Review Category : Features

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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UC Davis students voice their opinions on UCSB shooting

Hanni Newland First-year neurobiology, physiology and behavior major “I think a lot of times in tragedies like this, you get caught up in it and you don’t think about how these people had friends, had families,had lives — you just hear a name and see a face. I don’t feel unsafe [being on a UC campus], but I think the biggest thing is balance. There needs to be a time for mourning and a time for thinking and reflection — a balance between the two is always good. Not to get political, but when I see fingers pointed that it’s a gun rights thing, it’s a feminist thing, it’s a mental health thing, I say why not all three, why not approach all issues? Just as the victims are multifaceted, so was the perpetrator, and I think that’s something to keep in mind.  I don’t feel like it’s just one issue, there’s a lot there.” Ahmed Naguib Conduct Coordinator in Student Housing “I graduated from UCSB two years ago, so... ...

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UC Davis student founds first national Amigos de las Américas program

For over 50 years Amigos de las Américas has sent high school and college students to Latin America to volunteer with community development projects. For the past year, however, second-year community regional development major Anna Peare has been redefining what it means to be a part of Amigos. Peare was recently awarded the Donald A. Strauss Foundation Scholarship, winning $10,000 which will go towards her plans to launch the first national Amigos program, working with youth to impact local change. Her project is called the Amigos de las Américas: Backyard Program. For those who are unfamiliar with the organization, Amigos de las Américas is an international nonprofit that fosters adventures and education alike by preparing high school and college students to spend a summer in Latin America. Once there, students live with a host family, soak in the culture and lead service projects that range from health to environmental, depending on the individual needs of the community they’re living in. Peare was already an Amigos veteran when she came to... ...

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“Filed Away” exhibit showcases personal objects, stories during undocumented student awareness week

Exposing contemporary issues through design, the filing cabinet drawers of the “Filed Away” exhibit contain the objects and stories of anonymous undocumented students at UC Davis. This exhibit is the thesis project of designer and MFA candidate in the design department Emma Thorne-Christy. To her, “Filed Away” strives to uplift these objects and stories through her design and museum skills in order to bring awareness to undocumented students. “This is about connecting to people’s personal everyday objects. Putting them under Plexiglas creates this power,” Thorne-Christy said. “They say in the museum world that there is a museum effect that comes out of putting a case over something. Suddenly a cell phone charger becomes a piece of art.” Other objects in the temporary exhibit include a keychain, a couple blankets, children’s toys and a small painting, all symbolizing the experiences of the undocumented person to whom they belong and will be returned. “I wanted to give students who are still under the radar a chance to speak through an object, not... ...

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Stories on divestment: Mandy Losk

Being both an Israeli-Jewish student and a Middle Eastern and South Asian (ME/SA) major, the past few months have been quite an experience for second-year student and Aggies for Israel member Mandy Losk. “I kind of signed up for it. I thought it would be a less Israeli-friendly major than others, so I expected a lot of difficulty during divestment time,” Losk said. “There have been days that I have been scared to deal with people who are really unhappy with me.” Growing up in a Jewish community and visiting Israel as a teenager, Losk said she has been exposed to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for much of her life. But on her first trip to Israel, Losk said she was surprised at what she witnessed. “It really surprised me because what we were hearing on the news in America was really different than what was happening there,” Losk said. “I decided I wanted to focus on the area as my major, and wanted to learn as much as I could... ...

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Stories on divestment: Eran Zelnik

At the May 8 ASUCD senate meeting, UC Davis history Ph.D. student and former Israeli soldier Eran Zelnik is part of the small population of Jewish-Israeli students who affiliate with the pro-divestment side. “I care about people from that region. That is my place, that is where I come from,” Zelnik said. “I want the place that I come from to exhibit justice, to be a just society.” Born and brought up in a Jewish household in Haifa, a small town in northern Israel, Zelnik said he grew up receiving a Zionist interpretation of life. Although his family was considered a typical Israeli left group, Zelnik said they were still very devoted to Zionism. Before coming to Davis, Zelnik served in the Israeli army as a tank commander on check posts and patrols from 1997 to 2000. “When I grew up, I was very intent on going to the army, I thought it was the best way to serve my country,” Zelnik said. “I really wanted to go to combat... ...

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Stories on divestment: Nitzan Bluvstein

As a born and bred Israeli, third-year psychology major Nitzan Bluvstein delivered heartfelt accounts of her experiences living in Israel. “I breathe Israeli through and through,” Bluvstein said. “I grew up in an open-minded community.” Bluvstein and her family moved to America in 2001, mainly in an attempt to distance themselves from the violence happening in their hometown. “My parents were afraid about the future of the country,” Bluvstein said. “I had a really great childhood, but at the end of the day, you live in a warzone. It’s really frustrating trying to explain that to people that can’t relate.” Some of the violence Bluvstein experienced targeted toward the Israeli people included the potential of unexpected explosions and suicide bombers. In her personal account at the senate meeting, Bluvstein described the feelings of being a small girl who couldn’t walk a short distance to school on her own due to the high risk of being hurt. “When I talk about it now in America, it sounds dramatic. But, it’s a... ...

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Stories on divestment: Reem Fatayerji

For Reem Fatayerji, a second-year international relations and economics double major, dealing with divestment on campus has been far from relaxing. “I knew that there was some type of injustice going on from when I was a little kid,” Fatayerji said. “I knew it wasn’t a religious thing, because I wasn’t raised religiously. All I knew is that I had to be careful about what I was saying, around everyone.” As a half-Palestinian, half-Lebanese student, Fatayerji said the conflict has always affected her life, more recently while on a family trip to Israel on an American cruise line in 2008. Being the only Middle-Eastern Arab people on the boat, Fatayerji and her family were not surprised when they were called for a random interview and check by the Israeli government. “They talked to my dad for two hours and looked through all stamps on my parents passports,” Fatayerji said. “They wanted to know what our intent on the cruise was. We were coming from an American cruise line, and they... ...

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Stories on divestment: Jessica Reiter

When SR #20 was presented to senate, second-year political science and international relations double major Jessica Reiter sat among her Jewish and Israeli peers, proudly representing herself as anti-divestment. Reiter is a German Irish Catholic student. Although the majority of the anti-divestment side of the conflict identified as either Jewish or Israeli, Reiter was one of the many students with strong opinions despite not having a cultural or religious connection to the matter. “The first time I saw divestment was last year, when I just joined [the External Affairs Commission] and I had never sat in any meetings before,” Reiter said. “I was really excited to see both sides of the story. But, when I saw the actual resolution, and how it was singling out one side of the campus, I did not agree.” Growing up in a U.S. military family, Reiter said her familiarity with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been more than the average student. “Israel would come up a lot at home, so it was something we talked... ...

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