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MAY 15, 2019



REEL LOUD TBL previews a few of the studentmade silent films featured in the REEL Loud film festival taking place Friday, May 24.

A&E | PAGE 6-7

Opinions Intercultural Communication: As part of the Meet Your Neighbor series, our columnist discusses the importance of establishing friendships between domestic and international students.





Photo by JUAN GONZALEZ | Photo Editor

UC Academic Lecturers Seek Improved Working Conditions JACOB WONG | National Beat Reporter


cademic lecturers play a key role in faculties across the UC system, can be found in any academic department, and teach over a third of all credit hours here at UCSB. However, according to the University Council-American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT), the current payoff for these lecturers pales in comparison to their colleagues with tenured positions. The UC-AFT is a labor union representing librarians and non-senate faculty throughout the UC system. On Wednesday, May 1, the group organized a tabling event in front of the UCSB library in an effort to raise awareness for lecturers’ needs and working rights. One of the UC-AFT’s primary concerns regarding lecturers is how many of them are considered adjunct faculty, or employed on a short-term contract. According to the union website, roughly half of the 5,000 lecturers employed by the University of California work part-time. “We’ve seen a growing trend of lecturers and other faculty in our unit who are hired part-time,

2 | NEWS

so they’ll be given one or two classes a year or they’ll only get a contract per quarter, and they don’t know if they’ll be hired for the next quarter,” stated Kathleen Patterson, a continuing lecturer for the UCSB Writing program and union member who was present at the tabling event. The effects of this arrangement run deep; not only do lecturers go from one academic year to the next without guaranteed job security, but the university has little incentive to provide resources to faculty members who could be gone the next quarter. “The problem with adjunct faculty is that it’s pervasive in the California public university system anyway,” stated Patterson. “There are lots of [faculty] working multiple jobs, commuter jobs where your office is your car and each place you don’t even have an office.” In addition to the concern over faculty turnover, equity in compensation is another key grievance that the union has cited. Currently, UC lecturers working part time are paid a minimum annual salary of $54,738, while professors have a base salary of

$91,700. UC-AFT’s awareness campaign for lecturers comes on the heels of another recent contract agreement between the union and UCOP over librarian salaries, featuring union victories in a number of key areas, including pay raises and increased benefits and protections. For the current set of lecturer negotiations, UC-AFT has listed a set of demands including livable salaries and benefits, fair hiring and reappointing procedures, faculty diversity, and union rights. Additionally, the union has made an effort to send a message that this campaign is in the best interests of students as much as it is for faculty. For Patterson, poor lecturer working conditions can spell a lower quality of education for their students. “Say something happens in a student’s life and he needs an “incomplete” for the class. Well the program is suggesting that we try not to do that because you don’t know if you’ll be back the next year to help them finish out their incomplete.” Patterson pointed to the lack of permanent office spaces as

another hardship that could potentially affect students. “When you’re meeting with students, there are actual legal requirements about student privacy when you’re discussing coursework and grade,” she stated. “If we have offices that have six lecturers at a time, how do you make sure you’re protecting students’ rights?” Citing these examples, the union is pushing the slogan “faculty equity equals student success” as part of its campaign. “Obviously if we’re overworked, we might not be able to give you the attention you need,” stated Patterson. There are no immediate plans for negotiations between UCAFT and UCSB administration to begin, but UC-AFT staff representative Holly Craig Wehrle hopes to start that conversation by the next academic year. Once contract talks do start, she expects them to be a long process. “UC is taking a lot longer to negotiate contracts. We have a lot of significant changes that we’re seeking and they’re seeking some major concessions which we’re not willing to give into, so it’s

going to be a major campaign.” Craig Wehrle said. In an email statement to The Bottom Line, UCOP spokesperson Sarah McBride confirmed that negotiations with UC-AFT are occurring at a system-wide level, and the UC’s ultimate goal is a multiyear agreement “with market-competitive pay (consistent with past years), along with excellent health and retirement benefits – to recognize the significant contributions our lecturers make to UC’s education mission.” In the meantime, Craig Wehrle and other union members hope to mobilize students to start getting involved in the effort. “There are going to be a lot of opportunities in the future… some of it is staying informed, some of it is asking their lecturers about their working conditions,” stated Craig Wehrle. Patterson chimed in, “Solidarity that’s visible really sends a message to the university. It lets them know that they’re not just negotiating with us, but they’re negotiating with you. And there are a lot of you.”

