Boise State University

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Boise State Adjuncts Demonstrate on National Adjunct Walkout Day

Posted By on Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 2:54 PM

A crowd gathered Feb. 25 to listen to adjunct instructor Dana Hathaway talk about the issues facing adjuncts.  - JESSICA MURRI
  • Jessica Murri
  • A crowd gathered Feb. 25 to listen to adjunct instructor Dana Hathaway talk about the issues facing adjuncts.

A handful of Boise State University adjunct instructors walked out of their classrooms and into the quad at noon, Feb. 25, to advocate for higher wages, access to benefits and greater job security as part of National Adjunct Walkout Day

Standing over a folding table stacked with flyers, fact sheets and bright red stickers that read "A is for Adjunct," instructors Dana Hathaway and Elizabeth Swearingen led the demonstration, which grew to more than 60 people, including students.

Hathaway explained the plight of the adjuncts to onlookers. 

"I'm paid to teach about fairness," she said, "yet I'm not treated that way by the university."

Hathaway told Boise Weekly she teaches three classes and makes about $18,000 a year. On top of that, she doesn't receive any sort of retirement contribution or health insurance from Boise State. 

Adjunct instructor Michael Margulies explained to a student the small wages and lack of benefits adjuncts at Boise State University receive.  - JESSICA MURRI
  • Jessica Murri
  • Adjunct instructor Michael Margulies explained to a student the small wages and lack of benefits adjuncts at Boise State University receive.
"A single parent with two kids on my wage would qualify for food stamps," she told BW.

Hathaway brought her Philosophy 103 class to experience the walkout, which she said fits nicely into her curriculum, which in the next few weeks will include studying income inequality. 

"It's strange that you earn less than what I'm going to end up earning once I graduate," said one of Hathaway's students, Tylana Davis. "Once I graduate and become a nurse, I'm going to earn a lot more money than you. You guys are teaching me so I can go earn more money than you earn."

Another student said he was disappointed that many adjuncts like Hathaway don't have office hours.

"We're not required to have office hours, and I think it's a problem that the administration is OK with that," Hathaway replied. "Oftentimes, you'll see faculty at the local Starbucks meeting with their students because they don't have an office. That's shameful. That's not how it should be."

Cristen Iris was also there to show her support for adjuncts, though she's not a student or a professor. She works in Boise State's Risk Management and Insurance Office. She held a sign that read, "Alumni for Adjuncts—A is for Alumni for Fair Wages."

Iris said she receives benefits and is better paid than her adjunct colleagues. 
Cristen Iris is a staff member at Boise State, happy to show her support at the adjuncts' demonstration. - JESSICA MURRI
  • Jessica Murri
  • Cristen Iris is a staff member at Boise State, happy to show her support at the adjuncts' demonstration.

"The custodial staff gets benefits and paid more than adjuncts," she said.

Elizabeth Barnes, another adjunct in the English Department, was disappointed by turnout at the demonstration.

"There are 550 of us that could be out here," she said, referring to the total number of adjuncts at the university.

She plans to host teach-ins for her classes all day, letting her students know that the average annual salary for Boise State adjunct instructors hovers around $17,000. Adjuncts make up about half of the university's faculty, yet they are not given benefits and are considered temporary employees.

"It's a broken system," she said. "Someday hopefully something will change."

Hathaway was also disappointed that she didn't see more adjuncts willing to walk out with their students. She understands why, though.

"Not many instructors are willing to walk out. We are at-will employees, so I could very well be told, 'You know what, we're not going to hire you back next term,'" Hathaway said. "I've accepted that. I don't really have a whole lot to lose. I'm not making lots of money and there's little chance of getting a full-time job here because most faculty here are part-timers. It's just gotten to a point where I've had it."
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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Boise Police, Boise State Unveil Pilot Diversion Program to Tackle Underage Drinking

Posted By on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 10:44 AM

Prior to his retirement, then-Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson told Boise Weekly in 2014 that he was particularly concerned about what he saw as a growing trend of a significant number of young adults being arrested for underage drinking.

