check out the nap map on our website
Clockwise from bottom left: 1. With the Arboretum around 1.5 miles long, there are a multitude of nap spots. One can find a nice grassy hill to lay on near spaford lake (pictured), putah creek lodge, or at the oak grove. 2. The Starbucks at the Silo features dim lighting and soft leather furniture. It may be hard to find a quiet spot amidst the hustle and bustle of breakfast and lunch rushes. 3. The Quad, a sunny (or shady) grassy space to lie down on, but a hub of activity and not very quiet for nappers. 4. Both floors of the SCC have comfy chairs to doze off in, but space is valuable in this new and popular building. 5. The MU Griffin Lounge is generally quiet and has a nice toasty fireplace surrounded by comfy chairs and benches. 6. The reflection room at the SCC is a lesser known room with nothing but couches and a view designed to zen (or knock) out in. Photos by Anthony Beck.
Edition 002 Week of february 25 www. davisbeat.org
Unpaid Internships in Spotlight 3 ASUCD Platforms Reused 4 Katehi Reorganizes Campus Counsel 7
nap spots photo series
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EDITORIAL We will hold you accountable Elections for the 2012-2013 year are over and the student population has spoken—24% of it anyway. Despite all the elections spam filtering out of your newsfeed, the fliers blowing across campus and the A-frames rusting in the winter rain, the promises of this election will not be forgotten. Throughout the campaign, each candidate made a barrage of promises—in the form of platforms—to students about improving ASUCD, expanding its services and tackling problems all over campus beyond the realm of the Association. Some seemed minute and some were clearly long-term projects impossible for one candidate to accomplish, but they were what the winning candidates were elected to do. Historically, Senate and Executive platforms have largely not been accomplished as evidenced by a recent article in The California Aggie which showed that only two of thirteen published platforms of the outgoing 5 senators in Fall 2012 were definitively successful— around 15% of all platforms. That’s unacceptable. When candidates spend 6 weeks begging the student population for votes based on their platforms and less than 20% are eventually achieved, we question why candidates even have platforms. An article in this issue even discusses the frequency with which Senate candidates recycle platform ideas— sometimes down to the title. It seems to have become tradition that Senatorselect feel largely free of the constraints of the promises from their campaigns
Correction: A world map pictured in Edition 001 (Feb. 13) issue had incorrect borders on some continents. Cover: The new books area at Shields Library is a popular napping spot.
once they’re elected and faced with any amount of adversity. The editorial board of The Davis Beat believes that platforms should not simply be gimmicks to get elected but well-researched, realistic and accomplishable projects to improve student life. During the Senate CoHo debate, we heard candidates promise to “hold each other accountable” for unaccomplished platforms if elected. Cut the BS. Slates and candidates have agendas beyond their published platforms, and the idea that they will be holding each other responsible for their lack of action is ridiculous. It’s understandable that it takes more time and energy to complete platforms than it may seem when campaigning, and there is a litany of things that student government must do aside from platforms, but elected officials must be held accountable for what campaign promises they can and cannot finish— and not by what the officials think is reasonable to accomplish. Future candidates, be wary of what you can actually accomplish and do your research before deciding your platforms. The biggest decision of the campaign should not be whether to run at all, but rather what you’re running on, because without your platforms, you’re just a name and a smiling face to voters. A message to the newly elected officials: you are responsible for the promises you’ve made on the way to election. We will hold you accountable. Views or opinions expressed in The Davis Beat by opinion writers or editors are those of the writers alone and do not represent the views or opinions of the University of California. Advertisements in The Davis Beat are representative of the view of the advertisers, not of the The Davis Beat staff. All content is the property of The Davis Beat staff and cannot be reproduced without expressed written permission from The Davis Beat.
