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FEBRUARY 12, 2020


is a beach.

Photo by GRAEME JACKSON | Photo Editor Illustration by ALYSSA LONG | Art Director COMPARATIVE LITERATURE CLASS Professor Rick Benjamin and Dr. Billi Jo Starr break down barriers with their innovative class that explores readings on juvenile justice and offers students opportunities for community engagement. FEATURES | PAGE 4

DIGITAL INNOVATION On Feb 6, Computer Science professor Elizabeth Belding spoke to students and faculty about internet usage in the United States, and how to ensure equal access to the Web, especially in developing countries. S&T | PAGE 8

VALENTINE'S DAY You're the pun for me! Looking for a last minute gift for bae? Take a peek at some of TBL's wittiest (and sweetest) Valentine's Day jokes. ILLUSTRATION | PAGE 13




EOP Pushes

Underrepresented Students to their



he Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) director, Aaron Jones, has approached his position with the same persistent disposition to better the lives of the UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) student body that has stuck with him ever since his time as a UCSB undergraduate student more than 30 years ago. His attitude, efforts from EOP colleagues, and dozens of partnerships with campus offices all contribute to help the program engineer valuable initiatives that have impacted thousands of student’s lives. Prior to becoming the EOP director, Jones worked in a number of positions in Associated Students for 13 years before most recently resigning as assistant director for community affairs and student advocacy. After two years, he is quick to credit the continual success of the program to the surrounding staff. In an interview with The Bottom Line, Jones stated that “one thing that I could do is make sure I didn't get in the way of the experts who are the people doing this great work. To just try to make their lives easier so that they continue to do the work that they do.” EOP and its staff have dedicated themselves to serving first-generation and income-eligible students to guide them through the difficulties of college and find resources available on campus.  EOP partners with many different organizations around campus to give its students a more enriching college experience.


For example, UCSB’s Education Abroad Program often joins EOP in hosting events which help students navigate the process of studying abroad. The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships has provided financial support toward several UCSB initiatives in the Promise Scholars and Scholar Retention Programs (SRP), while both the Colleges of Letters & Sciences and the College of Engineering also support EOP in providing targeted counseling. The program’s latest initiative seeks to focus efforts on firstyears. Freshman students who post a GPA between 2.0 - 2.6 after their first quarter at UCSB are encouraged to to visit with a counselor in EOP. The visit is not intended to be punitive. Instead, Jones wants students to walk away from the check-in knowing they are accepted and welcomed at the university for a reason, while also helping them work on a personalized plan for their academic success.  The university's SRP program began in 2017, based on “the idea to provide incentives, opportunities, and resources for students who left the university, just shy of graduating, for whatever reason,” Jones explained.  SRP offers these students a chance at reinstatement with all the necessary financial and personal support to finish up their remaining credits over the summer. Business & Financial Services, Summer Sessions, and Office of the Registrar are the other coordinating campus institutions who helped make the program what it

is. Only 10 students were a part of that first class, which then grew to 50 students two years later. The program admittedly helps boost the graduation rates and the prestige of the university, but Jones made it clear that objectively, the program is ultimately designed to help students achieve their full potential. The Promise Scholars program is an established initiative at several educational institutions nationwide, and was adopted by EOP five years ago. This program’s iteration is for first generation students who are coming into the UC system and promises them an upfront, four years of financial aid pay so long as they see a counselor on a regular basis and go to certain programs or events to support their educational development. The initiative is in its fifth year and has seen several Promise Scholars be awarded the

campus’ most prestigious honors like the Thomas More Storke Award and the Jeremy D. Friedman Memorial Award this past year. These decorated scholars are “just an example, not only of academic excellence, but also leadership on campus involvement in our community.” Jones said.  It is fitting that EOP’s office is among the many inside the Student Resource Building, an inclusive space at UCSB that is about to celebrate its 12-year anniversary. The building is completely funded by student fees and was up for approval, after demands from student activists, in a 2001 campus-wide election that Jones was on campus for. Jones recalled student and fellow radio co-host, Ira Munn, pulling people into the voting booth with ten minutes to spare, an act that Jones says is likely the reason why the referen-

dum passed by nine votes. It is because of moments such as those that Jones says, “This campus specifically speaking, wouldn't look like or function the way it does today without the influence of student engagement and student agency.”  The most famous instances of such activism on campus, from the taking over of North Hall by 12 Black students in 1968 to the hunger strikes by eight ChicanX/ LatinX students in 1994, all speak to the power of collective action in small groups to gain support from people of all backgrounds. It is that power that Jones implores students to feel comfortable asserting by exercising their right to speak their own minds, as they too are those same people who can spark that change. Photo Courtesy of UCSB

