said. “And it’s your time to let it go and be
The next Lyricist Lounge will be held later in November of this year.
FLOR Y CANTO: LATINX ARTISTS REPRESENT
THE LITERARY VOICE OF THE MISSION
Josiah Luis Aldarete, a self-described, “pocho poeta, aka, Spanglish poet,”
grew up in the Mission District. “I am part of the Mission diaspora, people
who were pushed out for whatever reason,” he said. “But the Mission is still
here after 500 years of colonization, pandemics, plagues, and murders. When
this one passes, we’ll still be here.”
“My poetry is a synthesis of Mexicano cultura and North America pochismo,”
Aldarete said. According to the Los Angeles Times, the term “pocho” is
used “for a Mexican American who is neither one nor the other, who speaks no
Spanish or speaks it poorly, who is adrift between two cultures, or lives comfortably
in both.” Aldarete, however, is reclaiming the description. “It’s very
important to me that my poetry reaches mi gente, be they Chicano dinosaurs
or Latinx test-tube babies,” he said. “We’re creating art because we use art as
our memory and history.”
To celebrate Latinx Heritage Month, which began Sept. 15, members of
San Francisco Flor y Canto, a group which promotes literature and culture
in the 24th Street corridor, gathered in person at the San Francisco Public
Library and virtually on Zoom to share Latinx poetry and literature. Poet
Ricardo Tavarez opened the event by describing the group as a literary community
that is “reconnecting to the root that was before all the borders started
dividing us, before the colonialism, before the imperialism.” Addressing the
audience, he said, “If you feel the spirit to be creative, and to uplift others,
this is the space for you.”
During the event, four artists read their work aloud. The topics included
mole, a traditional Mexican dish, a meditation on machismo culture, a fictional
piece about a company that steals memories, and a poet’s self-portrait.
Aldarete read a piece on the transformation of San Francisco in recent years
that read, “I go to visit San Francisco and the security guard almost doesn’t
let me in… when I finally get in to see San Francisco, I hardly recognize San
Monica Zarazua, a writer, teacher, and co-founder of the independent
publishing group Pochino Press, was involved in the event for the first time.
“People seemed to feel a renewed sense of inspiration,” she said. “Art is so
important considering the times we are in and the issues that are affecting our
Zarazua has high hopes for Latinx Heritage Month this year. “One thing
I was thinking about recently is the importance of us expressing ourselves,
especially new and young voices,” she said. “Out of hardship there is the birth
of new voices that revitalize the community.”
Zarazua said that most of her work explores the feminine and the experience
of being female. She shared an excerpt from her novel about a girl
reclaiming memories that are being stolen by the company she works for. “In
that void there was nothing to remember because no memories had formed.
Maybe I ceased to exist except as a buzzing machine.”
Another artist who read at the event was the poet, hector son of hector.
“I try to tell stories of the people and landscapes that surround the working
class, Latino, and Mexican Americans in California,” he said. When he writes,
hector said, “One of the most important things is that my friends see themselves
in what I write, and then hopefully others who don't know me do too.”
He read a poem dedicated to the 43 children who were kidnapped and
presumed to be killed near Iguala, a town in southern Mexico Sept. 2014. It
read, “43 children did not run into the Guerrero Woods and turn to smoke
through Nahuatl mystics. It was the ghostly Cortez who commanded conquistadores
and indigena allies to starve and to murder enough bodies to stack his
Flor y Canto began as a Chicanx community and has expanded to include
Latinx folks, hector said. “We’re really just trying to present to the community
the people of the community,” he said. “I hope people see the importance of
persisting and continuing to represent ourselves.”
GRAPHIC BY SAMANTHA CADENAS-ARZATE / GRAPHICS CENTER
THE MANY BENEFITS OF VEGETARIANISM
There are many reasons why a person may c I
stopped eating meat when I started thinking about
the chain of events that led to the animal on my
plate. From the slaughtering of the animal, the production
process, to the bloated feeling left in my
stomach, eating meat was not worth it.
