April 6, 2020

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Collage of COVID-19 related illustrations and the SFSU logo

Updated social distancing measures

As part of its recent announcement extending its shelter-in-place policy, the city and county of San Francisco also ordered new social-distancing measures for protecting employee health.

Effective April 3, the measures outline a range of practices and actions to be followed wherever applicable in the workplace to promote health and safety, including the following:

  • Employees are expected to work remotely, unless explicitly requested by their supervising administrator to perform work on campus.
  • Please do not come to work if sick.
  • Before coming to work, please perform a symptom check
  • If you are asked to come onto campus to work, please work with your manager to ensure your desk or workstation is separated by at least six feet from other occupied desks or workstations.

If you have questions about this information or the new social distancing measures, contact oes@sfsu.edu.

SF State’s HOPE Crisis Fund responds to pandemic

HOPE Crisis Fund responds to COVID-19 pandemic

The HOPE Crisis Fund provides SF State students who are experiencing crisis beyond their control with emergency funding that meets their immediate needs and allows them to continue their studies and graduate. In response to COVID-19, the HOPE Crisis Fund is now focused on giving students in need support to complete the current semester. The fund has received an influx of requests for emergency financial assistance since the crisis began and is in need of additional funding to sufficiently respond to student requests.

  • $25 could help cover a student’s utility bills for a month.
  • $100 could purchase emergency groceries for a student living off-campus.
  • $250 could help cover the cost of child care for student parents who are still required to work during COVID-19.
  • $500 could help purchase a laptop so a student can continue their studies at SF State remotely.

Every dollar of your support will go directly to students. Interested in helping out? Donations for the HOPE Crisis Fund can be made online

Student typing on a computer

Registration for Summer Session starts today

Registration for 2020 Summer Session begins today. In light of COVID-19, all Summer Session classes will be offered through remote modalities. This is to ensure the health and safety of our campus community as the University enacts social distancing measures to help mitigate the spread of the virus.

Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Maria Martinez says 2020 Summer Session will give students the opportunity to earn their degree faster.

“In addition to coursework, we are aware that many of our students juggle other responsibilities such as having a job or taking care of their family,” Martinez said. “Summer Session is a great time to catch up or even get ahead.”

Summer Session also offers other benefits for students. Classes are held over five-, eight- or 10-week sessions, giving student the flexibility to choose a schedule that caters to their summer plans. In addition, Summer Session allows students to take required courses that usually have limited availability in the fall.

For information about registration, dates, classes, fees and more, visit the SF State Register’s Office website

Online Teaching Lab helps faculty explore remote teaching

The Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL) will host a course about teaching fully online through its Online Teaching Lab. The Online Teaching Lab is a space to investigate questions about pedagogy for online teaching asynchronously, at your own pace.

Faculty members have been working hard to make the transition to teaching remotely and figuring out the tools (like iLearn and Zoom) they need to make it happen. CEETL is positioning the lab as a place for faculty to:

  • Tackle big questions about online teaching (How do I bring myself online? How can students interact with each other online? What does academic integrity look like online?)
  • Explore resources to enhance remote teaching
  • Share and discuss the successes and challenges of teaching online

Click here to join the Online Teaching Lab

If you are still looking for support with tool how-tos, such as iLearn, Zoom or Mediasite, CEETL is here for you! Visit the CEETL website to see a list of CEETL’s upcoming webinars or schedule a one-on-one consultation with an instructional designer.

Fit Plus keeps faculty and staff active virtually

In the midst of the current COVID-19 situation, the Fit Plus team from the Department of Kinesiology has moved its fitness and wellness activities to iLearn for on-demand virtual access. This resource is accessible to all Fit Plus members and now all faculty and staff non-members as well. Send an e-mail to jap@sfsu.edu for your access today.

Alumni Association seeks volunteers to review scholarship applications

The Alumni Association invites you to join a team of 50 volunteer scholarship reviewers to award $140,000 for student support in fall 2020. Learn more and sign up on the Alumni Association website before May 1, and make a tangible impact on the future leaders of SF State by reading and scoring applications to 14 undergraduate and graduate scholarships offered through the Alumni Association. Scholarship readings are completely virtual now, so you can contribute any time or place that’s convenient for you using the Alumni Association’s online scholarship portal hosted by AcademicWorks.

ITS to offer online training via Zoom

Information Technology Services (ITS) has scheduled three online training sessions via Zoom: IT Resources, Intermediate PowerPoint 2016 (inaugural session) and Intermediate Excel. Here’s what each offers:

IT Resources

Wednesday, April 8, 11 a.m. – noon
Whether you are new to campus or have been here a while, you may not know all of the IT resources available to you across SF State. This session will get you up to speed! Register via Qualtrics

Intermediate PowerPoint 2016

Thursday, April 9, 3 – 4 p.m.
Not as skilled with PowerPoint as you’d like? ITS has the solution: an online demo of Intermediate PowerPoint 2016. Register via Qualtrics

Intermediate Excel

Monday, April 13, 11 a.m. – noon
Learn about working with data sets, helpful formulas, customizing the status bar and pivot tables. Note: This training is not for those new to Excel. Before this session, you should know how to enter and format text; how to format cells; how to navigate sheets; the difference between cell, row, column, sheet and workbook; and basic formulas and functions such as addition, subtraction, average, COUNT, MIN and MAX. Register via Qualtrics

ITS will add more training sessions in April. Keep an eye on CampusMemo for the dates as they are announced.

