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Foghorn Newspaper: Mar 5th

Foghorn Newspaper: Mar 5th

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Published by: San Francisco on Mar 12, 2009
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TheFoghornOnline.comMARCH 5, 2009
 P AGE 6
Read the Foghorn’s top onlinecomments from the last two issues.Get Down for Gaza event cel-ebrates, supports Palestiniansaffected by Israeli attacks.Stephen Malkmus wows fansduring Noise Pop at the GreatAmerican Music Hall.Men’s rugby loses anothergame, this time to Santa Clara,despite their best efforts.
Sexual Harassment On Campus Is Often Unreported
Photo Illustration by Melissa Stihl/Foghorn
Various forms of sexual harassment are prevalent on university campuses, but thevictims of these incidents often keep silent to protect themselves and their friends.
ISO: Continued on Page 3
MELA Event Highlights Injustices
On �ursday night, McLaren Hall was home to USF’s second MELA event, where six USF clubs each brought a differ-ent social injustice to the forefront of dis-cussions among the hundreds of studentsin attendance. �e Indian Student Organization (ISO)spearheaded the event that featured tradi-tional dances and music, South Asian foodand speeches by USF students and profes-sors. �e ISO’s main issue was the pollu-tion in India.“We want to inspire people to join acause and nd something they care about,”said co-president of the ISO Priya Sajja, who said the ISO got the idea for theircause from the movie “Slumdog Million-aire.”“We want to create awareness aboutthe South Asian community at USF,” saidsenior Ravi Sandhu. Sandhu, who was theDJ of the night, is the former president of the ISO, but has since passed on the titleand is still a member.After roughly an hour of socializingduring which students had the opportuni-ty to visit each group’s table and learn moreabout specic causes, the rst speaker of the night, USF Professor Taymiya Zaman,stepped to the podium to speak about herlife as a Pakistani-American.“Do I nd it difficult to be a woman inPakistan? Not really,” said Zaman, as shediscussed the prejudices she and her fam-ily have battled in the United States, fromairport security to the questions about herappearance. �e roughly 400 students inattendance went from a loud, talkativecrowd to a silenced group as Zaman pas-sionately tackled U.S. foreign policy andthe use of the words “extremists” and “ter-rorists.”“�ose extremists’ groups providehealthcare for people that U.S.-backed re-gimes do not provide,” she said. �e other ve groups who shared socialinjustices were the Muslim Student Asso-ciation, Back to da Roots, Invisible Chil-dren, School of Americas Watch and NotFor Sale.“�ere has been a 20-year-long war onchildren in Uganda,” said freshman Mag-gie Kennedy, whose Invisible Childrengroup focused on the suffering of childrenin northern Uganda.Kennedy has been studying this issuesince high school, and traveled to south-ern Uganda two years ago as part of ahumanitarian mission. Kennedy and hergroup were not allowed to enter northernUganda though.Invisible Children is a nationwidegroup that was started in California. �ereis a branch of the organization in Kam-pala, Uganda, the nation’s capital.After two separate musical and danceperformances, one by USF sophomoresRavi Amarawanza, Marina Liu, and SarahReinheimer that featured South Asianmusic performed on the sitar, drums andNICHOLAS
Staff Writer 
Beginning this spring, incoming fresh-men, transfers and returning students willbe able to choose their room and room-mate from the comfort of their homes. �eOffice of Residence Life has implementeda new electronic system that has moved thehousing and roommate selection processonline, meaning students no longer have to wait in long lines to secure a room.Director of ORL Steve Nygaard said,“�e idea is to improve our service to stu-dents.”Students who wish to live on campusfor the 2009-2010 school year will nothave to wait in line to choose their room.In past years, students have received a lot-tery number which determined their roomselection date; the lottery number waspartly based on credits earned. After wait-ing in a long line, students would look atthe big dry erase board and see what rooms were still available and choose accordingly.Resident assistants and ORL staff wouldVideo Street Talk now online.In print you can read what they said but only online can you seehow they said it.SAMANTHA BLACKBURN
Staff Writer 
 Author’s Note: Initial reporting and in- terviews for this article were completed last spring. However, new reporting and updated  interviews were done to address issues raised  by the arrest on Feb. 12 of Ryan Caskey, a University of San Francisco senior who has been charged with the rape and sexual assault of four of his female classmates. Caskey has  pled not guilty to these charges. We are aware this story includes graphic language, but it is important to acknowledge that sexual assault and harassment are happening on this campus and on many other campuses across the United  States. �e names of students and victims in this article have been changed to protect them.
