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TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

Highlander University

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THE FIGHT FOR UC’S FUTURE

Tyler Joe/HIGHLANDER

Volume 60

Issue 14


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TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

NEWS

HIGHLANDER

HIGHLANDER SPECIAL REPORT

WEDNESDAY PROTEST COVERAGE BY SENIOR STAFF WRITERS: ERIC GAMBOA, KEVIN KECKEISEN. CONTRIBUTING WRITER: SANDY VAN // PHOTOS BY GORDON HUANG

The University of California is in jeopardy. Continued state divestment and tuition hikes have put the UC in an unprecedented state of crisis. Last week, UC regents, students, faculty and administrators fought for its future. The UC Board of Regents held their first set of 2012 meetings at UC Riverside on Jan. 18 and 19. Hundreds of protesters convened at the campus for two days of demonstrations. Peaceful rallies and public speeches defined the majority of UC Riverside’s campus activities during the first day of the UC Board of Regents meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 18. ASUCR activities at the Bell Tower stood out among the rally-related events scheduled for that day, although the same cannot be said of Thursday when massive protests absorbed the attention of the campus population. The first event of Wednesday was an ASUCR-sponsored presentation by Student Regent Alfredo Mireles, Jr. and Student Regent-designate Jonathan Stein. Despite a low turnout for the 8:00 a.m. presentation, the two student leaders proceeded to give speeches in which they reiterated the importance of student advocacy. “Here’s how you get the regents to listen to you: you go to public comment or talk to them in a sidebar conversation and tell them your personal story about how these policy changes are affecting you and your family’s lives…Share why we’re frustrated with all these cuts, why we’re frustrated with the regents,” advised Mireles. Stein spent his presentation addressing the significance of educational opportunity and lamenting on the state of the university. The next agenda item, following the start of the regents meeting and the public comment period, was a presentation by Fix UC President Chris LoCascio and board member Alex Abelson. LoCascio elaborated on the proposal and highlighted the benefits to be gained from a system in which graduates could pay for their education after they have attained a career. The proposal, which has recently gained national media attention, was met with positive yet worried reactions among intrigued crowd members who expressed their initial skepticism towards the plan. The next presentation was provided by UC Riverside fourth-year student Chris Riley from the California Coalition for Higher Education. The goal of the coalition is to “return funding that’s been lost over the years, resulting from the disinvestment in public higher education,” according to Riley, who stressed the importance of voting

and the mobilization of like-minded student voters. At approximately 11:00 a.m., UC Riverside History Professor Devra Weber gave an impassioned speech before a group of protesters which left them cheering in approval. Weber praised the protesters for their commitment to protest and their ability to stand up for what they thought was right. “When people protest, you saw it with Bank of America and their five dollar charge—they get nervous when people are outside and it makes them a little uneasy,” stated Weber. Weber continued to speak about what she wished would be addressed when regarding the budget crisis, including the taxation of oil companies, a partial repeal of the Proposition 13 (increasing the property tax on large corporations, while keeping it low for family homes) and the wage repression of many middle-income workers-including many students trying to support themselves while attending school. Aside from prompting organizations such as ASUCR and the Free UCR Alliance to host advocacy events, the UC Board of Regents meetings also forced many students to assess the dire financial situation faced by the university. “We have regents who are [the most] successful business people in the WEDNESDAY PROTEST CONTINUED ON PAGE 6


NEWS

HIGHLANDER

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

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UC regents dismiss UC Riverside professor carrie meng STAFF WRITER

During last week’s UC regent meetings held at UC Riverside, the UC regents voted in a closed session to dismiss Sarkis Joseph Khoury, a tenured finance professor at UC Riverside’s A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management. Although the agenda item did not reveal Khoury’s name due to privacy concerns, Khoury and his attorney revealed their identity to media outlets. The agenda item was stated as a “proposed dismissal of a Faculty Member and Non-Conferral (or Revocation) or Emeritus Status, Riverside Campus.” The main reason behind the action was Khoury’s alleged acceptance of funds while on sabbatical. Over the last 15 years, Khoury has been involved in a series of legal and financial disputes with the university system. He argues that he has been targeted by the UC due to his Republican po-

THIS WEEK’S EVENTS WEDNESDAY 1/25 Matt Skiba 8:00pm - 10:30pm The Barn Engineering & Technical Career Fair 10:00am - 2:00pm HUB 302 Dr. Armando Navarro lecture and book signing 6:30pm - 8:30pm HUB 302 South

THURSDAY 1/26 Men’s Basketball vs. Long Beach State 7:00pm - 9:00pm Student Rec Center Johnny Cupcakes Lecture 6:00pm - 9:00pm HUB 302

