Review Category : Opinion

Tuition increase

Beginning Nov. 18, the campus has once again erupted in protest. Exactly three years removed from the infamous pepper spray incident that marred the relationship between UC Davis students and administration. Most recently, the focus lies on the decision by the University of California administration to pass a proposed tuition increase over the next five years. This tuition hike is the result of a struggle between the UC Board of Regents and the California State Government. The UC Regents, led by UC President Janet Napolitano, are well aware of the state’s low funding of the UC system. Napolitano and her council, while not explicitly saying so, determined that the best option for forcing the state into action was raising tuition and creating an uproar among the UC community. For these reasons, the UC Regents have decided to stop resorting to temporary solutions and take a stance. Brown, meanwhile, established his reputation as an influential governor by making difficult choices and righting the California budget after years of mistreatment. The governor... ...

Read More →

Crafting Gemeinschaft: Do the Sambola

The issue of suicide is a sensitive topic in any situation, but it is even more so in a college environment, when the question of how much accountability administration should take is an issue at hand. However, getting administration to be more transparent about the prevalence of suicide on campus may be one of those “when pigs fly” kind of things. That’s why this isn’t a story about how administration needs to take more accountability; it’s a story about you and how you can increase the transparency around mental health issues. In college it’s easy to convince yourself that you need to focus on yourself: focus on building a resume, building a network, or even bodybuilding. You transform into a real Bob the Builder don’t you? But if you never take the time to lean into your emotions, not to mention the emotions of your peers, it’s like you’re building a temple for nobody to enjoy. One of the reasons why college is such a vulnerable time for students in... ...

Read More →

Guest opinion: Why Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) is an Environmental Issue

On Dec. 4, UC Davis graduate student instructors and undergraduate tutors will vote to join the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and call on the UC and UAW International to divest from companies complicit in the Israeli occupation of Palestine. They will join approximately 13,000 other student workers represented by UAW 2865 across the University of California system. On Saturday, Nov. 15, UC Davis’ Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) president Marcelle Obeid and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)[i] activist and worker Gabi Kirk hosted a workshop for undergraduate and graduate environmental activists as a part of the California Student Sustainability Coalition’s 2014 Convergence.[ii] Entitled “Occupation as Degradation: Environmental Issues in Palestine and BDS,” their workshop made explicit the links between environmental issues and the occupation of Palestine and gave reasons for why environmental activists ought to vote “yes” on BDS on Dec. 4. The workshop started with an historical synopsis of the relationship between environmental degradation and the occupation of Palestine, detailing the ways in which many of... ...

Read More →

Letter of solidarity to the University of California community

To the University of California community,   Today, we write to you in solidarity. As we left the Syracuse University administrative offices and our 18-day sit-in ended, yours began. We echo your cries for justice — they ring in our ears. Your struggle did not begin today; it is laden with histories of silence and violence. Ours did not end today; as we move into our next phase of activism, we are cognizant of the mountain before us. There will always be more work to do. Your bodies are your weapons and your shields. As you use them to fight for your education, please remember to love them. They will not be loved, respected, or regarded by those who try to speak over your voices. You must be louder than them. You may walk away with new scars, but do not forget that your bodies are already the sites of violence and oppression. Audre Lorde once said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an... ...

Read More →

Science is Serendipitous: The “good” part of cannabis

You might tell me that all parts of cannabis are good (while lighting up in your bathtub), but I’m going to mention a specific feature that has benefits to the scientific community. It’s not THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), but a compound called CBD (cannabidiol). Where THC has been associated with the mind-altering, “feel-good” high that users get, CBD does not produce this feeling, but rather has more useful medical benefits. Why do scientists care about cannabis? It’s not because of its use as a recreational drug, but its potential use for curing diseases. The cannabis people use for recreation is manufactured to be completely devoid of CBD, so don’t expect to cure cancer by smoking a joint. The secret lies in CBD, which can be extracted and used to treat neurological problems. Cannabis is sometimes vilified as a good-for-nothing, get-high drug, but it actually has amazing properties to benefit from. The scientific community should invest in further study of cannabis to discover all of the parts that can actually help our society.... ...

