Issuu on Google+

10.08.13

// Volume 99 // Issue 3 //

// Student-run newspaper serving Mills College since 1917 //

Arts & Entertainment

In this issue

Opinions

GRE Taylor Swift subject test >> pg 6 Could you pass?

News

Health & Sports

Wildlife on campus >> pg 2 The policies regarding skunks and raccoons.

The importance of sleep >> pg 8

Barrett Symposium>> pg 5 Summer research finidnings presented by undergraduates

Some of the potential risks of inadequate sleep.

Beloved shuttle driver leaves Mills Natalie Meier meier@thecampanil.com After nine years of transporting Mills College students to and from school, beloved shuttle driver Oscar Warren has quietly renounced his position under less than optimal circumstances. Warren said several instances of injustice and infringement on his rights as an employee were his primary reasons for leaving the job he had hoped to have until his retirement in another five years. However, his supervisors both at Mills and WeDriveU do not corroborate his story. Warren said he began to notice unfairness in how he was being treated two years ago, when Michael Lopez was director of Public Safety at Mills. Warren, who worked the afternoon and evening shift, said that his break was scheduled differently than those who worked the morning shift; unlike the morning drivers, he claims that he was not allowed to take his 20-minute break until 5.25 hours into his shift rather than 4, which is the state limit. “[Lopez] said that he had to get six trips back and forth from campus to Cal at the time and I guess he didn’t want to do any more leg work on [the schedule] to try and change it,” Warren said. “I questioned him about it and he said that he didn’t put it together, that the schedule came to him out of the Cowell building.” Around the same time as the schedule change, Warren’s company, WeDriveU, hired a new regional district manager, Rob Jones, and Lopez left Mills a year later, leaving current Director of Public Safety Niviece Robinson and Associate Vice President of Operations Linda Zitzner to split the position’s duties. According to Warren, Jones, Robinson and Zitzner held a meeting with Warren and the other two shuttle drivers in January of this year, in which they told Warren he would not be responsible for the routine maintenance check performed on the shuttles each day because it was part of the job description of the morning drivers. But in an interview with The Campanil,

Zitzner explained that drivers must submit “vehicle inspection forms” for every shift that detail the condition of the shuttle. She said that Oscar was filling them out just like the other drivers. She also said that she does not believe that the conversation about the inspection forms took place. “He was doing them in February 2012, January of 2013 and on through until May because he doesn’t drive during the summer, and then again coming back this semester,” Zitzner said. “I couldn’t say unequivocally one way or the other, but it doesn’t sound like that’s what was said.” In the same meeting Warren said he also broached the subject of his driving schedule, pointing out that the pick-up time at the Kaiser stop between 4:50 p.m. and 5:10 p.m. was putting him into the throes of rush hour traffic and causing him to miss his break. He claimed his superiors said they would change the schedule over the summer to accommodate the break — but when Warren returned in August, he said that nothing had been done. “[Robinson] said that they kept it the same way because of the Bay Bridge closure,” Warren said. “After that, they never changed the schedule because I think that they figured they would get rid of me in between that time anyway.” The issue of the schedule was never resolved, but a different misunderstanding that occurred Sept. 4 was the last straw for Warren. According to Warren, the chain of events happened this way: when the oil filler cap was not replaced on the engine after the daily routine checkup, the blame was immediately placed on Warren, who was told by Jones that he was no longer going to be driving the shuttles, effective immediately. Warren said he reminded Jones that, per his own declaration in their meeting, Warren was not even obliged to check the oil. Jones allegedly then told Warren that he would only be allowed to drive Thursdays and Fridays pending further investigation, a condition that Zitzner said she was not privy to. “We may not have any visibility to that because [Oscar] reported to WeDriveU,” Zitzner said. “We often don’t have much ac-

We want to hear from YOU! Tweet us: @thecampanil Instagram: @thecampanil

NATALIE MEIER

Oscar Warren has worked as a shuttle driver at Mills for the past 9 years.

cess to what goes on between the supervisors, their organization and the drivers.” Jones, on the other hand, said that that was not what happened; he said that he did not tell Warren that he was only allowed to work Thursdays and Fridays and that Warren was never off work in the first place. According to Warren, Jones requested that he perform the maintenance check, just like the morning drivers. Jones allegedly also asked Warren to arrive at 2:30 p.m., 15 minutes before his normal shift began, in order to check the buses — which he did, though Warren contends that none of it was in his job description. “I asked [Jones] if I would be paid, and he said that it was within my 8 hours of pay which isn’t possible because I originally started at 2:45 p.m. and drive until 10:55 p.m.,” Warren said. “That other 15 minutes was unpaid.” However Jones contends that the drivers are paid for whatever time they spend working. “Every commercial driver is responsible for their vehicle,” Jones said. “All drivers are paid for their actual hours worked and are responsible for putting the correct hours

worked on their timesheet.” Warren also said that after checking with a Public Safety officer he discovered that one of the other drivers, Bharti Keys, reported the cap missing on Tuesday, Sept. 3 and was the last driver to check on it on Monday, Sept. 2. According to Warren footage from the cameras pointed at the shuttle’s parking spot, as well as Public Safety’s paperwork, show that Keys was the last person to check the shuttle before the cap went missing. “Keys kept saying to me, ‘I know I put that cap on, I know I did,’ but she knew I didn’t check under the hood because she was in that meeting that we all attended,” Warren said. “Keys left the cap off, there were no repercussions behind her doing so, and they immediately wanted to terminate me.” But Zitzner holds that Keys did not appear on the footage until 6 a.m. the next morning, and that how the cap was lost was never determined. “It was investigated but there was nothing that we could tell or see,” Zitzner said. “Anecdotal information is all we have.” “We’ve done as much as we can to treat everybody fairly and equally,” Zitzner said. see