There are many reasons why a person may
choose to eliminate meat, poultry, and fish from
their diet and practice vegetarianism. For some, it
is for health reasons like avoiding hormones used in
animal products. For others, the diet has to do with
religion, animal rights, or environmental concerns.
CAITLIN RYAN is a
Growing up, I never liked eating meat, and
junior English major.
I decided to finally become a vegetarian when I
learned about the benefits of a vegetarian diet.
We all know a meat-eater who is left shocked
after watching films like “Supersize Me” or “Food Inc.” because of the graphic
exposure of the meat industry's environmental harm, animal cruelty, and negative
health effects. My turning point was a presentation I attended in high school
where a field educator from the Ethical Choices Program, a nonprofit organization,
explained how the human body isn’t anatomically meant to consume meat.
I learned that humans were not designed to eat meat because our body structure
resembles omnivorous or herbivorous animals. Typical meat-eating animals
have razor sharp incisors and a more expansive jaw used to capture prey.
Second, our digestive system isn’t intended to digest meat. Carnivores have
short intestinal tracts that allow meat to pass through quickly, while humans’
intestinal tracts are much longer, like those of an herbivore. Our longer digestive
tract is meant to extract the nutrients from plant-based foods.
After learning this information, it made sense to me that I had a distaste
for meat. On top of that, I was drawn to the health benefits of a vegetarian diet,
especially pertaining to the risk reduction of chronic illnesses like heart disease,
cancer, obesity, and diabetes.
According to Healthline, a website that publishes on the health benefits of
different diets, a vegetarian diet supports heart health by reducing the intake of
cholesterol and saturated fat found in red meat. Substituting foods high in fiber
stabilizes blood sugar levels. In turn, the high-fiber diet is preventative towards
lower blood pressure.
However, the article warns, “If you’re avoiding meat but only eating processed
breads and pastas, excess sugar, and very little vegetables and fruits, you’re
unlikely to reap many of the benefits of this diet.” Consuming alternative protein
options like nuts, beans, tempeh, and tofu can naturally help supplement a vegetarian
Additionally, people who follow this diet should remain alert to protein,
B-12, vitamin D, and fatty acid omega-3 deficiencies. This can be avoided by
either taking a supplement or knowing which foods to eat. When done right, this
diet can be transformative for physical health.
A vegetarian diet is also an efficient way for consumers to hold producers accountable
for their harmful practices. Going plant-based is important to resisting
factory farming and fighting global warming because the food industry damages
the environment. According to the Vegetarian Society, “The whole food production
process of farm-to-plate totals 26% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.”
To put that into perspective, the Vegetarian Society also shares that “by eating
vegetarian food for a year you could save the same amount of emissions as a
family taking a small car off the road for 6 months.” The world is heating rapidly,
and a vegetarian diet is an effective way to actively oppose factory farming by
boycotting their products. It also respects the lives of animals.
It must be acknowledged that vegetarianism is a privilege for those who have
access to fresh food, money to spend on food, and the space and time to prepare
meals. Meat alternatives are expensive. However, meat is also expensive, and most
grocery stores are stocked to support meatless diets.
One of my favorite fresh meals to make are spring rolls. I chop up carrots,
cucumber, avocado, and bell peppers, wrap them in rice paper, and enjoy the dish
with a side of homemade peanut sauce. I’ll make a bunch and stick them in the
fridge for later because being a full-time student and working part time keeps me
busy. Meal prepping is a great way to eat fresh food while having a busy schedule.
Many restaurants also offer vegetarian options, especially in San Francisco.
Proteins are what drive up the prices on menus and if you want to add meat to a
vegetarian option it’s usually an additional $3-4. Vegetarian alternatives are usually
Knowing what I know now with my experience as a vegetarian, I don’t see
myself ever going back to eating meat. I am committed to this conscience change
out of respect for myself, the environment, and animals.
