Review Category : Campus News

This Week in Senate: Oct. 23

At the start of the meeting Nicholas Park was sworn in by Maxwell Kappes as a voting member of the ASUCD Senate. Following his initiation, the senate addressed Tara Storm, the Unit Director of the Pantry. This year, the Pantry has seen an encouraging increase in the number of students who are using its services; however, it has become unable to accommodate this influx and is starting to run out of food. Storm is currently in the process of reaching out to other partners and corporate donors but is coming to the senate for ideas on how to restock shelves in the meantime. “We need food. Money is not the issue-we have the money, we just have to find the best possible place to use it. We could take $30 and go into Costco and get us enough cans to last us two weeks, but that’s not an efficient way to use our money…if we were to take that same $30 to a food bank we could get enough cans... ...

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News in Brief–UC Davis engineering team develops breath-test for dolphins

A group of engineers at UC Davis recently developed a breath-test for dolphins which can help analyze dolphin health. The device was created by a group of engineers from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and was led by Professor Cristina Davis. The team hoped to create a device that could diagnose dolphin health through a breath sample. “We hope that [the breath-test device] could be used to monitor health non-invasively in many animals, to give us health assessment information on wild populations,” Davis said. Davis said that the team began work on the project four years ago. “We initially started this project in 2010, and we built our first devices by designing them to capture the exhaled breath from the dolphins,” Davis said. She said that her research team members were inspired to create this breath-test from their research on human and plant metabolites. “My research group here at UC Davis focuses on chemical sensing and metabolite identification in biological systems,” Davis said. “Our work so far has... ...

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News in Brief—Aggie Surplus renovations in progress

Aggie Surplus, formerly known as the Bargain Barn, recently underwent renovations to bring in more student traffic and update the overall aesthetic appearance of the facility. These aesthetic renovations have varied from painting walls and redoing flooring to rearranging the store display. Aggie Surplus specializes in the sale of marketable items that are either sold or donated to the facility for resale. Some of these items include office supplies, technological supplies, mattresses and blankets from student housing and dorms and video games from the game area in the Memorial Union. Typical student supplies such as laptops, cell phones, computer batteries and other technological supplies that are typically more expensive can be found the the sales floor. According to Aggie Surplus coordinator Michelle Belden, the new name and logo were created in the hopes of encouraging more student involvement and traffic. Belden said that the new name has the potential to “foster some Aggie Pride” and more closely associate the facility with the campus and UC Davis students. UC Davis students... ...

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UC Davis Police Department makes major effort to enhance campus safety

The UC Davis Police Department (UCDPD) is currently implementing new programs, while also revamping existing ones, to promote student safety on campus. Pushing to better serve the campus community, the department has been working on several projects to be released this fall. Safe Rides, the police escort service, has previously provided students transportation around campus during late hours. The free service is now extending its hours as well as its drop-off limit. Campus-to-campus transportation still runs from 5 to 10 p.m. Beginning Oct. 20, however, students have been able to request rides from campus to anywhere within the city of Davis when Unitrans stops running from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. For the first time, more than one vehicle will be employed, in hopes of reducing wait times. Safe Rides is an inclusive service that now offers 24/7 VIP wheelchair transportation around campus at UC Davis. Off-campus VIP service runs the same hours as Safe Rides seven days a week. Escort services previously operated with a vehicle that was not... ...

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Senate braces itself for critical ICA information

An otherwise routine ASUCD Senate meeting on Thursday saw tensions rise as an appearance of school officials raised more questions about the objectives of both the administration and the athletics program. Dr. Milton Lang, associate vice chancellor of Student Affairs, attended the meeting, followed by four members of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC): Elsie Fullerton, Brandon Greenberg, Sophia Lisaius and Danielle Steffen. SAAC, according to Lisaius, “[provides] a liaison from the athletics faculty members to the student athletes.” The senate had planned to hold a fairly rare closed session, giving the public just the meeting’s description: “Athletics.” “We heard there was something going on with athletics and we figured we needed to step up our involvement with ASUCD,” said Greenberg, a senior on the men’s track and field team. Fullerton, a junior on the women’s water polo team, added that she also would like to see more collaboration with the student government and student-athletes. “We wanted to be available as a resource and open up a line of communication,”... ...

