An Artists’ Dozen:
VOLUME 96 ISSUE 17
ASMC funds poet, undergraduate projects Diana Arbas ASST NEWS EDITOR Powerhouse poet Andrea Gibson has performed on Free Speech TV, The BBC and CSPAN — and Mills is her next stop. Colleen Kimsey, the CoPresident of Team Awesome, a campus club, dreamed of getting Gibson — whom Kimsey gushingly describes as a “fabulous gender queer poet activist” and inspiration for Kimsey's own activism — to spit her gut-punching rhymes here at Mills for about a year now. Kimsey said she thinks Gibson would be a “fabulous” addition to the beginning of the next school year. But Gibson’s 70-minute program speaker fee is $3,000. “There was definitely a point in October where I was like, ‘Well, I could do a bake sale,’” Kimsey said. “By November, I was like, 'I'm not that good of a baker.’” The Associated Students of Mills College (ASMC) heard Kimsey’s idea at their meeting on March 28 and voted to give Team Awesome the $3,000 to cover Gibson's speaker fee. ASMC also voted to give the Indigenous Women's Alliance $2,529 to help fund the April 17 Mills College Powwow. “There is no way I would have been able to do this event — absolutely zip, zilch, zero — without ASMC’s special funding,” Kimsey said. ASMC Accountant Lakshmi Poti said that when every undergraduate pays the $140 ASMC fee each year, the total amount goes to the student government. ASMC then distributes some of that money to all student clubs and organizations; the leftover money is called special funding. This year ASMC special funding was $20,000, Poti said. Special funding is available to all undergraduates, but ASMC doesn’t give out handouts without good reason. If, for example, an undergraduate wanted to throw an event that her club didn’t have enough money for, then she would have to show ASMC that her event in some way gives back to the undergraduate student body. “This can include having guest speakers come in and talk or just throwing huge dances on campus—some kind of an activity that all Mills student are invited to,” Poti said. “In some cases, students do go outside for conferences, represent Mills and come back to have
panel discussions or a table at Adams Plaza with fliers for students to get to know more about what’s out there.” Poti said that three pillars guide ASMC's decision-making: supporting community building, rewarding student leaders and sustaining the intellectual life of the college. ASMC didn’t explicitly invoke these pillars when Kimsey made her March 28 special funding request, but the student government did not immediately vote in favor of granting Team Awesome $3,000. Kimsey originally requested $3,170 to fund the event. Soo Choi, Ege Residence Hall Senator, said she really liked the idea but didn’t feel that Kimsey’s event plans were developed enough yet. Choi suggested ASMC partially fund the event. Choi knew Gibson had performed at other colleges. “How did it work out with the colleges? How were those events formatted? I just want more information before we fully fund (Team Awesome’s event).” Sarah Lombardo, Social Sciences Senator, suggested Kimsey come back to ASMC after doing a little more legwork. “It actually has to be now,” said ASMC Advisor Courtney YoungLaw. “There’s only six academic weeks left (from today).” When undergraduates ask for more than $1,000, they have to do it five academic weeks before the event. ASMC President Amelia Lopez said that Kimsey’s event is planned for August 26, two days after Fall 2011 begins, which is before ASMC deals with special funding requests for the school year. A week after making her special funding request, Kimsey is rapidly moving forward with her event plans and getting ready to book Gibson. Kimsey doesn't think making her idea a reality was that hard. “I just assumed that it was all going to be okay, it was all going to be possible. I believe that Mills is an institution that wants to support its students ... I thought that if it was somewhat beneficial, the college would support it.”
To find out how to make special funding requests, email email@example.com. For more about poet and activist Andrea Gibson, visit http://www.andreagibson.org.
See page 5 Tuesday | April 12, 2011
Signs tell smokers to stay 30 feet back For full story see page 7
The Wellness Advisory Committee of Mills College has set up signs around campus reminding students that they must be 30 feet away from all campus buildings before lighting up.
Psychology professor, students study memories of Japan disaster Nicole Vermeer MANAGING EDITOR In response to the recent earthquakes and tsunami in Japan, Psychology Professor Christie Chung is conducting a study about peoples’ memories of the disaster. Psychology students Ziyong Lin, Laura Samuelsson and Amelia True are assisting Dr. Chung with the research. The study asks participants questions about their feelings on the recent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters in Japan. Some questions included in the survey ask when the subject found out about the disasters, what their emotional reaction was and who they felt caused the events. The Japan study concerns itself with the idea of the “flashbulb memory,” which, according
to a research group at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is comprised of “distinctly vivid, precise, concrete, long-lasting memories of a personal circumstance surrounding a person’s discovery of shocking events.” This is something that usually occurs with major disasters, but Dr. Chung is also seeing if there is a difference in the memories between man-made disasters, such as the San Bruno fire, and natural disasters such as the recent disaster in Japan. Lin, a Mills junior, said that she mainly helped with translations to her native Chinese. In China, the study has been completed by over 130 participants — in part due to Lin’s recruitment efforts. The survey was also translated into Japanese, but Dr. Chung said that it has been difficult to contact people in Japan. The team hypothesizes that
the disaster might have a greater emotional effect on people closer to the earthquake — so that there would be a difference between the response collected from the U.S., China and Japan. “We want to capture the initial memory and track it over time to see if the memory has changed,” said Dr. Chung. The survey is sent electronically to participants, and follow ups are conducted periodically over the next three to five years. She added that people are often convinced that their memories are accurate. “We are very confident we remember everything,” but that is often not the case. The study reflects other studies Dr. Chung has done in conjunction with the Mills Cognition Lab. For example, she studied the effects of the San Bruno fire on see Memory