A nutritious, vegetarian meal made by Ryan. PHOTO COURTESY OF CAITLYN RYAN
KIANA MEHANIAN is a
freshman undeclared arts
On the first day of high school, I was as timid
and lost as any other freshman at Oakwood Secondary
School, a small arts high school in North
Hollywood, California. I was one of Oakwood’s
only Iranian students. In a blur of new classes and
faces, I met one of the most meaningful people
in my high school career. My academic adviser,
Mickey Morgan, sat in the corner of his small office,
beside a wooden desk carved with the names
of past students covering every inch.
A school can significantly change over four
decades, but through everything, Mickey, a mentor
and teacher to countless over the years, has remained
Mickey’s lifelong dedication to social justice
and philanthropy has influenced students to apply
their interests and abilities to the issues they're most passionate about. Because
he was in his 20s during the social justice movements that dominated the ‘60s,
Mickey knows the most worthwhile ways for our generation to enact change.
This is when Mickey is most authentic and candid — presenting opportunities
to students to become more engaged and involved with societal and global issues.
As the backbone of organizations, clubs, and events that define the school’s
community engagement, Mickey prioritizes amplifying student voices. He includes
students in conferences involving administration, community service and
volunteer work, and campus-wide events that exhibit student art while bringing
awareness to specific causes. One club he founded in 2005, Oakwood Students
for Progressive Reform (OSPR), provides students and faculty with a weekly space
dedicated to discussing global and domestic issues. I remember attending OSPR
fall of sophomore year and was inspired by the upperclassmen and their ability to
command the room.
I never imagined myself having the confidence to do the same.
A specific OSPR event topic, “America: Post 9/11,” was being led by two
of Oakwood’s most respected history teachers. I told Mickey how interested I
was in attending the meeting, and he asked if I’d be willing to lead alongside the
faculty. I was reluctant, doubting my ability to be anything other than an audience
member. However, I hadn’t given him a definite answer when I walked into
school to see a poster advertising that week’s OSPR meeting, with “Led by Kiana
Mehanian” in the center.
In retrospect, this meeting was one of my proudest moments as a student,
and I didn’t realize until later on in high school how necessary it was for him to
push me outside of my comfort zone. From then on, Mickey allowed me to lead
the meetings on issues that were especially important to me, usually involving the
Middle East. I felt represented and granted the opportunity to educate my peers
and faculty on current events that I had an emotional attachment to. Mickey
provided me the room to find my voice, giving me the time, audience, and space
to speak from the heart about topics that directly affected me.
On a smaller scale, I felt especially mentored by Mickey in our personal
conversations sitting in his office. While one-on-one, his sarcastic humor and
eagerness to truly get to know you shines through. Whether it be about a project,
last night’s baseball game, or, in my case, not having a clue how to be honest with
myself in order to pursue what I wanted to after high school.
Maybe it’s his age, his obvious life experience and understanding of the
world, or calm demeanor and all-knowing slight smile that never leaves his face,
but a conversation with Mickey is like having all of your questions answered
before either of you speak a word. In a way, this brought us closer to his level of
insightfulness, believing in ourselves as much as he did.
As a senior in high school, I was sick of hearing that everything would work
out in the end. I was anxious about the present and hated the uncertainty of the
future. After expressing these thoughts to Mickey, the words he said haven’t left
my mind since: “It's hard to take now, but life is long... and you will find tons
of great stuff to do, tons of great people to meet, and a lot of fulfillment. I kept
comparing this in my mind to how you had sounded in 9th grade — you should
be proud of the great distance you have traveled, in this as in many other areas.”
Mickey taught me true dedication, and how understanding ourselves is inextricably
linked to pursuing our passions. It’s connections with natural mentors
like Mickey that remind us how important it is to seek guidance, just as much as
it is to carry it with us through the rest of our lives. If it weren’t for Mickey’s devotion
to affecting change, I question whether I would have prioritized social justice
in a school as much as I did when deciding where I’d go to college. I’m proud
to be a part of an institution with a strong commitment to social justice because
of Mickey’s influence, where my passion for contributing to change first began.