With Internships in Spotlight, Some Question Their Merits By Hannah Helpio While internships have long been seen as a mutually beneficial opportunity for employers and students alike, recently, unpaid internships have been under fire. Fox Searchlight Pictures is being sued by a former intern who worked on the film “Black Swan” who claims he was improperly compensated. As many as 3,000 former interns for the Hearst Corporation, which owns Cosmopolitan, O Magazine, Elle, and various other magazines, are eligible to join a class action lawsuit on similar claims. This month, the Intern Labor Rights group protested at the 2013 New York Fashion Week to demand better conditions. “We’re trying to drive all this unpaid labor out of the arts,” said protester Peter Walsh to Buzzfeed. “Whether they’re working on a fashion magazine or as a fashion model, everyone deserves to be paid daily.” By law, all unpaid internships must meet federal guidelines on what the intern is allowed to do for the company—such as not completely replace a full time employee—and what they should receive in return. At the college level for instance, credit towards graduation may be means of return. While abuses of the unpaid internship system are usually few and far between, for many UC Davis students, they hold mixed connotations. Stuart Altman, a Biomedical Engineer major in his fourth year, believes the experience gained at an internship—whether paid or unpaid—outweighs the obstacles. Altman interned full time in the College of Engineering and was paid an hourly wage. “If I was offered the same internship unpaid, I definitely would have taken it because I wanted
Students at the 2013 Internship and Career Fair. Unpaid internships have recently been under fire. Photo by Kyle Lam.
the experience and to have something like that on my resume,” Altman said. The experience Altman gained help him secure a research position in a biomedical engineering lab and led to his work getting published, he said. However, the difference between a paid internship and an unpaid internship can be crucial in determining the kind of talent a company may attract. “We want to compete for the top students,” said Bryen Alperin, a Davis graduate and River City Bank credit analyst, and paying competitive rates “helps us secure the top students.” While the logic for working at the most glamorous and attractive companies such as Vogue, Goldman Sachs, or a large Hollywood production company is often that students should be grateful just to be able to work at such a company, Alperin stressed that paying interns can benefit the company, too, as it can attract and retain the top talent. “You should be willing to put in minimum wage [as an employer],” he explained. As for unpaid internships? “I don’t really see why it would be necessary,” he said. “I think with the financial industry, it seems like they’re moving away from them.” UC Davis Internship and Career Center’s
project manager Marcie Kirk-Holland stressed that the process of choosing an internship is a process unique to each student based on their strengths and interests. As for the commonly held belief about the trajectory of unpaid internship to paid internship to full-time job that many students follow, Kirk-Holland believes each situation is different. “There’s no formula,” Kirk-Holland said. “It’s very dependent on what someone wants to do in a career, what natural skills they have, and what skills are required in that profession.” All internships can help students clarify what they are interested in, she continued, but “there is a time and a place to do an unpaid internship. Sometimes those skills can be gained in a course.” Finally, Kirk-Holland emphasized what students should look for in every unpaid internship: university credit and a sense of clarity in their goals for the internship. “They should get transcript notation,” she explained. “That way there’s structure around it so that from the very beginning, the student and employer or employer and sponsor are clear on what the goals and expectations are for that position.”
ASUCD Senate Candidates Use Recycled Platforms By Brenna Lyles With Winter 2013 ASUCD Election results released and seated senators of the Fall 2012 election settled into their new positions, it seems an appropriate time to peek into the reuse of senate platforms each election. ASUCD Senate platforms are designed to represent the student body’s needs and opinions as this is the means by which candidates get voted in. Once elected, a senator “oversees budgets, initiates new projects, and monitors [Associated Student] activities and services,” according to the ASUCD website. Justin Dowdle, former candidate of the winter 2013 NOW slate (“Rally Around Aggie Pride”) ran under a popularly-used platform of increasing “Aggie Pride” both on campus and through-
out town. Before Dowdle, fall 2012 NOW candidate Tal Topf, winter 2012 BOLD candidate Richard Yu, fall 2010 BOLD candidate Matt Provencher, and fall 2008 LEAD candidate Erin Lebe ran on variations of this platform. Dowdle’s platform reads, “I will create rallies each quarter to showcase our 24 sports and unite students behind our athletes. I want UC Davis students to be proud to go to this university and recognize athletic accomplishments.” Dowdle’s mission statement closely resembled Lebe’s. “...Our athletics are a reason that a number of students choose to attend UC Davis,” Lebe said. “As representatives of the student body, we should support our athletics. I will be an Aggie
Senator Amy Martin proposed an ASUCD newsletter when she ran in Winter 2011. Two years later, candidate Justin Dowdle, who lost in last week’s election, ran on an ASUCD newsletter platform. Images: DavisWiki and Facebook.
