Picnic Day 2012: Then. Now. Always.

It’s that time of the year that everyone in the Davis community has been waiting for. The one Saturday that students actually look forward to waking up early is here. That’s right, Picnic Day 2012 has arrived. Picnic Day is back this April 21 to celebrate its 98th anniversary. Throughout the year, a board of 16 undergraduate directors has worked to plan and put on this one-of-a-kind event to showcase everything that UC Davis has to offer. “Picnic Day is just a day for everyone to come together,” said Picnic Day chair and senior environmental toxicology major Jennifer Mappus. “It’s a day where community members, university officials and staff and students work together to put on this amazing event and have a good time. It’s truly amazing to see everyone come together to put on such a great event. It’s all about Aggie pride and UC Davis.” The day kicks off with opening ceremonies at 9:27 a.m. on the North Quad. The annual Picnic Day Parade follows shortly after, beginning... ...

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Virgin no more

On an inky Saturday night, I was walking through an empty Davis campus on my “virginal” ascent to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show. What I saw that night was beyond anything I had ever seen before. As a virgin to this show, I can attest to whoever is reading that the Rocky Horror Picture Show is weird, fabulous and alien. I’ll keep mum about what I’m describing, but I can wholly tell you that I have my v-card no more and that by the end I was hungry for more. Walking into the main stage of Wright Theatre breeds a sense of familiarity. The walk winding up the stairs opens into the enclave where the stage and the audience both stand opposite of each other. I normally would have taken a breath of relief; instead I saw grown college men dressed in nothing but booty straps and fishnets. Such paleness had never before seen the light of day! A particular young man was wearing full bondage gear — an extra straight... ...

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ObamaCare goes to the Supreme Court

Two and a half million young adults in America today have health insurance because the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Commonly known as ObamaCare, this initiative allows those under the age of 26 to stay on their parents’ health plans. This could change if the United States Supreme Court rules against PPACA, the federal statute signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. Without ObamaCare, young adults can only receive coverage from their parent’s plan until age 18, unless they have status as a full-time student, which could prolong coverage until graduation or grant them access to university plans. The Supreme Court ruling on PPACA could result in a complete or partial upholding or overruling of the statute. In its entirety, the PPACA has over 15 provisions, including a requirement for individual mandates, increased regulation of the private health insurance industry and public health insurance programs. It also offers increased insurance coverage of pre-existing conditions, expanded access to insurance to 30 million Americans, increased projected national... ...

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Aggies place seventh at Pacific Coast Intercollegiate

The UC Davis women’s golf team got the chance to see how they stacked up against some of the best teams in the nation at the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate. What the Aggies found was that, well, they are one of the best teams in the nation. No. 23 UC Davis, who co-hosted the tournament with Oregon State University, snagged seventh place at Half Moon Bay Golf Links with an 11 over par in three rounds of play. The Aggies beat out two higher-ranked opponents and played close to some of the top-ranked teams, including No. 14 California, whose 872 barely kept UC Davis at bay. Eight of the participating teams were ranked in the top 25 in the nation. “It was a good week for us; we played well and finished seventh in a super strong field,” said Coach Anne Walker. The three-round total of 875 was a product of improvement as each round passed. The Aggies’ 297 first-round performance had them in ninth place until they posted a 294... ...

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Q&A with Picnic Day chair and special events director

If you thought planning your last birthday party was hard, try organizing an event that attracts more than 50,000 visitors a year and includes hundreds of exhibits, performances and interactive events. That’s Picnic Day in a nutshell, and as senior environmental toxicology major and Picnic Day Chair Jennifer Mappus and fifth-year animal science major and Picnic Day Special Events Director Lauren Young will tell you, making it happen is anything but easy. Mappus and Young sat down with The Aggie to discuss how they keep Picnic Day fresh nearly 100 years after the celebration began. AGGIE: Why did you want to be on the Picnic Day board? YOUNG: I wanted to get more involved in what I want to do career-wise and saw the opportunity to apply. This is my fifth year here, and I’ve been to Picnic Day every year. I thought it would be an awesome opportunity to be on the other side of it and know what goes into putting it all together. MAPPUS: I wanted to get... ...

