Posts tagged ‘California State University’

December 11, 2012

CSULB is catching up with others by offering queer studies minor

Rainbow flag. Symbol of gay pride.

Rainbow flag. Symbol of gay pride. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Krista Brooks

Published Tuesday, November 27, 2012 – The Daily 49er

The Cal State University Academic Senate and Cal State Long Beach Academic Senate has approved a new minor for the university, queer studies.

The idea for the minor was developed by Jennifer Reed, an associate professor within the women’s, gender and sexuality studies department.

Reed is also a member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Task Force. She has mentioned that the term “queer” is not offensive, it is only an umbrella word in academia to include a wide range of sexuality.

The minor took about two years to be approved. Students in pursuit of this major will be required to take an introduction to queer studies course and a queering gender course. The other elective courses offered next fall under the women’s, gender and sexual studies department will include: gender and sexuality in Asian America; American Indian genders and sexualities; critical issues in Chicana and Latina studies; gender, sexuality, and desire in world history context and reproductive justice.

It’s 2012, and we finally have an academic minor for queer studies. A major would have been nice to make up for our school being completely behind the times, but this is the first step.

Dina Peroone, an assistant professor of sex, sexuality, crime and punishment, said she supports this minor and feels that it is imperative to inform students about this subject for life in the real world.

Queer studies is a critical approach to studies based on issues including sexual orientation, gender identity, the LGBT community and culture. The minor includes academic study in categories such as biology, sociology, psychology, political science and ethics.

Considering that we have a large LGBT community and pride parade in Long Beach, I would have assumed we would have this by now.

Our neighboring schools, Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge, already offer degrees in the same field.

Other California schools offer degrees and certificates. Humboldt State University offers a multicultural queer studies minor. The University of California, Berkeley offers an LGBT studies minor. The University of California, Santa Barbara offers a queer studies minor in their department of feminist studies, and San Francisco State University offers an LGBT studies minor through its LGBT program.

I can understand SFSU beating us to the punch, but we are clearly a city of many cultures with a large community that appeals to this minor.

I am proud that we will have the option next year for this minor. I hope to see it become a major soon with more classes and options.

Krista Brooks is a junior journalism major and the assistant opinions editor for the Daily 49er.

September 5, 2012

Our View: Carbon emissions taxes will sink CSU budget

Se below

By Krista Brooks

Published Tuesday, August 28, 2012The Daily 49er

Effective Jan. 1, 2013, a cap and trade program will be implemented, affecting the Cal State University and University of California, and forcing the systems to pay the price for high levels of carbon emissions.

These facilities will be charged a fee for emitting greenhouse gases.

Either go green or pay the green. Cap and trade is a solution projected to reduce California’s carbon emissions by a substantial amount.

The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, also known as Assembly Bill 32, mandates the state reduce the level of carbon emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020.

University of California, Los Angeles is projected to pay the most — up to $8.4 million.

The rate of carbon credits is predicted to range from $10 to $40 each.

The resulting fee for both university systems could be as much as $28 million a year.

But this can, and will rise.

The legislation, once in place, will have no limit on how much tax credits would cost at a given time.

The choice to reduce carbon emissions is essentially optional.

Businesses with the money can continue to emit as much greenhouse gases as they want, as long as they buy the appropriate amount of credits. Only when a business can’t afford to will it be forced to change its behavior. Businesses without the extra cash or capability of lowering emissions will have to face the consequences.

We can only hope the fee is too much for big business to ignore. Small businesses have no choice.

As for us students in the CSU and UC systems, we will pay the price. The $28 million in potential fees is just another expense to tack onto our budget and our campuses will be affected regardless of how far our efforts go to lower emissions.

Long Beach has taken several steps to lower our carbon footprint already. Not only is the city becoming more and more bike-friendly, it has taken action in improving public transportation.

Many buses are now hybrids and routes have been extended to accommodate more public transporters.

All plastic bags have been banned from grocery stores in Long Beach and paper bag alternatives cost 10 cents each. This encourages shoppers to use reusable bags instead of disposable bags.

Cal State Long Beach has incorporated water fountains on campus specifically to refill water bottles and canteens, which lowers the amount of plastic bottles.

These improvements were made by the city of Long Beach and CSULB, before the threat of a fee.

The steps taken towards a greener city should be rewarded rather than taxed. With dismal state support, this bill will continue to suck us dry of every last penny.