study page 2
April 12, 2011
College surveys shape Mills policy Loren Sanchez STAFF WRITER Mills relies in part on information from student surveys to make important changes in the way the college functions each year. The Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Academic Assessment sends these students surveys via e-mail in order to gather information about the Mills community. The office is run by Alice Knudsen, Director of Institutional Research, and Talia Friedman, Research Analyst. They are responsible for sending the surveys out to students and processing the results. “We do approximately 12 surveys a year. Some surveys we do every year. Some show up once every two or three years,” Friedman wrote in an email. “Most are geared toward specific populations, like only graduating seniors or transfer students or sophomores and juniors, so no one population actually receives all the surveys.” According to Knudsen and Friedman, the goal of having the surveys are to know how Mills ranks among other schools, what is happening in the Mills community and how the data can be used to improve the college. The data collected through the surveys, according to Knudsen, are also presented to committees such as the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), which determines whether or not Mills will continue to be an accredited college. “Last year, WASC was reviewing Mills,” Knudsen said. “They were very pleased with the data and changes based in the data.” Some of Knudsen’s responsibilities are to try to get students to
participate in the surveys. Once the information is received, she figures out where the community can be improved and gives the data to the appropriate committee. Friedman stated, “We are not really responsible for program changes but to say, Look: Here’s an issue. There are committees that deal with the data and decide what to do.” In Mills’ most recent strategic plan, student surveys were used to determine how to improve retention rates. The surveys determined that one of the biggest factors keeping students at Mills was the amount of financial assistance students receive. Knowing this, the college has kept providing adequate financial aid a priority. After efforts have been made to improve what is needed, Knudsen recollects the data to see whether there is a difference. The surveys are produced by UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute, according to Knudsen. Mills uses the surveys from UCLA. When Mills can’t get the information it needs from the UCLA surveys, Mills’ Office of Institutional Research creates its own surveys. Some of the surveys created specifically for Mills include surveys to understand how transfer students and graduate students see their experience Mills. With students consumed by their schedules, many have a hard time finding time to take the surveys. “Surveys annoy me because you only have so much time to do homework and I see no purpose in them,” said sophomore Natalie Diaz. Having few students take the surveys hinders their purpose. “The surveys are only useful data if the students take it,”
Friedman said. Friedman and Knudsen are trying to get more students to respond to their surveys. The office gives away a prizes to some students who participate in the survey in order to attract more participation. The prizes for participating in the newest survey, the Diverse Learning Environments Survey for sophomores and juniors, were two $100 gift cards to the Tea Shop and a grand prize drawing of $300. Gladys Dulay, a first-year student, said of the most recent survey, “I took it twice, during orientation and then again when it was on a posting for student news because they had a prize.” According to Friedman, at least 50 percent of Mills students responded to the surveys sent out, but their goal is to have 60-70 percent participation. Both students and faculty participate in the surveys. “Faculty are much better at responding,” said Knudsen. Comparing this information helps Friedman and Knudsen understand how students and faculty view their engagement with one another. For example, one survey question for students is: “How often do you write a paper?” The faculty survey would have a similar question: “How often do you assign papers?” Friedman and Knudsen realize students want to know what happens with the surveys they take, which is why they hope that in the future they can find some way to show and share the data they collect. “The information is public. We just haven’t figured out how to get the information to them,” said Friedman. “We’re a tiny staff and not sure on the right platform in which to get the data out there.”
Memories of Japanese disaster studied at Mills Memory study from page 1
people's memories. The San Bruno study is still in progress. Dr. Chung and Lin both said that they knew they wanted to do the study as soon as the disaster happened. Since the research team is working on memory studies in relation to natural disasters, the effects are practically impossible to simulate in a lab. When this opportunity arose, they seized the chance to do another study like the one pertaining to the San Bruno fire. In addition to capturing memories, Dr. Chung is also interested
in how people feel about who is to blame for the event, and how different individuals are affected, for example by asking questions about the Japanese government, the nuclear plant workers, Japan's nuclear safety committee, the country of Japan as a whole, society, nature and God. In order to get more people to take the survey, the team is donating one dollar to the Red Cross Disaster relief fund for each survey participant. Dr. Chung has funded these donations out of pocket. In addition, some students can get extra credit for their psychology classes for completing the sur-
Tara Nelson Editor in Chief firstname.lastname@example.org 5000 MacArthur Blvd. Oakland, CA 94613 510.430.2246 phone 510.430.3176 fax
vey. A page at the end of the survey directed only at Mills students asks who their psychology professor is so the researchers can pass along the information and add the points to the students’ class grade. According to Dr. Chung, the number of people who participated cannot be published due to privacy issues, but they are hoping for as many participants as possible. Lin said that there has been a very positive response to the fact that money is being donated to disaster relief for each participant. Dr. Chung said that the study can “benefit science” because “there are a lot of things we don't know about memory.”