Engaging Humanities Program Launches, Aiming to Increase Student Success in the Humanities ANNIE HUANG | Staff Writer


ith majors in humanities on a nationwide decline, the Engaging Humanities program aims to inform incoming UCSB freshman and transfer students about the majors and opportunities that the school offers for the humanities, including new courses and redesigned foundation classes. Building upon the foundation of the original Discovery @ UCSB Seminars program, which created interdisciplinary courses in small classroom sizes, the Engaging Humanities Initiative gives students the opportunity to learn, think, and act on possible solutions to real world problems. The program is funded by a five-year, 1.67 million dollar grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which it received in fall 2018. The Mellon Foundation is an organization that seeks to “strengthen, promote, and [...] defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts.”. For the 2019-2020 school year, the Engaging Humanities

will offer a selection of courses during summer session B and the coming fall quarter called Learning Communities. Learning Communities are highly interactive 20-student courses. To qualify, students must have been named a Mellon Humanities Scholar, which incoming freshmen and transfers can apply for. In addition, the Learning Communities courses will have Graduate Student Fellows providing mentorship both in the classroom and throughout the completion of the student’s major, including career guidance and portfolio building. Students can look forward to innovative courses such as Inventing Attention (INT 36IA) and Facing Climate Change through Learning and Advocacy (INT 136FC), investigating topics of people, communities, and cultures through research models, analysis of texts and films, as well as original projects. Designed to be applicable to current issues and real world events, projects and research that

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students create in class will be submitted in electronic portfolios that can be showcased to future employers and graduate schools. Furthermore, these courses fulfill the general education writing requirement. According to the Engaging Humanities Facts and Figures, 80 percent “of employers want skills that students build in humanities majors,” such as experience and skills in critical thinking, analytical reasoning, written and oral communication, and entrepreneurship. In an interview with The Bottom Line, Linda Adler-Kassner, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education at UCSB, Professor of Writing Studies and Faculty Director of the Center for Innovative Teaching, Research, and Learning stated ”A degree in the humanities teaches students how to learn about other people's experiences, identities, cultures, and practices and come together — both to make meanings and to act on those meanings in ways that are beneficial for humans.”

“People don't stay in careers anymore — they change jobs — and the jobs they go into don't exist yet,” explained Adler-Kassner. “People have to [learn] how to work in ecosystems and cultures that haven’t even been shaped yet.” The Engaging Humanities courses aims to push students to think in innovative ways from

observing and analyzing other peoples and cultures, as well as being able to effectively come up and communicate their own ideas to others, adaptive skills that are necessary for the dynamic and innovative workforce of the present and future. Illustration by Annie Huang | Staff Writer

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Gauchos Sweep Dirtbags, Stay on Top in the Big West JACOB WONG | National Beat Reporter


he UC Santa Barbara baseball team, ranked Number Seven, extended toward its current nine-game winning streak with a dominant three-game sweep over the Long Beach State Dirtbags this past weekend. Coming out of the series, the Gauchos now hold a 40-7 record, good for the highest winning percentage (0.85) in the nation. The record also marks the eighth time in the program’s history that the team has won forty or more games in a season, with three of those high-winning seasons coming under current head coach Andrew Checketts. The Gauchos (40-7, 13-5) received contributions up and down the lineup throughout the