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New Institute for Social Sciences opens

The new Institute for Social Sciences opened Oct. 13 at UC Davis. The institute, which has been in the works since 2011, will focus on interdisciplinary research projects. Vicky Austin, assistant director of the institute, said that it will work to bring together researchers from different academic interests on campus. “We will actively work to connect our researchers with scholars across campus to build bridges between the social sciences and disciplines ranging from education to engineering, medicine to management and law to the liberal arts,” Austin said. Joe Dumit, a UC Davis professor of anthropology and science and technology studies, is the director of the new institute. “I’m really happy to be heading up this new institute to support interdisciplinary research in the social sciences,” Dumit said. According to George R. Mangun, dean of the Division of Social Sciences, Dumit was chosen as director of the new institute from a highly selective group of accomplished individuals. A search committee of faculty and staff reviewed formal applications that were submitted last... ...

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Administration, ASUCD streamlining efforts to raise sexual assault awareness

On Sept. 28, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill No. 967, redefining sexual consent on California college campuses. Commonly known as the “Yes Means Yes” bill, No. 967 is the first of its kind to clearly define consent, as it requires “an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity,” excluding a lack of resistance or silence. The bill aims to alter how schools prevent, report and examine sexual assault cases. “Yes Means Yes” serves as a significant stepping point toward these goals, according to ASUCD senator Amelia Helland. “This legislation mandates that all post-secondary schools in California enforce an affirmative consent policy and dedicate resources toward expanding and strengthening prevention education, counseling and health care resources,” Helland said. In efforts to improve campus sexual assault policies, both the administration and ASUCD are joining together and developing plans to further strengthen existing resources at UC Davis. A video project for Domestic Violence Awareness month is currently in the works with the athletics department, the Campus Violence Prevention Program... ...

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News in Brief: Legislation that would have provided significant funding for California universities vetoed

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed part of the Budget Act of 2014 (AB 1476) in early September, denying the state’s public universities heavy funding. The bill would have allocated $100 million apiece the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems. This funding for UC and CSU universities was conditional and dependent on the outcome of property tax revenues in comparison to projections. The $100 million was originally incorporated into the legislation to be given to UCs and CSUs; however, the money was rejected in July once property tax revenues did not exceed expectations. The funds would have been allotted for deferred maintenance at UC and CSU schools that was deemed critical. In Brown’s veto message, he wrote that property tax revenues were below budget estimates and the state couldn’t afford the $200 million this year. The legislative session for the California state government ended Aug. 31. Governor Brown vetoed the funds shortly after. “Making investments to maintain the state’s aging infrastructure continues to be a major priority for... ...

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UC Davis continues implementation of Drought Action Response Plan

In January 2014, the California State Department of Water Resources announced a drought emergency for California. California Governor Jerry Brown called on the state to conserve water and created a goal for all Californians to reduce their water usage by 20 percent. This past April, in response to the drought emergency, UC Davis released its Drought Response Action Plan, which details UC Davis’ plan to reduce its water usage. The Drought Response Action Plan includes reductions in water usage in dining services and landscape management, and seeks to make students more aware of the drought and ways that they can reduce their own water usage. “Our campus communication office issued a news release, the sustainability office has written blog posts and added content about the plan to our website and Facebook, the Vice Chancellor of Administrative and Resource Management has emailed the whole campus and our utilities group has created a water dashboard for campus in partnership with some students,” said Camille Kirk, assistant director of sustainability at Office of... ...

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UC Davis to partner with SunPower Corp. to construct large solar farm

On Sept. 24, UC Davis announced its purchase power-agreement with SunPower Corp., in which SunPower will oversee the design and construction of a 16-megawatt, ground-mounted solar power plant. The 70-acre site will be located in Davis, south of Interstate 80, and is expected to meet 14 percent of the campus’ energy needs. This project, when finished, will be the largest solar power installation in the UC system, as well as the largest solar power plant to meet the electricity demands of a U.S. university or college campus. SunPower Corp. is a global solar company with a diversified portfolio of customers, leading residential, commercial and utility solar energy markets. UC Davis had previously collaborated with SunPower back in 2011 to create the UC Davis West Village neighborhood, the largest planned zero net energy community in the country. “We’re really lucky with SunPower because they are… a very reputable [and well-established] firm and they’ve done large solar farms like this in the past,” said UC Davis Design and Construction Management (DCM) Assistant... ...