Advocate on the senate table because I believe that Aggie Pride should be a substantial component of student life.” Differing modes of raising school spirit have included tailgating (Provencher), increasing accessibility to clubs and organizations (Topf), and promoting pride downtown (Yu). Dowdle also shared a distinctly similar platform to winter 2011 BOLD senator Amy Martin. Both proposed to begin an “ASUCD Newsletter” that would inform undergraduates about ASUCD decisions, legislation and events via email. In the most recent fall election, seated Senate member Armando Figueroa of the SMART slate ran on the platform to “close the disconnect between administration and students,” a platform echoing a 2010 fall election platform run on by Tatiana Bush. Figueroa’s platform states, “I will not only work to improve the communication with administration and students, but ensure that it is effective by prioritizing student concerns. I will create more dialogues and programs through various effective avenues, such as working with the student undergraduate advisory board.” However, Bush’s priorly-proposed platform appears to take on the task with a more specific, focused course of action. “In order to effectively diminish the disconnect between students and administration/faculty, I will work to implement students and/or student representation with a vote onto committees that address admissions, fees, and various other areas of student life,” said Bush in her platform proposal. “An equal ratio of students to admission/faculty/staff is also a priority.” Fall 2012 Independent Liam Burke’s “Greeks Go Green” and 2009 fall candidate Andre Lee’s “Green Greeks” platforms both aimed at encouraging sustainability within the Greek system. While Lee’s plans were less specific stating that “fraternities and sororities can work to make sure that all Greek events are models for sustainability,” while Burke suggested “implementing a program that provides incentives to encourage composting, recycling, and attendance at green events.” Both NOW candidate Jonathon Yip of fall 2012 and independent Kabir Kapur of win-
Former ASUCD Senator Andre Lee proposed to “Green the Greeks” when he ran in Fall 2009. Three year later, Senator Liam Burke ran on a “Greeks Go Green” platform. Images: DavisWiki and Facebook.
ter 2012 seeked students’ vote by proposing to eliminate tuition hikes. By empowering students with a voice in high level decision making, Yip’s plan stated, “It has been a year since the pepper spray event, and our Chancellor, the UC Regents have done nothing to alleviate our tuition hikes. As an ASUCD Senator, I plan to restructure ASUCD’s advocacy strategy to incorporate a more collaborative effort between all our lobbying groups. This will streamline communication creating a unified front fighting against tuition hikes.” Just one election prior, Kapur’s platform stated, “Tuition hikes and budget cuts are no strangers to UC Davis students and ASUCD must take a more direct role in serving students by fighting for and defending higher education. A unified front is needed on our campus to be able to focus on Sacramento and demand more funding from our elected representatives in the state legislature. I propose that we work
together with faculty and the administration and reach out to as many groups and individual students as possible to fight this fight for higher education.” However, while Kapur’s platform won him the vote during the winter elections, Yip was not seated. Platforms that continue to be reused include reducing bike theft (Andre Lee, Fall 2010; Patrick Sheehan, Fall 2011; Alyson Noele Sagala, Fall 2012), providing more entertainment on campus (Rebecca Sterling, Fall 2010; Puneet Dhillon, Fall 2010; Maxwell Kappes, Fall 2012), and eliminating the consumption of plastic and styrofoam on campus (Darwin Moosavi, Fall 2010; Yara Zokaie, Fall 2011; Anni Kimball, Fall 2011), to simply recognize a few. Rebecca Sterling, current ASUCD President, suggests that the recycling of platform serves a functional purpose to our campus community. “A student running on a platform that has
been used before only suggests further that this is a relevant student issue, and that it has yet to be fully solved,” said Sterling. “What matters is that students receive the services, resources, and quality of life expected what attending UC Davis, a top tier institution.” Sterling, who ran on the BOLD slate during fall 2010 ASUCD elections, explained that she took her own unique approach to the commonly used platform of providing more entertainment on campus. She predicts that as ASUCD President, the campus will see her platform fulfilled. “The success of our proposal will not be seen until after our term is completed, but we have succeeded in allocating and designing a space in the Memorial Union that will be remodeled to serve as a campus entertainment venue and pub scene,” said Sterling.