series, featuring catcher Eric Yang (Jr.) (6 for 12, 1 HR, 4 RBI), outfielder Armani Smith (Jr.) (6 for 13, 6 R), and second baseman Andrew Martinez (So.) (5 for 9, 1 HR, 4 RBI) as standouts. The first game of the series featured a solid performance from starter Ben Brecht (Jr.), who went 6.1 innings and allowed two earned runs on five hits. The Dirtbags (11-38, 5-13) struck first in the contest, plating a run on a Joy Cole RBI single in the second inning — but the Gauchos regained their footing with two runs of their own on a Marcos Castanon (So.) RBI double, followed by a Cole Mueller (So.) sacrifice fly in the bottom of the frame. The Gauchos would go on to

score three more runs in the fifth inning, a run in the sixth, and another run in the eighth — all on their way to a comfortable 8-2 victory. The run in the sixth came courtesy of a Mueller solo home run, the first big fly of his career. With the victory, Brecht improved to a team-best 9-1 record. Starter Jack Dashwood (So.), right behind Brecht with a record of 8-1, started last Saturday’s game pitching well, giving up only one run on five hits over five dominant innings. Martinez, Yang, and designated hitter Thomas Rowan each hit home runs for the Gauchos, who beat the Dirtbags handily in a 13-1 rout. The Gauchos struck early against Dirtbags starter Zak Baay-

oun in the final game of the series on Sunday, driving in six runs in the bottom of the first. The trio of Yang, Rowan, and Martinez was at the center of the action once again, each with an RBI single to start the scoring. Following a Tommy Jew (Jr.) sacrifice fly to put the Gauchos up 4-0, Castanon capped off the rally with a two-run home run left center. The early offensive outburst would be more than enough for starter Rodney Boone (Fr.), who limited the Dirtbags to three runs over five innings, and reliever Shea Barry (Jr.) who pitched a spotless 2.2 innings in relief. With the series victory, the Gauchos remain on top in a three-team race for the Big West

title. Currently, UCSB (15-3) sits two games ahead of Cal Poly SLO (13-5) and three games above UC Irvine (12-6) in the conference standings with two weeks left to play in the season. For the Gauchos, a first place finish would mean the program’s first conference title since the 1986 season and its first under head coach Checketts. “We know we’re good, we know we’re going to win over 40 games — we’ve known that for a little bit of time here,” assistant coach Donegal Fergus told KCSB radio. “So I think our guys are starting to smell that the Big West title is within their grasp, and I think you saw that this weekend.” Photos by Kevin Zeng | vContributing Photographer

REEL LOUD Chooses Festival Selections MADISON KIRKPATRICK | Staff Writer


n Friday, May 24, the Film and Media Studies department at UC Santa Barbara will be hosting their twenty-eighth annual REEL LOUD festival. The festival is known for its unique focus on student-made silent films, featuring musical accompaniment from a live band. Recently, the festival committee chose twelve student films to be shown at the event. Here is a preview of what you can expect some of these films to have: "Daisy", Cameron Leingang This film begins with a teenage boy waking up in the sand on the ocean, to the tune of orchestra music and following the gaze of a female. We only see her hair and back at first. He follows after her and she runs away — leading into his reminiscing on a time where he and the same female were friendly with one another. Suddenly, she turns back and smiles, giving him the motivation to continue his plight to find her. In another scene, they share a picnic lunch and argue about some unforeseen circumstance. He continues playing this game of tag, and finally meets up with her where they immediately embrace and walk together into the woods. With no warning, he proposes. Unfortunately for him, an unexpected twist is about to befall this once-charming story of young love. He drives back out to the same woods with a flower he held in his hand, and notices something strange — clarifying once and for all who Daisy is. Overall, the music is fitting to the film throughout, and the use of flashbacks makes it a nostalgic yet hopeful experience with the characters. "Mapache Ataque", Nick Counter

