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@tblucsb / UCSB’s Weekly Student-Run Newspaper

Associated Students, UC Santa Barbara | Volume 8, Issue 8 | Nov. 27 - Dec. 3, 2013 Levitating Trains Santa Barbara May Come to US Botanic Garden Science & Tech / 7

Features / 3


Photo by Benjamin Hurst | Staff Photographer

Students protest new UC president Janet Napolitano behind the faculty club while Chancellor Yang listen to their concerns on Nov. 21, 2013.

Visit from Napolitano Sparks Protest, Discussion of University Future by Giuseppe Ricapito IV BEAT REPORTER Photo by Lorenzo Basilio | Staff Photographer

Both undergraduate and graduate students chanted many phrases such as “No justice, no peace!”during their march on Nov. 22, 2013. by Prabhjot Singh STAFF WRITER


o kick off the IGNITE Week of Action, several students put on a “die-in” at the Arbor on Monday, Nov. 18. The demonstration, entitled “The Death of Higher Education,” aimed to depict how the current higher education system in California is flawed. IGNITE, which stands for “Invest in Graduation Not Incarceration, Transform Education,” is a statewide campaign designed to raise awareness about the effects of the disinvestment in education by the state of California and to create more racial and ethnic diversity on UC campuses. The campaign calls on the UC system to invest in education rather than in prisons. Public education used to be free, but now we’re paying thousands of dollars in tuition,” said second-year sociology major Mohsin Mirza, member of the IGNITE committee. “This is a direct result of the state of California disinvesting in education and investing in the mass incarceration of communities of color instead. So today, we’re seeing increased prison spending, decreased school spending, and increasing tuition, all of which are important issues that IGNITE is hoping to raise awareness about this week.” Students who volunteered to lie on the ground had phrases written in red paint on their arms to show the things that they believed had “died” in higher education, such as “diversity” and the

“California Master Plan.” The California Master Plan for Higher Education outlined certain ideals that were to be the standard for education, such as free tuition and accessibility to all. Those putting on the IGNITE Week of Action events believe that this vision has been lost. “I hope this UC-wide campaign can bring changes to the university and force administration to value diversity more and do things like put more people of color on staff and bring more students of color to campuses,” said first-year communication major Anumita Kaur. “In its current state, the UC does not represent me.” Students had also written statistics on their body, like “22 prisons, one university,” which was short for how 22 prisons have been built in in the last decade in California but only one university has been made in the same time. The action in the Arbor drew attention from students who were passing by as they stopped to see what the action was about. The IGNITE committee used this opportunity to explain their cause and get people to sign petitions in support of IGNITE. On the night of Tuesday, Nov. 19, IGNITE put on another event in the Multicultural Theatre by screening the biopic, “Fruitvale Station,” based on the 2009 BART shooting of Oscar Grant by police. The film was screened as part of the IGNITE Week of Action due to how the story of Grant shows the criminalization, racial profiling, and police brutality many black men face on a daily basis.

MENINGITIS OUTBREAK CONFIRMED AT UCSB With three confirmed cases on campus, Student Health officials urge students to stay safe. by Julia Frazer STAFF WRITER


s of Friday, Nov. 22, there have been three confirmed cases of meningococcal disease at University of California, Santa Barbara. Meningococcal disease is a bacterial infection that causes bloodstream infection and meningitis. The date of illness onset for the three cases was Nov. 11, 13, and 18, according to a press release from Student Health. “The nature of this disease is that it will appear randomly in a healthy person,” said Dr. Mary Ferris, Student Health Executive Director. “That’s why it’s so feared in the medical community, because for no apparent reason, a healthy person will get a life threatening illness.” Symptoms of meningitis include fever, headache, stiff neck, unusual rash, vomiting, and photophobia. Students with the above symptoms should be sent to the Emergency Room immediately and contact Disease Control at (805) 681-5280. According to Student Health, Meningococcal Disease has a 10 to 30 percent mortality rate. Thus, early treatment is necessary for a good outcome. To minimize exposure, students should avoid sharing eating utensils, cups, water bottles, or other items contaminated by the saliva or respiratory secretions of others. Current vaccinations against meningitis protect against four different serogroups: A, C, Y, and W. However, serogroup B, not currently included in the vaccine, is the cause of the outbreak at UCSB. The Department of Public Health has not been able to determine from exactly where the disease originated. In most cases, meningitis presents as a single isolated case. Ferris and other healthcare officials have been dismayed to find three Santa Bar-

FoR The ReCoRD:

Confirmed Cases:

3 UCSB students remain Illness onset at risk of meningitis, a occurred Nov. bacterial disease that attacks the membranes 11, 13, and 18, according to around the brain and spinal cord. Student Health

bara cases in the last two weeks. However, two of the cases have been discharged from medical care and have completely recovered. The third case is still in treatment. Meningitis is managed in the hospital with a five-day course of IV antibiotics. Depending on the severity of the infection, such as if the patient goes into septic shock, intensive care treatments may be necessary. Rumors circulating around campus of a possible amputation were not confirmed. “It’s a bit of a wakeup call that something so serious could happen at our school,” said Melanie Supple, fourth-year psychology major. “It’s an important reminder to be safe and cautions. You never think that it’ll happen here in Santa Barbara.” Despite both Princeton and UCSB experiencing outbreaks from serogroup B, genetic typing has proven that the two outbreaks are unrelated and that the strains are not identical. Because it has seven confirmed cases of meningitis, Princeton students will soon have access to a new vaccine, Bexsero, that targets serogroup B. The FDA has only approved the use of this vaccine for the Princeton cases. Ferris explained that despite anger from parents that students would not be getting Bexsero, UCSB students will only get access to the new vaccine if public health officials and the CDC deem it necessary. Ferris stresses that it is still important for students to receive the current vaccine for the four other strains. “The reason we’re not seeing those strains is because we’ve got a good immunization level,” Ferris said. Antibiotic prophylaxis has been given to over 500 students who have been exposed in close contact to the disease. Only the students at most risk have received the treatment, an antibiotic pill that decreases the chance that the exposed person will develop Meningococcal Disease. “It’s our strongest hope that by treating so many of the close contact so quickly we will prevent further spread of the disease,” said Ferris. Ferris encourages students to stay updated with their vaccinations and maintain good hygiene to protect themselves from infectious disease.

mortality Rate:


Up to a third of meningitis cases are fatal



More than 500 high-risk students have been vaccinated

Activist fervor from those against the appointment of University of California President Janet Napolitano is spreading through the campus like wildfire. On Thursday, Nov. 21, an impassioned group of protesters convened at the Faculty Club to mark Napolitano’s first visit to the University of California, Santa Barbara campus. The following morning, Napolitano conferred with a 40-student delegation at the Mosher Alumni House to discuss student grievances and the future of the university system. Napolitano, former head of the United States Department of Homeland Security, has been denounced by students from all 10 campuses for her role in the deportation of undocumented immigrants and the lack of transparency surrounding her selection as the UC president. Some students at the protest speculated that her presidency serves as a political device to draw increased funding and exposure to the university system. With her close ties to President Obama, the federal administration, and state Democrats, they believed that her governmental influence may prove more influential than her lack of educational expertise. For some students, Napolitano’s appointment is representative of the deteriorating philosophy and standards of the UC system. “Today is about more than just Napolitano,” said fourth-year global studies major Norma Orozco. “It’s about the UC system as a whole and how fractured it is, how broken it is. It’s about the lack of control and the lack of power that students have.” On Thursday evening, the students—with various picket signs and a large banner emblazoned with “Napolita-NO”—paced down from the Student Resources Building to the Faculty Club where Napolitano was reportedly attending a reception gala. Acrimonious chants of “No Justice! No Peace!” and “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Napolitano Has Got to Go!” brought the crowd in direct contact with UC Police Officers posted along the different entrances to the building. Professor of Chicano Studies Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval, who provided a faculty presence at the largely student-dominated pro-



