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Dear Colleagues and Students:
Since we first came together as a campus community a day after the terrible events of Sept. 11, we have begun to face emotions even more difficult than the shock and grief we shared that day. Anger and despair for many, and the expectation that there will be strong differences of opinion about the course our government should pursue.
Yet, this need not divide this campus or cause us to lose the sustaining sense of community that has been our initial response to the terrorist attacks. We can - and must - do something immensely significant in the hard times to come. We can maintain the small world that is San Francisco State University as a model of what we would like the greater world to be. I know that this very thought is on your minds, for it recurs in many of the e-mail messages I have received from faculty, staff, and students in recent days. You have sent quotations, copies of columns that have touched you, and you have spoken in your own heartfelt words.
Among the restorative messages I have received are these:
Σ "A central teaching in most spiritual traditions is: What you wish to experience, provide for another."
Σ "It's important that we save Americans, but also important that we save America-meaning human lives, yes. But also that which ennobles them."
Σ "The enemy is not Arab people or the Muslim religion. The enemy is fanaticism, extremism, intolerance, hate."
Σ "May we all use this time to reflect and seek a deeper understanding of our world."
Σ "When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and, for a time, they seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it-always." - Mahatma Gandhi
I hope that you've noticed a new message around campus, one that to me, sums up the spirit that will best sustain us in what may well be long, hard times to come. The words are those of the Right Reverend Jane Holmes Dixon, Bishop of Washington, spoken as she began the splendid service in the Washington National Cathedral memorializing the terrorist attack victims. "Love is stronger than hate," she reminded a nation. Those words now fly on campus banners, appear on the SFSU home page, on every issue of CampusMemo, and on my stationery, and soon will hang from light poles on major streets leading to the campus.
This is not a political message. I am not writing to offer an opinion on how our nation should seek to bring to justice those still living who bear responsibility for the events of Sept. 11, or how terrorism might be eradicated. As individuals, we cannot change the world, but we can make one part of it - our immediate community - better, one personal encounter at a time. We have an absolute obligation to preserve this university as a safe and supportive community for all among us. Doing so is in itself a victory.
Robert A. Corrigan
The benefits open enrollment period continues through Oct. 31. This is your opportunity to make changes to your benefit plans. Any changes made to your Health, Dental, FlexCash, Health Care Reimbursement Account (HCRA) or Dependent Care benefits are effective Jan. 1, 2002. Premiums or deductions will begin with the December pay warrant.
Health benefits open enrollment packets and CalPERS 2002 Evidence of Coverage booklets for members' current plans should arrive in the mail by Oct. 1. Employees enrolled in Aetna, Cigna, Lifeguard and Maxicare must change plans, as CalPERS will no longer offer plans associated with those health care providers.
For details, visit the Human Resources Web site at: www.sfsu.edu/~hrwww.
The Office of Human Resources presents the 20th Annual Benefits Faire from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, on the first and second floors of the Administration building.
Faculty and staff will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from various health plans and benefit programs, as well as representatives from Human Resources. At the benefits station, members can enroll, change, add or delete dependents with the new online, on-site computer system. For details, call the Benefits Help Line at ext. 8-1875.
The Welcome Back to Campus reception will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1 in the University Club. Originally scheduled for Sept. 19, the reception is your chance to meet new faculty and staff and catch up with old friends. Light refreshments will be served. The reception is co-sponsored by President Corrigan, the Office of Academic Affairs and the University Women's Association.
The Academic Senate will hold its first meeting of the fall semester at 2 p.m. Tuesday in the Nob Hill Room of the Seven Hills Conference Center. The senate will proceed with the agenda scheduled for the Sept. 11 meeting, which was canceled due to the national tragedy.
Agenda items include a report from Vice President Thomas La Belle, elections for the basic subjects committee, a report from Johnetta Richards on the activities of the CSU Academic Council for International Programs during 2000-2001, a report from Dean of Human Relations Ken Monteiro, a proposed resolution endorsing "Guidelines for Short-Term Study Abroad Programs," a report from the Committee on Committees and an Academic Senate orientation and review.
