Review Category : Opinion

Editorial: Intercollegiate Athletics – Clear as mud

In March 2003, former UC Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef announced that UC Davis would shift its athletics program from Division II to Division I. This move, which has been funded by student fees, was initiated by the passing of the Campus Expansion Initiative (CEI) in November 2002. The CEI “put the students on record as supporting an increase in student fees to help fund the move to Division I and the Big West Conference.” It has been six years since UC Davis entered into “the big leagues” of college athletics and received full Division I certification by the NCAA. Instead of reaping the rewards of a successful move to Division I, the University has struggled to adapt and has been unwilling to follow the guiding principles of the move. These principles state: “UC Davis cannot reduce its broad-based program, but rather must seek to add sports” and “There can be no ‘tiering’ among UC Davis sports,” as well as a few other requirements. To many students and affiliates of the... ...

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The Maturing Moviegoer: Breakfast Club Wisdom

I could not write a column on coming of age in film if I did not make reference to The Breakfast Club, the famous 1985 John Hughes comedy-drama. That would be harder than criticizing Donald Trump and not mentioning his terrible hairdo. Such an omission would ignore the fact that this film has resonated with many young adults and has become a symbol of what it means to grow up in a society that stereotypes and categorizes. Last quarter, I was fortunate enough to find myself in Psychology 1 with over 500 other undergraduates. I loved the class because it helped me judge people in ways I never thought possible. I love judging people. I also found myself with a masterful, new, more whole and more insightful view of the way people work. Now, upon reading that last sentence, I’m willing to bet my two cents that you categorized me as one of those pretentious assholes who thinks they know everything about the world after one psych class. We make... ...

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Editorial: Graduation gown change – Now we’re feeling blue

Starting Spring Quarter 2014, graduating students of UC Davis will no longer wear the traditional black cap and gown for commencement. Students will have to rent a blue gown with gold piping with the addition of the UC Davis emblem on it. The new gowns are made out of 100 percent recycled fabric, and this is the first time Herff Jones, the company that sells graduation materials, will offer sustainable graduation materials — meaning the way they’re laundered and what they are made of are better for the environment. Last year, the rental price was $42. This year the price is $52. This price is still among the higher graduation costs of the UCs, and Davis students don’t get to keep their gowns. For example, UCLA’s price for a black cap, gown and tassel is $37. UC Irvine’s is $58 for the same items — except their students don’t have to return their purchase. According to UC Davis Stores Director Jason Lorgan, the reason the price has increased is due... ...

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Guest Opinion: The Environment Club … more of a social club?

As a transfer student to UC Davis I was unsure of what to expect of the environmental movement here on campus. Unsure of where to look for campus environmentalists, I was sure the Environment Club was a good place to start. However, it was CALPIRG that really snatched me in off the street and got me excited about their “Million Clean Cars Campaign,” which has received a lot of attention from Gov. Jerry Brown as well as other campaigns such as their campaign against “Citizens United.” This important Supreme Court decision has allowed unprecedented amounts of corporate monetary contributions to enter our political system, undermining public and environmental protection efforts. The CALPIRG “Anti-fracking” campaign is part of the brand new UC Davis Chapter of the Students Against Fracking, a statewide coalition with the California Student Sustainability Coalition (CSSC), joining student organizations statewide in support of a moratorium on fracking in California. Many cities, such as San Francisco and L.A. have said no to fracking, which pollutes groundwater and our oceans... ...

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Guest Opinion: For your consideration

It’s usually the same plot: a good-for-nothing rookie is paired with an experienced but reckless renegade to solve a seemingly impossible case to prove to the chief of police that they are, in fact, worthy of their badges. Throughout their case, a handful of screw-ups, a slew of ungentlemanly vocabulary and the jerk on the force trying to cause all kinds of trouble make for a great adventure that ends all too predictably. Along the way, we laugh at the excessive number of exaggerated police stereotypes (some cops like bagels instead, you know) and we celebrate when the perpetrator is caught. We hail the valiant efforts of the unlikely duo and quickly forget that a day in the life of a police officer is not nearly as glamorous as the comedy kings in Hollywood seem to portray it. And let’s not forget about the Oscar-worthy triumphs that uplift spirits and momentarily become everybody’s favorite movies. Trigger-happy law enforcers who seem all too eager to silence criminals. Stone-faced men in blue... ...

