Category Archives: Spring 2015

How to Avoid Getting Sick During Finals

It’s the last week of classes before finals and students’ schedules are filled to the max. With nights set aside to study and pump out final papers, the last thing someone needs the day before the big test is to wake up with a fever, sore throat and a bad case of the chills. If you want to avoid the risk of catching a cold, read a couple tips from San Francisco State University professors on how to stay healthy during finals.

Kinesiology lecturer Regula Dhehdi says the preparation for a healthy immune system during finals starts at the beginning of the semester.

“Students are more prone to falling sick at the end of semester because they are run down: not enough sleep, not eating healthy, not exercising, being physically active regularly, procrastination of finishing assignments at last moment, using caffeine, sugar, etc. to maintain attention span in class and for homework,” says Dhehdi. “All this causes stress to the body and mind, and has a negative effect on the body’s ability to protect from falling ill.”

Kinesiology professor Matt Lee says students should try to maintain their regular eating, sleeping and exercise habits, even when it is tempting to give up a couple hours of sleep for studying.

“Make time to eat healthy meals, breakfast included. Make time for exercise, and definitely get sufficient rest. This would hopefully allow the immune system to respond well to the stress that many students may experience,” says Lee.

Holistic Health assistant professor Richard Harvey agrees with both Dhehdi and Lee, and says that the rule students should live by, is eating healthy, well rounded meals, and avoid eating processed food.

“No, an energy drink and energy bar do not count as a meal. Instead use the 30-30-40 rule, where 30 percent of every meal has protein [such as tofu, eggs, cheese, lean meats], 30 precent has healthy oils and fats [such as olive and avocado oil], and 40 percent has healthy carbohydrates, [such as fruits and brown rice],” says Harvey.

In addition to eating well-balanced meals, Harvey says students should set aside time for 20 minutes of physical activity, from stretching to running, and also make time to catch a full night’s sleep.

Harvey says that if students want to wake up for finals feeling extra refreshed, they should reduce optic nerve stimulation.

“Practice turning off, as in powering down completely any electronic noise,” says Harvey.

In addition to eating right, getting sleep, and keeping physically active, the final step students should take to avoid sickness is avoiding stress.

According to an article by Psychology Today, cortisol, which is produced when one is stressed, is the number one factor to developing a weak immune system and chronic diseases. The article continues to say that chronic stress, which translates as stress carried day to day over the years, results in decreased resilience and mental illness, especially among young people.

In a 2008 study done by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 80 percent of college students reported that they frequently experience stress on a day to day basis.

An article by says that people can reduce stress by spending time in nature, playing with animals, taking a walk, and releasing any pent up emotion with close friends.


Democracy in Action: 360 Video

Photo by photographingtravis via Flickr


San Francisco City Hall has been the setting of many high-profile events, from the wedding of Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio in 1954 to the assassinations of George Moscone and Harvey Milk in 1978. The city’s long history of liberal activism has also brought many political protests to the front steps of this Beaux-Arts building. Now, with the power of 360-degree video, the world can fully witness democracy in action in the City by the Bay.

Last month a protest against police brutality made its way through San Francisco’s Mission District toward city hall, where over a hundred people crowded the lobby and demanded justice. The piercing shrieks of whistles punctuated the rhythmic chanting of the crowd, which was held back by security guards as city employees observed the scene from far behind the barricade.

The crowd dispersed within an hour of arriving, but its demand to “indict, convict, send these killer cops to jail” echoed off the marble colonnades with such force that at one point the guards locked the doors in an attempt to cut off the rest of the group outside.

Those wondering what it would be like to join the crowd can watch the video below for a fully immersive experience. *

* 360-degree video is supported by Google Chrome and the YouTube App (Android only)

Resort Fashion 2016: Is it Innovation? Or just location?

From the shores of Seoul, to the backyard of the late Bob Hope’s Palm Springs home, designers are sure trying to garner attention for their Resort 2016 looks based on the place that they are presented. I guess it is how it sounds, though, because when deciding on where to vacation, its all about location, location, location.

These Resort 2016 collections seem to have been the jack of all trades, and the trades being inspirations for future fashion weeks to come. It’s my belief that the creative directors from Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel weren’t dreaming of the beach and warm weather when designing these looks, rather, they were dreaming of innovation.

Christain Dior Resort 2016. Photo by Gianni Pucci.

Raf Simons, when choosing the location for the show, chose Le Palais Bulles, located in the south of France on the cliffs between Monaco and Cannes. Simons said to that the location, from his eyes, was, “playful, sweet and childish almost.”

You can see the location inspiration translating into the collection. With a series of thinly striped plaids, circle and a-line skirts lined with fishnets, subtle knit accents (a hint maybe?), as well as glimmering sequined rompers, the collection did, sort of, exude childishness. Although, the Dior sophistication shined through when Simons presented silk, sleeveless dresses, (to my surprise) black structured pant suits, and their signature low-height heels. No surprise there.

Christian Dior Resort 2016. Photo by Gianni Pucci.

