Fall 2014 issue 15

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    December 10, 2014ISSUE 15VOLUME XCIX

    Mushroom varieties

    flourish at Fungus Fair

    Read more on Page 8

    Serving the San Francisco State community since 1927

    San Francisco became the first city in the nation to adopt a bill of rights for retail workers Dec. 5, which addresses issues with unfavorable working con-ditions and inconsistent sched-uling.

    The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the legislation on Nov. 26. The law will take effect this summer and will apply to chain stores with 11 or more locations nationwide.

    Over the summer, I begged my manager for more hours, but many weeks I couldnt get over 24, said SF State student Michelle Flores. Not having hours to work means Ive had to choose between milk and eggs. Ive learned to eat on the cheap.

    Flores works for a chain gro-cery store and said her managers prefer hiring part-time workers because it decreased the likeli-hood of having to pay overtime.

    Insufficient and unpredict-able hours are common prob-lems for retail workers with some stores deliberately hiring

    only part-time workers, said the program director for the San Francisco Labor Foundation Conny Ford. According to Ford, awareness of workers issues is growing and several other major cities are looking into introduc-ing similar legislation.

    We heard from workers that theyre working involuntarily part-time, Ford said. We heard this over and over.

    Ford learned of how wide-spread the problems of insuffi-cient hours and erratic schedules are while campaigning for the minimum wage raise. Many of the retail workers she talked to said they wanted to work full-time but were only given part-time hours.

    The rise in scheduling software has led to an increase in irregular schedules that are designed to be cost-effective but do not consider the human needs of employees, Michelle Lim of Jobs With Justice said. The software has become especially common with large national chain stores.

    College faces major changes

    T hree and a half years ago on a navy ship off the coast of Papua New Guinea, Daniel Bernardi phoned then-Dean Paul Sherwin of the College of Liberal and Creative Arts to negotiate a job as chair of the cinema department. This summer he succeeded Sherwin and walked the Univer-sitys halls to determine how he could better allocate space.

    Bernardi, now interim dean, has major changes planned for the LCA this winter,

    including moves for the English and anthro-pology departments along with the Division of Information Technology, with hopes of freeing up needed space for the University.

    Space is a true challenge for the college

    and the University, Bernardi said. What we discovered was that our colleagues in HSS are two to three to an office. Their space is pretty dilapidated.

    During the winter recess, anthropology will relocate to the fifth floor of the Fine Arts building from the Science Building, accord-ing to Bernardi. Additionally, the department will receive roughly $100,000 for renova-tions needed to make the fifth floor suitable for students. About $300,000 of non-curric-ular funds have been set aside for the LCA reconfiguration, according to Bernardi.

    Students join Berkeley protest

    against police brutality

    Nearly 50 SF State students rallied in Malcolm X Plaza Monday before joining a mass march through the streets of Berkeley to protest recent police killings of unarmed black men.

    The rally was organized by SF States Black and Brown Liberation Coalition and focused on the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, both killed by officers who were recently not charged of any crimes by two separate grand juries. After the rally on campus, students joined more than 1,000

    protesters in Berkeley.The marchers shouted slogans, shut

    down traffic and forced buses to reroute. Interstate 80 and Amtrak trains were both blocked by protesters. Students chanted no justice, no peace, no racist police, and waved protest signs that read a badge is not a license to kill and black lives matter.

    A lot of people were really angry and were like what can we do right now? said BBLC member Imani Davis. Its not that we want no police, but we dont want them

    shooting people and not getting indicted. The coalition first started when several

    SF State students gathered to hear a speech about Browns death, according to BBLC founder Brittany Moore. She urged student groups to work together to address issues in marginalized communities, such as police violence and inequality in the education system.

    FLAG: SF State students and the Black and Brown Libera-tion Coalition hold signs and flags up at Malcolm X Plaza for a protest against police brutality Mon-day, Dec. 8.

    FORUM: Interim dean of the College of Liberal and Creative Arts Daniel Bernardi responds to questions from Xpress staff members during a formal interview in the Humanities Building Wednesday, Dec. 3.


