Volume 8, Issue 10 | Jan. 22-28, 2014
UCSB’s Weekly Student-Run Newspaper
@tblucsb / thebottomline.as.ucsb.edu
We visited the Goleta Monarch Grove and flitted among the trees with the butterflies.
Electronic musicians Giraffage, Cub’b, and Underbelly lit up SOhO last Thursday, Jan. 16.
Are Internet protests effective? Read one writer’s thoughts on “The Day We Fight Back.”
Photos / 4
A&E / 5
Sci&Tech / 6
IV BEAT REPORT Investigation Unearths Marijuana Concentrate Production, Child Pornography by Giuseppe Ricapito IV Beat Reporter
Queer Student Union’s
WINTER WONDER DRAG 2nd annual
-see page 5 for the full article
Photo by | The Bottom Line
Avery Daniels struts her stuff through the Hub last Thursday, Jan. 16.
UCSB Awaits Approval on New Meningitis Vaccine by Julia Frazer Staff Writer
The University of California, Santa Barbara and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are working to obtain FDA approval to administer a meningitis vaccine on campus that will inoculate against the serogroup B strain. Serogroup B is the source of all four cases of the UCSB outbreak. “The nature of the disease and the cases at Princeton University this fall support moving forward with vaccination,” said a letter released by Chancellor Henry T. Yang and Student Health Director Dr. Mary Ferris on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. “The University has been working with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health officials to expedite access to the vaccine.” This vaccine targeting serogroup B, already approved for use at Princeton, is in the process of being approved for use at UCSB. Routine vaccinations for meningitis do not protect against serogroup B. Currently, the serogroup B meningococcal vaccine is licensed for use in Europe, Canada, and Australia. The CDC is pursuing an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the FDA to use the serogroup B vaccine on UCSB students. “Since this vaccine is not licensed in the United States, it is considered ‘investigational’ and requires a special process in order to use it,” said Ferris. The CDC reported to NBC on Monday, Jan. 6, that enough shots to vaccinate 20,000 students could be available within several weeks. However, NBC news also reports that CDC officials have been unable to predict a more precise timeframe for launching the vaccine at UCSB, citing the complex steps that
must take place before approval. There have been four confirmed cases of meningitis on the UCSB campus, all of which occurred in November 2013. According to the CDC, no additional cases have been diagnosed since Nov. 21, 2013. The first and most severe case, student Aaron Loy, is currently receiving treatment at a hospital in San Diego. “The UCSB community’s sincere sympathy goes out to the student who is still recovering, his family and friends,” said Ferris. “A fund has been established to provide financial assistance for his recovery.” The three other cases have been discharged and have returned to campus. “CDC and state and local health officials have gathered and analyzed current and historical data and determined that additional cases are likely to occur at UCSB,” according to the CDC. “Based on that conclusion, the request will be made to FDA to gain access to the vaccine.” UCSB Student Health is working in close contact with Santa Barbara County Public Health Department to report and treat anyone who is at increased risk from close contact with the infected. Close contact involves contact to the ill person’s respiratory secretions through shared eating utensils or cigarettes, kissing, or close face-to-face prolonged contact. Student Health recommends frequent hand-washing and that students avoid sharing drinking cups and smoking devices to prevent the spread of infectious disease. Meningitis can cause fever, headache, stiff neck, unusual rash, vomiting, and photophobia. Students with these symptoms should be sent to the Emergency Room immediately and contact Disease Control at (805) 681-5280.
A cursory misdemeanor citation on the night of Wednesday, Jan. 8, escalated less than a week later into a slew of additional crimes that incriminated the roommate of the initial offender. Santa Barbara County Sheriff ’s Deputies were citing an unnamed man on Wednesday evening for a minor in possession of alcohol (MIP) charge when the subject fled the scene. According to news release from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff ’s Office, Sheriff ’s Deputies and IV Foot Patrol Officers were able to ascertain the identity and address of the subject with assistance from local residents, but their arrival at his residence on the 6600 block of Sabado Tarde sparked a chain of events that far exceeded their original objective. The roommate of the unnamed individual that received the MIP, 19-year-old University of California, Santa Barbara student Scott Lienhart, was discovered “in the back yard in the process of manufacturing concentrated cannabis,” according to the news release. Though Lienhart’s particular method could not be confirmed, the chemical production of cannabis concentrates typically involves a gaseous solvent such as butane or CO2. Santa Barbara County Sherriff ’s Office Detectives with the Criminal Investigations Division served a search warrant at the residence on Tuesday, Jan. 14, and in the course of their investigation, child pornography was found on Lienhart’s cell phone. IV Foot Patrol Lt. Rob Plastino was unable to provide specific information about the nature of the pornography. “Child pornography has a rigid set of criteria that must be met before a picture or video falls into that category,” Plastino said. “I can say that the evidence found was investigated by our Criminal Investigators and determined to be child porn.” The news release states that Lienhart “was arrested and taken into custody” and subsequently “booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail for possession of child pornography.” Lienhart was released from police custody “on his recognizance and is scheduled to appear in court for his arraignment.” The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office is currently reviewing the additional charges of manufacturing drugs by chemical means and possession of a controlled substance. The DA’s office will also be responsible for setting sentencing guidelines regarding Lienhart’s possession of child pornography. Santa Barbara County Sheriff ’s Public Information Office Kelly Hoover confirmed that Lienhart was in possession of California medical marijuana identification at the time of his arrest, but noted, “even if he did have a card he’s not authorized to make concentrated cannabis.” Plastino corroborated with similar information, noting a clear distinction between marijuana and THC (marijuana’s active ingredient) concentrates. “Keep in mind that he’s not being charged with possession of marijuana,” Plastino said. “He’s being charged with manufacturing an illegal substance from marijuana. Having a medical marijuana
See INVESTIGATE | Page 2
AS BEAT REPORT
AS Senate Supports Increased Sexual Assault Prevention Education
California’s Emergency Drought State Calls for Cuts in Water Usage by Judy Lau STAFF WRITER Gov. Jerry Brown released a formal statement on Friday, Jan. 17, stating that California has entered its worst dry spell in a century, putting residents and properties in extreme danger. Brown made the announcement while under increasing pressure from lawmakers, farmers, and activists. According to ABC News, Brown declared that the drought creates “conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property.” California currently struggles with the lowest amount of rainfall in its 153-year history, causing reservoir levels to fall and firefighters to worry. Brown is calling on all the citizens to cut back on 20 percent of water use in order to recover and move forward from this drought, according to the LA Times. State reservoirs are critically low, thus encouraging cities across the state to begin and continue water-rationing measures. “We ought to be ready for a long, continued, persistent effort to restrain our water use,” Brown said. State water officials say that California’s reservoirs are currently below their record lows, and that the snowpack’s water content is at 20 percent of normal average for this time of year. The drought declaration also streamlines the rules for water agencies to transfer water from one part of the state to another to help the shortages. Additionally, it encourages the state to hire seasonal firefighters, limit the landscaping of highways, and raise awareness. According to the LA Times, although Brown attempted to downplay the effect of the drought declaration, those affected by the water shortage say that his statement will help drasti-
cally in getting more Californians to focus on the problem and change their lifestyle. Like Brown, University of California President Janet Napolitano aims to reduce water use by 20 percent on all UC campuses by 2020, according to the UC Newsroom. “UC is prepared to play a leadership role in response to California’s current water crisis by demonstrating water sustainability to the rest of the state,” Napolitano said. Napolitano also said that the goal complements the Carbon Neutrality Initiative the university has already implemented, which is a set of effective actions taken to reduce greenhouse gases and mitigate climate change. UC campuses, including UC Santa Barbara, have already established a water use baseline against a three year average. Because of the drought state of emergency, the 20 percent reduction goal will be added to each campus’s baseline. Although there are not any set plans specific to UCSB in terms of this new change yet, the Environmental Affairs Board (EAB) has launched a new campaign that educates the student body about the importance of water use on campus. It addresses the amount of water wasted and used on the campus, statewide, nationwide, and globally. The campaign has also made campus goals that include the installment of timed showerheads in the dorms and water purifiers in hopes of eliminating plastic water bottles on campus. Although the UC policy is not set in stone yet, it will be discussed at this week’s meeting of the UC Board of Regents in San Francisco. “These efforts are critical to addressing the formidable water, energy, and climate challenges facing California, the nation, and the world,” Napolitano said.
