tv KQED Newsroom PBS March 20, 2016 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT
hello and welcome to "kqed newsroom." i'm thuy vu. coming up, the health implications of raising the smoking age to 21. plus what teenagers think are today's most pressing issues. we take you inside a unique video project. and cool art, or should we say cold art. drawings inspired by snow. first we take a look at a series of sexual misconduct cases at uc berkeley that has raised questions about whether the university tolerates such behavior. in the past several months at least four faculty and staff members have either resigned or were fired over sexual harassment charges. they include astronomy professor jeff marcie. chowdhury, dean of berkeley's
law school. former vice chancellor graham fleming. and just this week, assistant basketball coach huffneagle. allegations range to kissing and groping to sexual harassment of a reporter. uc chancellor janet napolitano is promising swift action. joining us is reporter sarah hosseini. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >>what has been the response on campus to the way university officials handled the latest cases? >> i think at this point you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who wouldn't call it lacking. and that comes from top down. from uc president janet napolitano to uc berkeley officials, faculty, and students. they all seem to agree that the punishment so far has been rather light. >> how hard is it to fire a professor? >> it's tough. first you have to go through the first obstacle which is just to substantiate the claims. which involves investigation, that both sides present evidence, it can take up to a year. at that point, punishments can
be doled out. anything from suspensions to pay cuts which we've seen some of. but in order to go far enough to get someone's tenure revoked you have to go to the academic senate and ultimately all the way up to the regents. and it's a tricky process because there is a statute of limitations of three years. we really haven't seen that so far. >> we've seen how complicated it is for example in the case of dean chowdhury. he was found guilty of violating policy on sexual harassment eight months ago. he did not resign until very recently -- not resigned, stepped down. but he's still on the faculty and getting paid. >> right. which is one of the criticisms of the response that berkeley had, which is that only when these things came to light did they make statements, and he ultimately resigned, so they didn't end up doing anything. but they could have taken away his position, barred him from campus, which janet napolitano insisted on, eight months ago. why wait?
so that was a criticism. >> uc president janet napolitano's now requiring senior university leaders to complete sexual harassment training. what do we know about the training that is provided? >> so far it looks like an online video training. it's routine training that happens every couple of years, i'm told. and it's just being expedited. everyone has to finish it by this week that manages other people. >> and what's the reaction to that level of training? >> i'm hearing, you know, people say, another training? i mean, it really seems like something they've done before and it hasn't worked. and folks at this point are also criticizing the content saying it really seems more focused on risk management. this is what you do if you see this happening on campus. rather than, this is why it's wrong. >> uc berkeley's currently investigating at least 25 cases of sexual harassment. and sexual violence. is this a campus culture problem? >> yes and no.
you know, i spoke to the berkeley faculty association, one of the board members, leslie salsinger, also a gender studies expert. she doesn't buy the notion this is just happening at berkeley or on university campuses nationwide, it's really part of a broader societal problem entrenched in equalities. but there is something peculiar that happens at universities once you get to a certain level. the hierarchy kind of becomes flat. so you're dealing with peer to peer. and it may be that it's tougher for administrators to punish people who they've come up with, they know the peers and friends. >> some faculty members and students contend that the university has attempted to cover up a lot of these allegations. that the latest discipline moves really are more designed to protect cal's image rather than protect the victims. how are university leaders responding to that? >> it's a good question, and i haven't gotten a response from
berkeley official on this that point. but i am hearing that criticism. you have to remember that berkeley is a campus in crisis. and like many public universities, you know, facing a budget crisis, reduced state support. and it's increasingly relying on tuition and other assets like planned and land. from a public relations standpoint, all of that requires good will. this can't help. >> tell me a little bit about the u.s. department of education and its ongoing investigation of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct claims nationwide. because as you said, this is not limited to uc berkeley. >> not at all. department of education is looking into sexual violence cases at numerous universities and college campuses. as well as secondary and elementary schools. this certainly isn't limited to just berkeley. >> so going back to cal, then, what happens next? >> well, the academic senate is expected to hold a hearing on this in the next couple of weeks. the board of regents has told me they want to talk about it next