Oscar page 3

Keep up with us on our Facebook page and at www.thecampanil.com


2

News

10.08.13

Reasons behind wildlife euthanasia revealed Melodie Miu miu@thecampanil.com After taking a close look at the service animal policy on campus in our previous print issue, The Campanil decided to extend the magnifying glass and look into how Mills College handles wildlife on campus. The wild animals mentioned in this article do not include the cats that live at Mills as they are considered “feral” rather than “wild” — they had at one time been domesticated before they ended up on campus. Furbearers Skunks and raccoons — referred to as “furbearers” by the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife — can commonly be found throughout the United States, and the grounds of Mills are no exception. These furbearers can be highly destructive to campus grounds and are also considered “vectors” for being “capable of spreading diseases” such as rabies, as confirmed by an SF Gate article on vector control published on October 22, 2008. For the past 15 years, Mills has used the services of a humane animal trapper to reduce the rapidly breeding furbearer population on campus. Brent Tolliver started his company B&M Trapping in 1982 and does live animal disposal; he has more than 30 years of trapping experience under his belt, and said he has never been bitten or directly sprayed. “This is a young one,” Tolliver said of the raccoon he recently caught, quietly wiggling around in his trap. “It’s this year’s baby. His mom [would] let you know right off: ‘I’m not to be dealt with.’ The moms would be hissing so bad, attacking the cage, would make you jump over there.” It should be noted that Tolliver was not wearing gloves when he held up the cage because he “naturally knows what to do” after years of trapping. He said he likes being hands-on. Every day of the year, including holidays, Tolliver or either of his two employees drive onto campus in the early morning, just as the sun is about rise, to pick up all the traps they have laid out across campus the previous night before. They come back later in the afternoon to lay out 8 to 10 new traps which they would pick up the following morning. Linda Zitzner, the associate vice president of operations who overlooks both building maintenance and grounds staff such as Campus Facilities, said skunks are highly destructive because “they can burrow under foundation and move into buildings” along with having a strong, unpleasant odor. “I had rocks and stuff there last night.

Tessa Love Editor in Chief eic@thecampanil.com 5000 MacArthur Blvd. Rothwell 157 Oakland, CA 94613 510.430.2246 phone

Do you see how [that skunk has] dug out a hole in there? That’s where he’s digging in the floor underneath,” Tolliver said, showing the scattered rocks he had previously piled in front of a deep hole carved out of the foundation underneath the B Wing of Ege Hall — which is a “hot bed for skunks.” As for raccoons, Tolliver said they “are the number one nemesis on this campus because... they are a nuisance, they carry fleas. They get into the wall. They get into the ceiling. They create havoc.” Raccoon tend to inhabit attics and not only tear apart the insulation but also use the space as a bathroom. Their urine and fecal matter can erode the sheet rock, discolor the ceiling a brown color and leave behind a smell reminiscent of a dumpster. In the worst-case scenario, Tolliver said, “over time, the weight of the feces [can drop] into the unit” and “the last thing you would want is for a student to be in the dorm and a raccoon comes crashing through the ceiling. They’re very aggressive, they will bite you.” Tolliver recalled an experience a few years back when raccoons were found in the ceiling of one of the Mills dormitories. “You could hear them scratching. We had to cut the ceiling open to get in there and get them,” Tolliver said. Since state regulation allows people to capture furbearers by “a firearm, bow and arrow, or with the use of dogs,” Tolliver’s methods are considered humane because he utilizes standard metal cage traps that would not cause the trapped furbearer stress or injury. To further eliminate adverse effects on the furbearers, he also tries to place traps in locations that would not be exposed to direct sunlight since the animals he specializes in capturing are nocturnal. Working off of work orders sent to Campus Facilities by the Mills community, Tolliver sets traps in places where there has been the most recent skunk and raccoon activity. In every trap, Tolliver leaves behind a little plastic bag of dried cat food. Dried cat food has less of a smell than wet cat food that would not be carried off into the wind and attract nearby animals other than the specific target. Sometimes a raccoon is clever enough to shake the cage to spill the food out — one such raccoon did that to a trap located underneath the stairwell at Reinhardt Hall. To prevent this, Tolliver simply weighs down the trap with something heavy so the raccoon would be forced to go inside the cage to feed. Aside from cage traps, Tolliver also employs a long, mint-green cylindrical tube with a metal door flap for skunks that prevents him from being sprayed — he recently planted one of these in the front yard of the President’s Home. If a skunk were to be

MELODIE MIU

B&W trapper Brent Tolliver placing a towel over a skunk’s cage near Mary Morse. The towel will prevent Tolliver from being sprayed by the skunk.

trapped in one of his cages, Tolliver uses a simple method of holding up a long towel to hide his appearance and not startle the skunk. He then slowly approaches the cage until he is able to cover the entire trap with the towel to eliminate chances of being skunked. When asked about what happens to the furbearers after they have been caught by the animal trapper, Zitzner said they are taken off campus grounds to another location to be “humanely euthanized.” While that may come as a shock for most students, it is illega, according to state law under Fish and Wildlife, not to kill the trapped furbearer or immediately release them on site. The Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM Online) website run by U.C. Davis also specifies that the same regulations “prohibit the relocation of raccoons and other wildlife.” B&M Trapping is responsible for hu-