Photo by Lorenzo Basilio | Staff Photographer
Off-Campus Sen. Andre Theus questions the idea of the development of the Pardall Center during Wednesday’s meeting on Jan. 15, 2014. by Kelsey Knorp AS Beat Reporter Associated Students Senate unanimously passed “A Resolution in Support of UC-Wide Title IX Education, Sexual Assault Policy Reform and Sexual Assault Resource Improvement” and received an update on the potential new California Master Plan for statewide education, previously endorsed by Senate, at its meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 15. Title IX is part of the Education Amendments of 1972, and provides protection to U.S. citizens from gender-based discrimination in programs that received federal funding. This discrimination includes sexual harassment and violence, which are the concerns addressed by the resolution put forth by Off-Campus Sen. Beatrice Contreras and Collegiate Sen. Ali Guthy. The resolution outlines several recommendations for departments such as the University of California, Santa Barbara Office of Equal Opportunity and Sexual Harassment/Title IX Compliance to improve their visibility and bolster existing educational programs about sexual harassment and assault. It furthermore suggests several reforms to increase sensitivity toward survivors, and encourages the UCSB Division of Student Affairs to adopt a more specific definition of “consent” in order to better inform and thereby protect UCSB’s student population.
See SENATE | Page 2
The Bottom Line | Jan. 22 - 28
News | page 2
UCSB Breaks Previous Application Record for Fall 2014 by Janani Ravikumar Staff Writer For the 10th year in a row, the number of applicants to the University of California has risen for the freshman class of 2018 and transfer class of 2016. A total of 80,893 prospective undergraduates, both freshman and transfer students, have applied to UC Santa Barbara for Fall 2014, a new record and milestone for the campus. According to a press release from the UC Office of the President, a total of 99,761 Californian applicants applied for freshman admission to UC, marking a 0.6 percent growth from 2013, despite a drop in the number of California high school graduates. In a 19 percent increase from last year, 2,841 more non-residents applied, and 4,785 international students (20.8 percent more) applied. Among the Californian applicants, the number of Chica-
no-Latino students grew from 32.1 percent to 32.7 percent, maintaining their position as the largest ethnic group among California freshmen. The number of students who identified as White, African American, or Pacific Islander was down slightly this year, however. On average, transfer applicants applied to about four UC campuses each this year, though the number of transfer applicants was down by 0.5 percent. In 2013, the overall UC freshman admission rate was 38.8 percent, with 24,248 acceptances out of 62,416 applicants. Of these admits, 80.1 percent were California residents. The admits had an average high school GPA of 4.01, an average ACT composite score of 28, and an average SAT score of 1915, according to UC’s official site. Among transfer students, 6,192 out of 12,287 applicants were admitted, giving an acceptance rate of about 50 percent for transfer students. 94.7 percent of the admitted transfer students were from California community colleges. According to a press release from UCSB Public Affairs,
Continued from page 1 Senate also passed “A Resolution: Meningococcal Serogroup B Vaccine” in support of UCSB’s acquisition of Bexsero as a treatment for strain of meningitis diagnosed in four students this school year.
(Above) Associate Director for Community Affairs Aaron Jones discusses goals with newly hired staff member Jennette Lyden. (Right) Second-year global studies major and On-Campus Sen. Andrew Neiman asks presenters questions. Photos by Lorenzo Basilio | Staff Photographer
(Above) Third-year electrical engineering major and Collegiate Sen. Amir Khazaieli discusses issues brought up during Wednesday’s meeting.
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 | Haley Paul 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 Advertising Director | Marissa Perez Staff Adviser | Monica Lopez Writers this issue: Julia Frazer, Judy Lau, Giuseppe Ricapito, Kelsey Knorp, Allyson Werner, Bailee Abell, Ashkan Karimloo, Lexi Weyrick, Janani Ravikumar, Andrea Vallone, Robert Wojtkiewicz Photographers this issue: Lorenzo Basilio, John Clow, Mark Brocher, Madison King Illustrators this issue: Hector Lizarraga, Amanda Excell
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–INVESTIGATE Continued from page 1
card doesn’t allow you to manufacture or possess concentrated cannabis, any more than having a prescription for vicodin allows you to grind it up and make a more potent version. Both are felony crimes.” Though it was the roommate’s actions that sparked Lienhart’s arrest, his identity has been kept confidential because, according to Plastino, “he has no connection to the Child Porn or Concentrated Cannabis case that Lienhart is involved in.”
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NATIONAL BEAT REPORT
Obama Announces Changes to NSA’s Phone Surveillance Program by Allyson Werner NATIONAL BEAT REPORTER
President Barack Obama announced on Friday, Jan. 17, that he would instigate significant changes to the National Security Agency’s (NSA) phone surveillance program, thereby acknowledging that the current program violates civil liberties. Echoing Stan Lee’s famous quote “with great power comes great responsibility,” Obama explained that incredible technological innovations over the last few decades have given the NSA significant capabilities. “America’s capabilities are unique,” said Obama. “And the power of new technologies means that there are fewer and fewer technical constraints on what we can do. That places a special obligation on us to ask tough questions about what we should do.” After making several broad ideological generalizations, Obama outlined the details of the plan, which would require prior court approval each time the NSA wanted access to calling records, except in the case of emergencies. Obama said he would limit NSA analysts’ access to phone data and ultimately move that information out of the hands of the government. In addition, NSA analysts will only be able to scrutinize phone calls
that are two steps removed from a suspicious number, rather than three steps removed. NSA analysts will also have to persuade a judge that there is valid reason to survey callers linked to a particular phone number. Lastly, Obama said he would require that data collected from nonAmericans abroad be deleted after a certain period and be limited in use to specific security requirements. The president also reminded Americans that he had forbidden eavesdropping on the leaders of allied countries. Such spying has previously caused conflict with the leaders of Brazil and Germany. However, Obama also defended
denly needed to do far more than the traditional mission of monitoring hostile powers and gathering information for policymakers.” Obama also defended the intention of the agency. “I maintained a healthy skepticism toward our surveillance programs after I became President,” he said. “[But] what I did not do is stop these programs wholesale — not only because I felt that they made us more secure, but also because nothing in that initial review, and nothing that I have learned since, indicated that our intelligence community has sought to violate the law or is cavalier about the civil liberties of their fellow citizens.” According to the New York Times, many NSA critics and civil liberties advocates who are hoping for a complete overhaul of the NSA’s current practices were disappointed with the president’s proposals. Other NSA critics will continue to push for a complete overhaul of NSA procedure, but — President Obama nevertheless consider Obama’s proposals a the need for security surveillance, significant milestone in the ongoing citing 9/11 as a transformation point debate. for the NSA and other United States “The bottom line,” Obama conintelligence agencies. cluded, “is that people around the “It is hard to overstate the trans- world…should know that the United formation America’s intelligence States is not spying on ordinary peocommunity had to go through after ple who don’t threaten our national 9/11,” he said. “Our agencies sud- security.”