UC Trend in Faculty Diversity Revealed By Aerial Chen and Brenna Lyles Each year, the Institutional Research Unit at the University of California Office of the President creates an Annual Accountability Report in order to reflect on its ability to “maintaining academic quality despite budgetary constraints.” In order to analyze how well the UC system is managing to meet its goal of academic quality and equality, “undergraduate education, graduate education, faculty, and research” are assessed in various areas. Although the entirety of the 2013 Annual Accountability Report is yet to be available to the public, the Regents released various 2013 subreports based on Admissions and Enrollment, Diversity, Faculty Competitiveness, Health Sciences and Services, the Research Enterprise, Staff, Student Success, and University Private Support. The 2013 Annual Accountability Sub-Report on Diversity reveals the current demographics of over 9,000 members of UC-wide faculty. The sub-report “focuses on the diversity by gender, race, and ethnicity of faculty in the University of California and provides information about four efforts to enhance that diversity.” “A diverse faculty enhances the breadth, depth, and quality of research and teaching programs by increasing the variety of experiences, perspectives and scholarly interests among faculty,” states the report. “The University remains dedicated to building a more diverse faculty, particularly increasing the participation of those from underrepresented racial and ethnic populations in the U.S. and, in some fields, of women.”
The sub-report compares various aspects of diversity with eight nationally-ranked universities. “The ‘Comparison 8’ institutions are the eight universities — four public (Illinois, Michigan, SUNY Buffalo, and Virginia) and four private (Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and Yale) — with which UC regularly compares faculty compensation rates and student fees,” explains the report. The report provides that, throughout the UC system, faculty demographics consist of 30.5 percent female and 8.6 percent “underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities.” These figures stand above the comparative Comparison 8’s average of 29.1 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively. Amongst all faculty, the following statistics were published regarding the ethnicity identifications of faculty members throughout the UC system. Of the 8.6 percent of faculty members who identify as American Indian, Black/African/African American, or Chicano/Latino/Hispanic, 2 percent were United States citizens. Besides providing data to present UC faculty
Image: UC Regents
demographics, the report measures the change in diversity as populations cycle, as typical faculty careers last 30-40 years and new members are hired. In such, the report displays that newly hired professors from 2007-2008 have been more diverse than the existing faculty. With each subsequent year from then, the percentage of underrepresented minorities has risen. Likewise, in 2000, 24.1 percent of faculty were female (80 percent domestic and 20 percent international), while now 39.7 percent of recent new hires in recent 5 years have been women (70 percent domestic and 30 percent international). The trend in diversity among faculty hires is shown evident as fourth year Community Development major Tyree Mack said, “I would say I have about equal male and female professors in my major…[although] most of my professors are white. I believe I only have one non-white professor.” The report shows an increasing progression of diversity in new faculty hires, as they are more diverse than current UC faculty in its entirety. The report further states that although UC
7 is more diverse to its Comparative 8 universities, the process of introducing more underrepresented minorities and women remains a challenge. Such efforts are evident in changes done to the Academic Personnel Manual policies in encouraging faculty review committees to consider strategies for the advancement of education for underrepresented minorities, along with the increase of hiring such underrepresented minorities for both the UC President’s and Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellows and STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). Image: UC Regents
Faculty Debate over Campus Counsel Reorganization By Felicia Alvarez New plans for campus administration sparked debate among UC Davis Faculty after a December press release by Chancellor Katehi announcing a reorganization of the Campus Counsel. In the press release, Chancellor Katehi called for several changes to the Counsel, which works on a variety of projects ranging from legal opinions to campus management, including an overall expansion of the counsel and the removal of Steve Drown, the incumbent Chief Campus Counsel. Drown, who served as Chief Campus Counsel for 16 years, had his last day at UC Davis on February 1st. The decision to remove him instigated debate and calls for clarification from the Davis Faculty Association. In an open letter published several weeks after Katehi’s press release, the DFA, which works in collaboration with the UC system-wide Council of UC Faculty Associations to represent and voice the concerns of university faculty, called
for a more thorough explanation of the campus counsel expansion and hiring of a new chief. In the open letter, DFA Chair and English Professor Scott Shershow expressed concern over the decision to “hire a new senior administrator who will obviously need to be very highly paid, and whose work will have little or nothing to do with educating our students.” Shershow backed up this statement with details about already poorly funded and understaffed departments. He concluded with a request that Katehi to further state her rationale and provide an approximate salary of this new staff member. Katehi’s response to the Davis Faculty Association came soon afterwards. “The primary focus for this action is to reduce overall legal-related expenditures by the campus.The expectation is that the addition of one new attorney position in the Office of the Campus Counsel will more than pay for itself through the additional risk management
services that will be provided to the campus,” Katehi said. Katehi expressed that this decision may prevent the need to use costly off-site sources for legal matters by hiring an on-site staff member with more expertise. However, she did not provide an estimate of the salary of a new Chief Campus Counsel. While the Chief Campus Counsel position remains in limbo, Drown, the former chief, has taken up a new position at the UC General Counsel in Oakland. The effects that this reorganization will have on the campus as whole are still to be determined. Dr. Shershow, in an email interview, said that the larger problem that the university is dealing with is “administrative bloat,” add here “UCD has actually done better in this regard than some other UC campuses, but the number of administrators is still going up more than the number of faculty,” Shershow said. This increasing trend was explored by UC Berkeley professor Charles Schwartz. Schwartz found that since 1991, UC Davis management positions increased by 252 percent, whereas faculty positions only increased by 51 percent. Schwartz maintains concern in the UC’s inability to deal with this “whole mass of bureaucratic excess” and hopes that one day action will be taken to overturn these acts.