Plans Proposed for


HUIWEN JIA & NOE PADILLA | Contributing Writer & News Editor


t the Jan. 21-23 University of California (UC) Regents Board meeting, the topic of a tuition hike was a major point of discussion. The Regents were originally going to vote on one of two proposed plans regarding the increase of tuition, but the vote was postponed for a later date which has not been announced after receiving backlash from students and state officials. According to the discussion item for the meeting, there were two proposed plans which addressed the tuition increase. The first plan was a flat increase of $348 in tuition and fees for UC undergraduates, which would raise overall tuition to $12,918 for the 2020-2021 academic year. The UC Regents planned to use this additional funding for multiple perspectives. Besides the

improvement on student education, such as reducing the grades gap among students, improving the graduation rate, and enlarging the incoming class, they also suggest increasing investments on mental health and staff welfare. The second plan would consist of a “cohort” style of increase. This means that beginning with the incoming class of 20202021, tuition will increase by a set amount of $140 each year for the next six years. Any student enrolled in a UC school before 2020 would not be subject to this increase. The proposal raised the idea that since the funding provided by the state was lower than expected ($217.7 million rather than the expected $240 million), tuition hikes could increase financial aid options for students, reduce overall net costs, and finance

TBL 2019-2020 STAFF

students’ education. In the proposal, the Regents are seeking a multi-year plan for three systemwide student charges: tuition, the Student Services Fee (SSF), and Nonresident Supplemental Tuition (NRST). Despite the benefits that would accompany financial support given to students, the additional funding by the tuition hike is also planned to be used in the University’s longterm operational development. California governor Gavin Newsom also challenged the tuition hike. In an article published by the Los Angeles Times, Newsom expressed that it was “unwarranted, [and] inconsistent without college affordability goals.” The UC Student Association created a petition which also opposed the tuition increase — instead hoping to negotiate with the state for more funding — and

approved the decision of postponement of the vote. According to a Daily Bruin article, UC spokesperson Claire Doan explained that the UC Regents delayed the vote to give students the opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns about the issue. Other sources like the Los Angeles Times, report that the vote was postponed due to a failure of meeting the 10-day public notice requirement if the Regents intend to make a systemwide change to the tuition and fees. UC Regents Board Chairman, John A. Pérez, has expressed that the tuition hikes are based on the school’s needs. One of the recent votes pointed to UC’s other requirements like staff. However, Perez also questioned the rationality of these recent votes. According to Assembly Bill

970, the Regents are required to provide the public with justification of fee increase and assess its potential impacts to students 10 days before voting is set to occur. Yet, as mentioned in an article published by the Los Angeles Times, the interval between proposal announcements and voting cannot be persuasive to the general public. Pérez opposed the broadbased tuition hike for all undergraduate students, but he mentioned the increasing costs on incoming classes is considerable. Once this plan executes, the fee would remain flat for six years. He referred to the raised academic performance in UC Santa Barbara, which guaranteed financial aid for low-income students to reduce their financial stress. Photo Courtesy of UCSB

Opinions expressed in TBL do not necessarily represent those of the staff or UCSB. All submissions, questions or comments may be directed to editors@bottomlineucsb.com

Editor-in-Chief | Lauren Marnel Shores Managing Editor | Arturo Samaniego Executive Content Editor | Jessica Gang Senior Layout Editor | Mikaela Pham Senior Copy Editor | Sheila Tran News Editor | Noe Padilla Features Editor | Alondra Sierra A & E Editor | Vanessa Su

Science & Tech Editor | Xander Apicella Opinions Editor | Raymond Matthews Video Editor | Arianna McDonald, Fabiola Esqueda Photo Editor | Graeme Jackson Art Director | Alyssa Long Campus Beat Reporter | Madison Kirkpatrick

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NEWS | 3

Comparative Literature Class RECKONS WITH

Juvenile Incarceration WENCHEN LI | Contributing Writer


or the past few years, the UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) comparative literature department has done projects and courses centered around the juvenile justice system. This winter, a small course brings to light injustices within the current system in the United States by connecting students with juvenile youth at Los Prietos Boys Camp in Santa Barbara. In the intimate class composed of 20 people who meet once a week for three hours, students read and discuss a wide range of readings on juvenile justice and the prison industrial complex — what instructors such as UCSB professor Rick Benjamin and Freedom 4 Youth co-Founder Dr. Billi Jo Starr describe as “just the latest manifestation of slavery.”


