Review Category : Opinion

Closed senate, no transparency

By the Editorial Board   Within the past two weeks, ASUCD Senate has held two closed sessions that were not open to the public to discuss various issues on the UC Davis campus. As senate has previously only held four closed sessions since the start of Fall Quarter 2013, it is a surprise and concern that two have been held in the last two weeks. The first closed session was held on Oct. 16 to give senate time to discuss information regarding Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA). It was called in the middle of the senate meeting, which is regularly held on Thursday nights. The second closed session was the week after, on Oct. 23, to adjust the Whole Earth Festival (WEF) budget. During this meeting, $20,000 was taken out of the WEF budget; however, the reasons for this decision are not clear to the public. While we understand that holding these sessions to discuss matters without interruptions could be more efficient in solving problems, holding two closed sessions seems unnecessary. This... ...

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Guest Opinion: Policing Palestine on Campus

In September, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) sent an email to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. The ADL is an avowedly Zionist lobbying organization with a long history of attempting to silence criticism of the Israeli state, usually via specious claims of anti-Semitism. They have also spied on Arab American activists in the Bay Area. This particular letter, which we can assume from its contents was sent to other campuses, recommended the heightened monitoring of specific groups organizing on campus. These included American Muslims for Palestine, as well as anyone involved with calls for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” in response to Israel’s state policies of occupation and apartheid in Palestine, and its ongoing blockade and siege of Gaza. Paying risible lip service to free speech, the letter further suggests strategies for policing these students. Its full text is available here. One cannot be surprised when lobbyists lobby. We could easily imagine the John Birch Society sending a similar letter in 1961 suggesting that schools monitor and police members of the Student Nonviolent... ...

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(Re)Fashioning Gender: I’m a cat, duh

Written By CHELSEA SPILLER   It’s almost Halloween! You know what that means: It’s the one time of the year when you get to be anything or anyone you want. Unless you’re a girl. Then, according to most of the costumes available, you can be a sexy anything or anyone you want. Yay! I guess. OK, I’ll be honest — I’m kind of conflicted. In my experience, Halloween costumes made for women are essentially just sexualized versions of men’s costumes. While I think it’s problematic to say that revealing Halloween costumes are a negative thing, because that could imply an urge to censor women’s bodies, I do know that it’s nearly impossible to find a woman’s costume that doesn’t have the word “sexy” in front of it. But with men’s costumes, the opposite is true. This double standard, in my opinion, is where the issue lies. On one hand, it’s kind of fun and empowering to dress up and look, well, hot. Maybe that’s just my narcissism talking, but who cares?... ...

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Edumacation with Calvin and Hobbes: Big picture boy

Written By ELI FLESCH Watterson, Bill. Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat: A Calvin and Hobbes Collection. Kansas City: Andrews and McMeel, 1994. Print. In today’s society, the value of a college education has greatly increased. Recent trends in the structure of the job market have created a greater need for highly skilled workers. Students seem well aware that how they perform in college will play into their future careers, and they treat it as such. They go to great lengths to build flawless resumes and treat college as a sort of pre-professional endeavor. While this seems a natural response to an ultra-competitive society, it remains to be a surprisingly short-sighted way of treating college. One of the reasons I love Calvin is because he’s a big picture man. In the column above, he shows Ms. Wormwood that integers are but trifles in the grand scheme of things. Of course, his attitude is a little fatalistic — perhaps he’s too big picture. But that’s the joke. His attitude does help put education into... ...

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Tunespoon: Like unwanted milk

On Sept. 9, 2014, the global rock icons of U2 changed the rock world forever. It was during Apple’s annual keynote presentation, which most people were watching for the iPhone 6 reveal. Luckily, everyone got a little something extra; U2’s brand new album released not on the iTunes store, but straight to every iTunes customer’s library. “Now that’s instant gratification!” U2 frontman Bono laughed, shaking Apple CEO Tim Cook’s left hand. Songs of Innocence is a revolutionary album release, the most groundbreaking music-to-person event in history. News outlets went wild; one overly excited headline read, “Did U2 just out-Beyoncé Beyoncé?” referring to her highly surprising, highly successful iTunes Store album launch. The answer is a firm, definite “No.” I have nothing against U2, and I also have nothing for them. They’re one of the most successful (and wealthy) bands of all time, and even if you don’t listen to them you probably know who they are (though their relevance is starting to dwindle in Generation Y). Their brand of inoffensive... ...

