SF State’s presidents address campus concerns
Associated Students President Karina Zamora and SF State President Lynn Mahoney answered student questions at their president to president event.
September 23, 2022
SF State President Lynn Mahoney and Associated Students President Karina Zamora took a hands-on approach to address student concerns at their first President to President event of the semester.
Zamora read a list of student questions to Mahoney regarding SF State housing, counselor support, policing policy, infrastructure and more at the Sept. 16 event.
A large part of their conversation surrounded the university’s recent decision to drop its indoor mask mandate and student reactions.
“We’re following the science, we’re a little cautious,” Mahoney said. “We’re looking at the numbers. I check them every day.”
Mahoney said the university decided to drop the mask mandate because of the current low transmission rate in the Bay Area. According to the Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 tracker, the current average case rate is 36 new cases per day.
She said there will not be another opportunity to receive boosters on campus because the university can’t confirm a steady student demand for third parties supplying the shots.
“Demand is very low for boosters,” Mahoney said. “We need a high demand for providers to come.”
According to the Centers for Disease control and prevention, California currently has the country’s highest monkeypox rate at 4,886 total cases since May. San Francisco saw their first case in June and has documented 794 cases as of Sept. 21.
But Mahoney said the university will not be providing monkeypox vaccines.
She also addressed a concern stating that the University Police Department funding has increased.
Vice President for Students Affairs & Enrollment Management Jamillah Moore, took on a question from a concerned student, who asked Mahoney about the lack of counselors and therapists available on campus.
According to the first National College Health Risk Behavior Survey, 10.3% of respondents said they seriously considered committing suicide.
Moore said the university is working with Counseling & Psychological Services to bring in more social workers.
Mahoney added that the university is working on bringing six additional counselors for the 2023 academic year; however, she said it has been difficult finding a diverse group of professionals to work on campus.
“We’re struggling hiring diverse counselors, but we do want to represent the diversity of our students,” Mahoney said.
Housing was another hot topic at the meeting. Mahoney said historically, the university has not received any money from the state for housing and they had to absorb the total cost of new housing projects.
Although, this changed approximately two years ago when the state recognized that a housing deficit is a serious issue. The state of California allocated $2 billion to build more housing at CSUs, UCs and California’s community colleges.
Mahoney said SF State received $116 million from this budget, which covered 65% of the total cost of the West Campus Green project.
“We need more housing and we need more housing that costs less,” Mahoney said. “We need to advocate to the state on housing.”
Zamora read another question regarding the university’s online class selection. Mahoney said the departments are having this conversation right now. Some programs are 25% online and 75% in person. However, she said it is possible that in the future, some graduate and undergraduate programs may be totally online.
Lastly, Mahoney said it is very important for students to be a part of the university’s Strategic Planning Committee because it represents the values of the institution. Even though Mahoney said SF State has identified these values and its priority areas, there is always room to improve.
“We can do better and better,” Mahoney said.
More information on upcoming events of this nature can be found on the AS website or Instagram page.