The combination of youthfulness and dignity sure made this resort collection ingenious in more ways than one. Just like the desert sun, this collection surely radiated confidence, yet, I could not personally see one wearing these pieces at say, Coachella, or BottleRock. But fashionistas, will, and have, dared to cross the line, and why not cross it with Dior fishnets and shimmery sequins?

Louis Vuitton Resort 2016. Photo by Alessandro Garofalo.

Nicolas Ghesquiere’s was handed the reigns of Louis Vuitton not even a year ago, and he is already doing some serious brand development with the latest collection. Let me explain. From the start of this Resort 2016 show, Ghesquiere’s already had a vision. That vision being Bob Hope and his $25 million Palm Springs home, the backdrop for the runway show.

“I love the idea of being sweet and hard at the same time,” Ghesquiere’s commented to, referring to the estate, which is currently for sale for the aforementioned amount.

What a way to sum up LV into such a little amount of words. Let’s take in for consideration the signature stiletto, fun and friendly on top, red and devious on the bottom. Ghesquiere’s sure has a hold on the mission of the brand, I will give him that. However, the collection, innovative for sure, shared similar creative styles as other top tier designers, such as Alexander Wang.

Louis Vuitton Resort 2016. Photo by Alessandro Garofalo.

The collection was filled with prints, stripes, combinations of exquisite fabrics, contrasts of colors and styles, alongside a lot of layering. For example, pleather shorts paired with an equally pleather top, long, flowing skirts and pants with crop tops, off-the-shoulder cutouts, boxy suede jackets and silk blouses. Sound familiar? Unless black, boxy and flowy is totally in, and I’m just missing the cue, there may have been some creative overlap on the playing field.

All criticisms aside, the individual pieces truly did tell a story. That story being, Ghesquiere’s knows how to reel in a crowd and hold their attention.

Chanel Resort 2016. Photo by Yannis Vlamos.

I had a dream the other night where I thought, well believed, that I met Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s creative director. In this dream I was finally able to see him without his, almost permanent, sunglasses on. I was so ecstatic, I was going to tell everyone, then I woke up.

I’m thinking that this was a sign, a sign eluding me to Chanel’s Resort 2016 collection, which was shown off the coast of Seoul. I’m still figuring out the meaning behind the dream, but I know that this collection, is one for the books.

Lagerfeld continually puts out excellent products in the form of fashion, and of course, this particular collection was a great example. Themes from Paris Fashion Week can be seen here, but what’s not to love. The Korean inspiration for this collection offered Lagerfeld with a wider range of creative perspective, not needed, but sought after.

Chanel attracts celebrity attention as Korean culture attracts worldwide trends, so truly, the two go hand in hand. The pieces in this particular collection were extremely engaging. The colors were bubbly, the prints were pastel, the patent was well-placed, and the jumpers and drop-waisted skirts were a great addition to the already present trend.

Chanel Resort 2016. Photo by Yannis Vlamos via

The collection made me feel as if I was almost traveling through time, yet still remaining modern. I could see Peggy Olson, from AMC’s Mad Men, wearing the pastel purple signature Chanel coat with the patch-worked pencil skirt, well, only if she was willing, and able (to pay for it). I’m sure Jackie Kennedy, and Audrey Hepburn, would be in love with the drop-waisted collared and pleated dress, if it came with a Chanel bag, of course. Finally, I could see contemporary artist FKA Twigs in the high waisted cut-out black and white skirt, as well as the oxford-styled white layered blouse.

Lagerfeld truly knows how to woo an audience, but I guess there’s perks when Anna Wintour is on your speed dial.


Resort 2016 sure feels like a teaser for the September fashion weeks, but let’s take one from the books, take a chill pill (accompanied with a mimosa) and enjoy the fashion-frenzy free-time we have until then.

Five Free, Fun Foot Hikes in SF

Photo by avatar-1 via Flickr


It’s Wednesday and your best friend calls, hungry for $20 appetizers at San Francisco’s newest and most overpriced cafe. After a longer look at the online menu, it’s clear you won’t be leaving this place without spending at least half your rent. You suggest doing something cheaper and healthier than devouring a basket of gourmet bacon fries, because San Francisco’s perks aren’t always expensive.

The natural beauty of this city is a free source of entertainment, one that’s arguably more fulfilling than sitting indoors this summer. To prove my point, here’s a list of five free and scenic hikes around town:


