The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

Senate approves putting Sakaki ‘no confidence’ vote to faculty this week

In the most recent Sonoma State University Academic Senate meeting on Thursday, April 28, faculty, staff, and students shared their thoughts on the President Sakaki Scandal and the vote of no confidence referendum. The Senate did not vote no confidence in Thursday’s meeting, and the purpose of the senate proposal was to approve allowing the faculty to vote at all.

Laurel Holstrom-Keyes, SSU’s Academic Senate Analyst, explained how the referendum process will proceed in a Friday morning email to all eligible voters. “Pro and con comments will be posted on the Senate website. The comment period will close on May 5th. We will only accept comments from faculty, staff, students, and administrators at SSU,” Holstrom-Keyes stated.

Sakaki faces vote of no confidence

Willow Ornellas, Staff Writer April 27, 2022

A referendum vote of no confidence resolution regarding Sonoma State University President Judy Sakaki’s leadership is on the Academic Senate agenda for Thursday, April 28.

The resolution requesting a Vote of No Confidence in President Sakaki's leadership was drafted by a group of faculty from Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities, and Business & Economics and discussed in last week's Executive Committee meeting with a Time Certain of 3:35 p.m.

Leaked budget advisory group document shocks campus

Willow Ornellas, Staff Writer April 20, 2022

A dramatic plan outlining $5.5 million in budget cuts at Sonoma State University (SSU) created by an appointed campus committee was leaked on March 30, 2022 to the STAR and other groups, setting off a cascade of fearful reactions in the campus community last week.

Campus faculty and students have alleged that the leaked confidential report contained factual inaccuracies, dramatic changes to SSU programs, was made without adequate representation for the programs that may be affected and was conducted without the knowledge of many high-ranking Deans, Chairs and professors. The committee also lacked a student representative.

Local group works to eradicate Native American public health disparities

Willow Ornellas, Staff Writer April 13, 2022

The Redbud Resource Group is a California native and Indigenous women-run public health non-profit. Founded in 2020, their mission is to eradicate public health disparities that exist in native American communities.

“We don't have an accurate understanding of what it means to be a native person, politically, economically or culturally. We're pervasively missing from everywhere. We're not in Public Health data. We're not in politics. We're not in art unless it's appropriation. We're definitely not represented in education in an accurate way and so we try to tackle those erasers in school settings by providing curriculum,” said Taylor Pennewell, one of the founders of Redbud Resource Group.

SSU spends $843,000 on new classroom furniture

Willow Ornellas, Staff Writer April 12, 2022

Sonoma State University purchased 1391 new tables and chairs, along with 670 tablet-arm seats, to ensure uniformity and accessibility across 53 classrooms for a total of $843,000. The purchase was funded through Academic Affairs.

This purchase was made to improve ergonomics and provide improved usability to students, faculty and staff. This new classroom furniture consists of tables, chairs, and tablet-arm seats that will ensure all of the university’s classrooms and academic spaces are uniform and standardized by the The General Purpose Classroom Refresh Initiative.

SSU amends mask guidelines

Willow Ornellas, Staff Writer March 29, 2022

Sonoma State University President, Judy Sakaki announced in a school-wide email on Wednesday, Mar. 16 that SSU will not be requiring masks in most indoor settings on-campus beginning Mar. 21.

The same day Sakaki announced SSU’s evolving mask rules, China put 54 million people on COVID-19 lockdown after seeing a spike in cases.

Elysha Ozanian, a 32-year-old History major has been doing everything in her power to avoid contracting COVID-19, and now she’s worried her chances of exposure will greatly increase because of this rule.

Increased gas prices raise concerns across SSU community

Willow Ornellas, Staff Writer March 15, 2022

The dramatic increase in gas prices seen across California this week is forcing Sonoma State University students to make a variety of sacrifices.

Gas prices have been on the rise for years nationwide, however, this week prices hit record highs following President Joe Biden’s decision to stop buying oil from Russia.

Feeling poisoned by nature? You’re not alone

Willow Ornellas, Staff Writer March 8, 2022

“It’s not COVID, it’s just allergies,” can be heard all over Sonoma County as many people feel their allergies are worsening.

Every year, people catch themselves complaining that the current allergy season is progressively worse than the previous year’s.

Emma Molloy, a 24-year-old Communications and Media Studies major said about this year’s allergy season, “This winter they started earlier. I’ve also been having weird nose, ear and throat stuff for months but the doctor says everything looks normal so I think it’s just allergies.”

SSU students and faculty react to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Willow Ornellas, Staff Writer March 1, 2022

Constant hostilities from Russia regarding political relationships with Ukraine have been going on for years, but the threat of war has become more real than ever before.

Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, began his invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, Feb. 24, an invasion many are now fearing could lead to the next World War.

Amidst violent attacks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy, has refused to flee Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, despite declaring martial law.

Students celebrate returning back to campus

Willow Ornellas, Staff Writer February 23, 2022

Sonoma State University reopened its campus on Feb. 14 for in-person learning after shifting the majority of its services online at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SSU is using a variety of strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Students are being protected through the use of COVID-19 safety protocols such as the use of hand sanitizer, daily wellness screenings, and required weekly testing for unvaccinated students.

SSU announces plans to host first in-person commencement ceremony since 2019

Willow Ornellas, Staff Writer February 15, 2022

Sonoma State University confirmed in an email on Friday, Feb. 11, that this year’s commencement ceremony would be held in-person on May 21 and 22.

Out of the 23 California State University schools, 16 have already announced they will officially be hosting an in-person commencement ceremony.

In the email, which was sent out to all eligible graduation participants, Vice President for University Advancement Co-Chair and Commencement Logistics Committee member, Mario A. Perez, along with Operations Director, Green Music Center Co-Chair, and fellow logistics committee member, Caroline Neyman, provided updated commencement ceremony information.

$11.7 million in lost revenue as enrollment declines

Willow Ornellas, Staff Writer February 9, 2022

Sonoma State University is now facing $11.7 million in lost revenue after another semester of continued declining enrollment.

Approaching the second year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic and changing economic standing of our nation, educators anticipated enrollment numbers would stay down.

According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, CSU’s have seen a 3.5% decline in enrollment, while SSU saw another 13% decline in enrollment after averaging a 6-8% decline in enrollment every semester since fall 2019.

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