Experts say nuclear crisis in Japan poses little threat to U.S. Emma Casper CONTRIBUTING WRITER While experts analyzing the recent nuclear disaster in Japan have said that radiation dangers facing the rest of the world are low, some are still concerned about the health risks in the United States. In terms of radioactive threat, the danger here in the United States is negligible. “There is no reason to worry about radiation in California due to the Fukushima reactor release,” said Dr. Elizabeth Wade, head of the Mills chemistry department and a nuclear chemist. “While they have found iodine-131 from the Japanese radiation in milk in California, the radiation levels are very low, less than 0.1 percent of the radiation you get when you eat a banana, which is naturally radioactive.” The 9.0 earthquake that hit Japan on March 11 knocked out electricity at the nuclear facility in Fukushima, causing a failure of the emergency cooling systems at the plant. The tsunami resulting from this first earthquake made the nuclear damage even more dangerous as the waste from the Fukushima plant was leaked into the ocean. A month later, workers at the facilities are still trying to keep the cores of some of the six reactors from overheating by flooding them with seawater, effectively ending their use, in an effort to restrict the escape of radioactive vapors. A second earthquake registering 7.1 hit Japan April 7 at 7:32 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, but has had no further impact on the Fukushima plant. The tragedy in Northeastern Japan reminds many of the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island nuclear disasters. “I’m terrified,” said sophomore and ASMC Vice President Rebecca Freeman, “but more so for future generations. If we’re getting power through poison, what kind of world
Managing Editor Nicole Vermeer
Design Editor Joann Pak
Chief News Editor Lauren Sliter
Photo Editor Anna Corson
Asst. News Editor Diana Arbas
Webmaster Yun Miao
Opinions Editor Lauren Soldano
Online Editor Melodie Miu
Features Editor Stephanie Scerra
Ad & PR Manager Tymeesa Rutledge
Sports & Health Editor Bonnie Horgos
Multimedia Staff Bianca Butler
Calendar Editor Priscilla Wilson
Staff Writer Loren Sanchez
Find more stories, photos, videos and live updates at www.thecampanil.com
are we leaving for them?” First year Anne Glickenhaus is concerned about how the nuclear disaster in Japan could affect the United States. “The radiation makes me nervous,” she said. “Who knows what the consequences will be.” There are some mitigating factors to take into account when discussing the nuclear fallout in Japan, according to Dr. Wade. “The 30-year-old Japanese reactor didn’t include many of the safety systems that American nuclear plants added over the last 20 years,” said Dr. Wade. “Despite this, it took a massive earthquake and tsunami to cause the release.” The threat from the Fukushima nuclear plant differs from that of both Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. The effects of the latter were mostly a result of human error while the Fukushima plant was disturbed by the tsunami, a naturally occurring disaster. Also, unlike Chernobyl, Fukushima and Three Mile Island’s effects were limited due to containment vessels surrounding both reactors. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) rates nuclear disasters on a scale of 7, with each point on the scale representing a factor of 10. The nuclear crisis in Fukushima has been rated as a 4 on IAEA's scale. Three Mile Island was rated as a 5, and Chernobyl was rated as a 7. According to this scale, the crisis in Fukushima is 1/10th as serious as Three Mile Island and 1/1000th of Chernobyl. Presently, the threat is greatest to the fishing industry as seawater contaminated by the leaking plant has been leaking into the Pacific Ocean. According to an April 4 New York Times article, the water surrounding the plant contains 10,000 times the legal limit of radioactive material. The radiation collecting in the fish increased beyond safety levels but currently pose no danger to humans if consumed.
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Events & Information
Apr. 12, 2011
APRIL 12-18 April 12 Tuesday Stand-up Comedy with Danny Dechi and Friends What: Live stand-up comedy Where: Rockit Room, 406 Clement Street San Francisco, CA 94118 When: 8 p.m. Cost: Free Comedy Improv Show What: Enjoy scenes, games, and songs by the Berkeley Players, all based on audience suggestions. Where:Saturn Café, Berkeley When: 8 p.m. Cost: Free A forum on the death penalty What: The Alameda County Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty sponsors Where: Berkeley City College Auditorium, Berkeley When: 3:30 Cost: Free
April 16 Saturday
April 13 Wednesday How to Be a Human Beatbox What: Learn how to beat box Where: Bazaar Café, S.F When: 7 p.m. Cost: Free Bay Bridge Beat What:Bay Bridge plays jazz, funk, and R&B Where: Spice Monkey, Webster & 17th, Oakland When:8 p.m Cost: Free Berkeley Wine Festival What: Flowers Vineyard and winery and wine tasting Where:Claremont Hotel Club and Spa When: 6:30 p.m. Cost: $130/person “Prom” a new disney movie What: Meet the cast members of this new Disney channel movie Where: Macy’s, S.F When: 6 p.m. Cost: Free
April 17 Sunday
April 14 Thursday
April 15 Friday
Ozumo- cherry blossom festival kick-off What: The restaurant will host a cherry blossom festival celebration. Live music and lots of Japanese cuisine Where: Ozumo, Oakland, Contact: 510.286.9866 When: 5p.m. to 11 p.m. Cost: Free to enter How to improve your test scores What: With Dr. Ben Bernstein Where: Cowell Conference Room, Mills College When: 6:00 pm–8:00 p.m Cost: Free
A Turned On Women's Retreat: Intimate Conversations about Women, Sex & Life What: Join the talk Where: Le Meridien, 333 Battery St, San Francisco When: 7 p.m. Cost: Free
Ashley Judd What: The actor and activist shares her new memoir, All Things Bitter and Sweet Where: Books Inc, 601 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco When: 7 p.m Cost: Free
