Journalism Photography

Bill Nye the Science Guy Speaks at CSUF

Bill Nye at CSUF
 Bill Nye “the Science Guy” Thursday night used his keynote address at Cal State Fullerton’s 11th annual math and science symposium to encourage college students to pursue innovation in engineering, space exploration and asteroid-defense strategies.

This post will be updated.

Student leaders give Bill Nye a CSUF lab coat following his keynote.
Student leaders give Bill Nye a CSUF lab coat following his keynote.
Cal State Fullerton Journalism

The Life and Death of a Bill at a State College

The email policy draft (Photo illustration by Tim Worden)
The email policy draft (Photo illustration by Tim Worden)

“Cal State Fullerton Email Policy” is a bill that was never meant to be.

Its first public appearance, in a Sept. 5, 2002 Cal State Fullerton Academic Senate document, simply informs the senators that an email policy is being drafted.

Its next appearance, two weeks later, however, foreshadows the bill’s muddled future:

“The proposed e-mail (sic) policy is a collective bargaining issue and is yet to be resolved,” then Academic Senate Chair Lee Gilbert reported on Sept. 19, 2002.

Little did Gilbert know that the bill’s problems would not be resolved for another 10 years.

After those September mentions, it went dark for a year before popping up again.

Despite all the odds a bill ordinarily faces in the voting process, it was unanimously approved by the Academic Senate, CSUF’s legislative body comprised of faculty and professors, on May 29, 2003.

By the time it was approved, it had been in the drafting stages for 38 months, from a time when high-speed Internet was barely an infant.

It was sent to CSUF President Milton Gordon on June 24, 2003.

But there it waited. It waited 30 academic days to be signed — the preferred waiting period — but nothing.

There is no mention of why Gordon did not sign the bill, but the minutes of an Oct. 9, 2003, Academic Senate meeting noted: “The document passed by the Senate has not been signed by the President.”

CSUF President Milton Gordon (Photo by CSUF).
CSUF President Milton Gordon, who was highly-regarded by the campus community (Photo by CSUF).

Perhaps Gordon found the bill too obtuse: It would have allowed the university to monitor student email data.

“Account holders should not assume or expect that any use of an account is private or confidential,” the policy sitting on Gordon’s desk stated.

It stayed dead in this awaiting-signature limbo through the 2004 election, through a couple wars, and through the 2008 election.

It surfaced again in 2011, in an Academic Senate document that listed it as one of a dozen other bills awaiting signature of the university president.

President Gordon, who had been CSUF president for 20 years, announced his retirement in September 2011, and in January 2012 he was replaced by Interim President Willie Hagan.

The bill was still there; perhaps the new guy will like it more?

Hagan picked up the bill — a call to life!

But on May 25, 2012, he returned it to the Academic Senate — unsigned, just like his predecessor.

By this time, the bill had been in limbo for 9 years. What will happen? It has seen so many other bills come — the campus-wide smoking ban, the academic dishonesty policy … even its techy cousin policy, the World Wide Web policy — shedding their “ASD” (Academic Senate Document) designation for a classier “UPS” (University Policy Statement).

But not the the email policy, still technically called “ASD 03-69” after all these years.

It turns out, it didn’t have much longer to wait.

Two months after Hagan returned the bill unsigned, the email policy was again mentioned in the annals of Academic Senate meeting minutes.

The note in the August 30, 2012 minutes, from Academic Senate Chair Jack Bedell, says:

“Interim President Hagan signed several proposed policies and remanded a few as well.”

Okay, well what did he approve?

The smoking ban, the faculty office hours policy … boring, where’s the email policy one?

Oh, here:

“He remanded … an old (9 years!) draft policy on email.”

Well, what does ‘remanded’ mean?

Remand (verb): To send back to a lower court.

With this, Hagan sent the email policy back to the Academic Senate to either be rewritten or discarded.

And so, the email policy, waiting for so long, was now dead — but freed from its desk prison, O so free!

It’s been a year, but the email policy has not been mentioned in any Academic Senate proceedings since those August 2012 minutes.

With the remanding of the email policy, CSUF to this day does not have a sanctioned email policy.

“Currently, neither the CSU or the campus actively monitors email accounts that I am aware of,” said Kerry Boyer, CSUF information security officer, whose office would have implemented the policy in its passing.

