Semester in review: Freshman death, scooter ban, SDSU Mission Valley

Dylan+Hernandez%2C+a+freshman+at+SDSU%2C+died+on+Nov.+8+after+falling+off+his+bunk+bed+in+his+dorm+room.+He+had+attended+a+fraternity+party+before+the+incident.
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Semester in review: Freshman death, scooter ban, SDSU Mission Valley

Dylan Hernandez, a freshman at SDSU, died on Nov. 8 after falling off his bunk bed in his dorm room. He had attended a fraternity party before the incident.

Dylan Hernandez, a freshman at SDSU, died on Nov. 8 after falling off his bunk bed in his dorm room. He had attended a fraternity party before the incident.

Courtesy of SDSU

Dylan Hernandez, a freshman at SDSU, died on Nov. 8 after falling off his bunk bed in his dorm room. He had attended a fraternity party before the incident.

Courtesy of SDSU

Courtesy of SDSU

Dylan Hernandez, a freshman at SDSU, died on Nov. 8 after falling off his bunk bed in his dorm room. He had attended a fraternity party before the incident.

by Kaitlyn Little and Aaron Tolentino

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THE DEATH OF DYLAN HERNANDEZ AND IFC FRATERNITY BAN 

On Nov. 8, San Diego State freshman Dylan Hernandez died after allegedly attending a fraternity event. This resulted in the suspension of all 14 Interfraternity Council-affiliated chapters.  Hernandez’s death broke national news.

In response to the incident, university President Adela de la Torre created two Presidential Task Forces, according to a campus-wide email sent Nov. 12. The Presidential Task Force on Student Activities and Safety and the Presidential Task Force of Alcohol and Substance Misuse are both intended to address campus issues of alcohol and drug use, along with student safety. 

The list of members was announced on de la Torre’s webpage, with a majority being SDSU administrators. Alumni representatives, student leaders and administrators from other schools also make up the two task forces.

Additionally, an anonymous SDSU parent and alum filed a complaint with the U.S. government on Nov. 18 alleging the residence hall bunk beds are unsafe, according to NBC 7.

SCOOTER BAN

Students came onto campus this semester struggling to ride a motorized scooter to class. This was because the University Senate passed a micro-mobility device ban in a March 5 meeting, banning the devices. A 22% increase in bike, scooter and skateboard incidents between Fall 2017 and Fall 2018 was used to justify this decision, with no distinction between the forms of transportation, according to the meeting’s minutes

However, after receiving the data behind the decision, it was found that there were 139 incidents between August 2017 and February 2019. 17.9% of those came from scooters and 8.2% came from bicycles, while 73.9% of the accidents reported came from skateboards. 

There was no formal announcement of the decision until an Aug. 19 campus-wide email. Similar to the presidential task forces established, the team for the scooter ban included 12 individuals from Student Affairs, Business & Financial Affairs, Associated Students and University Relations and Development, with only two student-representatives.

MISSION VALLEY CAMPUS

After months of negotiation between San Diego State and the city of San Diego, plans are moving forward with the Mission Valley purchase. Members of the City Council voted to unanimously approve a requested council action to proceed with the process of drafting a purchase sale agreement document on Nov. 18. 

Currently, the Council has sent the PSA drafting process to the City Attorney’s office.The university aims to present the finalized PSA, financing plan and Environmental Impact Report to The California State University Board of Trustees on Jan. 28, 2020. 

A recent $15 million donation from local philanthropist Dianne L. Bashor will help to push this project along and help fund the estimated $250 million multi-use stadium at the Mission Valley site. 

STUDENT HOUSING STRUGGLES 

Student dorms came under fire for their conditions — specifically University Towers, Chapultepec Residence Hall and Aztec Corner.

In UT, the building reportedly experienced flooding in the bathrooms and sinks within the individual rooms — to the point where residents needed to be relocated to unaffected rooms. SDSU’s Housing Administration blamed the floods on clogged shower pipes due to missing shower grates. They are addressing the issue by conducting monthly health and safety inspections to make sure the shower drains have covers. 

Residents in Chappy voiced concerns about mold in the air vents, but housing said it was actually connected to dust and dirt build up in the filters. Housing confirmed only one case of mold in Chappy due to a food spill and are combating any problems from occurring through the monthly safety inspections. 

The conditions in Aztec Corner made it to not only The Daily Aztec, but news stations all over San Diego. This was sparked by a Change.org petition that cited termite infestations, plumbing problems and poor response times to maintenance requests as some of the problems, as well as demanding action from housing administration. Service requests through the apartments are managed by housing but resolved by Aztec Corner maintenance staff. 

Cynthia Cervantes, director of SDSU housing, said the housing administration has already contacted residents who signed the petition in an effort to address their concerns and encouraged students to reach out if they feel their concerns are not being addressed.

STUDYING ABROAD SAFETY CONCERNS 

Students studying abroad in both Ecuador and Chile had their experience cut short by protests against their sitting governments. Students studying in Santiago, Chile, were given the option to be brought back from the international business program after Chilean students jumped turnstiles to protest a government-imposed increase to metro fares on Oct. 6, according to The New York Times. Those who were enrolled in the program returned to the United States to finish their courses online. 

Halfway through the semester, students in Ecuador were given information by their host university about returning home in the wake of protests across the capital. Ecuador President Lenín Moreno’s decided to cut fuel subsidies, a decision that caused the price of fuel to skyrocket. Protests erupted across Quito, according to The New York Times. Students weren’t required to return home but were given the option to finish courses online if they opted to come back. The protests occurred in the same city as the university, but the students were not directly impacted. For those that did stay, curfews and mandatory student check-ins were required by both the government and the university. 

FOOTBALL NOTCHES ITS FIRST EVER WIN AGAINST UCLA

It took San Diego State on its 23rd try to finally defeat the Bruins. The glitz and glamour of playing in a historic venue such as the Rose Bowl did not get to the Aztecs. Senior linebacker Kyahva Tezino, a Los Angeles native, expected over 60 family and friends to see him play. Those folks chose a good game to watch as Tezino recorded nine tackles, a sack and a key forced fumble that led to a touchdown for SDSU. The win marked SDSU’s fifth win against a Pac-12 school since 2016 – that’s more than the Pac-12’s own Oregon State, who has four during that span. 

SDSU BECOMES ONLY SCHOOL TO BOAST TWO POSTSEASON MVPS

When the Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the 2019 World Series, pitcher Stephen Strasburg was named World Series MVP. Strasburg, who played at SDSU from 2007 to 2009, went 2-0 and recorded a 2.51 ERA in 14.1 innings. He joins fellow alum Kawhi Leonard to make SDSU only college in history with two postseason MVPs in the same season. Leonard led the Toronto Raptors in winning its first NBA title in franchise history by averaging 28.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game.

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