This is Long’s seventh semester on Senate. “The reason I continued being on Senate is because I enjoyed the interactions that I had with my peers,” said Long, “and I truly believe that ASUSF Senate is the premier organization to get involved in if you truly want to make [a] positive change on the USF campus.” Over the next year, she hopes to increase the visibility and accessibility of Senate as an organization within the realm of Student Leadership and Engagement as well as the greater USF community as a whole.
In an effort to prevent hazing throughout the USF community, the Associated Students of the University of San Francisco (ASUSF) Senate passed the Official ASUSF Senate Charges Against Hazing document on Tuesday, Feb. 4.
The initiative was spearheaded by sophomore Jennifer Echeagaray, a member of Senate, Greek Council, and Delta Zeta Sorority. The document was compiled in a joint effort among Senate, the Peer Advising Team (PAT) and Greek Council.
The policy was created on the basis of prevention rather than punishment, Echeagaray explained. She said it’s easy for organizations with new member processes to fall into practices that can be defined as hazing and “Senate felt really strongly that we should take action to prevent that.”
The document outlines the definition of hazing, according to California State Law, stating that hazing is “conduct which causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger, physical harm, or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm to another person in the course of the other person’s pre initiation into, initiation into, affiliation with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization.”
Chibnall said a lot of times hazing is occurring even when students don’t realize it.
As Senate doesn’t have the jurisdiction to enforce the policy or impose sanctions on perpetrators of hazing, the document currently functions as an educational tool and invitation for organizations with new member processes.
Johnny Chibnall, ASUSF Senate President and member of Pi Kappa Phi, stressed that the document doesn’t strictly apply to Greek communities, but all organizations, which will be invited to anti hazing events such as new member education and campus events during national hazing prevention week.
Both Chibnall and Echeagaray were pleased to discover that Senate became so involved with the creation of this document. “It was really interesting to see how many Senators in Greek organizations and not [in greek organizations], really cared about this. It was really cool to see,” said Chibnall.
The difference between this document and policies set forth by specific Greek organizations is that those groups usually follow policies suggested by Fraternal Information and Programming Group (FIPG), which have direct consequences such as a probation period or expulsion, according to Echeagaray. She went on to say, “whereas with this it’s more of like, here are the tools we are giving you so that this doesn’t happen.”
Chibnall said a lot of times hazing is occurring even when students don’t realize it. The document states that the rationale behind hazing can be “based on the principles of seniority or superiority,” and can serve as a rite of passage. “It’s really easy to rationalize, and so hopefully this will be able to allow students to say that this is actually happening to me and can ask for help or know how to deal with it,” said Chibnall.
Chibnall went on to say, “We just want to create a space where people can feel like they can have this education and report it and be aware of all their rights as students.” Even though student senators can’t be the ones to enforce it, they made this policy so that, “Senate can do as much as they possibly can within their powers to ensure that anti-hazing education or hazing prevention is given to as many students as possible,” said Chibnall.
As this document serves as a means for Senate to take a stand against hazing, the document states, “ASUSF Senate does not believe that hazing, in any form, will unite a group in a positive or communal manner…. ASUSF Senate urges all student organizations as well as departments with new member policies and periods to reevaluate those policies in order to eradicate hazing from their practices.”
Junior Claire Posel, the Vice President of New Member Education for Delta Zeta, fully agrees with and supports the anti-hazing prevention policy. “As an organization we do not, and have never, supported any form of hazing. Our sorority was founded because six women wanted to form an organization that practiced and taught love, support, friendship, and empowerment of women,” said Posel, who thinks that hazing prevents trust and sisterhood while “contradicting the concept of empowerment.”
Posel said that in her position, she wants to devote herself to educating the women who choose to join and help them successfully transition into the sisterhood. “Our New Member program is based on caring for the New Members and ensuring their success and comfort within our organization,” she said.
Chibnall said that if there were to be any hazing incidents on campus, that is dealt with through the offices of Student Leadership Engagement (SLE) and the Office of Student Conduct Rights and Responsibilities (OSCRR) because they have step-by-step processes of how to deal with such events.
Both Chibnall and Echeagaray hope to see this policy become a requirement for all organizations upon their registration, along with the continuation of anti-hazing measures, such as the social media initiative they took last fall in which members of student organizations wrote “don’t haze me” on visible parts of the body, as well as an on campus forum put on by USF’s newest fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, which was “an open discussion with anyone who came and talked about what hazing really means and how does it affect the greater community,” Echeagaray said.
Posel said she hopes that other schools and organizations will follow suit and enforce anti-hazing policies so that, “the cruel and pointless practice of hazing is successfully prevented.”
USF plans to build a new residence hall, a new academic building for the Arts, and new athletic facilities, alongside other projects, as part of a 20-year development plan. Peter Novak, the Vice Provost of Student Life, presented USF’s Institutional Master Plan (IMP) at a Senate meeting on November 19.
The San Francisco Planning Department requires educational institutions to submit an IMP every 10 years to inform both city officials and the public about future facility and site plans on campus and their impact.
According to the IMF, USF’s housing quality is not competitive with many peer institutions. In 2011, the dorms accommodated only 38% of USF students. The new student housing would accommodate a higher percentage of students on campus and provide more housing options.
Novak said that the new dorms will probably be located where the ROTC building is now, and the new Arts building will either be placed below it, or in a new building that the university would purchase nearby.
The only obstacle to the development project is opposition from the neighbors.
The University Terrace Association (UTA), a neighborhood group, is concerned that the construction plans will increase the student population and consequently create traffic and parking problems. They are asking USF to prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) before constructing a new residence hall. The EIR could take up to a year to create, which would hold off the project.