Managing Editor Chorel Centers

Editor at Large Kate Carmack

Chief News Editor Natalie Meier

Design Editor Francesca Twohy-Haines

Arts & Entertainment Editor Emily Mibach

Online Editor Melodie Miu Asst. Online Editor Fatima Sugapong

Sports & Health Editor Jen Mac Ramos

Marketing Manager Jen Mac Ramos

Opinions Editor Ari Nussbaum

Webmaster Ashley Ongsarte

manely euthanizing the furbearers they have trapped. Veterinarians contracted with B&M provide the chloroform which Tolliver’s company uses to suffocate the animals. Tolliver said he has to do the euthanasia many times himself. The furbearers, whether they are sick or healthy, are indiscriminately euthanized. Tolliver said the California Dept. of Public Health considers the furbearers’ diseases to be hereditary and now requires no testing, unless people have reported being bitten or injured by a furbearer. Tolliver’s cages recently captured one skunk behind Mary Morse, another at Ege Hall, and a young raccoon in a bush next to Ross House. He said that three animals per day is his average catch; The Campanil calculates that with three furbearers a day, B&M Trapping will have captured 93 animals by

see

Wildlife page 3

The Campanil welcomes public commentary on subjects of interest to the campus community, as well as feedback on the paper itself. Letters to the Editor should be no more than 150 words. Submissions may be edited for length and clarity only. All submissions must include the author’s name and contact information and may be submitted via e-mail or in typewritten form, accompanied by an electronic copy. No anonymous submissions will be accepted. Submissions must be received one week before the publication date to appear in the next issue. The Campanil reserves the right to upload all content published in print, in addition to original content, on our website, www.thecampanil.com. The Campanil is published every other Tuesday. Students interested in joining The Campanil staff should contact the Editor in Chief at eic@thecampanil.com


News

10.08.13

3

Warren departs Mills with fond memories from

Oscar page 1

“We have had other complaints and have investigated those and Rob has written up as appropriate.” Warren, however, said he believes that one of the reasons no further investigation was conducted is because Zitzner prefers the brisk manner in which Keys treats student riders, which differs from the jolly demeanor that is Warren’s trademark. According to Warren, several student complaints have been lodged against Keys, who acknowledged in

their staff meeting that she “reprimands the students for noise and other things.” Warren disagrees with reprimanding students, asserting that it is a superfluous practice because students who ride the shuttle have always been respectful to him. “Everybody is cordial to me and that’s how you treat little kids — at the college level, all of that is unnecessary.” Warren maintained that Mills had been a “wonderful place to work” and that he had planned to stay on until retirement despite

the frustrations he felt. However, Warren said he feels that he would not have lasted long at Mills under current conditions, and that leaving was the best decision given the circumstance. Warren has also lodged a complaint with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; he said he hopes that the matter will be investigated further. In the meantime, he has taken a job at another unified school district as a driver. “I’m really sad that Oscar left because

whenever I went on the shuttle and he was there, it made my day,” junior Cindy Nguyen-Pham said. Warren wants the students to know that he will miss them. “I love all of the students, but I have to do what’s best for me because I knew exactly what was going to end up happening,” Warren said, referring to his belief that he eventually would have been let go. “I’ll miss all of you — believe me, I already do — knowing that I won’t be back anymore.”

How students can help with campus wildlife from

Trapper page 2

the end of October, 1095 furbearers this year, and an average total of 16,425 furbearers in the past 15 years he’s worked at Mills. That is not counting the largest amount of animals Tolliver said he had ever trapped in one day which was “an excess of 10 or 12.” He said he sometimes caught two to three young raccoons in the same cage after their weaning stage. While Tolliver follows trapping procedure to the letter, he said the strict state guidelines have been a huge source of internal conflict for him as a trapper. Tolliver expressed great sadness and distress about euthanasia since he does not want to be considered a “killer” and has always regretted having to euthanize the furbearers he has trapped. Tolliver said he does not “personally” feel that he should not kill all the animals he has caught just because the furbearers had been unfortunate enough to end up in one of his traps. “No one wants to be in the business of killing animals,” he said. Tolliver said the reason he started B&M Trapping in 1982 was because Animal Control, where he worked from 1974 to 1991, was no longer the “public service” he once knew to help both animals and people. Tolliver said he continued to be an animal trapper because he was “one of those guys who wanted to be a public servant” and hoped the law would change some day. In a perfect world, Tolliver said his company would ideally “try to take [the furbearers that are not sick or injured] back into the hills to an area where it’s conducive to their lifestyle so [they] can at least have a second chance at life as opposed to being euthanized.” As stated in the 2008 SF Gate article on vector control, the law maintains that furbearers like raccoons are “already everywhere” and “moving them can spread animal diseases to new areas.” When asked about the exception on UC IPM Online that allows relocation of furbearers with “written permission of the Department,” Tolliver said he would be more than happy to comply and help “petition” for those changes. Unfortunately, Tolliver does not know where he would relocate the trapped skunks and raccoons because no one would “let them [into] their parks” and there is no sanctuary to house and raise them.

Squirrels and opossums are also considered furbearers but both Zitzner and Tolliver are not as worried about them. Tolliver said squirrels do not tend to be inside buildings and are content being in the trees. Tolliver is also not that concerned with opossums because “they would just fall into a trash can and wait for you to pick them up.” He said opossums are foragers and do not create the same problems as skunks and raccoons. Many students have often said there is an overpopulation of squirrels on campus and rumors have floated around about squirrels being euthanized, but Zitzner said in an email that she is not “aware of any squirrel reduction plan” and is “not even sure” how Mills could do that. What you can do to help The general rule is to avoid the wildlife at all times. As Tolliver instructed, there should be “no feeding, no getting close, no interaction at all.” Tolliver cautioned students to “be aware...that these are wild animals. All they need is for you to feed them one time and now they’re hooked. They think everybody will want to feed them.” Zitzner said students should avoid treating wild animals as “cute” pets. Tolliver said young furbearers are the ones students should avoid the most. A young raccoon, like the one he caught near Ross House, may appear “friendly” because “he’s young and he’s not sure what to do.” “If I were to put my hand in here, he would tear it up,” Tolliver said. Niviece Robinson, the Director of Public Safety whose department sometimes receives phone calls about wild animals, also echoes the same sentiment about leaving wildlife alone since human interaction can be both harmful to people and the animals. “We noticed that some students...want to feed the squirrels...and it’s not good for the animal because they’re eating human food. We may have squirrels who [would] go into the Tea Shop...and it’s unsanitary,” Robinson said, wary of the contamination squirrels can cause and the diseases students could get, such as rabies. If a student comes across furbearers, Zitzner advised that they should either send in a work order, message Campus Facilities at facilities@mills.edu, or email her directly at lzitzner@mills.edu by providing the specific location of