The film starts with a couple holding hands, walking past UCSB’s Davidson Library. Another group of friends talks amongst themselves at a table, and two girls lay on the grass, soaking up the sun — the classic image of a warm day on the beautiful college campus. Delving further into Gaucho iconography, our beloved mascot is there to witness it all, tipping his wide-brimmed hat at passerby. Various other references to UCSB cultural understanding are brought to life as the mascot holds up a raw tortilla to eat, and proceeds to dances across a lively sequence of UCSB landmarks. He kills flies as students search for answers to his madness. Changing the mood, a raccoon mascot attacks, and is fought back by frisbeeing tortillas. The two mascot contenders then engage in a battle which winds up becoming a dance fest. You’ll have to check this film out to discover which side emerged victorious, but can count on being entertained regardless. This film was weird, but it garnered lots of laughs due to its quirkiness. I highly recommend it. "Sopresas", Daniel Andres Blanco The film begins with someone dragging a — presumably dead — detective out of the scene. The same detective is then pictured playing the drums on his thigh. In another piece of cryptic context, a man sings in Spanish. A man playing a piano watches as two others fight. While eclectic in its content, the arc of the story shines through as viewers are able to piece together a point behind all of the visual detail-work. As the aforementioned girl walks off, two men playing instruments narrate her journey. From a dance montage complete with twirls, to a subse-

quent violent twirl of the plot which is sure to shock, this film is packed with intrigue and is well worth the audience’s careful attention. The accompanying music fit the theme of this film well, playing powerfully against each scene, which brought one surprise after another. "Saawaryia", Aashka Pandya At the beginning of this film, a man and a woman presumed to live together are seen going through their daily routine. A charming sight at first, the mood is interrupted as she shakes her head and ends the montage. Going deeper, the viewer is then given a look into what led to this moment, as problems from jealousy to feelings of not being appreciated have laced the couple’s relationship for what seems to have been a long time. Intermittently throughout the film, she dances to exotic music, wearing a beautiful outfit. She is looking into attending the Rhode Island School of Design — hiding an informational pamphlet when her significant other walks into the room — and later finds that she was accepted. He is angry at her, to which she responds with desperate pleading, but he proceeds to lash out and destroy some of her artwork. Concluded with a scene of resolve and personal growth, this film is a powerful look into a complex issue, and is done beautifully. I was lucky to attend an exclusive preview of these four films, diverse in their strengths and featured themes, but alike in their great craftsmanship and ability to captivate  I would recommend the event to all, as it would be a treat to see each of these films in their full capacity.

The festival is known for its unique focus on student-made silent films, featuring musical accompaniment from a live band.



Grammy-nominated DJ, Tokimonsta, gave an energy-packed performance in the Hub last Wednesday night for the students of UC Santa Barbara.

VANESSA SU | Staff Writer


S Program Board provided UCSB students a small treat before the much anticipated annual Extravaganza event on May 19. DJs TOKiMONSTA and ALASKAFORNIA played for the eclectic student population of EDM and house-music lovers on Wednesday, May 8, in The Hub. American producer and DJ TOKiMONSTA, who received her first ever Grammy nomination earlier this year, enthusiastically performed for UCSB’s student population with a set featuring many new tracks as well as old throwback remixes. Along with TOKiMONSTA, the performance featured an innovative set from UCSB student and DJ ALASKAFORNIA who often mixes locally in house parties at Isla Vista and venues in Santa Barbara. A murmur of excitement passed through the crowd as

TOKiMONSTA graced the stage with a smile adorning her face. After giving a shout-out to UCSB, the entire crowd resonated with the vibes of her music as she started her performance, which is famous for integrating both Chinese musical instruments and modern electronic sounds. With remixes of popular pop songs such as Missy Elliott “Get Ur Freak On” and tracks like “Light It Up,” which was a collaboration with ZHU, TOKiMONSTA got the crowd grooving instantly as she performed. “Shout out to all my Asian people,” TOKiMONSTA said as the crowd cheered. Her voice boomed in the mic as she continued, “It’s Asian Pacific Islander month so this song is for you,” before playing “Bibimbap” off her "Lune Rogue" album (a tribute to both Asian Pacific Islander month and her Korean background).