America’s capabilities are unique, and the power of new technologies means that there are fewer and fewer technical constraints on what we can do. That places a special obligation on us to ask tough questions about what we should do.
“They don’t really have a detailed definition of ‘consent,’ and that’s really important,” Contreras said. “They rely on the penal code, and the penal code doesn’t really address issues like intoxication.” One point that Contreras emphasized is the importance of sexual assault victims knowing that they can report the crimes committed against them without being punished themselves, even if they were under the influence at the time that the crimes occurred. External Vice President of Statewide Affairs Alex Choate announced during her weekly report that the new California Master Plan called for by “A Resolution to Support the Creation of a New Master Plan for the Higher Education for the State of California,” passed by Senate in November, will be discussed at the Jan. 22-23 meeting of the University of California Regents in San Francisco. The resolution had called for Choate and Associated Students President Jonathan Abboud to compose a letter to UC President Janet Napolitano, as well as several government officials, suggesting the formation of a committee that would draft a new Master Plan for the first time since 1960. The letter prompted Napolitano to add discussion of the Master Plan to the conference agenda, which could be a promising first step for the plan’s advocates. According to Choate, Napolitano’s California State University and California Community College counterparts will be in attendance as well.
at UCSB alone, 571 more Californian prospective freshmen applied, a 1.1 percent increase from 2013. 1,170 more outof-state freshmen applied, a 22.2 percent increase, and 2,613 more international students applied, a 38.9 percent increase. In a 70 percent increase over the past five years, 20,167 freshmen applicants were African-American, Native American, or Chicano and Latino students, and 65.5 percent of all domestic applicants are of a racial or ethnic minority group. Members of ethnic minority groups made up 27.2 percent of the transfer applicants, a 0.7 increase since 2013. The number of applicants to UCSB has been rising over the past few years, and the admission rate has been dropping to accommodate for the increasing number of applicants. As such, the average GPA and SAT scores have been increasing as well. For 2014, the admission rates are expected to drop slightly, and the average GPA and SAT scores among freshman applicants are expected to rise, fitting with the pattern for the past few years.
Features | page 3
The Bottom Line | Jan. 22 - 28
Youth Interactive: Santa Barbara’s Young Entrepreneurs by Bailee Abell STAFF WRITER
Located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara is a place that children consider their home away from home—and school. While the Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA may be wonderful options for most of the nation’s youth, there is a unique place situated in our own community, a place that allows students to not only have fun, but reap the rewards of it, too. Youth Interactive Santa Barbara is an after school program invested in providing children ages 6 to 18 with education in technology, entrepreneurship, and the arts. Although the organization was originally established in 2008, the Santa Barbara chapter was founded in early 2012 by Nathalie Gensac. Gensac also founded Media4Good, a corporation established in 2007. “With a vision to use the power of the media to assist underserved women and youth around the world and to empower them to be-
come self-sufficient, [Media4Good] programs and centers have been built in India, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, and on the Cheyenne Indian reservation in Montana,” said Gensac. Due to the success of Media4Good, Gensac decided to focus her skills locally here in Santa Barbara, hoping to make a positive impact on the community in addition to forming national and international projects. According to Gensac, Youth Interactive Santa Barbara is “a Creative Entrepreneurial Center bridging the opportunity divide so that we have the chance to develop our full creative and learning potential. We provide creative youth with the tools they need to be successful.” “I set out to create a non-profit that would provide others with a ‘hand up,’ not a ‘hand out,’” said Gensac. “I also wanted to use visual media as a tool for us to create visual impact
report to keep our donors informed and able to see for themselves the good that we are doing.” Through the installment of entrepreneurial programs, students were able to gain experience as well as school and college credit for their hard work. Youth Interactive students ages 10 to 24 have created several eco-friendly businesses in partnership with companies such as Whole Foods and Patagonia. The variety of programs ranges from Solimar, a biscotti business, to Outside Street Artists, a program that creates urban apparel and promotes the work of young Santa Barbara artists. “These businesses are set up as teams of 8 to 12 students who are often given micro loans to get started and are assisted by professional mentors from the community,” said Gensac. “As our students begin to reap the rewards from keeping their profits they gain self-confi-
dence and quickly see the connection between their behavior, responsibility, work, the classroom and career success.” While parents appreciate the creative yet practical outlet their children are being provided with through Youth Interactive, children are enjoying themselves 100 percent of the way. Krystal Lopez, age 13, shared her experience with Youth Interactive. “Youth Interactive has helped me grow and learn my strengths through amazing programs,” said Lopez. “Nathalie and Emily helped me find programs and connected me to new opportunities that will help me now and in the future.” Youth Interactive, located on Anacapa Street in Santa Barbara, welcomes all who enter. For more information, or to donate to the Santa Barbara center or sponsor a child in need, please visit www.youthinteractive.us.
by Julia Frazer STAFF WRITER
“At Imlak’esh Organics we work to rebalance the global economy and ecosystem through supporting organic practices and beyond fairtrade development models.” Three years ago, founder of Imla’kesh Tucker Garrison quit his job and put everything in his life on hold to go to South America. “Through an incredible amount of serendipity and synchronicity, [I found] all of these suppliers, whether they’re family farms or cooperatives, companies, or people I would meet on the street or find in some amazing way,” said Garrison. “It became really clear around the winter solstice of last year that this is what we were supposed to be doing.” Accordingly, Garrison called up his friend Philip Richardson asking if he was interested in importing superfoods. Richardson said yes, and the seeds of Imla’kesh Organics were planted. “Superfood means something different to everybody,” explains the company’s Kickstarter. Imla’kesh believes that superfoods are foods grown using stringent organic practices, foods with a high nutritional value and
a long shelf life, and, most importantly, foods that are delicious. Imla’kesh Organics is a very small company with an office located in Goleta. Imla’kesh Organics plans to use the funds raised by their Kickstarter to find a warehouse space to expand the company. “I can guarantee there is no company the size we are that does what we do,” said Garrison. Imla’kesh is committed to giving 5 percent of its profits back to ecosocial projects in Peru, such as rainforest and ecosystem preservation, trash and recycling programs, empowering indigenous cultures, and watershed health. Garrison is aware of the difficulties his company faces with importing organic superfoods from Peru. “If you want to have the integrity of the sourcing we do, a direct connection to soils and farmers and highest quality freshest food, then that integrity comes with the responsibility and perils of dealing with international customs,” said Garrison. One project Garrison and Richardson are particularly excited about is the cultivation of
sacha inchi, also known as mountain peanut or Inca-peanut. “Sacha inchi is a first succession plant necessary for the reforestation of the Amazon,” said Richardson. Imla’kesh plans to use sacha inchi in one of their new products, a mango and sacha inchi cluster. Some of the company’s offerings include cacao powder, goji berries, and Chargebust Clusters. One of their biggest buyers is Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss, a dairy-free ice cream alternative. Imla’kesh is also developing a new vegan protein powder. Imla’kesh Organics is a rapidly growing and thriving company, whose success the team largely accredits to the supportive Santa Barbara and Isla Vista community and to all of the people who have helped them out along the way. “This is one of the only places where we can get where we have so quickly,” said Richardson. Imlak’esh Organics can be found at the Isla Vista Co-op, Backyard Bowls, Juice Ranch, Yoga Soup, Isabella Gourmet Foods, or online at imlakeshorganics.com
Imla’kesh Organics It all began at a house on the 68 block of Del Playa in 2011. The University of California, Santa Barbara students purchased huge bags of product from a domestic source and repackaged it in smaller bags and jars to sell to their friends. What Carrisa Hayes, Tucker Garrison, and Philip Richardson were selling out of their house was certainly not the usual illicit substances of Isla Vista. Instead, the three sold nutrient-rich superfoods like spirulina and maca powder. What began in a house a few years ago has transformed into a quickly-growing company that recently raised an incredible $66,082 on Kickstarter last month. Imla’kesh Organics sells artisan and organic superfoods sourced from all over Peru, including parts of the Amazon basin located 14,000 feet in the mountains. According to the company’s Kickstarter,
Join Our Team in 2014
Positions Open Across the Company
Technology Symposium & Career Fair Thursday, January 23 ∙ 3 - 6 pm ∙ 6500 Hollister Ave., Goleta A global leader in networking and data center solutions, Network Hardware Resale (NHR) offers great career opportunities, exciting perks and a dynamic work environment for its employees. NHR is experiencing record growth and needs qualified professionals to join our team. Bring your resume! NHR management will be available to answer questions and conduct interviews onsite. We’re looking for talented individuals to join our fast-paced company in Client Services, Finance, Human Resources, IT, Marketing, Operations, Product Marketing and Sales. Highlight: Leading California economist Mark Schniepp will deliver an insightful presentation and lead a discussion about the growing Central Coast technology sector.