SATURDAY 1/28 Lunar Fest All day Downtown Riverside

SUNDAY 1/29 Men’s Tennis vs. Northern Arizona 12:00pm - 2:00pm SRC Tennis Courts

UCR Orchestra 8:00pm - 9:30pm University Theatre

litical views, Lebanese heritage and his defense of minority candidates for hiring, according to a Los Angeles Times article. This month, Khoury informed the university of his plan to retire from the Gary Anderson School of Management due to a neck injury from a recent car crash. Upon retirement, faculty members receive emeritus status, which allows them to attend departmental meetings and, for some, to keep offices and labs. The regents’ vote for Khoury’s dismissal prevents him from receiving such a status. The UC sued Khoury in 1995 in violation over improperly receiving outside income from the University of British Columbia during UC sabbaticals and again in 2007. In the former case, Khoury denied the charge and issued a counter lawsuit, stating that he was only given expense money. According to a Los Angeles

Times article, a Superior Court had him reinstated to his full professorship because the university system had waited too long to pursue any discipline. For the 2007 case, a state appeals court ruled nine months ago that the UC had to first complete an in-house investigation and review. Khoury, who is 65 and joined UC Riverside in 1984, is countersuing the UC and continues to deny all charges against him. The regents have dismissed about half a dozen faculty members within the last two decades because of violations, stated a UC representative in the Los Angeles Times. According to UC faculty policy, certain conduct violations such as plagiarism, sexual harassment of a student, racial discrimination, failure to carry out teaching duties and using UC facilities for personal gain can result in a written censure, demotion, susH pension or dismissal. ■

Gordon Huang/HIGHLANDER


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TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

NEWS

HIGHLANDER

HIGHLANDER SPECIAL REPORT

REGENTS MEETING COVERAGE BY SENIOR STAFF WRITER: ERIC GAMBOA. CONTRIBUTING WRITER: CRISTINA GRANADOS // PHOTOS BY CHRIS LOCASCIO AND BRYAN TUTTLE

The regents spent a significant portion of their meetings analyzing revenue sources for the UC. Thursday’s meeting was delayed due to protesters who held a sit-in assembly. The presentation of a system-wide diversity report, analysis of alternative revenue sources and an evaluation of Governor Brown’s proposed budget were among the most significant topics reviewed by the UC regents during their meetings at UC Riverside. Although UC officials emphasized that tuition-related decisions would not be reviewed during the two-day series of meetings, the issue was nonetheless brought forward during lively periods of public comment. Thursday’s public comment period was especially notable due to the actions of nearly 20 students who held a sit-in event during the meeting, consequently forcing the regents to temporarily move to a different room. Wednesday’s meeting was largely centered on the findings of the diversity report and administrative changes to the UC’s

handling of student health programs. The meeting began with opening remarks from Chairwoman Sherry Lansing. Lansing revealed that the regents are set to convene in Sacramento on May 17 as part of a rally to garner legislative support for the university. “UC is the best investment in California’s economic future that our state leaders can make. So it’s up to all of us to remind them of that…We need to tell the governor and the legislature that they must make UC support a first term priority,” stated Chairwoman Lansing, who urged the UC community to join the rally. The second item on the agenda was an introduction by UC President Mark Yudof. Yudof offered special recognition to the “Fix UC” proposal that was developed by 13 UC Riverside students. The proposal, headed by Chris LoCascio, seeks to abolish the current tuition system and instead enable UC graduates to pay 5 percent of their income for 20 years. “I am extremely impressed with this proposal because it is home-grown,

it’s developed by students and philosophically I find myself very much in accord with [the proposal],” said Yudof, who then announced that his staff would be working to thoroughly evaluate the proposal. Yudof also provided an update on the task force that is currently investigating the UC Davis protest incidents, stating that the group would release their report in a few weeks. Wednesday’s public comment period

passage of the California Dream Act, which will enable undocumented students to receive private and public aid, was a “great win for UC” in terms of increasing access to a more diverse student body. Meanwhile, UC Vice Provost and Executive Vice President Lawrence Pitts announced some positive improvements in regard to gender diversity. According to Pitts, the number of female faculty members has

We need the school of medicine. It’s not just a healthcare issue, it’s a social justice issue. -