the sighting. “We set traps where we think [furbearers] are but it’s a lot better when people report a sighting to me and that way I can actually have [the trapper] set up in that area,” Zitzner said. What Zitzner has been gathering a group of “animal detectives” to look for skunks and raccoons. She currently has about five staff members who walk across campus in the evening when nocturnal furbearers come out, and then report their sightings to her. Many of the staff members in the group live at Faculty Village and have dogs to help “ferret out” skunks and raccoons. The sighted animals are usually caught by Tolliver within a few days. “I don’t have any students that are reporting right now but I would love it [if they joined in],” Zitzner said. If the situation is avoidable, say a furbearer is in front of the doorway of a dormitory, Robinson advised students to just “wait” until the animal moves away on their own. Tolliver said students should just walk away in the opposite direction and not show “any signs of aggression,” especially if they come across a group of raccoons. “I’d hate for some student [to be] smoking a cigarette on the stump outside and the mama’s coming this way and you move and she thinks you’re after her babies and now we have an altercation,” Tolliver said. In all his years of experience, Tolliver had never been directly ‘skunked’ but there were a few times in which he was the indirect recipient of a skunk’s residual odor, which can be carried by the wind and can cling onto clothing. If students were ever in a similar situation, Tolliver suggested letting the breeze blow past you for a little bit and the smell will dissipate. But it is a different story if students ever get a direct hit. “You’re gonna be smelling like skunk for the next couple of days,” Tolliver said, laughing. “I don’t care how much cleansing you do. You can do the tomato juice. Or you’re gonna be overly perfumed [but] Chanel No. 5 is just not going to cover it up.” The precaution Tolliver said those students should have taken was staying away from the furbearers in the first place. If a student is bitten, scratched or attacked in any way by a wild animal on campus, Robinson said they should immediately call Public Safety at 510.430.5555 so the officers could get in touch with the appropriate services to help treat the injuries.

Tolliver with a raccoon that he trapped near Ross House. Once animals are trapped, they are taken off campus to be “humanely euthanized.”

MELODIE MIU


Arts & Entertainment

10.08.13

5

The Barrett Symposium and Mills Scientists: Introduction

Kate Carmack carmack@thecampanil.com

Every year, Mills College hosts the Barrett Symposium, where biology students present the research they compiled over the summer to the Mills community in a series of five talks. The annual symposium allows students not only to share the field work they are conducting on campus and ideas for other projects, but it allows students from other fields to learn what ground-breaking technology is happening at Mills. Dr. Jared Young, director of the Barrett Foundation, presented the 2013 Barrett Symposium on Sept. 11 where 10 undergraduate biology students presented their findings and fielded questions from fellow students, faculty and community members regarding their summer research through the Barrett program. “In bringing together all these constituents, I felt a strong sense that the mission of Mills College is being accomplished with deep support from the Barrett Program,” Young said. Young said he was pleased with how the night turned out; the turnout was large with over 125 students, faculty and community members in attendance, and he was proud of all the student speakers. “The talks were fabulous,” said Young. “I was excited they had the opportunity to share the hard work they are doing with such a large Mills community.” Students who attended the event also said they were proud of those who presented their research and that hearing about the research of their classmates inspired them to take their own scholarly careers to the next level at Mills. Andria Lesser, a post-bac majoring in humanities, said that before she attended the event she was casual about taking advantage of opportunities on campus. But after hearing students’ presentations, Lesser said she was “inspired and motivated to start taking advantage of opportunities at Mills.” Another student, Tia Barfels, also said the talks were interesting. Barfels is a second-year student considering a major in either biochemistry (because she is interested in delving into the idea of how things work on a smaller level) or biopsychology (because she also has interest in social behavior). After the event she said that student presentations made her “eager to take upper division biology classes at Mills,” and decide on a major. The Jill Barrett Biology Research Program, initiated in 1998, is one of the reasons students can conduct field research at Mills. This program is unique — it was founded in 1998 in memory of a Mills alum (Jill Barrett, 1993) who met an untimely death while actively engaged in the conservation of sea turtles worldwide. The Barrett Program supports

students by providing scholarships, including paid stipends, to students accepted into a 10-week long summer research project guided by a faculty member from the biology department. Students prepare for their summer project by doing yearlong research with individual faculty members to prepare for the project, according to the Mills website. Lisa Urry, Mills biology professor and head of the biology department, said since 1998, the Barrett Program has benefitted about 125 students. “Many students who never realized research was a professional option have had their eyes opened to this possibility, and have experienced great joy in grappling with fascinating questions about how life works,” said Urry. “We are deeply honored to remember Jill in this way — by encouraging Mills students in their research pursuits under the close mentorship of a faculty investigator.” The Barrett program has been so successful over the 15 years since it began that the Barrett Foundation has increased its support by over 50 percent this past year, according to Urry. The Foundation also uses the program’s structure as a standard nationwide for undergraduate research programs that they support. Currently under the able leadership of Jared Young, said Urry, the Barrett Program continues to attract and benefit many students every year. “Being immersed in a novel research project provides a unique experience and many opportunities for personal and professional growth,” Young said. “I am grateful to the many students who have dedicated themselves to their research and to the program — it is their work that has made this program a success.” “I would say the Barrett Research Program is the jewel in the crown of the biology department,” Urry said. Students who attended the event were inspired by the research students were doing on campus and were enthusiastic about what else might be going on at Mills behind the scenes. Ashley Morgan, a third-year student majoring in biopsychology, was glad she attended the event. “I thought the presentations were informative and inspiring,” Morgan said, adding that she didn’t realize there was such big research going on at Mills, and by students. Another student, Hannah Hanson, a first-year majoring in biology, also said that the presentations made her really excited about doing fieldwork. The presentations “reaffirmed Mills is the right place to be,” Hanson said. Also in attendance was community member Phil Leitner, a biologist and recent retiree from St. Mary’s faculty. Leitner has also conducted research on ground squirrels in the Mojave desert, similar to work being conducted by Mills associate biology professor Jennifer Smith on