AS Senate Discusses UC Worker Demands, Disabled Student Transportation, and UCSA IGNITE by Kelsey Knorp AS BEAT REPORTER Associated Students Senate passed resolutions regarding a variety of issues at its final meeting of the quarter on Wednesday, Nov. 20. Among these issues were support of University of California workers, transportation for disabled students, fundraising for typhoon relief, development of the new AS Pardall Center, and the University of California Student Association (UCSA) IGNITE campaign. Discussion of “A Resolution to Support UCSB Employees,” which was tabled at the Senate’s Nov. 13 meeting, was reopened with a presentation by author and On-Campus Sen. John Soriano on requested figures regarding worker pay and benefits. One figure cited was the wage of a UCSB senior custodian as compared with those of senior custodians employed by the California State University system, California community colleges, and Kaiser Permanente, which showed the UCSB wage coming up short by at least 15 percent in each comparison. Additionally, accordingly to Soriano’s research, UC food service workers earn less than the amount recommended by the state of California for an acceptable standard of living. In fact, many UC workers often qualify for public benefits such as Medi-Cal and food stamps. Many of the workers’ demands, which drove the Nov. 20 strike by American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees 3299 (AFSCME), would be accommodated through a readjustment of executive salaries and other benefits. Collegiate Sen. Ali Guthy stated that her supportive stance on the resolution had only been heightened by a workshop she and several other senators attended the previous weekend at the annual UCSA Students of Color Conference. “I feel like there’s a lot of momentum behind the workers,” Guthy said. “I feel like they have a valid reason to be striking [and that] these numbers clearly demonstrate that.” “A Resolution to Create a Transportation Service for Students with Mobility Limitations” calls for the continued development of a program that has been in the works for the past four years and hopes to implement its first pilot program in the spring. The program, a result of efforts by Associated Students Administrative Staff and the Transportation Service Workgroup, would provide trans-

See SENATE | Page 2

The Bottom Line | Nov. 27 - Dec. 3



Continued from page 1 ute. Ultimately, it was passed with a compromised-upon cap of $10,000. “A Resolution In Support of the AS Pardall Center Development,” authored by Collegiate Sen. Amir Khazaieli and OffCampus Sen. Nick O ny s h ko , ratifies decisions made throughout fall quarter by an ad hoc committee assigned to the development of the new Associated

Students Pardall Center, located in Isla Vista at 6650 Pardall Rd. It also calls for the creation for a master plan

Associated Students Boards, Committees, or Commissions (BCCs) and other members of Associated Students. Another resolution, put forth by UniversityO w n e d Housing Sen. Belen Ve r d u g o , proclaims Senate support for the UCSA IGNITE (Invest in Graduations, Not Incarceration, Transform Education) Campaign. The campaign

I feel like there’s a lot of momentum behind the workers. ... I feel like they have a valid reason to be striking [and that] these numbers clearly demonstrate that.

portation for students with both temporary and permanent disabilities. Off-Campus Sen. Beatrice Contreras and On-Campus Sen. Nikki Calderon presented “A Resolution to Provide More Aid for the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund” in hopes of enhancing their initiative’s ability to raise funds for typhoon relief efforts in the Philippines. The terms of the resolution called for a raise of the initiative’s collection cap from $5,000 to $25,000, to be matched by Associated Students. AS President Jonathan Abboud sponsored the resolution, supporting its logic that a higher financial goal would increase motivation to contrib-

— Collegiate Sen. Ali Guthy

to allow for sustained efficient use of the space over upcoming years. The space is currently available for use by

seeks to reallocate state funding to more heavily emphasize the educational system instead of state prisons. Accordingly to Verdugo, current distribution of funds has a tendency to feed the “school-to-prison pipeline” that exists in many regions throughout the state. “This campaign is meant to pressure representatives to take on legislation that would help prioritize education and also encourage diversity within the UC system—not only the UC system, but in higher education institutions period,” Verdugo said. The resolution passed after a 19-1-1 vote in the Senate.

–NAPOLITANO test, contextualized the broad objections of many within the UC system. “The grievances are multiple: immigration, worker rights, healthcare for the faculty, tuition,” ArmbrusterSandoval said. “I think every constituency in the UC system, including at UCSB specifically, for years now has been under the gun.” In the demonstration’s peak emotional moment, second-year Chicano and feminist studies major Abigail Salazar was moved to tears when addressing Chancellor Henry Yang and Associate Dean of Student Life and Activities Katya Armistead. “I want to direct a lot of feeling I have towards her,” Salazar said. “A lot of people here have been directly affected by her policies and by her actions and those people weren’t acknowledged.” Students expressed indignation that Friday’s student meeting would not be fully representative of the student population. They accused Napolitano of ignoring student voices, but calls for a public forum never materialized into a reality. Armistead, who spoke to the crowd as a mouthpiece for the Chancellor, related that this would be the largest student meeting Napolitano has had thus far. “It was very intentional the students I suggested we invite, I was really clear

Continued from page 1 that I wasn’t worried if they were loud or had big opinions,” Armistead said. “As frustrated as your are that there isn’t a forum, I just want you to know that we worked really hard that voices would be heard.” Yang seized the moment to congratulate the magnetic crowd. “The hearing is the first step,” Yang said. “You’ve made a tremendous effort today. I appreciate it.” Forty student constituents convened the next morning at the Mosher Alumni House. After a round of introductions, Napolitano offered the forum opening remarks. “The point of our time together this morning is: a) for you to get to know me a little bit but also for me to hear from you…what your concerns are, what you would like to see the Office of the President of the system… do to improve lives for our students, who are, after all, the reason we are all here,” Napolitano said. A broad range of issues, such as retention, inadequate teaching assistant pay, and the role of online education, were discussed. The forum gave Napolitano a platform to describe her vision for the university system and provided students with an opportunity to air their public grievances about Napolitano’s past decisions, rising tuition, and campus policing. “The strength of California, and

the reason California is going to thrive in the next decades, is based on the strength of the public University system,” Napolitano said about her recent proposal at the Nov. 13 UC Regents meeting. “I have asked that tuition be frozen for the next year to enable us to really look at tuition models that limit the amount but also the volatility of tuition going up and down…” Napolitano suggested her intention to change the financial perception of the UC system and broaden pipelines at the high school and community college level. “If you come from a family that makes $80,000 or less you qualify for the Blue & Gold Opportunity Plan, which is a tuition free plan,” Napolitano said. “There is a wealth of things we need to do to reach out…” In an effort to reach out to her opposition, Napolitano also explained her plan “to [allocate] $5 million” to undocumented students. The meeting was not without a dose of controversy, however. A few student commentators charged Napolitano with earning a reputation for prejudice, citing the targeting of colored students in her past occupation as head of the Department of Homeland Security. “I would say that I haven’t built that reputation; that may be how you perceive it, but that’s not what I’ve done,” NapoliIn “AS Senate Resolves SOCC Issues and Discusses New Solutions for Undocumented Students,” tano responded. “I printed in The Bottom Line’s Nov. 13 issue, we stated, “The resolution is based on an agreement will say, and let’s between Villarreal, Orens, co-chairs of the Student Commission On Racial Equality Angelica Cano be frank about it, and Hani Tajsar, and AS Attorney General Sawyeh Maghsoodloo, who came to the collective con- some students are clusion that the rejection of these officials was unjust and discriminatory.” It has come to our attention that SCORE’s decision was based on “who had access to monetary resources and who did not have that privilege,” and that they never came to a conclusion with any group that said their choices were discriminatory. We therefore we must correct our article to reflect this error.


Photo by Benjamin Hurst | Staff Photographer

Fourth-year Chican@ studies major Camilo Ochoa uses a bullhorn to lead protest chants against new UC president Janet Napolitano on Nov. 21, 2013. upset that I ran the Department of Homeland Security.” Napolitano also refused to make a substantial comment on a studentposed question about the criminalization of black and brown bodies or the University’s investment in the military and prison industrial complexes. “I think your question deserves a longer answer than I’m able to give in this forum, but I disagree with a lot of the premises of your question,” she said. Touching on the UC workers’ strike on Wednesday, Nov. 20, Napolitano seemed unwilling to offer a solution, suggesting that the protest effort “doesn’t help anybody.” “The offer is at the table, but this is not the setting for it,” Napolitano said. “We are prepared to work it out and go through all of it, but we can’t work it out without your leadership sitting down with us and so far they’ve

been reluctant to do that.” After the meeting concluded, third-year political science and Black studies major Linda Gonzalez, who represented the student service workers, expressed her frustration with Napolitano’s responses. “I feel that she was very strategic in the way that she answered our questions,” Gonzalez said. “I think that she came in with the mindset of defending her diplomatic image. I was unsatisfied with her from the very beginning…[but] she is the President, we’re just going to have to work with that.” All in all, Napolitano is being held to her personal philosophical standard on University advocacy. “Campuses are places for the free flow of ideas and positions,” she said, “and they ought to be places where opposing positions are respected.”