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Modern Bey Feminism: Beyonce Knowles Best

Let me set the scene. It’s Friday night and you’re out with your ladies. You’re wondering if it was worth pausing Netflix, getting out of bed and putting on makeup to go pay for alcohol at a bar with mediocrely attractive people. But then, everything changes. “Drunk In Love” comes on, and suddenly you know that this is going to be the best night ever. Why? Because Beyoncé. After making a name for herself as the lead singer of Destiny’s Child in the late 90s and early 2000s, Beyoncé went on to build a successful solo career with her first album, Dangerously in Love. Fast-forward 11 years and Beyoncé is more relevant than ever. She has emerged as a symbol of femininity, sexuality and success, while embracing the idea of being a strong independent woman and feminist. But with this success also comes some heavy criticism. As young women navigate the media on a search for a strong female role model, many question the validity of Beyoncé’s brand of feminism.... ...

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Co-op Bonanza: Beyond the Fridge

How do I even start to talk about where I live? The beginning, yes, but the self-conscious freshman that started hanging out at the co-ops doesn’t quite understand the importance of the whole matter. And starting in the middle is asking for a whole lot of “this is cool and this and this and oh yeah that…” so the beginning it is. I discovered cooperative communities through the on-campus Tri-Cooperatives during the winter quarter of my freshman year. After one dinner and one garden party, I was so hooked that I now find myself in the middle of that cooperative, garden-crusted, compost-making space as a resident, not a visitor. Though I’ve been living there for two quarters now, I know I still have a lot to learn. So that’s what this column is for — I’m hoping to take you on this adventure with me. I aim to delve into all the aspects of the cooperative community that, over the course of the last year, I’ve just accepted and ran... ...

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Breaking Norms: Table Manners

The definition of ‘social norms’ was reiterated to me recently in my psychology class — they are “expected standards of conduct in a society that drive members’ social behavior.” The way I see it, social norms are just begging to be broken. I mean, why do random rules of social conduct even exist and who put them into effect? Was it some sort of collective team effort, devised by a kind of mainstream coalition? Or do social norms come to exist simply out of popularity of performance? One intriguing social norm concerns table manners. There are so many rules around how to conduct yourself at the table, so I thought I’d break a few to see how people would respond. It’s noteworthy to mention that I’m a freshman, so eating at the DC is a daily occurrence and also is the perfect place to break social norms. I spotted two guys sitting together at a table in the Cuarto DC. They were immersed in a conversation and I approached their... ...

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Column: Spring Fake

It all started when my mom wanted to find out about Oahu’s Farmer’s Market. My family was headed to the islands for spring break and, in accordance with our predisposition to non-normative travel, wanted to experience more local aspects of the islands that weren’t purely manufactured for the tourism industry. To my unpleasant surprise, I found that if you plug “Oahu” into the Google Machine, you find out it’s the most populous island, #1 Hawaiian tourist destination, “a tourism and shopping haven” (Wikipedia), “The most developed of the Hawaiian islands” (Lonely Planet) and “home to the only real metropolitan area in all the Hawaiian Islands” (WikiTravel) — all of which I read as “hella colonialized.” For a little bit of context, colonialism is “a political-economic phenomenon whereby various European nations explored, conquered, settled, and exploited large areas of the world” (Encyclopedia Britannica). In Hawaii, this occurrence could be pinpointed around 1893, when the United States violently overthrew the Queen of Hawaii and put their own government into place. Since then,... ...

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The Maturing Moviegoer: Sex and “The Virgin Suicides”

I love movies. They reveal, they entertain and they stimulate us in ways both conscious and subconscious. I love stories. They put flesh on bone. There is no way to illustrate a theme better than a story. So what do we have here? We have great films. We have stories. And we have the themes that shape those stories. Films. Stories. Themes. Let’s add one more ingredient to the mix before you get back to staring aimlessly at your phone. Coming of age. Everybody says that it’s harder now growing up than it ever was. Certainly there are components of our culture that former generations couldn’t even dream of growing up with (twerking). But what generation hasn’t experienced this? We are blossoming sprouts, coming into our adult lives whether we like it or not. We are also crash test dummies for new challenges along the way. Sounds fun. Movies provide the perfect venue for trying to understand what we are going through. After all, if movies weren’t relatable on some... ...