The Academic Senate agenda and minutes can be found online at: www.sfsu.edu/~senate.
Please submit written comments on Summer Semester to the Academic Senate office, ADM 551, by Oct. 1, per a memorandum and request for information sent to all campus units. Comments will be forwarded to the University Ad Hoc Committee on Summer Semester Review and Assessment for consideration in its assessment report and recommendations for future Summer Semesters.
Sandi Devencenzi, nurse administrator at the Student Health Service, is September's STAR of the Month.
"Her care of patients is outstanding in every way. But what distinguishes Sandi in my mind is her spirit," said Dr. Vicky Prager. In a department as fast-paced as Health Services, co-workers describe her as being "upbeat, vibrant and full of life. Her daily jokes lighten up even the most difficult days. She inspires her staff to learn to perform well and enjoy the workplace, making the most daunting tasks fun."
Please join us in congratulating Sandi and thank her for making such a difference.
As the STAR of the Month, Sandi will enjoy four free lunches on campus and a free parking pass or equivalent in one month's public transportation costs. She will also be eligible for the STAR of the Year award.
To nominate an SFSU staff member for a STAR award, pick up a nomination form in the Human Resources Department, ADM 252, or visit the Web site at: www.sfsu.edu/~hrwww/directives/p570a.htm
The campus community is invited to an Office of Human Relations open house highlighting the services and programs of the University Disability Programs and Resource Center (UDPRC). The event will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Check out the new offices, learn about UDPRC services and programs, meet Human Relations staff and welcome Gene Chelberg, the new director of UDPRC.
For details, call ext. 8-2472 (V/TTY) or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions staff will now provide pre-admission advising services to prospective applicants.
This is an effort to assist potential future SFSU applicants. For details on the availability of pre-admission advising services, prospective first-time freshmen should contact Undergraduate Admissions at ext. 8-6486. Prospective transfer students should contact Undergraduate Admissions at ext. 8-1634.
The University Promotions Committee will conduct two meetings for faculty applying for promotion. The first meeting will be held 3:30 to 5 p.m. Wednesday in the Verducci Room of the University Club. The second meeting will be held 3:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, in ADM 460. For details, call ext. 8-1264.
Academica Judaica presents a reading by Israeli author Etgar Keret at noon Tuesday in the Bell Room of the University Club. Keret, whose work is popular among Israeli youth and young adults, writes comedy for Israeli television and lectures at the Tel Aviv University School of Film. His movie "Skin Deep" won the Israeli Oscar and first prize at several international film festivals.
For details on Academica Judaica, call ext. 8-6075.
The Jewish Studies invites those who are interested in how human genetic variation affects concepts of identity are invited to take part in a discussion at noon Wednesday in the University Club. The discussion will be used as preparation for the working group meetings.
To participate, contact Melinda Busch, administrator of the Jewish Studies Program, at ext. 8-6075.
Reading is the topic of this week's academic skills workshop. Please tell students that James Boyd will teach ways to improve their reading rate and comprehension at noon Wednesday in BUS 202. Students do not need to sign up for this free service.
Children and adults can explore the natural wonders of the San Francisco Bay during "Discovery Day," the annual science festival and open house at the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies (RTC) on Sunday, Oct. 7.
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the University's 25-acre bay-front research facility at 3150 Paradise Drive in Tiburon will open its doors for a free day of educational fun that includes marine animal touch tanks, science exhibits, live music, arts, crafts, food and more.
Every year, Discovery Day offers the public a behind-the-scenes look at the scientific research conducted by RTC, from investigating alien species lurking along the coast to learning about the tiny plants and animals that call the Bay home. In addition to science- and art-related activities for children, the festival will include exhibits and presentations by RTC scientists and students highlighting the center's contributions to understanding and caring for the San Francisco Bay environment and beyond.