One night, Jane Dixon and a few of herfriends were outside Gillson Hall, a fresh-man dormitory at the University of SanFrancisco, drinking and partying, whenthings got out of hand. John, a good friendof Jane’s, was extremely drunk and high oncocaine. Jane knew John had had a crushon her for a long time; he even had a nick-name for her: “monkey.” However, when-ever John was intoxicated, he would try tomake a move on Jane. On this particularnight, he was lying in the dirt drunk withhis pants down to his thighs. “He startedlooking at me and saying ‘monkey, mon-key, monkey.’ I was like what, do you needhelp?” said Jane. Jane noticed that John had an erec-tion and tried to run, telling him to “put itaway.” Jane said John continued to hassleher and said something along the lines of “Monkey, you gotta f- me, like you haveto. We need to have sex, it will make my reputation so much better back home. Youhave the perfect body, and all I want to dois have sex with you.” It did not stop there;following this vulgar plea, he proceeded topull out his genitalia, began masturbating,and chased Jane around. “I was drunk too.Everyone was laughing, and it was kind of like a joke,” said Jane. �is type of behavior may be appallingto a reasonable person and is legally con-sidered to be sexual harassment; however, Jane’s reaction, or lack thereof, is typical of college students. Assistant Dean of Stu-dents Julie Orio said, “I think sometimes when situations come to us, it probably could have been resolved ve steps before.But then it was kind of silence accepted,silence accepted, it’s not a big deal, its nota big deal, and then all the sudden it’s abig deal.”News of USF senior Ryan Caskey’s ar-rest has the entire USF community talk-ing about sex and violence. Many 
 young women feel uncomfortable making wavesin their social circles so they laugh off orendure offensive behavior from friendsthat they would never accept from strang-ers.
And even if they do want to report un- wanted sexual attention, it can be hard toknow who to turn to or what will happen
“If it’s a situation where you have mutualfriends, I think reporting [it] would cause alot of unnecessary drama,” said Jane.In 2005, a survey conducted by theAmerican Association of University Wom-en (AAUW) revealed that 62 percent of college students say they have encounteredsome type of sexual harassment at school. �e AAUW’s report emphasized that sex-ual harassment takes an especially heavy toll on female students, and that the ma- jority of students do not report the cases.According to the survey, sexual harass-ment is a major problem on most collegecampuses, and this university is no excep-tion. In response to the recent events atUSF, many students have blamed violenceassociated with military culture for therapes allegedly committed by an ROTCstudent. However, it is important to note,none of the students interviewed for thisstory were in ROTC and such incidentsare common on all kinds of campusesthroughout the United States.Peer pressure is especially tough forrst-year students, who are in a new com-munity and want to t in, said Orio. Of the night outside the dormitory, duringher freshman year, Jane said, “Reportingthe experience never crossed my mind.”For some students, reporting harassment would disrupt their social lives, which in Jane’s opinion is much more importantthan “reporting one stupid incident.”Another student, Elizabeth Smith, alsochose not to report the sexual harassmentshe endured in a class her sophomore year.“Guys will make comments or say sexualthings, and they just think it is funny. Be-cause it happens all the time, our genera-tion has become used to it,” said Elizabeth.Beginning around the rst week of class, amale classmate of Elizabeth’s began com-menting and writing notes about the way she looked and things she was doing. He would call her sexy, touch her hands andarms, and even attempted to caress her leg.Elizabeth verbalized her discomfort to herclassmate; however, this behavior persistedthroughout the semester. As a result, shedreaded going to class and avoided himon campus. “If I tried to report every grosscomment a guy ever said