The dirt trails that lead to this peak are lined with rugged boulders, not tall trees, giving hikers unobstructed views of the San Francisco Bay as they near the top. Adjacent to the Castro neighborhood, Corona Heights Park offers amazing views of busy Market Street and downtown San Francisco set against the backdrop of the East Bay’s rolling hills. Leave the picnic blanket at home if you’re doing this hike, as the unpredictable gusts will knock over anything not nailed down. The park at the base of the trail, however, is shady and peaceful – a perfect place for dog owners to toss around the tennis ball.
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This peak offers just as spectacular a view as Corona Heights Park, with a completely different experience getting to the top. The park’s forested trail at the western end of the Haight neighborhood provides a cool escape from the summer sun. Take a mellow stroll through tall pine trees as you wind you way up to the summit, or more expedient hikers can hit the switchbacks that cut directly to the top. This sheltered grove is an ideal setting for a picnic with an amazing look at the Golden Gate Bridge.
Photo by avatar-1 via Flickravatar-1
Photo by chad_k via Flickrchad_k Photo by sketch22 via Flickrsketch22
Don’t pay a fortune to visit a ritzy museum when you can climb this dazzling masterpiece for free. Each one of the 163 steps is covered in vibrant mosaics that visually span the depths of the ocean to the heavens above. The staircase starts at 16th and Moraga, leading to the base of another hill with views of the Sunset neighborhood and Golden Gate Park.  It’s a great way to get a bird’s eye view of the city’s charming west side – by far the most underrated part of San Francisco.
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After climbing the Moraga staircase, make your way further west to the beach and check out the rolling dunes of Fort Funston. These sandy trails are pet friendly and often crowded with dozens of professional dog walkers looking after their wily packs. The fort was the site of Battery Davis, built in 1938 as a series of lookouts for Japanese ships during the onset of WWII. Get lost in the maze of shrubs and ice plant towering high above the waves, or hike down to the shoreline to dip your toes in the water.
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This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the highest point in San Francisco. Mount Davidson is hard to miss with its 103-foot-tall concrete cross towering over a grove of trees at the top, which now serves as a memorial for the Armenian genocide. It’s an ideal place for admiring the expanse of the Bay directly south of downtown, so take some time to relax after completing this wooded hike.


All photos are from the Creative Commons archive of Flickr.

Instagram announces emoji hashtags

Image courtesy of otto-yamamoto via Flickr


Instagram recently updated its app to include several changes to the ever-popular photograph-sharing social network. Emoji lovers will rejoice as they find themselves now using them even more than before.

The social networking giant announced that it is rolling out a few new filters called “Lark,” “Reyes,” and “Juno.” These subtle filters will now brighten and enhance your photos in a refined way.

In addition to these new filters, Instagram also brought something that, depending on your point of view, can either be a good or bad thing: emoji’s in your hashtags. As text messaging continues to be the new form of communication and less phone calls are being placed, it seems that being able to hashtag emojis is the next step. Emojis are changing the way we communicate faster than linguists can keep up with.

Emojis could even mark a return to a more pictographic script. The earliest examples of writing come from the pictographic hieroglyphs and inscriptions from Mesopotamia around 5,000 years ago. Could the rise of emoji mean we’re going backward?

Depending on your circle of friends, you either communicate via photos and videos, using emojis to communicate emotions and feelings in ways that anyone can understand, regardless of language or background.

But the ability to convey tone and emotion through text, without resorting to illustration, is one of the key challenges of writing. It’s what makes someone a good writer rather than an effective artist or illustrator.

And though emojis may make it easier to convey different moods without much effort, they have limitations of their own.

Recently I saw a friend who I haven’t seen in 6 months. We caught up on each other’s lives, but when we parted ways we didn’t even hug. So I reached for my phone and sent her an emoji. The next fews messages were emojis. In the past I would’ve handled it differently and either called her to tell her I miss her already, or sent a lengthy text message expressing my emotions.

With Instagram being the first to allow users to hashtag emojis, we can only imagine what other tech companies will allow us to do.

I Experienced the Tomorrowland Movie Premier

Photo by Chris Benedict


I never figured I would be the type of person who would go and stand outside of a movie premier, waiting for celebrities to walk by as I scream their name, standing on my tip-toes trying to glance over the hundreds of heads, all trying to get a glimpse of someone famous.

When I went to LA this weekend, I didn’t plan to go to the Tomorrowland movie premier. I was at Disneyland to run my first half marathon and it just happened that the premier was happening the same time in Downtown Disney. After much debate with my group, we decided to go check out the premier just to see what was happening.

As we made our way down to where the AMC theater was, we could see loads of people walking around with press passes, all making their way to Disneyland to finish the premier. At first I thought we had missed the premier, the celebrities, and all the excitement surrounding the event.

When we got to the theater it was pure madness. There were hundreds of people lined up against a barrier, selfie sticks in hand, anxiously awaiting for the next celebrity to walk down the carpet. When someone made their way down the royal blue carpet, fans would start screaming their names, waving their pens in the air, hoping to get a signature.

After finding a nice hole to jam ourselves into, we waited for over an hour for a celebrity we actually recognized to show up. Celebrities started walking the carpet, including Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Brett Dalton, Lance Bass, and Ashley Tinsdale. Britt Robertson and Keegan-Michael Key also made an entrance but Robertson never stopped for the fans, while Key stopped for photos and autographs.