TBL 2013-2014 Staff

Executive Managing Editor | Cheyenne Johnson Executive Content Editor | Parisa Mirzadegan Copy Editor | Camila Martinez-Granata News Editor | Lily Cain Features Editor | Katana Dumont Opinions Editor | Anjali Shastry Arts & Entertainment Editor | Deanna Kim Science & Technology Editor | Matt Mersel Photography Editor | Magali Gauthier Senior Layout Editor | Robert Wojtkiewicz Layout Editor | Beth Askins Layout Editor | Morey Spellman Multimedia Editor | Brenda Ramirez National Beat Reporter | Allyson Werner Isla Vista Beat Reporter | Giuseppe Ricapito Associated Students Beat Reporter | Kelsey Knorp Promotion and Distribution Director | Jordan Wolff Advertising Director | Marissa Perez Staff Adviser | Monica Lopez

Writers this issue: Prabhjot Singh, Guiseppe Ricapito, Julia Frazer, Kelsey Knorp, Hari Kota, Bailee Abell, Madison Donahue-Wolfe, Justine Estrada, Gilberto Flores, Deanna Kim, Lexi Weyrick, Sam Goldman, Julian Levy, Alexandra Idzal, Janani Ravikumar Photographers this issue: Lorenzo Basilio, Magali Gauthier, Deanna Kim, John Clow, Benjamin Hurst Illustrators this issue: Silvia Quach, Amanda Excell

The Bottom Line is sponsored by the Associated Students of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Opinions expressed in TBL do not necessarily represent those of the staff, AS, or UCSB. Published with support from Generation Progress/Center for American Progress ( All submissions, questions or comments may be directed to or

The Bottom Line provides a printed and online space for student investigative journalism, culturally and socially aware commentary, and engaging reporting that addresses the diverse concerns of our readership and community. This is your community to build, share ideas, and publicize your issues and events. We welcome your questions, comments, or concerns at, or call our office phone at 805893-2440.



The United States and six other world powers signed a deal on the morning of Nov. 24 that would temporarily postpone further developments to Iran’s nuclear program and will potentially lay the foundation for a more sweeping agreement. This is the first time in 10 years that Iran and the United States have not concluded negotiations with extreme animosity. The United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany also participated in the negotiations. The deal is scheduled to last six months, and Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama are certain that the temporary deal will give international negotiators enough time to reach a more comprehensive and long-term agreement that would significantly cut back the program and ensure that Iran’s nuclear power be used solely for peaceful purposes. The deal requires Iran to stop enriching uranium beyond 5 percent, a level that is sufficient for energy production but not sufficient for weaponry. The deal also requires Iran to dilute or convert its large stockpile of uranium that has been enriched to 20 percent. This uranium is nearly sufficient for weapon-grade fuel, and could potentially present a threat to Iran’s enemies. Iran also agreed not to install any new centrifuges, build new enrichment facilities, or expand current enrichment facilities. In return for the initial agreement, the United States agreed to provide between $6 billion and $7 billion in sanctions relief. Approval for this sanctions relief only requires executive order, meaning that the Obama Administration does not need approval from Congress, which does not support the relaxed nature of the

temporary deal. “My administration worked with Congress, the United Nations Security Council and countries around the world to impose unprecedented sanctions on the Iranian government,” said Obama on Saturday night. “These sanctions have had a substantial impact on the Iranian economy, and with the election of a new Iranian president earlier this year, an opening for diplomacy emerged.” John Kerry said that the temporary deal will “require Iran to prove the peaceful nature of its nuclear program”; however, many officials remain skeptical. Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu, out of concern for the safety of his country, has condemned the United States for not being firmer with Iran. He has demanded a more serious deal that will end Iran’s enrichment program entirely; however, Iran made it clear that continuing enrichment was a prerequisite for any agreement. Debate over the deal is largely centered on whether this initial deal will allow for comprehensive and long-term solution for the nuclear, as the Obama administration has insisted. Furthermore, those skeptical of Iran’s intentions condemn Iran for not agreeing to all of the inspections that the International Atomic Energy Agency has said are necessary to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is entirely peaceful. Obama remains optimistic. “Today, the United States—together with our close allies and partners—took an important first step toward a comprehensive solution that addresses our concerns with the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program,” Obama said. “For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back.”


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The Bottom Line | Nov. 27 - Dec. 3


Many People, One Movement: UCSB Attends The 25th Annual Student of Color Conference by Hari Kota Staff Writer In a weekend of thought-provoking workshops, caucuses, and protests, a delegation of approximately 100 undergraduate and graduate students from the University of California, Santa Barbara, led by Student Commission for Racial Equality (SCORE) officers Hani Tajsar and Angelica Cano, attended the 25th Annual Student of Color Conference (SOCC). The conference, held at UC Los Angeles from Nov. 15 to Nov. 17, was hosted by the University of California Student Association (UCSA). All nine undergraduate Universities of California had delegations that attended, and so did some unaffiliated universities, such as Arizona State University. The opening ceremony, held on Saturday in Pauley Pavilion, included performances by a few UCLA student groups and speakers such as Chancellor Gene Block and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. UC President Janet Napolitano was invited to speak but declined, citing a prior engagement with her family as reason. Instead, she recorded a video that was played at the opening ceremony. In protest of Napolitano’s presence, some students walked out of the ceremony. Although much of the delegation consisted of students attending the conference for the first time, some

returnees—myself included—were displeased by the choice of speakers at the conference. We felt that as students of color, we couldn’t relate to them, or that they “failed to encompass the conference’s spirit,” as was the sentiment for second-year College of Creative Studies biology major Scott Hannah. Once the opening ceremony ended, we began our busy day, which included three workshops, an Action, and caucus space for race and ethnicity. The workshops encompassed many topics, such as representations of brown and black bodies in hip hop, deconstructing the same-sex marriage debate, gentrification, Wal-Mart, and Napolitano as the new UC president. The first workshop I attended, “I Don’t Have A Checkbox,” was about South Asian self-identification. This workshop, hosted by UC Irvine student Saloni Shah, was an excellent space that spawned some fantastic discussions concerning South Asian identity and how it is viewed by nonSouth Asians and the media. SCORE officer Prabhjot Singh agreed, saying that this workshop was her favorite. “[I] learned a lot and was able to connect with my community,” Singh said. Once the first round of workshops ended, we were free for lunch. Then came time for the Action, a protest centered around UCSA’s campaign, IGNITE (“Invest in Graduation

Not Incarceration, Transform Education”). IGNITE focuses on legislative solutions that will reduce the prison population and increase prevention, rehabilitation, and reentry, while dismantling the school to prison pipeline, in order to create a diversity pipeline. We marched through the streets of Westwood, toting signs, noisemakers, and call-and-response chants. UCSB student Mohsin Mirza, second-year sociology major, said that he thought the structure of the March sent a very powerful message. “It addressed the most important issues that face our state,” said Mizra, “the lack of access to and funding for our higher education systems and the racist and expensive mass incarceration of primarily people of color.” After the Action, the delegation attended their choice of workshops and race/ethnicity caucuses. Alongside UCSB student Navkiran Kaur, I facilitated the South Asian caucus. This was my first time ever facilitating a space, and I found it both challenging and rewarding. I was thankful for the opportunity to take such an active role in helping people learn from one another by discussing the issues that are important to me, such as anti-Black sentiment in South Asian communities. The final round of workshops and caucuses were held on Sunday. I, along with other UCSB students Anisha Ahuja, Tara Atrian, and Prabhjot

Singh, facilitated a workshop called “Decolonizing the Textbook,” about the misrepresentation of South Asian history in schools and textbooks. This was the highlight of my SOCC experience because I had the opportunity to learn about a topic I care deeply about and to destroy incorrect preconceived notions on South Asian history. After the workshops were the Gender and Sexuality caucuses. UCSB second-year physiology major Adam Melgoza attended the queer caucus. Melgoza found the caucus to be an eye-opening experience about the climate of the queer community on other university campuses. “I am interested in researching what is ‘working’ for other UCs that our campus doesn’t have already,” said Melgoza. “Hopefully I can find a way to implement that here.” Once lunch was over, attendees were given the chance to facilitate caucuses on topics they felt weren’t covered in the conference. Topics ranged from discussions on natural hair to the intersectionality of spirituality and queerness. I attended the caucus on Sikhs Post-9/11, facilitated by Kaur and fellow UCSB student Prince Singh, which fostered a great discussion on solidarity between different religious communities in South Asia in a post-9/11 world. The closing ceremony of the conference was deeply emotional and moving. After stunning performances

by a spoken word artist and UCLA’s Kyodo Taiko group, undocumented students and students who have been affected by Napolitano’s past regarding undocumented immigrants came up to speak against Napolitano and her position as the new UC President. This was done in response to Napolitano’s video shown at the beginning of the conference. Many other students came down to the floor of Collins Court and formed a protective circle around the speakers to show their solidarity. Both before and after the closing ceremony, UCSB had campus breakout meetings to discuss the positive and negative aspects of the conference. Although students brought up problems with the conference, most students found the conference to be a success. Many students said that they hope to attend the conference again next year, and that they learned quite a lot. First-time attendee Jesus Orozco said he learned a lot that he wanted to take back to campus. “I certainly want womyn of color issues to be more prevalent,” said Orozco. “I feel that men, especially those with a patriarchal/heteronormative mindset, have a lot to learn and should be more willing to ally the mselves to these issues, not for the sake of womyn, but for the sake of humanity and the preservation of safe spaces for our future generations.”