The Maturity Contest It was a depressing moment for me when I found out that Wendy and Peter Pan didn’t get to grow up together and have a typical Disney ever-after. The reality of growing up and maturity remains under question, especially among first-years in college. As a freshman, invisible social and personal pressures have pushed me to step outside of my comfort zone. Before arriving at college, I worried about mundane things such as whether I could sing freely in the shower stalls or if I could manage to get up for morning classes. Recently while talking to some of my friends who are in their senior years in high school, one of them explained that he is scared of college because it will require him to “grow up” and handle “deep talks”. I was surprised because these were the least of my concerns when I prepared to come to UC Davis. However, to my friend, maturity is a race with the self, as it challenges one’s mentality and thought process. Spending my freshman year living in an apartment, I have come to see that maturity isn’t just about parenting oneself—it is also a process of selfdiscovery. Maturity is kind of like picking up coins on the ground. You tend to find a couple pennies or even quarters if you are just minding your business. Similarly, if you
don’t give the idea of maturity much thought, you find yourself maturing. But from my friend’s point of view, becoming mature is a competition. To him, numbers do speak for themselves. Once the big one-eight hits, the world should be different. People should be different. Maturing has a time standard. College becomes the critical time for people to shed their older selves and enter an entirely new phase and be mature. However, is there really a concrete line of division of immaturity and maturity? Maturity can be defined as being able to balance and manage academic grades, jobs, and household duties. Social and personal pressures become the two dominant agents forcing most people to feel the need to grow up even if they are not ready. In a fast-paced and sadly superficial world, first impressions have a significant degree of impact. Thus the need to appear mature and collected adds on to people’s insecurities about growing up. To my friend, the image, the mentality, and the intellectual conversations that mark maturity become a unitary enemy, a test and a competition with unnamed opponents and an unmarked finish line. As I reflect on my one quarter living on my own, I realized I find myself growing more appreciative of the things I had previously taken for granted. For example, who knew that preparing a meal could be so time-consuming? Initially, I had resisted the very idea of cooking for myself, as my mom was always the one preparing everything. However, I soon came to accept making my own meals as a role and a duty. Just a year ago, I’d never have thought about liking extra responsibility that I am currently taking on. Slowly and unconsciously, I am growing up. College then becomes the place where people appear to be significantly more mature because they are exposed to things differ-
ent from the past eighteen years of their lives. They face a newfound independence that can be easily abused, but maturity is about finding the balance and utilizing that independence properly. Some people reach this balance early on and some don’t until much later. Growing up is not a competition. Maturity is not a mysterious package that becomes inseparable from the box of responsibilities of going to college. Time phases are just subjective time marks we assign to maturity, and achieving a balance of mind and body is the finish line for growing up.