Upcoming construction near campus

Employees who are still coming to campus to maintain vital University functions should note that the state Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is planning daytime road work that is likely to cause delays. Caltrans will begin road work on the southern portion of State Route 1 at the San Francisco/San Mateo line between Alemany Boulevard and Holloway Avenue. Grinding and paving are scheduled to start soon and should finish by the end of April. Check live-time driving conditions before coming to campus via an online Caltrans webpage

Academic Senate voting

In times of crisis, the value of shared governance on college campuses is never higher. The SF State Academic Senate urges all faculty and staff to participate in the voting process so that we can start the fall semester ready to face challenges resulting from the COVID-19 crisis.

The voting period for the spring 2020 Academic Senate elections has started and will close at the end of the business day on Friday, April 17. Here’s where to vote online:

All available ballots, nominees and personal statements, as well as a link to the voting application, can be found on the senate website

All faculty and staff members are encouraged to participate in this year’s election and continue our tradition of shared governance at SF State. Questions? Contact the senate office at senate@sfsu.edu or Senate Chair Nancy Gerber at senatechair@sfsu.edu.

Academic Senate agenda

The SF State Academic Senate will meet Tuesday, April 7, from 2 to 4 p.m. virtually via Zoom for its twelfth meeting of the academic year. Visitors who wish to attend please contact the senate office at senate@sfsu.edu for a Zoom link. The agenda includes the following:

  • Recommendations from the Executive Committee: Proposed policy resolutions on #S19-241 Retention, Tenure and Promotion; #F15-160, Lecture Faculty; and #F95-195, Incomplete Grade, all in first reading.
  • Recommendation from the Executive Committee: Resolution in Support of SF State Students, in first reading.
  • Information item from the Executive Committee: policy resolution on #S17-275, Academic Probation and Disqualification.
  • Recommendation from the Curriculum Review and Approval Committee (CRAC):  Proposed revisions to the Bachelor of Arts in Music, in second reading. Note that because of the Cesar Chavez holiday CRAC is meeting after the CampusMemo deadline and there may be other curricular agenda items coming before the senate. The agenda will be updated accordingly and can be viewed on the senate website and Box folder.
  • Recommendations from the Academic Policy Committee: Proposed revisions to #S16-16, Graduate Paired Course policy, in second reading; proposed revisions to #S17-275, Academic Probation and Disqualification, in first reading; and a new policy on the Use of Human Subjects in Research at SF State Policy, in second reading.

The full agenda, meeting materials and minutes can be found on the senate website.


Peper is no slouch

Studies by Professor of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Erik Peper were mentioned in a Yahoo Lifestyle article about working from home in the age of COVID-19. The article cited Peper’s research into the benefits of sitting up straight. “Our bodies and minds are interconnected and both can influence the other,” Peper was quoted as saying. “You may feel slightly more optimistic and open to possibility when you sit taller.” Read the full article , which is full of work-at-home tips. Additionally, Peper; Associate Professor of Recreation, Parks & Tourism Richard Harvey; and SF State students Lauren Mason and Monica Joy co-authored the study “Effect of Posture Feedback Training on Health,” which was published in Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback on March 30. This study examined the health benefits of biofeedback posture-training devices designed to support positive posture awareness.

Roberts takes stock of park closures

Bay Nature magazine recently called upon the parks management and visitor-use expertise of Professor of Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Nina S. Roberts, who penned a special op-ed published March 26. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, parks across the Bay Area, the state and the nation are being closed either fully or partially. The closures have brought a wave of controversy given the many health benefits and public values of outdoor recreation. “During this horrifying pandemic, we need parks as places where we can remain calm, experience joy, and reduce our daily stress,” wrote Roberts (with co-author Caryl Hart, a visiting scholar at University of California, Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources). “We cannot afford to close our parks, not now, not ever; we can be creative, however, in our ability to educate ourselves and others about why parks close (fully or in part) when adverse visitor behavior leaves managers no other choice. ... It’s only human to seek inspiration in nature; we implore everyone to be smarter about what that looks like right now, and with who, when, and why.”

Combs looks at COVID-19 through the lens of history

Professor Emeritus of History Jerald Combs discussed the lasting effect of the United States’ response to COVID-19 in a USA Today article. Though the nation has faced huge challenges in the past, in some ways the current crisis is unique, Combs believes. “World War II had a huge impact on American society in so many ways, but they had one advantage over what we’re dealing with,” he said. “They knew at some point the war would end. We, on the other hand, are still not sure.”

Viator on the bad rap given to gangsta rap

KQED recently interviewed Assistant Professor of History Felicia Angeja Viator about her book “To Live and Defy in LA: How Gangsta Rap Changed America.” Viator’s book explores the influence Los Angeles gang culture had on music and pop culture — an influence earlier, New York-centric writing about rap has tended to gloss over. “I feel like there are a lot of misconceptions about the trajectory of hip-hop and I think we really take for granted how powerful a cultural force it is,” Viator said. “This is the story that helps explain how that happens. I’m not saying the New York origin story doesn’t matter — it does — but we can’t see the whole trajectory of hip-hop through the lens of New York.”