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Science is serendipitous: Profit or pleasure?

“When I grow up, I want to discover a cure for cancer.” As a child, I’ve always dreamed about what I would want to accomplish as an adult. Many of you science majors also grew up with the same dream to “cure” or help someone or something. We’ve all thought about it, and mostly our goals are still the same — although now in a more specialized field. As UC students, we have ambitions to apply what we learn here into a real field and pay off our ridiculous student loans with income from a good job. The real struggle is finding an industry to start our post-college lives with. You have some choices: working for the for-profit private sector, or for non-profit public institutions. I believe any scientist should have the freedom to pursue his or her interests without the pressure to make money, like many for-profit corporations want. My interest in science arose from my own personal experience with disease. Once getting the diagnosis, I never thought to... ...

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Guest Opinion: Can freedom of speech and inclusivity get along?

Earlier this year in May, an associate professor of feminist studies at UC Santa Barbara removed anti-abortion signs from protesters, took them to her office and destroyed them. According to an article in the Santa Barbara Independent, she said she was “triggered” and offended by the imagery on the posters and felt that the protestors had no right to be there. Earlier this month, in Montclair State University in New Jersey, a pro-Palestinian student organization passed out pamphlets but was fined because of a complaint and told they were not allowed to take political stances. This decision was reversed later. In June, a student at University of Oregon was charged with conduct violations, including harassment, when she shouted, “I hit it first!” out of a window in her dorm. In April, students tried putting up a Free Speech wall at Loyola University Chicago, but were told it had to be censored due to offensive material or material that went against the university’s principles. This month, UC Berkeley will celebrate its... ...

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Crafting Gemeinschaft: The Hunt for the perfect mating market (and more)

I did not choose to live in Davis. I chose to go to the University of California, Davis. There is a difference. I was making my choice solely based off of an institution and I did not take into consideration other factors such as number of farmers markets or proximity to the beach. I did not even visit Davis before accepting my admittance, which I guess reflects some level of apathy considering that I would be here for the next four years. But after being here for two years, I can say that I fully appreciate the beauty of Davis — for its bike culture, its support of freeform radio and small college-town charm. In two years, when I graduate, I plan on putting a little bit more thought into where I move since I do not want to rely on luck and things just working out again. The idea of staying in Davis seems unattractive to me just because I do not think I will be able to find... ...

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Edumacation with Calvin and Hobbes: Testing Bad

Through policy and culture, the way we test students in the United States has begun to show that we do not assess students on knowledge and understanding as much as we do on memory. The consequences are both economic and personal and relate to problems concerning critical thinking. In the strip above, Calvin demonstrates the predicament. He finds fault in the “system” and the way it values information. Many students would relate to his caustic sarcasm. To understand the problem of testing, we should understand its function. One part serves to gauge how much a student has learned. The other part allows for categorization — testing is an effective tool with which we can compile rankings, establish grade-point averages and help get a visual standing of a student’s academic progress. These are fair reasons to test. Nevertheless, testing has its limits, especially in the job market. In a recent New York Times article, Kevin Carey explains two studies conducted by sociologists Richard Arum and Josipa Roska. The first, “Academically Adrift,”... ...

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Tunespoon: The devil’s pitchfork

Music criticism ruined music for me. When I was younger I sought the best music out there. Google led me to Pitchfork.com, which offered its bright, shiny opinions. I trusted them. As uncomfortable as Animal Collective’s obnoxious yelps and screams made me, Pitchfork told me that this was the best new thing to happen to music at the time. My opinion assimilated to theirs. I listened to pop through their cynical headphones. “Fireflies” by Owl City? Psh, that’s a cliched, emasculated moan of a Postal Service rip-off (I was in sixth grade). I looked back at my old playlists. KT Tunstall? Norah Jones? No, not anymore. I was a new kind of music consumer — a smart one, getting the most value for my allowance dollar — and my impressionable brain would only seek out the best. However, I soon found out that music criticism’s criteria of best and worst are subjective. One of the most unbearably written and produced records I’ve ever heard, How to Dress Well’s Love Remains,... ...