"The criminal justice system is antiquated in Idaho when it comes to crime and punishment—especially when we hand out misdemeanors to kids who have been consuming alcohol," Masterson told BW. "Look, we can talk tough. But is that what you really want for your son or daughter? You know, things are a little different in some rural sections of Idaho where the local sheriff just calls the parents if the kids are caught drinking. But when those same kids come down to the Treasure Valley and they're attending Boise State and they're caught with an open container, they could become a criminal. Do you want that? I want to see that fixed."

And this morning, the Boise Police Department, along with Boise State University, announced that it was launching what it called an Alcohol Diversion Program "to give underage students a second chance if they're found with alcohol on campus."

The voluntary program, which would run as a pilot program through May 31, would only include enrolled students who have been charged with a first offense of underage alcohol possession or consumption on campus. If eligible, the student may choose to participate in a program that would include an alcohol education course. But a student may opt out of the program and receive a normal citation to take to court. You can read more about the program here.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Boise State Pulls The Plug on Community and Regional Planning Program

Posted By on Tue, Feb 3, 2015 at 2:36 PM

Over the years, Boise Weekly has profiled multiple projects, initiatives and students from Boise State University's Department Community and Regional Planning, chronicling the great recession in the publication "Down and Out in Ada County," crafting an examination of the "The DNA of Streets," or gaining a better understanding of how people move in and around Boise's downtown core.

But on Feb. 2, faculty of the Community and Regional Planning Department met with the Office of the Provost of Boise State and were informed that the university would be pulling the plug on the program. As a result, the Community and Regional Planning program won't be accepting any new students and will work with its current Masters candidates to assist them through graduation. Meanwhile, the program has multiple partners in the community where students were working on various projects or initiatives. But those partners have been told that the Department will be phased out over the next two years.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Boise Weekly's Coverage Of POTUS in Boise Via Storify

Posted By on Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 11:41 AM

Boise Weekly followed President Barack Obama's entourage Wednesday, January 21st.

From touchdown to takeoff, these were the images and voices that witnessed Obama's historic visit to Boise State University.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tickets to Obama's Boise Appearance Being Hawked on Craigslist

Posted By on Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 11:27 AM

The news spread fast: President Barack Obama would make an appearance at Boise State University Wednesday, Jan. 21, beginning at 2:45 p.m.—just a day after his annual State of the Union address to Congress. 

Tickets to the event were free, and a line began forming at the Albertson Stadium ticket office in the wee hours of Jan. 19. Boise State students got first dibs on the free tickets, followed by staff and administrators. At 4 p.m. Jan. 19, the few tickets that remained were given away to the general public. They went fast—and almost as quickly, became available on Craigslist, sometimes for staggering sums of money. 

"An opportunity to see the most powerful man in the world.... Don't pass it up! ***$150 OBO***," wrote one Craigslist user. 

"Selling a ticket to see obama [sic]!! $350 stood in line for hours. Please email if interested," wrote another.

Many others took to the site to search or trade for tickets. One user offered a ticket to the event for a ticket to the Jan. 21 String Cheese Incident performance at the Knitting Factory.

Several users balked at the idea of paying for tickets to an event to which tickets could be obtained for free. 

"Paying for it seems odd. I'll buy you a cocktail or lunch but realistically, I'm not buying a free ticket," wrote one user. "Had I waited for a pile of time and couldn't go, I would give away my ticket."
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Monday, January 19, 2015

Video: MLK / Idaho Human Rights Day Draws Hundreds to Two Statehouse Celebrations

Posted By on Mon, Jan 19, 2015 at 2:40 PM

  • Farzan Faramarzi

The Idaho Statehouse played host to not one, but two Martin Luther King Jr. / Idaho Human Rights Day celebrations Jan. 19.