Although those celebrities were nice to see, I wanted to see the man of the hour himself, that’s right, George Clooney. Clooney was one of the main stars of this movie, so I knew he was going to be there and I wanted to see him. After another 15 minutes passed, more people with press passes walked by and kept saying “don’t worry he’s coming, he’s coming!” Camera ready, I planted my feet and waited for the arrival of Clooney.

When Clooney did appear, there was an abundance of screaming. Everyone wanted a piece of him, a picture of him, or just for him to hold their baby. Clooney stopped numerous times to take photos or sign autographs and even stopped in front of my group.

George Clooney signs autographs at Tomorrowland premier. Photo by: Christ Benedict
George Clooney signs autographs at Tomorrowland premier. Photo by: Chris Benedict

After Clooney left, the fans started to disperses, everyone happy that they got their fill of Clooney and other celebrities they liked. As I walked back to my hotel I couldn’t help but think how crazy the whole experience was. There was both a good and bad that came with it. Having the experience of seeing these celebrities, how they interact with their fans, was amazing and great to see. But dealing with the crowds and people pushing you around to try and get closer to the celebrity wasn’t fun.

For my first movie premier all in all I can say it was good. I was happy with who and what I witnessed, even with the crazy crowd. Hopefully thing won’t be the last time I go to a movie premier but maybe I’ll have a press pass next time!

  • George Clooney signs autographs for fans. Photo by: Bree Benedict
    George Clooney signs autographs for fans. Photo by: Bree Benedict
  • IMG_9411

  • George Clooney signs autographs at Tomorrowland premier. Photo by: Christ Benedict
    George Clooney signs autographs at Tomorrowland premier. Photo by: Christ Benedict
  • Britt Robertson walks Tomorrowland premier. Photo by: Chris Benedict
    Britt Robertson walks Tomorrowland premier. Photo by: Chris Benedict
  • Brett Dalton dramatically runs towards and at Tomorrowland premier. Photo by: Chris Benedict
    Brett Dalton dramatically runs towards and at Tomorrowland premier. Photo by: Chris Benedict
  • Faith Hill walks the Tomorrowland premier. Photo by: Chris Benedict
    Faith Hill walks the Tomorrowland premier. Photo by: Chris Benedict

Beats n’ Stuff #14: tour de beats n’ stuff (the end!)

Illustration by Caty McCarthy

We’re at the end! The end of the semester, the end of my time at Xpress, and the end of Beats n’ Stuff… the real end this time, I swear.

Throughout this column I’ve written about everything that fills up my iTunes with joy, from J-Pop, video game music, J-Rock, K-Pop, K-Indie, hip-hop, to Taking Back Sunday’s Tell All Your Friends. I’ve covered it all, baby.

Rather than doing another 5-song playlist complete with descriptions, I decided to go a lighter route for my final column, themed as a sort of walk-down-memory-lane. The playlist is longer than the usual – 13 songs – but there won’t be any track-by-track analysis. Why not? Some of these artists I’ve already covered in the past, and others are so similar to others that I have featured, that it would probably be repetitive. So in lieu of a track-by-track analysis, enjoy the playlist on your own terms, without me throwing words at you. Maybe you’ll walk away, or rather open a new tab, Googling to discover more about Japanese idol pop group Negicco, or maybe you won’t and you’ll just be happy to be rid of my J-Pop-pushing ways after today. Regardless, this playlist is for you guys; this is Beats n’ Stuff #14: “tour de beats n’ stuff.”

Thanks so much for reading and listening over these past eight months (wow, it’s really been that long since the first one?), and I hope that I at least introduced you to some new artists, or made you re-fall in love with ones you already loved.

Anyways, that’s it. I’m out. See you space cowboy. In the words of the great Aubrey Graham: I’m leavin’, I’m leavin’, I’m leavin’, I’m gone.

13.) “Car Carpet City” by Chroma-Kei

12.) “Cat Cafe” by Yoshi & Komono

11.) “iPhone Bubbling” by Qrion

10.) “Gotta Be You” by 2NE1

9.) “Crazy” by 4MINUTE

8.) “Fergsomnia (feat. Twista)” by A$AP Ferg

7.) “Picture This” by Kero Kero Bonito

6.) “Triple! WONDERLAND” by Negicco

5.) “Butter Sugar Cream (feat. tsvaci)” by Tomggg

4.) “reunion (PARKGOLF Remix)” by Izumi Pillow

3.) “Fog” by Daoko

2.) “Wrong (Produced by Ryan Hemsworth)” by Tinashe

1.) “Get Loose With Me” by I LOVE MAKONNEN

Hardcore Workout: Swimming the Bay

Photo by Maria Bruun-Schmidt, edited by Alec Fernandes

While most San Franciscans run along the polluted water in the harbor near Fort Mason, a few people have bewildered others by working out in the bay. Meet an open-water triathlete who swims among the boats and oily soil every week to train for Hawaii Ironman Triathlon – referred to as “the most demanding triathlon in the world.”