At the heart of the course are intensive conversations, readings, and engagement with people who are system-impacted. “There is a lot of misinformation going on [in regards to the justice system in America] and the best way to learn how it actually works is by communicating with people who are directly involved in the system,” said fourth-year sociology major Xzavria Alcala in an interview with The Bottom Line.   Co-teaching the course are professor Rick Benjamin and Dr. Billi Jo Starr. Benjamin, adjunct professor of comparative literature and former Rhode Island state poet laureate, has had a long history of working with incarcerated individuals and has featured community practice as a compo-

nent in his courses. Starr, a UCSB alumnus, is also the director of Freedom 4 Youth, a local non-profit that has been working with youth in the juvenile justice system for 12 years. Their focus is on providing peer mentoring services and building compassionate communities to empower youth at Los Prietos Boys Camp. Through the readings, students undertake serious academic inquiry into increasingly punitive structures for minor infractions, and how these disproportionately affect people of color. According to the statistics provided by the professors, black and brown men, while making up 32 percent of the U.S. population, nevertheless comprise 60 percent of all people who are currently incarcerated

under the current disciplinary structures. The readings examine the history of chattel slavery, convict leasing, school-to-prison-pipeline, and the evolution of the prison industrial complex. They are written by intellectuals, activists, and literary artists deeply involved in or as a part of the incarceration system from different points of view, including such thinkers as Angela Davis, Jesymn Ward, Michelle Alexander, and Rachel Kusner just to name a few. Students also listen to podcasts, like “Ear Hustle,” made by people who are currently or have been incarcerated themselves. “The readings in the course provide a broader vision and thinking on the whole justice system and how it has come into being,” said Alcala, who admits that the readings motivate her to continue mentoring at Freedom 4 Youth every Tuesday.  For both professor Benjamin and Dr. Starr, the course is personal. ”Like our students,” they explained in an email interview with The Bottom Line, “each of us is emotionally engaged with [the juvenile justice system], and care deeply about both friends and family who have been system-impacted.” Exposure to the reality of the system and a building-up of a close community are the two most valuable takeaways from the course for the students and professors.  “The course content can be

so heartbreaking, but, from the beginning, all of us are equally determined to advance knowledge and practice and empathy designed to change, question and disrupt systems ... that ... have become obsolete,” the instructors concluded through email. According to Alcala, the Los Prietos Boys Camp she volunteers at involves light offenses, while in the reading materials she can see youth who are "actually behind the cages."  “It is very different from knowing it is there to actually recognizing its impact,” she said.  The format of discussion-based course helps build a sense of community. People who have family members or friends affected by the system will find it an inclusive community for one to be vulnerable and share stories openly. As the quarter goes on, the course will also offer experiences in community practice such as voter registration in local detention facilities, mentorship opportunities, support to women and families who are system-impacted, and organization of advocacy events.  Next week, boys from the Los Prietos Boys Camp will come to the course and share their personal stories. Illustration by Echo Dieu | Staff Illustrator

Up, Up, & Olé:

A Spotlight on UCSB's Premier Sports Podcast SHEILA TRAN | Senior Copy Editor


C Santa Barbara (UCSB) sports might evoke the image of raucous soccer games where students can partake in the tradition of launching tortillas into the air. Sports fans, however, will know that the campus sports scene has much more to offer than drunken tortilla-throwing. And for those who want an inside look at the coaches and athletes behind some of the biggest teams at UCSB, KCSB Sports’ “Up, Up, & Olé” podcast is likely to be your best source. Marketed as being “for Gauchos, by Gauchos,” the podcast began in April 2019 under an initiative by UCSB Associate Athletics Director Bryan Cornet. Inspired by a similar podcast at Cal State Long Beach, Cornet reached out to a student who he knew could bring his vision of an