Discovery Day features music performed by the SFSU Jazz Band and a barbecue prepared by the Tiburon Volunteer Fire Department. Plenty of free parking is available.
For details on Discovery Day, call ext. 8-6063 or visit the RTC Web site at: rtc.sfsu.edu.
The University Women's Association (UWA) invites the campus community to spend a day of fine food, great wine and fabulous scenery in the wine country on Saturday, Oct. 6.
The day will begin at V. Sattui winery in St. Helena with a winery tour at 11 a.m., followed by wine tasting at 11:30 a.m. The V. Sattui Deli and Cheese Shop will provide a picnic lunch, including gourmet sandwiches, salad, brownies and seasonal fruit.
The group price of $30 per person includes the tour and tasting (normally $7.50 per person), picnic lunch, two bottles of wine per table, tax and tip. Additional wine is available for purchase, and group members will receive a 10 percent discount on wine purchases and a 15 percent discount for larger quantities.
To make reservations, send a check for $30 per person, payable to the UWA, to Barbara Klahn, College of Business, by Friday.
Associated Students Performing Arts and Lectures presents social commentator and humorist Paul Mooney at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Knuth Hall. Mooney is a former writer for Richard Pryor and TV's "In Living Color," where he created the popular "Homey the Clown" character.
Tickets cost $9 for students and $12 for general admission. For tickets, call ext. 82467.
The College of Humanities will hold six fall celebrations of outstanding teachers and scholars beginning Oct. 3. The first event will be held noon to 1:30 p.m. in HUM 587 with English Professor Sandy McKay, lecturing on "The Cultural Basis of Teaching English as an International Language." Bring your lunch.
The second colloquium, "An Afternoon of Criticism and Poetry of the African Disapora," will be held 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, in HUM 587.
Note to readers: Newsmakers will now appear in CampusMemo the fourth week of each month. This feature, formerly included in First Monday, has been expanded to better acknowledge SFSU programs, faculty, staff, administrators and students featured in the press.
Student Brooke Lilea Wilson praised SFSU in an essay that appeared in the Sept. 3 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle. Wilson explained how she sometimes receives disappointed looks when she tells people that she chose a CSU campus over an University of California campus. "After graduating from Berkeley High, I only applied to one college, San Francisco State University. I knew what I wanted. And now that I'm about to start my second year, I'm excited to be heading back - and have no regrets about the choice I made," she wrote. She later adds, "San Francisco State arguably has one of the strongest undergraduate films programs in the country. Berkeley does not." And Wilson ends her essay with this message: "To automatically write off the collegiate experiences at California State universities as inferior to those in the UC system is elitist. It's time that people start valuing higher education as a whole and not just the name that goes on the diploma."
KRON aired a lengthy report on Aug. 24 on the improved housing situation for SFSU students. More than 760 students are enjoying the convenience of the Village at Centennial Square, which opened last spring. "This is so nice just living right here on campus, being able to hop out of bed and to class," said senior Glenn Johnson, a Village resident. Shifts in the housing market have also made it easier for students to find off-campus living arrangements. "Vacancies are there longer, where before if you weren't there the day (the unit) was open you lost out," said Ligeia Polidora, director of public affairs. "Rents are either remaining the same, or they're dropping a bit. We're continuing to get new (rental) listings (on the SFSU housing Web site) - all indications that the housing market is better."
In the midst of the controversy surrounding stem cell research, Jewish studies Professor Laurie Zoloth was quoted in various media outlets, including The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, Washington Jewish Week and KPIX. An Aug. 2 New York Times article explored the growing scrutiny of bioethicists for making deals with scientists and companies. Some bioethicists accept corporate donations for their academic programs and work as paid consultants for biotechnology companies, the article stated. "Are we being ethical even as we say what is ethical?" Zoloth asked. "That is a big focus of our concern."
