Tag Archives: classes

Koret: Your Answer to Fighting Inactivity

Nicholas Welsh

Staff Writer


Once again, we all face the start of another school year. By now, many have turned to sharpening their minds for their upcoming classes, looking to shed off the summer rust that has built up in their brain. You can kiss goodbye to that rock-hard summer body, now it’s time to binge eat after you bomb your first midterm that you forget to study for, or gain the “Freshman 15″ like everyone says you will. Midnight pizza will become a food staple in the dorms, as well as the delicious snickerdoodle cookies baked fresh in the cafeteria. With the independent college lifestyle comes the overzealous caloric intake. Many are unprepared for the sudden change college brings, but there is a solution: USF’s gym, the Koret Health and Recreation Center.

Located a block away from campus, the Koret Center is just close enough to not have an excuse to not exercise. Koret is fully equipped; from a state of the art weight room to a 50-meter by 25-yard pool. If lifting or swimming is not your thing, rows of treadmills and other exercise machines line the second and third floors. Swig Pavilion and Hagan Gym provide multiple basketball courts, and there is also an equipment check-out area which stores basketballs, towels, locks, and other items. Access to these items is granted through your USF ID card, which is also your key to getting into the building. An extra incentive to exercise is that there is no fee when you visitthe Koret Center!

If you prefer organized, team-oriented activities, there are many club sports that you could join. Club sports offered include water polo, badminton, boxing, soccer, as well as less traditional sports such as Brazilian jiu jitsu, taekwondo, and table tennis. There are also many intramural sports that are a hit amongst USF students. On Thursday nights, many students can be found playing intramural basketball, which includes referees and jerseys that are provided by Koret. Indoor soccer, flag football, and kickball are just a few other popular intramural sports that are available. There is a small fee to join an intramural team, but as many students will tell you, it is well worth it.KoretSwim_v2

If you are looking to advance your workout routine, Koret also offers group exercise classes. Zumba, TRX (Total Body Resistance Exercise) training, boxing conditioning, and self defense are a few of the classes offered.

Koret also provides services to help students adapt to their new college environment. On campus you will notice flyers advertising Welcome Weekends, which present chances for freshmen and transfer students to explore the city and make new friends early in the semester. Upcoming events include a trip to Fisherman’s Wharf on Aug. 23, and a bike ride around Golden Gate Park on Sept. 7.  Students can also travel and meet other students through Outdoor Adventures, a program where groups of Dons come together to attend Giants games, visit Alcatraz, go horse riding, and more.

Senioritis: What is the Source?

Senioritis is an affliction that affects most college students when they are nearing the end of their collegiate careers. I, like a lot of my colleagues, am graduating in December, making this my final semester at USF. This knowledge can do one of two things. In the first scenario, the final semester will make you want to work harder so that when you graduate, you feel a sense of accomplishment in knowing that you worked hard all the way to the end. In the other scenario, the last semester means all you need to do is pass your classes to reach the 128 required credits, why put in that extra effort? You have been working hard for the past three years, why not slack off a bit and enjoy the last days as a student before entering the real world?

It is not laziness or apathy, but knowing the end is just around the corner sometimes give seniors this sense of indifference towards their school work. Some professors and overachieving students would find this kind of attitude blasphemous, but this kind of behavior is natural after being in school for over 16 years and basically having the same routine. For me, the feeling is that I have three months left before my life begins. My final classes are like paying my final dues to enter what my life will be, and most of us want our lives to begin as soon as possible.

My major is listed as politics and my minor is listed as legal studies, but I have no intention of trying to be the first female president of the United States, nor do I have the intention of going to law school. When I entered my freshman year at USF, law school was on my mind and getting involved with politics was a passion of mine, but because of my liberal arts education here I learned about other areas of education and tapped into something I was truly passionate about, which was journalism. More specifically, sports journalism. Through learning about the press in my law classes and politics classes, I found that this was the area I wanted to get involved in. I lost interest in my political endeavors, and, frankly, law school is too much work for a job that takes over your life. Finishing college as quickly as possible to get started on a career in journalism was the first thing on my mind. Changing my major might have tacked on another semester to my four year sentence. I have cut down my time in school to three and half years by choosing to graduate early. Finding a job in the field I want is what is on my mind, not these classes that do not interest me anymore. In all honesty, senioritis started taking a hold of me during my junior year when I started losing interest in my classes. From that point on I was simply going through the motions of getting up, going to class, doing homework, and repeat. Knowing that this will finally be coming to an end gives me a sense of relief and makes my drive to go through the motions slower.

