Tag Archives: tips

Getting Through the Semester, One Day at a Time

Lisa Marie Velesrubio
Contributing Writer

Have you ever been lazing around on a Sunday night, thinking about how much you don’t want to go to class the next day? It happens to the best of us. The good news is, this can be avoided! Here is a selection of study tips to get you through this semester. Continue reading Getting Through the Semester, One Day at a Time

How Not To Gain the Freshman Fifteen….Without Ever Setting Foot in Koret

We’ve all heard of the horror that is the Freshman Fifteen, and we all spending some extra time in Koret is usually the best way to fight it off. But what if you hate working out? Never been to the gym in your life? Then these tips are for you!

1. Participate in Intramural Sports

USF offers nine sports in the fall that are open to all students! Not only is it a great way to stay active, it provides an opportunity for you to hang out with friends and even meet fellow students with similar interests.

2. Run up the Lone Mountain Stairs

Give yourself two minutes to conquer all 142 stairs. Best way to ensure that happens every single time? If you have classes up on Lone Mountain, leave your dorm five minutes before your class starts. Heavy backpacks and intimidating professors can be very effective in helping students stay active.

3. Avoid late-night pizza/burger runs to Crossroads

Being 10 feet from the University Center and armed with a copious amount of Flexi makes getting supper incredibly convenient. But is standing in line for over half an hour for a burger really worth it? And you leave smelling like smoke. If you get hungry at night, go for the fruits or yogurt parfaits. You don’t emerge with the lingering smell of smoke in your hair as you’re usually out of there in five minutes and won’t regret having a burger at midnight the next day.

4. Lose your MUNI Pass

Since you are only entitled to one MUNI pass per semester, if you lose it, you’re forced to pay for bus rides. Two dollars for a couple of blocks on the bus? Just put on a pair of comfy walking shoes and power walk your way to your destination! With the way the city is built, you’ll be fit without even trying to be. And chances are, with this cool weather, you won’t even break out in a sweat.

5. Make Flexi work for you

Flexi money isn’t monopoly money. It doesn’t mean you should go around buying chips and ice cream everyday just because you can. Go for the healthier food options like the salad bar. You can even walk up to Lone Mountain and buy food that you can make in the dorm kitchens. Making your own food means that you get to control what goes in it and the portion sizes. If you have friends that don’t have the meal plan, help them out! By sharing, you eat less and accumulate good karma.

Through eating smart and constantly staying active, you should be able to avoid the freshman fifteen without ever having to work out at the gym. If these tips don’t work for you, then maybe it is time to get yourself over to Koret a few times a week…

Style File: Classing Up Your Fashion

Welcome back to fall when styles are as fresh and crisp as the air and our wardrobes are forcefully cut in half by college closets. No matter our grades or ages, attention must be paid to what we “don” for the 2010/ 2011 school year as we mature both in front of the mirror and away from it.

Before we get too deep into the spirit of our “collegiate couture,” let me introduce myself to “Style File” reader rookies. I am an USF senior back stateside reporting to you fresh from the style trenches of Paris after a semester abroad. I am excited to continue delivering style advice, trend reports, and fashion news through “Style File.” After image courses in Paris and New York, internships, retail experience and a personal passion for fashion, I offer you my take on the runway, the real way. I am a proud advocate of staying true to personal style. My job then is to point you in the direction of your most confident and chic self.

As we climb the ladder to a graduation date, we usually have four years, or four steps, to develop our style. Now that I approach my fourth and final step at USF, I reflect on the stages of my style maturity after three years and goals for my senior year. As I peer into the looking glass of my style past and future, each year has provided a different fashion perspective. IMG_0628 003

Suitcases in hand and my most treasured fashion pieces tucked neatly away, I forced myself to acclimate to a roommate and a limited living space. My high school days of daily car transportation, bathroom privacy and my lifetime’s collection of clothing at my fingertips were over. However, we have all chosen a school in a city of style, freedom and expression. I didn’t leave my wardrobe ensemble ideas at home because they were fresh in this city. Freshman year is full of change and adjustment so I found it wise to pull from what I knew and was comfortable in. Naturally I pulled other style ideas from my peers, and discovered Haight Street. My transformation was fun and easy, with a slight vintage overdose from Haight’s Wasteland and Held Over. If you are just starting out on this journey, stay true to your style roots as you set out on this adventure called college. When looking in the mirror, remember you know that face and style you are observing, and welcome your personal style standbys. This city is full of inspiration, so let it come to you spontaneously.

My fashion collection in San Francisco had doubled as I brought more and more clothes from home and explored every shopping facet the city had to offer. I was moving into a single room at Lone Mountain which became more of a closet with a bed in the corner. I settled into my identity at USF and felt comfortable changing my style everyday. I undoubtedly had “multiple style personality disorder” as I was not editing my shopping choices to fit my true personality and identity. Sophomore year was a year of exploration and pushing my boundaries as far as I could. I remember buying a vintage fur shrug made of four coyotes, tails included. What was I thinking? I don’t regret a moment of my chaotic style and encourage you to use this year to make mistakes to find what you look your best and feel the most comfortable in. At times you might catch a glimpse in the mirror of a “worst dressed” day, but trudge ahead.