to me, I feel likeI would be in the counseling center every day,” said Elizabeth.Victims of sexual harassment are pro-tected under Title IX of the EducationAmendments of 1972. �e Office of CivilRights (OCR) works with the Depart-ment of Education to protect civil rightsin federally funded education and prohibitgender discrimination. Maureen Guilfoile, who worked as a Senior Equal Opportu-nity Specialist at the OCR from 1996-2005, said, “Schools subject to Title IX arerequired to maintain an environment thatis free of sexual harassment.” Title IX protects students from un- wanted and unlawful sexual harassment atall university programs, on and off campus.Guilfoile said a student should report theincident to a school official and le a com-plaint with the OCR. “To le a complaint
New Software Improves Housing Selection
 News Editor 
But then it was kind of silence accepted, silence accepted, it’s not a big deal, its not a big deal, and then all of asudden it’s a big deal 
-Assistant Dean Julie Orio
ORL: Continued on Page 2
ISO invites other clubs to discuss global inequalities
Melissa Stihl/Foghorn
USF student Marisela Marquez accesses USFrooms at the Office of Residence Life.
HARASS: Continued on Page 2
San Francisco Foghorn
MARCH 5, 2009
Many Sexually Harassed, Few Report Incidents
 with the OCR a student can mail or faxa letter, ll out the OCR’s DiscriminationComplaint form, or use the OCR’s elec-tronic complaint form,” said Guilfoile.Agencies including the OCR and theDepartment of Education are workingdiligently to protect students from sexualharassment; however, it is not society orthe government that decides if behav-iors are harassment, it is the individual.“What’s key with sexual harassment isit’s ‘unwanted’ so the person has to makethe claim that it’s unwanted,” said Orio.
Universities have written policies to pro-tect students from such actions, and areattempting to provide their students withthe vital knowledge and resources to deal with harassment.
University Policy
Administrators at USF say they aremaking strides to raise awareness of sex-ual harassment and that the necessary re-sources are available to students. Orio said,“When we do any type of training on say,sexual assault, we know that for every onereport, there’s many others that go unre-ported.” Orio explained that USF focuseson educating students, especially rst yearstudents, about where to go and who totalk to, but the students have to be recep-tive also. “We’ve tried different things. Ithink some things have gotten better thanother things, I don’t know if it has affectedthe entire community yet,” said Orio.Although USF administration may be-lieve the institution’s resources are suffi-cient for students to deal with sexual mis-conduct, they appear focused on trainingand advising employees rather than edu-cating students, where the real problemslie. For instance, all faculty are required totake an online sexual harassment aware-ness course, similar to the AlcoholEducourse incoming students must take. “Asour training efforts have taken root, whichincludes how to communicate concerns,more individuals have come forward,” saidMaye-Lynn Gon-Soneda, assistant Hu-man Resources director.Gon-Soneda said students shouldknow where they can report incidentsabout sexual harassment. However, somestudents and resident advisors agree thatmany students don’t. When sexual harass-ment victim Elizabeth Smith was asked if she reported her experience, she shruggedand said, “No, I didn’t really know what todo, or where to go.”According to Debbie Lee, senior vicepresident of Family Violence PreventionFund in San Francisco, “more often thannot, sexual assault happens between people who know each other.” She explained that when people are acquaintances or havebeen friendly, they often feel it is theirright to take the next step. “We need tocreate an environment where people areencouraged to come forward and whenthey do, the victims need to be believedand supported,” said Lee.Students, faculty, and staff of USF have various denitions of sexual harassment,explanations of how people respond to it,and ideas as to what inuences those be-haviors.