Cindy Roth

featured numerous individuals, including Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge, who pressed the regents to secure funding for UC Riverside’s medical school. The opening of the medical school, which was originally scheduled for fall of 2012, has been delayed due to the facility’s inability to receive accreditation—stemming from the lack of sufficient funding. Speakers decried the doctor-patient ratio in the Inland Empire, which UC Riverside’s Medical school seeks to improve exponentially. “We need the school of medicine. It’s not just a healthcare issue, it’s a social justice issue,” stated Cindy Roth, president and CEO of the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce. The UC regents and campus chancellors then shifted their attention to a review of the annual accountability sub-report on diversity. The report revealed low enrollment rates of minority groups in graduate professional programs and among ladderrank faculty. During a discussion of campus climate, the regents reviewed both state-led and university-led initiatives. Governor Brown’s proposed increase of GPA requirements for Cal Grant recipients was specifically singled out as a source of regent disapproval. UC Regent Bonnie Reiss lamented on the governor’s proposal and noted that such a change would hurt diversity on campus by posing an additional obstacle to minorities and individuals of low-income backgrounds. Another regent noted that the

steadily increased over the past decade. UC chancellors then addressed the board with accounts of their own campus climate and steps being taken to promote student diversity. UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry Yang noted that his home campus had recently become eligible to attain the status as a Hispanic-serving institution, potentially joining the ranks of UC Merced and UC Riverside. Other chancellors discussed programs unique to their campuses and reviewed increased application rates from underrepresented students. The regents thoroughly discussed and subsequently approved the transfer of jurisdiction of campus health programs to the Committee on Health Services. UC Student Regent Alfredo Mireles, Jr. urged his fellow committee members to place special emphasis on student input in shaping the nature of campus health programs. The action was prompted by recent findings regarding campus health centers. The findings offered a poor portrait of the quality of health centers, many of which had credential deficiencies and lacked a uniform healthcare information system. An approval of a $15 million transfer from the Faculty Housing Reserve Fund to address budget shortfalls, the controversial firing of a tenured UC Riverside professor and a discussion to replace the current payroll system were among the other noteworthy events of Wednesday’s meeting. The routine nature of Wednesday’s REGENTS CONTINUED ON PAGE 6


NEWS

HIGHLANDER

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

HIGHLANDER SPECIAL REPORT

THURSDAY PROTEST COVERAGE BY SENIOR STAFF WRITERS: ERIC GAMBOA, KEVIN KECKEISEN. STAFF WRITER: CARRIE MENG. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: ANDIE LAM, SANDY VAN // PHOTOS BY GORDON HUANG AND WENDY MONTERO Thursday’s demonstrations resulted in violence as police officers clashed with hundreds of protesters. Two arrests were made and police fired pepper pellets into the crowd. Hundreds of protesters organized by the Occupy movement, Free UCR Alliance, Associated Students of UC Riverside (ASUCR) and other groups gathered for two days of demonstrations during the UC Board of Regents meetings held at UC Riverside. The protest activities, prompted by the increasing cost of a UC education, reached a crescendo on Thursday afternoon when protesters and police officers clashed outside of the Highlander Union Building (HUB). Two protesters were arrested during a brief confrontation that involved the use of police force, including batons and pellets that were fired at protesters. Thursday’s violent incidents stood in stark contrast to the seemingly subdued demonstrations held on Wednesday. Given the previously scheduled activities of groups such as Occupy UC Riverside and the Free UCR Alliance, the events that unfolded on Thursday appear largely spontaneous in nature; the two groups had merely referenced “open mic” sessions and a “rally” to take place out-

We lose the moral high ground if we are violent to the police. - Student Regent Alfredo Mireles, Jr.

side of the HUB. The aforementioned activities indeed characterized the majority of Thursday morning until approximately 11:30 a.m. The initial gathering of protesters, who assembled at the base of the stairs on the southern section of the HUB beside Costo Hall, had maintained an appreciable distance from the police officers who stood atop the stairs. By 12:20 p.m. however, the protesters had advanced to the point where they stood within a few feet of police who were equipped with riot gear. “There was an amazing sense of connection. Students and faculty members were there because they want to know and have a right to learn, support, educate and speak out about the choices the regents make,” stated third-year UC Riverside student Sarah Yu, who stood in a crowd of hundreds of students, activists and concerned members from across the state. For the next two hours, tensions flared as demonstrators urged crowd members to hold their ground in amidst warnings by Lieutenant Day of the UC Police Department that protesters cease moving forward. Chants of “Let us in! Let us in!” filled the air as countless speakers utilizing the