See all open positions at www.networkhardware.com/careers
Bring a Friend!
Corporate Headquarters: 6500 Hollister Avenue ∙ Goleta, CA 93117
Don’t Miss It!
Technology Symposium & Career Fair: January 23, 3-6 pm ∙ Mark Schniepp speaks at 4pm
Photography | page 4
The Bottom Line | Jan. 22 - 28
Monarchs Crown Santa Barbara
Photo by John Clow | Staff Photographer
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Photo by John Clow | Staff Photographer
taff Photographer Clow | S John
Monarch butterflies collect on the branches of Eucalyptus trees in the local Goleta Monarch Grove. The orange and black butterflies call the grove home from November to February and are most active in the early afternoon sunlight.
Photo by Madison King | The Bottom Line
Photo by John Clow | Staff Photographer
Photo by John Clow | Staff Photographer
Arts & Entertainment | page 5
The Bottom Line | Jan. 22 - 28 Arts & Entertain-
LIVE BEAT TAKEOVER AT SOhO:
Giraffage, Cub’b, and Underbelly by Ashkan Karimloo Santa Barbara residents were treated to a night of soulful yet hardhitting bass-driven beats on Thursday, Jan. 16, at SOhO. The sold-out crowd, composed mainly of college students, welcomed the San Franciscan beat-smith Giraffage, who performed a live set with his new visual show. Presenting this lively night of music were Santa Barbara’s own Speak Volumes and We The Beat, two recently launched music websites. Speak Volumes and We The Beat bode very well for the young, collegeaged residents of Santa Barbara. Not only are they booking solid headlining acts that carry an immense amount of popularity while remaining tasteful in a break from the repetitive “dirty” bass sounds, but they are also placing an emphasis on finding and publicizing young, local artists— exposing the domestic music culture of Santa Barbara and pulling talent directly from its roots. These two locally driven organizations booked two University of California, Santa Barbara students as the openers for the night: Cub’b and Underbelly. The night began with a moodsetting, back-to-back DJ set from UCSB students Alex Ho and Dylan Chase. These two continued to keep the vibe flowing in between acts, as
Photos by Mark Brocher | Staff Photographer well as after Giraffage himself had left the stage. Cub’b, UCSB fourth-year Chris Cubbison, officially opened the event first. His distorted electronic sounds were very sample heavy, pulling audio clips from various sources. Cub’b provided his own vocals over his tracks, using an echo-riddled filter to create an eerie sound that perfectly matched his lo-fi, analogproduced beats. His performance strongly emphasized its live aspect, as Cub’b created many of his sounds on the spot to accompany the layering of his own vocals. This led him to often pause between songs after playing them through in their entirety,
Giraffage backstage before his show at the SOhO Restaurant & Music Club in downtown Santa Barbara.
making his set truly that of a live instrument performance. Second to perform was Underbelly. UCSB first-year Timmy Linetsky put forth a genre-bending performance that was a combination of both a live act and a DJ set. His song selection was packed full of classic R&B flips, including remixes of Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody?,” Mariah Carey’s “Touch My Body,” Usher’s “Climax,” and the Internet’s “Dontcha.” In addition to blending songs through Ableton Live, Underbelly incorporated the piano, an instrument he has been playing since the age of 7. Throughout his set he would trigger loops using his keyboard, therefore allowing him to layer several loops on the spot over the tracks he played. The crowd responded extremely well to the live aspect of his performance coupled with his song choice, which started at a higher bpm and eventually transitioned down to a crowdfriendly, four-by-four tempo. Finally, the man of the hour Giraffage stepped up to perform for the already packed and pumped crowd of SOhO. His performance utilized his new visual show, incorporating images of optical illusions, staticladen screens, and various images of cats and pizza, which he himself described as “random.” His set progressed very well— an aspect of his performances that
Cub’b opened the show for Giraffage. he has stated he pays great attention to. It started on a somewhat mellow note, but built up to a strong climax, which he was able to ride through to the end. Early on in his set he played many synth-heavy classics from his repertoire, including his popular remix of The Dream’s “Shawty Is Da Sh*!” and his remix of the French house classic “Music Sounds Better With You,” by Stardust. About halfway through his set he began to play many of his heavier, more bass-driven material, including the popular song “Money” from his latest album “Needs,” which was released February of last year. Giraffage, 23-year-old Charlie Yin, calls his style of sample-based
music “dream pop.” He rose to popularity in 2011 and has exponentially grown in appeal since then, allowing him to tour across the United States and Europe as a headliner with the likes of XXYYXX, Teen Daze, and Slow Magic. Giraffage was able to play a very sample-driven set that had the crowd singing along to dreamy and melodic remixes, ranging from classic R&B and house music to contemporary artists like Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. Although this may seem like an odd clash of musical tastes, Giraffage was able to pull off such an eclectic set in a way that only a musician of his caliber would be able to.
3 1 Attendees enjoy dancing at Winter Wonder Drag in the Hub on Jan.
3 4 5
16, 2014. A performer flaunts her golden locks and feathery ensemble. Avery Daniels strikes a pose. Attendees dance in the “Diva Games.” Two attendees battle it out in the “Diva Games.”
I don’t care what your gender is, just do it fabulously...I want you to leave here loving yourself more. You are fabulous! —Avery Daniels
A Divalicious Night of Fun: 4 Photos by | The Bottom Line by Julia Frazer Staff Writer Winter Wonder Drag, presented by University of California, Santa Barbara’s Queer Student Union, took place in the Hub last Thursday, Jan. 16, in front of a crowd of approximately 325 students. The event raised $1,795 for UCSB’s QSU, and all proceeds collected by QSU go to sending students to queer conferences. “This year we’re sending a delegation of 30 people to University of Pacific LGBTQ conference in Stockton at the end of week seven,” said Chris Buck, one of the event’s organizer and a second-year sociology and financial math double major. These conferences include workshops and keynote speakers, as well as spaces to discuss queer ideas and expand queer knowledge. Before the show began, the excitement in the room was palpable. The air was filled with excited chatter as the crowd craned their necks to see the performers’ arrivals. Then, as 9 p.m.