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Spreads Holiday Cheer by Bailee Abell STAFF WRITER

Photos by John Clow | Staff Photographer

A student from the Waldorf School packing gift bags to raise money for field trips.

Sharon Ewins shows off one of the fused glass pieces she made.

Tucked away in the hills of Santa Barbara is a place comparable only to Narnia. On an autumnal November morning—when the sky was covered with alabaster clouds and the leaves on every tree were a vibrant green—I strolled blissfully through the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and observed as various vendors sold their handcrafted gifts. Walking down the narrow path, I couldn’t help but hum Christmas tunes. As I took in in the delightful scene, full of holiday cheer, it would not have taken much to make me believe in Santa Claus again. For 20 years, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has hosted an annual Holiday Marketplace, allowing vendors from all over Southern California to sell their handmade crafts. This year’s event was held on Nov. 23 and 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and featured gifts for people of all ages, from colorful bamboo scarves to personalized ornaments. All proceeds were collected to support the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden General Fund. At the Marketplace entrance, visitors were greeted with warm smiles and complementary cookies generously donated by Marmalade

Fused glass pieces made by Sharon Ewins.

Cafe, located on State Street in Santa Barbara. On the right side of the path was a table full of free gift bags provided by the Waldorf School of Santa Barbara. The table was headed by 12-yearold students, who grinned from ear to ear each time somebody chose to donate a few dollars to their education. As I continued down cobblestones lined on both sides with vendors, I came upon the Garden’s library, and walked through the open French doors to see twinkling icicle lights dangling from the beams of the room’s high-peaked ceiling. The warmth of the room gave refuge to visitors who’s noses had been nipped at by Jack Frost one too many times. Books filled the shelves from floor to ceiling, and artisans cheerfully greeted each guest who entered. One of the craftspeople, Lois Sattler, an artist specializing in ceramics from Marina Del Rey, has been selling her one-of-a-kind jewelry at the Holiday Marketplace for three years, and she keeps coming back because of her love for the people. She uses precious metal clay to make pendants of various sizes; after the clay is fired in a kiln, the binder melts away and metals such as silver, gold, and copper remain. Sattler’s methodic artistry has always been of interest to Marketplace visitors, and she loves having the

opportunity to talk to them at the event. “Selling makes people happy,” said Sattler. Sattler, whose unique artwork can be seen at her portfolio on, said her favorite thing about selling her jewelry at the Holiday Marketplace is meeting people. One of the most sociable artisans was John Scott from Carpinteria. His pots, vases, and bowls were among the most unique pieces displayed at the Marketplace. “I’ve been a potter since the ‘60s, which is a bit before your time,” said Scott. “After you throw a pot, you pull gently at the rim. It gives it this floral look.” Each of Scott’s pieces is incredibly durable, and I watched him, wide-eyed, as he held a vase from its delicate rim and hit it against the table. While a majority of the vendors at the event were selling jewelry and pottery, Auntie Lala’s Sweet Petites was among the few local businesses who came to the Marketplace to sell sweet treats, including delectable peppermint bark and hot chocolate mix creatively gifted inside mason jars. Those who were unable to attend the Holiday Marketplace should be sure to attend next year, for this joyous occasion will continue to spread love for many years to come.

Pottery made by Irene Estrin.

Organic Soup Kitchen to Feed 1,300 Hungry Mouths this Thanksgiving by Madison Donahue-Wolfe STAFF WRITER Thanks to the efforts of the Organic Soup Kitchen, 1,300 to 1,600 people will not go hungry this Thanksgiving. Located in the Veterans Building in downtown Santa Barbara and founded in 2009, the Organic Soup Kitchen provides organic, nutrient dense soups to the houseless or to anyone else struggling financially. “Around the middle of 2009, I was noticing that there were a lot of people on the street in need, and that was the time of the economic downturn of the country,” said Founder Anthony Carroccio of how the Organic Soup Kitchen came to be. “And I just figured, let me start feeding people and that we did.” The Organic Soup Kitchen focuses primarily on soup, as it contains a wide array of nutrients and is easily digestible. The soup contains no chemicals or pesticides, and uses organic herbs and spices that provide anti-inflammatory benefits and balanced blood sugars. These soups are ideal for those who cannot always

count on more than one meal a day. In addition to serving meals during the holidays, the Organic Soup Kitchen partners up with other organizations to make a collective impact. By providing nutritious soups during events put on by their partners, such as Common Ground Santa Barbara and the Transition House, Organic Soup Kitchen is able to extend its reach to more people in need. The result is a coalition of non-profit organizations working together to help the widest population of the disadvantaged. This Thanksgiving, the Organic Soup Kitchen will host its fifth annual Thanksgiving Day Feast at the Veterans Building. During this event, volunteers will serve meals to more than 300 hungry mouths on Thanksgiving Day, with additional soups handed out during the week prior to Thanksgiving. “We do outreach, so we’ll also be taking meals out to different facilities,” Carroccio said. “It’ll be a grand total of about 13001600 people.” During the Thanksgiving Day feast, the Organic Soup Kitchen

serves people from all walks of life. Everyone is accepted with open arms. “During our Thanksgiving event, we serve everyone from millionaires to the homeless, and everyone in between,” Carroccio said. “If you have a desire to come to the Veterans Building and celebrate Thanksgiving with us, no one is turned away.” The Thanksgiving Day Feast will be held at the Veterans Building at 112 West Cabrillo Boulevard on Thursday, Nov. 28, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Anyone interested in volunteering should visit the Organic Soup Kitchen’s website. And anyone staying in school for the duration of break should consider having a warm and nutritious meal with this organization. The generosity of this organization is overtly apparent, from its quality ingredients to its altruistic mission statement. When asked what made him start this annual Thanksgiving Day Feast five years ago, Carroccio responded with, “I think that when people are down and out, no one really wants to stand up for them. I want to be the guy that does.”



The Bottom Line | Nov. 27 - Dec. 3

Photo by Magali Gauthier | Photo Editor

Michael Ackel, fourth-year hydrology major.

Photo by John Clow | Staff Photographer

Prateek Choudhary, ECE fourth-year grad student.

Photo by Magali Gauthier | Photo Editor

José Gámez, second-year Spanish and math double major.

No Campus for Shaved Men

Facial hair, in all its varying degrees of fullness, color, and length, has for centuries been a symbol of masculinity. But in our contemporary moment, a contempt for shaving one’s face has taken on a new meaning. Every November, millions of men—to the disdain of mothers, girlfriends, and wives everywhere—participate in No Shave November, a wiry and robust social phenomenon designed to raise awareness for men’s health issues of all kinds. So grow on, men. Grow until your heart is as full as your beard, moustache, goatee, etc. For there are no bad beards, only some that are greater than others.

Photo by John Clow | Staff Photographer Joshua Redman graduated in 2008 with a degree in sociology.

Photo by Deanna Kim | Arts & Entertainment Editor

Scott Huhman, second-year ethnomusicology.

Photo by Deanna Kim | Arts & Entertainment Editor Gad Girling, third-year environmental science and physics double major (left) and Travis Martinus, third-year chemical engineer with a minor in religious studies (right).