Unlike me, most seniors will pursue a job in their major’s field, but what we have in common is that we are sick of learning about what interests us and we are anxious to apply our knowledge in the real world in a real job that can give us fulfillment. Even though paying bills, taxes, and going to a job from 9-5 seems scary, I see it as finally being considered a member of society to be taken seriously with this fancy degree and being treated as more than just a college student. Finding a life outside the walls of USF is something exciting, and not having to go to uninteresting classes everyday is also a plus. Slacking a bit and being less motivated should be somewhat expected from seniors, but the reasons behind senioritis may not be as black and white as sheer laziness.

USF Core Requirements Are Keeping Students From Pursuing Interests

As USF students at a liberal arts college in the Jesuit tradition, we know before entering that there are core requirements in place to give us the most well-rounded education possible and also include classes that reflect social justice.  It is valuable for us to study areas beyond our majors, but at what point does this benefit start restricting us from pursuing our interests?

USF’s core class requirements are lengthy and sometimes prevent us from exploring something more than the core and a major.

We should be able to take an extra class of our choice without the fear of not fulfilling graduation requirements.

USF requires us to take a theology class, an ethics class and a philosophy class; three similar subjects. As a religious school, USF’s theology requirement is fair, but we should be able to choose between ethics and philosophy because they have very similar underlying theories.  By freeing up an opportunity for us to take another class, it will allow us to venture into subjects we want to learn more about instead of subjects we are required to learn about.

Another downside of the core requirements is they are too specific.

A USF student enrolled in a math or theology class is not assured that the class will count for the math or theology requirement.  For example, “Religion and Society,” taught by Professor James Taylor, does not count towards USF’s theology requirement.  By making the requirements too specific, USF is restricting students to a few classes that we may not be interested in.

If the core allowed any theology class to count for the theology requirement, we may be more inclined to take a class that interests us more than Catholicism 101.  Another option is amending the visual and performing arts requirement and making it more inclusive by encompassing a drawing class or a painting class and removing the possible uncomfortable feeling of performing in front of peers.

Just as we need to understand that core requirements are in place for our benefit, USF must understand that we want the freedom to tailor our core classes as we see fit.

We should be encouraged to play an active roll in completing our education by  having more options in how to complete our own core requirements.

Unforuntately, USF’s requirements are the norm in comparison to other Jesuit universities in the area.

The University of Santa Clara’s general core requirement is very similar to USF’s, with the exception of  broader categories and a language requirement that takes less time to complete.

Santa Clara runs on a quarter schedule and requires only two quarters of a foreign language.

However, their theology requirement takes more time to complete than USF’s, as they require students to take three quarters of theology under their title of “Religion, Theology, and Culture.”

Santa Clara’s requirements equal the same amount of classes as USF, but allow students more freedom to choose which classes to take to fulfill the core.

Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, another Jesuit university, regulates their core system with five different categories: Thought and Expression, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Mathematics, and English Literature.

Each section requires a different number of credits. Some categories requires one class while others require three.  The total amount of credits required to fulfill core requirements is 31.

But Gonzaga, like USF, has a narrow selection of courses that students can choose from to fulfill each category.

The core seems less invasive than USF’s core, but it still restricts students to a limited number of choices and  gives them less freedom in choosing the course of their education.

Having a core-curriculum is essential to a well-rounded education, but its requirement should not keep us from pursuing a second passion or venturing further into a major.

USF’s selection of classes that fulfull core requirements must be broadened so that we can appreciate the core curriculum for exposing us to new topics rather than resent it for driving us away from topics we want to study.

Broadening the core choices would make it easier for us to fulfill requirements and give us more freedom in shaping our own educational path.