Department Chair of Gender andSexualities Studies Bernadette Barker-Plummer said she thinks sexual harass-ment at USF is “quite pervasive.” “In my time at USF (14 years), many female stu-dents have talked to me about men seriously harassing them in some way, from insistentcalling and following, to more general callsand comments on the streets.” She said thatfemale students in her gender studies classeshave often said their lives are much differ-ent from those of their male peers becauseof the small every day harassments.
Defining Harassment
Orio said she thinks the term ‘sexual ha-rassment’ is very broad, and that many peo-ple experiencing harassment don’t realize it.She said she believes students don’t reportsexual harassment for reasons including“embarrassment, time, will the people be-lieve me, do I want to go through this again,do I want to have to talk about it.” Orio alsosuggested that students don’t come forwardbecause they aren’t convinced others willsupport them or agree that it is actually ha-rassment.Natalie Gomez, a third year residentadvisor at USF last spring, said she is notsurprised that young women dismiss harass-ment experiences. “�ere’s a certain level of apathy with sexual harassment, people feellike it’s commonplace, [because] it’s acceptedin culture.” Some students think they don’thave the right to complain and should in-stead accept the behavior. Gomez said many students are afraid of judgments that mightbe placed on them if they attempt to speak out against sexual harassment.During her years as a resident advisor,Gomez had many students come to her totalk about being sexually harassed. How-ever, many of them did not want to reportor release the information to a supervisor orstaff, because the incidents involved drugsand/or alcohol and they didn’t want to getin trouble. Jane is a perfect example of a stu-dent who fears reporting sexual harassmentto authorities, because drugs and/or alcohol were involved.“We try to educate around that you can’tconsent to sex if you’re intoxicated, that’s notconsensual sex. But I don’t really think that’sknown or thought about, so people can ndthemselves in situations where they actually didn’t consent, even if they thought they didor somebody thought one did,” said Orio, who knows there are grey areas when itcomes to understanding sexual harassment.Vice President of University Life Mar-garet Higgins was interviewed last week for some answers regarding the recent ac-quaintance rape/assault on campus. Many students have voiced concerns and fears of reporting sexual assault to authorities whendrugs or alcohol are involved. Higgins said,“�e consequences of the harassment or as-sault usually far outweigh the consequencesof another violation of the student code of conduct.” Higgins stressed the importanceof reporting sexual harassment or assault.“While I do not condone drug and/or alco-hol abuse- the focus of the investigationand charges is usually placed on the ha-rassment or assault.”“I hope all of our students- regardlessof personal consequence- would reportany case, or even suspected case, of sexualharassment and/or assault,” said Higgins.“�e consequences of not reporting canaffect not only the student but the entirestudent community.”“Most of us know or feel when a situ-ation is turning bad or dangerous, but we sometimes override that instinct,especially when we are young, we wantto seem cool or hip,” said Barker-Plum-mer. However, Barker-Plummer believesthere is nothing to be lost in reportingharassment, and the student will only gain self-respect and safety by taking ac-tion.Resident advisor Gomez said shealso thinks that students are unaware of the resources that are available to themif they are sexually harassed. “Whetherthey [students in the dorms] know itor not, we [resident advisors] are a re-source,” said Gomez.In an attempt to educate students, theUniversity provides every incoming stu-dent with violence prevention resourcesand a copy of the Fogcutter, the studenthandbook, which explains the sexual ha-rassment policy. Students receive this in-formation about sexual harassment dur-ing orientation, but Orio acknowledgedthat a lot of information gets thrown atstudents during that time, and the num-ber of students who actually sit down toread the information is probably small.Orio said students often don’t wantto hear about assault, or harassment, oranything negative. She noted that stu-dents have an attitude of “that’s not go-ing to happen to me,” so they tune outduring orientation.