California ground squirrels. Leitner said student field work is a fantastic way for under graduates to learn about research: “It’s a way of learning outside the classroom [that’s] really amazing, Mills should be pleased with this program.” “I am amazed and pleased with the quality of work students are doing,” Leitner said. After presentations, a panel of four Mills and Barrett program alumni spoke about their experiences with the Barrett program, what they accomplished after graduating from Mills and fielded questions from students about research and their journey into biology. Cindie Slightam, Margaret Rei Scampavia, Elenor Castillo, Ilana Stein. During the question and answer session, Young said he was overwhelmed with gratitude to the Barrett Foundation for making it possible to provide such a space for students to explore science and that he was overjoyed with the success of the event. “It was wonderful to feel the strength and energy of our Mills community galvanized around our science,” Young said. “The whole community was there: our current Barrett students who gave outstanding presentations on their work, alumnae who returned to tell us how they are applying their experiences in their careers and seeing how the projects they began continue to endure and progress, firstyear students and sophomores in the audience who are now embarking on their journeys, and faculty who have guided all these students along the way.”

Student and faculty research completed through the Barrett program will be detailed through an in-depth explanation of the research process students experienced and hypothesis in a four-part series. Part One of the series will detail research completed by Julia Harenčár under the PI Sarah Swope on the effects of pollen with Calochortus tiburonensis. Part Two of the series will detail research completed by Jillian Steele and Simmone Dyrness under the PI Susan Spiller on tagging actin and tubulin with Bioengineered fluorescent protein tags from Cyanobacteriochromes from T. elongates. Part Three of the series will detail research completed by Jamie Knight and Liz Newman under the PI Jared Young on characterizing odor sensations in newly generated Caenorhabditis elegans mutants. Part Four of the series will detail research completed by Team Squirrel: Imani Russell, Valeska Muñoz, Kate Lee Newcomb, Minnie Vo and Lauren Kong under the PI Jennifer Smith on disease transmission through kin-structured social networks and non-lethal effects of predation on the California ground squirrel.

BARBARA BOWMAN

JEN SMITH

JEN SMITH

JARED YOUNG

(Top) Alumnae panelists at the Sept symposium; (middle) Julia Harencár and Liz Newman hold up posters from their supporters; (middle) Team Squirrel gathers around their presentation board; (bottom) a group gathers around their poster.


6

Opinions

10.08.13

Q U E ST I O N O F T H E W E E K Which is your favorite animal on campus?

“I really like the wolf-dog. He’s cuddly.” —Tayla Muise, Sophomore

“Darwin, the cat with the clipped ear who hangs out by Founders.” — Kate Kolden, First-year

Staff Editorial Perception of tattoos at Mills and in society Up until a few decades ago, the majority of tattooed people were military men. But over the years, tattoos have become much more mainstream and socially acceptable. Television shows like “LA Ink” and “Ink Master” have brought more attention to tattooing as an art form, and more and more celebrities are getting inked. Mattel even recently released a tattooed Barbie, which elicited no small controversy. At Mills, tattooed people— both students and faculty members—can be found all over campus. Many of us at The Campanil are supporters of tattoos, and some of our staff members have some of their own ink to show off. Our staff believes that tattoos are more accepted at Mills than they might be elsewhere. Mills is generally accepting of all lifestyles and personal choices, whether you want to keep your skin untouched or if you would rather use your body as a canvas for all kinds of art. Several of us at The Campanil recall having professors with tattoos. Some of our staff members thought this was cool, while others did not care at all because they did not feel that the tattoos had anything to do with the professors’ ability to teach. The Campanil staff is all happy that Mills is a place where people can do what they want with their body without facing the same amount of judgment that they might

GRE Taylor Swift subject test S.A. DEW Directions: Each of the questions or incomplete statements bellow is followed by five suggested answers or completions. Select the one that is best in each case and then completely fill in the corresponding oval on the answer sheet. Questions 1-3

“My favorite is the wolf-dog.” —Christie Yeh, Sophomore

“I would say the turkey. I’m also a big fan of squirrels.” — Adriana Solis-Lopez, First-year MPP

“The skunks, for no reason in particular except that they waddle.” —Anna Ayala, Sophomore

COMPILED BY ARI NUSSBAUM

find at other institutions. Tattoos—just like piercings, hair styles, and clothing—are a personal choice and reflect who a person is or how they feel. Some tattoos are quite beautiful and we believe that if they are true reflections of a person, they should be respected and the person should not be judged for having them. We view tattoos as a way to outwardly express oneself in ways that may not otherwise be visible. Although it may be hard to suspend judgment on tattoos since they are a matter of personal style and taste, each piece of art holds meaning to the person who got it, and that should be respected. We feel that people should not be judged based on their choice to have or not to have a tattoo. The Campanil feels that the social stigma surrounding tattoos is slowly dissipating, although it does still carry negative connotations in some respects. In some career paths, tattoos are seen as “inappropriate” or “unprofessional.” While we do feel that people should be free to express themselves and do with their bodies as they please, we recognize that in many parts of society, those with tattoos are still judged. Tattooed people often feel as though they should regret their tattoos, but we feel that if their art is an honest expression of self, they should wear them with pride.