in-depth and personal campus sports podcast to life: fourth-year political science major and KCSB Sports Director Max Kelton. “They just said, ‘We want to do a podcast, and we’re going to let you do it. You have creative freedom,’” Kelton shared in an interview with The Bottom Line. “So from the first episode, we weren’t exactly sure what it was going to be yet.” Kelton was joined by his cohost, fourth-year cultural anthropology major and Daily Nexus Sports Editor Omar Hernandez, in October. The two hosts are no strangers to sports coverage at UCSB — in their respective positions, they’ve covered every single Division I sport on campus for the greater part of their college careers. Together, the two host a weekly podcast that consists of

two parts: a round-up of each week’s campus sport happenings, and an exclusive interview with a UCSB coach, athlete, or notable alumni. The podcast’s interviewees and topics are scheduled to align with major sports seasons and events. Coverage isn’t limited to traditionally popular sports; the hosts also aim to showcase the achievements of other lesser-spotlighted sports teams on campus. “‘Up, Up, & Ole’ gives fans that deeper look that we really haven’t had before. When we do interviews, we share information that humanizes these athletes and coaches, which makes them more relatable and opens up the world of UCSB athletics for the fans,” said Hernandez. That sense of connecting players to their fans is a central theme for the podcast. From episodes that center on a swim-

ming athlete’s emotions around water to a coach’s mentorship philosophy to an interview with a legendary basketball alumni on his newly released fiction novel, the podcast covers a wide range of topics related to Division I UCSB sports. At the heart of each episode, however, is the idea of telling the human story behind the people who drive sports culture on the UCSB campus. The current era of UCSB athletics has been marked by major successes across nearly all sports, Hernandez shares, which means that the need for a podcast that provides inside coverage is increasingly relevant. But producing the podcast is no easy feat — the process of creating each episode takes around eight hours per week. The two hosts are part of a team of only three individuals who write, produce, edit, and publicize the show on top of being full-time students. Interviews take place on Monday and Tuesday mornings, and when the hosts aren’t interviewing, they’re recording their weekly recaps. Editing then takes place the same night for a Wednesday release. Kelton stresses consistency and reliability as one of the goals of the podcast, providing listeners with quality content at the same time and day every week without fail.

As for what’s ahead? As a senior and founding host of the podcast, Kelton reflects that it’ll be difficult to let go of the podcast when he graduates. The podcast has grown immensely over the past ten months of its run, with 37 episodes recorded, over 2,400 downloads on Podbean, and a growing social media following. Episodes have been recorded anywhere from the KCSB studio to dugouts to the top of Storke Tower, and the show has become an important part of an ongoing dialogue between sports fans and the key players that drive the sports culture on campus. The podcast’s future past Kelton and Hernandez’s graduation is still uncertain, but Kelton believes that the show serves an important niche in sports coverage at UCSB and hopes that it will continue long after his years on campus. “We want to give fans an opportunity to really see players — not just at their proudest moments, but also at their most vulnerable moments,” said Kelton. Photos by Felix Dong | Staff Photographer


Carsey-Wolf Center Hosts Discussion with Kira Synder, Writer of



n Tuesday, Feb. 4, the Carsey-Wolf Center welcomed Kira Snyder, an award-winning writer and executive producer, for a screening of episode 11 from season two of the hit TV show "The Handmaid’s Tale" (2017-present). After the screening, Snyder and Emily Zinn, the associate director of the CarseyWolf Center, took the stage for a recorded post-screening discussion of the episode and the series. During the discussion, writer Snyder talked about the ways in which Bruce Miller, the showrunner, adapted Margaret Atwood’s novel. Originally a 1985 best-selling novel, "The Handmaid’s Tale" explores a “what if ” scenario based around a realistic dystopian society faced with a failing birthrate and a deteriorat-

ing environment. Miller and his TV crew decided to add their own creative interpretation of the society to the one Atwood created in her novel. With their own take on Atwood’s speculative fictitious world, the crew utilized its features and adjusted its content, which allowed for them to stretch the story’s plot with further development in backstories and subplots.  The writer mentioned she has noted that fans and critics compare "The Handmaid’s Tale" to the critically acclaimed film, "The Revenant" (2016), which was directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, who won his first Oscar for Best Actor in 2016 for the film.  "The Revenant" follows sorrowful frontiersman, Hugh