Photo by Magali Gauthier | Photo Editor


Robert Wojtkiewicz, fourth-year English major and The Bottom Line’s senior layout editor. Photo by Deanna Kim | Arts & Entertainment Editor William Kiltz, third-year biopsychology and technology management double major.

Arts & Entertainment

TheBottom BottomLine Line| |Nov. Nov.27 27- -Dec. Dec.33 The

‘Catching Fire’ Slays Competition in Box Office by Julia Frazer “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire� opened last weekend on Nov. 22, taking in a staggering $161.1 million in the United States’ box office. According to Entertainment Weekly, only three films have ever had a more successful opening: “Iron Man 3,� “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,� and “The Avengers.� Catching Fire is certified fresh on with a rating of 89% from critics. “Catching Fire� takes the thought-provoking themes and images from the first film and explores them even more deeply, providing an incredibly watchable and entertaining film that is superior to its predecessor. In a move that will please fans of the book, the film stayed very true to its source material—no doubt because of author Suzanne Collins’ involvement with the writing team for the film—unlike the first film, which took many more liberties with plot points. All of the actors in the film, from those playing the smallest parts to the main characters, are believable and sympathetic. After an establishing shot of the overcast forests of District 12, the audience is introduced to Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer

Lawrence). She crouches in the forest doing what she does best: hunting with her bow and arrows. The it-girl actress is soon joined by actor Liam Hemsworth in the role of Gale Hawthorne, Katniss’ best friend with whom she has a complicated relationship. The two characters reside in District 12, a coal-mining district in a dystopian future where two children from each district must compete in an annual Hunger Games, a reality-show-style killing spree. The Hunger Games are watched by both the citizens of the Capitol, who do not participate in the Games, and the districts, who are being punished for their prior rebellions. In a move that smacked of defiance, Katniss won last year’s Hunger Games, along with other District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). The two tributes were never intended to win, which leads to the premise of the second film: because of Katniss’ dissent, the previous winners from all years of the Hunger Games must become tributes once more. The second installment of the series almost entirely fixed the problems found with the first film. Some of these positive changes may be due to Lionsgate switching the director and some writers as well as funneling in a budget of $130 million,

Photo by Magali Gauthier | Photo Editor

Fans waiting in line at the Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie premiere.

one nearly twice as large as that of the first movie. In a move that would relieve many audience members, the irritating shaky cam of the first film is not at all evident in the second film. Additionally, the second film is almost entirely true to the book. Any small changes made in the adaptation from text to film did not detract from my enjoyment of the film in any way, unlike the off-putting major changes in the first film. Though the film was over two and a half hours long in order to accommodate

the lengthy novel, I never lost interest. The only portion of the film that did not meet my approval was the ending. The makers of the film decided to conclude “Catching Fire� with a heart-wrenching cliffhanger, which felt like a cheap trick to get people excited for the next installment of the trilogy, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay,� which is scheduled to come out in 2014.

The Bottom Line: 9.5/10

Partying with Sun Daes, Yonder, and the OlÊ’s at Dashain’s ‘Chill Vibes’ by Justine Estrada By hosting concerts in his Biko room, Electro-house DJ and University of California, Santa Barbara graduate Steve Aoki was able to utilize his very own living space in Isla Vista to start off his career. Since Aoki, the IV music scene has flourished, and on Saturday, Nov. 23, the Dashain co-op house held their “Chill Vibesâ€? event, also known as “Sunset at Dashain,â€? to highlight up-and-coming IV artists the Sun Daes, Yonder, and The Olè’s. Sun Daes opened up the show with their indie rock beats and got the crowd jamming along with them. The band’s style can be compared to that of Real Estate and The Growlers, with vocals similar to those of the Arctic Monkeys. The group members consist of Max Goldenstein (guitar and vocals), Gabe Poissant (guitar and vocals), JD Severino (bass), and Jared Payzant (drums), all of whom are UCSB second-years. The band members met their freshman year while living in the Santa Catalina residence hall,

better known as “FT.� Sun Daes’ surfer rock style has great energy that makes you want to hear more. “We prefer playing IV shows over Goleta shows,� said lead singer Goldenstein, explaining that the crowd in IV has better vibes. Playing shows locally allows for more students to come out and support the boys than playing out in Goleta or Santa Barbara does. They debuted their latest song, called “Title.� Although the Sun Daes have not been established that long, the group definitely has made use of their time together, and with two more years ahead of them, they are bound to only get better. Yonder, a more folksy band, switched things up with their mellow beats. Yonder is made up of Erisy Watt (guitar and vocals), Jeremy Ferrera (guitar), Elliott Wobler (bass), and Scott Pritchet (drums). Lead singer Watt has a beautifully raspy tone to her voice, making the band’s style very distinct. They compare their style to that of Bob Dylan, who also has a rock and folksy-like

Students dance at the OlÊ’s show on Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Dashain co-op.

tone to his music. The group has played shows at SOhO in downtown Santa Barbara and around Goleta. Yonder’s music makes you feel as if you have stepped into a coffee shop. With the combination of Watt’s soothing vocals and the talent of the rest of the band, their overall performance did not fail to keep the crowd bobbing their heads along to each song. Closing the event was the well known reggae and hip hop band The Olè’s. The Olè’s, who have been together for three years, is made up of Matthew Tweed (guitar and vocals), Cole Leksan (guitar and vocals), Luke Murpha (piano), Aaron Brennan (bass), and Eric Lorden (drums). This past Saturday, The Olè’s debuted two additional members, Nicholas Marks (trumpet) and Dominick Burnham (trombone), adding to the band’s punchy and aggressive sound. Like the Sun Daes, The Olè’s also met during their time living in FT. The Olè’s are often compared to bands like Iration, Rebelution, and Sublime. These boys are

certainly a band to look out for, and band manger Dom Degrassi said that he and will be starting a record label titled Co-Lab Records, along with Yonder and five other bands, and that The Olè’s were recently rated by ReverbNation as Goleta’s number one reggae band. “The Olè’s are one of the best bands for sure, because they always have great energy,â€? said third-year communication major Hope Kim. It’s clear that this group has developed a fan base around the community and are putting in work for their music, performing live on KCSB Radio earlier on Saturday. Their cover of Atmosphere’s “Sunshineâ€? was a proper way to start the crowd’s Saturday night, and the group’s eclectic sound closed off the show nicely with 2Pac’s “California Love.â€? All the bands, each very different in style, provided a variety of sounds that seemed to meet the music taste of almost every individual. Support these local artists of IV while they’re up-andcoming, because you never know when you’ll be in the presence of the next Steve Aoki.

Aaron Brennan, bassist of the OlĂŠs.




Streets of Laredo

Vol. I & II

Self Released

Diane Coffee

My Friend Fish

Western Vinyl


Wish Hotel - EP


Juana Molina

WED 21


Wild Child

The Runaround

Various Artists

Psychedelic Pernambuco

Los Campesinos!

No Blues


Blood Orange Kenny Feinstein Matthew E. White

Cupid Deluxe Loveless/ Hurts to Love

Big Inner

The Noise Company Mr Bongo Records Wichita Recordings

Domino Fluff & Gravy Domino

Hiatus Kaiyote Tawk Tomahawk Flying Buddha Fuzz

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Cole Leksan (left) and Matthew Tweed (right) are both guitarists and vocalists for the OlÊ’s.

Oneohtrix Point Never


In The Red

R Plus Seven

Warp Records



Drag City

Shy Girls

Time Share EP

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Arts & Entertainment

TheBottom BottomLine Line| |Nov. Nov.27 27- -Dec. Dec.33 The

‘Medium Cool’ Revisited by Gilberto Flores

Photo by Lorenzo Basilio | Staff Photographer

Film and media doctoral candidate and event moderator Greg Burris alongside directors Haskell Wexler and Andrew Davis (from left to right).