“Cause I’m not your princess, this ain’t a fairytale, I’m gonna find someone someday who might actually treat me well This is a big world, that was a small town There in my rear view mirror disappearing now (Line 5) And it’s too late for you and your white horse Now it’s too late for you and your white horse to catch me now” 1. The writing style of the above passage most closely resembles which of the following writers? (A) William Wordsworth (B) Shania Twain (C) Jane Austen (D) John Dryden (E) Dolly Parton 2. If in the next stanza the horse were to speak— pleading with the speaker to stay—this would be an example of (A) voodoo (B) personification (C) a unicorn sighting (D) a Houyhnhnm (E) a heroic couplet 3. The female narrator laments ever falling in love with a man who walks through the door. She falls like Icarus from the sky to the cold, hard ground singing—oh, oh! Oh! When first performed, many were surprised by the rhythm patterns and the building textures created by a heavy bass line, commonly referred to as “a drop.” The work referred to above is (A) Medea (B) “I Knew You Were Trouble” (C) The Faerie Queene (D) “Fergalicious” (E) “Song of Myself ”

Questions 4-8 “But I took your matches Before fire could catch me So don’t look now I’m shining like fireworks (Line 5) Over your sad empty town Dear John, I see it all now that you’re gone. Don’t you think I was too young To be messed with? The girl in the dress (Line 10) Cried the whole way home” 4. The first five lines of the passage contain a(n) (A) epic invocation (B) simile (C) pyromania (D) Fourth of July celebration (E) synecdoche 5. The “John” referred to in this passage is most likely (A) John F. Kennedy (B) John Adams (C) John the Baptist (D) John Mayer (E) Pope John Paul II 6. Which word serves as the antecedent for “you’re” in line six? (A) John (B) fireworks (C) town (D) matches (E) douchebag 7. Which of the following is closest to the meaning of “messed with?” (A) slept with (B) taken out to dinner twice (C) teepeed her house (D) prank called her at 3 am (E) hacked into her Twitter account 8. The author of this passage also wrote (A) “Single Ladies” (B) “To His Coy Mistress” (C) “Baby Got Back (C) “Paradise Lost” (D) “Behind These Hazel Eyes”


Opinions

10.08.13

7

3. Never go to any hall events or field trips the R.A. invited you on. Who cares if this is your first year being at Mills and you don't know the Bay Area very well and the reason why your R.A. invited you on an excursion to the Laurel was so you could learn how to use AC Transit, know where to hang out and where to buy your groceries nearby. You could totally do all of that by taking the shuttle all the way to Berkeley thus bypassing all of Oakland without making the conscious effort to get to know your neighborhood better. Don't even bother sending out an email to let them know you can't make it. The fact that your R.A. is even encouraging you to mingle with your other hall-mates is insulting and should not be tolerated. 4. Be noncommittal as much as possible. Disorient the R.A. by never giving them a direct "yes" or "no" answer when they want you to come to the next hall meeting. The excuse "I'm sick" is totally legit, even when you're actually healthy as a horse, and can help you get out of every obligation. It's no wonder everyone else uses the same excuse at the last minute — because it WORKS. The moment you utter "I'm sick," you're off the hook, buddy. You don't even need to actually act like you have the flu in front of your R.A. when they come to check up on you.

Melodie Miu miu@thecampanil.com So, you've made the misguided choice to live on campus and now you'll have to deal with the consequences of sleeping in the same hall as that sneaky leviathan, better known as "the R.A." Let's be real here: No one likes the residential assistant. R.A.s are raging, abominable hellbeasts birthed from the slimy, snot-filled underbelly of Mills College who are sent on a mission by THE DEVIL to ruin everyone's fun with their cheery disposition and reminder emails. I would know. I spent my entire sophomore year successfully avoiding my R.A. — and our rooms were right next door to each other. That, my friends, requires an expert level of skill that I will happily disclose today: 1. Do not trust the R.A. They'll try to lure you in with kindly-worded emails, happy greetings, and corny door decorations. However, be warned: they are NOT your friend. Sure they'll act like it in the first hall meeting by creating an atmosphere of trust and camaraderie. But they'll totally bust you the moment you step out of line and won't let you get away with anything because they are buzzkills of the highest caliber. They do their nightly rounds just looking to create inconvenience in your life and have a personal stake on you to fail out of college. Even when they're not looking for anything and are just passing through, your day is still ruined. That's why everyone gets so quiet when the R.A. walks by — even their aura stinks up the place. Not only is it crucial for you to avoid the R.A. but you should also know how to handle them when running into them is unavoidable. 2. Rules are complete B.S. Treat them accordingly. Make a huge fuss when the R.A. writes you up for making too much noise during quiet hours, underage drinking, possessing drug paraphernalia, T.P.-ing the communal bathrooms, or smoking too close to the dormitories, even when those infractions are clearly listed in both the Student Handbook and on the poster of community rules hanging in your LLC. You are never in the wrong. As a matter of fact, the R.A. was probably the one who encouraged the real troublemakers to smoke weed right outside your window because that smell is definitely, totally not coming from inside of your room.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Dear Mills Community, I wanted to reach out to you in response to several concerns regarding the “Possibility of opening a new Café on Campus.” Where's the Mills Café at? • We are still very much in the exploratory stage and no final decisions have yet been made on the Cafe, let alone any timeline for opening. • The Café will not open unless projections indicate that it will be self-sustaining. • We are still open to receiving suggestions about what the Mills Community would like to see in the Café. We are not, however, seeking a new name. • Although the possibility of having pop-ups during the semester exists, no plans have been developed. Coffee, not wine, will be the focus of the pilot events. • We will keep posting information about the Mills Café. As soon as a decision on whether the Café is a go or a no go, we will inform the whole Mills Community. • We are delighted about the excitement and look forward to the vibrant community that the Cafe will hopefully bring. -- Phuong Tseng and Carolina Levy