Glass, as he attempts to find his way back to civilization using desperate survival techniques. In a similar way, the novel and TV show "The Handmaid’s Tale" follow a woman, Offred, who resists authority and attempts to gain independence while struggling to survive in a frightening dystopian world. While analyzing the setting, costume design, symbolism, and dialogue within the show for the benefit of the audience, Snyder also spoke briefly of her work prior to "The Handmaid’s Tale." She touched upon her supernatural, interactive Kindle book series, "The Parish Mail," as well as her involvement in computer game design and other writing projects. Snyder also continues to contribute to the production of CW’s TV show, "The 100"

(2014-present). "The 100" features the idea of a dystopian world, which appears to be a recurring theme in Snyder’s works. In 2019, Margaret Atwood published "The Testaments," the sequel to "The Handmaid’s Tale." As a consulting producer of the TV show for the novel, Atwood kept her newly published work a secret from her colleagues, which came as a surprise to Snyder. After the discussion, Zinn eventually opened the floor to questions, and an audience member asked about including the sequel in the TV series. Although Snyder responded with uncertainty, she seemed to remain open to the idea.  “TV at the Pollock” is a series presented by the Carsey-Wolf Center, which commemorates some of the most acclaimed clas-

sic and contemporary TV shows. The Carsey-Wolf Center cherishes the bequest of its endowing sponsors Marcy Carsey and Dick Wolf. Their research and programming commits to widening the methods in which we understand media. Their next event in the “TV at the Pollock” series will take place on Thursday, Feb. 13, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Pollock Theater. This event is titled “Gender, Work and the Sitcom Family,” which will feature screenings of popular sitcoms as well as a post-screening discussion on the evolution of gender and work in the family sitcom. The event is free, but it is recommended to reserve tickets to guarantee a seat.   Photo courtesy of Victoria Pickering | Contributing Photographer

UCSB's World Music Series

Features a Talented Brass Ensemble RICHARD SMITH | Contributing Writer


teve Gross, a professor in UC Santa Barbara (UCSB)’s music department, directed the Maurice Faulkner Brass Quintet and the Suzanne Faulkner Horn Ensemble in a varied and eclectic performance this week at the UCSB Music Bowl as part of the World Music Series presented by the MultiCultural Center. The Quintet featured two trumpets, two trombones, and a French horn, while the horn ensemble was a large group of only French horns. The groups played pieces from a range of time periods in the western classical tradition, some modern jazz, and a few recognizable pieces from soundtracks and pop songs.

The Quintet started off playing a triumphant and march-like Russian piece from the 20th century before moving onto a slower piece composed by Chesnokov. Afterward, the Quintet’s very own Paul Wu played an unaccompanied piece on his trombone. The piece was a very contemporary sounding one, with wide intervals and long cadences of suffocating silence. It had a claustrophobic and modern intensity that added a unique edge to the performance as a whole. Three of the performers then came to perform a brass trio by the delightful Poulenc. Playing the second and third movements of the piece, the second was slow and deliberate while the third

was jovial and pleasurable. Both movements had a smug regality that was typical of Poulenc’s work. This was followed by another unaccompanied trombone performance of a piece called “Dance of the Delicate Sorrow,” which was just as jarring and abstract as the last. The horn ensemble then gave a performance of the classic main theme from the soundtrack to the Jurassic Park movie. Had I not recognized it as the classic piece, I could have mistaken it for a rhythmically complex and thoroughly modern piece of western classical. The student performers made apparent the rigor of the practice and training they did to get to this point.

The next performance was the climax of the set; the Quintet played a piece by Malcolm Arnold, an English composer. The piece had a modern sound with a strong baroque influence, making for a very fresh sound profile. The trumpets took the lead while horn and trombones kept rhythm and harmony for support. The trumpets, however, both had different ideas as to which one was leading. The two tightly danced around each other’s melodies in skillful polyphony until the piece’s coda joined them in harmony. The crowd duly approved of the piece and before letting the show end, the Quintet finished with one last performance: an arrangement by one of the stu-

dent composers of The Beatles’ “Michelle.” Just like the Beatles song, the piece was harmonious, simple, and short, making for a pleasurable listen. This performance, like all the others in the series so far, was very unique, as all the future ones are sure to be as well. Please be sure to check out the rest of the shows being put on for the World Music Series in the UCSB Music Bowl on Wednesdays at 12 p.m.! Photo by Richard Smith | Contributing photographer