A frequent performer at festivals like Coachella, Electric Zoo, and DEMF, TOKiMONSTA began mixing songs in 2009 and was eventually invited to join the Full Flex Express Tour along with fellow DJs such as Skrillex, Diplo, and Grimes. In late 2015, she was diagnosed with Moyamoya disease and briefly lost language and comprehension skills following two surgeries. After her recovery, she returned to making music and is an inspiration for many artists, even earning her first Grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronic album with her fifth album, "Lune Rogue."   The opener, ALASKAFORNIA, also delivered a stand-out show. Introducing herself as a fellow student at UCSB before starting the first half of the show with innovative mixing, she rocked the stage with her animated presence and amicable at-

titude. Her nameless tracks were heavily inspired by house and techno influences and contained a multitude of high-hat cymbals and synth sounds. A fourth-year psychology student at UCSB, ALASKAFORNIA is a playful DJ who was raised in Orange County and enjoys mixing house and techno music in her spare time. Also known as Alaska yokota, ALASKFORNIA transferred to UCSB two years ago and began mixing music in her dorm before being invited to play at several Greek life events. TOKiMONSTA and ALASKAFORNIA left a deep impression as they balanced professionalism with a sense of cheery enthusiasm that shined through the constant smiles on their faces throughout their performances, allowing students to fully enjoy their music the entire night. TOKiMONSTA gleefully

Author’s Recommended Songs: “Gamble” by TOKiMONSTA “UGH MIX 2” by ALASKAFORNIA


sang along with the crowd to her favorite tracks off of her albums while ALASKAFORNIA proudly represented the student population at UCSB and showcased her hobby-turned-passion for mixing music. An inspirational role model for female DJs, TOKiMONSTA is currently traveling on tour through the United States. A current student at UCSB, ALASKAFORNIA can be found performing at upcoming Greek life events and mixing music at house parties. Both artists are constantly coming out with new remixes of tracks, so fans should anticipate announcements of future music projects and performances from both artists! Photos by Jade Martinez-P | Web Editor





s a part of Monster Energy’s Outbreak Tour, Slushii played a set at EOS Lounge on Wednesday, May 8. In front of a packed house filled with students, locals, and die-hard Slushii supporters sporting his iconic jersey, the American DJ played an hourand-a-half set, mixing old school

throwbacks, current pop hits, and his popular EDM songs. Off the stage, Julian Scanlan wears his brand on his chest and even his head. Known for his electric green hair, Scanlan also sports his colorful and vibrant Slushii jerseys, maintaining true to his brand. His captivating character is exemplified in his

music and even his visuals; bright images of cartoons abound in his discography, reflecting the animated effects of his music. Slushii brought his iconic video game-like beats, mixing bouncy, energetic sounds, and, of course, his eccentric character and brand, into his concert. Some major highlights he performed

included his personal hits like “Twinbow” and many collaborations with fellow DJ, Marshmello. The entire 90-minute performance was jam packed with high energy, surprising drops, and beat switches. He started his mix off with a bang, incorporating one of his most iconic songs with Marshmello, “Want U 2.” This song personifies Slushii as an artist, showcasing his cheerful and lively tendencies on the DJ controller. It incorporates a fun and upbeat tone while promoting positive lyrics. Slushii showcased his versatility via his seamless transitions between polarized genres of music. For example, he would play trap hits like Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode” and Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” followed up by Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Cascada’s “Everytime We Touch.” This frenzied mixture of songs got the crowd going as it appealed to all types of musical interests. As the set progressed, some of the bass-heavy EDM drops got a little repetitive, but Slushii kept the energy up with his periodic chants. His patented plea, “Somebody scream!,” and his captivating visuals, like an image of Optimus Prime repeatedly dabbing, highlighted his zany and unique style. His second-to-last song was a popular mash-up of Kanye West’s “All of the Lights” infused with San Holo’s “Light.” This drop garnered the highest praise from the crowd right before Slushii transitioned into his final and most recognizable song, “There x2,” another track with Marsh-