week at their meeting as well. in april we're supposed to hear from a working group that was convened after the marcie scandal to look at whether changes to the tenure procedure need to happen. so we'll be keeping an eye on several things over the next couple of months. >> do you think this will affect the way uc president napolitano is viewed? >> i think people are really waiting to see what happens. you know, i ask people, do you have faith in her, faith in the chancellor? people are telling me, it kind of remains to be seen. we want more than just talk, we're really frustrated with what's going on. >> i'm sure much more to come. thank you so much, sarah hosseini. >> thank you so much for having me. lawmakers in sacramento are once again taking aim at tobacco use. one bill approved last week would raise the legal age for buying cigarettes and other tobacco products to 21. another bill would allow e-cigarettes to be regulated like other tobacco products. if the governor signs the bills
california would become the second state in the nation to ban teens from purchasing tobacco. joining me is professor joy appalonio from uc center of tobacco control research and education. thanks for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> what effect would raising the tobacco age from 18 to 21 have on teen smoking rates? >> we know because it's been studied in other areas that increasing the minimum age of legal access for tobacco from 18 to 21 reduces teen smoking rates by over 50% in areas where it's been studied. >> why is that? >> 18-year-olds spend a lot of time with 15-year-olds and 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds, they're all in high school. 21-year-olds are working or in college, they don't have much exposure to teens. first of all, there's the obvious effect of the ban, that 18 and 19-year-olds can no longer purchase cigarettes. 15, 16, 17-year-olds can't borrow or use tobacco that's been purchased by 18-year-olds. >> why would those in their 20s be less likely to pick up smoking? >> psychologically, people mature as they age. one of the changes that happens is people have better impulse
control over time and they become less likely to seek out novelty. when you're younger in your teens, up to age 25, you'll have poor impulse control, more vulnerable to peer pressure, less likely to understand the long-term consequences of doing something like becoming addicted to tobacco for the rest of your life. >> earlier this month san francisco raised the legal age for buying tobacco products to 21. joining berkeley and other parts of santa clara county. is there a national growing movement among cities to do this? >> yes. the first law passed in 2005 in massachusetts. and it spread through massachusetts. and it started to spread to other states from there. this actually nears the pattern of tobacco control nationally, historically. it started at the local level and moved up to the state level. you're seeing the same thing with changes in age limits. >> the fact that the state level, there is some movement, hawaii last year became the first state to do this, california now has a bill as we mentioned. do you think other states will follow suit? if california passes one?
>> i think it's quite likely. the evidence for the effectiveness of age limits in reducing tobacco use by teenagers, even in the long-term as these people grow up, is very strong. there's good reason from a public health perspective, also from a financial perspective, because of health costs from using tobacco. >> opponents have been loud on this issue as well. they contend this is overkill, they say if we can trust teens to decide to vote at 18 or to join the military at 18, that we should also trust them on the issue of tobacco use. your thoughts on that? >> we place different age limits for the use of different products all different places. we say you can watch violence in television at the age of 13. we say you can drive at 16. we say that you can't gamble or drink alcohol until 21. and you can't run for federal office until 25. tobacco laws used to be 21 and up in multiple states at the beginning of the 20th century and decreased over time.
>> so there was a time when there were laws for 21 or older. >> yes. >> so what happened to those laws? >> there was a lot of tobacco industry lobbying. the tobacco industry views the teen and young adult market as one of its critical markets. because that's when people become addicted to tobacco. another thing that happened is around world war i, the tobacco industry was successful placing cigarettes in soldiers' rations. so when people came back from the war they were more likely to smoke and that led to a different perception around smoking than there had been before. >> the age got lowered and it just kind of stuck? >> yeah -- well, it actually moved around a lot. there were states that bounced from 21 to 14 to 16 to nothing to 18. and so we tracked the laws from about 1880 until 2016 in a study we did. we found that until about 1992, they started out quite high then dropped down to a range of probably 16 to 18. and then they sort of settled at 18 or 19. currently.
until last year when hawaii passed its increase to 21. >> i want to also ask you about e-cigarettes. there's a related bill awaiting the governor's signature, it would classify e-cigarettes as a tobacco product. what do you think about that? >> it's a great public policy. e-cigarettes are not the same as tobacco but nicotine addiction is nicotine addiction. >> could it be a gateway? >> it is a gateway, yes. there's been research published last year, in fact, showing that teens who use e-cigarettes are likely to start smoking regular cigarettes. one of the things that we know about teens is they tend to lose stuff. a teen who's addicted to tick known and who's used to getting hit every three or four hours, if they leave their vaporizer at home, can borrow a cigarette and start smoking regular cigarettes. then they become what we call co-users, they're using multiple types of products. >> there's an effort to place on the november ballot a measure that would increase the cigarette tax statewide to $2. will that have any effect on tobacco use?