So you made your way to the end of the pier of Fort Mason. It is Saturday and the silence seems scary out here, no honking horns, no downtown sounds. You can’t even here the sloshing water from the Bay that is as still and grey as the sky. So you pay attention to the Golden Gate Bridge in the horizon – covered up in fog as always. You turn around clockwise; there is Alcatraz, the skyline of San Francisco, here are the big boats, the polluted water and an old sign in front of you.

“Only allowed for swimmers!” the old paint reads. You wonder what it means. Who would swim in a dirty harbor? Wouldn’t it be dangerous?

It doesn’t make any sense, so you forget about it immediately before something breaks the silence.

You hear the sound before you see the man. A red swim cap is moving slowly by, up and down, like as the needle on a sewing machine. Now and then the swimmer raises his head and reveals his swimming goggles and an open mouth – it looks like he screams with no sound. He is not alone. A blue swim cap is following him at the same pace and you look around – behind both shoulders – stoked to share the moment with someone.

Nobody is here.

You look back at the water. It looks freezing.

“It is! – it might be around 50 Fahrenheit today!” exclaims a person behind you, it is 42-year-old Robert Rogers who is an open-water swimmer and a triathlete.

“But actually your body get used to the low temperature. If you sit in the shallow water for about 5-10 minutes the body will acclimatize – and you can go for a swim. If you don’t your body will go into shock,” he says and zips his wet suit at the back of the neck as if it was the most normal thing in the world.

“Luckily I have a wet suit, but look at these guys,” Rogers says while he points with his index finger on the man with the blue swimming cap. “He doesn’t wear anything! That is crazy! He is definitely a Polar Bear,” Rogers says and explains that there are different groups of swimmer in this harbor.

The Polar Bears don’t wear any wetsuits. “The guys from Oakland do,” Rogers says. He does as the rest of his local club – The Dolphin Club; he is swimming with a wet suit. This is his second time swimming in the San Francisco Bay. He is originally from Los Angeles.

“I am used to 60 [degrees] and above – so the first time I swam here it was so very cold. I think it was 49 [degrees]. It was freezing. But now I am getting used to it. I am not afraid for the grey water, or for boats suddenly coming into the harbor. This is a pretty safe area to swim in,” Rogers says.

He swims here every Tuesday with The Dolphin Club.

“But it is open to everybody who wants to do this on a Tuesday night,” he says and bursts into a laugh, as no one other than triathletes would ever do this. And while he is laughing there is not really any body fat that vibrates under his skin. He is well-trained as a result of all the exercise he has done.

“The hardcore workout has changed my life! And I am very happy with the way I am living today ’cause it hasn’t always been like this. I was a smoker. That was in 2011,” he says and pauses so the drizzling sound of the waves, that hits the edge of the sand, yells in the afternoon. When the foam grows it looks like when you pour your soda in a cup.

“I was a smoker,” Rogers repeats: “My friend too. He kept saying he would sign up for Ironman – ’cause his assistant did it and all – and I said, ‘You’re joking, you’ll never do it. If you sign up, I sign up,’ I said. So one day he actually did it. And I am a man of my word so I had to do it too. I didn’t even think about it, I just did it. That was the last day I smoked a cigarette, it was in January 21, 2011.”

Roger did an amateur triathlon race in 2011. “And I just got hooked! When I finished my first run, I just wanted to do it again. And again. And again,” he says as if he is talking about his tattoos.

“It is just addictive,” he says – even though the first month was though with smoking lungs and him in bad shape. He started to swim in an open water pool but after a month he transferred to the real deal.

Miles away from swimming in a pool

“And that is a whole other thing! When you swim in a pool, you follow a line. In open water you might think you swim completely straight. But you don’t. You can’t see anything, that is why you raise your head, and you are not sheltered as in a pool,” Rogers says and explains that different elements in open water as the flow of the waves and the tone of the water all in all make it more difficult to swim in open water. Especially here near Alcatraz, according to Rogers, where a famous triathlon race is held every year. It is called the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon.

“They’ll say that if you make it here, you make it anywhere. That is because the water is so brutal,” says Rogers. And that makes is difficult to swim in a straight line, as you would normally do in a pool. That is why it is a good idea for the open water swimmers to choose a specific spot they are swimming towards – to keep sight of the track.

“For example…” Rogers says in long words while he points out to his right. “The roof of that red building is my point and when I am going back…” he says points in the opposite direction, “…the tower of that white church is my spot.”

Rogers normally swims less than an hour. In 40 minutes he can make two loops in the open water. As a part of his training he rides his bike 4-5 miles with the club afterward. This helps him improve the transition between different sports which – according to himself – is the hardest part of a triathlon.

“I take it step by step. I want to swim 2.4 miles within two hours as you would have to complete the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon, which is the highest level a triathlete can complete. That race is my next goal,” Rogers says. According to him, you have to finish the run within 11 hours.

You wouldn’t imagine this man had smoked a single cigarette in his life.

“For me it has been a complete lifestyle change. That’s for sure. And everybody can do it, just sign up for a race! Don’t think about it!” says Rogers as he straps on his goggles and gets up to enter the freezing water.