Presented by the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Carsey-Wolf Center, celebrated cinematographer and director Haskell Wexler visited Pollock Theater on Nov. 21 for a Q&A after the screening of his 1969 classic documentary-style drama “Medium Cool.” In a discussion moderated by UCSB’s Department of Film and Media Studies’ doctoral candidate Greg Burris, Wexler was also joined by friend and fellow filmmaker Andrew Davis (“The Fugitive”) to discuss the film’s lasting relevance and its depiction of late 1960s protest culture. “Medium Cool” follows the professional and personal life of John Cassellis (Robert Forster), a TV news cameraman whose personal work philosophy is to shoot, film, and record circumstances. John’s job becomes much more difficult in the wave of public outcry over the Vietnam War during the late 1960s. John films a monologue of verbal attacks by black power protesters on the media’s racism, gets fired after objecting to turn over that footage to the FBI, and meets Vietnam War widow Eileen (Verna Bloom). While John and Eileen are looking for Eileen’s son, the two witness the violent riots surrounding the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. It’s in the wake of this violence that John starts to realize the political power that a cameraman has in filming important political and social movements, especially in a business obsessed with recording any sensational, gory incident for the sake of ratings. “Medium Cool” gains much of its authenticity from Wexler’s use of cinéma vérité, talking heads, and techniques that capture both the fictional and nonfictional. The images of the protests in

which John and Eileen find themselves are actual footages of the 1968 Chicago Riots, immersing the viewer in real uprising and police brutality. The film’s visceral depiction of 1960s political protest, poverty, inequality, and violence explores social themes that are still very relevant today. The portrayal and documentation of late-’60s protest culture and its lasting relevance were topics of much discussion during the Q&A. When asked about the current state of American protest culture, and how we as a nation can revive the spirit and passion of protest that we had in the ’60s, Andrew Davis was quick to answer: “Reinstitute the draft.” Davis, who served as an assistant cameraman on “Medium Cool,” was referring to the way the Vietnam War draft affected public opinion toward the war, and how so much of the anger about the war was sparked by the draft’s effect on the vast majority of the population. “We’ve all been seduced so long since ‘68 to say that Washington and the military know what’s best…and it gets confusing [while] we’re all just trying to earn a living and have a life,” said Wexler, critiquing the role of politics in the news media. Wexler argued that the public should feel free enough to question the way our government is portrayed on the news and in the media in general. The conversation then turned to comparing the protest culture of the 60s to that of today. So much of today’s protest culture revolves around economic issues and the large gap between the wealthy and the poor.

“In ’68, money didn’t seem to matter at all.” said Davis, “People gave each other rides, you can sleep on someone’s floor, money didn’t seem that important. Everyone was broke.” Much of the anger was targeted at the government for violating human rights, not because of economic differences. To provide perspective, Davis sighted how his tuition as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois was $270 a semester and getting a job was not a problem. Today, the cost of education, and living in general, has grown immensely. These factors greatly contribute to the rise of protest, but they do not come close to the draft’s impact on the public. “The draft got everybody involved in the war, and it brought it home to many more people. And because there are so few jobs today, you have kids going into the military, because they have no other options or they want to pay for school.” Davis argues that the state of the economy today and young Americans’ reliance on the military has led to less resistance and passion for protest. Other topics of discussion included the Edward Snowden controversy, the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination, and Wexler’s admiration for documentary films. Wexler made sure to leave some advice for young filmmakers in the audience, saying that the duty of filmmakers and storytellers is to lift the curtain on our government and expose corruption and oppression. Regarding the commercialization of the news media, Wexler told the audience, “You filmmakers and storytellers have to go outside the conventional media, to go out with your cameras and your storytelling to break that barrier. Otherwise, we go towards more militarization and more oppression of the people.”

Andrew Bird and The Handsome Family Bring Warm Tunes to Campbell Hall by Deanna Kim ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

Photo Courtesy | Flickr User Dani Canto

Touring his 2012 studio album “Hands of Glory” and latest EP “I Want to See Pulaski at Night,” the indie-folk rock artist Andrew Bird gave a stellar performance to a full house at Campbell Hall. In an effort that took two years to accomplish, University of California, Santa Barbara’s Arts & Lectures and KCRW 106.9 presented Andrew Bird and The Handsome Family on Thursday, Nov. 21. The Handsome Family, made up of husband and wife Brett and Rennie Sparks along with drummer/multi-instrumentalist Mike Werner, opened the night with americana and alternative country tunes. Rennie, on banjo and acoustic bass guitar, opened the songs with quirky, humorous introductions. They first performed “The Bottomless Hole” and sang songs from their newest album “Wilderness,” including a song called “Woodpecker” about the 1980s Wisconsin window smasher Mary Sweeney. Reminiscent of Johnny Cash, Brett brought the haunting and sorrowful themes to life with his thundering voice and guitar, while Werner provided the steady backing drums and eccentric sounds. The Handsome Family was soon joined on stage by Andrew Bird himself. After a brief welcome, Andrew Bird and The Handsome family performed a song about suicide, entitled “Weight-


less Again.” Bird’s harrowing violin added another dimension of sadness to the family’s sound. Bird seemed reluctant to sing with, only joining in for the vocals of “The Sad Milkman,” “My Sister’s Tiny Hands,” and “When That Helicopter Comes.” Bird occasionally forgot the soulful lyrics he was singing, and after some apologizing and mumbling, the song went on with the help of fellow musicians and the encouraging chuckles of the audience. Bird later mentioned that he and The Handsome Family are old friends but that this was the first time that they had been onstage together. “This was a really magical and fun night,” said Brett in an interview after the show. “We’ve known Andrew for a long, long time. Old friends from Chicago. Probably, I don’t even know, somewhere close to 15 to 20 years. We’ve worked with each other and toured together and finally played a long set with him.” In regards to the improvisation on stage, Brett said, “We rehearsed about five minutes per song. There were some searching moments and nice interwoven moments… I had a really good time.” After a short intermission, Bird went onstage for his solo performance. Bird was accompanied only by his violin, guitar, amplifiers, a double-horned phonograph, a sock monkey in a suit,


and looping pedals. Beginning his set with instrumentals that sounded like raindrops, Bird opened with “Hole in the Ocean Floor,” and his whistling, violin, and loops combined the world of organic music with analog sound. With that, Bird said he was pleased to meet us. He disclosed to the audience that he hadn’t planned on performing that last song, and that it was something subconscious. He said he was biking up the hills earlier and noticed Santa Barbara’s oil rigs. “When the Gulf Oil Spill was happening, I was living in Venice for a little while, and I remember waking up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, in a total panic, thinking that this was some kind of disaster that just kept on going and going and going..,” said Bird. “The ocean floor was bleeding and I felt like I could hear the hole.” He also shared songs from past albums, including “Why?,” “Fake Palindromes,” “A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left,” “Give it Away,” “If I Needed You,” and “Three White Horses.” Bird also performed a song he said has yet to be put out on a record, even though he said that he performs it at almost every show. After the overwhelmingly emotional performance of ”Why?,” he explained that the song was about his roommate in college who wanted desperately to be friends. Bird

added that at times, the worst thing you can do to someone is absolutely nothing. Bird also performed “Pulaski at Night,” a song off his most recent EP, ”I Want to See Pulaski at Night.” Bird told the story behind the EP title, explaining that there is a road on the west side of Chicago named after Charles Pulaski, the revolutionary war general. He said a student visiting from Thailand wistfully said, out of nowhere, “I want to see Pulaski at night.” “We thought that was really funny,” Bird said, “because you really don’t want to see Pulaski at night.” Although Bird was charmingly humorous, his performance of the song was breathtaking. Bird closed the show whistling away to “Danse Caribe,” and after a standing ovation, he came back to the stage to perform two more songs. He sang a soulful, gospel-like song, repeating the lyrics “I’ve been redeemed,” “I’m going home,” and “you will never fear anymore.” All of Campbell Hall clapped to the beat, at which Bird remarked, ”You got great timing—really.” Bird ended the night with what he claimed was his favorite song from The Handsome Family, “Don’t Be Scared.” This sold-out event was a night of musical virtuosity, and Andrew Bird’s intimate, beautiful performance was a stunning experience.