The first event began mid-morning with Boise State University students and community members marching north on Capitol Boulevard to the Idaho Statehouse, where they gathered on the Capitol steps at 11:30 a.m. to celebrate Dr. King's legacy, and show how the standards he set for human rights across the United States were very much alive today.

Jasmine Herrick, community organizer and Boise State student, told the crowd that civil rights change faces new roadblocks in the 21st century, but stressed that creating change on a community level is no less important in 2015 than it was in the 1950s and '60s. 

Jasmine Herrick speaking on the Capitol steps. - FARZAN FARAMARZI
  • Farzan Faramarzi
  • Jasmine Herrick speaking on the Capitol steps.

"If [Martin Luther King, Jr.] were alive now, his act would be considered an act of domestic terrorism because it blocked traffic," she told the crowd of mostly students.

For her, however, silence on the issue of establishing equal protections for all under the law only encourages those who would marginalize and abridge the rights of others.

"When we are silent, we send the message that we can be brutalized with no consequence," she said. 

Much has changed in the half century since the civil rights movement began to make headway in the United States: Though the Civil Rights Act was signed into law in 1965, speakers said there remains much work to be done. Associated Students of Boise State University President Brian Vlok told the crowd that "social justice isn't extinct, and that he looks forward to the challenges and victories the movement faces in the future.

  • Farzan Faramarzi

"What will we do in the next 50 years?" he asked the crowd.

A few speakers who took to the podium said that one of the current horizons of the civil rights movement in Idaho is the Add the Words campaign, which seeks to add "gender identity" and "sexual orientation" to the state's 1960s-era human rights law. 

"This year there will be a hearing for [a bill currently in committee in the Idaho legislature to add the words], and you have a role," said Francisco Salinas, Boise State Director of Diversity and Inclusion, calling on the community to write letters to members of the legislature encouraging them to support the passage of the bill. 

Meanwhile, inside the Statehouse was a more formal commemoration - the noontime Martin Luther King Jr. / Human Rights Day celebration. There, emcee and Idaho Sen. Cherie Buckner Webb introduced several speakers, including Lieutenant Governor Brad Little, who filled in for Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter during the ceremony, and read a gubernatorial proclamation of MLK Human Rights Day.

Rabbi Dan Fink delivered the keynote address. - FARZAN FARAMARZI
  • Farzan Faramarzi
  • Rabbi Dan Fink delivered the keynote address.

Following a performance by the Common Ground Community Chorus, Rabbi Dan Fink delivered the keynote address, "The Pursuit of Justice Begins with Truth."

"Thanks to civil rights laws passed in the last 50 years, you live in a more just nation," he told hundreds who watched him from three floors of the Capitol Building. 

Fink said, however, that the fight for equal rights for all is far from won, echoing Salinas' call for the Idaho State Legislature to "add the words." He said that there are three ways that the truth—and consequently justice—is impeded when it comes to providing justice for Idaho's LGBT citizens: "averting our gaze" and not seeing that there's a problem; failing to recognize the injustices LGBT people face in Idaho; and rationalizing our collective failure to provide legal protections. 

"The laws provide just recourse unless you are lesbian, transsexual or gay," he said. "Justice is a rising tide."

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Video: #BlackLivesMatter Inspires Demonstration, Conversation at Boise State

Posted By and on Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Farzan Faramarzi is an intern extraordinaire for Boise Weekly this semester—reporting and videoing news and culture stories throughout the Treasure Valley for the past few months. 

But on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 6, while covering a Boise State University football game at Albertsons Stadium, he took note of a series of one-letter signs being held up by students that read #BLACKLIVESMATTER.

CBS television cameras panned the crowd, but Faramarzi noticed that the network quickly cut away from the demonstration of solidarity. 

"As a journalist, I couldn't forget what I saw," said Faramarzi. "Apparently 'the shirtless guy' got more attention than these students. I wanted to find them and talk to them."