    PETER SNARR psnarr@mail.sfsu.edu

    Ive had to choose between milk and eggs. Ive learned to eat on the cheap.

    Michelle Flores,SF STATE STUDENT

    CHLOE JOHNSONchloej@mail.sfsu.edu





    Ramifications of past University decisions have caught up to an SF

    State college, causing a new dean to reconsider department spaces

    CHLOE JOHNSONchloej@mail.sfsu.edu

    San Francisco leads nation in workers rights

  • After much anticipation from educa-tors, students and other community mem-bers, the San Francisco Board of Educa-tion unanimously passed a resolution Dec. 9 to implement an ethnic studies program in each of the districts high schools.

    The resolution, set to unroll in 2015, is estimated to cost $469,833 per year and will expand the ethnic studies pilot program already in place of five of the dis-tricts 19 high schools, according to Gen-tle Blythe, chief communications officer at San Francisco Unified School District.

    Gabriel De La Cruz, an ethnic studies teacher at Thurgood Marshall Academic High School, rallied with his students in front of the district administrative office before the board meeting to demonstrate his support for the resolution.

    I support the resolution because we live in a multicultural city, De La Cruz said. Theres not just one culture or dominant culture in San Francisco. I think weve all culturally made San Francisco what it is, so I think its important to learn about our culture and the cultures that are out there.

    Teachers in support of the program said it equips students with knowledge about the historical contributions of ethnic minorities and offers a more accurate account of history.

    Thurgood Marshall is one of the five high schools that adopted the pilot pro-gram in 2010. De La Cruz said he sets his classroom up with a community-oriented approach where students are encouraged to share personal stories and take respon-sibility for one anothers learning.

    The way they learn closes this ethnic

    divide, De La Cruz said. They see more similarities than differences through ethnic studies and by sharing stories so they can start working together on build-ing against the things that are separating them.

    His students assisted in the campaign for the program by gathering signatures for a petition, making posters for the rally and posting messages of support on social media, according to De La Cruz.

    The Ethnic Studies Now coalition organized an ethnic studies campaign, which included the signature petition and encouraged supporters to post 15-second videos on Instagram describing what ethnic studies means to them. Hundreds of people across the nation, including teachers and students of all grade levels,

    submitted photos and videos with the #ethnicstudiesSF2014 hashtag.

    SF State graduate student Desiree Cook shared a photo with a message on Instagram relating the need for ethnic studies to the recent police killings of un-armed black men Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Cook held a sign in the photo that read, Ethnic studies is the difference be-tween life and death, adding the #blacka-ndbrownlivesmatter hashtag below.

    Cook said her statement in the photo meant that inequality at every level, in-cluding education, results in unjust deaths at the hands of authorities.

    Ethnic studies is the light, Cook said. It brings a whole new perspective. It brings more awareness of the issues and inequalities happening in the community.

    SF State ethnic studies professor Roberto Rivera was a lecturer during the 1968 student strike that established the first and only College of Ethnic Studies in the country.

    Rivera was born in Guatemala and became aware of his ethnic identity upon arriving in the United States in the 1950s. He said that until the establishment of the college, there had been no outlet for students of color to make sense of their experiences

    We felt in 1968 that we needed a place where we could talk about our history, about our situation, our values and our traditions, Rivera said. Most importantly, somewhere where we could talk about our contributions to this society, so that we wouldnt see ourselves only as problems.

    Rivera said the program will help create a future with children who have a more comprehensive education.

    They are going to be more complete human beings, Rivera said. They are going to have a more accurate perspective of global history. Students of color are not going to be tempted to think they are strangers in this land because they are not European or because they dont have a European culture.

    Board commissioner Jill Wyns voted in favor of the resolution and said the biggest challenges standing in the way of the program are money and teachers. She added that the districts high schools will need to allocate funds to the program, which could result in cutting costs to other areas.

    This is complicated, Wyns said. What we voted here tonight doesnt make this happen. We need to make it happen, thats our job.