Read More →

Guest opinion: UC Davis GSA Tuition Increase Opinion

In early November, UC President Janet Napolitano announced a 5 percent per year tuition increase plan to be voted on Wednesday’s UC Regents meeting. As the Chair of the Graduate Student Association, I am writing to express our opposition to the tuition increases and highlight how tuition increases will affect UC Davis’s graduate and professional students. Graduate and professional students are a lynchpin of education and research at UC Davis, and our output is one of the foundations of excellence at our campus. We are teaching assistants, associate instructors, graduate student researchers and contributors of our education. We substantially advance the humanities, arts, sciences and engineering during our educational tenure at UC Davis and often translate those advancements into social and economic gain for the state of California. Graduate and professional students are financially supported with both tuition remissions and stipends through a wide variety of funding sources: university employment as teaching assistants, associate instructors, graduate student researchers, research grants, endowments and private sources which include student loans. These sources... ...

Read More →

(Re)Fashioning Gender: The Hairy Truth

As proven by the sudden abundance of scraggly beards and hair just long enough to pull into man buns, No-Shave November is officially in full swing. In addition to raising cancer awareness, this month-long event has another side effect. Hair – whether it’s on your head, your face, or your body – can be as much of a fashion statement as the clothes you choose to wear. On the other hand, if individuals choose to defy the gender binary and either keep or remove hair from places that it’s generally expected to be, there may be other implications that are largely related to socially constructed gender stereotypes. If women participate in No-Shave November, for example, it can become less of a fashion statement and more of a social commentary about how rigid and confining gender roles can be. The same goes for men who choose to remove hair from places like their legs, armpits, etc. The choice to go against the norm when it comes to one’s own body hair... ...

Read More →

Edumacation with Calvin and Hobbes: Teacher Appreciation Day

There is something healthy about having a crush on a teacher. For me, it was first grade, forlornly asking Ms. L why we hadn’t recited the Pledge of Allegiance. As a 6-year-old patriot, I could give less of a damn about the pledge, and more about being a good-boy for her. I love teachers. Unlike Calvin, I would hate to see them on the streets. Professional teaching comes with a plethora of responsibility, and current trends in education make it harder for teachers to do their job. This column will deal mainly with teaching at the primary and secondary education levels. It is easiest to identify the root causes of common issues teachers face at this level. Teachers complain a lot, which may help explain why I feel so akin to them. But unlike me, they have good reason. With growing class sizes, tech-driven curriculum and increasing pressure to abide by state standards, teachers find constraints in a field that can be much more creative. And beyond these societal phenomena,... ...

Read More →

Tuition Blame Game

In light of protests that took place on the UC Davis campus on Tuesday and a recent vote by a committee of the UC Regents to raise tuition for the 2015-16 school year, we feel that relations between UC administration, the California government and students need to be significantly improved. Many people blame UC administration and regents for supporting a tuition hike, and the administration then blames the California state government for not providing enough funding to the system. While the cyclical dialogue continues, the burden ultimately falls on the students, who have to pay excessive amounts of money for their education. Students should continue to peacefully protest and voice their opinions so that the effects of fee increases like these are clear. They should also try to foster open forums and communication with the UC administration. It is important that students demand proper advocacy on the regent and state government levels, and this will only be done through continued conversation and action about this issue. We await the final... ...

Read More →

Tunespoon: Haters gonna pay pay pay pay pay

If the word “twerk” resonates with you in any way, whether you view it, do it, or revile it, then I congratulate you on being a citizen of this generation. That word is charged with all sorts of connotations, often of sex, shock and racism. As a pop culture phenomenon, twerking is hard to ignore, thanks in part to the self-proclaimed morally righteous who caused an uproar, effecting waves of controversy. Exploitation of controversy has been a long-used tactic, dating back to the hypnotic pelvis of Elvis, and it’s an undeniably profitable scheme. What society labels as “pop music” isn’t about the songs (remember: music is sound, not how hot a singer is). The lifeblood of pop music is relevance. I don’t mean true relevance, like anonymous bomb threats or UC tuition increases. I mean #RELEVANCE. Bold WordArt headlines on magazines. The avoid-at-all-costs cancer called YouTube comments. To the monster called Relevance, all talk is success. To stay relevant, a pop musician has to record something new; something that is... ...

