Review Category : Features

UC Davis student brings family startup to town

Have you ever traveled and had trouble getting to the airport? UC Davis third-year biological sciences major Sabrina Merchant is working with her two brothers to help solve that very problem for UC Davis students. Their service, called SocialDrv, is designed to utilize people in the community for providing transportation to and from the Sacramento International Airport. Sabrina, the vice president of Marketing and Expansion for the business had the idea to expand it to serve the Davis community. “I saw that it was going really well in the Bay Area and I said, ‘College students would really appreciate this kind of idea once they know it’s available to them,’” Sabrina said. She is in charge of spreading the word on campus, and expects to see rapid growth and success once the publicity effort is completed. “I think the reason why I can be so confident about it is one of the major things: as college students, we’re always broke, and this is a great way to make cash,” Sabrina... ...

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Bike accidents: an Aggie tradition

Last quarter, a bike collision left me in urgent care with staples in my head, a concussion and notes to give my professors to avoid penalization for missing class. I was riding in what I thought was a conscientious manner, with one hand on the horn of the saddle for warmth and the other tapping my back brake, when another biker approached from behind, lost his balance on the slick pavement, and sideswiped me and my trusty metal steed. Suddenly, I wasn’t heading to my physics class, I was on my way to close a head wound. Recently named USA Today’s No. 1 biking town, and with 22 percent of residents commuting by bike, it’s safe to say that the people of Davis know a thing or two about cycling. But with the sheer amount of time that we students spend on bikes, the statistics are stacked against us — at some point in our time at Davis, we will probably see, be involved in or know someone in a... ...

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Student Fashion Association holds “Utopia” themed show

Boasting a wide variety of fashion designs by student designers and local clothing boutiques, an a cappella performance and a good cause, the UC Davis Student Fashion Association’s annual charity fashion show hit Davis on April 5. Fully student-run, this year’s SFA fashion show was held at the UC Davis Conference Center, and featured original clothing and fashion pieces for over 150 community members to view. “The SFA fashion show is not just a show that we put on for an audience,” said SFA president, and fourth-year textiles and clothing and communication double major Nicky Lei. “It’s also an opportunity for UC Davis students to learn how to put on a show and experience all of the hard work that goes into creating a fashion show. It’s a chance for them to work with other students who have the same interests and to build up their connections and skills.” Not only did the event serve as a showcase for aspiring student designers, but all proceeds were donated to Project Night... ...

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UC Davis ARC celebrates 10th anniversary

 On April 17, the UC Davis Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) will celebrate its 10th anniversary. The ARC’s website states that a number of upcoming events are lined up to pay tribute to the facility’s success as a student hub. The activities include a Zumbathon, or a Zumba marathon, which will be on April 16 and will provide free Zumba classes for up to 100 people. The ARC will also be giving away branded adhesive cell phone wallets for those with an ID, while supplies last. According to the Campus Recreation and Union’s website, the ARC was originally planned as a primary location for student fitness and wellness. Since its foundation, it has grown into more than just a fitness center and has become a central locus on campus. “The ARC has been a leading image for recreation since 2004,” said John Campbell, the executive director for Campus Recreation and Unions, Divisional Faculties and UC Davis Stores. Before the creation of the ARC, students had to meet their health and... ...

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Local groups demand greater food producer responsibility

Local groups and students in Davis are pushing for greater food producer and consumer rights, according to the recent lobbying and education efforts of both the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) and the newly initiated Fair Trade Club on campus. Among the topics being discussed by these Davis organizations, the three issues of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) food labeling, the overuse of antibiotics in animals intended for human consumption and an increased presence of Fair Trade Certified food products in stores are the most prominent. Genetically Modified Organisms Since GMOs were introduced to the U.S. public market 20 years ago, they have flooded store shelves. Though 64 nations currently require producers to identify GMO products on food labels, the United States does not, despite the fact that according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 90 percent of corn and 93 percent of soy grown in the U.S. were genetically modified varieties as of 2013. “CALPIRG is lobbying for a bill that would require labeling of all GMO ingredients on... ...

