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Volume 62, Number 14    November 14, 2014         

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Queer changes
An Oct. 30 Bay Area Reporter story about the Lexington Club, a lesbian bar that is shutting down after 18 years, included insights by Professor of Women and Gender Studies Nan Alamilla Boyd. "That's what's really so wonderful and vital about the Lex, say, as opposed to Wild Side West or other spaces. You see that kind of resistance, gender transgression as part of the fabric of its queerness," Boyd said. "A lot of the early lesbian, trans community formation was in opposition. There was this turf war about it ... But the Lex was a place where that didn't happen ... a lot of queer women's spaces were inhospitable to the trans community. The Lex bridged that somehow, in a seamless way."

Poor choice
Professor Emerita of American Indian Studies Elizabeth Parent was quoted in an Oct. 31 Indian Country article about a Stanford student group canceling its plans to perform Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson after opposition from students due to the musical's portrayal of American Indians. "There are a lot of [other] artistic works that could be put on that would advance race relations, history," Parent said. "For that play to be chosen is unfortunate, I couldn't believe it."

Kindred chytrid
Associate Professor of Biology Vance T. Vredenburg was quoted in an Oct. 31 Christian Science Monitor report on a new fungus -- Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans -- killing salamanders and frogs in Europe. "It's clear that human trade in live animals can affect the spread of pathogens, and this pathogen in particular, so we can stop it. We can slow it down, at least, with laws and [by] enforcing laws," Vredenburg said. Like the B. dendrobatidis fungus in North America, the fungus "is driving amphibians to extinction or near-extinction in the most protected habitats on Earth. We have changed the biosphere. We have made the world a lot smaller by connecting pathogens and hosts in ways that they weren't connected before."

Unintended consequences
The San Francisco Chronicle quoted Assistant Professor of Political Science Jason McDaniel in a Nov. 5 article about the tough battle between David Chiu and David Campos for State Assembly. "You are going to see this kind of thing more -- pitting more Democrats against Democrats and preventing the party from getting united behind one candidate in the general election," McDaniel said of the top-two primary system meant to attract moderate candidates. "I think it will help maintain cleavages between the progressive left and liberals in San Francisco and will increase polarization statewide. ... I don’t think it's going to help bridge the political divide in San Francisco" as intended.

Diverse Nature
Director of the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies Karina Nielsen was one of 240 signatories to a letter published in the Nov. 6 issue of the journal Nature that argues that conservation's impact on the world is being hindered by the field's lack of inclusiveness -- particularly of the many different values people hold for nature and of the viewpoints of women and diverse ethnicities and cultures. "Protecting nature for nature's sake and being able to share the full glory of its stunning diversity with future generations is as important as channeling human ingenuity to develop sustainable economies that use, but do not abuse, nature's support systems," Nielsen said. "We need a diverse portfolio of solutions, from a diversity of voices, to support the Earth's ecosystems."

Boost to democracy
Professor of Political Science Robert C. Smith was quoted in a Nov. 6 San Jose Mercury News report on the election of progressive candidates in Richmond, Calif., despite significant campaign spending by Chevron. "As a political scientist, one has to look at this outcome with a smile," Smith said. "People who believe in democracy got a boost; this showed that people can organize and triumph, and over big money."

Deferred dreams
American college students are less likely to buy a home or a car following graduation due to significant student loan debt Assistant Professor of Finance Shengle Lin told KCBS News for a Nov. 9 report. "This group carrying student debt is postponing their home ownership. They're going through a lot of economic difficulty -- much more than any previous generation," Lin said.


For more media coverage of faculty, staff, students, alumni and programs, see SF State in the News.


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Last modified Nov. 13, 2014 by University Communications.