Read More →

ASUCD Elections — Why Vote?

For Fall Quarter 2014, six of the seven candidates running for Associated Students of UC Davis (ASUCD) senate will be elected. They will play a part in our student government that will, in some way or another, directly affect you during your time at UC Davis. They will communicate with higher administration, they will assist the units that you go to everyday and they will handle money that comes out of fees you pay. It is important that the people you want to see in our student government get elected; it is important to vote. Did you know that ASUCD has an annual $11.8 million operating budget? I didn’t know that until I reported on my first senate meeting for The Aggie a little over a year ago, and if I had never been a reporter, I feel that I may never have known that fact. That money goes toward funding their 30+ units, like the CoHo, Unitrans, The Pantry and more, and it is raised through $40 from students’... ...

Read More →

Science is Serendipitous: Livermore Lawrence National Lab : Innovation or destruction?

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is the pride and often controversy of the city of Livermore California and the general NorCal region. This lab has been the source of cutting-edge science, and the U.S government assigns some of its most innovative and secretive projects at this lab. A lot of people think it’s just a place to make destructive nuclear weapons, and I would respectfully disagree. It’s an institution for the American public and has a hand in benefiting all sectors of society. As part of Las Positas College in Livermore California, scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) give presentations on their work to students every semester. I had a chance to ask questions and listen to Dr. Parney Albright, the current director of the lab. The first thing I asked him was what exactly the national lab is for. Is it really to produce weapons for the nation? The answer he gave was surprising, because he pointed out that the actual mission of the lab does not... ...

Read More →

Senate Endorsements: Consider the following

Tomorrow, Nov. 18, voting will begin for the 2014 Fall Quarter ASUCD elections to determine six new ASUCD senators. The Aggie Editorial Board interviewed and evaluated each of the seven senate candidates, and, because of the small number of candidates, we chose to endorse two. In each candidate, we looked for someone who had a strong understanding of ASUCD and its workings, who had feasible, tangible platforms that would positively affect a large number of students and who displayed a strong ability to contribute and thrive in the senate environment.   We hereby endorse the following candidates, in order of our preference: 1) Roman Rivilis — Independent Rivilis, out of all the candidates, by far had the greatest knowledge and understanding of ASUCD, and we can attribute this to his constant activity and participation within the association over the past three years. His platforms – creating a program to put peer advisors in the Financial Aid office, mobilizing the Greek system to work with The Pantry by holding food drives... ...

Read More →

Tunespoon: A major crisis

Google “useless college degrees.” “Music,” along with a crappy stock photo of a confused man/woman in a graduation gown scratching his/her head in worried bewilderment, is on that list. I assure you. I have heard it so, so, so many times. From unimpressed aunts and uncles, from my sometimes unsure parents, from inexplicably shocked fellow students. It’s a tough life, and it often feels unfair that this course of study that I’m embarking upon, with every passion I have within me, pales in comparison to the science-technology-engineering-mathematics fields. It doesn’t exactly help that UC Davis is a premier research university. My music degree, in comparison to the highly-regarded STEM universe, often feels like a death sentence. I know so many people who work in labs, who study in bays and farms, who have dreams of medical school, who take internship opportunities that will lead them to prosperous days of discovery — and for a living nonetheless. And you have me, lost, not sure and maybe a little scared of the... ...

Read More →

(Re)Fashioning Gender: School Dress Code

When I was in eighth grade, I got sent to the office in the middle of geometry class because of the skirt I was wearing. Really. That’s it. A skirt. It wasn’t even a particularly offensive skirt. It didn’t have any images of weapons or defamatory slogans on it. It was just a plain old denim skirt. It was tacky maybe, but definitely not offensive. So why, you ask, would anyone send such a respectful student like myself to the office for such a harmless offense? Well, the answer is the school dress code. Ah, the school dress code. The term brings back vivid memories of casual shirts tucked haphazardly into pants and sneakers worn with virtually every type of outfit imaginable because other kinds of shoes simply were not allowed at my public school. I remember telling myself in the eighth grade, at least I was no longer subjected to those hideous brown, yellow and green uniforms that my old private school required. This was comforting knowledge, but I... ...

Read More →