Yasunao Tone and Mills Faculty Concert What: Experimental musician with over 50 years experience graces the stage. Where: Concert Hall, Mills College When: 8 p.m Cost: Free for students
April 18 Saturday
Mills College Native Alliance Pow Wow What: Join the Native American Student Alliance for the annual pow wow featuring native food, crafts and dance. Where: Toyon Meadow, Mills College When: 10 a.m. t0 6 p.m. Cost: Free
AfterWords! What: A workshop for slam poetry When: 6-9 p.m. Where: Grand Lake Coffee House, 440 Grand Ave Oakland Cost: Free
Healing techniques in Shamanism What: A lecture about shamanism Where:UC berkeley, Chun Shun Auditorium When: 7 p.m Cost: Free
8th annual S.F beer festival What: Tastings and lots of other beer-related fun. Where: Fort Mason center, (415) 345-7500 When: 7 p.m. Cost: $60
5th Annual Chocolate Salon What: The best of the best chocolate Where: Fort Mason, 38 Fort Mason, San Francisco (415) 345-7500 When: 10 am- 6 p.m. Cost: $25
Bay Area poets coalition What: An open reading Where: Strawberry creek lodge, 1320 Addison Street, Berkeley When: 3 to 5 p.m. Cost: Free
Japan restart What: A charity concert for Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund Where: Sundance Kabuki Cinema, S.F When: 12 p.m. Cost: $30
2nd Annual easter egg hunt for dogs What: Bring your furry friend and join the hunt Where: Wag Hotel, 25 14th Street, San Francisco When: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Cost: Free
Tim Be Told What: Local Band concert Where: East Bay Free Methodist Church 5395 Potrero Avenue El Cerrito, CA 94530 When: 7 p.m. Cost: Free
Axis of Blues What: An evening of Soulful roots music Where: High Street Station, Alameda When: 7 p.m Cost: $5-$20
Mt. Diablo Waterfalls and Wildflowers Hike What: Hike among the beauty of this natural setting in the east bay Where: Contact the Outdoors Adventure Club 415-377-1195 When: 9 a.m. Cost: $26-$39
Punk Vs. Hipsters What: A party, a cathartic experience for opposing groups. Where: East Bay Rats Clubhouse, Emeryville When: 9 p.m. Cost: $5
Scissor Sisters Concert What:The scissor sisters are in town. The musicians will be in town for just one night Where: Warfield Theatre When: 9 p.m. Cost: $35
With then end of the semester nearing, we can all feel the pressure of finals, completing the thesis, and applying for internships, encroaching on our souls. This week, take a breather and give your belly some good exercise and attend the Comedy Improv Show. It’ll surely give you a much needed laugh or two and feed your hearts with some good energy to get you through this last stretch.
For more events, check out www.thecampanil.com If you have events you would like to see on the calendar, e-mail Priscilla Y. Wilson at email@example.com
Find more stories, photos, videos and live updates at www.thecampanil.com.
April 12, 2011
Facing the Music:
Students sacrifice sleep to film music video about love
Arts & Features
Melodie Miu ONLINE EDITOR
Brontez Purnell, a bespectacled, young black man with three neck tattoos of the word “Love” makes a mad dash into the World Ground Cafe in Oakland. In a long line at the cashier, he spots a head of dark dreads. He grabs onto the man’s shoulder, only to find that it is the wrong person. Purnell runs out of the cafe and comes to a halt after he passes the view of the video camera. The frightened look on his face softens to a calm expression as he awaits more instructions from Director Michaela Ellis, a senior and Intermedia Arts major at Mills. “Let’s have you run up to him and stop here,” she says to Purnell. Ellis and her film crew are on their last day of a two-day shoot to film a music video for Purnell’s local punk rock band The Younger Lovers. The video will dramatize the true story of a boy Purnell met — and never saw again — when he was touring with his last band, Gravy Train, in Leeds, England in 2006. After discovering that he didn’t have the boy’s phone number or even his name, Purnell wrote the song “Boy from Leeds” about being in disillusion over losing “the perfect guy.” For the last six years, Samara Halperin, the video professor at Mills and Purnell’s friend of nearly 11 years, has assigned a music video every semester as part of her Video II curriculum. She scouts bands and brings them in to brainstorm their plans with the class. When Halperin asked Purnell if her students could shoot his music video, Purnell agreed, to Halperin’s joy. “The Younger Lovers have
great energy,” Halperin said. “I’m excited to see them work together with my class.” “Boy From Leeds” is an ambitious two-month project that required nothing less than group effort. When filming everything from the club scene in Lisser Hall to the green screen animation, every classmate played a crucial role in production. Their jobs went from camera lighting to transforming an empty space into Purnell’s messy bedroom, complete with a mattress and punk rock posters. However, many of the crew members, graduating seniors like Ellis, had to compromise their sleep and free time. Since the crew had to turn in their final video projects alongside “Boy from Leeds,” many students found juggling so many different projects exhausting. Yet everyone, including Professor Halperin, found working on the music video worthwhile. “When the video is done, it’ll be on their resumes,” Halperin said. Senior Sarina Wensel had dark circles under her eyes when she came into the Intermedia Arts editing room after filming “Boy from Leeds.” She and Ellis were preparing to curate the Senior Show last Friday and finishing their video theses. Wensel looked dejectedly at her thermos, which was quickly running out of coffee. It was already 10 p.m. “I’ll sleep in my car,” Wensel said, smiling tiredly at the prospect of an all-nighter. “I have to go to class in the morning.” Although she was exhausted, Wensel found satisfaction in knowing she and others were helping The Younger Lovers produce a quality video.