Professor Elizabeth Belding Hosts Lecture on



Photo by Graeme Jackson | Photo Editor



n Thursday, Feb. 6, UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) computer science professor and assistant dean of the College of Engineering Elizabeth Belding gave a speech to UCSB students and faculty about the use of internet in the United States and how to properly present it to other less developed countries. Belding has worked as a professor at UCSB for 20 years, and her research has taken her to South Africa, Mongolia, and Zambia. In her research, she aims to get people online and use wireless networks as well as improve the general experience of internet usage. A website called internetlivestats.com shows that over four million people use the Internet and also provides some other specific statistics about social media outlets. Of these four million people, Belding stated that most of the users are from the United States, Canada, and South America. However, even a country as technologically advanced as the United States has internet issues. A data chart split internet usage in the United States by ethnicity and found that Native Americans living on reservations have the lowest percentage of internet usage, clocking in at 15 percent. Belding also explained the reasons for low internet usage by Native Americans and in less developed countries. One reason for low internet usage is apparent in the comparison between developed and developing internet usage. If you are in a community where internet use is developed, you can afford to partake in casual browsing and you don’t have to plan your browsing excursions. On the other hand, people with developing internet usage only get access to the Internet at public spaces such as coffee shops or libraries. It often costs money, and it requires heavy planning beforehand to avoid wasting resources. This scenario is most common in less developed countries, and it makes it difficult for citizens of these countries to experience the full range of what

the Internet has to offer. Belding explained that infeasibility is also a barrier to internet usage. Some places have low electricity and poor roads, which can lead to high setup costs. Sparse populations and seasonal incomes can make returns on these investments unguaranteed. For these reasons, sometimes internet usage is not worth it. Access to the Internet can lead to an improved quality of life. The United Nations even said in 2016 that web access is a human right. However, not every human has this right. The rich are getting richer and this makes it harder for those who are less fortunate to gain resources normalized among the privileged. In order for internet resources to be most applicable, there must be good connectivity, low-cost devices, and appropriate user devices. It must also be tailored to the user and Belding’s research focuses on this idea. Some products Belding and her team have created include VillageCell (free local voice and SMS), VillageShare (free local file access), and VillageLink (television white space access). These projects all create inexpensive ways for the Internet to be more accessible in certain regions. An important portion of Belding’s research is not only pushing content to mobile users, but making it relevant to what they want to see. Belding and her team partnered with a company called Red Spectrum Communications in order to do so. They had to research household usage, town usage, and spectrum usage. An important factor in these developments was how popular social media is in the targeted regions. They found that knowing how to tailor web usage to specific individual households is not easy and requires a “think outside the box” approach. However, with research, about 93 percent of user web domains can be predicted. If they know exactly what users want, they can then present them with 80 percent of their desired material. 



Coronavirus? KRYSTAL CHEN | Staff Writer

s the coronavirus, a new version of highly transmissible disease named "COVID-19" continues to surge and spread in China, at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, the United States officially put into effect stringent travel restrictions on people traveling from China. The COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, China on Dec. 31, 2019. The disease first occurred within a group of people who had been associated with a seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. The accurate dynamic behind the transmission of the disease has not yet been determined. However, the World Health Organization has been cooperating with global experts and governments to report the spread and virulence of the virus, and to expand scientific knowledge on this new virus, thus providing more advice to countries and individuals on measures to effectively prevent the spread of this outbreak. The current knowledge about this novel virus, a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans, is mainly based on scientists’ past understanding of and experience with similar coronaviruses — MERS and SARS. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses common in many different species of animals, such as camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, infection with COVID-19 can also lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and even death. Similar to the ordinary spread of respiratory infections, the rapid person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 is speculated to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths

or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It’s currently unclear if a person can get COVID-19 by indirect contact, such as touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. While, according to the current report, the immediate risk of the new virus to the American public seems to be low, everyone should respond to this emerging public health threat by protecting yourself from contacting the virus through any means. To be specific, some common protection advice is: • Wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap. • Maintain at least 3 feet of social distance between yourself and other people. • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth. • Avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and cross-contamination with uncooked meat. • Avoid the consumption of raw or undercooked animal products. Illustration by Krystal Chen | Staff Illustrator



for International Students RICHARD PHAM | Contributing Writer


or UC students, winter break is a time of rest and relaxation, a pause on the hustle and bustle of college life. This is a time when students can return home, spend time with family, and plan out the remainder of their school year. However, come the 2020-2021 school year, that reality is in jeopardy. Out of respect to the Rosh Hashanah holiday, which will fall on the weekend of Sept. 18 to Sept. 20 in 2020, UC campuses on the quarter system have approved an academic calendar for 2020-2021 that moves fall quarter ahead by one week. This change would effectively shorten winter break by one week and lengthen summer break by the same. While some may appreciate a late start, this change not only deprives students of precious vacation time with family and friends, but also ignores some of the less local students.