What’s Cheaper? On-Campus vs. Off-Campus Housing

Illustration by Alex Montero and infographics by

Over the last three years, annual on-campus housing costs at SF State have increased by roughly $2,000, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Curently, SF State’s website lists on-campus and off-campus housing prices as equivalent. However, according to Philippe Cumia, director of SF State student housing program, SF State’s housing office does not have access to off-campus housing prices.

SF_State_OnCampus_Housing_Price_Increase_Over_TimeClick here for interactivity on graph


Data shows that splitting a single-bedroom apartment in neighborhoods surrounding campus can be substantially cheaper than on-campus living.

So how much more does it cost to live on campus in comparison to surrounding neighborhoods such as, the Outer Sunset District, Ingleside and the Outer Richmond?

Keep in mind the following numbers are based off estimates of 2014 median rents from two different data sweeping programs and are not meant to reflect exact figures.


Sharing a double occupancy room on campus with 19 meals a week included, on average, costs $13,835 for a full, nine-month academic year, which consists of eight installment payments. This number is an average of the annual costs for Mary Park, Mary Ward, the Towers and the Village for the 2014/15 academic year.


Off-Campus One-Bedroom Apartment with Shared Room


Click here for interactivity on graph


In comparison, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the Outer Sunset District is roughly $1,725, according to data provided by Priceonomics from 2014.

Split in half and multiplied by nine (to account for sharing a room for a roughly nine-month academic year) the annual cost for living in the Outer Sunset is $7,762.

Estimating that a student spends $300 a month on food, that number rises to $10,462—roughly $3,000 less than on-campus for an academic year.

Here’s the same formula applied to other surrounding neighborhoods

Ingleside: roughly $1,000 cheaper annually.

Outer Richmond: just over $2,000 cheaper annually.

Bayview: just under $5,000 cheaper annually.

Inner Sunset: about $1,500 cheaper annually.


Off-Campus Two-Bedroom Apartment with Two Shared Rooms


Annual_OnCampus_Housing_Costs_Compared_to_Splitting_a_Room_in_a_TwoBedroom_Apartment_Click here for interactivity on graph 


For instance, if four roommates were to split a two-bedroom apartment in the Outer Sunset District for the nine-month academic year (again, including the $300 a month food stipend) the estimated annual cost would be $8,550. That’s over $5,000 cheaper than on-campus housing for a year.

For other districts the numbers vary, but are consistently lower.

Outer Richmond: roughly $4,500 cheaper.

Inner Sunset: just over $4,000 cheaper.

Per Month

Put in different terms, the average monthly on-campus installment payment is $1,529.

With a $300 food stipend, a student would spend roughly $350 less a month to live in the Outer Sunset, where the median monthly rent for a one bedroom is estimated at $1,725.


5 Drinks you need to try for Cinco de Mayo

Today is Cinco de Mayo, yay! A holiday that many of us take as a day to drink tequila to our hearts content and eat bomb Mexican food, because why not? But why do we celebrate this holiday? Many believe that today is Mexico’s Independence Day, well think again because it’s not. Mexico’s Independence Day is actually celebrated on September 16th, we celebrate the fifth of May because it was the day that the Mexican army won over the French forces at the Battle of Puebla, which happened on May 5th, 1862. It is such a big deal because during the battle the Mexican army wasn’t a favorite to win but they were able to overcome the French troops.

Now enough about history, lets talk about drinking. As American’s we like to celebrate Cinco de Mayo as well, which means plenty of tequila based drinks for us to celebrate with (not to mention drown our sorrows about finals week.)

Prickly Pear Moscow Mule:
This drink will start your Cinco de Mayo off right. It’s a hot pink color with a sweet pear taste but a kick at the end from the jalapenos.


2 oz lime juice
1/2  jalapeño
2 oz Mezcal
6 oz ginger beer
1 oz. prickly pear syrup
Lime, for rimming the glass
Salt, for rimming the glass
Jalapeño slices (seeded), for garnish 


1. Sprinkle salt on a plate and set aside. Run a cut lime along the rim of the glasess. Dip the rim in the salt covered plate. Set the glasses aside.
2. Muddle the lime juice and jalapeño at the bottom of a shaker until well combined.
3. Add the Mezcal, a few cubes of ice and the prickly pear syrup. Shake vigorously until well combined.
3. Pour the mixture evenly into the two glasses.
4. Pour the ginger beer into the glasses until the drink reaches the top of the glass. Stir.
5. Garnish the drink with a few jalapeño slices for added bite.

Tequila Sunrise:

A tequila sunrise is a twist on the typical margarita, fun for any party but not dangerous enough to make you hit the floor after one drink. It’s also really easy to make.


2 ounces Jose Cuervo Gold Tequila
4 ounces orange juice
splash grenadine
orange slice

1.Fill glass half way with ice

2. Pour tequila and orange juice into the glass
3. Stir to combine, add a splash of grenadine
4. Garnish with an orange slice.