“We’re helping (Purnell) market. The gay culture in Oakland can be shocking for people unfamiliar with the scene but we’re making it more relatable with a love story,” Wensel said. “This is a job for us.” Wensel is the cameraperson for the documentary about the music video, which is something Halperin has never done before for her video classes. Operating in a small five-person crew, Wensel carried a third camera and a long boom microphone to record all the behind-the-scenes action during the main filming. The behind-the-scenes documentary will be directed by senior Lauren Soldano (also the Opinions Editor for The Campanil). Soldano organized makeshift confessionals in a restroom stall while the crew was filming scenes of Purnell meeting the love interest at a club. All the members and actors, decked out in grunge-style outfits, sat on the toilet next to a toilet paper dispenser and joked about the music video on camera. “I shouldn’t be here,” an actor said, shaking her head. “I got class: women’s studies.” “You told me I was going to make out with (Purnell),” senior Jules Shendelman said to Soldano, who laughed behind the camera, during her “toilet confessional.” Filming was not without its difficulties. Ellis had to organize a carpool for about 16 people to different film locations and had to keep track of additional actors added at the last minute. The crew struggled for days to find the right person to play the love interest, finally settling on Najee Rene five minutes before the shoot who came along with another extra. Rene was a handsome young
man with dreads and wore a black jacket with diagonal zippers, reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” attire. Many in the crew were blown away by the perfection of the casting. They said Rene was not only gorgeous, but on-point and camera-friendly. After working with Video II for the last month, Purnell had nothing but kind words for the students. “They were way more professional than the other crews I dealt with,” Purnell said, admirably. The admiration was mutual. Many students were happy to work with a band so friendly and so open to the students’ ideas. “There was a moment where I was thinking ‘Oh My God! I made (Purnell) laugh,’” Soldano said. “I wish all my future clients will be as cool and radical as him.” The students wrapped filming for “Boy from Leeds” last Wednesday and intend to finish it during a Video II “editing party” by the end of spring. “Last year(‘s Video II), we slept in here,” Carmen Elster, a sophomore and co-editor, said. She pointed to the empty floor that’ll soon be strewn with slumbering bodies. “(Halperin) saw the sleeping bags,” Elster said. “But she didn’t care. She just said ‘I’m so proud of you guys.’” The music video for “Boy from Leeds” will be premiering at the Video II final screening at Danforth Hall in the Art Center. The date and time will be announced soon. Video courses — Video I and Video II — taught by Samara Halperin will be offered in the Fall. For course times and information, visit the Mills College website.
PHOTOS BY MELODIE MIU
Top left: Video Professor Samara Halperin aids senior Morgan Johnson in filming the music video for the song “Boy From Leeds.” Top right: Students film a scene for the documentary on the making of the music video. Bottom left: Brontez Purnell acts in his band’s video. Bottom right: Sophomore Carmen Elster edits the footage filmed during the club scene, filmed in Lisser Hall.
Find more stories, photos, videos and live updates at www.thecampanil.com
Arts & Features
April 12, 2011
Picture Perfect Seniors:
Graduating Studio Art majors display their work
Ellen Newton CONTRIBUTING WRITER
When I received my Facebook invitation to the Mills senior studio art exhibit, I nervously wondered what level of turnout I should expect for a homegrown Mills show. Mills' art museum has, in the last few years, attained a level of distinction that has attracted a number of major artistic catches and, thus, critical attention. What if the senior show was deserted? Yet when I went, the museum was overflowing with a crowd that even artists like Binh Danh and Pae White didn’t draw. The lively opening night for “An Artists’ Dozen,” the senior thesis exhibit of the 12 graduating Studio Arts majors at the Mills College Art Museum that debuted Saturday, April 2, felt nothing like homework. For most non-Studio Art majors, the senior thesis is a quiet, private struggle. Under the watch of just a handful of classmates and a single professor, months of gloomy dead ends and glorious revelations unfold up to the moment we hit “send” on the email attachment holding the final draft. Observing the confident glow on the faces of the elegantlyadorned art studio seniors as they were swarmed by admirers could leave students majoring in other subjects feeling a little deficient. Nevertheless, such feelings of inadequacy could not compete with the energy and joy of artists, thrilled with their accomplishments. Jennifer Peart created a trio of paintings that give a masterful homage to architectural experimentalism of the 1960s, with sharp geometries in hot pinks, blues and oranges. A video installation offered bean bag chairs and headphones: Viewers watched an anonymous hand using clamps to pile lobster shells and pieces of bright plastic atop one another, over and over again. The sound was oddly alluring. The smartly-titled “TAUTOLOGY” by Meryl Olah is tucked in
the back of the museum. As one of the wittier pieces of the show, it consists of a repetition of large, glassless metal frames leading up to a blinding fluorescent light. The meaning is a bit self-explanatory. Dru Anderson's “When,” a series of twelve pastel chalk paintings, blends the aesthetic of the candid snapshot with careful execution. In one frame, a woman in business attire leans complacently PHOTOS BY ELLEN NEWTON against her office desk, smiling at Above: “Domestic Site III-V” by Christine Shea uses pinhole photographs to create portraits of everythe camera while a woman day, domestic technology. Below: “TAUTOLOGY” by Meryl Olah is a series of empty window frames. a few frames away peers up expressionlessly from her hospital bed. Artist Christina Shea handles the issue of domesticity in her series of pinhole photographs entitled "Domestic Site II" series. Stripping away the household context, Shea isolated objects like a thermometer gauge and a light switch, exposing their frayed wires and submitting their shattered, broken bodies to an unforgiving lens. The futile artifacts of the domestic sphere give a haunting allusion to a space of disrepair. Xochiequetzal Lubin-Amaya's photographs deal with a different species of futility. "Excess," a photo print, contemplates a towering quilt of plastic bags held against a bright window. The illuminated bags present a compelling question: How does one carry home the archetype of capitalist waste if not in a plastic bag? Themes of excess and disrepair carry over into three large-scale oil paintings by Anna BasalaevBinder. The artist confirmed that the Albany Bowl, an artful wasteland at the edge of the East Bay, was an inspiration, and it shows. Rusting oranges animate a windswept hillside and an arching, leafless tree bends over the gray bay waters as young urbanites talk on benches or explore the shore in disappointed leisure.