>> yes, it has a greater effect on use than it does on adults. so most of the research shows if you increase the tobacco -- the price on the pack by 10% what you'll see is a 10% decrease on average in youth smoking, probably a 5% decrease in adult smoking. people are less likely to start, more likely to quit, and more likely to smoke fewer cigarettes. >> your research has opened my eyes to a lot of things. thank you so much, professor, joy appalonio with ucsf. >> thank you. we're reporting live from california. >> today we're discussing the topic of health care, otherwise known as the affordable care act, or obamacare. >> obamacare was put in into place -- >> bay area uth talk about what's important to them this election season. kqed put out a call for students to make videos about political issues they care about.
nearly 100 videos were submitted from around the bay area. some were humorous, many were serious, and others were moving. including one that told a very personal story. >> ever since my mother was deported, everything's been different. my lifestyle has changed. i feel nowadays no one's supporting me. i rarely see her. the only times i get to see her is when i get a break from school. although i miss her, sometimes i don't want to go see her because then i start feeling depressed when i have to say good-bye. also because it's hard for me to feel that mother and daughter connection because we've been apart for so long. people should have the natural right to strive for a better life. when people come to america and are deported, they are being deprived of that right. america's 7 irgness has led to unnecessary deportation to those who are in fact beneficial to society. families is where the heart is. my heart is where my home is.
it's sad to think my home is far away. if only my mom was allowed to come come back to america, then my home will forever be. >> and that film featured madeline fonseca, a 17-year-old student at oakland technical high school. she joins us now. also with us is wanda stewart, teacher at june jordan school for equity in san francisco, who participated in the project. and kathy nichols, a teacher at president middle school whose students took part. welcome to you all. madeline, your mother was deported for overstaying her visa, how many years ago was that? >> roughly four years ago. >> your video is such an intimate account of the effects that immigration policy have on an individual. what made you want to be so public with your story? >> well, originally my english teacher, miss bailey, she assigned the class an assignment to answer a question on the kqed
website, what campaign topic imparts you the most in your community? so me and my friends decided to do it on immigration, since it impacts our lives and it impacts a lot of other students' lives. and so we decided to make it on my story and how the whole situation about my mom being deported. and since the video could only be a minute long, we decided to showcase more of my emotions and my feelings in the video and how it connects to the whole bigger topic about immigration and how it connects to a lot of students, a lot of kids out there that go through the same situation. and i just wanted them to see, by watching that video, that they're not alone. there are a lot of other people out there that go through the situation that i do, that we do. >> what kind of feedback have you gotten? >> you know, a lot of positive feedback. like at school, sometimes walking the hallways to my next class, some people would come up to me and say, oh, i saw your
video. i thought it was really great for you to speak up because this really is like an important issue right now. >> and as a teacher what made you want to become involved in this project? it's called "my backyard campaign." >> when i saw it on kqed, they had the website where it listed the nine core topics of conversation about the election which included criminal justice, free education, higher education, and immigration, gun control. i had a class discussion with my division of arts class and we started talking about how each one of these topics affects them personally, how much does it affect them as young people, as san franciscans, as young people of color. we settled on gun control. but that was after a really long discussion of how each one of these topics are relevant in one way or the other to how they live their daily lives. >> in fact, we have a clip from one of the videos made about gun
control. let's take a look at that. >> hi, my name is simon lee. i'm a san francisco student going to june jordan school for equity in the tenth grade. our class chose gun control, we believe gun control and guns affect our community and how we live our lives. >> and you mentioned that your students really connected with the mario woods case. that's why this issue was so important to them. why were they so affected by that case? >> well, when it came to the mario woods shooting, that took place on a bus stop that was very close to where most of our children commute from. it was located in the bay hunter point on the 29 bus. the 29 bus runs directly past our school. most of our students ride that bus on a day-to-day basis. i ride that bus on a day-to-day basis. so when the video came out, which was in december 2nd of last year, the do now for the election came out a couple days after that. it was already fresh in our
minds, the impact of police brutality, as well as mass shootings in general throughout this country has affected our children in the way that they live their lives. when they decided to touch on the subject of gun control, they also wanted to also touch on police brutality as well. >> and in fact out of the roughly 100 or so videos that were submitted, the highest number were done on gun control, 34%. it was followed by immigration and abortion, which tied at 14% each. and kathy, abortion was one of the videos that your students made. and so we have a clip from that as well. so let's watch. >> hi, my name is donna and i'm an eighth grader. my chosen issue is abortion. a family friend of mine got pregnant when she was a teen, going through school. she knew she wasn't mentally capable of having a child and she wanted to finish her education before raising one.
