Review Category : Features

Council for International Development maintains active role on campus

The Council for International Development, a student-run organization aimed to unite the broad variety of student initiatives regarding international development, has taken an active role on campus since its inception in Winter Quarter 2013. “[In summer 2012,] I had recently become friends with a lot of people who were high-ups in various… international development clubs,” said active member and fourth-year civil engineering major Imaan Taghavi. “I wanted to do a formal for my own club, Engineers Without Borders, and I realized, why not do it with some of these other clubs and have this joint venture where all these clubs can come together?” Early on, Taghavi realized there was a strong need at UC Davis for a forum in which international development clubs could interact with each other. After interacting with these other organizations on campus, Taghavi noticed a lack of interest among students in collaborating with organizations similar to their own. Since its inception, the Council for International Development has put on two fundraising events, each called a Formal... ...

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Global manufacturing facility in Davis continues to grow

Two years ago, the Japanese machine tool company DMG Mori Seiki collaborated with UC Davis’ College of Engineering to build a $50 million factory with state-of-the-art equipment only five miles away from campus. The manufacturing facility specializes in large-scale manufacturing units and the pre-assembly of major machine systems before they move through the assembly line process.   Since its opening in July 2012, the factory has employed about 150 workers in the local area and has provided valuable career and internship opportunities for UC Davis students. “Students have participated in a number of training programs at DMG Mori Seiki. Moreover, students are often hired to work there during the summertime so that they can be exposed to advanced manufacturing techniques,” said UC Davis College of Engineering Dean Enrique Lavernia in an email interview. “I believe Davis is an excellent place to build [the factory]. It is located strategically close to Sacramento, as well as to San Francisco, and it draws on the expertise of the faculty, staff and students at UC... ...

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Religious Studies Department hosts weekly tea event

Every Tuesday afternoon in the Walen Lai Library on the seventh floor of Sproul, the tallest building on campus, the Department of Religious Studies holds a small gathering complete with tea, biscuits and conversation. Originally started ten years ago by religious studies Professor and Department Chair Naomi Reshotko, the Tea Meeting has since grown to accommodate regular and new drop-in students and professors on a weekly basis in Sproul Hall. “It’s a common tradition to have time set aside in the afternoon for tea,” Janowitz said. “There is no limit to the time you spend working while being a student or a faculty member, so this is a way to break away from that dilemma.” Though the tea events are open to all, most of the attendees are affiliated with the Religious Studies Department. The goal is to create a dialogue between professors, faculty members and undergraduates within the major’s department. “You don’t meet people in classes normally, you probably meet people in the dorms, or as roommates, or if... ...

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Campus makes room for growing student population

As outlined in the 2020 Initiative spearheaded by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi last year, there will be a 5,000-student increase in the undergraduate student body on-campus by the year 2020. Many campus organizations, including the Student Housing Administration, must now find ways to accommodate a larger population and ensure that this growth does not put a strain on the campus’ resources and facilities. The 5,000-student figure includes new in-state, out-of-state and exchange students. According to the UC Davis News Service, the population increase will garner a total revenue of $38 million to $50 million a year. “I believe the 2020 initiative and the increased number of California, national and international students living in the residence halls will continue to provide a rich and vibrant community of first-year students living on campus,” Ramona Hernandez, Director of Business Services in the Student Housing Administration, said in an email interview. According to Hernandez, in order to house incoming students, an additional 150 triple rooms were added to the Tercero North area, allowing for... ...

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Three UC Davis Alumni lend aid and a voice to South Sudan

In Dec. 2013, only two and a half years after South Sudan celebrated its first independence day, tensions between the country’s two main ethnic groups erupted into violence. Only 19 months into independence, the world’s youngest country was plunged into civil war. In addition to giving monetary aid, the international community has stepped up in other ways, providing medical and media attention to the area. Contributing what they can through knowledge and expertise in their respective fields, three UC Davis alumni have been performing such work in South Sudan since the nation’s inception. Dr. Matthew Fentress, who graduated from the UC Davis School of Medicine in 2008, currently works in South Sudan with Doctors Without Borders, a medical non-profit organization. Prior to this, Fentress worked with the Global Health Fellowship in developing countries. “The first part of that [Global Health Fellowship] I spent a total of six or seven months in South Sudan,” Fentress said. “I always knew I wanted to work either outside of the country in the places... ...