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UC Davis produces Miss Sacramento County winner, again

According to Ashley Ott, a fifth-year cell biology major at UC Davis, expectations are high for contestants in the Miss Sacramento County pageant. This year, Ott came the closest to meeting them, as she is the fourth UC Davis student in a row to win the competition. She continued the relationship between Davis and the pageant, which includes a history of winners and finalists from the school, as well as a connection with charitable organizations that are active on campus. The history of UC Davis students competing in the pageant has been motivated by two key factors. The first involves money. The Miss Sacramento County program director, April Smith, said the Miss America program gives out over $45 million a year to contestants, and Ott said that it is the largest provider of scholarships to women in the world. Ott won over $2,000 this year alone as a contestant, and a total of about $3,000 in the two years she’s been competing. A portion of that was from winning, the... ...

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Celebrating a century of excellence

As the sun comes out and Spring Quarter rolls in at UC Davis, the excitement and anticipation for one of the most monumental student-run events in the nation heightens. Boasting cockroach races, honey tastings and maggot art, the 100th annual UC Davis Picnic Day event returns to campus this Saturday, April 12. “It’s definitely a hallmark year, it is a testament to us as a student organization having come so far,” said second-year biological sciences major and Picnic Day Parade Director Grace Scott. “It’s a testament to UC Davis for how cohesive we are as a campus, how we are one of the world’s best universities and how the community celebrates with us.” The theme of this year’s event  is 100: A Timeless Tradition, and the board plans to push this theme in every aspect. “Just seeing the design come together is amazing,” said Publicity Assistant Director and second-year technocultural studies major Summer Kang. “Seeing that [the directors] can form an idea into a product and the fact that they... ...

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Taxicab service Uber comes to Davis

Whether it’s getting from North to South Davis or avoiding a Biking Under the Influence charge, most college students can find a reason to hitch a ride. To meet this demand, a worldwide taxicab service called Uber has expanded to the Sacramento area, including Davis. As of just over a year ago, anyone in the area can book a ride around town for fares starting at $3.80, with just a click of a button on a smartphone or tablet. “We tend to do pretty well in areas where there’s college students, because a lot of them don’t bring their cars to campus and then they’re going out or into town, so that’s part of the reason we chose Davis,” said Uber Community Manager Allison Grant. “The last two months we’ve really pushed our Davis plan — we’ve got some great ambassadors on campus.” Uber originally started in San Francisco in 2009, when current CEO Travis Kalanick realized the difficulty in tracking down a high-quality cab in the busy city. Today,... ...

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Stride for Aggie Pride 5K raises funds for students

Looking to complete the 50 Aggie Traditions? By running the Second Annual Stride for Aggie Pride 5K on May 18, students can successfully check number nine off their lists. As of now, 2,550 participants are pre-registered to embark on a 3.1 mile running adventure through some of the key sights of the UC Davis campus, including the Arboretum and Quad. All participants who register by the early registration deadline, April 4, will be guaranteed a shirt. “Our main goal is to collectively, as an Aggie community, support this event and the purpose: to help Aggies in need,” said Artem Trotsyuk, founder of the Stride for Aggie Pride 5K. “I am very excited that so many people have signed up so far.” While working as the Student Assistant to the Chancellor last year, Trotsyuk noticed that there was a lack of races geared toward student philanthropy in the Davis community and eventually proposed the idea of holding a 5K on campus. “I am very passionate about health and wellness and I... ...

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UC Davis professor receives 2014 Wolf Prize

UC Davis Professor Jorge Dubcovsky discovered a gene that can increase the nutritional value of wheat, and in January, was awarded the 2014 Wolf Prize in Agriculture. The prize, which has been awarded since 1978, is one of six prizes established by the Wolf Foundation and is awarded once a year in Israel. The foundation’s website states that one of its main goals is “to award prizes to outstanding scientists and artists … for achievements in the interest of mankind and friendly relations among peoples.” Dubcovsky and his team conduct their research using an applied breeding program that produces commercial varieties of wheat, which include things like pasta and bagels, and make up about 20 percent of the wheats grown in California. “We discovered a gene that increased the amount of protein and iron that you have in the wheat grain,” Dubcovsky said. “This gene controls the remobilization of nutrients.” Though the Wolf Prizes are usually each given to a single recipient, this year Dubcovsky shares the prize with Leif... ...