“An Artists’ Dozen” will be displayed in the Mills College Art Museum until Sunday, April 17. For more information about the exhibit, visit the Museum’s website at http://mcam.mills.edu/. Find more stories, photos, videos and live updates at www.thecampanil.com
Opinions & Editorial STAFF EDITORIAL
Apr. 12, 2011
Obama’s Second Presidential Run Finds Campanil Staff With Less “Hope” Last Monday, President Obama announced his bid for re-election. Sadly, the pronouncement didn’t have us nearly as riled up as it did a few years ago—much of our “hope” has shrivelled up into something far less glittery and optimistic—partially because the announcement came hot on the heels of his speech endorsing the U.S. going to war with Libya.
Some members of the Campanil Staff believe the words of his speech which promise Libya will be different than Iraq, and that U.S. actions in Libya are just going along with the wishes and mission of the U.N. However, most of us feel the decision to attack Libya (an attack which happened 10 days before it was made known to the American
public) is really the icing on top of the Obama disappointment cake. Are we really supposed to believe there’s something new and different about funding an extremely expensive war (The Centre for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments estimates the Libyan operation costs the US between $100 million and $300 million per week) with a country who is one of
our oil suppliers under the guise of “ensuring democracy”? That the U.S. attack on Libya took place exactly on the 8-year anniversary of the U.S. attack on Iraq (a war which we thought Obama would end, but he still hasn’t) may be a coincidence, but it certainly shows not much has changed. We thought Obama would at
least partially clean up Bush’s mess—instead, he has his own war to add to the heap. Unfortunately, no hip, glowing poster or singleword slogan is going to make us excited for the upcoming election season. As so many of Obama’s campaign platforms have gone unfulfilled, that single-word slogan now holds little meaning, if any at all.
O PEN F ORUM Strong Women, Proud Women, All Women? student addresses feminist transphobia in the college’s admissions policies I am struggling with a conundrum right now. I want to write an article about transphobia* and cisgenderism* at Mills. But this transphobia and cisgenderism is so pervasive I can’t be sure my readers even know what transgender means. I want to get into the hard, important questions about ideology and policy, but I can’t do that if I always have to do “transgender 101” first. But please, I implore you to keep reading, even if you don’t follow every single thing I say. Keep reading, because there is so little education on this campus around transgender allyship*, I can't even be sure we are speaking the same language. Keep reading, because it is not enough for cisgender* (non-transgender) people to just not hate trans* people. Transphobia and cisgenderism can only become unraveled when we unlearn everything we have been taught about gender and sex. There is no official admissions policy that articulates whether or not trans students are welcome. Instead, trans students are admitted on a case-by-case basis. This *cisgenderism is the tendency of institutions, organizations, and social systems to be designed with the expectation that people needing to access them will be nontrans, and therefore to provide
means trans applicants are put in touch with admission’s staff, who may or may not have the appropriate skills to provide them with the support they need. Sadly, for some prospective students, this has meant phone calls in which hurtful and transphobic language was used. At this junction it becomes clear that Mills does not prioritize welcoming trans students from the get-go. Further, transwomen applicants are required to provide government-issued “proof” of their gender. To my knowledge there is no other population who is required to provide this sort of documentation upon applying to Mills College. Though this is not an official policy, it is an unofficial policy that plays out in a distinct pattern. This discriminatory unofficial policy invokes the essence of feminist transphobia, wherein women's spaces need to be "protected" from the “threat” of trans people and the boundaries of “true womanhood” are policed by cisgender women. As policy-makers require “proof” of gender, they articulate an implicit fear that cisgender men are trying to enter the undergraduate institu-
tion through the “guise” of transsexuality. This fear echoes the pervasive, damaging cultural tropes that trans people are “predators” out to either access male privilege or “penetrate” women's spaces. The unofficial policy also produces discrimination along various axes (including class, citizenship status, race and gender identity), that impact whether trans applicants are wanting, willing, and/or able to access government-issued documentation of gender. For example, a trans person with low or no income may be unable to afford the expensive process of acquiring governmentissued gender documentation. A trans person who is an undocumented (or documented) immigrant, may be unable to acquire such forms of gender documentation without risking deportation. A genderqueer person may not wish to legally change their gender for many reasons. Further, trans people of color have long been discriminated against by the systems that provide government issued “proof” of gender. As a transgender person on this campus I am exhausted from trying
to provide proof. Proof I should be here, proof that I am my gender, proof that I exist. Trans students exist on this campus. We can fight until we are blue in the face for a little policy change here, and a little policy change there. All of those things are important. But if the undercurrent of transphobic ideology stays the same, we will always be made invisible. Will Mills college be the first or last women's college in the U.S. to stop beating around the bush and start addressing the reality of trans students? Will Mills college be on the cutting edge of the next decade's gender revolutions, or will we be stuck in a transphobic feminist ideology that excludes and erases trans people? How can we translate "women's education" to mean an education that cultivates a powerful resistance to transphobia and cisgenderism, not just to patriarchy and sexism? It is only after these questions are addressed, that I can begin to feel like I am welcome at Mills as a transgender student. I have big dreams for Mills, and I hope dearly that this institution can someday
services less effectively for trans people. This is distinct from transphobia because explicitly invokes the institutional aspects of discrimination. *allyship refers to the act of
being an ally. Allies to transgender people work in solidarity with our struggles. For a plethora of resources on how to be a transgender ally, google “how to be a transgender ally”
*cisgender refers to people who are not transgender. Cisgender people have the privilege that their assigned sex at birth matches their gender identity today.