When Mexico President Vicente Fox met with George W. Bush in Washington this month, he proposed a plan to document all illegal workers in the United States by the end of the year. In an interview on KGO-AM on Sept. 5, Raza studies Associate Professor Velia Garcia said she believes that workers who come to the United States from Mexico should be documented and treated to fair working conditions. "It's grossly unfair to recruit workers into this country and have them working under very difficult conditions for low rates of pay and then to have to live your life as a criminal because you don't have documents," she said.
Laureen Chew, recently appointed chair of Elementary Education, was featured in the Aug. 30 issue of AsianWeek. As a San Francisco State student in the 1960s, she participated in the student strike and helped fight to diversify the school's curricula. As a professor of education and Asian American studies, Chew has won grants for teacher training, pre-service and in-service as well as teacher internship programs. "She is dedicated to finding ways to attract and nurture teachers - especially teachers of color - to work in culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms," the article stated.
The Bay Area Reporter on Aug. 2 featured the work of Rafael Diaz, director of the Center for Community Research at SFSU, as he begins a study looking at the issues of strength and resiliency among the gay Latino communities in San Francisco and Chicago. In dealing with HIV and health issues, community groups are crucial, Diaz said. "They remain the true agents of social change. ... We plan to document the strengths in the community and eventually develop programs," he said.
U.S. Census data shows that California and the Bay Area have some of the highest concentrations of gay and lesbian households in the nation and a story in the Contra Costa Times on Aug. 11 included remarks from Christopher Carrington, assistant professor of sociology. He said that changes in law, religion and other areas of society in the past decade have opened doors for more gay and lesbian couples to live together and to do so openly. "People are becoming aware that social institutions will embrace their relationship," he said.
Comments by Caitlin Ryan, director of policy studies at the Institute of Sexuality, Inequality and Health, were included in a story in the Austin, Texas American-Statesman on July 29 on a conference for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender teens. Ryan said that coming out is a Catch-22 situation for many teenagers. "It is quite healthy to come out and explore your identity, (but) students are still being brutalized in schools," she said.
The Sept. 16 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle's Sunday Datebook section was devoted entirely to the Latino arts scene. An article on Latino theater in the Bay Area featured popular companies like Culture Clash, El Teatro Campesino and Campo Santo. The latter has inspired a new generation of multicultural theater. "What I particularly like about Campo Santo is its multiculturalism," said theatre arts Professor Carlos Baron, who founded Teatro Latino in the 1970s. "You'll see a very good play by an Irish American woman directed by an African American woman."
Television news reporters are using more concise, compressed language in their reporting these days, according to the Aug. 24 edition of PBS' The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Verbs are used sparingly, allowing the maximum amount of information possible to be reported in one newscast. NewsHour Media Correspondent Terence Smith quoted from Air Words: Writing for Broadcast News, a book by John Hewitt, professor of broadcast and electronic communication arts, to support his story. "Hewitt recommends using what he calls 'elliptical sentences': fragments with implied but unspoken words," Smith said while holding the book up to the camera.
The Asian American Times looked to Emily Zimmerman, a lecturer in Asian American studies, to offer insight on a September article focusing on Asian Americans enrolled in Bay Area colleges and universities. Zimmerman said the field of Asian American studies is at a critical stage as the large wave of Asian immigrants from 1965 blend with second-generation Asian Americans. "I am the older generation but my students embody the future of the Asian American experience. They are teaching us older Asians about the future," she said.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Aug. 29 that more state financial aid was available this year due to a major increase in Cal Grant funding. Any eligible low- and middle-income student with average grades should now be able to get a grant, as funding for Cal Grants has increased to $1.2 billion through 2006. The new program has contributed to a 58 percent increase in SFSU students receiving Cal Grants, said Barbara Hubler, financial aid director. "It is very good news," she said. "Grant funding is just so limited, so many students are relying on loans. So if we can help the neediest to lower the burden, that is terrific."