mello. The denouement of the performance details his longing for someone, a sad sentiment contrasted with the upbeat and happy backdrop. The track repeatedly recycles the phrase “I still miss you,” but the variety of the beat and the slow build-up to the drop don’t make the phrase seem too trite. After going off the stage, the crowd urged for an encore, prompting Slushii to play a mix of Drake Bell’s “I Found a Way,” the theme song to the popular television show “Drake & Josh. Even as a DJ who is accustomed to playing in front of thousands of people, Slushii delivered a successful, albeit more intimate, show at EOS Lounge last week. Replace the huge festival crowds with a smaller audience and far fewer theatrics and people might expect a subpar performance. However, equipped with his fun and fresh beats and high-octane energy, Slushii provided an outstanding musical listening experience for his enthusiastic crowd. At the beginning of the Monster Tour, the energy drink company collaborated with Up & Up Festival to bring Slushii to six colleges whose students ordered the most pre-sale tickets. UC Santa Barbara didn’t qualify as finalists like it did for Gryffin in 2018, so it was a pleasant surprise to see Slushii’s name on the lineup card for EOS Lounge’s May rotation. He will continue to tour around the United States in May with his next show at Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles on May 11. Image Courtesy of Wikipedia | The Bottom Line




n May 11, hundreds flocked to UCSB’s Campbell Hall to listen to a man tell his stories. They sat in awe as he spoke of his past and his connection to UCSB. They had gathered to hear the tales of Neil Gaiman, a world-renowned storyteller and friend of the campus. Gaiman is an English author of fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, children's stories, and short stories. He is most well known for his novels "Coraline," "Stardust," "Good Omens," "American Gods," and the comic book series "The Sandman." He has won numerous awards in his career and had many of his intellectual properties turned into movies and television shows. The night began when Gaiman walked onto the stage. The hall roared with applause for his appearance. He carried with him a stack of index cards full of submitted questions and an iPod full of books to read to the audience. Throughout the night, he picked a question from the stack and respond with a tale from his life. “Nothing tonight has been planned,” Gaiman said.This statement from Gaiman truly embod-


ied one of the main themes of the night — the other being a focus on remembrance. The night felt like one long conversation about the past rather than a lecture about his works. One of the first stories that Gaiman told the audience about his relationship to UCSB and his old friend Frank McConnell, a late English professor from UCSB.Gaiman told the audience that McConnell was one of the first academics to seriously analyze his work, "The Sandman." McConnell wrote an academic review of the graphic novel and taught it in his classes at the time.“UCSB was the first school that I was ever invited to speak at,” Gaiman said. Gaiman also told the audience how McConnell wanted to nominate Gaiman's "The Sandman" series for a Pulitzer Prize, but wasn’t able to because of the fact that Gaiman is English.The next stories that Gaiman told the audience was about another late friend of his, Terry Pratchett. Pratchett was a famous English fantasy author. Some of his most well-known works were the "Discworld" series, "Nation," and "Good Omens," which he co-authored with Gaiman. Gaiman

began by reading the first chapter from "Good Omens" to the audience. He explained that the story was originally his own idea, but Pratchett enjoyed the concept so much that he offered to either purchase the property from him or co-author the book with Gaiman. Gaiman spent almost an hour reminiscing on the life of his friend. He spoke of how, near the end of Pratchett’s life, both men spent years trying to pitch "Good Omens" to any film studio that would be willing to pick it up. Pratchett died in March 2015 before the story was picked up. In a letter to Gaiman, Pratchett urged him to finish the project that they had started. “I know how busy you are, but I want to see this before the darkness takes me. Will you do this, please?” he wrote to Gaiman in the letter.In 2017, Amazon Video picked up the property and decided to adapt it into a television mini-series that would premiere on its streaming network. Gaiman took up the role as executive producer for the series to ensure that it would stay true to his and Pratchett’s story and vision for the project. The last major story of the night was about the weeks that