It remains to be seen whether the Academic Senate will resurrect the old bill, but who knows.

The bill’s seen a lot in the last decade, and if it’s learned one thing, it’s this:

A bill lives and dies many times, and maybe the two really aren’t all that different.


Source: CSUF, CSUF Academic Senate, CSUF Information Security Office

The bill can be found online here: Email policy draft.


Cal State Fullerton

Cal State Fullerton becomes smoke-free campus

Cal State Fullerton becomes smoke-free campus
Tuffy, on the top left, holds a no-smoking sign near a statue of Steven G. Mihaylo in front of Mihaylo Hall on Thursday.

Cal State Fullerton became the first Cal State university to become a smoke-free campus today, Aug 1.

Signs of Tuffy, the school mascot, with a no-smoking symbol have been placed on campus (pictured above).

It is a law a year in the making, having been signed as President’s Directive No. 18, University Smoking Policy, last year.

“It is important that we provide an environment that is healthy for all who spend time on our campus,” CSUF says on the website for Smoke Free Campus.

However, the law has no teeth; it can only be implemented by “education and training,” and not by fines or criminal offenses, according to the directive.


Cal State Fullerton

Outgoing CSUF student president, amid marijuana allegations, gets higher office

Dwayne Mason faced allegations for smoking medical marijuana going to a school event

Dwayne Mason Jr, photo by CSUF
Dwayne Mason Jr, photo by CSUF

Two months after news broke that the CSUF’s student body president Dwayne Mason Jr. was subjected to a disciplinary hearing for allegedly smoking medical marijuana en route to a California State Student Association (CSSA) event, he has been appointed Vice President of University Affairs for the CSSA.

The CSSA announced on Facebook on Saturday that Mason was appointed to the executive officer position at the CSSA, a student advocacy group that serves as a student voice for the 23-campus California State University.

According to an article by my former colleague at the Daily Titan, student and faculty officials at CSUF confirmed that Mason was subject to a disciplinary hearing for alleged medical marijuana use this spring, but those officials did not say what the results of that hearing was.

Mason, then the current ASI president, declined to comment on the allegations. He did not run for ASI President for the 2013-2014 academic year and finishes his year-long presidential term this summer.

According to CSUF President’s Directive No. 1, possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages or other illicit drugs is not permitted on the CSUF campus or en route to or at any university-sponsored event.

According to the Daily Titan, the allegation that Mason had been using medical marijuana took place while driving to Sacramento to represent the university at a CSSA event, which lies under the jurisdiction of the directive.

According to the directive, “All applicable state laws will be enforced by the Department of Public Safety which will refer to the District Attorney for prosecution any student, faculty or staff member found to be in violation.”

California has laws against using medical marijuana for non-specified purposes, although the minimum punishment – for quantities less than an ounce – is an infraction with a $100 fine, according to California Senate Bill 1449.

Aside from the Daily Titan article, the university has not publicly referenced Mason’s hearing or announced the results of that hearing, which was headed by Judicial Affairs.

According to a CSUF security regulations document detailing electronic data, disciplinary actions are specified “Level 2,” an intermediate security level where the information “must be guarded due to proprietary, ethical or privacy considerations.”

Mason during 2013 Homecoming Week, photo by CSUF.
Mason during 2013 Homecoming Week, photo by CSUF.

Still, it seems sadly political for the former ASI president to get appointed to a highly-regarded statewide position after allegedly doing something illegal en route to one of that organization’s events just a few months prior. The university has done a good job of keeping the disciplinary proceedings under wraps, which raises the question: Why is the university trying to hide the disciplinary proceedings of its student president? His public status does not make him “an ordinary student”: he is/was the face of the students as ASI President. Privacy laws for public figures are ordinarily loosened in America, according to media law experts.

That being said, as a Daily Titan reporter, I had the opportunity to talk to Mason several times at CSUF and like how he is active within the campus community.

He told me when I interviewed him in February at CSUF President Mildred Garcia’s inauguration that he was unsure whether he would be involved in more student government roles.

“I have one more year left so I might be still involved, I might want to focus more on career, I’m still deciding that at the moment,” he said. “I’m very grateful for the opportunities that I’ve already had so far, and I look forward to taking that into my future.”