Winter Wonder Drag Raises $1,795
passed, the lights dimmed. Wearing a silky robe and sparkly pumps, Avery Daniels strutted onstage. The applause was deafening as she circulated the room, and the dollar bills began to fly. Calls of “I love you!” and “you’re hot!” echoed from the audience throughout the show. “I don’t care what your gender is, just do it fabulously,” cooed Daniels. “I want you to leave here loving yourself more. You are fabulous!” Daniels was a hostess, comedienne, and performer, as well as one of the organizers of the second annual Winter Wonder Drag. Over the course of the night, Daniels changed costumes over a half a dozen times. The only constants in her appearance onstage were a pair of skyhigh heels, her mile-long legs, and of course her shiny blonde hair, which she tossed and fluffed proudly as she worked the crowd. Amazingly, Winter Wonder Drag never had a full run-through rehearsal, though the event has been months in the making. Each performer who came on stage was a professional who filled the stage with diva attitude. Performing to songs by Beyonce, Shakira,
Christina Aguilera, and originals by UCSB student Nick Newton, the queens of the night were Avery Daniels, Isis Magiq’elle, Selma Botti, Azara Sapphira, and Athena Lunar, two of whom are UCSB’s very own students. Winter Wonder Drag was first-year communication major Evelin Lopez’s very first drag show. “Everybody here is very friendly and the community is very supportive,” she said. “It’s such a nice environment, especially at the beginning of the quarter.” Lopez’s favorite number was one of the earlier comedic routines in the show, in which performer Selma walked primly around the stage in a schoolgirl costume while lip-synching to a song about anything but(t). “Drag is a very special thing to the queer community. It’s one of our artistic outlets,” said Buck. “When we have our drag shows, you see how loving and close everyone is. It’s one of the few places to really express yourself.” Backstage after the show, Daniels is as charming and engaging as she was on stage. She
smiles and relaxes, basking in the love, positivity, and support that is so very present at drag shows. “When I was growing up, my femininity was looked down upon,” said Daniels. “To be 21 and be feminine and be praised is such an amazing feeling for me.” Avery Daniels is the stage name for UCSB student Nick Newton, a third-year psychology major. “Avery Daniels,” she sings during my interview, each syllable lovingly annunciated. Daniels explains that she chose her name because she wanted her drag persona to have a lovely name that sounded like music as it was said: a name that you always write in cursive. This event was Daniel’s second year performing, in no small part due to strong queens to look up to, like the evening’s fantastic performer Isis Magiq’elle. “As a baby drag queen I get nervous, so to see a queen who is so confident in her skin, I love it,” said Daniels. Keep an eye out for more drag performances featuring UCSB students during Pride Week next quarter.
Arts Science & Entertainment & Tech | page 6
The Bottom | Jan. - 28 The Bottom Line Line | Nov. 27 - 22 Dec. 3
Broadband on the Run: US Appeals Court Rules Against Net Neutrality by Lexi Weyrick STAFF WRITER The United States Appeals Court ruled against the Federal Communications Commission and their net neutrality rules in the case of Verizon v. FCC on Tuesday, Jan. 14. “Net neutrality” is essentially the same as the concept of “open Internet,” where the Internet is a level playing field for consumers to decide what they want to look at and share, creating a fair environment for competition. In the ruling of Verizon v. FCC, the Court of Appeals decided to eliminate net neutrality and rule in favor of private companies. Specifically, this means that companies can now regulate broadband usage of consumers. Many fear this will lead to a tiered Internet. Companies now have the power to slow down or block competing websites from being accessed. Theoretically, a company could inhibit the usage of companies like Netflix if they have a similar website they wish for their consumers to use. The biggest issue with this is the inability of the consumers to decide what is the best or most popular, since companies may choose to exercise their power of making the decision for their customers. Furthermore, since Internet service providers will be able to regulate bandwidth as well, services such as Google and Netflix may have to pay extra in order to keep utilizing the amount of bandwidth that they do. This could lead to some content loading at regular speeds while other content takes a longer time.
Companies now have the power to slow down or block competing websites from being accessed. Theoretically, a company could inhibit the usage of companies like Netflix if they have a similar website they wish for their consumers to use.
Reddit, Mozilla, and Others ‘Fight Back’ with Internet Protests by Janani Ravikumar STAFF WRITER Dubbed “The Day We Fight Back,” Feb. 11 marks the day Reddit, Free Press, Mozilla, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, WordPress, Demand Progress, and several other websites and organizations will display large banners providing lawmakers’ contact information and encouraging users to speak out against the National Security Agency’s Internet surveillance programs. The Day We Fight Back will also honor the two-year anniversary of the protests that brought down the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), where Reddit, Wikipedia, and several other sites blacked out much of their content in protest. According to NPR, the NSA monitors phone calls as well as emails, instant messages, Facebook posts, contact lists, and raw Internet traffic. While not strictly illegal, the NSA’s actions are arguably unconstitutional, and there is currently no
It could also lead to a lesser quality of websites if sites that use more bandwidth choose not to pay extra. There is reason to believe, however, that companies will not instantly choose to create the feared tiered Internet. For one, companies do still have to answer to their customers. If even one company chooses not to exercise the right to regulate site, app, and broadband usage, then customers who are deeply unhappy with the companies who do regulate usage will be likely to switch over to the company that does not. The ruling does not take away any of the FCC’s authority. In fact, it gives the FCC a stronger foothold in Internet authority than it had previously (which was not that much). The main issue in the case is over the definition of Internet service providers (i.e. Verizon, AT&T), since the Commission was classifying Internet service providers as more common carriers in an attempt to regulate activity. They are said to be best off redefining “internet service providers.” The FCC has stated that they may file an appeal in order to question the constitutionality of further privatization of the Internet. Congress also has the option of passing a law to grant the FCC more authority. While the ruling goes against the current government stance on moving toward net neutrality, it does not necessarily define a trend moving in the opposite direction. The ruling of the Appeals Court against the FCC was not so much a question of whether there should be net neutrality or not, and was more a question of what kind of authority the FCC holds. In any event, many feel that an appeal is likely.
Illustration by Amanda Excell | Staff Illustrator
evidence that the NSA is “spying” on Americans without a valid court order or search warrant. According to whistleblower Edward Snowden, the NSA has the means to circumvent most Internet encryption methods, meaning that protecting your data from the NSA is almost impossible. On Jan. 11, 2013, Aaron Swartz, faced with 35 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines, committed suicide. Swartz, the co-founder of Demand Progress and developer of the RSS feed, Creative Commons, and Infogami, was arrested in 2011 for computer fraud and illegally obtaining documents from protected computers, according to CNN. Later, he was indicted for apparently stealing millions of online documents from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to which he pleaded not guilty. The Day We Fight Back also serves to honor Swartz’s memory, according to Roy Singham, chairman of ThoughtWorks, where Swartz worked before his death. “Aaron showed us that being a technologist in the 21st century means taking action to prevent technology from being turned against public interest,” said Singham in an official
statement, according to the official site of The Day We Fight Back. “The time is now for the global tribe of technologists to rise up together and defeat mass surveillance.” The Day We Fight Back uses the protests against SOPA and PIPA as a precedent, and protestors strive for a similar level of success. However, large websites such as Wikipedia and Google were on the front lines of the previous campaign. The Day We Fight Back lacks a similar level of support; Reddit, WordPress, and 4chan are not nearly as prominent as Wikipedia and Google, nor are they used by as wide an audience. As a result, The Day We Fight Back may not be as successful as the protests against SOPA and PIPA were, despite the fact that today’s protesters are expecting similar success. “I think that all digital protests – about online rights – are now compared to the SOPA effort,” said David Segal, executive director of Demand Progress. “That set a standard to live up to which might literally never be beaten, and led to the development of new alliances and tactics which are very much in play here.”