Q u e s t i o n
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live up to them. My Mills will recognize that trans students have always been and will always be here. My Mills will support trans students by providing resources and educating cisgender students, faculty, and staff about trans allyship. My Mills will explicitly welcome trans students and publicly acknowledge our existence in promotional materials (I will have my face on that damn website!). My Mills will harbor the next generation of trans students, nurturing and guiding them, and providing them with education to help them grow into fully-fledged gender revolutionaries. My Mills will recognize some trans students come here just to be physically safe and survive while getting their education. My Mills will be sure that the burden of making this college trans friendly does not fall on trans students who have enough to deal with just getting through the day. Right now, my Mills feels like a pipe dream. The author of this submission has chosen to remain anonymous. *trans refers not just to transgender people who identify as MtF or FtM. Rather, it is a broader umbrella term that can be used to include a variety of genders, beyond just male and female.
W e e k
If Mills were a reality TV show, what would it be called?
“Les Millserables. It would show all the drama and sadness—including the tragic shortage of raisin swirl bread at Founders.”
“So You Want To Be A Liberal.”
“Lesbian University: Doctorate Program. It would be a three part process—’Vanilla,’ ‘Haircut,’ then ‘Using The Word Heteronormativity Every Day.’”
“Mean Bisexual Eye for the Emotionally Baggaged and Awkward.”
— Reina Lam, junior
— Alliah Gilman-Bey, senior
— Sylvia Eugenia, senior
— Veronica Beaty & Andee Sunderland, seniors
COMPILED BY LAUREN SOLDANO AND JOANN PAK Find more stories, photos, videos and live updates at www.thecampanil.com
Sports & Health
Apr. 12, 2011
Cones show proper smoking distance Bonnie Horgos SPORTS & HEALTH EDITOR Standing around three feet tall and bright orange, cones around campus are reminding smokers to be careful where they smoke a cigarette. The Mills College Advisory Board had Public Safety drive around campus, placing 15 cones in various areas including in front of the Tea Shop on Apr. 4. Oakland’s Smoking and Tobacco ordinances state that smokers must light up at least 25 feet away from a building; Mills requires students to stand at least 30 feet away, the distance from the cones to the buildings. The cones will be removed before commencement on May 14. The decision to place cones around the school was made by the student-run Wellness Advisory Board who surveyed Mills students last April and seeing what changes they’d like to see on campus. According to Kim Baranek, director of Wellness and Community Outreach, the group was careful to survey a wide range of people. Baranek regularly collaborates with the group. “We started a campus-wide conversation and we realized we need to involve smokers in the conversation,” Baranek said, referring to Mills’ smoking policies. Baranek said that ideally, the campus would have 19 designated smoking areas complete with benches and ashtrays. She said this wouldn’t happen immediately, though, since each station would cost around $4000, with the money coming from ASMC. The Wellness Advisory Board previously placed cones around campus last spring. According to Baranek, Mills is hoping to place permanent metal signs as a less expensive way to designate smoking areas. Until then, Baranek said she thought the
cones were effective, noticing that students have already started abiding the 30-foot rule. “People typically smoke on the rail next to the steps in Adams Plaza, but I saw people smoking on the lawn instead of next to people eating,” Baranek said. “It was awesome.” Still, Baranek said that it can be difficult to enforce the rule. There have been discussions with Public Safety about making sure students keep their distance from buildings when lighting up. “We've been trying to strategize about how do we try to make smokers comply with the policy,” Baranek said. Sophomore Lucy Raisch said she thought the cones were helpful to note how far 30 feet is. A smoker herself, Raisch said she's careful when having a cigarette, noting her distance from buildings as well as people. “Some people are rude and practically blow smoke into nonsmokers faces,” Raisch said. “I personally have smoker’s courtesy, so I try not to invade the non-smoking student body’s space.” Biology student KC Callender said while she thought while the cones were effective, she thought they could be less prominent. “I think they don't need to be placed in the middle of the walkway as many of them are now,” said biology major KC Callender. “However, as an ex-smoker on campus I know Ialways had trouble distinguishing exactly what 30 feet was because everyone eyed it differently. So now at least there's a common 30 ft for people to abide by.” Callender said she thought the appropriate distance could be labeled differently. “I think having ashtrays or something off to the side instead of orange cones in the middle of the walkway would be better,” Callender said.
“We've been trying to strategize about how do we try to make smokers comply with the policy,” —Kim Baranek, director of Wellness and Community Outreach.
ALL PHOTOS BY ANNA CORSON
A sign on a cone noting Mills College’s policy that smokers must stand at least 30 feet from a building when lighting up.
Patrice Scanlon, Technical Director of Mills’ Intermedia Arts Program, smoking a cigarette 30 feet away from Adams Plaza.
“I think having ashtrays or something off to the side instead of orange cones in the middle of the walkway would be better,” —KC Callender, student
The cones placed outside of buildings including the music building and Natural Sciences Building, are literally 30 feet away, noted by the measuring tape above.
