Review Category : Opinion

Guest Opinion: The View from Orchard Park: On the Coming Demolition

Before they announced that our homes would be demolished, before they started posting increasingly frequent notices on my door reminding me to leave, before my neighbors emptied out their apartments one by one, the University was already attacking Orchard Park. Over the last few years, the UC has raised the rent year after year after year. Housing needs to cost no more than 25 percent of residents’ monthly income in order to be considered “affordable,” and today, an Orchard Park apartment costs around 60 percent of a TA’s monthly income. A community is considered to have an affordable housing crisis when rent consumes more than 30 percent of a resident’s income. But rather than solving the crisis, the UC plans to worsen it by evicting residents from Orchard and Solano Parks. When the UC first officially announced that Orchard and Solano would be demolished, their announcement hinted at the nature of the proposed changes to graduate student housing when they recommended that Parks residents should “take out loans” to pay... ...

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Guest Opinion: Justice Delayed

By failing to pass SR #20 in a 5-5-3 vote, the ASUCD Senate has given the University of California’s decision to invest in the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine a stamp of approval. With the final senate vote tied at 5-5-2, the tie-breaking vote was given to ASUCD Vice President Maxwell Kappes, who abstained, which was effectively the vote that killed the resolution. Therefore, the University will continue to invest in companies that profit from the demolition of Palestinian-civilian structures, the ongoing Israeli settlement and colonization of Palestinian land, the detention and torture of Palestinian political prisoners and the construction of the apartheid wall that runs through occupied Palestinian territory without condemnation or pressure from ASUCD. The crimes mentioned in the failed resolution are indisputable. Proponents cited United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, the Fourth Geneva Convention, the International Court of Justice, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International; all of which conclude that these companies are currently violating the human rights enshrined in international law. Because those who opposed the... ...

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Modern Bey Feminism: Rap vs. Feminism

For me, the hardest part of reconciling Beyoncé’s life with feminist theory is when I consider the man she is married to. While there is no doubt in my mind that Jay-Z is a very talented artist, his music is often anything but feminist, and from what I can see, the rap genre seems to follow this trend. In the documentary “Dreamworlds 3: Desire, Sex & Power in Music Videos,” the filmmaker explores how women are portrayed in music videos. In general, it seems that in hip-hop and rap music videos, women are treated as objects rather than people, and are often merely accessories for the artists who are performing in the videos. This documentary also points out that instead of using creativity to tell a story, often artists just throw in some mostly naked women dancing and call it a music video. And don’t even get me started on Robin Thicke’s video for “Blurred Lines.” The lyrics of rap and hip-hop songs also add to the degradation of women... ...

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Co-op Bonanza: Beet Generation

There are a lot of maps in my house, including a world map (it’s upside down), a bike path map of Davis and a map showing the location of pinnipeds worldwide. But there’s one map that’s missing. I see it as one of those flight maps that has the curvy lines all over it connecting all the cooperatives worldwide, nationwide and statewide. Davis cooperatives hosted a west coast cooperative conference called WestCo last weekend, and co-opers showed up from more places than I expected including Berkeley, Santa Barbara and Eugene, Ore. I’d never considered that co-ops existed in Oregon, then all of a sudden, there were Oregon co-opers staying in my house. It was great. I felt the unspoken, immediate bond of the co-oper because something about being offered “vegan breakfast biscuit things” out of a recycled yogurt container by a stranger warms the heart. Though we were all strangers, everyone helped each other out unasked. It was like having a huge extended family that showed up and started making... ...

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Editorial: Senate Resolution #20 — Other outlets?

Recently, ASUCD Senate Resolution #20 was seen by the ASUCD Senate.This resolution urged “the Board of Regents of the University of California (UC Regents) to undertake practices of corporate social responsibility through divesting from corporations that aid in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and illegal settlements in Palestinian territories, violating both international humanitarian law and international human rights.” We applaud ASUCD for the willingness to tackle such a difficult issue and we support the right of students to bring forth pressing matters to their student representatives. However, we do not wish to discuss whether we agree or disagree with the idea of divestment. Instead we wish to comment on the process of bringing the resolution to ASUCD. While students have the right to voice their opinions and lobby their ASUCD senators to take a stance on such an issue, student government may not have been the most effective route to take. The senate resolution, even if passed by the senate, would only have served as a recommendation from the UC... ...