And indeed he did. Here is Faramarzi's in-studio conversation with three Boise State students who were behind the sign, who shared their moments of inspiration in the wake of the killings of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Transportation Expert to Present on the 'DNA' of City Streets at Boise State

Posted By on Wed, Dec 10, 2014 at 11:52 AM

  • image by James Lloyd
This was a big year for Boise's streets. From cyclists being struck by cars to installing parking meter sensors under the pavement, interest in Boise's roadways has been at an all-time high in 2014.

As cities like Boise continue to grow, planners and engineers must work to ensure that roadways keep pace, meeting not just the age-old requirements of basic usability and structural integrity but also 21st century challenges like ease-of-use and fulfilling the needs of a variety of road users.

On Wednesday, Dec. 10,  Peter Koonce, a transportation engineer who has worked in the public and private sectors in Portland, Ore., will speak in the Jordan AB Ballroom at the Boise State University Student Union Building. His talk, "The DNA of City Streets: Rethinking the Use of Street Right of Way," will illuminate the intricacies of street design dynamics and the impact on communities.

The lecture begins at 6 p.m. and is free to attend.
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Monday, December 8, 2014

UPDATE: Rape Reported on Boise State Campus

Posted By on Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 6:23 PM

UPDATE: Dec. 8, 2014

One day after the report of a rape on the campus of Boise State University, Boise Police say criminal charges are pending the review of the case by Ada County prosecutors.

Boise Police said late Monday that the alleged suspect was not a Boise State student and that the suspect and alleged victim were attending the same part in a common area of a dormitory on campus just prior to the incident. The alleged rape occurred in a bathroom, according to police. Boise police also said in a statement that they had reason to believe that the attack was not random.

Meanwhile the victim is receiving services from the Boise Police Victim-Witness Unit whose members provide crisis intervention and support to witnesses and survivors of crime.

Police added that both the reporting party and alleged suspect were cooperating fully with the investigation.

ORIGINAL POST: Dec. 7, 2014

The Boise Police Department is alerting the Boise State University community to a rape reported on campus near Chaffee Hall early Sunday morning. 

The suspect is said to be a Hispanic male in his early 20s; approximately 5-foot-7-inches tall; 160 pounds; with short, dark hair. 

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at 208-343-2677, in person at the Capitol Village at 2245 University Drive, to campus security at 208-426-6911, or through Silent Witness. In the event of an emergency, call emergency services at 911.

Students, staff and the BSU community are also being advised of the following safety tips:
  • When you go out, go out in a group. Check in with peers throughout the night. Don't become isolated with someone you don't know or trust.
  • Avoid going out alone at night.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you. Avoid wearing headphones or earbuds.
  • Perpetrators often target people who are intoxicated, and often use alcohol to facilitate assault. Never accept drinks that weren't poured in front of you, and keep beverages within sight at all times.
  • Carry your cellphone in case of emergency.
  • Report suspicious people and circumstances to campus security and police services.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

March Madness to Return to Boise in 2018

Posted By on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Big news out of the Boise State University Athletics Department today—and no, it has nothing to do with football.

Boise State will play host to the first and second rounds of the NCAA men's basketball tournament in 2018, bringing one of the most popular sports spectaculars back to the Treasure Valley for the first time since 2009.

Boise joins Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas, Texas; Detroit, Mich., Nashville, Tenn.; Pittsburgh, Penn.; San Diego, Calif.; and Wichita, Kan., will also play hosts to first- and second round games.

Boise State's arena played host in 1983, 1989, 1992, 1998, 2001, 2005 and 2009 but in recent years there was some talk that Taco Bell Arena either wasn't big enough or didn't provide sufficient elements (such as its out-of-date scoreboard) to come up to NCAA standards. 

The Boise games are set for Thursday, March 15, and Saturday, March 17, 2018.

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