I worked for a fabulous stylist in the city, moved into my first apartment (without a closet) and gained fifteen pounds. It was time to learn control. At the beginning of the year, I was dressing to hide the body that I was not comfortable with and started buying clothes just to make me feel better. This was a mistake. As I started to prepare for Paris, I took control of my body and style. I lost the weight and edited my closet to reflect the lady that I wanted to be. Only having two suitcases to bring to Paris taught me to use little and make a lot of of it. I felt simplified and less cluttered. Don’t worry, I am not telling you to prepare for weight gain and a move across the Atlantic. However, now is the moment to critically gaze at your reflection to find confidence in your style and shed the unwanted excess in your closet.

I am now back in San Fran feeling refreshed by a new perspective on fashion that I acquired in Paris and, if I dare say, wiser. I just moved back into my apartment with ten pairs of shoes instead of 45 and many extra hangers. My focus this year is refinement as I prepare for life after college.
I unpacked my clothes box yesterday and reminisced with a few “friends” hanging on my clothes racks. My leopard print L.A.M.B. sweater was with me freshman year on my first date with my boyfriend and again accompanied me on a long walk we took last night. The sneaker boots I bought on Haight during my initial visit to USF are worn and dirty, but hold the top shelf still this year on my shoe rack. I feel I have come full circle from freshman year. I am looking ahead to my stylistic future but tightly hold on to the pieces that have worn through the last three years. Looking in the mirror and feeling confident is the wisest and most mature style stage on the step ladder. Sometimes taking a moment to reflect in the mirror can be challenging and a bit scary but as soon as you start climbing, your maturity will serve as your reflection. Have a column suggestion or need some personal styling advice? Email me at [email protected] to get in touch with me and your style. Happy styling and reflecting, whether in front of the mirror or not.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy
Chief Copy-Editor: Burke McSwain
Scene Editor: Tamar Kuyumjian

Knowing Your Rights as a Renter Can Help to Reduce Headaches, Landlord Woes

Here are some SF rent laws and tips that all students need to know before the renting season begins:

-Be sure to get everything written down in paper. Make photocopies of all checks, leases, or letters. Anytime you notify your landlord of something, follow up with a letter so you have proof of a request.

-Be cautious of the postings on Craigslist. Bring a parent with you when checking out the properties. Ask to speak to the previous renters or neighbors for more insight into the property and landlord.

-If you are already living in an apartment, the annual allowable rent increase amount effective March 1, 2009 through Feb. 28, 2010 is 2.2 percent. Your landlord may not increase rent more than 2.2 percent than what you are currently paying for it.

-There is an entire eviction process. Landlords cannot simply evict you and expect you to leave immediately. You have the right to challenge the eviction in court. If the landlord wins, the sheriff will post the final eviction notice and evict tenants at the end of notice period. Only the sheriff has the right to remove you from your property. If you win, you can continue to stay in your place. Landlords cannot remove any of your belongings, lock you out of the building, or turn off your utilities. This is a violation of the California Civil Code Section 789.3.

-However, if you are being evicted due to no fault of your own (the owner wants to move in or the building is being significantly improved or demolished), Proposition H allows tenants to receive $4500 in relocation fees, plus an additional $3,000 for seniors or disabled tenants or families with children.

-By law, your landlord is obligated to keep your home in habitable condition. Your landlord must provide adequate heat, weatherproofing of the doors, windows, and roofs, reasonable amount of hot and cold running water, housing free of garbage, rats, and other vermin, as well as working plumbing and gas. You should write your landlord a letter immediately requesting any repairs. Failure to act on your landlord’s behalf can result in penalty fees. Landlords cannot raise your rent because they fixed something in your home.

-Landlords must provide you heating. Section 306 of the Housing Code says landlords can be fined up to $1,000 or imprisoned for up to six months if they do not provide you adequate heating.

-Landlords are required to do a pre-move-out inspection with you. Landlords must also give you the opportunity to fix anything that is wrong. The landlord can only hold your security deposit for “reasonable” cleaning charges, unpaid rent, and extreme damage beyond normal wear and tear. Landlords must give you an itemized receipt of all the deductions from your security deposit. Security deposits must be accounted for or returned in 21 days. Your landlord must also pay interest on your security deposit. The 2008-2009 interest rate for your security deposit is 5.25 percent.

-Landlords cannot enter your home without your consent or the court’s approval. Landlords can only enter your home with your consent if they give you written notice 24 hours in advance in only some circumstances like fixing a repair you both agreed on, to show your home to prospective buyers, renters, contractors, repair persons, if you have already moved out, or if they received a court order.

-Proposition M prohibits landlords from harassing you even if you have not paid rent on time. Prop. M also allows tenants to get rent decreases if they are harassed. Landlords are not allowed to harass you physically or verbally nor can they retaliate by raising rent, ignoring requests for repairs, eviction, or withholding your security deposit if you sue them or report them to the SF Rent Board.

-Landlords cannot block you from entering your own home. They cannot lock you out, change your locks, or remove your door or window. If the landlord does this, call the police. The landlord is violating Penal Code 418.