In 2010, the same neighborhood group appealed USF’s plan to construct the John Lo Schiavo Science Center because of similar concerns. In early 2011, the Foghorn reported that a compromise — limiting construction hours and improving long-term communication — between the UTA and USF was reached.
If an agreement is reached, Novak projected that the new residence hall will be built at least 4 years from now.
To Mr. Charlie Cross, Vice President of Business and Finance:
“We, the ASUSF Senate, will strive to ensure that every voice, concern, and suggestion to improve USF is heard by addressing the needs of our constituents through compromise and cooperation. We will communicate with the administration to move ideas forward. We will uphold the University’s mission and respect the Jesuit values.”
That quote comes from our mission statement as the official governing body of the associated students of USF. As representatives, a large area of concern that has been brought to our attention is the food service at our university, overseen by your office and managed by Bon Appétit. Several of the more specific concerns include the high prices of food in the campus cafeterias, as well as with catering for student organization’s events. Another concern is food safety with the incorrect or incomplete labeling of food allergens. Additionally, there is a concern about the treatment and management of student workers, and also the lack of transparency in decision-making about food service that affect all students.
These concerns, however, are not new. They have been repeatedly brought to our attention and in turn, Senate has attempted to bring these concerns to your office and to Bon Appétit without much success. Due to the lack of sufficient response, a Senator decided to translate the inaction into a peaceful boycott of Bon Appétit. The intention of the boycott is not to make the company or USF lose money, but the intention is to publicly express student concerns about the running of food service at our university. It is so rare that a campus issue affects so many students to a point at which they decide to have dialogues and take action. Whether they agree with Senate’s action or not, most students are opinionated on this issue which is important for all of us to see. The University of San Francisco is an institution of higher education with “a belief in and a commitment to advancing: the full, integral development of each person and all persons… with the belief that no individual or group may rightfully prosper at the expense of others and a culture of service that respects and promotes the dignity of every person.” So let us peacefully work together for the betterment of each other and our university community.
Koret Health and Recreation Center receives $1,000,000 from Susan Koret, lifetime Board Chair of Koret Foundation
Guest speaker Chuck White, Director of Recreational Sports Department of Koret Health and Recreation Center, updated students about the Koret Center.
Susan Koret gave the center $1,000,000 grant in light of the student outreach and programing
they have done, and that money has been used to upgrade the “cardiovascular alley”, on the second floor of Koret. There are now 16 different TV channels, a renovated large and small weight room, and plans for all machines by the windows to be replaced.
Did you know?
Koret employs 109 students and 47 part-time students as staff, reported White. “Students always come first in Koret and they do everything for us,” he said.
Koret gives free half-hour lessons on any machine or any room for students getting acquainted with the Center.
Registered fall students are good to work out through intersession! However, if they’d like to use Koret during the summer, they must be registered for summer classes.
Senate policy on hazing may suspend reported clubs or funded accounts from ASUSF funding for 2 years
John Chibnall, ASUSF Senate President, and Echeagaray, Students of Color Representative, spoke about Senate’s Stance Against Hazing. Senior senator Taylor Jackson has motioned to amend the document under the “Be It Resolved” statement to change Senate policy so that any club or funded account that has been reported for hazing by the Office of Student Conduct (OSC) will be suspended from ASUSF Senate funding for two years.
Representatives of Senate decided to postpone discussion of the amendment for the following weekly meeting as to allow some time for Senate to work with OSC and Student Leadership and Engagement (SLE) to find out the best way to discipline organizations or individuals accused of hazing.
Public safety updates students on the shuttle service, Path Lite — a safety escort smart phone app, and on-campus sexual assault cases
Guest speaker Daniel Lawson, Senior Director of the Department of Public Safety, provided an update on upcoming projects and renovations in the department. Three projects he spoke about concerned the Public Safety shuttle, the emergency notification system, and sexual assault.
Thanks to funds from ASUSF, a second public safety shuttle was purchased in September to provide the service to more students. The shuttle will hopefully be ready by November, said Lawson, and will be introduced in late fall or as soon as possible.
On the topic of the safety on campus, Lawson and Jason Rossi, a representative from One Card, spoke about the recent glitch in the emergency email notification system. Public Safety reported a Google glitch as reason behind some students not receiving email alert of a crime that occurred on campus earlier this semester. “ITS worked out the issue and hopefully it will never happen again,” Lawson said.
He also introduced students to Path Lite — a safety escort application for smart phones. If a student is walking from one area on-campus to another, the app will notify dispatch and will track the student’s movement around campus. If the student does not reach his or her final destination in a certain time, then dispatchers will be notified and report to the area. Path Lite was developed last October and, though it is still being tested, it is currently ready and available for use, said Rossi.
Public Safety reported a Google glitch as reason behind some students not receiving email alert of a crime that occurred on campus earlier this semester.
On the topic of sexual assault, Lawson spoke about the Title IX Investigations. There have been aggressive investigations of complaints of sexual assault on campus, he said. Public Safety has spent many hours investigating the situation through interviewing victims, suspects, and survivors. “This is happening behind the scenes because it is confidential,” he said. “So [Public Safety has] created a procedure where certain information was given to RA’s. If they believe there is a threat to everyone, then they will send out messages to everyone. So these are the challenges they have. They are not trying to cover anything up, they are just under confidentiality.” The Gender and Sexuality Center had a presentation last night about the forces in male culture that may lead to sexual assault and ways to stop and solve the crimes of sexual assaults on campus and at large.