Cal State Fullerton Fullerton Photography

Business leaders meet at Mihaylo Hall at CSUF

Center for Family BusinessOrange County business leaders meet at Steven G. Mihaylo Hall at Cal State Fullerton to discuss family businesses in the last monthly family boot camp meeting of the semester, sponsored by the Center for Family Business.

The panelists are (from left):  Mark Boyes, a benefit consultant with Barney & Barney compensation consulting practice; Nancy Ferruzzo is a business tax attorney with Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo, a full-service law firm in Newport Beach; David Griffin is a CSUF accounting grad and tax director with McGladrey assurance, tax and consulting company; and  Joe Hernandez is the senior vice president of City National Bank. Ed Hart, director of the center who hosted the event, is on the right.

Photo by Tim Worden; story by Sam Mountjoy at the Daily Titan.

Cal State Fullerton Photography

Director screens film on Cambodian gambling community

CSUF Film Screening

Director and screenplay writer Caylee So spoke about making Paulina, a film that shows a Cambodian adolescent living in Long Beach who becomes addicted to gambling, at Cal State Fullerton on May 13, 2013.

Above: Dom Magwili, an Asian-American studies professor at CSUF, participates in a discussion about the film Paulina, about a Cambodian-American adolescent. Below: director Caylee So, left, and editor Frank Martinez chat about their film.

Photos by Tim Worden. Read the story at the Daily Titan here.


Cal State Fullerton News Posts

Search for Maribel Ramos, missing CSUF student, to expand this weekend

Maribel Ramos (CSUF)

Update May 16, 2013 at 10 a.m.: A post on the “Find Maribel Ramos” Facebook page announced an Awareness Walk scheduled for Saturday, May 18, in Peters Canyon Trail in Tustin.

The post said they are not authorized for a search rescue but will pass out fliers.

As the search for a Cal State Fullerton student who is a former Army sergeant continues into a second week, her family and friends will expand the search effort this weekend.

Maribel Ramos, 36, a criminal justice major, has been missing since May 2.

A beefed up search and rescue effort with military personnel has been scheduled for Saturday, said Lucy Gonzalez, the missing woman’s sister.

“Right now we don’t know where she is, we don’t have any new clues,” said Gonzalez, who has become the spokeswoman for Ramos’ family in the search, on Wednesday afternoon.

A karaoke fundraiser is being planned to support the search effort, Gonzalez said.

“We need to find Maribel. We’re doing everything that we need to do to find her and raise money for a reward,” Gonzalez said.

On campus, a “Maribel Ramos Resource Center” has been set up near University Outreach on the fifth floor of Langsdorf Hall. Fliers and maps of Orange are available to assist the search effort.

Ramos served in the Army in Afghanistan, Iraq and South Korea, and a CSUF News statement said she was recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Orange Police Department, which has called the disappearance suspicious, has asked that any information about Ramos can be reported at (714) 744-7313.

Tim Worden / The Daily Titan – May 16, 2013, at 8 a.m.

Cal State Fullerton Photography

Students: Cal State Fullerton

Cal State Fullerton student Jerome Terell, 23, a master ’s student in civil engineering and team leader of the Green Cam pus program, talks about how the campus is adopting energy-efficient technologies.

Cal State Fullerton student Jerome Terell, 23, a master ’s student in civil engineering and team leader of the Green Cam pus program, talks
about how the campus is adopting energy-efficient technologies.

Full story:

Devon Guerrero, 25, a history major, sets down his book bag and takes a moment to notice the Palestinian war wall at the Quad on April 29, 2013. “I see a lot of truth in this, I see a lot of fact, I see a lot of hurt and I also see a lot of people’s igorance, and I am almost speechless that we could do this,” Guerrero said.

Photos by Tim Worden / The Daily Titan


Photos: A Thursday afternoon at Cal State Fullerton

Got a Nikon D3100 DSLR camera today so I tested it out at school. This is the UC Santa Barbara baseball team practicing at Cal State Fullerton’s field for a game. The CSUF Titans are ranked No. 4 nationally.


This is my friend Sergio, who is on the CSUF rugby team, they were practicing at the Intermural Fields.Image


Police release CSUF lockdown tapes

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Reposted from my article at the Daily Titan.

Suspect may have left Mihaylo area 30 minutes before SWAT was called

An armed robbery suspect who prompted an eight-hour campus-wide lockdown in December may have walked through the Steven G. Mihaylo Hall lobby half an hour before police called SWAT onto campus, believing he was still in the building, according to police and new documents released to the Daily Titan.