Video Gaming Marathon Raises Over $1 Million for Prevent Cancer Foundation by Peter Crump STAFF WRITER Who ever said sitting around playing video games is a waste of time? Awesome Games Done Quick, a weeklong annual charity marathon hosted by the gaming website Speed Demo Archive, has raised over $1 million for the Prevent Cancer Foundation in its fourth iteration, greatly surpassing the original goal of $500,000 and the $646,000 that was raised in the past three marathons combined, according to Gamasutra. The concept of “spreedrunning” within video games is simple enough: start and finish playing through a particular video game in the shortest time possible. In most cases, speed running involves finding ways to bypass portions of the game altogether, exploiting aspects like glitches and bugs. Sometimes these glitches can be manipulated to the extent that it takes only a matter of minutes to finish the game—so to say that one is “playing through” the video game entirely is a bit misleading. Opponents argue that speed running detracts from the appeal of the game in that skipping over certain segments ruins the experience of playing and creates an inconsistent plot. Despite this, speed running continues to have a dedicated niche within the gaming community, as evidenced by the success of the Awesome Games Done Quick marathons. Speed Demo Archive was founded by Nolan “Radix” Pflug in 1998, with a merger between two speed run websites for the 1996 game Quake, arguably one of the most popular speed running games, according to the SDA
website. In 2003, Pflug began to expand the site to include more games, and the list continues to grow today with 955 games currently on the website’s list. While there are number of rules the SDA lays out for speed running, anyone can submit a speed run of a particular game that the website accepts. Videos of the best speed runs of each game are posted on the SDA website for anyone to view. The first speed run marathon for charity hosted by SDA was the Classic Games Done Quick in 2010, which raised $10,000 for CARE. Since then there have been nine marathons, with AGDQ 2014 being the most successful by a longshot. Unlike Speed Demo Archives other marathons, the AGDQ marathon raises money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation
specifically. Prevent Cancer Foundation Vice President Jan Bresch called the wildly successful 2014 AGDQ marathon “a dream come true” according to PRWeb. “When the Prevent Cancer Foundation began its relationship with the Speed Demo Archives in 2010,” Bresch said, “we knew how dedicated the volunteers and donors were to the marathon were, but we never imagined this event would raise $1 million to save lives.” To put things in perspective, when AGDQ first began in 2011, it raised $53,000, according to Gaming Illustrated. No one could have expected in just three years that number would jump to over $1 million.
Why was this year’s marathon so much more successful? Quite simply, more people got involved. PRWeb reports that this year, 500 people from around the world competed, and hundreds of thousands more got involved by tuning into the live stream and donating to win prizes. Several new records were broken as well, including some big name games old and new, like “Halo 2,” “Super Mario 64,” and “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.” No doubt that speed running remains somewhat of a novelty, even in the video gaming world, but raising money but for a good cause while doing what you love is something that everyone can agree on, gamers and non-gamers alike.
Illustration by Hector Lizarraga | Staff Illustrator
Opinions | page 7
The Bottom Line | Jan. 22 - 28
What It’s Really Like to be The First Person in my Family to go to College by Bailee Abell Staff Writer As the first person in my family to seek education beyond high school, I believe that I have had a different experience during my first quarter of college than the children of college-educated parents. I began my freshman year completely blind, not knowing what college was going to be like, whether to hand-write or type my lecture notes, or what a section was. While my peers’ parents were able to give them guidance, my parents were not able to do so, and sometimes I felt like I would be treated differently because of my parents’ education levels. Though I felt as if I would have to prove myself to my peers, I have never felt the pressure to prove anything to my parents. Though college was always their hope for my future, they constantly told me that no matter what choices I made about my future, they wanted me to be happy. Because they never attended college, both my mother and
father have worked low-paying jobs throughout their lives in order to provide for me and my brother. Unfortunately, they never truly loved what they were doing, and our current status as a low-income family has caused them more stress than necessary. One of my main concerns when I started school at University of California, Santa Barbara was feeling different. For one thing, this school was going to be a big change. I was going to have to pay even more attention to money than I did before attending college, and this was going to be the first time in my entire life that I would be entirely responsible for myself. I also knew that I would not be around many kids who came from families like mine– kids who had seen how crucial money really was. Because I felt that these differences between my peers and I would cause me to feel inferior, I knew that difficulty adjusting would be inevitable, and the only person who could make this transition smoother was myself.
Even though I was fully aware that my parents’ education levels were in no way a hindrance to my own, I did feel as if it may cause me to fear college life. My parents were not able to describe the experience I was about to have because they had never been through it themselves; while this was a new chapter in my life, it was going to be a new one in theirs, too. To cope with this transition, I enrolled in the Freshman Summer Start Program and started school in early August, taking out more student loans in order to get a head start on my college career and prove to myself that not only could I be successful in high school, I could succeed at a university as well. UCSB was going to be entirely different from home, and though I anticipated the adjustment to be difficult, it was far easier than it would have been if I had not chosen to participate in FSSP. When fall quarter began, I felt as if I was surrounded by even more people who had everything together: their AP credits from high school,
the classes they were taking in order to become pre-med, and their plans for not only after college, but for in university itself. Classes were arduous, and I spent hours studying each night, fearing that I would flunk out of the university and make a fool of myself. There were times when I felt like I was not good enough to be here, among people who seem like inherent geniuses. Sometimes I still feel that way, and when I feel so small and insignificant is when I want to quit the most. But then I think of my parents: I think of how hard they had to work in order to pay the extra $150 to put toward my meal plan; I think of the multitude of times I have heard them say “It’s been a long day…” after getting home from work, only to worry about whether they would have enough money to buy groceries that week. And when I start to feel small again, when I start to feel not good enough and compare myself to people who may come from different backgrounds than I do, I take a step back to realize that I deserve to
Photo Courtesy | Bailee Abell Bailee Abell (far right) with (from left to right) mother Suzie Abell, brother Shaun Abell, and father Mike Abell. be here just as much as every other kid who received an acceptance letter. I am more than my parents’ education level. When I decided to go here, it was not because my parents didn’t to college, and I did not enroll at UCSB to live up to someone else’s standards. My decision to go to this university was to prove to myself— and nobody else—that I could do it.