Science & Tech

The Bottom Line | Nov. 27 - Dec. 3

Japan’s Trains Are Levitating— And Ours May Be Next Lexi Weyrick STAFF WRITER

Illustration by Amanda Excell | The Bottom Line Magnetic levitation technology, or maglev technology, has been around for around a century, though countries like Japan are just now pushing the boundaries of how far maglev can go. Recently, Japan has been testing maglev lines they have developed in order to attempt to safely reach speeds of around 315 miles per hour. Maglev technology utilizes powerful magnets to increase speed by taking the friction of a train’s wheels on a track out of the equation. Instead, the train is guided with the curve of the rail and is suspended using the magnets, so the train is quite literally levitating off of the track. Maglev trains do not require any fossil fuels to propel forward; instead, the combination of turning on and off the electromagnetic field created by the track works to push the train forward, helping it gain momentum very quickly. The ride on maglev trains is smoother than that of a commercial train and is much quieter. Currently, more places than Japan have begun to employ maglev technology. China has a maglev train that connects passengers from Shanghai to Pudong International Airport in 8 minutes, accelerating to speeds of 431 kilometers per hour. Germany previ-

ously used maglev trains for commercial passenger transport, but no longer does, according to While Japan may not be the first or only country to develop Maglev train lines, no other country has attempted to create as large of track networks as Japan is planning on constructing. By 2027, Japan hopes to build a line stretching from Tokyo to Nagoya, and by 2045, from there to Osaka, according to The Verge. Japan is making a huge investment in the construction of the Maglev lines, and due to the uncertainty of whether the investment will pay off in the distant future, Japan is offering to sell their technology to the United States. Additionally, Japan has presented the U.S. with the opportunity to build the first 40 miles of maglev track free of charge, with Japan taking the financial burden of the first step in instituting the train lines in America. For the United States, a network of maglev trains could mean drastically reduced travel time. The U.S. is considering adopting the technology for transport between New York and Washington D.C. Maglev technology would make the travel time one-third of what it currently is to travel between the two cities.

Drawbacks are present with everything that seems too good to be true, however. Maglev trains are incredibly expensive to build: Japan shelled out $112 billion for their construction. Maglev trains are also not completely reliable as of yet; an accident with a Maglev train in Germany cost 25 people their lives. Overall, the technology is highly promising for the future of the transportation industry, as well as reducing commuting time by a substantial amount, opening many doors for business and job opportunities. However, Bruce Einhorn of Businessweek remains pessimistic in regard to the adoption of the technology stateside. “Well, maybe—if in the future, politicians in the U.S. suddenly decide to make a break from decades of under-funding public transport and instead devote gigantic sums to high-speed rail,” said Einhorn. Maglev trains could be the key to moving America away from an industrialized society, in order to join the world in a futuristic society instead. Still, there are some hurdles to be cleared before the nation can turn its focus toward these miraculous magnetic trains.

Swedish Duo Develop ‘Invisible’ Bike Helmet by Sam Goldman STAFF WRITER

Illustration by Amanda Excell | The Bottom Line Two women in Sweden have developed a radical new form of the bike helmet—one that does not even cover the head until a fraction of a second before an impact. Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin’s product, called Hövding, is a collar worn around the neck that sits on the shoulders. When a bicyclist gets into an accident, a nylon airbag erupts from the back of the collar and surrounds the head and neck. According to the company, also called Hövding, Haupt and Alstin began research in 2005 and recreated thousands of bike accidents on their way to perfecting the helmet’s design. With help from airbag manufacturer Alva Sweden, they developed a collar that contains a gas inflator which uses helium to deploy an airbag in a 10th of a second to cover almost the entire neck and head while leaving the person’s field of vision unobstructed. Once the device is inflated, the pressure in the airbag remains constant for several seconds before gradually deflating, allowing the head to withstand multiple impacts under its protection. For 10 seconds during the accident, a device inside the collar records data associated with the pattern of movement the rider experiences for fur-

ther developmental work within the company. In order to ensure the helmet responds only to real accidents, Hövding had to construct a precise algorithm for its sensors to follow. To detect “the typical motions involved in a bike crash,” reports TechCrunch, Hövding utilizes battery-powered gyroscopes and accelerometers that KiroTV says analyzes movement patterns 200 times every second. The battery can be recharged through a computer and is turned on by an on/off switch located on the zipper tag that is required to be zipped up fully in order to work. According to NPR, a Swedish insurance company ran tests that found the Hövding system is at least three times better than a regular bike helmet at absorbing shock at typical urban bikeriding speeds. “We don’t like, as designers, to have this attitude that it’s people who need to change, instead of the product that needs to change,” said Haupt. “And that’s why we decided to see if we could improve them.” Much of the drive to develop such an innovate device originated in people’s aversion to the look and feel of a standard helmet. In

response, Hövding is considerably less conspicuous and uncomfortable. “Vanity might sound a bit stupid to talk about, but if that is the cause of people not protecting their heads in traffic, it is a real issue that you need to address,” said Alstin. Despite the hours of refinement and fine-tuned technology that went into the helmet’s production, it can only withstand a single crash and cannot protect a wearer against something that does not trigger its sensors, such as an object falling onto a wearer’s head from above. Additionally, it is only available in Europe at the price of €399, or about $535. In the United States, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, cyclists constitute 2 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths, and 84 percent of those are adults 20 and older. However, in no state are adults legally required to wear helmets, and part of Haupt and Alstin’s goal is to encourage helmet use with their safer, more comfortable, and better looking product. Before it can be introduced into the U.S., however, it must receive approval from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Mars or Bust: The Ongoing Exploration of the Red Planet by Julian Levy With the recent launch of two new Mars-bound spacecraft, as well as the discovery of water in the soil of Mars, the red planet is shaping up as a hotspot of exploration. This month marked the launch of two exploratory spacecraft to Mars in the continuing effort to better understand the planet. NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) and India’s Mars Orbiter Mission have both set off on a 10-month trek to collect atmospheric data in the hopes of unlocking the mysteries of Mars’s wet past. “Our journey to Mars begins now,” said India Space Research Organisation Chairman K. Radhakrishnan at the ISRO spaceport. “MOM is a

huge step taking India beyond Earth’s influence for the first time.” The Nov. 5 launch of India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) marked the nation’s first foray to the red planet. The spacecraft is expected to arrive in Mars’ orbit in 10 months, where, according to ISRO’s mission statement, it will study the planet’s morphology, mineralogy, and atmosphere. It’s long been assumed that Mars was a desiccated planet, but according to September reports on the findings of NASA’s Curiosity rover, frozen water was discovered in the fine-grained Martian soil. “If you took about a cubic foot of the dirt and heated it up, you’d get a couple of pints of water out of that—a

couple of water bottles’ worth that you would take to the gym,” said Laurie Leshin, dean of science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and lead author on the reports. We now know that water exists on Mars, frozen in the soil, but scientists are still scratching their heads as to what happened to the liquid supply. On Nov. 18, NASA launched its own spacecraft to collect data on Mars’ atmosphere for the ongoing effort to better understand the planet’s watery past. MAVEN, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN Mission, will orbit Mars elliptically, taking advantage of multiple vantage points to analyze the planet’s thin atmosphere at varying altitudes. This will allow

MAVEN to test the hypothesis that Mars’s liquid water supply evaporated away into space long ago due to solar wind—a torrent of charged particles emitted from the sun. With two spacecraft heading for potential orbits around Mars, the possibility for collaboration between NASA and ISRO seems promising. “At the point where we [MAVEN and MOM] are both in orbit collecting data we do plan to collaborate and work together with the data jointly,” said Bruce Jakosky, principle MAVEN investigator at the University of Colorado at Boulder, in an interview with While Earth’s space agencies collect various data on Mars, the big question

remains of when the data can be put to use in a manned exploratory mission. It appears that the continuation of unmanned missions like MAVEN and MOM are necessary to ensure the success and safety of future Marsbound astronauts. “If humans are there and are coming into contact with fine-grained dust, we have to think about how we live with that hazard. To me it’s a good connection between the science we do and the future human exploration of Mars,” said Leshin. “I do think it’s inevitable that we’ll send people there [to Mars] and so let’s do its as smartly as we can,” Leshin continued. “Let’s get as smart as we can before we go.”