Jalapeno Margarita:

Because why not? It’s Cinco de Mayo!


1 jalapeno, sliced thin
Celery Leaves
6oz fresh lime juice
Spoon full of sugar
16oz tequila
8oz orange liqueur


1. In a blender, combine jalapeno, celery leaves, lime juice, and sugar
2. Add in tequila and orange liqueur
3. Serve of the rocks, add salt to rim of glass

Classic Margarita Spritzer

Who doesn’t love a good spritzer, especially when summer is right around the corner and nobody needs those extra calories.


1 1/2 ounce tequila
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce triple sec or orange juice
4 ice cubes
Chilled seltzer or club soda
1 lime slice for garnish


1. In a tall glass combine the tequila, the lime juice, the triple sec, and ice cubes.
2. Fill the glass with the seltzer and stir the drink.
3. Garnish it with the lime slice.


Tequila shots, am I right? If you don’t want to mess with the hassle of making a fancy drink, then just drink the tequila alone. Always remember what happens after your third shot of tequila. My favorite tequila, Patron silver, goes down smooth but doesn’t leave a burn.

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone, please drink responsibly!

**drinks found via Pintrest

New Stars Photos Unveiled for Star Wars Day

May the fourth be with you. Star Wars day kicks off with a batch of photos released, which reveal the behind the scenes snapshots of the sets as well as its cast for JJ Abram’s upcoming sequel to the original sci-fi trilogy. Vanity Fair received the exclusive pictures and posted them on its website for fans to consume.

The images showcase the characters in their respective roles. Newcomers Jon Boyega and Daisey Ridley’s characters Finn and Rey can be seen on Vanity Fair’s cover sitting in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon with Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew, reprising their roles as Han Solo and Chewbacca.

Adam Diver can be seen leading snowtroopers in a Hoth-like icy planet. Diver will be playing Kylo Ren (who I can only wish is actually Darth Revan, a major character from the expanded Star Wars Universe) the new antagonist of the trilogy.

Gwendoline Christie is seen wearing a chrome stormtrooper costume which fans have called her as “The Chrometrooper.” She’ll be playing as Captain Phasma, a member of the first order – the movie’s new evil empire.

Best news of the day for all you Jar Jar Binks haters, JJ Abrams said he considered putting an the bones of Binks in the background for the movie. Taken from a Mashable article, he said “I’m serious!” he added. “Only three people will notice, but they’ll love it.”

Abrams’ is misunderstanding the power of the internet if he thinks only three people will catch it.

Twitter is flooded with messages of excitement as well as promotional messages from @starwars.


Star Wars is set for release on December 25th, 2015.



May’s Bay Area Art Shows

Image courtesy of Ryan Whelan

Events start this weekend:

Friday, May 1: Having Fun by Ryan Whelan at Farley’s East.

5-9pm, 33 Grand Avenue, Oakland. RSVP here.

Friday, May 1: Golden by Sarah Deragon at Rare Device.

6-9p, 600 Divisadero Street, San Francisco. RSVP here.

Friday, May 1: ‘Grow a Pair! Ovaries, Art, and a History of Creative Expression’ at Incline Gallery. Featuring work from Astrea Somarriba, Verse, Sofia Victoria Gonzalez, Jasmine Conrad, Elizabeth Iversen, Ari Takata-Vasquez, Erika Myszynski, Jennifer Kang, Virginia Barrett, Taylor Smalls, and Isabella Woods.

7-11pm, 766 Valencia Street, San Francisco. RSVP here.

Friday, May 1- Sunday May 3Art Market San Francisco at Fort Mason Festival Pavilion. Including works from 70 galleries.

Friday and Saturday, 11am-7pm, and Sunday, 12-6pm. 2 Marina Blvd, San Francisco. Tickets available here.

Friday, May 1- Sunday May 3: stARTup Art Fair San Francisco at Hotel Del Sol – a Joie de Vivre Hotel. San Francisco’s independently produced contemporary art fair for unrepresented artists.

Friday, 12-7pm, Saturday 12-8pm, and Sunday, 12-6pm. 3100 Webster St, San Francisco. Tickets available here.

Saturday, May 2: Parking Lot Art Fair. Featuring work from over 100 artist.

8am-1pm, Location announced at Midnight on May 1. Follow Parking Lot Art Fair on Instagram for more updates.

Saturday, May 2: CCA Oakland Craft Fair at California College of the Arts Oakland Campus Oakland.

11am-3pm, 5212 Broadway, Oakland. RSVP here.

Saturday, May 2: Wonderland SF 5 Year Anniversary reception. Featuring work from Joshua Lawyer, Matthew Robertson, Mj Lindo, and Sergio Lopez.

6-10pm, 1266 Valencia Street, San Francisco. RSVP here.

Saturday, May 2Terra Incognita: 2015 Mills College MFA Exhibition at Mills College Art Museum. Featuring work from Megan Enderschmidt, Jackie Farkas, Sara Kerr, Kevin Keul, Malena Lopez­-Maggi, Dani Padgett, Christine Patterson, Rachelle Reichert, Miranda Robbins, and Jess Smith.