Cyclones of the week
This week’s spotlight is actually a whole boat of Cyclones: the Mills Crew Varsity Eight. They had an impressive weekend at the San Diego Crew Classic Apr. 2-3, the largest regatta in the world for primarily eight-oared rowing shells. Finishing second in their heat with a time of 7:11.27, the Mills Varsity Eight qualified for the Grand Final with the third fastest time from the heats. As the only Division III school to qualify for the Grand Final, Mills was up against UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, Central Oklahoma and Orange Coast. The Mills Varsity Eight captured third place in the Grand Final, just 1.4 seconds away from passing UCSB in second. The student-athletes making up the Varsity Eight included Jess LaFrank (coxswain), Emily Meike, Ashley Redfield, Amanda Clark, Amelia Gurley, Erika Refsland, Ashley Garza, Colleen Kimsey and Kate Smith. The entire Mills Crew met up for a reception with Mills alumnae, friends and family after the race on Sunday. Find more stories, photos, videos and live updates at www.thecampanil.com
Sports & Health
Apr. 12, 2011
Jillian Harris: a taste for all sports Bonnie Horgos SPORTS & HEALTH EDITOR Leave it to ultra-athlete Jillian Harris to find redeeming qualities in an In-N-Out cheeseburger. “Technically what you need for recovery post-workouts, an In-NOut cheeseburger has,” Harris said. “Plus the ingredients are fresh.” And it doesn't stop at a Double-Double. The Mills junior occasionally goes on “fast food binges” with friends, hitting up three or four drive-thrus before taking the fried chicken, tacos and burgers back to the dorms and eating them in front of a TV. “I'm gonna work it off so I can eat what I want,” Harris said, 5’5” with lean muscle. “Sometimes you just have to give your body what it needs.” And Harris' body needs a lot. Currently on the crew team, the 21-year-old International Relations major has dabbled in more sports than some people can name including swimming, volleyball, soccer and pole vaulting. Her number one passion i s cycling,with two complete bikes, a bike she’s currently building and a unicycle to her name. She regularly bikes 30 to 70 miles, going around Berkeley, Moraga and Orinda. In addition, Harris works at Performance Bicycle in Berkeley, selling and occasionally repairing bikes and accessories. Harris’ first foray into sports was at age five with swimming lessons. “I used to be terrified of the water,” Harris said. “I wouldn't even put my head underwater in the tub.” She quickly conquered her fear, joining swim team soon after in addition to trying out horseback riding and fencing. Harris starting focusing more on volleyball in junior high until she tore her medial meniscus in her knee, leading to eventual reconstructive surgery. “Sometimes (the scars are) really obvious in the winter and when I swim because they'll get cold and turn purple,” Harris said, rolling up her jeans to reveal four small incision scars on her right knee (not to mention a toned calf muscle). The doctors recommended a bicycle trainer and running as physical therapy to rehabilitate Harris' lateral movement. Harris quickly fell in love with running and biking. Her father Bill Harris took up cycling at the same time—“It was his midlife crisis”— in addition to her older sister and younger brother. Their garage soon began filling up in San Antonio, TX with various bikes and parts. Despite her family's support, cycling in San Antonio wasn't always smooth sailing. “It’s not very bike-friendly,” Harris said. “My dad’s been hit by
a car. I've been side-swept, had (stuff) thrown at me, been honked at. It’s dominated by Ford F150s.” Cyclist-friendly drivers weren't the only difference Harris experienced when moving out West. “They’re two completely different worlds,” Harris said. “I grew up in a conservative republican community. When I’d run I'd see anti-abortion signs left and right. Growing up I thought I was liberal but then I got out here and realized I’m more conservative.” But whatever environment she’s in, Harris is fiercely competitive. She had to break off a relationship in high school with a fellow runner because they couldn't stop comparing times. “The competition was just terrible,” Harris said. “He was just so competitive and I’m just competitive by nature. The competition just got to be too much and it became annoying.” Still, Harris enjoys some friendly rivalry. Former Mills student Jules Cooch said that Harris regularly pushed her during cross country runs. “We ran at similar paces for the Mills cross country team in 2008 and on race day we would push each other to go faster on the course,” Cooch said. “Running in pairs makes you both stronger and she is a great partner to have in practice and on race day.” Harris' team dedication goes beyond pushing her teammates to run faster, however. Cross country member Safi Karmy-Jones was new to the team last year and unsure if anyone knew of her upcoming birthday during their first competition. Karmy-Jones told Harris in passing that she loved the extra-large grapes Costco sold. “On the day of the race Jillian came up to me and handed me a wrapped box. When I opened it it contained a huge container of Costco grapes,” Karmy-Jones said. “That remains one of the best presents I've ever gotten for my birthday.” But at the end of the day, Harris remains deeply committed to cycling. “If I had my way I'd probably just drop out of school, I'd bike all the time and get my (license) in massage therapy,” Harris said, a massage aficionado with a massage table in her dorm room. “Anytime that I can be on a bike is bliss. I have a post-it on my wall that says bike equals sanity.” But Harris is devoted to studying international relations; she's also interested in homeland and international security, in addition to policy work within sustainable transportation. So what road is she going to pedal down? “I know I don’t have to decide now,” Harris said. So for now, Harris will just keep balancing homework, crew and cycling, preferably with cheeseburger here or there.
“Anytime that I can be on a bike is bliss. I have a post-it on my wall that says bike equals sanity.”
COURTESY OF JILLIAN HARRIS
Mills College junior Jillian Harris riding in the See Jane Run triathlon last September in Pleasanton, CA. The popular Bay Area race included a 400 yard swim, 11 mile bike ride and three mile run.
Cyclone of the week
Tennis student-athlete, Quinn Harris, was the previous Cyclone of the week. During her team's trip to Southern California over Spring Break, Quinn focused her mental game and secured two wins in the number two singles position. Quinn, a freshwoman from North Hollywood, CA, now currently leads her team in the most personal wins this season. In the team’s final match for the week versus Occidental College, Quinn had her first opportunity to play in the number one singles position and gave her competition a tough fight. Head coach Loke Davis has been pleased with Quinn’s progress this season, stating that “her mental game has improved dramatically and I am excited to see her continued growth this season and the seasons to come.”
Find more stories, photos, videos and live updates at www.thecampanil.com
Issue 9, Spring 2011