The Bottom Line | Nov. 27 - Dec. 3

DISCUSSION POINT: Mindy Kaling Should Lend A Helping Hand To Minorities

Mindy Kaling, Do Your Thing by Alexandra Idzal Mindy Kaling is the superstar creator, writer, and star of her sitcom, “The Mindy Project.” The show follows the life of Mindy Lahiri (Kaling), an OB/GYN living in New York City, as she deals with the typical sitcom fodder of love, work, and the occasional appearance of an arch-nemesis. But despite having an Indian female lead, the majority of the cast of “The Mindy Project” is white and male, and, so far, all of Mindy’s love interests have been white men. Yet although the show is sadly lacking in three dimensional female and minority characters, Kaling should not be under obligation to write more simply because of sex or ethnicity. By making casting choices based on sex or color, the bar is effectively being set lower for these groups of people, insinuating that they could not have gotten the job despite being just as talented as their white male counterparts. In the most recent episode of the show, ”Mindy Lahiri is a Racist,” the show addresses Mindy’s monochromatic love life and the issue of race in general. The show turns a critical eye on itself when Danny, one of Mindy’s coworkers, points out that Mindy only dates white men. This shows that Kaling is aware of the trend of her casting choices and that she can make fun of herself for it. In the episode, she addresses race without really taking a stand: by the end of the day, everything is still the same. It seems the point of this episode is to acknowledge that race is an important issue, but to also acknowledge that race isn’t what the show is about. Kaling isn’t trying to use the show as a platform for a social agenda; she’s just trying to write a show that will make us laugh. Yes, the show could still have been funny if Kaling had chosen to focus on the race issue and bring back characters from the first season like Rishi, Mindy’s brother. But ultimately, the Mindy Project is becoming a workplace comedy, and these characters exist outside of that sphere. Although it is difficult for women and people in minor-

ity groups to succeed in a culture dominated by white men, focusing on what makes us different may not be the best route to take. In an interview with Vulture, Kaling said, “I never want to be called the funniest Indian female comedian that exists. I feel like I can go head-to-head with the best, white male comedy writers that are out there.” What Kaling is articulating here is the struggle to be recognized as a person, and not as a member of a victimized group. Kaling should be writing funny, complex characters that speak to her, and that’s exactly what she’s doing. White men in the same position as Kaling are not held to this standard; no one expects them to make a social statement with their work, so why are we expecting Kaling to? Her job is to write a funny TV show, so her decisions should be based on who has the most talent, what characters fit the tone of the show, and what will make “The Mindy Project” better. Could the character of Danny be played by an actor of color? Or even a woman? Sure! But then we would have a whole different character because a different actor was cast. Each actor brings a certain set of traits to the character they play: Chris Messina, who plays Danny, makes a grumpy character lovable, and balances his character’s emotions between frustration with Mindy, and a mostly hidden affection for her. He was cast because of what he could bring to the table, and how he could enhance and portray Danny’s emotions in a way that was cohesive with the goal Lahiri had for “The Mindy Project.” It’s arguable that because of the discriminatory nature of our culture, marginalized groups do need more help because of the extra obstacles set in their way. But stopping racism and sexism cannot be achieved by attempting to practice the reverse. We should stop ourselves from actively seeking out women and people of color to fill certain roles, and instead devote our energy to giving opportunities to the most talented and qualified candidates, regardless of the color of their gender.

by Lexi Weyrick Staff Writer

Photo by Courtesy | Flickr User NoHo Damon

Fox Television’s ‘The Mindy Project’ is the brainchild of Indian actress Mindy Kaling. Does she have an obligation to cast minorities and women in certain roles?

Underrepresentation has been a large issue in the media ever since people realized they could instantaneously reach mass audiences that were ready to accept whatever was in front of them. Unfortunately, not much has changed about this in the past century, despite progress made on civil rights issues. Mindy Kaling is an Indian actress born in Massachusetts. The emphasis of her TV show, “The Mindy Project,” is not on her being Indian or on her being a woman. Instead, the show, a classic sitcom, focuses on her role as an OB/GYN and her personal issues regarding the ups and downs of her being single in New York. The show, and Kaling herself, has drawn a lot of criticism for not having a greater diversity and representation of people of color, including representations of Indian culture surrounding Kaling herself. Additionally, women are underrepresented on Kaling’s show, despite her making forward-thinking feminist jokes in the show. Her four main colleagues on the show are male (Dr. Danny Castellano, Dr. Jeremy Reed, Dr. Peter Prentice, and nurse Morgan Tookers). Kaling has managed to change up the perceived image of the Indian woman through her show in many ways, so far. She does not have an overwhelming cultural influence, she dresses like most other American-born people, and she is outspoken—all stereotype-defying characteristics. She is able to amass ratings by simply being a person, which is enough to help people identify with her. Shows that prominently feature women of color are often pigeonholed to be only appealing to women of color, while shows that feature white, male casts or just white casts in general are seen as widely marketable. This is because whiteness is portrayed as the default “normal” in the overwhelming majority of television shows, movies, video games, and other forms of media. In the context of the world where any actor of color is labeled as “other” and considered a ratings liability, it would be improper to say that Kaling is obligated to cast more people of color. However, the

lack of people of color on Kaling’s show is a wasted opportunity, since Kaling, as a woman in a position of power, has the rare opportunity to bolster the careers of other women of color who are struggling in a business that is hugely dominated by white males. It is not at all fair that the burden should fall on political minorities to pick themselves up in a system controlled and created by white people, mostly males, and perpetuated by society as a whole. Unfortunately, Kaling does face pressure to step into a sort of advocacy role, since no one else (shoutout to the white people) is going to do it. Furthermore, there is no one else in Kaling’s position of being a minority lead with a mainstream following who physically can act as an advocate. “There are little Indian girls out there who look up to me, and I never want to belittle the honor of being an inspiration to them,” Kaling said in an interview with Parade. “But while I’m talking about why I’m so different, white male show runners get to talk about their art.” Kaling recognizes her position of being a role model to young girls of color, but it seems that she also finds it unfair that she is expected to bear the burden of elevating the discourse of racial representation in media while her white male counterparts, who benefit from and participate in the system that excludes so many, get to call themselves artists and only focus on whatever they want to focus on, with no such burden to bear. While I agree with Kaling’s opinion, I also feel that, though completely unjust, it often falls on the few who manage to beat the racist system of Hollywood to elevate those they inherently represent. This is because the people in power have the privilege of not being oppressed and not seeing their race oppressed, and therefore feeling no call to action. Until the white males in power start realizing people of color are people and not just a typecast role, it will tend to fall on successful people of color to help balance the gross underrepresentation of political minorities in the media.

2016 Elections: Lame Ducks and the Race to the Future by Janani Ravikumar Staff Writer It’s been a year since President Barack Obama was reelected for a second term, and potential candidates for the 2016 election are already lining up, eyeing the position like a group of wild animals ready to pounce. According to Politico, Democrats quite heavily favor Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, while Republicans are split between Govs. Chris Christie and Jeb Bush, and Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. But why start campaigning so early at all? Merriam-Webster defines a lame duck as “an elected official whose time in an office or position will soon end.” In the context of the 2016 elections, Obama will become a lame duck president after the votes are counted, as the country makes way for a new president. But the term “lame duck” can also be used to describe a person or company that is weak or unsuccessful and needs help. According to The Week Magazine, with how much controversy surrounds ObamaCare and how dissatisfied people are with it in general, Obama is quickly turning into a lame duck president long before his term is supposed to end, as he is unable to garner the support of both Democrat and Republican lawmakers. As a result, the country is now turning toward the future, to a time when Obama will no longer be in office. The main problem people—both Democrats and Republicans—cur-


Illsutration by Silvia Quach | Staff Illustrator rently have with Obama’s administration is the implementation and execution of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as ObamaCare. The goal is to reduce growth in health care spending while simultaneously

providing access to affordable, quality health insurance, according to ObamaCare Facts. The ACA is controversial for a variety of reasons, including the requirement that contraceptives be covered without co-payment and the higher taxes that will naturally be

required to maintain this system, according to Washington Post. Many of the reasons for such controversy can be boiled down to widespread misinformation about the act, and people shouldn’t be so quick to jump down Obama’s throat and pin all the blame

for the act’s shortcomings on him. According to Politico, potential candidate Chris Christie wholeheartedly embraces Obamacare, earning some raised eyebrows from his Republican peers. This has brought about a split in the Republican Party, with most of those who oppose Christie favoring Rand Paul. Another reason people are focusing so much on the 2016 election is that the media is focusing on the people who seek to usurp Obama’s position. Regardless of political affiliation, presidential campaigns are expensive—only this time, the potential candidates have started fundraising and gathering support much earlier. In a way, it’s like starting and hoping to finish a project long before it’s due. Potential candidates are struggling to win the support of the people and their respective political parties, and primaries aren’t even close. Aren’t we moving a little too fast? Considering that Obama has a good three years left, we’re losing faith in him too quickly. There’s a reason that a lot of U.S. history textbooks don’t evaluate George W. Bush’s presidency, even though it’s been five years since he was president—it’s too soon. Considering that Obama’s term isn’t over yet, it’s definitely too soon to label him as a failure so quickly, regardless of our political affiliations. While it makes sense for potential candidates to start preparing for the 2016 election so early, the rest of us should focus on what’s happening right now in this country, instead of an election that will take place in three years.

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Volume 8, Issue 8

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