Posts tagged ‘Education’

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.

November 19, 2012

Prop 38 vs Prop 30 two enter, only one or none can survive

By Krista Brooks

Published Monday, October 22, 2012 – The Daily 49er

Election time is approaching fast. Now is the time to research, to focus our interests and make a decision on which propositions and candidates to choose.

We’ve all heard of Proposition 30, hopefully. This initiative will directly affect our campus and student population.

Gov. Jerry Brown has supported his state’s education system this year by approving the merger of two initiatives: the “Millionaire’s Tax” and “Brown’s First Tax Increase Proposal.” Prop. 30 will impact universities, community colleges and K-12 schools in California.

It will raise sales tax from 7.25 percent to 7.50 percent for seven years. The personal income tax increase will affect taxpayers earning an excess of $250,000. These tax increases will be distributed, 89 percent to K-12 schools and 11 percent to community colleges. This is a way to help balance the ongoing budget crisis by having the wealthy bracket in our state give back to its youth for prosperity.

If this fails to pass, the Cal State University system will face a cut of $250 million. For CSULB, our tuition will rise by at least 5 percent. In the case that Prop. 30 passes, students will be reimbursed for this semester’s tuition hike.

Yes, it’s true! We will be paid!

The money credited to a student’s bill or bank account will be about $498.

Our university prepared for potential cuts like this one last year and raised the tuition prior to the election year to make the potential increase less severe to students.

Prop. 30 runs into a catch-22 situation because it intersects with a related initiative, Prop. 38. “Our Children, Our Future: Local Schools and Early Education Investment Act” will increase taxes for 12 years, if not reauthorized. These tax increases will affect all taxpayers earning more than $7,316. This means more people will have to pay, and for a longer time period than Prop. 30.

During the first four years, these collected taxes will be distributed, 60 percent to K-12 schools, 10 percent to early child development programs and 30 percent to repay our state’s debt.

Prop. 38 is very similar to Prop. 30 with the same hopes to give back to the state’s educational system and youth. So why is it a catch-22?
Only one of these propositions can pass this year. If both pass, the proposition with the greater number of votes will be instated and the other will be thrown out.

This competition between the two propositions should be a boost of motivation to make sure voters’ voices are heard.

Even though the two are competing, they are both similar in the fact that they will help our state’s budget and education system.

However, the tax increase will affect more wallets with Prop. 38, and its failure will not lower the funding already promised to these educational facilities, as Prop. 30 would for universities in California.

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

September 5, 2012

Our View: All-campus shuttle routes are an inconvenience

Walter Pyramid at the Cal State Long Beach cam...

By Krista Brooks

Published September 2, 2012The Daily 49er

Our campus in one of the largest in the Cal State University system. This is not just by student population but by square footage as well.

The walk from the engineering department to the University Library is quite the journey on foot, but students will have to go the extra distance due to a change to our campus shuttle system.

The east campus and west campus shuttle routes no longer run through campus.

Even if you did not utilize these shuttle routes in the past, the pathways to class have already become noticeably congested this year.

With the change of shuttle routes, the five shuttles — two shuttles serving Beachside College and three all-campus trippers — now head in one direction.

The shuttles no longer provide a direct route from Brotman Hall up the hill to the Liberal Arts buildings or the library.

One shuttle was also eliminated to save money.

We understand — budget cuts, right?

This semester, our tuition increased but our student transportation efficiency decreased.

The east and west shuttles provided a quality service for anyone visiting the campus. This included professors, faculty, students and guests.

They were more direct routes that took less time than the all-campus routes, which are heavily congested, and helped get us where we needed to be on time.

Also, by canceling a full shuttle entirely, Cal State Long Beach has doomed many who rely on the shuttles during peak hours. It’s possible that now there won’t be enough shuttles to accommodate the amount of students. There are 1,500 more of us this year.

Those relying on the shuttles must now pray one of them doesn’t break down. Students have told us that some shuttles already have.

Otherwise, wait times to squeeze uncomfortably onto a shuttle will go through the roof.

Can you imagine the mad dash for the shuttle door when that already filled all-campus tripper makes it to your stop?

With the current heat and humidity we have in Long Beach, nothing can be closer to hell than cramming into a lightly air-conditioned box next to the sweaty bodies of fellow students or, even worse, professors.

The exclusive all-campus shuttle service can only lead to an extension of dreaded small talk that will probably consist mostly of “What happened to the convenient east and west shuttles?”

CSULB officials say the new shuttles are safer because the shuttle will always drop off passengers on the right side of the street. People will no longer have to cross the “treacherous” Beach Drive in order to get to where they are going.

It’s “safer” because, like children, we college students should not be crossing streets unless we are holding hands.

One thing CSULB has done right regarding our shuttle system is providing a website for students that shows how long it will be until the next shuttle arrives.

Students can know the exact time their lumbering crammed shuttle will finally get to the stop. This is imperative, because we suspect that when they look at the shuttle just coming around the corner, it will already be full.

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

Annual student services festival offers free lunch, information

By Krista Brooks

Published Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011 – The Daily 49er

The first 200 students at the Central Quad today from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. may enjoy a free lunch at the annual Student Services Festival.

All students are welcome to attend the festival, which is put on by Cal State Long Beach’s Student Transition and Retention Services and Student Orientation and Registration.

Tables and booths for more than 30 student services, such as Disabled Student Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, and Associated Students Inc. will be available.

Everyone is encouraged to fill out a short survey about the festival, and the first 200 to complete it will be rewarded with a free lunch, including a sandwich, chips, cookies and a drink.

“The Student Services Festival is a follow-up to the SOAR orientation, which focuses on the academics,” STARS/SOAR assistant director DeAnn Martz said. “This festival is a reminder of the additional services available to students.”

Student resources and members of the department will be available to answer questions and help direct students to the help he or she needs.

“The Student Service Festival is great for students because it allows them to find out about services they may need, but didn’t know existed,” said Zach McAnany, sophomore business major.

The festival was formerly bi-annual, one in fall and spring, but was reduced due to budget cuts.

Next on the STARS/SOAR agenda is the President’s Scholars High School Visit Orientation Workshop at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 23, as well as the CSULB Transfer Admission Workshop at 2 p.m.

For more information about the student services on campus, visit Brotman Hall, Room 337, or go online to

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