9/8-9/14 Syria, deans, Palestine and fossil fuels

Open forum on post 9/11 and current Syria

By Andrew Cullen

Today, SF State will host the 12th Annual Jules Tygiel Memorial Forum on Post 9/11 World Affairs, a continuing forum that brings together SF State professors to discuss issues like U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

With the looming possibility of another U.S. military intervention in the Middle East, many of the discussions scheduled for today will center around the humanitarian crisis in Syria, a result of the now almost three-year-old civil war.

The forum will highlight SF State professors from international relations, history, political science and Jewish studies and address complex issues on U.S. policy concerning regional conflicts that have evolved in the Middle East, most as a result of the “Arab Spring.”
The event, which is sponsored by SF State’s Middle East and Islamic studies department (MEIS) and the department of Jewish studies, will take place today, Sept. 11, in SCI 270 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and is free to students who wish to attend.

Search for two deans 

By Andrew Cullen

SF State Academic Affairs is conducting a search to fill positions for the University’s new dean of the College of Liberal and Creative Arts, as well as a position for the dean of the Graduate College of Education.

Applicant screening will begin Nov. 6, and the positions are expected to be filled next fall. Applicants thus far range from all types of school officials to professors of different departments. Applications are still being accepted and will continue to be taken and evaluated until the position is filled.

Position descriptions and application procedures can be found on the University’s academic affairs website, and any questions can be directed to Stephanie Schwartz, staff liaison to the committee, at [email protected].


SF State hosts Palestinian festival

By Andrew Cullen

SF State will host the Palestinian cultural and educational festival Room For Hope, produced by Bright Stars of Bethlehem.

SF State will host the festival Sept. 26 through Sept. 28 and will focus on educational seminars during the day and cultural presentations such as Palestinian dance, music and film at night; including a business seminar from Plug and Play on entrepreneurial enterprises in Palestine.

The festival will feature dance performances from the Diyar Dance Theatre, as well as performances from renowned musicians such as Georges Lammam, Miles Jay, Tareq Rantisi and Ali Amr. Films such as “The Stones Cry Out” by Italian filmmaker Yasmine Perni and “Restored Pictures” by Palestinian filmmaker Mahasen Nasser-Eldin will be shown.

Tickets to the event can be purchased via Eventbrite, for $22.50 for a single event, or $125.00 for full access to all the event’s performances and conferences. For more information contact Stephen Marks at 312-884-1294 or email.


Students demand to divest from fossil fuel companies

By Guadalupe Gonzalez

The SF State Foundation struggles to meet student demand to divest from companies that invest in fossil fuels because it might scare away potential investors, said Vice President of External Affairs Sonya Soltani.

Last semester the SF State Foundation, the University organization that receives donations and endowments, voted unanimously to limit direct investments in fossil fuel companies with “significant production or use of coal and tar sands” after a coalition of students, known as Fossil Free SFSU, lobbied for the resolution. They also voted to amend the foundation’s policy to reflect the change.

However, no standard has been set to determine what is “significant production” of fossil fuels thereby creating the difficulty.

Soltani said the foundation’s ad hoc committee is working on determining a medium on what is acceptable use of fossil fuels, and the Board of Supervisors will have another update in October.