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(Re)Fashioning Gender: The Beauty/Gender Myth

Pick up any fashion magazine, and you’re bound to be presented with page upon page of perfect-looking humans flaunting the latest trends. In many advertisements, you may find yourself faced with a very particular type of image (i.e. white, thin, young and beautiful), and the clothing that’s being advertised seems to be only secondary to the narrow sets of beauty standards that are promoted. While it’s easy to skim past these images without giving them a second thought, it’s important to be aware and critical of the images that we’re exposed to day after day. Whether we’re skimming through a magazine, watching television or simply driving past a bus stop, beauty myths become normalized every time we are exposed to them. Advertisements perpetuating an ideal type of beauty have been around for decades. These images, which are virtually everywhere, are bound to have some effect on our psyches, whether we’re conscious of it or not. In fact, studies have shown that advertisements, which are quick and to the point, have... ...

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Crafting Gemeinschaft: Making stranger danger obsolete

What if I told you to hop into a random stranger’s car and take a drive to Washington so you could see all of your favorite bands play while overlooking the Columbia River? What if I told you to spend the night in a stranger’s extra room so you can enjoy the city while saving enough money to actually eat? See, this would sound pretty strange 10 years ago, but today it’s all becoming more normal. Social institutions that have been around forever like car dependency and hotels are being challenged by social media, and I think it is great. I just think it’s ironic that we are willing to take risks in certain aspects of our lives, such as sleeping in near proximity to strangers and trusting their driving skills, when we remain so distrustful in other aspects. Hotels are facing competition from the website Airbnb, where individuals can offer up a room in their home to strangers who might be looking for something more comfortable and cheaper than... ...

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Science is Serendipitous: University behind Costco

“Let there be light” When you see the logo of any University of California, you always see that phrase, “Let there be light.” The phrase lets the world know exactly what the purpose of the UC is — to shine a light on what’s possible in the world of education and research. In the midst of cutthroat private universities, we should be proud to know that UC is a world-class public research institution, dedicated to the needs of California and the world. I myself am marveled by the research, both scientific and general, that comes out of the system of schools under the UC umbrella. Being a UC Davis student and a science major, you might expect me to get my drive for research from what the UC system has done, but that’s not true. I had the opportunity to conduct real research at the community college level, something I did not think was possible before I did it. I would love to see community college students all over California... ...

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Guest Column: UC Student Regent Welcome

As classes resume and we return to campus, reminders of the diversity of our student body are all around us. Some students have arrived freshly inspired by the beauty and culture of foreign countries, and some emerge from the depths of backbreaking jobs and seemingly endless hours of internships; still others sit in the very same classrooms they frequented during long days of summer school, while some just soaked in the sun and enjoyed the peaceful bliss of doing absolutely nothing.   But while many of its students wandered far from their campuses during the summer months, the wheels of activity continue to turn at the University of California. The governing body of the University, the Board of Regents, continued to hold its bi-monthly meetings at the University of California San Francisco. And in July, we were privileged to take our seats at the table as Student Regent Saifuddin and Student Regent-designate Oved. Allow us to introduce ourselves. The UC Board of Regents can be a distant, removed body of... ...

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Tunespoon: The good old days

If you subscribe to the notion that “music was so much better back then,” then I really don’t blame you. I too have seen a hilariously fallacious comparison between legendary ’60s pop masterpiece “God Only Knows” to Nicki Minaj’s throwaway promo “Stupid Hoe.” So, perhaps the only solution to the dearth of substantial music is a steady diet of Bob Dylan, Beach Boys and The Beatles.   But, I have to confess, I’m not a Beatles fan. They’ve made an indelible mark on the industry, and on many peoples’ lives. I am not one of them. So just because someone grew up with a rotary phone doesn’t mean that they should happily hand over their smartphone for “the good old days.” The times, they are a-changin’.   A discontent Esquire Magazine list aptly titled “Eight Reasons Why Old Music Is Better Than New Music” exemplifies the aggressive stubbornness of its faulty logic. Some items on the list simply are not true, such as the claim that there are “more artists... ...

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