Campus Resources
Although students say that they donot know where to go or who to speak to, for the most part the resources andinformation exist. A concerned studentcan go to the Dean of Students Office, where a student resource team has beenset up as extra support for students. �isadditional resource is someone who “cansit down and talk with them, advocatefor them, and go to intake meetings withthem,” said Orio.Orio supervises a full-time coordina-tor of Judicial Affairs, who trains andadvises hearing officers about sexualharassment. �rough either in-persontraining or an online tutorial, faculty andstaff are given a basic knowledge aboutsexual harassment and California law. �e training addresses how to proceed if somebody approaches them with a sex-ual harassment concern, where to referthem, and other steps they should take.“We rely on ongoing education of faculty and staff to serve as early warning systemsto prevent and correct sexual harassment,”said Gon-Soneda.Resident advisors attend sexual harass-ment training in the summer, where forthree weeks outside sources speak to themabout such issues; they also attend a crisisissues seminar, and learn how to deal withthe issue of sexual harassment and its af-termath.Orio said, “Safety is one of the biggestneeds, and how can we expect someoneto perform well academically, socially, orpersonally if those basic needs aren’t beingmet.”Students may choose to seek supportor report an incident of sexual harass-ment; however, that does not change theemotional toll that the harassing behaviorhas on their academic experience. Studentsexperiencing sexual harassment, speci-cally in the classroom, might feel uncom-fortable there, nd it hard to concentrate,or skip class and study groups to avoid theharasser.
Lasting Impact
 Jane Dixon, the student who had thelewd experience outside her freshmandorm, has endured many more experiencesof harassment, none of which she reported.In one case, Jane felt threatened by the ha-rasser, and said whenever she saw him oncampus she never made eye contact andtried to avoid him. “When I told peopleabout it a few people were like ‘that’s notcool, that really sucks.’” But many of herfriends dismissed her fears, telling her“that’s just his personality.” Jane was ec-static when he transferred schools, but wasequally disheartened by her friends’ lack of understanding during a difficult time.Elizabeth said the comments made her very uncomfortable and made it difficultto stay focused. “I would usually laugh orblow it off, because I didn’t want to haveany more conversation with him than wasabsolutely necessary,” said Elizabeth.Gender studies professor Barker-Plum-mer said that experiencing sexual harass-ment has extremely negative affects ona student’s academic experience. “It canundermine her focus, make her afraid andstop her from pursuing her life.” Jane Dixon seems resigned to living with unwanted sexual attention, and herreaction is representative of many young women.“[Stuff] like that happens all the time,and you just have to blow it off. You haveto like give it up that you’re a decently at-tractive person, and there are always goingto be…men,” said Jane.Many students avoid repoting sexualharassment because they dont think it’s abig deal, don’t know who to report it to, ordon’t want the drama of making a publicaccusation. “Unless we deal with it, it won’tchange,” said Lee. “Instead of sweepingissues under the rug, by reporting sexualharassment, the community is made awareand people can seek the help they need.”Gomez, the veteran resident advisorsaid, “It takes bravery inside the individual,I understand that it’s a hard situation; butit’s not necessarily for you, to do somethingabout it, but for the rest of the community and for the health of the community.”then process their paperwork and mark thechosen rooms with big Xs. �is tedious pro-cess took approximately three or four daysto accommodate freshmen, sophomoresand upperclassmen that signed housingcontracts to live in on-campus housing.Now, after receiving their lottery number,students can reserve their room online. Inthe future, they will even be able to decide which side of the room they prefer and if they would like their bed lofted.A negative housing situation can ruina student’s impression and college experi-ence. �e system was implemented to im-prove service with ORL and to cut downon roommate conicts. Nygaard said thatone feature of the new system is the proleapplication. �is application allows stu-dents to create a personal prole, similar toFacebook, MySpace and other social net- working Web sites, which other studentscan peruse to nd common interests. Aftercreating a prole, a student can search forother students whose proles match as-pects of their own. When a student spotscompatible people, he/she can save theirproles and view them later and comparethem. �e system provides a percentage in-dicating how closely other people’s prolesmatch a student’s. Interestingly, Nygaardsaid that studies have shown that room-mates who are most compatible are thosethat