6- 8pm,  5000 Macarthur Blvd, Oakland. RSVP here.

Sunday, May 3: Build It Up / Break It Down: Headlands Graduate Fellows Exhibition at Headlands Center for the Arts. Graduate Fellows: Sarah Ammons, Michael Bartalos, Heather Engen, Joy Fritz, Victoria Jang, Lauren McKeon, and Joyce Nojima.

Wednesday, May 6: Keith Boadwee‘s Club Draw collective at Aggregate Space gallery.

6:30-9:30pm, 801 West Grand Avenue, Oakland. RSVP here.

12 – 5pm, 944 Simmonds Rd, Sausalito. RSVP here.

Thursday, May 7: Virtual Prism by Erin Mitchell reception at Hang Art Gallery.

6-8pm, 567 Sutter Street, San Francisco. RSVP here.

Thursday, May 7: Lets Go All The Way by Ben Venom at Ever Gold Gallery.

7-10pm, 441 O’ Farrell Street, San Francisco. RSVP here.

Thursday, May 7: Jennifer Locke performance at SFAQ[Project]Space.

6-8pm, 449 O’ Farrell Street, San Francisco. RSVP here.

Thursday, May 7: A Ritual Telling by Maritime Art Collective at Red Victorian.

5:30pm, 1665 Haight Street, San Francisco. RSVP here.

Thursday, May 7: Photojojo new office party.

7-10pm, 1844 Market Street, San Francisco. RSVP here.

Friday, May 8: Fake Hippie by Gaelan Baird at Turpentine Gallery.

7-11pm, 557 Forest Street, Oakland. RSVP here.

Friday, May 8: Work by Kiana Endres at Stanza Coffee Bar.

7:30pm, 1637 Haight Street, San Francisco. RSVP here.

Friday, May 8: Zzzzzzz: Works by Morgan Miller at Bell Jar.

6-9pm, 3178 16th Street, San Francisco. RSVP here.

Saturday, May 9: Action Packed by Peter Harris at NAID Art Center.

12:30-3pm, 551 23rd Street, Richmond. RSVP here.

Saturday, May 9: Drifting Forest by GATS at Hashimoto Contemporary.

6-10pm, 804 Sutter Street, San Francisco. RSVP here.

Saturday, May 9: ‘La couleur de l’étrangeté: Jeunet & Caro’ at Spoke Art. Featuring work by Adam Ziskie, Lauren YS, Greg Gossel, Monica Garwood, Adam Lister, Nan Lawson, and more.

6pm, 816 Sutter Street, San Francisco, RSVP here.

Saturday, May 9: Joys of Jello by Jennie Lennick at Alter Space.

7-10pm, 1158 Howard Street, San Francisco, RSVP here.

Saturday, May 9: Rapid Density by Cannon Dill and Ian Hydeon Ferguson at Campfire Gallery.

7-10pm, 3344 24th Street, San Francisco. RSVP here.

Tuesday, May 12: Transfer 109 Release Party by Transfer Magazine at the SFSU Poetry Center (Humanities building, room 512)

7pm, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco. RSVP here.

Wednesday, May 12: directions taken – directions given #2 at Southern Exposure.

7-9pm, 3030 20th Street, San Francisco. RSVP here.

Thursday, May 14: 2015 CCA MFA Thesis Exhibition at CCA SF Campus.

6-10pm, 1111 8th Street, San Francisco. RSVP here.

Friday, May 15: Edge Effect –  SFAI’s 2015 MFA Exhibition at Fort Mason. Featuring work from 100 graduates.

7-9pm, 2 Marina Blvd, San Francisco. RSVP here.

Saturday, May 16: ‘We Are All In the Gutter But Some Of Us Are Holding Flashes’ by Mark Whiteley at Seeing Things Gallery.

7-10pm, 30 North 3rd Street, San Jose.

Saturday, May 16: Variety of (N)one by Clemens Berh at Mirus Gallery.

6-10pm, 540 Howard Street, San Francisco.

Saturday, May 16: Raised on Promises by Helen Bayly at White Walls and Shooting Gallery.

7-11pm, 886 Geary Street, San Francisco. RSVP here.

Thursday, May 21: Doubled by Shaun O’Dell at Gallery 16.

6-9pm, 501 3rd Street, San Francisco. RSVP here.

Friday, May 22: Recology San Francisco AIR Exhibition at Recology SF. Artists-in-residence include Michael Arcega, Ma Li and student artist Eden V. Evans.

5-9pm, 503 Tunnel Avenue, San Francisco. RSVP here.

Saturday, May 23: ‘Drawing On Youth’ by San Francisco Arts Education Project’s (SFArtsED’s) Interdisciplinary Arts Program (IAP) at SFMOMA Artists Gallery at Fort Mason.

2-5pm, 2 Marina Blvd, San Francisco. RSVP here.