Tag Archives: koret

Koret: Your Answer to Fighting Inactivity

Nicholas Welsh

Staff Writer


Once again, we all face the start of another school year. By now, many have turned to sharpening their minds for their upcoming classes, looking to shed off the summer rust that has built up in their brain. You can kiss goodbye to that rock-hard summer body, now it’s time to binge eat after you bomb your first midterm that you forget to study for, or gain the “Freshman 15″ like everyone says you will. Midnight pizza will become a food staple in the dorms, as well as the delicious snickerdoodle cookies baked fresh in the cafeteria. With the independent college lifestyle comes the overzealous caloric intake. Many are unprepared for the sudden change college brings, but there is a solution: USF’s gym, the Koret Health and Recreation Center.

Located a block away from campus, the Koret Center is just close enough to not have an excuse to not exercise. Koret is fully equipped; from a state of the art weight room to a 50-meter by 25-yard pool. If lifting or swimming is not your thing, rows of treadmills and other exercise machines line the second and third floors. Swig Pavilion and Hagan Gym provide multiple basketball courts, and there is also an equipment check-out area which stores basketballs, towels, locks, and other items. Access to these items is granted through your USF ID card, which is also your key to getting into the building. An extra incentive to exercise is that there is no fee when you visitthe Koret Center!

If you prefer organized, team-oriented activities, there are many club sports that you could join. Club sports offered include water polo, badminton, boxing, soccer, as well as less traditional sports such as Brazilian jiu jitsu, taekwondo, and table tennis. There are also many intramural sports that are a hit amongst USF students. On Thursday nights, many students can be found playing intramural basketball, which includes referees and jerseys that are provided by Koret. Indoor soccer, flag football, and kickball are just a few other popular intramural sports that are available. There is a small fee to join an intramural team, but as many students will tell you, it is well worth it.KoretSwim_v2

If you are looking to advance your workout routine, Koret also offers group exercise classes. Zumba, TRX (Total Body Resistance Exercise) training, boxing conditioning, and self defense are a few of the classes offered.

Koret also provides services to help students adapt to their new college environment. On campus you will notice flyers advertising Welcome Weekends, which present chances for freshmen and transfer students to explore the city and make new friends early in the semester. Upcoming events include a trip to Fisherman’s Wharf on Aug. 23, and a bike ride around Golden Gate Park on Sept. 7.  Students can also travel and meet other students through Outdoor Adventures, a program where groups of Dons come together to attend Giants games, visit Alcatraz, go horse riding, and more.

Secret Spots on Campus That Aren’t So Secret Anymore

Mia Orantia

Staff Writer

     As an urban university, USF is quite small compared to other colleges, but nestled within our 58-acre campus are some hidden spots you usually wouldn’t  find on your way to class…unless you get incredibly lost on your first day and happen to stumble upon these:

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Kalmanovitz Hall Rooftop Sculpture Terrace

From the Renaissance-era church portal from Spain in the amphitheater, to the art that greets you as your enter the building, it comes with no surprise that Kalmanovitz Hall also has a rooftop with an artistic element. Atop K-Hall is a sculpture terrace with a bird’s eye view of campus. The terrace rotates exhibitions, and currently on display is “¡Escultura!” which features work from  The Mexican Museum’s Permanent Collection.

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Koret Deli

It may seem confusing for a gym to have a deli, but it is true—Koret Health and Recreation Center has one that serves filling sandwiches and quick breakfast options. Located in the lounge on the third floor, Koret Deli is a convenient place to grab a bite after a workout. Or maybe you can skip the workout and go straight to the grubbing. What is the freshmen fifteen anyways?

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Del Santo Reading Room (a.k.a Harry Potter Reading Room)

An alternative studying spot to Gleeson Library is the Del Santo Reading Room in the East wing of Lone Mountain’s second floor. The dimly lit space takes you back in time with the old-school wooden furniture, aged bookcases, and a lingering smell of old books, making you feel like you’re in Hogwarts. Many say they’ve heard the Basilisk or have even seen the ghost of a nun in there. I guess that just comes with attending a university more than a century old. 

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USF Community Garden

Next to the education building is USF’s community garden, where students cultivate year-round seasonal vegetables, fruit, and herbs. It’s a great spot to temporarily remove you from the city environment and for you to enjoy the fruits of our community’s labor. Food harvested from the community garden can be enjoyed at the campus farm stand and the free monthly community dinners at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church.

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Lawn by Rossi Wing, next to Lone Mountain

For a panoramic view of USF’s surroundings and the landscapes of San Francisco, the lawn by Rossi Wing is the prime location. When Karl the Fog (@KarlTheFog) isn’t around, you can sit on one of the benches and see the downtown skyline cloaked by the ocean. The most direct sunlight also hits this location, perfect for basking or maybe, just maybe, getting a bit of a tan laying on the green grassy lawn.