The July 19 issue of Sonoma West Times and News included an article on a collaborative theater project with the Sonoma County Repertory Theater and a troupe of Cuban actors. Jim dePriest, director of the Sonoma County Repertory Theater, has always been fascinated by Cuba and its culture, including the art scene. Keith Morrison, dean of the College of Creative Arts, discussed several aspects that distinguish Cuban art. "One is the isolation of the artists, another is the material deprivation of Cuba, improvisation and innovation crucial to successful art making," he said. "Finally, the entire political and social matrix of Cuba in relation to the U.S. has significantly influenced artistic themes." Morrison was also featured in the July 12 issue of the San Mateo County Times for his paintings on display at the Venice Biennial, one of the largest and most prestigious art exhibitions in the world.
SFSU's new partnership with CaÒada College in Redwood City was the focus of an Aug. 13 article in the San Mateo County Times. The 20 students enrolled in the summer semester were the first batch to enter the new teacher-credentialing program. Many students, who will earn a teaching credential after an intensive 18 months of study, opted for the program because the location is closer to their homes. Jacob Perea, dean of the College of Education, said the partnership provides more opportunities for students in San Mateo County. "Our partnership there (at CaÒada) is going to allow us to reach that community a little bit easier than in the past," he said.
On Sept. 11 - the day of the terrorist attacks - KCBS-AM featured DeVere Pentony, professor of international relations, who noted that defending America against terrorism requires new tactics. "A missile defense is much easier than a defense against terrorism, and it's because it's just a small group of people that can do this," he said. "That is devastating and very difficult for the forces of law and order to tackle, but we must do it."
A story on KPIX on Sept. 14 explored how the Islamic community in the United States is under psychological and physical attack in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. Jamie Newton, professor of psychology, commented on the response people may have to threats that countries harboring terrorists will be held responsible. "Those terms imply a final solution, ultimate action, and that is the kind of language that can lead people to be justified in their own minds in taking violent action against people they think can be linked to perpetrators of these attacks. It's terribly dangerous," he said.
Rush to judgment?
Dwight Simpson, professor of international relations, was one of several experts on the Middle East quoted in the San Francisco Examiner on Sept. 14 who warned about a rush to judgment following the terrorist attacks. "I'm very worried about a wave of hysteria sweeping this country," Simpson said. In speculating that the most likely cause of the attacks was the perceived U.S. role in Arab-Israeli tensions, he said America's leadership must "get to the root of these problems."
The San Francisco Chronicle quoted psychology Professor Diane Harris-Wilson in a Sept. 14 story about memorials and peace marches marking the national day of prayer and remembrance. The story highlighted the country's reaction to the terrorist attacks by joining together at sanctuaries, temples and sidewalks. "There's fear in all this is that we have lost control," Harris-Wilson said. "There's a spiritual need to come together. It helps people feel they are in control."
Will life change?
A story in the Sept. 16 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle posed the question: Will life change after the terrorist attacks? The story pointed out that people said America would be forever altered by events such as the Kennedy assassinations and the Challenger explosion. "We need to believe that things like this make a difference," said Christopher Waldrep, professor of history. "It's one way that we come to grips with things."
Attacks may affect student visas
Various Bay Area media outlets reported last week that international students may have a harder time obtaining visas, after it was discovered that one of the hijackers in the terrorist attacks had a student visa. Yenbo Wu, director of international programs, commented to the San Francisco Chronicle, Contra Costa Times, KNTV and KPIX that he fears international students may be linked to terrorist activity. "I think this whole thing may have a very bad negative impact on our international exchange," Wu said in the Sept. 18 issue of the Contra Costa Times. "We don't want to be isolationists. We want to become more globalized. When this happens, if we're not careful, then we'll be doing ourselves a disservice."
Lack of diversity in experts
As countless scholars, pundits and critics have been called upon by the media to comment on various aspects of the national tragedy, several have criticized the media for not covering all sides of the story, wrote columnist Dan Fost in the Sept. 19 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle. "I have not seen very much in the way of diversity of commentary and experts," Dara Williams, director of News Watch, a project of the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism, commented in the article. "There are people who can put into context what's been going on in the Middle East who are not white men."
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