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UC Davis establishes Confucius Institute

For six months, the Confucius Institute (CI) has been trying to create a dialogue between China and Davis. There are four CIs in California, and many more worldwide. Most of these institutes focus on educating their communities on language, but according to the CI website, UC Davis is the first school to focus on Chinese food and beverages as a way to promote an understanding of Chinese culture. “We realize that many students won’t have the opportunity to travel or study abroad in China, so we hope to bring a bit of China to UC Davis,” said Sheena Link, the project manager of the institute. According to Dr. Linxia Liang, CI’s director, the institute began to come to fruition about two years ago, but before it could become a fully established chapter, UC Davis had to find a sister school that had similar goals to facilitate a cultural dialogue through the language of food and beverage. “Language teaching is not what we really need on campus. So there was an... ...

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Davis alumna writes, directs film about periods

As part of the preparation for her upcoming film currently called “The Untitled Short Film About What It’s Like to be On Your Period,” UC Davis alumna Kristine Gerolaga will get to play the part of a menstruation cycle onstage. Gerolaga, who graduated from UC Davis in 2009 with a degree in sociology, is a filmmaker and actress. Since then, she has contributed to and written her own short films, as well as acted in commercials and a web series. The writing of the film came about as an assignment from Gerolaga’s instructor at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, but the concept came from a trend she has seen in the film industry. “Gender and race inequality in the industry is still a problem, plain and simple,” Gerolaga said. “I want to make this short film to contribute to the movement of equality for women and people of color in front of and behind the camera. I hope to give opportunities to a truly diverse cast and crew to be a... ...

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De Vere’s drums up community support for childhood cancer research

On March 8, the patio of de Vere’s Irish Pub (de Vere’s) was full of applause, raised glasses and hair as participants young and old shaved their heads to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and Keaton Raphael Memorial (KRM). This is the third year the head shaving fundraiser has been held at de Vere’s in Davis, and is the 12th year since the Northern California non-profit KRM has partnered with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation in the Sacramento region to raise funds for local and national research. With 899 shavees, the organization has raised $354,179 so far this year. With barber services provided by SuperCuts, children and businesses raised over $1,000 each with the help of sponsors who supported community members as they stood in solidarity with cancer youth, making a “bald statement.” “It’s a very powerful day,” said Henry de Vere White, who co-owns de Vere’s. “It’s a public, physical demonstration that this battle can be won, that if you are doing... ...

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Test banks provide students additional study material

The multitude of testing procedures set in place to avoid cheating is, as we all hope, benefiting those who took the time to study materials prior to class. And while TAs scanning lecture halls in search of wandering eyes has undoubtedly led to the reduction of incidences of blatant copying, a more subverted strategy is allowing some students to come into a test already knowing what to write. Test banks are copies of exams saved by students and used as a study tool for others. Fraternities, sororities and other student organizations take pride in their extensive backlog of tests and allow members to freely use these exams for studying. “One person is in charge of organizing the tests. After rush, an email goes out asking for brothers to bring their old tests to the house to allow others to have access to them,” said Blake Hamilton, a second-year environmental science and management major and Sigma Phi Epsilon member. Sigma Phi Epsilon follows the same general procedure as the other Greek... ...

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Meet Your Representatives: Katherine Sherman and Lauren Ashe

Name: Katherine Sherman Major: Nutrition Position: ASUCD Senator Year: Second-year 1: What is one skill you wish you had cultivated when you were younger? I was the third child in my family so when I was younger, I would definitely try and follow my brothers. So I think [although] I eventually learned to become a leader, if I had started earlier that would have been a great advantage. By getting involved in things and not just following my brothers, I eventually did that once they moved to college. In high school I was able to do that on my own; If I had started even earlier, it would have been so much better. 2: If you could live anywhere, where would you move to best serve your career interests? I’m not too sure what I want to do with my career yet. So that’s kind of hard, but I’m from San Diego and I love it. So for right now I’m going to stick with San Diego. There’s a lot... ...

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