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California statewide Plastic Bag Ban passes Sept. 30

On Sept. 30, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 270, a statewide ban in line with Davis City ordinance 2422, which went into effect July and banned all single-use plastic bags in the city. Many cities and towns throughout the state had been switching over to this “waste-free” model before SB 270 was signed. Now California will be the first in the country with a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags — “[the] first step, in a series of many” to clean up our environment, said Emily Kowalski, the CalPIRG campus organizer at UC Davis. “We were pretty excited. When we first started this [CalPIRG] campaign we tried to pass a statewide bill and were unsuccessful, really because there hadn’t been that discussion on bag bans yet, locally,” she said. Kowalski believes thorough circulation of knowledge on the benefits of a bag ban was missing from California towns. Additionally, she believes that the bag ban is not the end of the state’s environmental concerns. Along with almost completely removing these... ...

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UC Davis signs 10-year deal with PepsiCo

On Sept. 8, UC Davis signed a letter of intent for a 10-year deal with Pepsi Beverages Co. that will bring approximately $10 million in support of student scholarships, programs and services to the school. In exchange, UC Davis will give exclusive rights to Pepsi to sell, advertise and promote its products on campus. Although the entire allocation of the funds has not been finalized, Emily Galindo, vice chancellor of student affairs, said that the money will be used to provide both athletic and non-athletic scholarships and also to support sustainability projects, marketing, summer camps and youth programs. According to Galindo, a committee consisting of staff members, two students, and representatives from the health system will determine how the funds will be distributed. According to Galindo, Pepsi’s signage and advertising rights are not yet fully determined. She said that UC Davis has already taken steps to convert the fountain drinks in the dining commons and to replace the scoreboard in Aggie Stadium. She predicts the conversion should be fully complete... ...

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University to partner with Chile, develop new Life Sciences Innovation Center

On Sept. 17, UC Davis announced that it would be partnering with the Chilean government in a joint effort to develop the UC Davis Life Sciences Innovation Center in Chile. Researchers from Chile and UC Davis hope that their collaborative efforts and public sector research will be conducive to creating regional, national and international business opportunities. In a press release, the university stated that the goals behind the creation of the Innovation Center are to increase economic competitiveness, research and development in both Chile and California, with a focus on the agricultural industry. Research and development will cover agricultural topics such as plant breeding and climate change technology. Both the Chilean and Californian economies rely much on agriculture and food production, as agriculture is the second largest industry in Chile and California is the fifth largest supplier of food for the global community. UC Davis also has a top-ranked agricultural program that has consistently proven to be reputable and internationally respected. “We expect to have active research projects in viticulture... ...

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Associated Student Dining Services increase prices

Starting Sept. 22, much of the food and beverages sold at Associated Student (AS) Dining Services increased in price for the first time in four years. AS Dining Services, made up of the ASUCD Coffee House, CoHo South Café and CoHo-To-Go Convenience Store, last increased prices in 2010. While certain foods, including yogurt and whole fruits, have remained at the same price, other items have become more expensive. This change is largely due to the increase of California’s minimum wage, which has gone from $8 to $9 per hour. Prices generally increased about 30 to 50 cents per item. “We’ve been looking at this, probably for the past year, as something on the horizon we would need to address,” said Darin Schluep, food service director of AS Dining Services. “When we first heard of the plan to increase California’s minimum wage, we knew we would have to react to that.” Schluep says that increasing food prices also played a role in his decision to increase prices at AS Dining Services.... ...

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UC Davis Fire Department offering new Emergency Medical Technician program

The UC Davis Fire Department (UCDFD) is now offering an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program that covers a basic overview of the emergency medical care system (EMS). The course trains students on how to become EMTs, including patient assessment during an emergency, ethical and legal aspects and patient symptom recognition. “They learn about dozens of different medical problems, the basic pathophysiology behind them, the signs and symptoms associated with each, and what the proper treatment is,” said Michael McCartney, UCDFD firefighter, EMT instructor and a UC Davis alumnus. “They also learn about traumatic injuries that can occur, from car accidents, gun shot wounds, falls and others.” This accelerated program runs over seven weeks, totaling 160 hours of lectures and labs. Lectures are taught by UCDFD firefighters themselves, including McCartney, Braden Burrhus and program coordinator Scott Hatcher. All three instructors are also licensed paramedics. Lab instructors come from several different backgrounds, such as American Medical Response, UCDFD and EMT event and club supervision. “We all have a diverse background of knowledge... ...

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