share similar tastes in music.In addition to creating a personal pro-le, students can make housing paymentsthrough the electronic system, create ascreen name to chat with other studentsand sign housing contracts. In the past, stu-dents have expected ORL to match them with a compatible roommate. However,the electronic housing system places thisburden on the students. Nygaard said withthis system, “Students take responsibility early on to nd roommates.” �e proleand chat features prompt students to think about nding a roommate long before thehousing selection process begins.As of last week, 30 incoming fresh-men and 700 students total have loggedinto the new system to apply for housing,search for a roommate or see which roomsare available. On Feb. 12, the rst day thatthe electronic system was made availableto students, the site crashed because toomany students had attempted to log in atthe same time. Nygaard said the system isadolescent and ORL is still working outthe errors. �e system also has the capabil-ity to generate reports that will aid ORL inmaking data driven decisions. For example,the data derived from the new system canlet ORL know how many sophomores areplanning to live on campus and they canplan accordingly.Nygaard hopes that the new system willhelp “create an effective environment” forstudents to learn and socialize at USF. Hesaid, “We [ORL] are here to serve out stu-dents.”If students have problems accessingand using the new electronic system, they should contact ORL directly at extension6824, or stop by the ORL office in PhelanHall. �e system can be accessed by log-ging into USF Connect and clicking onUSFrooms under the student tab.
USFrooms TakesThe Hassle Out of Housing Process
 When most people hear the word“February,” they think about Valentine’sDay, owers, and hearts. However, Febru-ary is also Black History Month, a timefor all races to come together to appreci-ate the history and the future of African-American people.Each year at USF, the Black StudentUnion holds a variety of entertaining, ed-ucational and culturally enriching eventsin celebration of Black History Month.BSU Vice-President of Internal Af-fairs, Halimah Najieb-Locke said, “Black History Month is a time for all of Amer-ica, and the world, to reect on the inu-ence African Americans have had on thiscountry’s development and the key role we play in the direction the world is go-ing. It is also a time to pay our respectsas a people to those who have passed who were in the struggle to gain our rights asa people.”On Feb. 26, BSU held the 2009 Black Cultural Dinner as the nal event of theBlack History Month celebration. �eevent was very popular among USF stu-
Cultural Dinner Culminates Month of African-American Heritage
Staff Writer 
dents; members of BSU had to bring inadditional tables and chairs during theevent because of the large number of at-tendees.Politics Professor James Taylor gave anoverview of the San Francisco FillmoreDistrict and the rich history of politics,culture, and jazz that thrives in the Fill-more. �e dinner was comprised of warmspinach salad, catsh po’boys, buttermilk chive mashed potatoes, roasted brusselssprouts, and USF alumnus Preston Wal-ton’s personal recipe for chicken and an-douille gumbo.After the delicious feast, ManagingPartner Monetta White and ExecutiveChef David Lawrence of the restaurant1300 Fillmore spoke about their experi-ence doing business in the historic Fill-more neighborhood. �ey held an opendiscussion forum describing the currentenvironment of the Fillmore District andthe revitalization of the area. Junior psychology major, ElizabethQuintero, who attended the Black Cul-tural Dinner, said, “I have lived in the Bay Area my whole life and always known of the crime in the Fillmore District, but af-ter today I am glad to have been informedof how things are changing and being re- vitalized in such a historic area.” White and Lawrence’s restaurant givesback to the community through commu-nity service. �ey use their upscale restau-rant to disprove the negative stereotypesof the area and help return the Fillmoreto its roots and times of prosperity.Lawrence describes his cuisine as“soul food made in a French technique.”He treated all members of the audienceto a delicious dessert of caramelized ap-ple bread pudding with vanilla bean icecream and candied pecans. Junior Johnny Barajas, who attendedthe event, said, “�e event was put on well and gave a terric and in-depthoverview of Black History Month. I willdenitely attend next year.”After the event concluded, Najieb-Locke said, “I would like to say that Black History Month is not just a time to pay homage to our forefathers, but a time togain inspiration from their strength andmove forward in our futures as powerfulmen and women who can effectuate im-portant, and irreplaceable change to this world.”ORL:
Continued from page one 
Continued from page one 
Melissa Stihl/Foghorn
Black Student Union President Courtney Ball and Politics Professor James Taylorshare a laugh at BSUs Cultural Awareness Dinner last Thursday evening.