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Sustainable Agriculture: Food Solutions

If you gaze into the depths of the food system too long, you might begin feeling dizzy. It can make a person uneasy to learn about and recognize the inequality and privilege related to the ways we get (or are unable to get) our food. While the maze-like relationships between all the actors within the food system usually serve to confuse, disenchant or even perturb us, they also offer opportunity. Untangling this mess requires innovative and creative ideas that address the root cause of problems. One opportunity we have is to learn how to grow food, again. Only 100 years ago, 90 percent of folks in the U.S. farmed. Only four generations later, and less than 2 percent of us do. Such a shift has essentially eliminated the knowledge and connection we have with our food. Cultivation is an activity that can bring us back to not only our own roots, but to humanity’s roots. Cultivation, the act of caring for the land, can reveal more than just knowledge of... ...

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Guest Opinion: Health Care Open Enrollment is Closing

Purchasing health insurance is essential to make sure that you are prepared for any worst case medical situations, and by law every American is now required to get covered. If left uncovered in the case of a serious medical emergency, you could be saddled with staggering medical bills. If you are without insurance, you have until March 31 to find and sign up for a plan. While this might sound like a daunting task, it is essential that you get covered and it is easier than you might think. Remember that if you are on your parent’s health insurance plan you can stay on it until you are 26, and if not you can still enroll in the Davis SHIP plan if you are a registered UC Davis student. But if you are graduating and can’t stay on your parent’s insurance, or otherwise find yourself without insurance, there are a lot of questions you probably have about the next step. Here are some key tips for finding affordable health insurance:... ...

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Letter from the Editor

Twelve months ago, former Editor in Chief Janelle Bitker published a Letter from the Editor that began with: “There will be no issue of The California Aggie outside your lecture the first day of spring quarter. Or the next day. Or the next day.” I never thought I’d be saying the same thing. The California Aggie is suspending its print edition and staff pay for Spring Quarter. As of today, everyone who works for The Aggie is a volunteer for a digital newspaper. We’ll still be publishing news online and updating our social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) as if we had a printed edition of our paper. Yes, the fee referendum passed — thanks to you. Yes, after a couple of weeks, the Office of the President finally has the Vice Chancellor and Chancellor-approved referendum. But guess what: Spring Quarter tuition and fees have already been issued. In the language of the bill, it is explicitly stated that the funds would have come into play in the spring. The Aggie... ...

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Guest Opinion: An Incident of Hate

Linda P.B. Katehi recently mentioned via email that she would like to hear about hate crimes occurring on our campus. To stop further hate crimes, I demand that she disband police patrols, stop student surveillance and fire Officer S.R. Terry. The following occurred Thursday, March 6 between 7:15 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Orchard Park Road. I heard shouting outside on the street. I went outside and saw two police cars and a police bicycle; five cops total. A Hispanic male student (whom we shall refer to as “C”) was being held in front of the nearest car with two police officers trying to question him. He was not cooperating and was shouting that his rights were being violated. He was demanding to speak to a lawyer, shouting for help. I later found out that he and his companion had been stopped because they were smoking Swisher Sweets, and Officer S.R. Terry allegedly smelled marijuana. Though even after a thorough search of both victims and the premises, it was not... ...

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Literary Lessons: Stimulating Reading

There are lots of ways of understanding the universe. I always see Life & Style magazines everywhere, and I realize that those are pictures of how I am supposed to comprehend life. I make this hypothesis based on supply and demand. American society will be given the type of philosophy it craves, much in the same way a mother might feed her developing preschooler boxed macaroni and cheese, Doritos, and ice cream every night. Clearly, these glossy pages of gossip are how people want to think about humanity, and they are so provided. However, for the sake of everything that isn’t social media and supermodels, I would like to propose an alternative. I proposition that we understand the universe not in the way that only satisfies our simulation-hungary id. I suggest a thing called reading. I can watch Girls and get a solid look at bourgeois, white, indie kids who live in New York City. I receive this with a grain of nudity, well-placed clothing shout-outs and background music. Then... ...

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