“human mic” technique denounced the regents and voiced their dismay with the state of public education. Previous announcements from both speakers and Lt. Day began to take on a much more grave tone; police warnings against moving closer to the police line were replaced with threats of police force, ultimately leading to a declaration that the protest was an unlawful assembly and that arrests would be made if the crowd failed to disperse. Meanwhile, the protesters informed their peers that a pepper-spray station was situated nearby and that sections of the crowd should re-locate to other exits of the HUB in order to intercept exiting UC regent members. Chants of “Show me what a police state looks like, this is what a police state looks like,” were shouted as rumors of police reinforcements began to be dispersed among the crowd. A widely held belief among numerous protesters was voiced when a speaker stated, “They said UC Riverside couldn’t protest. We were the only school that couldn’t protest, that’s why they held [the UC regent meeting] here.” At approximately 1:20 p.m., UC Student Alfredo Mireles Jr. could be seen among the crowd of protesters. “I never want to see violence from any side. One thing I think that makes the student movement especially powerful, as we saw at Davis and THURSDAY PROTEST CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

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NEWS

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

HIGHLANDER

HIGHLANDER SPECIAL REPORT

REGENTS MEETING CONTINUED REGENTS MEETING FROM PAGE 4

meeting, however, did not transfer to Thursday. After hearing the heated speeches of several dozen students—usually under a time limit of one and a half minutes each— the board of regents attempted to end the public comment at the 63rd registered speaker. However, the regents conceded additional time when other registered speakers interrupted and insisted that they be heard. At one point, a student from UC Santa Barbara scolded Chairwoman Lansing for not looking at him while he was addressing the board. The subject matter of student speeches included criticisms of tuition increases and salary increases for top UC officials. When Chairwoman Lansing officially declared an end to the public comment period, students began their own “mic check” in order to demand that the regents provide a public meeting where students could voice their opinions without strict time limits. Several police encircled the group of protesters who had proceeded to link arms while sitting down. The regents then left the room and returned nearly an hour later after the protesters had left on their own accord. During their general assembly, the protesters had continued to voice their demands—salary cuts to highest paid officials, restoration of lost faculty positions, more access to classes—and met with UC Riverside Chancellor Timothy White who provided refreshments. White, however, expressed his disapproval of the protester actions during his weekly Friday email, stating, “Their actions, while making a point to disrupt and while remaining nonviolent, nonetheless prevented others from listening to the discussion by denying public access to the remainder of the meeting.” As alluded to by Chairwoman Lansing and President Yudof during Wednesday’s meeting, the content of Thursday’s meeting was focused on revenue alternatives and cost-saving procedures. The discussions following the return of the regents into their meeting room began with an overview of

the UC’s technology licensing program. Regents discussed options such as reducing barriers to start-up companies, investing in UC technology transfer offices and general efforts at promoting successful inventions. Since 1980, the UC has gained $2.1 billion in revenue from successful inventions, including Hepatitis-B vaccines, growth hormones and even new citrus varieties. Another major source of UC support comes from philanthropy. The UC received $1.6 billion in support from June 2010 to June 2011, with nearly $35 million being given to UC Riverside. Under the leadership of Chancellor White, UC Riverside’s private donations have increased by nearly 48 percent in the past two years. The Committee on Educational Policy then reviewed efforts being aimed at continuing this trend by means of e-advocacy and email, personal advocacy, collaboration with partners and federal advocacy. Business decisions regarding nonundergraduate facilities of the university, including UC San Francisco (UCSF) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), were also discussed during the meetings. On Wednesday, UC Regent Norman Pattiz introduced the new director of the LLNL, Parney Albright. UC San Francisco Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann was able to discuss the unique needs of her campus on Thursday. The chancellor stated that it was time to re-examine the financial and governance relationship between the UC and UCSF. The UCSF campus is unique in that it receives the lowest percentage of revenue from (1 percent) and generates approximately 80 percent of revenue from its clinical and research endeavors. Although Desmond-Hellman did not delve into the specific details of her plan, the concept alone was enough for one regent to deem it “pretty radical.” The meeting concluded with a board meeting and approval of meeting minutes from the H previous regents meeting in November. ■

Gordon Huang/HIGHLANDER

WEDNESDAY PROTEST CONTINUED WEDNESDAY PROTEST FROM PAGE 2

whole state and this is the best that they can come up with, raising tuition? And they couldn’t come up with anything else?” wondered one second-year student. For others, the regents meeting allowed UC students from numerous campuses to join together under shared beliefs ranging from educational concerns to views regarding proper police response to student protests. “’I’m basically here to stop fee hikes or protest against it and I think we need to raise our voices louder because [students have too] many loans, it’s just too much. I’m really impressed with the amount of people here right now and even though they’re not saying anything, their presence speaks a lot,” noted UC Santa Barbara student Caroline Chavez, who attended the Fix UC presentation. Another student expressed his concern regarding the presence of police in riot gear, stating, “I pay to feel safe [at the university] and they’re making me nervous because every time I see the police they’re holding on to the tear gas.” Individuals affiliated with the Occupy Movement were also present in large numbers on Wednesday. “We came down be-