Winter break, due to its typical three-week length, is one of only two times international students and out-of-state residents can go home and truly relax without the constant pressure of school and travel. This is a time they can use to reconnect with friends and family and reflect upon the experiences they had and the knowledge they gained during fall quarter. This rings especially true for international first years who deserve to have a longer winter break. International first years experience the greatest change from high school to college as they not only contend with the usual struggles of being a first year, but the added struggle of adjusting to a new culture and a new language. As such, they need winter break most of all to go home and digest their fall quarter experiences.  In an interview with Cheng

Ye, a pre-economics international first year, he expressed extreme puzzlement and disgruntlement with the alteration, and said to The Bottom Line: "Why is the school cutting winter break by 33 percent for a small increase of 13 percent to summer break?" He illustrated to me the struggles of being both an international student and a first year. In particular, Cheng conveyed how difficult it is for international students to adapt to American cuisine. For example, Cheng said that "American food is too artificial and too imbalanced for my palate." As a result, Cheng spends a considerable amount of meal time by himself, consuming, "coffee and Asian snacks," some of the few things that don't give him stomach pains. He even recounted how his friend at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute had lost 25 pounds in his first three months in college. Winter break

gives Cheng and his peers one of their few lengthened opportunities to return home. Shortening winter break to 66 percent of its original length only serves to deny non-local students, including Cheng and international students from many different countries, one of their few escapes from the struggle of school. Winter break is far more than just a time for Cheng and his peers to escape their personal dietary struggles. Winter break is a time when they can contemplate what internships, jobs, and experiences they want in the coming year without the constant hustle and bustle of college life distracting them. A time when they can receive counsel from friends and family armed now with the experiences of fall quarter. While interviewing Cheng, he said,"In three weeks, I’m barely able to see all of my hometown friends and family. They are so busy with

school and work." Imagine now, someone like Cheng, an international first year, doing the same thing, but with only 66 percent of the time. International students are some of the most underrepresented students on campus. Due in part to language and culture, they rarely, if ever, interact with the majority of the student body. They fear alienation and ostracization. They fear being not understood, serving only to further a negative stereotype. In an attempt to respect one holiday, the UC system has in turn further imposed upon the needs of their most vulnerable minority. Photo by Sharon Mollerus | Contributing Photographer

Searching for the Best Frozen TV Dinner SHEILA TRAN | Senior Copy Editor


riginally marketed towards busy housewives in the 1950s, frozen TV dinners have long been a staple in the typical American home. Loved for their convenience, indefinite shelf life, and tastiness, these meals have come to serve people of all demographics. Gone, however, are the days of options limited to generic meatloaf and Thanksgiving-themed dinners. The frozen TV dinner market has expanded drastically within the past decade with a variety of health-centric and ethnic food choices — and with all those options, it can be difficult to decide where to start. My search for the best TV dinner consisted of a diverse selection from two grocery stores, Target and Albertsons, and was based on the following criteria: flavor, texture, freshness, and value. Here’s my review of five TV dinners, ranked: 5. Sweet Earth Frozen Pad Thai The best part of any pad thai is its complexity of flavor: equal parts sweet, salty, spicy, and sour; each bite of this Thai noodle dish should pack a satisfying punch. Unfortunately, Sweet Earth’s rendition fails to get even one of those flavors right. Despite the fact that frozen food is usually known for being overly salty, this TV dinner was almost shockingly bland. While I didn’t expect this pad thai to be authentic — as signified by its unconventional use of mushroom and red bell peppers — its complete lack of flavor meant that it placed last in the taste test.  The verdict? You’ll have to drown this TV dinner in Sriracha

and lime juice to even begin to enjoy it. At the price of $4.79 at Target, you’re better off paying a few dollars extra for take-out. 4. Hungry-Man Selects Stuffing Baked Turkey Patties Thanksgiving dinners should evoke warm and pleasant memories, but Hungry-Man’s version couldn’t be any further from pleasant. The most notable part of this TV dinner is that it's a “complete” course that features protein, carb, vegetables, and dessert. However, Hungry-Man does only half of those things right. While the sides were cooked to perfection, showcasing a beautifully fluffy and fudgy brownie and refreshingly crunchy green beans, the main courses were extremely underwhelming. The meat of the turkey patties were tough and drowned in a gratuitous amount of overly salty gravy, and the mashed potatoes were a watery disappointment. This quintessential TV dinner brand unfortunately hasn’t lasted