 We need to create an environment wherepeople are encouraged to come forward and when they do, the victims need to be believed andsupported
-Debbie Lee, Family Violence Prevention Fund
“ ” 
San Francisco Foghorn
MARCH 5, 2009
ll i
“We celebrate our resistance, stomp-ing, kicking and dancing in perfect cha-os.” Her words echoed through the silentlounge that had been lled with music anddance just seconds before, as Dina Omar,a Palestinian-American and a UC Berke-ley undergraduate student, recited a poemshe had written about Palestinian resis-tance in Gaza. Her words were mostly inEnglish and partly in Arabic. She contin-ued reading her poem as the roughly 300in the diverse crowd applauded, whistledand yelled words of encouragement. “Tellthem, we will return to our homeland,” shesaid. “Tell them, we will paint these walls with our sweat and our blood.” Each wordseemed to resonate with the crowd as they continued to nod their heads in agreement,and she continued to bare her strong feel-ings about her Palestinian heritage.“We are always way too…overwhelmed with tears and checkpoints, and gunspointed at our heads, and the sound of quietness and the white phosphorus thatthickens the sky. We celebrate ourselvesand our resistance,” Dina said.330 Ritch, a nightclub in SOMA, host-ed Dina and other poets on the night of Feb. 25. People from all over Californiacame together for a charity event, unitedin the common goal to raise money to buy medical supplies for Palestinians in Gaza who are lacking proper medical care fol-lowing last month’s Israeli offensive alongthe Gaza Strip. �e concert, entitled “Get Down ForGaza,” featured music and poetry from DJLeydis, DJ Sake One, Excentrik, Davey D,Omar Offendum and Mark Gonzales. �e poetry, lyrics and music cen-tered around the Palestinian cause inGaza, though criticism of current politicsthroughout the Middle East and South-east Asia was a common thread through-out each performance.“Most Americans don’t know this,but Afghanis, they don’t hate Americans,they hate the arrogance that can’t differ-entiate between violence and self-defenseand labels everything as ‘terrorist,’” saidMark Gonzales in one of his three po-ems throughout the event that began at9 p.m. on Wednesday night and ended at2 a.m. on �ursday morning. In Lebanonbombs drop like beats,” he said. “Childrenfall asleep…only wondering if they’ll livelong enough to dream tonight.” In thebackground, Excentric played a low, slow tune on the Oud, a string instrument simi-lar looking to the guitar that is commonly used in Middle Eastern music. Gonzalesis an L.A.-based poet and is part of a se-ries of social justice events spearheadedby thirdSPACE Productions, a graphicdesign rm formed in 2002 by a group of multimedia artists.Gonzales and the other artists who per-formed have worked with thirdSPACEproductions in the past, and Gonzales saidhe will be part of similar events in New Orleans on Mar. 20 and in Seattle duringthe month of May.“�ey say that evil is a necessary, but when is it really,” said Omar Offendum,as he discussed gun violence not only inthe Middle East, but at home and in ourneighborhoods.“We didn’t meet our goal, but the clubowners and the DJs said they were happy  with how much we raised, considering thetime and day of the event,” said Yara Bad-day, a graphic designer for thirdSPACEProductions. Badday, an Iraqi-American,
Music and Poetry Express Gazan Anguish
Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Addressed at MELA
Spring Break Plans Tempered by Economy