The man, considered to be the fifth at large suspect in a Moreno Valley pawn shop armed robbery and high-speed pursuit that landed on Cal State Fullerton’s doorstep Dec. 12, may have only been inside the main Mihaylo Hall building for less than 20 seconds.

He made his way from the south entrance overlooking Nutwood Avenue to the north entrance into the plaza next to the Mihaylo statue, according to police and footage from two security cameras in the first-floor Mihaylo Hall lobby.

The security footage, made available to the Daily Titan through a Public Records Act request, show who police deem as two “likely” candidates for the outstanding suspect who evaded police detection as officers from seven different agencies, including three SWAT teams, swarmed the campus.

Both candidates for the outstanding suspect walk through Mihaylo Hall’s south entrance that overlooks Nutwood Avenue at around 3:46 p.m. on the camera tapes and head to the north entrance leading to the Mihaylo plaza area.

It is unknown if the suspect—if one of the people shown on the tapes is the suspect—stayed in the Mihaylo Hall area or, if he fled, when he left the area and what direction he headed, said University Police Capt. John Brockie.

They were last seen exiting the north Mihaylo Hall entrance eight and a half minutes before University Police initiated the Mihaylo Hall evacuation and 34 minutes before authorities called SWAT, according to Brockie, who served as the incident commander for the day’s events.

He led a coalition of Orange County law enforcement that included an arsenal of snipers, armored transports, helicopters, a medical staging area and two mobile command units.

It was the first time SWAT has been called to campus, Brockie said.

Police are unable to positively identify either man, both of whom appear to be wearing dark clothing, as the outstanding suspect since the cameras are far away and an accurate facial description is not possible, said Brockie.

However, it is likely that one of them is the suspect, Brockie said.

“It’s likely that they could have been, that they were one of the suspects,” Brockie said.

Both people are not seen on the security footage again, he added.

Police search the crash site in front of Mihaylo Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 12, soon after the suspects fled onto campus (Tim Worden)
Police search the crash site in front of Mihaylo Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 12, soon after the suspects fled onto campus (Tim Worden)

Police believe that when the robbery suspects crashed in front of the Marriott, three fled south down Folino Drive.

Of the three that went south, one was apprehended outside College Park, one allegedly carjacked a vehicle and was apprehended in Watts after a subsequent police pursuit, and the third fled on foot into Fullerton and was caught two weeks later.

Police believe two fled northwest onto campus into the south entrance of Mihaylo Hall.

There are two security cameras in the Mihaylo lobby area. One is located in the southwest end of the Grand Foyer that overlooks the south entrance and the Starbucks.

The second, in the west wing of the lobby, looks to the main north entrance that opens toward the Mihaylo statue and plaza.

At 3:46:05 p.m., a male with a stocky build wearing a white shirt and baggy jeans is seen casually walking through the south entrance of Mihaylo Hall.

Based on his clothing and build, he is “more than likely” to be Jerome Allen, the suspect who a California Highway Patrol officer apprehended minutes later in the area between Mihaylo Hall and the Carl’s Jr. on campus, according to Brockie.

Allen, as police identified him, heads north through the lobby. With a slight glance behind him, he exits the north entrance of the building toward Mihaylo plaza at 3:46:21 p.m. He was in the building for 16 seconds.

After Allen, two other people enter the building via the south entrance, followed soon after by a California Highway Patrol officer.

The second person, the first of the two possibilities for the outstanding suspect shown on the tapes, according to Brockie, enters the south end of the building at 3:46:15 p.m., 10 seconds after Allen.

He appears to be of a medium to tall build and is dressed in dark clothing, carrying something in his hand.

He glances behind him as he opens the north door and exits the building at 3:46:31. He too was in the building for 16 seconds.

The third person, the second of the two suspect candidates, enters from the south doors at 3:46:19 p.m. He appears to be a male wearing dark clothing—a hat obscures his face.

The man is wearing a backpack. He exits the building at 3:46:38 p.m. He was in the building for 19 seconds.

The CHP officer wearing a beige uniform enters the south doors at 3:46:31 p.m.

A man in line at the Starbucks and a man at the north end of the lobby at the couches both point to where the three previous men had gone at the north exit.

He exits the building at 3:46:44 p.m. He was in the building for 13 seconds.

