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Volume 51, Number 12   November 3, 2003         

    Announcements    Events    News    People on Campus    Newsmakers


The appeal of also-rans
Why do so many Americans like to root for underdogs such as the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox, even when they fail? "There is inherent appeal to watching futility play out, no matter what the realm is," Arthur Asa Berger, a Red Sox fan and emeritus professor of broadcasting and electronic communication arts, said in an Oct. 18 Washington Post article. "The intense interest in the Red Sox and Cubs ties into anxiety over whether the American Dream exists."

Spade in the City
Eric Solomon, professor of English, discussed Dashiell Hammett's classic San Francisco detective novel "The Maltese Falcon" during the Oct. 27 edition of the KQED-FM program "Forum." "The atmosphere of the City is very important because it was a sort of freewheeling city, in a sense 'open city,'" Solomon said.

A conflict of interest?
Is it ethically responsible for a newspaper reporter to do part-time marketing and public relations for the same town he or she reports on, asks the San Mateo County Times in an Oct. 29 article. Barbara Backer, an editor and reporter at The Independent (which competes with the Times), also works part time for the town of Hillsborough. John Burks, professor of journalism, said that The Independent should at least let its readers know that Backer "receives income from the community she covers."

Stopping the revolving door
San Francisco District Attorney Terrence Hallinan's emphasis on suspending prosecution drug and nonviolent offenders who agree to enter treatment programs, is a success Daniel Macallair, criminal justice lecturer, wrote in an Oct. 30 San Francisco Chronicle opinion piece. Diversion costs less than incarceration and offenders who receive treatment are less likely to commit more crimes. "With statistics showing recidivism rates of 60 percent to 70 percent among offenders sent to prison or jail, San Francisco's more sensible approach clearly yields the greatest public benefit," he wrote. "By diverting large numbers of low-level offenders, San Francisco sharply reduced its prosecution levels and reduced recidivism rates."

For more SFSU people and programs in the news, see the SFSU in the News page on SF State News.

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Last modified November 3, 2003, by the Office of Public Affairs