Koret Deli: The Best Eatery on Campus

For off-campus students like myself, buying food on campus can be costly without flexi for our disposal. Sure, a bowl of soup and bread from the Market Café may be the cheapest meal you can get there, but for about $5 it’s not much to sustain you for the afternoon. In looking for alternative dining options on campus, the Koret Deli can help stretch your wallet and fill you up.

First of all, for all those who don’t go to the gym (it’s ok, I think walking up Lone Mountain is equivalent to the stair master), did you know there was a deli in Koret Health and Recreation Center?

Photo by Natalie Gallo
Photo by Natalie Gallo

“I don’t think everyone knows about it because you kind of overlook it when you’re at the gym, but then there are some people I know who only go to Koret for the deli,” said Glencijoy David, senior.

Koret Deli doesn’t accept flexi so it probably doesn’t garner much attraction from on-campus students, but according to David, it certainly is popular with commuter students.

Sandwiches are a staple to my diet. They’re quick and easy to make, and portable to bring up to campus. Since I’ve eaten plenty of sandwiches in my three years as a college student, two years being a commuter, I’ve developed high standards for what makes a good sandwich, and Koret Deli makes a good sandwich.

The menu offers about eleven sandwich options, including vegetarian, with a choice of sweet roll, whole wheat, or dutch crunch bread. On top of that, they’ll even toast it for you, and that already makes a sandwich loads better. I opted for the New York Pastrami sandwich, rather than the usual ham, turkey, or chicken sandwiches. I paid $6 for a 6-inch sub, which is the average cost of Koret Deli sandwiches.

I went to the deli around 11 a.m. on a Monday, and there wasn’t a line at the time, hence the service was pretty quick. At first I was skeptical about how filling the sandwich would be, but after eating half of it, I was already satisfied. I got my pastrami sandwich on dutch crunch bread which added an extra crispness and balancing sweetness to the seasoned meat. Unlike the $6 pre-wrapped sandwiches at the Caf, Koret Deli sandwiches are packed with meat, and the right amount of  lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, and sandwich spread.  I often find other sandwich places load on these toppings, causing the sandwich to fall apart, however Koret Deli neatly wraps their sandwiches to prevent this, and also makes it easy to take your sandwich to-go.

The deli also offers espresso coffee and drinks, salads, breakfast bagels, and smoothies, making it a great stop for breakfast to-go or to refuel during the day. I’ve been told by Koret Deli faithfuls that there’s usually a line, so arrive early before your next class. If you’re not in a rush for class, the deli is a spacious alternative for studying with their large tables, multiple seating, and a great view of  Inner Richmond district and Golden Gate Park.

Even though the price point of Koret Deli is not significantly less than the cost of sandwiches you can get at the Caf, it’s a winner for off-campus students in terms of portability, satisfaction, and getting more for your buck. It also beats the crowd and high noise levels of the Caf.

Not Just “Boxercise” Anymore

USF Boxing Club Boasts Three National Champions, the No. 3 Ranked Boxer in the U.S., Olympic Level Talent

Boxing is one of the most thriving, well-represented sports at USF. From the school’s boxing club to classes such as Philippine Boxing and Culture and Boxing and Social Justice, a plethora of opportunities are available for students to learn about boxing and also to experience the sport first-hand. While spirits are presently high among members of the boxing program — the club recently hosted the United States Intercollegiate Boxing Association (USIBA) National Championships earlier this year, which recognized female boxing as an equal part of the sport — there was a time when the boxing club was in a far less promising position.

“(The program) was introduced as a “boxercise,” Boxing Club Head Coach Angelo Merino said. “As we moved towards the competition side, we registered ourselves as a guerrilla movement without the University’s blessings. We were practicing at the balcony of Memorial Gym, running on the steps without bags, just using mitts and pads.”

Merino was there when the club was nothing more than an unorganized, unsanctioned “boxercise” in 1995, when he helped convince the University to turn boxing into a formal sport. Since then, the club has made significant strides, culminating in hosting the USIBA Championships, where they boasted national champions in three different weight classes.

While the team has seen much success recently, Merino has even higher expectations for this year.

“This is the best recruiting year we have had,” Merino said. “We have a few who are potential Olympians, and we have one who is a five-time world champion in kickboxing, and is ranked number three in the nation for boxing.”

This five-time kickboxing champion is Katrina Nahe, a 16-year-old prodigy who picked up boxing just six months ago. Nahe attends Deer Valley High School in Antioch, Calif., but still practices and competes with the USF Boxing Club. She will be showcasing her talents at this year’s Hilltop Cup, an on-campus boxing event on Oct. 18 that will feature USF along with up to 19 other schools. Headlining the club’s returning boxers is Nargis Shaghasi, who won a national championship in her weight class last year. Shaghasi recently made a trip to Oxnard, Calif. to compete in a five-week tournament for a spot in the Olympics.