inspired his tribute to Ray Bradbury. When Bradbury turned 91 years old, Gaiman wrote him a short story called “The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury.” The story focuses on a man who has forgotten Ray Bradbury’s name, but remembers everything else created by him. “Sometimes when the words go away I can find them by creeping up on them from another direction. Say I go and look for a word — I am discussing the inhabitants of the planet Mars, say, and I realize that the word for them has gone. I might also realize that the missing word occurs in a sentence or a title. The________ Chronicles. My Favorite _________. If that does not give it to me, I circle the idea,” read Gaiman.Before reading this story to the audience, Gaiman told the story of its inspirations. During a troubling week in Gaiman’s life, he told the audience how he had forgotten some-

thing important in his life. He was trying to remember what or who it was. There were moments when he could remember things about the person, but not the person.“He works at UCSB. He’s an English professor. But what’s his name?” said Gaiman.He had forgotten about Frank McConnell. It had been a decade since his death. Gaiman talked about how he could have “googled” his friend’s name, but instead he kept searching for it in his brain. This frantic mental search is what inspired the piece.After that story, Gaiman realized what time it was, and decided to answer a few quick questions before ending the night. Six episodes of Neil Gaiman’s "Good Omens" are set to release on May 31, 2019, on Amazon Prime.

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia | The Bottom Line

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Communication: One Long Term Benefit of Studying Abroad MEG WINNETT


s one of the two domestic International Student Advisory Board members, I feel that I am only able to contribute to the group because of the life-changing and ethnorelative experiences I had while studying abroad; in particular, moments of real intercultural communication during my conversations with domestic students. My semesters in other universities around the world continue to enrich my daily life, including encouraging me to continue making international friends. When I lived in Argentina — a predominantly Spanish-speaking country — I met several people who were willing to take the time to listen to my broken, grossly accented Castellano because they wanted to have conversations with me. Their kindness and patience was not lost on


me, and I was grateful to them for prioritizing an international friendship, even if the conversation would not be easy. However, not every international student can relate to my experience. During ISAB’s winter quarter InTALKnational event (in which we surveyed international students about their experiences at UCSB), as well as a series of one-on-one peer interviews, several UCSB international students told us that they were not particularly close with any domestic students. They mostly blamed this distance on language barriers and cultural differences. I would argue that to some extent, it should fall to domestic students to challenge these seemingly insurmountable discrepancies through intercultural learning, including possibly studying abroad. According to Western Oregon

University’s Victor Savicki, the “dynamic disequilibrium” inherent within studying abroad can be conducive to personal growth and development. Living outside of one’s comfort zone and facing cultural differences head-on can help one become more “interculturally competent.” When I was abroad, people were willing to be patient with me to make me feel welcome, and I will never forget that kindness. Perhaps if more domestic students challenged themselves to go to new places or even learn about other cultures, we could all learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. These language barriers and cultural differences don’t need to hinder potential lifelong, transcontinental friendships. I cannot imagine the bravery, grace, and dedication to academic excellence it must have taken for my international friends to move

to a new country as teenagers. They left behind their families, cultures, continents, and languages for (at least) four years in order to pursue the best higher education in the world. I struggled to leave for just one semester, even when I had my return ticket in my pocket! And afterwards I let others applaud me — and I ardently congratulated myself — for being so courageous and independent as to live in another country. Don’t get me wrong — I loved my time abroad and I think about it every day with fondness, and I am proud that I challenged myself. But I have to concede that it was a relatively short length of time compared to my entire undergraduate experience, whereas for international students it is their entire undergraduate experience. I don’t mean to set up a di-