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Breaking Norms: Lifting weights and expectations

Going to the gym is a methodical experience for most people — put on stretchy clothing, hydrate and engage in some form of exercise. But what happens when someone defies the unwritten rules of gym etiquette? People typically conform to certain norms at the gym, including how to dress and behave properly. Breaking social norms isn’t just about going out and doing weird stuff in public — it’s about eliciting responses from people based on their surprise of someone’s non-conformity. My goal in this enterprise was to see how people would react when I wore ludicrous clothing to the gym that most people would deem unfit for this particular atmosphere. My attire included: a loose dress that resembles the appearance of a peacock, a baggy red-and-black striped crop top over the dress, a blue flannel, pink cheetah print pajama pants and Converse. I was looking fierce, featuring an array of prints and patterns. My hair was arranged in a crazy bun at the very top of my head and, in... ...

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The Maturing Moviegoer: Beasts of the College Town

I spent the better part of my 18 years in the land of milk, honey and $11 craft sandwiches: Los Angeles. Growing up in the City of Angels has undeniably affected my coming of age (as well as my radical vocabulary). To help understand both the visible and invisible influences of place on coming of age, we’ll use Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin’s 2012 adaption of Lucy Alibar’s one-act play, Juicy and Delicious. I saw the movie twice, the first time after it came out, and the second last Saturday night, with a couple of Natural Lights in my belly. The second time was tremendously better (maybe because of the Nattys). This film tells the story of Hushpuppy, a six-year-old resident of the “Bathtub,” a poor, isolated community in New Orleans threatened by storms and rising sea levels. Hushpuppy is by and large a miniature version of her ailing father, Wink. In fact, he often refers to her as his ‘man’ or hopes she will one day become... ...

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Growing With Film: Wising Up With “The Iron Giant”

My column thus far has dealt with adult issues that include, but are not limited, to the power of stereotypes, drug use and sexual maturation. Today, we’ll take a step back from the ‘R’ rated movies and look at Brad Bird’s 1999 The Iron Giant. I have seen this film twice in my life — once as a thumb-sucking five year old, the other as a head-in-the-clouds college student. I’ve got to say, the movie got my tears a-flowin’. This came mainly as a result of its surprisingly candid look at the power of death in childhood, themes regarding the importance of self-determinism and inner peace, which help demonstrate one of the most illustrious themes in coming of age: the wisdom of children. But how can children be wise, Eli? Good question. The only wise thing I could tell you as a youngling would be to avoid girls and, in turn, the scourge of cooties. I kid (pun definitely intended). Kids seem to have a mind that while not fully... ...

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Guest Opinion: You Can’t Fight Bigotry with Bigotry

As many of you have probably heard, there was a recent controversy surrounding a planned but canceled Cinco de Mayo party by CoHo employees that turned into a huge uproar here at UC Davis. This is not the first time something like this has happened; according to some people who have been on campus longer than I have, the usual protocol is to quietly reprimand people who do such culturally insensitive acts for fun rather than out them in public. I understand that perhaps people think that quiet discipline is not enough and everyone needs to know that such acts are not okay; the result this time may have led to unintended consequences that also revealed other kinds of unsavory attitudes on campus. First of all, I want to say that I realize that Cinco de Mayo is primarily a Mexican-American and Northern Mexican holiday brought over to the United States to celebrate cultural roots by Mexican-Americans, and has served as an important symbol of cultural unity. We also need... ...

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Co-op Bonanza: That’s my milk!

About six months ago, I moved into a cooperative community and I couldn’t be more thankful. Sure, I’m living with 16 people in one house and sometimes I camp at the library to get a breather, but all these eccentric people have taught me quite a bit. Some of their lessons seem relatively simple: how to fry an egg, what goes/doesn’t go into compost and how to make beans (Hint: soak them. Forever.). However, while I’ve learned heaps of useful life skills like cooking, the most valuable lesson I believe I’ve learned is how to communicate. It sounds somewhat simple. Communicating is just speaking, right? Saying what’s on your mind? It’s a little more than that, if you ask me. My favorite definition, courtesy of the ever-fantastic Oxford English Dictionary, is as follows: an “interchange of speech, conferring, discussion, debate; an instance of this, a conversation, a conference.” This definition manages to capture the interactive bit of communicating that I’ve come to know and respect. Living in a co-op has... ...