>> so kathy, were you surprised at all by the way the students responded to this project? did it change the way they approach projects in your classroom? >> they were very excited to do the project. they were excited to get involved in social media. and respond to the lowdown, do the now campaign, make comments, get comments back from other people, and see that their voice was heard and that people were connecting to what they said. >> did it change the way they wrote and the way they presented themselves? >> definitely. many of them told me that they wanted to appear more mature. they watched their vocabulary. they wanted to be sensitive to what other people thought and realized that their opinions might not necessarily be someone else's opinions. i had a couple of students who told me that their opinions didn't necessarily match those of their friends and family.
so it took some courage for some of them to do their videos. but it was nice for them to have their own voice and they were proud of themselves for doing it. >> speaking of courage, i want to come back to madeline. it was a brave thing that you did to come out and tell your story. when was the last time you saw your mom? >> recently, this summer i went to go visit her for like about a month. >> so what do you hope will come out of all this? >> well, hopefully that a lot of students, you know, they see that they're not alone, that there's a lot of other people that go through the same situation. and i just want them to see that, you know, it's time for us to speak up, especially like throughout this election right now. like i feel like in my opinion, it's mostly based on immigration, cause certain candidates might say -- make comments about deporting many people. >> okay. madeline, thank you so much for coming here today and being with us and thanks as well to dewana
stewart and kathy nichols. >> thank you. >> a quick note, you can see all of the video commissions on kqed's lowdown blog. turning now to el nino. it delivered lots of snow to the tahoe area this winter, delighting both state water officials along with skiers and snowboarders. the heavy storms were also a stroke of luck for oakland-based artist sonya hendrickson, whose drawings depend on the weather. her canvas, enormous fields of fluffy white snow. >> i've always been a really big fan of nature. even as a child when i was upset, while other children locked themselves into their rooms, i took a blanket, put it in my bike basket, and i was gone. i'm sonya hendrickson and i'm a visual artist.
snow drawings actually started out of clay. i was at an artist residency in colorado and i had snowshoes because i wanted to hike in the mountains. i found those really big pristine fields of snow. and i just had to do something with them. so i started walking these patterns. and it became interesting to me when i took out my camera and realized that the shadow that gets cast makes the pattern. if there is no sun, there's no pattern. in 2009, there was this pilot who just offered that he could take me up so i could take photographs. it was pretty amazing because i had no idea how it would look on the top. i was in that airplane, i was like, whoa. can you believe this?
i feel like spirals are sort of inherent in us and in nature. our galaxy is a spiral. our fingerprint is sort of a spiral. so i just feel like it's a form that we all understand. it's very meditative watching these patterns. basically having the landscape sort of evolve around me. and that triggered the idea that this would be something to share with other people. if i do this with community, we can create a much, much bigger piece. within the past six or so winters, i've done pieces in really many different scales.
it's really up to the participants to interpret my idea. in france, the piece kind of wrapped around the mountainside along a ski slope. colorado was probably one of the biggest. we tried to recreate the empire river that runs through that valley on top of a frozen bluff that is now where it used to be. i ask people to imagine themselves as a drop of water and to think about how water works. how it meanders. it was amazing. it was really well. it emphasizes the landscape and hopefully gets people's minds going about how beautiful this landscape is and how important
it is that we preserve it that way. >> this is my first project. the sierras didn't have much snow the past few winters. it's really amazing that we can do this this year. at the field station there are two big meadows. and i'm hoping that we can cover body of them. you basically only have to get that first little round straight, then you just keep following. you guys can go around the forest line as tight as you can. all right, let's go. this piece really asks me as the artist to give up a lot of control. to just let go and see what happens.
>> when you start out you're sort of timid, you're feeling it out. as you get more bold and moving through you start to develop your own styles. >> there's so many people out there all doing it together. and you kind of have to work with each other, like hey, are you going to use that space over there? or can i go that way? >> snow is near and dear to our hearts. most of us ski on it. or snowshoe on it. just from point a to point b. this is definitely something new and different. >> when people think of public art, they often think of sculpture or murals. snow drawings are a wonderful way to have art that no one really has to worry about. it comes and it goes. >> we humans have put so much stuff on this planet. as an artist i feel like there's no need for me to create even more stuff. i really love the fact that this
work is ephemeral. it melts away and that's that. there's only the documentation left of it and of course the memory of it in the participate that -- the people that participated. >> temporary but so mesmerizing while it's here. that piece by the way was produced by kqed's lori halleran. i'm thuy vu. thanks for watching. go to kqednews.org for all our news coverage. >> funding for kqed arts is provided by the william and flora hewitt foundation. the california arts council. diane b. woolsey. helen sarah steiner. the
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