Mehanian’s high school history teacher and adviser, Mickey Morgan, with what she refers to as his signature
“‘all-knowing’ smile.” PHOTO COURTESY OF KIANA MEHANIAN
Shyia Richardson recorded a team-high seven kills against the Loyola Marymount University Lions. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS M. LEUNG/DONS ATHLETICS
USF women’s soccer beat the reigning
national champion and nationally-ranked Santa
Clara University Broncos for the program’s
first-ever win at home over the Broncos, women’s
golf and cross country hit the road for competition,
and women’s volleyball extended their
losing streak to 10 games. This is the latest in
USF women’s golf took to Idaho for their
first tournament of the season at the Coeur
D'Alene Resort Collegiate Invitational from
Sept. 19-21. The team placed 10th in the first
round, eighth in the second, and seventh in the
last round, making their total 887 (+35) for the
tournament. Individually, Hannah Zeman was
the highest-ranking Don, tying for 10th place
by the tournament’s end.
The USF men’s and women’s cross country
teams travelled to Oregon to compete in the
Dellinger Invitational Sept. 23. The tournament
was hosted by the University of Oregon Ducks.
Top performances include Ed Kiolbasa, who finished
in 35th place in the men’s 8,000 meters,
and Ruby Smee, who finished in 54th place in
the women’s 6,000 meters.
USF women’s soccer navigated a historic
win by defeating the reigning national champion
and nationally-ranked No. 19 Santa Clara University
Broncos in a shutout victory at Negoesco
Stadium. Marissa Vasquez shielded a throw-in
ball, took it down the line, and launched it to
Jamesen Ward in the center, right in front of the
goalkeeper. Ward hit the ball to the left corner,
securing the first goal of the game.
Vasquez wasn’t finished after her assist. The
girls maintained ball control around the box,
with Vasquez hopping over Ward and forward
Kaylin Lunsford, who was tied up with the goalkeeper,
to retrieve the loose ball and score the
final goal of the game.
With 22 shot attempts from the Broncos,
goalkeeper Molly Eby worked as a key player to
maintain the Dons’ shut out with a final score
USF women’s volleyball brought the
Loyola Marymount Lions for a home match but
fell short by a score of 0-3. Shyia Richardson
recorded a team-high seven kills to push her season
total to a team-high of 89. Letizia Aquilino
tallied nine digs, and Aylen Ayub recorded three
service aces against the Lions.
FALLS IN DEFEAT AT DAVIS
Freshman Jeesung Kim practices before the Dons’ match. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS M. LEUNG/DONS ATHLETICS
After a road loss last week, the USF men’s soccer team hoped to get
back in the win column for their final non-conference match of the season.
However, the Dons ultimately fell Sept. 22 to the University of California,
Davis Aggies by a score of 1-4.
The Aggies had no trouble finding the back of the net as the opposition
scored three goals within the first 30 minutes of the contest. The
Dons responded with their one and only goal in the 36th minute when
freshman forward Nonso Adimabua was assisted on an attacking play by
freshman midfielder Ferdy Ghafury.
There was no time for celebrations as the Aggies scored their fourth
goal within the same minute as Adimabua’s strike. USF had no answers for
the Aggies’ defense, and they went into halftime trailing their opposition
by three goals.
The Dons spent the second half attacking the goal and outshooting
the Aggies 9-2 in the final 45 minutes of regulation. However, the Aggies
kept USF off the board and held their three-point lead until the final
Adimabua was a bright spot in the Dons’ defeat, scoring his team-leading
third goal of the season. At the time of writing, he is currently tied
for fourth in the West Coast Conference (WCC) for most goals scored.
Ghafury tallied his first collegiate assist and point by assisting Adimabua
in the 36th minute of regular time. Defensively, freshman Brandon Keniston
made his first start as goalkeeper this season and tallied seven saves in
90 minutes of play.