5. Make it as hard as possible for your R.A. You should throw away all those fliers they slip under your door without a second glance, filter their emails to Spam, turn things in late, continue breaking rules, and be a general pain in the rear. They'll express concern for you but they don't mean it. 6. Recruit others to your case. Make your fellow hall mates hate the R.A. as much as you do. Create an ongoing dialogue within your group by revisiting old grudges and constantly deriving negative subtext from your R.A.'s words. Yeah, sure, people say there's only one truly awful R.A. for every 12 responsible and genuinely nice ones, but it's better to generalize all R.A.s as terrible monsters. The moment you hear a hall-mate tell you "I think you're being unreasonable," figuratively slap some sense into them by literally slapping them across the face. They'll thank you later. 7. Fake it 'til you make it. So, you're trapped in an impossible scenario: the R.A. is walking towards you down the same hallway and there is no open window to jump out of or a couch you could dive behind. You need to head in that direction and they're definitely not going to walk the other way. When they smile and say "Hi," you should make shifty eyes, grin pathetically, and increase your speed like you've been caught redhanded. Let them know right away that you have the upper hand and you're on to them. 8. Bear the costs. This is perhaps the most difficult step of all because there's a high possibility you'll accumulate late fees from missing hall meetings and ignoring important announcements. I know you don't want to be a bad student but you'll largely have to be responsible for yourself in getting the correct info in your quest to dodge the R.A. But honestly, which is worse: racking up expensive charges because you weren't keeping up with deadlines the R.A. keeps telling you about, OR actually listening to the R.A. and acknowledging that they're simply doing their job? Exactly. Special thanks to a friend and residential assistant, who asked to remain anonymous, for giving me the basic lowdown on R.A. duties.

DO YOU

? y a s o t g n i h t e m o s e v a H

CONTACT NUSSBAUM@THECAMPANIL.COM


4

Arts & Entertainment

10.08.13

Weekends in Oakland:

First year culture shock

Room 389

Ali Sorenson (left) and Darella Wallace (right) in their dorm rooms.

ALEXINA ESTRADA

Alexina Estrada Contributing Writer

Amanda Polick Contributing Writer On any given night, the crowd from Room 389’s ivy-covered front patio spills onto the sidewalk of Grand Avenue in Oakland. Intimate wooden benches create little nooks for drinking and laughter. And stepping inside, the atmosphere is much the same: happy chatter and lively bartenders with booming chuckles. This little gem feels like Cheers, only a little fancier. If you are looking for a dive bar, you should probably keep walking. Rich wood accents and ambient lighting make for a wonderful evening over one of Room 389’s many artisan cocktails, which are all about $9. And since they do not list any of their signature cocktails on their website, there is no need to spoil the fun by telling you of all the delicious concoctions. But if you are feeling spicy and in need of a little tequila, try the Erik Estrada – just don’t swallow the habanero. Also check out trivia night (Wednesday evenings at 7:30 p.m.), all-day happy hour on Sundays ($4 well drinks and draft beers), or dancing on one of the many nights they offer live music (no cover!). And don’t be surprised if you happen to sit down next to an adorable little puppy on your evening out. Patrons who bring their

well-behaved dogs to hang out are somewhat of staple at Room 389. If the crowd is a little much for you in the front, you can always make your way to the back and find a comfy couch or two to spread out on. If you just cannot get enough of this place, then stop by weekdays starting at 7:30 a.m. and weekends at 9 a.m. for coffee and pastries — it will be the start to a great day. Room 389 serves local Bicycle Coffee and Starter Bakery’s savory pastries and quiches (from $3 to $4), but come early because they run out quickly, especially the bacon quiches. You can sit outside on the patio or enjoy the quiet inside. And if you need a little “hair of the dog” from your night before, you can always enjoy your breakfast with the 389 Special – a mocha with Jameson, Kahlua and Bailey’s Irish Cream, which will fix (almost) anything. And that is not even including the homemade salted-caramel whipped cream. Superb. So, how do you get to this beauty? From Mills, the NL will take you right there, and the 57 will get you close enough to stroll over from Lakeshore. There’s also plenty of street parking on Grand Avenue or in the surrounding neighborhood (and meters stop running at 6 p.m.). So, come early, stay late, and make Room 389 your new favorite place.

First-year students come to Mills College from a variety of cities and backgrounds. For some, the new campus and surroundings are nothing different from where they lived. For others, it’s a complete culture shock. Not all first-years know the difference between gunshots or fireworks or aren’t used to hearing ambulance and police sirens so frequently and so close. First-year Darrella Wallace from Miridian, Idaho is African American and was called the derogatory N-word throughout her childhood and in school. She grew up asking her parents why there wasn’t anyone who looked like her and the rest of her family. For some the ethnic and racial diversity at Mills is the largest shock. Even the statements and personalities expressed through fashion surprise new students. “I think culture shock is normal among first-years because they are leaving the culture they are often used to at home and are learning to adapt to living in an environment with a diverse community. They are also moving from a high school level education to a college level education which can be a shock in and of itself.” said Warren Onley R.A. Jessica Lopez. “Back in northern Idaho, there are KKK meetings and there is no expression through style, either,” Wallace said. “Here people are more accepting, and when you see them you immediately get an idea of who they are and you see their style in the way they hold themselves and dress.” In Idaho, Darrella hardly knew any other African Americans and she struggled to fit in at times. Racist jokes and differential treatment was something that she learned to handle by walking away or ignoring insults. She constantly felt the differences between herself and the other students in her high school. The contrast of Miridian and Oakland was significant for Darrella. She feels like she fits in better, even though there is more crime. Wallace said she feels better and feels that she belongs, rather than sticking out like she once did. While at home there was little to no diversity; at Mills, she said, there is more and she loves that. As if the diversity and a new city wasn’t enough, students also have to get used to living on their own for the first time. Mary Sorenson-Conlan from Seattle Wash. had a sheltered upbringing. Before coming to Mills, she said she had never been on her own or around violence. When school started, she found herself completely independent and responsible for herself. “One night my friends Madeline, Sophie and I heard gun shots,” Sorenson said. “Madeline and I thought they were fireworks but Sophie said they were gunshots.” Since Sorenson-Conlan’s parents are divorced, she has gone back and forth between her mother and father. She was well taken care of at home so when she came to Mills, she had to learn to be responsible for herself. “I don’t have anyone here to remind me and keep me working on my homework,” Sorenson said. “No one here tells me that I need to go eat, that I should clean my room, or to remind me of the things that I have to get done.” Not all students face a culture shock though. For example, first-year Amanda Clontz from Fairfield, Cali., said she had an easy transition. Growing up, Clontz said, she was not sheltered from drinking or smoking. Her parents did not allow her to do either, but didn’t try to keep her away from it completely. They knew it was part of teen culture and wanted her to know the pros and cons to make wise decisions. “I grew up in the Bay Area and have experienced a mix of Berkeley and San Francisco,” Clontz said. “The openness of people with their beliefs, their dressing styles, their appearance, sexual orientation, it’s nothing new for me.”