Brockie said the second and third persons are considered a possibility for being the outstanding suspect since they are in close proximity to Allen and enter the same entrance that the CHP officer said he saw the remaining suspect enter in.

“I’m agreeing that the other one (the second person; the one carrying something) is more likely (to be the suspect),” Brockie said.

“Because it’s (the camera) so far away, we weren’t going to hang our hat on any particular person,” he added.

The CHP officer quickly apprehended Allen in the area between Mihaylo Hall and the Carl’s Jr.

“He (the officer) ordered him down to the ground at gunpoint,” Brockie said.

The suspect complied and the officer called University Police’s dispatcher from a blue phone located just southwest of the Carl’s Jr.

Since the officer’s focus was on apprehending Allen, he did not see the second suspect again, according to Brockie.

Mihaylo Hall branches off into three pathways at the north entrance of the main building.

Heading out the doors, left heads west to Langsdorf Hall, center heads northwest to the Carl’s Jr., and right heads north to the Eastside Parking Structure.

Since the CHP officer was apprehending Allen in the center pathway, there is a “very good possibility” that the outstanding suspect headed left or right, according to Brockie.

“That is possible to conclude, yes, just like it’s possible to conclude that he went back into the building (via a side entrance or stairs to a second-story entrance) or went back into (the island buildings north of the main Mihaylo building),” Brockie said.

Brockie said the CHP officer who apprehended Allen told him that the outstanding suspect went into the main south doors of Mihaylo just as Allen did. The description given of the remaining suspect was that he was a male with a thin build, black and wearing dark clothing.

The CHP officer also told Brockie the suspect was still in the building after police set up a perimeter.

Brockie, who normally serves as University Police’s public information officer, arrived to the crash scene at 4:08 p.m. and quickly took an incident commander role, meaning he led all aspects of the day’s emergency response.

“When I got here and took charge, the information I had was that there was a perimeter set up around this building, that it’s likely that he’s still inside the building, and that he was last seen entering that building,” Brockie said.

In addition, the officer told Brockie the man was “an armed murder suspect,” Brockie said.

Police later discovered that the group of five were robbery suspects who shot a pawn shop clerk—who was in stable but critical condition—and that it was unknown if any of the suspects still carried the weapon from that shooting.

University Police set the fire alarm off at Mihaylo Hall at 3:55 p.m. and soon after sent an audio message inside the building saying to stay away from the south side of campus, according to Brockie.

As incident commander, Brockie said his first two focuses were sending out a campus-wide shelter-in-place message and calling in SWAT. The first message was sent at 4:17 p.m. and Brockie initiated the SWAT call at 4:20 p.m., according to his police log.

“I believed that he was most likely inside that building because our response was quick, we had a perimeter set up and the eyewitness information that we had from the CHP officer, so that’s what I based my decision on to put out the shelter-in-place message and call SWAT,” Brockie said.

The security tapes made available to the Daily Titan cut off at 4:40 p.m. since that is about the time when SWAT arrived to campus, and SWAT tactics on how Mihaylo Hall would be cleared is confidential, Brockie said.

Later on, Brockie said the reason why the Education Classroom underwent a full SWAT scouring beginning around 8:55 p.m. is that a person reported a single gunshot fired inside the building.

Anaheim SWAT secured the building, interviewed hundreds of students and searched for expended shell casings, and found the report unfounded, Brockie said.

University Police does not have any open investigations on the incident because there were no crimes committed on state property, Brockie said.

Moreno Valley Police Department now heads the investigation since the crime of origin was in its jurisdiction.

Detective Ed Rose, who is leading the investigation, declined to comment on the tapes. He said he would not release or discuss any information related to the case since it is an ongoing investigation.

While one of the two people who enter Mihaylo Hall’s south entrance sandwiched between Allen and the CHP officer may be a suspect, Brockie said there are too many unknowns for the footage to be useful.

He said the information gleaned from the tapes was not an integral part of his investigation as incident commander.

“We looked at all the information that we had and it didn’t seem to give us a good enough description of a person,” Brockie said.

It is unknown when either candidate for the outstanding suspect left the Mihaylo area or what direction they went, he said.

“You’ve heard the expression ‘hindsight is 20/20’ right? … OK, in this case it’s not,” Brockie said. “We didn’t find him in the building, I’ll make that statement. We didn’t find him in the building.”

“There are a lot of possibilities,” he added.