September 4, 2012

Claiming antidepressants as a reason for wrongdoing is not a worthy plea

By Krista Brooks

Published Wednesday, June 20, 2012 – The Daily 49er

An ex-cop was charged with two counts of rape, assault and armed kidnapping, to which he blamed his medication for making him “unconscious.”

The former Westminster police detective, Anthony Nicholas Orban, claimed that his Zoloft antidepressant caused him to black out and was not aware of his actions.

Orban’s defense attorney, James Blatt, defended the seven charges further by explaining his client’s prescription change.

Orban had stopped taking the medication for a period of time, and then resumed taking it at full dose, which could have caused his zombie behavior and possibly psychotic break.

Orban’s victim reported he had threatened her with a gun to her mouth after unloading a round of his semi-automatic service pistol before her eyes.

He threatened to kill her if she had cried and to take her to the desert for more.

These are not acts of zombies.

These are acts of a drunk man.

Witnesses admitted to seeing Orban drink that night, and that he was looking to get laid.

His case has some substance to it, because the Zoloft prescription could have influenced lower inhibitions and motor skills—when mixed with large amounts of alcohol.

Most medications and prescriptions have warning labels to not mix with alcohol.

Even if the antidepressant was a factor in this man’s “black out,” the alcohol in his system is clearly the culprit.

The court denied his “Zoloft defense,” and the jury of eight women and four men found Orban guilty of multiple counts—rape, forced oral copulation, sexual penetration with a foreign object, making a criminal threat and a sentence enhancement of using a firearm in commission of a kidnapping.

Orban is a veteran of the Iraq war.

With the recent buzz of the “zombie” that attacked and ate another man’s face, this is another fail to add to the mess.

The man who was reported to be high on bath salts, contaminated LSD or other substances was an animal in his own way.

That man was tazered and shot repeatedly before being killed. Orban was distracted by a call on his cellphone when his victim ran free.

Zombies can’t work cellphones.

This man’s defense to blame an antidepressant was not extreme; commercials and advertisements warn against several severe side-effects, except becoming a zombie and raping young women.

Here are the factors that make this case, as the judge claimed, “baloney.”

A Zoloft warning label warning not to mix with alcohol, the common knowledge of becoming less thoughtful with alcohol consumption and the police background of Orban should grant him an insanity plea.

Orban will face a sanity hearing before sentencing.

Next time, think of something else wild. “Zombie” is getting old, when the apocalypse happens, you’ll know.

May 18, 2012

The Next Step in Evolution (Origami Style)

Following the story of evolution and how humans have impacted their environment.
A student project at Cal State Long Beach, (made with paper puppets by journalism students with little to no origami skills.)

October 29, 2011

LA court backs SLO president’s salary

By Krista Brooks

Published Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011 – The Daily 49er – Top Story

The Los Angeles Superior Court ruled in favor of the California State University Board of Trustees yesterday, saying the board did not violate a California law mandating open public meetings when it awarded Cal State Poly San Luis Obispo President Jeffrey Armstrong a $350,000 salary.

The lawsuit was brought against the board by the California Faculty Association and asked for the removal of the newly hired Cal Poly president.

The court denied this request Tuesday, saying CFA President Lillian Taiz cited “no authority” when saying that Armstrong’s $350,000 salary was accompanied with a raise in presidential pay scales.

Taiz claimed the Board did not provide a public notice for a meeting that approved a resolution to award Armstrong’s salary, which technically increased the presidential salary scale by $20,000 — from about $330,000 to $350,000.

However, the court explained that evidence shows the CSU did not set presidential pay scales but considered and approved “the starting salary and any compensation increases for CSU presidents on an individual basis.”

The court ruling pointed to this error in Taiz’s claim, and acknowledged that the CSU did not make any move to increase current presidential salaries as a group.

“The court’s ruling confirms that the case brought by Taiz had very little merit,” said Erik Fallis, a CSU spokesman. “The CSU has demonstrated, once again, its commitment to transparency in accordance with law, policy and university practice.”

The court negated Taiz’s request further by defending the CSU’s executive compensation process and Armstrong’s relocation fees, vehicle allowance, and other benefits that are included in the presidential position.

“Additionally, Taiz and the faculty union continue to make a mistaken claim that there is general change in presidential compensation,” Fallis said. “No sitting president has received a raise since 2007.”

Taiz highlighted her concern on the CFA website yesterday.

“The floodgates at the top were opened without even letting the public know,” Taiz said in a CFA press release. “And it happened at the exact time the chancellor has been cutting back on class offerings, laying off teachers, turning away students and slamming students with steep fee hikes.”

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