DISCUSSION POINT Teacher Tenure
by Devin Martens-Olzman
Teacher Tenure is Important to the Educational System No one wants a pedophile to teach their children. No one wants an incompetent teacher running a classroom. Teachers who do anything illegal—like drug dealing, molestation, theft, and so on—can easily be fired, even if they have tenure. In the United States teachers are tenured after a period of one to seven years, depending on the state. Teacher tenure detractors argue it is too hard to fire the “dead weight,” says Laura Malcolm, an English teacher at El Molino High School in Northern California. However, although job security is not widespread among the American work force, teachers deserve a special distinction given their history and profession. The income of the average teacher is drastically low compared to that of other jobs. According to a recent study by the National Association of Colleges and Employees (NACE) the average national starting salary of teachers is $30,377. However, computer programmers start their jobs at $43,635, and registered nurses start at $45,570. NACE’s survey and analysis showed that these fields required similar training and responsibilities as teachers. Additionally, NACE found that teachers get raises at a much lower rate than other professions. Clearly, teachers aren’t going into the profession for the money, but they do need some incentive aside from personal passion to apply for the teaching profession. This is where tenure comes in. The structure of the high school system also creates a space for teacher tenure, especially in regard to freedom of speech and innovations within the teaching profession. Other professions ask for innovation within the workplace, offering salary raises or promotions for ideas that work well. Of course this comes with firings or layoffs for bad ideas. However, since there is not a very high ceiling of salary
advancement within the teaching profession, teachers would be afraid of innovation in the classroom because the risk would be losing their job. Teacher tenure allows teachers to speak their mind without fear of replacement by the administration, which also lessens political constraints that superintendents or principals may want to place on the teachers. Corruption from administration is another reason to keep teacher tenure. Administrations could pressure teachers to let students graduate who may not have done well enough, simply to improve the school’s graduation percentage or because of nepotistic circumstances. Additionally, if tenure is abolished, administrations could fire older, more expensive teachers in lieu of younger, inexpensive ones—a common strategy for corporations to reduce cost. This lack of job security would further decrease the allure of the teaching profession, and in my academic career, I have also noticed that the more experienced teachers are better. There are some concerns about teacher tenure that have merit. Teachers who can be referred to as “dead weight” are the teachers who take advantage of their job security so they can do the minimum in the classroom and not get fired. You’ve all had the teacher who only shows movies, or perhaps the one who grades your workbook by making sure you’ve written in it instead of by looking at what you’ve written. This is a problem of motivation, and admittedly the current tenure situation has allowed some teachers to take advantage of it. However, teacher tenure is necessary to ensure correct instruction, so perhaps a modification of tenure would benefit both teachers and students. According to teachertenure.org, the probationary period for teachers in California is two years, after which they are tenured. After these two years, teachers can still get fired, but it is just difficult to do so. Perhaps teachers who consistently show extreme apathy toward their profession can be put on a semi-probationary period, where their instruction will be closely monitored to ensure their motivation to their job. Clearly, something needs to change, but abolishing tenure is not a good idea. Abolishing tenure will not fix the problem of “dead weight.” The occasional apathetic teacher should not make the entire system crash, because most teachers are genuinely there to teach to their full potential. Tenure’s benefits ultimately outweigh its pitfalls, and the inadequacies of a few should not affect the hard work of many.
‘Breakup Text’ Should Stay A Joke by Gian Ryan These days, breaking up with a job is about as casual as breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend in the seventh grade. The new socially crippling iPhone app, “Break Up With Your Job,” will actually create a text for you and send it to your boss informing them of your resignation. All you have to do is select a reason for quitting and who you would like to direct it to, and the app types up a message that is ready to send. Once the deed is done, a page pops up on your phone screen with a link to “The Ladders,” which displays job openings in the area. If you are wondering if this is a complete joke, it’s not. Although the app was created for
humorous purposes, Alex Douzet, the chief executive officer of the company behind the app, hopes that it will take off and that eventually, “people will actually use it seriously.” “There’s a lot of anxiety around the resignation process,” said Douzet, “so we used technology to ease the pain in that moment and make it seamless to breakup with your boss.” This is the same company that created the app “Breakup Text” which creates a text to end relationships with a significant other. If anything, this app reflects the scary reality of the new generation’s inability to communicate face to face. It actually provides a way to avoid confrontation at all costs and eliminates the need to have basic social skills. Resigning from a job,
CON by Brett Debbold
Teacher Tenure is Only Good in Theory Tenure, much like communism, is a good idea in theory, but its modern application does more harm than good for teachers. The goal of tenure is to protect proven teachers from dismissal when new administrations or young teachers come into their schools. The fear is that without tenure, older teachers will be unjustly pushed out in order to save the school money or because of conflicting teaching theory. The problem is that although the principles are sound, the practices of those who have attained tenure are often unsavory. It is a system that by its nature is easily taken advantage of, while the advantages of gaining tenure are only slight. These advantages are only reaped when an experienced teacher either has a disagreement with the new administration, or when a teacher would be let go because of cutbacks and is saved because he or she has tenure. For the most part, the teachers who would deserve to keep their jobs would do so easily even without tenure. Just like in any other profession, there is no reason for an administration to fire good employees. Tenure does, however, give license to those who have earned it to become complacent in their work. Of course not every tenured teacher lets his or her work decline, but it is an easy course to take. Knowing that you can’t be fired for anything less than a serious offense is a dan-
gerous thing. The fear of getting fired and the desire to get promoted are the most common incentives for good work, and with tenure, many teachers are left without either. Worse than that, tenure forces schools to fire superior teachers for the sole reason that they haven’t been around as long as their peers. When merit is no longer the basis for which firings are decided, something is wrong with the system. When schools inevitably undergo cutbacks and inferior teachers remain employed while young teachers excited to go to work are let go, tenure is to blame. Tenure is also horribly outdated. Many of the reasons it was created are no longer relevant. Much of the academic freedom that it supposedly grants to experienced teachers has been taken away with the recent emphasis on standardized testing. Tenure isn’t to blame for squashing teachers’ ability to be original in their lesson plans, but it isn’t saving them from “no child left behind.” Plus, the idea of drawing new teachers to the profession is foolish when you consider how many teachers there are without work. Career longevity should be earned through hard work and dedication to your job. According to procon.org, in California, it only takes two years to be given tenure, which means that before the administration has had enough time to properly determine the strength of a teacher’s ability, they need to decide whether to give that person relative job security for life. Even if a teacher was fantastic for two years, it is ridiculous to sign them up for 30 more based on such a small sample. Teaching is a far cry from the Supreme Court, where job security is necessary to ensure job performance. Nothing about teaching as a profession makes tenure reasonable. While I’m sure everyone wishes his or her job were set for life, in practice, tenure simply provides more negative than positive.
TBL wants to know what you think! Do you have thoughts that you would like to share about teacher tenure? We want to know what you think! Email your responses to email@example.com!
although nerve wracking, is a good experience for someone to have. It only helps your communication skills and prepares you for the many social situations you will be thrown into in life. If people begin to use this app seriously, there will be one less social obstacle to overcome—and one less opportunity to improve on yourself. Of course, the fact that people are downloading this app rather than realizing its implications says something about us as a society. Resigning from a job is something that takes time and thought, and those are two things that do not fit in with the fast-paced world of today. Having this app will only encourage the idea of “immediate results” that people are becoming too accustomed to. It makes it possible to hastily quit a job without thinking too much about it—you don’t even have to type the message. Going in to a boss’ office allows you to think over everything you are going to say and the reasons that you are quitting, and this allows
you to realize the gravity of what you are doing. There is also a chance that you can be talked out of quitting or offered a different position. Quitting a job means a change in daily surroundings and income and is not something that should be
need to have technology control every part of our lives? Some may argue that this app caters to the shy or to those working at more temporary jobs such as retail or waitressing. However, giving people an easy way out will only
If anything, this app reflects the scary reality of the new generation’s inability to communicate face to face.
taken lightly. Douzet said that “Despite all the advances in technology we still quit our jobs the same way we did hundreds of years ago.” But why should we change the way we leave a job? Why is there a
cripple them and our society even more. Some things should be kept the way they are and leaving a job is one of them. This app will only claim another victory over our society’s social skills.