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AB 540 and Undocumented Student Center opens on campus

The AB 540 and Undocumented Student Center will be a new addition to the Student Community Center to provide centralized resources for the growing undocumented student population on campus. The state’s education code was changed to include the Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) in 2001, allowing certain non-resident students to pay in-state tuition at California public universities if they had received a diploma from a California high school or the equivalent. Specifically, this bill aids students who are considered undocumented. According to the official AB 540 website, a person who does not have the appropriate documents to live legally in the United States, is considered undocumented. UC Davis has seen nearly a tripling of enrolled undocumented students –  from an estimated 70 in winter 2012 to just over 200 students in fall 2013. The center’s establishment is the result of years of student advocacy as well as a changing national and campus climate concerning immigration and social inclusivity. Late last year, University of California President Janet Napolitano allocated $5 million... ...

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UC Davis opens new World Food Center

Members weigh on center goals, plans and why Davis is the perfect place to host it As one of the highest-ranking universities in the world for agriculture, UC Davis has launched its very own World Food Center with the hopes of finding sustainable ways to feed an ever-growing planet. Composed of an experienced group of individuals from various backgrounds in the agricultural and medicinal fields, the World Food Center aims to generate economic development locally by expanding the university’s economic connections with environmental businesses. “UC Davis is one of the best places in the world with respect to those seeking an education in agriculture, food sciences and nutrition,” said Josette Lewis, a UC Davis alumna and associate director of the World Food Center. “The goal of the World Food Center is to really leverage and build on that incredible intellectual base that already exists, and position the university to be more influential in shaping how the non-academic community understands and makes decisions on policy and strategy surrounding agriculture and food.”... ...

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University Dining Services regulates meal plan sharing

This year, UC Davis Dining Services and Student Housing will implement new dining commons policies regarding guest meals and take-out food, amongst other changes to the three dining areas on campus, for all students with meal plans. In response to these changes, a discussion was launched on the Facebook group titled “Sell/Buy DC Swipes” at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. The biggest change to dining commons policies this year, fueling the online forum, is a new limit on “guest” swipes available to students who purchase a meal plan. “We will be limiting the number of guest swipes, a swipe that allows a student to bring in an outside guest, to 10,” said Office of Student Development Director Branden Pettit in an email interview. Many students with meal plans that have been known to swipe others in are involved with larger on-campus organizations. Pettit explained that the limit was placed to protect these students from being pressured by their peers from clubs, sports teams and other extracurricular activities to... ...

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Davis Roots offers hands-on introductory programming classes

Introductory programming courses at UC Davis tend to be big, filling up the largest lecture halls with students who are oftentimes fulfilling a requirement for their major. The general manager of Davis Roots, Alex Rossbach, pointed out that there is a lack of options for people simply looking to learn introductory programming. Davis Roots has begun offering such an option: classes meant to service anyone who is interested in learning the material, for any reason. “The classes are open to anyone that just wants to learn how to program,” Rossbach said. He did, however, state that the class size is limited to around 15 students, to allow for a more practical, hands-on experience. “It isn’t like a lecture hall class where we’re just gonna make you take notes and sit there for a couple hours,” Rossbach said. “It’s maybe 15 to 20 minutes of lecturing at each class and two hours of hands-on building. The instructors will walk you through everything you need to know. They’ll answer any questions you... ...

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Awareness event at UC Davis combats hijab misconceptions

A UC Davis alumna was fired in 2010 from her stockroom job at a Bay Area Hollister for wearing a hijab, a traditional covering for the head and neck worn for religious reasons. The then 19-year-old Hani Khan was restocking merchandise one morning when a district manager approached her on the sales floor to tell her that her headscarf violated Hollister’s “Look Policy,” a strict set of appearance instructions that prohibits employees from wearing headgear, according to Khan. Khan said she was confused. When she first applied to the Hollister job her interviewer told her that she would be able to wear her scarf as long as she wore it in navy, grey or white, the store’s signature colors. Khan had complied, and in her five months as an employee, her hijab had never caused any issues. After explaining the religious meaning of the scarf to the manager and refusing to remove it while she was at work — as a human resources representative suggested — Khan was suspended from... ...