As the frigid winter ends but before theicy clutch of San Francisco summer, springblessedly nears the horizon. Easter may still be more than a bunny-hop away, butit is never too early to think about SpringBreak. Yet between pocket-burning airlinetickets and a queasy economy, some mustcurtail possible globetrotting excursions.However, there are still some exciting op-tions available to thrifty students. Fromcommunity service to thespian retreats,USF students have certainly not resignedthemselves to a dull spring break.Stephen Gotfredson, a theology gradu-ate student and Phelan Hall resident min-ister, has created Alternative Spring Break for any Saint Ignatius students staying oncampus. Alternative Spring Break is “forstudents who are really passionate aboutgiving back to their community and whodon’t know many organizations here in thecity. Every single day will be spent with adifferent organization.” Habitat for Hu-manity, Glide, and the Rescued OrphanMammal Program are just a few of the or-ganizations. For performing arts and social justice majors involved with the April pro-duction of “�e Laramie Project,” springbreak means following artistic pursuits.According to stage manager Zoe Bron-stein, “the majority of the cast has decidedto stay and rehearse.”Priscilla Trasvina, a sophomore businessmajor, has taken an economical view of herspring break. “I’ll just be working at thefront desk,” she said. “It’s extra money tospend.” Her big vacation will come in thesummer, with a trip to Los Angeles.Another campus-bound student, fresh-man Gabriel Avina, plans to “relax, hangout, and read books. Maybe go see Lake Tahoe. It would be nice to go home but it’sso far away.” Avina is from �ailand, anda trip home would take two days just intransit. “For that amount of time, it’s justnot worth it.”Other students will return to their na-tive soils, some happily, others not quite.“I was going to go to Vancouver and seethe sights,” said freshman Aaron Halbleib.“But people just weren’t on board.” Cana-dian adventures thwarted, Halbleib saidhe will return to his San Mateo home and“cry myself to sleep because I don’t haveanything cool to do. Actually, I’m not thatdisappointed. I’ll save a lot of money. I’llprobably to do a road trip to Chico Stateinstead.”On the other hand, Sacramento nativeBarbara Evangelista is happy to see homeagain. For her, it is the perfect occasionfor catching up on sleep. “I’ll get to relaxand not deal with the stress of classes andmidterms.” Evangelista, who took a cruiseover winter break, said, “A vacation is cool,but just being able to go home is niceenough.”MIMI HONEYCUTT
Staff Writer 
Staff Writer 
ute, and a separate Hawaiian Ensembledance, the nal speaker of the night ap-proached the podium. USF senior Erin-Kate Escobar, a Jewish-American student,spoke about the Palestinian-Israeli conict. �e issue was the focus of the Muslim Stu-dent Association. Escobar talked about be-ing Jewish and recognizing Jewish and Is-raeli injustices, as well as Jewish-Americansbeing major contributors to the AmericanIsrael Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which seeks to maintain and strengthenthe American-Israeli relationship.“In terms of the Palestinian-Israeli con-ict, I have no resolution for you tonight,”she joked with the crowd, giving those inattendance a bit of comic relief in betweenher speech and a poem she wrote abouthow she feels being a Jewish-American.“I am from the esh and bones of thecolonized and the colonizers,” she toldthe crowd. Escobar also gave informationabout “Abraham’s Vision,” an organizationthat explores social relations within and inbetween Jewish, Muslim, Israeli and Pal-estinian communities. Escobar went ona trip with the group last summer to theMiddle East, where they explored just al-ternatives to the status quo in the MiddleEast. She encouraged other students whoidentify with any of their communities todo the same. �e MELA event grew this semesterfrom the previous one held, with moreclubs and more students in attendance.Sajja said, “We want to try and get otherclubs involved, and more students to comeevery time.”ISO:
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GAZA: Continued on Page 4
Nicholas Mukhar/Foghorn
Tarik Kazaleh, aka Excentrik, plays the oud, a popular Middle Eastern stringinstrument, at the Get Down for Gaza event last Wednesday night.

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