Erasing the Divisions In fifth grade my teacher had an awesome globe with raised topography so you could feel the Himalayan Mountains or the deserts of Africa with your pointer finger. Yet there were so many lines on that globe, of all different widths and colors, and my visual perception of those disturbances sometimes ruined the fingertip sensation of the curves and contours of planet Earth. My elementary-school reasoning did not directly question why the world is divided into states, countries, and territories. Ignorance was bliss, and I had not yet been enculturated to the societal forces of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and institutionalized political beliefs, as well as political
forces that control our movements, separating human beings in the United States and around the world and destroying what could be a cooperative global community. Today as a college student, I think I can speak for the majority of us when I say that not only are we aware of these factors, which are operating constantly and in significant ways, but we are here at a world renowned university in part to attain knowledge about the history, impacts, costs, and workings of these things. We, as social scientists, artists, scientists, animal-scientists, mathematicians, engineers, pre-medicine students, and arts students, learn about global injustices, and identify with them. We either fight against them via social and political advocacy and involvement in student organizations, or fight for them via our future careers that we hope will be meaningful and important. Regardless of one’s major, making the world a better place is something that our generation of students is echoing around the world. Our eyes are open to our peers in Arab countries fighting against their country’s regimes. Our ears are open to hip-hop artists and other musicians worldwide whose lyrics about social justice and revolution we internalize. Our generation has realized that there are factions and fissures, cracks and outright oozing sores that have developed over the centuries of civilization and modernization. In fact, they are explicitly drawn on maps. But what if we lived in a world, or at least on continents, without borders? Transnational capitalism and free trade agreements by the North American Free Trade Association have allowed for the free movement of business and capital, but not for the free movement of labor, which the European Union has allowed for since 1957. This has led to many arguments posed by people who believe that foreigners “steal” in-country goods and ser-
9 vices. However, by providing labor, paying taxes, consuming services, and sharing ideas and cultures, foreign workers have a plethora of capital to add to local economies. For example, people who have emigrated from Mexico to the United States have significantly aided in the growth of the agricultural industry since we invited them during World War II with the Bracero program. Regardless of nationality, all human beings deserve services such as healthcare and free education that they in fact pay taxes for. We are all human beings whose needs, wants, and desires are not all that different. With the increasing globalization of businesses, the necessity for us to unite against negative forces of power is ever stronger; we must unite as the ruling elite have, and come together as citizens of the world. The “global citizen” is one who, as Socrates proclaimed in Ancient Greece, does not identify with their state or country, but rather with the world. They have the potential to recognize the ideas and contributions that people have to offer the world regardless of their country of origin, to promote empathy and awareness, and to change status quos. As college students, we can do this by reading alternative sources of world news, going abroad or travelling within the Americas, and actively participating in our education. We are global citizens, or at the very least are on the fast-track to becoming them. I applaud those who fight to break down the walls of invented differences, and encourage the rest of us to push our minds further towards innovating a world in which these distracting lines and borders do not compromise our emotions and actions.
Ethics of Adderall Procrastination is the bane of our collegiate adventure. The curve system. Papers. Midterm mania. “Weeder” classes. Desperately required tunnel-vision focus is often difficult to come by, even more difficult to sustain. It’s no wonder in recent years the notorious study pill Adderall has found a welcoming home on campuses nationwide. All this pill popping, however, is far from benign. According to The New York Times, approximately twenty percent of college students have used either Adderall or its cousin Ritalin to boost mental performance. In a competitive academic setting where concentration is vital, a performance enhancement drug’s reputation is almost guaranteed. But is it truly the antidote to our troubles? Has the pharmaceutical industry, in curbing ADHD symptoms, simultaneously unlocked the cure for procrastination? Adderall lacks the bitter taste of taboo because it is regularly used as a means for academic achievement versus pure recreation. Unlike popular colleagues cannabis and alcohol, the pill buys into the average student’s stake in a successful college career and polished transcript. But that’s not to say the drug’s ongoing demand and accessibility is somehow positive - it’s far from it.
What of issues like dependency and addiction? More importantly, where does Adderall, strictly as an academic performance enhancer, fall in terms of ethics? It’s impossible to argue against the morality of Adderall simply because of its DEA classification as a Schedule II psychostimulant. Federal law isn’t automatically moral—laws evolve to keep pace with a maturing society. The abolitionist movement. The repeal of Prohibition in 1933. The ongoing decriminalization of marijuana. U.S. history is chock-full of junctures where the ethics of law are challenged time and again. Prohibition of a substance, a conviction, even a way of life, is an act of government which should never be left unquestioned. Unfortunately, this isn’t the same case for Adderall when academics are in play.