In order to continue producing outstanding, talented individuals such as Nahe and Shaghasi, Merino’s boxing squad practices every day, using the city of San Francisco to its advantage. The club often runs at Ocean Beach and also works out in neighboring gymnasiums. Senior Adriana Bousalian, who won a national championship at the USIBA event last semester, does not sugarcoat the intensity of the boxing club experience.

“It’s a real commitment, it’s not a joke,” Bousalian said. “You’ve got to put your full effort into it; you can’t just put half, because first off you’ll lose, and second you’ll probably get hurt.”

Bousalian, who is “taking it a lot easier” this year but still training with the club, has both cautionary and encouraging words for students who may be interested in taking up boxing: “you sacrifice your social life, and sometimes even your academic work, but (the reward) is worth it.”

Along with the USF Boxing Club, the university also offers two boxing-oriented classes. One of these is Boxing and Social Justice, taught by Merino, along with professor and Boxing Club Assistant Coach Jay Gonzalez. The course not only teaches boxing, but also provides service learning experience through volunteer work to help homeless senior citizens in the Mission District, among other activities.

“Boxing is used just as an icebreaking tool,” Merino said. “It has a cultural diversity aspect to it, and it has a service learning aspect to it…there is a win-win situation between the students and the (volunteering) site.”

Boxing and Social Justice, which is in its fourth year as a class at USF, combines boxing culture with the University’s diversity-focused values. For example, boxing techniques such as jabs and hooks are used as a way of understanding cultural differences that students are exposed to when they travel to certain parts of the city.

“When we’re in the classroom teaching them to be mentors and teachers, we show them how the Europeans would throw a jab, how Cubans would throw a jab,” Merino said. “Those are the things that would break the ice.”

With a club that boasts three reigning national boxing champions, as well as numerous new Olympic-level talents, and two boxing classes that simultaneously involve students in the community, it is evident that boxing is currently prospering at USF. Regardless of what path it takes in the future, boxing has certainly expanded its influence far beyond the balcony of the War Memorial Gym.

Hike, Kayak, and Surf Your Way to New Friendships on Koret’s Outdoor Adventures

Being a student at the “University of the Best City Ever” means that countless attractions and world-renowned landmarks are only a walk or a MUNI ride away from campus. But opportunities for students to explore their surroundings also exist far beyond San Francisco’s city limits. With Koret’s Outdoor Adventures program, students can go on a variety of excursions that are organized and run through USF, and feature trip locations such as Vacaville, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the Sacramento River. The program provides a way for students, faculty and staff members to travel to different parts of the Bay Area while engaging in a variety of outdoor activities.

This semester, Outdoor Adventures is offering a total of 12 trips, three of which have already taken place. On Sept. 14 a group of Dons embarked on an all-day whitewater-rafting trip. The two other adventures that have already taken place were the “Urban Hiker” trip, a trek throughout the city that took participators from Telegraph Hill to Lombard Street, and a day visit to Great America, an amusement park in Santa Clara.

“On Urban Hiker, the students got to explore San Francisco like a local. They got to enjoy amazing views while on a four and a half mile hike. They got to explore the city’s secret stairways, hilltop views, and hiking trails,” Kristina Alai, the head organizer of USF Outdoor Adventures, said. “At Great America, students got to experience the tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster in Northern California.”

Alai, who is also the Rec Sports Department Coordinator at Koret, believes that the events present a chance for students to familiarize themselves with their surroundings as well as their fellow classmates.

“As a new student to a new city, it can be difficult to learn about the city or even find a group of friends to go on day trips with,” Alai said. “What is beneficial about these trips is that they give students a discounted rate to explore these places, (and also) the freedom to roam or be with their friends, and return back safely with the transportation we provide…this definitely strengthens our USF community.”

USF sophomore Grant Tercero went kayaking in Sausalito last year through the Outdoor Adventures program, and enjoyed the heavy exercise and opportunities for exploration.

“It was a cool outing, (and) I received the chance to know the geography of the bay a little better and row myself to four different cities in two hours,” Tercero said. “(I also) pretty much solidified a friendship with a girl named Jayne due to our kayak flipping over. Some good old-fashioned bonding there.”

Outdoor Adventure trips are offered each Saturday, and prices are generally set at a 60 percent discount. Students can sign up for adventures at the Koret front desk, and all groups depart from the Koret lobby on the day of the trip. Upcoming events include horseback riding on Sept. 21, and a San Francisco Giants baseball game on Sept. 28.

“The popular ones tend to be the Giants game, whitewater rafting, sea kayaking, and the ski and snowboarding trips offered in the spring semester,” Alai said. “This is the first year we are offering laser tag and indoor kart racing. It will be interesting to see how students enjoy them, since they have requested to have these trips offered.”