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Track and Field preview

Event: Woody Wilson Classic; Mt. SAC Relays Where: Toomey Field and Woody Wilson Track; Hilmer Lodge Stadium — Walnut, Calif. When: Friday, April 20; Saturday, April 21 Who to watch: Sophomore Hosea Tate was a member of the UC Davis 4X400m relay team that took first place last week with a time of 3:15.21. Tate also placed fourth in the 200m dash. Did you know? The Woody Wilson Classic is a popular Picnic Day tradition. It is the Aggies’ last home meet of the year and is one of their last chances to prepare for the Big West Conference Championship meet. This weekend’s meet will feature collegiate competition as well as events for high schoolers and unattached athletes. Admission is free but spectators are advised to arrive early because seating is limited. Preview: The Woody Wilson Classic features all of the standard track and field events, giving the Aggies a chance to keep their hot streak alive. UC Davis produced a number of season and personal bests during last weekend’s meet and Head Coach Drew... ...

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So you think you’re a Picnic Day expert?

Everyone is gearing up for the Doxie Derby, great food and taking in the sun and greenery of Davis this Saturday. But before going out to campus, you may want to brush up on some little-known facts about one of Davis’ most important events of the year. Picnic Day was originally created to offer tours of the dairy barn on the university farm. While this is no longer the main purpose, Picnic Day still acts as a showcase for the UC Davis campus and what it has to offer, said Ascha Rothe, senior English major and Picnic Day publicity director. “It’s an opening and I think the idea was that people could physically picnic on the grounds and enjoy the scenery that is Davis,” Rothe said. “It is definitely something that has evolved, but the Aggie pride is still the same.” For nearly 50 years, Picnic Day has maintained an overall theme to relay a message to students, staff, faculty, family and community members. “Every year Picnic Day has a... ...

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An interview with drummer David King of The Bad Plus

David King (drums), Ethan Iverson (piano) and Reid Anderson (bass), the three multifaceted musicians that make up The Bad Plus, will settle into Davis for four nights starting Wednesday before continuing what seems to be their umpteenth international tour. Their music has been described as “avant-garde” “audacious” and “badass.” Preferring to perform in more intimate venues to eliminate the anonymity of larger concert halls, The Bad Plus rotates from jazz clubs to smaller auditoriums, hoping the range will allow them to play for a variety of responsive audiences. Their most recent album, Never Stop, is their first to feature all original compositions with each member contributing works that showcase their individual talents and versatility as artists. The Aggie was lucky enough to chat with drummer David King over the phone while he was home in Minneapolis between tour dates and get a preview of what they plan to bring to Davis this week. AGGIE: Some people, after listening to your material for the first time, have trouble attributing your music to... ...

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Softball Preview

Teams: UC Davis at Cal Poly Records: Aggies, 16-24 (6-3); Mustangs 11-26 (3-6) Where: Bob Janssen Field — San Luis Obispo, Calif. When: Saturday at noon and 2 p.m.; Sunday at noon Who to watch: After having some tough starts in preseason competition, junior starting pitcher Jessica Thweatt is having a fantastic season. In the Sacramento native’s last five appearances, she has averaged more than a strikeout per inning and has posted a 2.76 ERA. Thweatt was locked in during the weekend series against Long Beach State, shutting out the 49ers through six innings in the Aggies’ 3-0 loss before earning a save in the Aggies’ 3-1 victory on Sunday. “Her ball was just moving and dancing,” said Head Coach Karen Yoder. “I complimented her in front of the whole team [following the win].” Did you know? The Aggies are in a three-way tie for second place in the Big West Conference. UC Davis, Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara — all with 6-3 conference records — trail first-place University of Pacific by one game. The conference season... ...

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Coachella weekend one

To a lot of people I know, Coachella is something like a religious experience. To them it’s not simply a weekend, but the weekend, where much of the various pleasure of life culminates into three days of chaotic hand-grabbing and reaching for fistfuls of entertainment and glory in the form of something like musical enlightenment. It is, in that, vaguely spiritual in nature — a type of mecca toward the grand mesh of hyper-debauchery, music, sex, drugs and whatever else one can jam into what seems, by its conclusion, a very short three days in the desert of Indio. Coachella 2012, weekend one, was my first Coachella but probably not my last. I jammed a lot into my three days: bearing witness to the very brief resurrection of Tupac, Radiohead exploding heads with their absurdly superb talent (metaphorically) and the mad house that was Super Tall Paul, probably the most bizarre thing, let alone performance, I’ve ever seen (for you weekend two kids, go check him out Sunday morning at... ...