“Adderall abuse . . . is a form of academic dishonesty” Adderall abuse to discourage procrastination or sharpen mental focus is a form of academic dishonesty far beyond the limits of recreational drug use. If it’s considered unethical to dope my way to seven Tour De France titles, it should be equally unethical to use Adderall as a means to academic victories. Bans on doping in the world of competitive sports are rationalized because these methods provide users with chemically-induced advantage. It seems as if Adderall is that same advantage for college users—in pill form. Which raises the question—what does all this campus popularity
mean for non-users? Whether obtained via prescription or dealt illegally and consumed without regulation, the pill’s accessibility creates an obvious disconnect. Students prescribed Adderall for ADHD to maintain normal levels of focus are now competing with those purposefully amplifying healthy concentration levels. Non-users face a similar disadvantage. Justification for use frequently involves linking popping Adderall to sipping a stimulating espresso shot. Your average cup of Joe consists of basic coffee beans containing approximately 125 mg of caffeine, a psychoactive drug which stimulates alertness and reduces drowsiness. Your typical 5 mg Adderall tablet contains several chemical amphetamines specifically engineered to ease symptoms of ADHD—these actions and their after-effects are far from exchangeable. Whether approved by a physician or obtained illegally and consumed without regulation, Adderall is a prescription drug with severe long-term psychological and physiological risks—addiction, psychosis, and depression, to name a few. Dependency hinges on an individual’s ability to produce the same standard of work with or without the crutch of a pill. As Adderall continues its reign on college campuses, the question becomes whether or not the divide between users and non-users is an impactful one. Is it deep enough to affect competition-based courses with curved grading? Is it wide enough to create a noticeably unfair disadvantage for non-users? Or will its popularity be a temporary fad, eventually replaced by fresh drugs with newer implications as the field of neuroscience continues to innovate?
Silhouettes by Nathaniel MacMillan
In the Case of Heart Disease, Have Our Bodies Betrayed Us? By Cathy Broderick Human instinct: your body’s set of natural responses intent on increasing your chances of survival. You can pull your hand away from a hot stove at a speed of 300 feet per second and when you’re in a dangerous situation your heart rate increases to deliver essential blood to your tissues enabling the ‘fight’ in your flight or fight response. Our instincts have evolved within us along with our environment to help increase our chance of survival. But what if some of our body’s defenses are becoming outdated? What if natural human responses are actually causing some of the most life-threatening diseases and disorders of our day as opposed to protecting us? Atherosclerosis, more simply known as heart disease, is the number one killer in the western world. Not only is it number one—the race isn’t even close. The death rate from atherosclerotic heart disease
is more than three times as high as all other causes of death combined. As a species, humans have moved from infectious diseases such as influenza, tuberculosis, and diphtheria stemming from poor living conditions and poorer sanitation systems and onto inflammatory and chronic diseases such as heart attack and stroke. If 41 people in the United States every day are dying from this disease, it must be so mysterious that doctors and researchers are stumped as to how to handle it. There must be no cure, no preventative measures, it must strike randomly…or does it? Yes, the complex cellular processes behind atherosclerosis have not been completely hammered out; however, the causes and risk factors are very well-known, thanks in part to UC Davis research. Besides the inevitable and unfortunate nonmodifiable risk factors of atherosclerosis,
like being a male over 45 years old and having a family history of heart disease, there are plenty of modifiable risk factors, such as a diet high in fat and cholesterol, a habit of tobacco smoking and a lack of exercise. So what about these risk factors actually causes heart disease? When humans eat cholesterol, specifically foods that can turn into LDL (low density lipoproteins, a kind of cholesterol) or excess fructose, which can also turn into cholesterol, the cholesterol molecules travel through the bloodstream and become oxidized, making them more reactive with the inner lining of blood vessels. The blood vessels now go on the defense against these offending cholesterols and call on a certain set of cells for help: monocytes, a subset of white blood cells, that rush to the scene. Upon encountering the cholesterol, the monocytes turn into large
macrophages and attempt to digest the cholesterol molecules. A for effort, macrophages, but the human body was apparently not built to handle such large amounts of cholesterol. The cholesterol-infested macrophages eventually turn into foam cells, or Jabba the Hut-like structures, and line the insides of arteries. It’s the foam cells that end up causing heart disease when they build up and either block the artery or break off and cause blockage somewhere else in the bloodstream. And yet these monocytes and foamy macrophages are just doing their job as part of the body’s defense system. It’s slightly ironic that a natural human instinct, the body’s own cells engulfing foreign or harmful substances, results in the most life-threatening condition of the last hundred years. So there appear to be two options: hope the body’s defenses can somehow find a way to adapt to these newfound stimuli—foods high in cholesterol, tobacco smoke, and a sedentary lifestyle—or, take a hint from the immune system and realize that the highly negative response towards these stimuli is for a good reason.