Photo of the Week:

ARI NUSSBAUM PHOTOS BY AMANDA POLICK

Room 389 serves up a full array of beer, wine and cocktails.

Be sure to check out “Experiments in the Fault Zone” at the Mills Art Museum from 9/29 to 12/9. Also check out Opinion Editor Ari Nussbaum’s online article about the exhibit!


8 10.08.13 Sports & Health Health Matters:

The Importance of Sleep

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

While midterms are upon many students in the Mills College community, it is necessary to place emphasis on receiving a healthy amount of sleep each night.

Lily Leighton Contributing Writer Sleep is something that is often pushed to the bottom of a college student’s priority list. Many students get caught up in the cycle of not getting their desired amount of sleep, then expect to “catch up” on sleep over the weekend. This rarely works out, as many students then decide to go out late on the weekends, and stay up late Sunday night to complete their work. So the cycle continues. With responsibilities such as homework, clubs, volunteer work, scholarship applications, sports, work, and maintaining a healthy social life, who has time to consider that their body needs a certain dedicated amount of sleep each and every night? Balance is hard to maintain during the school term and people forget that sleep is a critical part of the balance in their lives, and suffer the consequences when it is not. There are many ways that lack of sleep can affect a person’s life, besides yawning in class. According to the Nations Sleep Foundation, an adult needs at least seven to nine hours of sleep every night.

There are four stages of non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep that are followed by a brief but important stage of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. The first stage of sleep begins when the body starts to relax but can be awakened easily. This is the stage in which many people have a sensation of falling as they try to sleep. In the second sleep stage the body has waves of relaxation, the heart rate slows, and body temperature lowers. This continues as the body prepares for stages three and four, which are the deep sleep phases. In the final two stages of NREM sleep, a person may feel disoriented or confused when aroused from this deep sleep. After NREM sleep comes REM sleep, in which the eyes may move rapidly and dreams occur. While this excites the brain and makes it active, the muscles are in a paralysis state during REM sleep. As people get older, the amount of REM sleep their body allows them to get is less than the amount an infant gets. This isn’t to say that they need less REM; it means that they sleep for fewer hours and because of that get fewer

hours of REM sleep. Helene Emsellem, director of The Center for Sleep and Wake Disorders in Chevy Chase, Md., told NPR in 2012 that the body doesn’t only physically revive itself during the time a person sleeps, the body also needs time to process all that has been taken in during the day. The body also needs sleep in order have a healthy immune system. According to Dr. Balachandran, a practicing physician and researcher in Connecticut, “The more all-nighters you pull, the more likely you are to decrease your body’s ability to respond to colds or bacterial infections.” Pulling all-nighters can create a vicious cycle: if you get sick during the semester, you have to do more work to catch up on the class work you missed. Some tips that may be helpful in balancing life and sleep include keeping a regular sleep schedule that only varies by 60 to 90 minutes, even between weekends and weekdays. This is so the body can get used to a regular schedule. In addition to keeping a regular sleep schedule, try to block out chunks of

time regularly for studying. During the time you plan on studying — and before you are planning on going to sleep — try to limit the amount of technology you use. Texting and being on the computer right before you go to sleep can interfere with the ways your body falls asleep. Leaving your phone on during the night is detrimental, not only because of the radiation, but also because it may wake you up as you sleep. Try not to drink any caffeinated beverage three to five hours before you plan on sleeping. Even if you are able to fall asleep, the caffeine can disrupt your normal sleep cycles. Mills student Sonya Kohli said that during crew season she gets somewhere between three to seven hours of sleep a night. When asked if she thought that a loss of sleep effected her school work she said, “yes, aka I fall asleep in class and don’t retain the information.” Kohli said that hopefully when she grows up she will be able to get more sleep, but this is just the way her college life is. Student Rachel Patterson said that she needs a minimum of seven

hours of sleep to function during the day. When Patterson doesn’t get the amount of sleep that her body needs, she said, “I can’t focus in class, and I have trouble doing homework later also.” Patterson says that for her it isn’t realistic to change her sleeping habits because she does what she needs to do in order to get all her work done. Patterson and Kohli both take naps whenever they can fit them into their day. Student Cat Cousins said that on average she gets nine hours of sleep a night. If Cousins doesn’t get her nine hours of sleep she said, “I definitely feel it. If I get less than eight hours of sleep it affects me the next day.” Cousins said that she tries not to take naps because it then messes up her sleep schedule for the following days. With midterms upon us, keeping up on your sleep is very important for overall health, balance in life, and doing well in your coursework. Health Matters is a column written by the second-year nursing students participating in the Nursing Leadership Class.

Upcoming Games Cross Country Oct. 19, 2013 @ Santa Clara University Bronco Invitational

Volleyball HOME

AWAY

Oct. 8, 2013 5 p.m. vs. UC Merced

Oct. 18, 2013 3:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. @ West Coast Baptist

Soccer Oct. 18, 2013 at 3 p.m. & Oct. 19, 2013 at 12 p.m. @ Bethesda University

Oct. 14, 2013 7 p.m. vs. Ursuline

Oct. 19, 2013 1 p.m. 6 p.m. @ Caltech


Fall 2013 Issue 3