Last week, students staged a Day of Refusal protest against rising tuition costs, calling out the hypocrisy of USF’s motto, “Change the world from here.” They voiced their dissatisfaction with USF as an institution that brands itself on diversity and social justice values, yet creates financial hardship for students that leaves them with little time or energy to live up to the motto. In this time of student mobilization, we want to remind students that our publication is a tool to improve USF for us all.
This University is full of powerful, smart, and innovative students who are welcome to contribute to the current momentum and make USF an alma mater to be proud of. The Foghorn provides space for students to continue pressuring the University through creative, specific solutions that students can advocate for. During the Day of Refusal, speakers cited news that the Foghorn broke in the past two months, including USF’s potential partnership with the San Francisco Police Department, the University’s decision to replace the grass on Welch Field with turf, and the history of student dissatisfaction with Bon Appetit.
In recent years, students have used the Foghorn’s opinion section as a space to advocate for institutional changes. When USF returned to campus following a year and a half of fully online instruction, nursing student and former general assignment reporter Annika Dahlberg wrote a piece calling for the University to provide an on-campus COVID-19 testing site. Last semester, Latinas Unidas President Isabella Flores wrote a story calling for more support for Latine students from USF. And, in the wake of the Sports Illustrated article in which multiple women stepped forward about being sexually assaulted by members of the men’s soccer team, the Foghorn ran a letter signed by 59 athletes across USF that demanded support measures from athletic administrators to repair the damaged trust.
Presenting policy suggestions to student concerns demonstrates real-world problem-solving skills and practices care for each other and for our school. In our news stories, our staff covers the advocacy that students present in their opinion pieces and position it in context with the voice of the University to create fair news stories. Opinion editor Oliver River Satalich covered the ways students with disabilities feel unseen by the University; general assignment reporter Jordan Delfiugo reported on a recent ASUSF resolution promoting menstrual product accessibility; and contributing writer Amina Anshasi highlighted the ways students organized to support victims of the Turkey and Syria earthquakes. Creating space for the University to respond to student voices, offers students the chance to hear the University’s reasoning behind current conditions. These perspectives are valuable tools for dialogue around campus improvement.
The Foghorn aims to be a trusted, reliable resource for USF faculty and students. We adhere to journalistic best practices, following journalism ethics and thoroughly fact checking all information and sources that are presented to us. Our work often finds its way to the desks of our University’s administrators, serving as the voice of students.
We encourage students to use the opinion section of the Foghorn to publish a call to action with clearly formulated arguments. Every production week, stories pass through the hands of five editors — two section editors, the copy editor, the managing editor, and the editor-in-chief. This means that if you submit a story to us, you will receive what could feel like an overwhelming amount of edits because five dedicated readers are suggesting ways to make it stronger. It’s our job as editors to honor your writing while formating your piece according to AP and Foghorn style guides, and helping you to make it as powerful as it can be through specifics.
As stated in our submission policy box published on page two of each issue, “The thoughts and opinions expressed herein are those of the individual writers and do not necessarily reflect those of the Foghorn staff.” The opinion section is also open to submissions formed as letters to the editor from students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
The recent Day of Refusal began what we hope to be a new post-pandemic chapter of activism at USF, one which emphasizes bringing students together and documenting the current student experience.