Fluorescent monocytes, pictured above, can be used to show monocyte binding to arterial walls, a key process in heart disease. Image: Aarhus University, Denmark.
beat on the street
In what ways do you believe adderall use affects our college campus? “It’s analogous to steroids in professional sports. I don’t think it should be allowed unless there’s a necessary health requirement. I think a lot of kids use it as a way to compensate for not doing their work on time and not studying on time. And I think for kids that don’t use Adderall, it’s a really unfair advantage.” — Amir Begovic, 3rd year, Microbiology “I would say the dangers are overrated—it’s not as bad as people think it is. And it really can help you study. It was really popular at my high school and definitely is popular here.” — Erik Adcock, 2nd year, Managerial Economics “If someone’s’ being an honest student it’s a lot harder to keep up with someone who’s popping pills. I understand how some kids would be pushed to do it, pre-med kids for example, because they don’t really have an option sometimes. Especially because tuition is so high. You can’t let your parents down. You can’t waste your money.” — Leo M., 2nd Year, Biological Sciences “A lot of students take it. They can get better grades, go to parties more. It increases their social life.” — Jordan Chaffin, 2nd year, NPB “It’s pretty unhealthy; it can cause a lot of depression and anxiety. Also for kids who have ADD like my brother, it’s unfair because he has to take Adderall to be on everyone else’s level. But everyone else takes it to go above that level.” — Hannah Kearney, 2nd year, Engineering
WASHINGTON D.C., U.S. The Obama Administration filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing the Defense of Marriage Act (D.O.M.A.) unconstitutional on Friday. The 1996 law defines marriage as between one man and one woman and thereby forbids the Federal Government from recognizing samesex marriages in any sense to grant homosexual couples benefits that married heterosexual couples now enjoy. The Supreme Court will see the case against D.O.M.A. in late March, and likely decide its constitutionality sometime in June. The Justice Department brief represents unprecedented advocacy for samesex marriage by any Presidential administration. The Huffington Post ROME, ITALY Italy’s Prime Minister elections got heated when critics of candidate—and former Prime Minister—Silvio Berlusconi accused him of essentially buying votes. Berlusconi had sent letters to swing voters promising to repeal an unpopular 0.4% property tax passed under former PM Mario Monti with the heading, “Important notice: reimbursement.” BBC News
FRANKFORT, KENTUCKY Ashley Judd, a Hollywood actress and Democrat, is reportedly considering a run for U.S. Senate against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, where she grew up. Republicans in the state have already begun to portray her as a liberal, elite candidate. The New York Times BETHLEHEM, PENNSYLVANIA A former student who sued Lehigh University lost her case against a teacher who gave her a C+ in a graduate therapy course. The student, Megan Thode, claimed that she deserved a B and argued that she was owed $1.3 million in damages because the poor grade made it impossible for her to become a therapist. The Huffington Post VATICAN CITY Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will be resigning the papacy on Thursday, February 28th, citing poor health due to old age. Reports of internal conflicts pressuring the Pop to step down have been denied by the Vatican. This marks the first papal resignation in almost 600 years. BBC News
WASHINGTON D.C., U.S. $1.2 trillion in spending cuts are scheduled to automatically hit the federal budget on March 1st because of an agreement made by House Republicans and President Obama in August 2011 when a bipartisan budget “supercommittee,” which dissolved later that year, failed to reach an agreement on a long-term deficit reduction plan. The budget cuts are split between defense spending and social programs in order to give both conservatives and liberals incentive to reach an agreement, and will likely have a strong immediate impact on the Federal Government. The Huffington Post/ The Washington Post NIAMEY, NIGER 100 U.S. troops landed in Niger to gather military intelligence to help the French military in their effort to root out Islamist militants and restore order in neighboring Mali, according to President Obama. The U.S. is reportedly considering building a drone base there. BBC News