The Bottom Line | Jan. 22 - 28
Opinions | page 8
Illustration by Hector Lizarraga | Staff Illustrator
Why Do We Care Again? by Andrea Vallone Staff Writer
One word: “bridgegate.” Actually, it’s two words shoved together in a portmanteau. Before you ask, let me answer your burning question: Yes, apparently it does matter. “A governor’s staff creating traffic jams to spite political enemies, an event which said governor had to hold a two-hour long press need not be repeatedly brought to our attention,” said no prominent news outlet, ever. So here you are again, reading another newspaper’s thoughts on the most important issue in America—Chris Christie and the scandal known as Bridgegate. Why should you keep reading despite your initial eye roll? Because, by the end of the time you have devoted to this extracurricular reading, you will ascertain the importance and meaning of this Chris Christie kerfuffle. Let us begin with a brief summary of the events that took place on Sept. 9, 2013. Open with bumper-
to-bumper traffic, sweltering summer heat, and through the symphony of car horns and Joisey yowls, the faint whimpering of a young child is heard, as he reluctantly accepts his tardiness on the first day of school. “There’s some sort of traffic study going on,” a father says to his son in an attempt to soothe both their emotional wounds. But the plot thickened last week on Jan. 8 when private emails were leaked to the press; they disclosed that the interminable traffic jam was not, in fact, a city study but political retribution. Fort Lee mayor, Democrat Mark Sokolich, refused to endorse Christie’s reelection bid this past fall, and as punishment, Christie Deputy Bridget Anne Kelly and Port Authority executive David Wildstein conspired to close two of the three access lanes connecting Fort Lee to the George Washington bridge. Did Christie himself make the order? “This completely inappropriate and sanctioned conduct was made with-
out my knowledge,” stated Christie in a public statement last week. Despite his assurances, the public has had cause for doubt as the incident goes hand and hand with Christie’s tough guy character. Here’s what matters; the potential Republican forerunner for the 2016 presidential elections has now allegedly jeopardized not only himself as a candidate, but also the entire party as a competitor with Hilary Clinton. “Bridgegate is a Disaster for the Republican Party” is the title of an article in The Atlantic. Amanda Terkel, a reporter at Yahoo, wrote that “the scandal that has engulfed his administration in the past week [is] hard to ignore.” Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post speculated that “whether the Governor will be able to move beyond the strife” is in question. Sally Kohn of The Daily Beast said, “The Bridgegate story now clearly and decisively is a real politically motivated scandal.” It is clear that what most media voices have found is that Bridgegate, regard-
less of culpability, has and will have a damming effect on Governor Chris Christie and perhaps the Republican party overall. However, in some cases, the snafu has created a unifying effect for the Republican Party—lassoing those who were previously not Christie’s biggest fans. Republicans came to Christie’s side asserting that the governor should be praised for his willingness to cooperate with the press. “I think he took the bull by the horns, held people accountable, fired people,” Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said, “He stood there for 111 minutes `in an open dialogue with the press. Now, only if Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would give us 111 seconds of that, would we find out some things we want to find out about Obamacare, Benghazi, the IRS.” Christie’s “scandal” and his candid handling of it may have actually solidified Repub-
lican pride. Is this a good thing? Should political unification stem from scandals? Ultimately, someone that Christie hired made a terribly immature decision that unveiled the potential for politicians (or those associated with them) to aggressively abuse power. Whether you feel that the Bridgegate scandal was Christie digging his own (and his party’s) grave, or that Bridgegate has effectively showcased Christie’s cool composure under pressure, I ask that you not fall into the trap of political polarization. This scandal has erupted a newfound sense of name-calling, finger pointing, and deepened the line that has been drawn in the sand between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The final takeaway: note that the scandal itself is essentially bologna, but how you evaluate the information is what matters. Don’t roll your eyes when you open the paper and the word Bridgegate stares at you from the headlines—read up and form your own opinion.
Kelly Thomas’ Murderers Should Not Walk Free
Photo Courtesy | Ron Thomas by Robert Wojtkiewicz Senior Layout Editor “Dad... Dad, help me… Help. They’re killing me.” These were some of Kelly Thomas’ last words as he was beaten to death. On July 10, 2011, Thomas died at 37. His condition gradually descended into darkness after spending five days in a coma. Five days earlier, on July 5, he was beaten so badly by Fullerton, Calif., police officers that he was barely alive when he was admitted to University of California, Irvine Medical Center. The altercation between Thomas and the officers, forever digitized on video and audio recordings, occurred at a bus stop in Fullerton. Concerned citizens called the police accusing Thomas of trying to open car doors. When police arrived, Thomas had no form of identification
and what seemed to be other people’s mail in his bag. Also in Thomas’ bag were all his worldly belongings; he slept on park benches and in “trash cans,” according to the recording. Kelly Thomas was homeless. He was also mentally ill. It is not the officers’ fault that Thomas was trying to open car doors. It is not their fault that he had mail that was not addressed to him. It is not their fault that Thomas clearly resisted arrest. But it is also not, in any way, shape, or form, Thomas’ fault that he was mentally ill and homeless. The beating that he took that night is sickening. The video shows several officers on top of him, and the audio captures Thomas’ last words. As the officers held him down, beating his face into a nearly unrecognizable pulp of swollen black eyes and facial abrasions, he repeatedly tells them that he could not breathe. Thomas subsequently went into cardiac arrest and sustained irreversible brain damage, leading to his comatose state, which, according to the Los Angeles Times and Dr. Michael Lekawa, chief of trauma surgery at UC Irvine Medical Center, resulted from a lack of oxygen to the brain. Throughout the beating, Thomas apologizes repeatedly, and, almost prophetically, cries that the officers are killing him. More than two years later, on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, two of the officers tried in Thomas’ murder were found not guilty. These men walk free in the eyes of the law but, just as they have
been for the past two years, many Orange County residents are still calling for justice for Kelly Thomas. The video recording shows several officers beating the life out of a mentally ill homeless man, and this is all many people can see. We can tell ourselves that the officers did not intend to murder Thomas, and we like to think that to be true. But in our contemporary moment, we do not have to go far to find cases of officers using excessive force, the more tragic instances materializing in cases like those of Thomas: a man whose mental wiring was so pathetically crossed that, even in his dying moments, a 37-year-old man cried out for his father. Would Thomas’ death be any more or less tragic if he was not mentally ill? No, but either way, he did not deserve to be beaten like he was. When the recording shows one of the officers brandishing his fist at Thomas, telling him that they were the same ones that were “going to fuck him up” that night, it is hard to tell ourselves that their intentions were anything but cruel that night. And given the officers’ admitted history with Thomas, they must have had some inclination that he was not mentally stable. Only the officers know their true intentions that night, regardless of how they plead at the beginning of their trial. Similarly, we will never know what was going on inside Thomas’ tragically afflicted head on July 5, 2011. The record-
ing shows a man who is scared and later, strangely penitent before the law designed to protect and serve him. But Kelly Thomas’ death needs not be in vain. Some see him as a martyr for a cause that gets swept up sleeping under newspapers and under park benches, something that is endemic in our own social moment in Isla Vista. Homelessness is not something one solves by simply sparing some change now and then. The change Thomas needed could not come in nickels and dimes. Rather, Thomas needed help—real, accessible help. According to PBS, 39 percent of homeless Americans “report some form of mental health problems,” with “20-25 percent meeting criteria for serious mental illness.” People often callously refer to the homeless as being that way for a reason. Well, the reason for at least a third of them is looking us straight in the eye. It’s the “American Way” to pull yourself out of hard times and “get a job.” But it simply is not that easy for the mentally ill. It certainly was not that easy for Kelly Thomas. The officers who beat him probably would have beaten any other mentally stable homeless man who was “resisting” the way Thomas was, and without opening a discussion on police brutality or excessive use of force, it is worthwhile to reflect on the circumstances that put Kelly Thomas in the position he was in at that bus stop, as well as the events that led to his death.