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Column: Besieging the Ivory Tower

Speaking at a campaign event a few weeks ago, failed presidential hopeful Rick Santorum expressed his shock that “seven or eight of the California system of universities don’t even teach an American history course.” As anyone who attends school here knows, Santorum’s statement is obviously untrue. Santorum’s error seems to have been inspired by “A Crisis of Confidence,” a report by the National Association of Scholars (NAS). The National Association of Scholars, a group funded by conservative organizations, claims that the radicalization of UC schools has led to a systemwide decline in quality of instruction. To support this claim, the NAS presents a series of anecdotes and cherry-picked comments from students, followed by unrelated findings about Americans’ inability to remember historical and political facts. The solution, NAS argues, is for administrators to force professors to teach more right-wing ideas and return to a curriculum that emphasizes “Western civilization” and “American institutions.” Of course, if the NAS knew its “Western civilization,” it would also know that conservatives before them descried the... ...

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New exhibits make their debut this Picnic Day

Yes, Picnic Day means the usual betting on random dogs at the Doxie Derby and lining up for the chance to milk goats and cows. The Quad will be packed with booths. Children will run around chasing dogs and eating hot dogs. But for the first time ever, scattered throughout the usual chaos of the event, new exhibits will be on display for Picnic Day visitors. What sorts of activities will make their debut this year? 1) Northern California Sled Dog Rescue (NorSled) A few additional fluffy companions will make an appearance at this year’s Picnic Day. “We’ll have two or three dogs out there with us, which will most likely be huskies or malamutes,” said Chris Drake, professor of statistics at UC Davis and one of NorSled’s volunteers. “They will be there for people to play with and for them to see what our rescued dogs are typically like.” NorSled is a nonprofit organization founded in 1998 that focuses on rescuing unwanted Northern-breed mixes such as Siberian huskies, Alaskan... ...

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Editorial: Handle your shit

This Saturday is not spring break. MTV’s cameras will be nowhere in sight, and the cast of Jersey Shore has not checked in to the Hallmark Inn. And Lindsay Lohan was not just named your BFF. So handle your shit on Picnic Day. UC Davis’ biggest event of the year has, for reasons unknown, become synonymous with “drink alcoholic beverages until you pass out on a stranger’s couch.” But why? There are literally hundreds of other fun things to do on Picnic Day. Actually, Picnic Day is the one day of the year when there are so many things to do in Davis that you don’t even have time to do them all. Why waste this rare and wonderful opportunity stumbling drunk down Third Street at 10 in the morning? That’s when the Optical Laser Maze starts. Besides, Picnic Day has historically been, and continues to be, a family-friendly event. Campus will be literally crawling with small children all day long. One of the annual events is called the Multicultural... ...

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Women’s Tennis preview

Teams: UC Davis vs. UC Irvine; vs. San Jose State Records: Aggies 9-11 (4-2), Tigers 4-13 (1-5), Titans 6-9 (0-4) Where: Hal Nelson Tennis Courts — Stockton, Calif.; Marya Welch Tennis Center When: Thursday at 2 p.m.; Saturday at 11 a.m. Who to Watch: Dahra Zamudio is the only senior in the UC Davis women’s tennis program’s starting lineup. She started the year playing in the No. 1 singles position, but switched to No. 2, where she holds a 12-5 record. Zamudio has been a steady force in the singles lineup her entire career, but her doubles play has also been a strong contributor to the Aggies’ success. She and sophomore Nicole Koehly have teamed up to win their last five matches, and are an impressive 7-2 at the No. 3 doubles spot. Did you know? After a shift in doubles pairings, UC Davis hopes its struggles in doubles are in the past. The Aggies have won the doubles point just six times this season, but two of those victories came in... ...

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Editorial: Be respectful

We all know the feeling. There are three minutes left of class, and it feels like the lecture that will never end. Finally, when the professor says, “The last thing I want to talk about today…” chaos ensues. Students rifle through their bags, putting away notebooks and loudly zipping backpacks. Papers are shuffled, desks are put down and the chattering begins. This premature pack-up pattern is both rude and disrespectful. Students are trying to take advantage of the learning opportunity, but are unable to do so when it is too loud to hear the professor. Furthermore, packing up while a professor is still speaking is blatantly inconsiderate to the teacher, who is trying to finish a lecture. As adults, college students should be patient and mature enough to wait to pack up until those last three minutes are over. Another form of disrespect is shown when students come to class late or leave early. When someone rolls into class halfway through lecture, it interrupts the entire class, making it difficult... ...

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