Review Category : Opinion

The Aggie Editorial Board weighs in on its favorite Davis study spots

It’s that time of the quarter. As finals loom, many of us are still struggling to find that perfect study space. In keeping with our mission of “serving” the campus, we have compiled our favorite spots to study on and off campus. You’re welcome. __ Alissa — Managing Editor: My favorite place to study is in the Student Community Center (SCC). Located just hop, skip and jump away from the eternally busy Silo and overly quiet Shields Library, I feel like the SCC is the perfect, balanced place to delve into my studies. If I can snag one of those armchairs with the desk on the main floor, I’m in my happy place. This spot also has the South CoHo attached, so my caffeine fix is within reach. The SCC is also in between the Silo and the MU so food is easily accessible. There is a TV – usually on silent – so you can take a breather and watch some Food Network or Supernatural. Because it’s not a... ...

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(Re)Fashioning gender: The art of androgyny

In the past few years, there has been an influx of clothing that caters to folks who wish to defy the gender binary.  More than ever, runways are being overtaken by collections inspired by androgynous and gender-bending apparel. At the same time, there have been loads of start-ups, both online and off, which feature similar fashions. It’s impossible to say exactly why androgyny has become so prevalent – have people become more aware and accepting of the idea that gender does not strictly exist inside of a binary? Have those who are frustrated with the mainstream perception of gender become more active in the fashion industry? Or, is it simply an increase in both areas?  Whatever the reason, genderless fashion is making big waves, which is an inevitable step towards broadening common ideas about gender identity. It’s easy to see that androgyny has become extremely popular in recent high-fashion.  Designer Vivienne Westwood, for example, created a collection for Autumn/Winter ‘14 that was largely inspired by Androgyny Queen (patent pending) Tilda... ...

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Tunespoon: So this is Xmas

Jingle bells, silver bells, it’s beginning to look a lot like a one-horse open sleigh ride together with you my heart, but the very next day, you are sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he is come, let Earth receive her presents underneath the Christmas tree, O Christmas we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year! Your broken bones from Black Friday are slowly healing, meaning that the holiday season is nigh. That also means that you’ve heard one of the above lyrics by now, crooned by the creamy-smooth voice of a ’50s legend or pop-ified by a fledgling starlet. The reach of Christmas-themed music is inevitable and basically omnipresent, and whether you revel in its cozy hot cocoa warmth or deflect it with bitter bah-humbug cynicism, there is no denying that ‘tis the season to make some sweet Christmas bank. No occasion, no matter how sacred (perhaps literally so, in this case) is safe from the talon-sharp clutches of industry. The Christmas season is a magical... ...

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Edumacation with Calvin and Hobbes: Calvin’s Tuition

About two weeks ago, the UC Board of Regents decided in a 7-2 vote to increase tuition across the University of California (UC) system. This vote marked a showdown between the UC and state legislature. The tuition raise is a threat to the legislature: increase state funding of UCs or we will put the burden on our students. It’s a “live through recess” way of treating the student. The issue of funding is central to any discussion concerning higher education. Money may as well be synonymous with practicality. Many of the ideas which I have proposed in past columns could only hope to be achieved through a greater investment in education. But today, we find ourselves in a situation where money is being used to simply keep our current, ailing system afloat, rather than make substantial improvements. If unremedied, this tuition raise will prevent many potential students from enrolling in the UC system. It will propagate a contemporary trend of increasing inequality that has defined the United States. Still, the... ...

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Exploring Shields

With finals week right around the corner, the weary students of UC Davis have been seen flocking to Shields Library to get their study on. Amidst stacks of literary anthologies, piles of highlighter-soaked biochemistry notes and iPhones filled with photos of lectures slides that no one bothered to handwrite, some students will drown in the library’s sea of last-minute crammers. Others will emerge from the Shields’ automatic doors having fully embraced this study space. After extensive observation, we have come to the conclusion that there are five types of Shields Library patrons. Some are rarer than others, but all can be spotted gathering amid this literary habitat during these “testing” times. Here are the types of patrons we have noted:   The Curve-Setters: Clad with full coffee mugs, fully-charged laptops and occasionally, a change of clothes, these study-savvy patrons can be seen claiming full tables on the Lower Level and glued to desks littered with flashcards in the Main Reading Room. Curve-Setters are notorious for spending hours on end in the... ...

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Crafting Gemeinschaft: There’s beauty in the breakdown

Protesting as a means of expressing discontent is a recurring theme recently, as it has been the response to both the proposals for UC tuition increases and the ruling in the Ferguson case. Then there are the people protesting about workers having to work at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. On top of protests on Black Friday about unfair treatment of minimum wage employees, there were the protesters calling out the shoppers who prioritized discounts on vacuums over recent racial injustices, using the terms #BlackLivesMatter and #BlackoutBlackFriday in relationship to the ruling on the Ferguson case. I am curious to see how much surface area of the world would be covered if you highlighted all of the places where people were protesting. Some of the pictures of the protesting look pretty apocalyptic too, like a scene out of War of the Worlds. We aren’t even under alien attack, unless you count a flawed judicial system, militant police officers and economic inequality as extraterrestrial. In all of this chaos it’s common for... ...

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Science is Serendipitous: What would you research?

Did you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday break? I know I did, which is why this column will be shorter than my previous ones. My main point throughout my writing has been to show you, the reader, how science can make a positive impact in society. Scientists spend their lives researching things ranging from stem cell cancer research to making a Mountain Dew drink that taste like Doritos (it’s actually real and called Dewritos). No matter how small or big, or how expensive or costless — someone always wants to conduct research. My question to the readers is this: What would you research? We are part of what some might call the “ivory tower” schools. The university is in fact a public research institution, whose purpose is to produce the next generation of thinkers who solve our state’s, nation’s and ultimately the world’s questions. As students, we may not have the privilege of being in our own research lab 24 hours a day, but we are encouraged to answer the burning... ...

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Guest Opinion: “Biting the bullet”

During class today, a professor inquired about our involvement in the student protests. Her sly smile revealed optimism and pride stemming from her past involvement in political movements. A few students raised their hands, radiating immense feelings of gratification. However, one student raised his hand to disclose his opinion about the protests. “Hasn’t the tuition already gone up?” he asked, insinuating that there was a lack of purpose to the protests. Immediately I realized that many students are missing the point of these public demonstrations. The cost of a bachelor’s degree goes far beyond that of a quarterly tuition. Instead, an education will also cost you the high price of your time, your soul and your sanity. We students willingly sacrifice ourselves for a degree, a vast testament to our dedication to education. Now, this very dedication is used as collateral. Our degrees are held ransom by the university, unless we are prepared to pay the price. Some of the students have already invested years toward their degrees, so it... ...

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#blacklivesmatter

This Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, St. Louis Prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced in a press conference that Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, would not be indicted for his actions. Rather than taking the case directly to a trial court to press charges, McCulloch brought the issue before a Missouri state grand jury—an unusual and seemingly unnecessary choice in the midst of the tragic death of an unarmed victim. The use of this grand jury (comprised of nine white and three black jurors) ultimately led to Wilson’s release under the decision that the officer was legal in his actions under Missouri’s controversial “Use of force” Doctrine,which states that a law enforcement officer can use “deadly force” against someone if they feel their life is being threatened. We believe, though, that Wilson’s case should have gone to trial and we sincerely hope the federal court picks up where the state of Missouri failed to press charges. The process through which the grand jury decision was made... ...

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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... ...

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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... ...

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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... ...

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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... ...

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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.... ...

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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... ...

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