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Davis organization attempts to raise minimum wage to $15

Raise the Wage Davis has been an active organization in both the city and on campus since early January, and its main goal has been to raise Davis’ minimum wage from $8 to $15. Raise the Wage Davis’ first event was its campaign kick-off in early January. Since then it has also hosted a Rally for a Living Wage on April 19, and its members were also present at the Inequality for All screening at the Mondavi Center on May 19. The organization is comprised of a number of Davis citizens, and a few UC Davis students and workers. One of these students is Hayley Benham-Archdeacon,  a third-year transfer student double majoring in political science and public service. She is also the chief spokesperson and deputy field director of Raise the Wage Davis. “We are not just coming from the side of the moral imperative of not paying people poverty wages; we have economic sense on our side as well,” Benham-Archdeacon said. Benham-Archdeacon said that there is still a lot... ...

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Outside the bound, a look into UC Davis’ hidden population

Sharon Haanstra, a third-year transfer student and psychology major, walks the UC Davis campus wearing a shawl, chandelier earrings and stylish glasses. Heavy backpack in tow, she has just left her bio-psychology class and is beginning to stress out about her upcoming final. On the surface, Haanstra seems like the typical undergraduate student. She is anything but that. Haanstra is 60 years old, lives in Woodland and has already had a career providing care for mentally ill people before coming to UC Davis for the second time. She is a re-entry student, and is one of nearly 1,500 at UC Davis who range from 25 to 60 years old. “People always ask me, are you a professor? A grad student? And I say, no I’m an undergrad,” Haanstra said. “It’s embarrassing, but also not. I’m proud of it.” Haanstra began her education at UC Davis in 1972 at the age of 18. She had been a good student throughout high school, but struggled academically at Davis. At the time, she... ...

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Student volunteers plan 12th annual UC Davis Pre-Medical, Pre-Health Conference

After a year of hard work and careful planning by a group of student volunteers, the UC Davis Pre-Health Student Alliance is in preparation to host over 8,500 people at the 12th annual Pre-Medical and Pre-Health Professions National Conference this coming October. Every year, the conference exhibits a large selection of around 300 specialized workshops and over 1,200 professional speakers in health-related fields across the United States. From university deans and professors to pharmacists, physicians and nurses, the conference presenters represent a wide range of industries. “The goal of the conference is definitely to prepare students,” said fourth-year psychology and neurobiology, physiology and behavior double major Axana Rodriguez-Torres. “This year our goal is to inspire each one of the students — to make them believe that they can do it. A lot of people have what it takes, but they lack that self-confidence, and they’ll find that here.” This year marks Rodriguez-Torres’ fourth year being involved in the conference, working her way up from volunteering a four-hour shift at the... ...

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Robert Reich screens his documentary ‘Inequality for All’ at UC Davis

The United States has the fourth highest degree of wealth inequality in the world and is experiencing its worst levels of income inequality since 1929. These are a few of the key issues discussed in the film “Inequality for All,” screened on May 19 at the Mondavi Center. Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor under former President Bill Clinton, and current Chancellor Professor of Public Policy at the UC Berkeley was also present at the screening. During the question and answer segment after the film’s screening, Reich discussed a number of problems pertaining to the issue of income inequality that he believes greatly impacts students. “College students are inheriting this problem, which, along with climate change, constitute the largest and most troubling challenges to our future,” Reich said. Originally, the film was inspired by Reich’s book titled Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future. “The director, Jake Kornbluth, came into my office one day and said, ‘I want to make a documentary about widening inequality. I’ve read your books,... ...

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International House hosts second Formal Without Borders

On the corner of College Park and Russell Boulevard stands a white building ornamented by a fringe of foreign flags. International House represents a celebration of culture, and this year it hosted Formal Without Borders, a new tradition for the international development clubs of UC Davis. The second Formal Without Borders was held on May 17. The event kicked off at 9 p.m., and more than 10 clubs tabled at the event to fundraise for impoverished communities in developing countries and raise awareness about a multitude of causes. The outside area was set up with an assortment of food and club tables. Attendees in formal wear mingled, enjoyed snacks and struck up conversation with both established and upcoming clubs. Inside, the festivities were complete with international music, dancing and performances. Imaan Taghavi, a third-year civil engineer major, was a main organizer of both the first and this second formal. “I was thinking to myself, it would be really cool to get a lot of these international development clubs together, because... ...

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