chotomy here that assumes that domestic students, whether they go abroad or stay in state, aren’t as brave or “cool” as their international peers. I am instead proposing that domestic students like myself should make much more of an effort to interact and establish friendships with students from other places. Studying abroad taught me how to be okay with feeling uncomfortable, and now I am even more open to making friends with people from all over the world. If more domestic students were to make that choice to leave the United States in favor of adventures in new places, they might just find that the self-confidence they glean from their travels will continue to benefit them years afterward.

Arming Teachers is Not the Answer




n the current dialogue surrounding gun control it seems that most everyone is calling for more and more gun laws; Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently answered this call, but not in the way that most expected. On May 8, Governor Desantis signed a bill into law that will allow teachers to be armed in public school classrooms effective Oct. 1 of this year. This program literally seeks to fight fire with fire, which could have some serious, nationwide implications if other states follow Florida’s example. First and foremost, the decision to arm teachers sends the message that schools are no longer safe spaces meant for education, but battlegrounds where students are treated like potential criminals and teachers like are pseudo law enforcement agents. This bill was drafted as a part of the “Guardian Program,” which was developed in response to the Parkland massacre on Feb. 14, 2018, which killed 17 students and staff members. As the name would imply, this program’s core philosophy claims that armed teachers will be able to effectively defend themselves and their students from potential shooters. Unsurprisingly, this bill has sparked quite a bit of controversy among Florida state officials, state residents, and many Americans who worry about the legal precedent that this bill has set. Some, like Governor Desantis, believe that arming teachers could deter potential shooters and lower the number of casualties in future shootings. Others, like myself, believe that arming poorly trained teachers and licensing them to use lethal force at their own discretion will result in gross misuse of power and old western-style shootouts that will only increase casualties in future shootings. Classrooms are designed to be collabo-

rative, comfortable spaces meant to facilitate learning and to make students excited about education. Seeing a teacher carry a gun on their hip could completely change the classroom environment from an educational haven into a space that constantly reminds students of potential danger and violence. It is also quite possible that school shooters will no longer just be students or outside aggressors, but the teachers themselves. Teachers are not screened or trained to carry firearms like law enforcement officials are, making it unrealistic to expect that they’ll make effective, tactical decisions in the midst of an active shooting. It’s far more likely that teachers would make the wrong call in situations that they are not trained to deal with, or even potentially abuse their power. Teachers with prejudices could choose to inflict violence upon special needs students, racial minorities, or any students with behavioral problems, thanks to this new source of relatively unchecked power. One must also question where the money for purchasing firearms and training teachers to use these firearms will actually come from. Florida is currently rated 48th in the nation for teacher salaries already, so it would seem that buying firearms and paying for training sessions is a gross misallocation of funds that would be better spent improving educational tools for the students that this bill claims to be protecting.


KINGS OF THE 805 With summer just around the corner, UCSBreakin’ hosted its 6th annual Kings of the 805 breakdancing jam on Saturday, May 11th. 32 crews from North and South California congregated at UCSB’s Roberton’s Gymnasium to battle over the title of King of the 805. In addition to the tournament style battles, bboys from competing groups teamed up for an Old School versus New School exhibition which made this year’s jam even more special for its attendees.


1 1 Breakdancer shows off an impressive freeze during a cypher break session. 2 A Bboy gets the cypher energized with his single-handed hand hops. 4 JC of BE Crew, shows the audience why he was chosen to be a judge at the 6th annual Kings of the 805.



Photos by Juan Gonzalez and Maddison | The Bottom Line

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Profile for The Bottom Line (UCSB)

Spring 2019, Issue 6  

May 15, 2019 |

Spring 2019, Issue 6  

May 15, 2019 |

Profile for tblucsb