Review Category : Features

Eligible Phi Beta Kappa initiates pass opportunity

UC Davis students get a lot of emails, and sometimes an opportunity can get lost in the shuffle. As it turns out, not all mail from faculty members is meant for the masses. Some, like an invitation to join Phi Beta Kappa (PBK), is only sent out to a select few. And to those that are eligible, it might benefit them to keep an eye out for it. PBK is the United States’ oldest honor society and is considered the most prestigious, dating back almost as far as the founding of the country in the late 18th century. It recognizes outstanding academic success in multiple fields of study. UC Davis contributes its fair share of students to the society every year: 140 on average according to the secretary of the Davis chapter, religious studies professor Naomi Janowitz. Several students this year are being elected to the society at a ceremony taking place on May 7, but a good number of eligible students won’t be showing up. “One of the things... ...

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Custodial Services members share experiences at UC Davis

Whether it be during the daily bustle or dwindling nighttime, 183 custodians work to ensure that both cleanliness and safety are continuously maintained throughout the entire UC Davis campus. From classrooms and lecture halls to laboratories and offices, the daily experience of custodians drastically differs based upon their stationed location. “Every day is different for custodians depending on where they work,” said Remedios Sarabias, principal supervisor of Custodial Services. Each custodian is stationed at one of the nine different cores on campus, and according to Sarabias, the average custodian has worked in his or her core for anywhere from five to 10 years, some staying in the same building for nearly 20. Along with Sarabias, Bill Rumley, the director of Custodial Services, pointed out the perseverance and steadfast dedication that custodians demonstrate on a daily basis. “They are really good, hardworking people and it’s much more than just vacuuming and cleaning,” Rumley said. “The custodians make the environment friendly and they are a central part of this campus.” Walking into... ...

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Coffee Tour of Davis

For anyone familiar with 7:30 a.m. classes, all nighters and lounging for hours on end in a cafe with a laptop, solace can be found in a steaming, iced or blended cup of joe. Thankfully, Davis provides a number of locations to get that necessary caffeine fix. Instead of spending time and money figuring out what coffee shop is right for you, we did the heavy lifting and compiled a definitive list of the best coffee in town — there is so much more to life than Starbucks. The cafes and coffee shops chosen in our review were within one mile of campus. We would also like to stress that different audiences want different experiences out of their daily cup. As a result, the locations were judged on a variety of categories including price, ambiance, location, speed and the overall taste and quality of black coffee to-go. Cloud Forest Cafe Price of a small coffee: $1.85 Coffee hotness: “Just” hot Variety: Medium Speed: Self-serve for black coffee Crowd: Quiet, people... ...

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UC Davis students, Davis community sponsor Chile neighborhood ravaged by fire

Over a dozen people died and thousands were forced to relocate after a massive overnight fire broke out in the Chilean city of Valparaiso on April 12. One of the neighborhoods affected was Cerro Merced, where current Davis resident Jorge Loyola’s childhood home burned down. “My daughter is living in Chile now. She called me saying that a fire started. A couple hours later the fire got bigger,” Loyola said. “Four hours later, it was in my neighborhood. Five hours later and my neighborhood was gone.” Loyola said he contacted the UC Davis Chilean Student Association and the Chilean Cultural Association of Davis, asking them to assist that neighborhood where his sister and niece still currently live. The associations are now working together to raise money for Cerro Merced residents, focusing their efforts on just a few families. “[We’re] trying to raise some money to help the neighbors,” Loyola said. “My family has me to help them, but my neighbors have no one.” According to viticulture and enology Ph.D. student... ...

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UC Davis TAs break down reasons behind strikes

Dissatisfied, UC Davis teaching assistants (TAs) congregated near the corner of Russell Boulevard and Howard Way on April 3 to protest ongoing labor practices that the University of California (UC) system has yet to address. Since June 2013, the members of the UC Student Workers Union (UAW 2865) have been bargaining with the UC over topics including, but not limited to, various intimidation tactics used by the University, larger classroom sizes and the limited number of quarters a graduate student is allowed to work as a TA. “We struck in order to tell the University that they should not commit unfair labor practices, specifically when dealing with the unions,” said UAW 2865 UC Davis current unit chair Marco Rosales. “The University has been committing a few illegal practices such as intimidation, and we’re trying to express to the University that we’re not going to take that anymore.” The strike took place on several UC campuses, and according to Rosales, various intimidation practices were used against the protestors during the strikes... ...

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Words Take Wing brings 1,200 kids to Freeborn Hall

For the last 10 years, Words Take Wing, an organization affiliated with the UC Davis School of Education, has been committed to bringing in a diverse range of children’s book authors and illustrators to its annual event at Freeborn Hall. The group’s yearly event is primarily geared toward children, who are able to attend for free, in the hopes that they will be encouraged to read and write more. “By engaging with the author and his or her books, children develop empathy for a variety of perspectives. From this, I believe that students become potential agents of change as they grow in their knowledge of diverse cultures,” said Joanne Banducci, founder of the event. “Additionally, each child gains insight into the power of written, spoken and illustrated ideas that express the unique voice of the individual.” The organization makes an effort to bring in ethnically diverse authors, hoping to resonate with children who may be the same ethnicity and to open other children to different viewpoints. “For kids of color... ...

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Changes to be expected for comprehensive Health Sciences Advising Center

In March, a forum was held between administration and students to discuss and clarify coming changes concerning Health Sciences Advising (HSA) on campus. Under the proposed changes, HSA would serve as its own entity separate from any specific college, with its own program director still yet to be hired. The forum was one of many to come, held to inform and receive feedback from students concerning the decision-making and progress of the Health Advising Center. The changes will be made through a collaborative effort between Student Affairs and the College of Biological Sciences (CBS), and Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Adela de la Torre and Dean of CBS James E.K. Hildreth — two of the the main faculty members spearheading this cooperative process. According to Hildreth, his position as Dean of CBS, where an estimated 60 percent of incoming students are pre-health, has made it a mission of his to create an independent Health Advising Center. This, along with the pre-health experience of de la Torre, director of the Center... ...

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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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