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Editorial: University apartment shutdowns — Save the Parks Now

Biking around town, it seems the only type of building more popular in Davis than Thai food restaurants is apartment complexes. But two years from now, two whole complexes will be gone — Solano Park Apartments in July 2016, and Orchard Park Apartments on July 31 of this year. With this move, UC Davis is displacing families, disadvantaging student parents and reducing affordable housing options. Orchard Park and Solano Park, respectively located northwest and southeast of campus, are affordable housing complexes designated for graduate students and students with families. Benefits for residents of both complexes include campus proximity, safe spaces away from traffic for children to play, a community network of other student parents and families and a relatively low rent that is manageable under their student-worker salaries. According to Student Housing, the buildings are being torn down because they are old and need to be improved, and repairs are more expensive than renovations. We’re all for making sure that buildings are safe and comfortable for their residents, but the... ...

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Guest Opinion: Cinco de Drinko

We, as concerned students of UC Davis and community members, would like to declare our utter offense and disgust with an off campus event organized by UC Davis students. It has been brought to our attention that a “Cinco de Drinko Sloshball” Facebook event page was created by UC Davis Coffee House (CoHo) student employees earlier this week. The event is a party intended to have attendees dress in “festive” attire, meaning stereotypical “Mexican” dress (a sombrero and sarape, fake mustache, etc.). In addition, attendees are given an image that demonstrates the attire they should wear, which includes a border patrol officer costume. These images are hurtful to our community and only serve to create a hostile campus climate by sending a message of disregard and disrespect for the Chican@/Latin@ and Undocumented/Immigrant campus community. Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that marks and celebrates the victory over French rule that was momentous for the state of Puebla, Mexico. This holiday is often manipulated by individuals who use inaccurate images of... ...

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Modern Bey Feminism: Does pretty hurt feminism?

In 2012, People Magazine announced that Beyoncé was the “Most Beautiful Woman In the World.” As a feminist, I would argue that women should not be judged on what they look like, and thus should not worry about society’s (or People Magazine’s) beauty standards. But this is all much easier said than done, especially when Beyoncé’s flawless face is staring at you in the grocery store. In her latest album, Beyoncé examines the idea of beauty and how it is formed and encouraged by the society we live in, specifically in her song “Pretty Hurts.” The music video shows Beyoncé as a pageant contestant, preparing for the competition, picking out outfits, throwing up in the bathroom and then losing the pageant. The video is a clear criticism of the beauty ideals that our society encourages women to strive for. Beyoncé sings, “We try to fix something but you can’t fix what you can’t see/ It’s the soul that needs the surgery.” While Beyoncé criticizes this form of beauty, I don’t... ...

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The Maturing Moviegoer: Growing Pains and American Beauty

Before Kevin Spacey was ruthless United States Congressman Frank Underwood, preying on girls half his age, he was Lester Burnham, a middle class American man — who also preyed on girls half his age. “American Beauty” is a 1999 Best Picture film by Sam Mendes. It’s up there on my list of greatest movies ever made. This great piece of work instructs us to “look closer” into what gives ordinary lives meaning, and how we react to truths about ourselves and others. Such themes are persistent throughout life, but they hold a certain weight in youth. Lester’s in the throes of a mid-life crisis. Morning masturbation sessions are the highlight of his days. He’s a man with a family, but that doesn’t make him a family man. His materialistic wife hates his guts, and his daughter thinks he’s a “lame-o.” It’s dysfunctional. We’ll focus on the daughter, Jane. She’s an insecure girl who finds no anchor in her family. She turns to others in her life. But even these others... ...

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The Maturing Moviegoer: “Traffic” and Drugs Today

Pot. Weed. Devil’s grass. Hell shrub. MJ. Doug. These nicknames (several of which are unique to my own vernacular) are among the many terms used to refer to the common drug, marijuana. In this column, we’ll look at Steven Soderbergh’s 2000 drama “Traffic” and how drugs are now, more than ever, a poignant part of coming of age. It’s my hope that we can create compromise on the effects of drugs, an area so devoid of middle ground. So go ahead, light a bowl of Doug. Relax. We’ll get started. Drug culture can be extreme. Not in the Nancy Grace sense, where a puff of hell shrub makes a person hungry to murder. But in the sense that drugs have the tremendous power to underscore the thoughts and actions of young adults. In “Traffic,” they do just this, dramatizing the relationship between the United States Drug Czar, Robert Wakefield, and his heroin addicted daughter, Caroline. The film feels like a documentary that has access to an uncanny truth on the... ...

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