    Supervisor spearheads effort to address Ferguson investigation

    Supervisor John Avalos amended a resolution Dec. 9 that would urge the U.S. Department of Justice to expedite its inves-tigation of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson and lead to countrywide protest.

    Avalos proposed a revised version called the Equal Jus-tice Resolution that affirms the boards commitment to equal jus-tice under the law and the First Amendment right to protest.

    Changes to the previous resolution also acknowledged the United States broken and racially-biased justice system and urged the Department of Justice, Congress and President Barack

    Obama to review national po-licing and judicial practices.

    John felt it was an issue that consumed a lot of people,

    said Jeremy Pollock, legislative aide to the supervisor. He want-ed to have the board weigh in with their opinion on the events.

    Protests spread across the country after a St. Louis County Grand Jury decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Brown Aug. 9.

    The new resolution states the recent incidents of officer involved killings of people of color, overwhelmingly impacting young black and brown men, has led to sustained, large-scale protests across the country and underscored the United States

    centuries old, failed promise of racial equality.

    The supervisors will vote on the revised resolution at the Dec. 16 board meeting, which was originally introduced last month. Supervisors Jane Kim, Malia Cohen and David Campos signed as co-sponsors.The City saw Oscar Grant and Alex Nieto fall victim to officer-involved shootings that caused tension between the San Francisco Police Department and the communi-ty. The connection between the New York grand jury decision to not indict Daniel Pantaleo on the killing of Eric Garner raised questions about police brutality.

    Nieto, 28, was killed March 21 by SFPD on top of Bernal Heights Park where he was shot

    multiple times, according to the medical examiners report. The resolution also addresses a lack of transparency within the police department.

    Not only should the actions of law enforcement agencies and the use of the grand jury

    process be scrutinized, said criminal justice lecturer Greg Woods. But also police training in the use of force, its escalation, and whether or not we, as a country, choose to endorse such measures.

    Citys high schools adopt ethnic studies program

    EDUCATION: Supporters rally in front of the San Francisco Unified School District Building before the Board of Supervisors met to discuss the implementation of Ethnic Studies Tuesday, Dec. 9.


    COURTROOM: Supervisor John Avalos reads documents in a Board of Supervisor meeting at City Hall Tuesday, Dec. 9

    LULU OROZCOohlulu@mail.sfsu.edu

    ALMA VILLEGASavillegas@mail.sfsu.edu


    The ultimate goals are to address institutional and structural racism, Moore said. Since the group started, the BBLC has worked with diverse student groups like the Pilipino American Collegiate Endeavour and Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan. Other activities the BBLC organized this semester include the die in in late October, where students wore the names of victims of police shootings on their shirts and mimicked death to raise awareness of police violence.

    Some BBLC members said they have personally experi-enced police discrimination and violence that has resulted in the loss of family members and friends.

    I worked in the East Bay in a very suburban neighbor-hood, said BBLC member DeMareon Gipson, who said his previous interactions with police have been less than civil. Ive been pulled over a lot.

    Members of the BBLC said they want to raise awareness of instances when officers kill civilians so that they will be held accountable for their actions.

    I never would have thought there would be extra-judicial killings in the United States, said SF State student and BBLC and PACE member Patrick Racela. It is our duty to break free from these chains that have us shackled.

    In the last six years, there has been a rise in technology for scheduling, Lim said. It means that schedules are not set and workers shifts may be cancelled with very short notice. Or, con-trarily, they might say we have a rise in demand today and call a worker in. These provisions are creating a strong incentive for employers to plan better.

    According to Lim, the legislation will grant workers more opportunity to move from part-time to full-time work, more predictable schedules and half-pay for days when they are on call.

    Ive been working at Macys for a year now and still dont have a regular schedule, said SF State student Geof-frey Malveaux. Because Im a student right now, I cant do opening shifts, so its a struggle.

    Malveaux said that having a more dependable schedule would help him and his co-workers, especially those who are also in s...