the test of time. The best part of the meal was the brownie, but do you really want to pay $3.99 at Albertsons for a brownie and green beans? 3. Devour Frozen Buffalo Style Chicken Mac & Cheese Lovers of buffalo chicken cheese fries will be disappointed by Devour’s rendition of the popular flavor, because this TV dinner tasted nothing like buffalo sauce at all. Tastewise, this dinner was still great — it had the perfect amount of gooey, cheesy goodness that you’d expect from mac and cheese, with the slightest hint of a kick. However, this meal did suffer from minor texture issues due to its gritty and clumped cheese and slightly mushy shells. The fried chicken had a curious texture that more closely resembled a high school cafeteria chicken nugget; it melted in my mouth, which is an unexpected and slightly alarming characteristic for chicken. Despite a few notable tex-

ture issues, Devour’s buffalo style chicken mac and cheese was still a very tasty and affordable choice, clocking in at $3.50 at Albertsons. If you’re willing to sacrifice some texture for flavor and convenience, this TV dinner will hit the spot. 2. EatingWell Steak Carne Asada Bowl Healthiness usually isn’t the first thing to come to mind when you think of TV dinners, but EatingWell’s steak carne asada bowl surprisingly boasts all-natural beef and no preservatives. The quality of the ingredients is reflected in the flavor and texture of the dish. Featuring perfectly fluffy, soft brown cilantro-seasoned rice and a delightfully crunchy and juicy vegetable blend of corn, red peppers, and black beans, this TV dinner almost made me forget that it was cooked in the microwave. Each component of the dish also held up well when mixed together, a savory meat balanced with the freshness of

vegetables, bonded together by the lovely intermediary of fluffy rice and roja sauce. The only con of this TV dinner was its small portion size, but as a delicious and healthier frozen option priced at $4.39 at Target, EatingWell can’t be beat. 1. Healthy Choice Chicken Feta & Farro Power Bowls Texture is often the most difficult thing to get right in a TV dinner, but Healthy Choice have perfected their art. This Mediterranean-inspired bowl was perfectly balanced: with juicy tomatoes, chewy grains, crunchy corn, and moist and lightly seasoned meat, every bite of this meal was packed with complex textures.  Flavor-wise, this meal avoids the common TV dinner pitfall of excessive saltiness by combining the richness of feta cheese with fresh vegetables and the earthy taste of grains and chickpeas. The variety of ingredients made this TV dinner feel like a complete, balanced meal — and one that also felt surprisingly light and healthy despite being frozen. The only con was that the bowl was an incredibly small serving size for the price of $4.39 at Target.  Frozen food doesn’t get much better than this. If you’re willing to pay slightly more for fresh ingredients and sophisticated flavors, Healthy Choice is the #1 TV dinner choice. Photos by Felix Dong | Contributing Photographer


Editorial Illustration: This illustration was done in response to a recent allegation of transphobia at Sigma Nu made by an anonymous student on the subreddit, R/ UCSantaBarbara. DREW BUCHANAN | Staff Illustrator

Anatomy of an Art Major CASSIS BROWN | Contributing Illustrator

©2016 IHOP Restaurants LLC

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SPREAD THE LOVE ALYSSA LONG | Art Director MIMI PHAN | Contributing Artist


Sophomore Amadou Sow reached a career high racking up 30 points for the Blue and Gold.



The Thunderdome erupts as the Gauchos sink a three pointer to extend their lead.

Max Heidegger leaps above Hawai’i players to make a layup for the Gauchos.

Teammates help up Sow after being knocked over on a fast break.

The Gauchos huddle over the game plan after being awarded a free throw.


The Bottom adle Illustrations by MIMI PHAN | Contributing Artist Illustration courtesy of CleanPNG Recipe courtesy of Noe Padilla


Profile for The Bottom Line (UCSB)

Winter 2020, Issue 4  

February 12, 2020 | BottomLineUCSB.com

Winter 2020, Issue 4  

February 12, 2020 | BottomLineUCSB.com

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