cause we wanted to support UCR and help Occupy UCR develop and build up from this UC Regents meeting, mostly because [the UC regents] represent private interest. Because of prices going up so much, you end up graduating into debt then you have to do whatever it takes to survive and the job market is terrible right now because they keep filtering people and then they don’t get people to follow their passion,” stated Jessica, visiting from Occupy Los Angeles. Students on campus were shocked to see that the lawn to the west of the bell tower was being occupied by numerous tents. When asked whether the campus police or university administrators had made any orders to remove the tents, an Occupy advocate noted that the group of protesters had not been approached by either party. The lack of response from law enforcement may be viewed as an exercise of caution given the university’s recent encounter with tents; November’s notorious pepper spray incident at UC Davis occurred during protests that were taking place after Chancellor Katehi had called for the tents to be removed. As of Sunday evening, several H Occupy tents remained on the lawn. ■

THURSDAY PROTEST CONTINUED THURSDAY PROTEST FROM PAGE 5

Berkeley is their commitment to nonviolence. I just hope UC Riverside students can continue that commitment because we lose the moral high ground if we are violent to the police,” stated Mireles in an interview when informed of the unfolding situation. By 2:15 p.m. most of the crowd had dispersed and reconvened in the northern portion of the HUB and along North Campus Drive. Upon hearing word that the regents would be leaving the campus, demonstrators surrounded vehicles and aligned themselves in front of approximately 30 UC police officers guarding the rear exit of the HUB. The arrival of nearly 40 officers from Riverside Police and 50 deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in riot gear, however, prompted further dismay and anger among the demonstrators; when the officers began walking toward the crowd, protesters responded by dragging metal barricades in front of the officers. The increased activity of protesters, coupled with the decision of some protesters to lift a portion of the barricade and move it towards the police officers marked a turning point in the confrontation; police officers

could be seen using their batons to strike protesters while other utilized guns that deploy pepper balls. At least one individual was dragged away from the crowd and arrested during this confrontation. UC Riverside Chancellor White specifically addressed the arrested individuals in his weekly Friday letter, noting that both men were not UC students. The usage of the metal barricade was the source of particular controversy due to uncertainty as to the intent of those carrying the barricade toward the line of officers. While UC Riverside Police Chief Michael Lane has stated that the approaching barricade posed an immediate threat to the officers, other protesters insist that the barricade was never intended to be used as a weapon. UC Riverside student and protesters Grady Phillips noted that barricade was simply intended to be placed as a barrier between the protesters--especially those that were sitting down-and the police officers. UCLA student Lee Rogers and his friend Anthony Lascano were among those that were shot with pepper balls. In an interview with the Highlander, Rogers stated that he had been shot five times and that Lascano was shot twice. “It’s just

sad that we’re just sitting there, we were doing a peaceful protest and [the police officers] have to take action in such a violent way,” stated UC Riverside student Jessica Urquidez. Chief Lane, however, offered a different sentiment, stating that the use of force was necessary to “protect a fellow officer from getting seriously injured…We tried to be patient and restrained. In a difficult situation the officers did a great job when they faced that kind of active aggression,” published in a PressEnterprise article. Lane’s opinion is also shared by students who did not believe that the protesters had been

peaceful. “If the police weren’t there and the regents were left on their own, you think that would have turned out more peacefully? I really doubt that,” concluded a student who requested to remain anonymous. Lane confirmed that nine UC police officers sustained minor injuries, although the number of injuries of protesters is unknown. Meanwhile, the presence of a large portion of demonstrators in a single area provided an opportunity for the police officers to escort the remaining regents out of campus. “We had planned to take the Regents out of the rear loading dock

Gordon Huang/HIGHLANDER

area, but that was blocked. So we took them to the second floor of the Highlander Union Building, through Costo Hall, and into three vans,” explained Lane in a UC Riverside Newsroom article. Nonetheless, the exiting regents faced the screams and taunting of protesters. “Shame on you Yudof,” and, “I want my money back,” were among the statements yelled by protesters as President Mark Yudof, UC chancellors and other regents walked toward their vans. Dozens of police officers ran alongside the vans to ensure that the vehicles were able to H exit the campus. ■

The Highlander acknowledges the involvement of its Editor-in-Chief in the events in this issue. reporter’s The Highlander acknowledges the involvement of its editor-in-chief in thecovered events covered in thisThe issue. coverage was not influenced by relationship. Thethis writers’ coverage was not influenced by this relationship.

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NEWS

HIGHLANDER

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

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UC system to ban smoking on all campuses s a n dy va n CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Wesley Ng/HIGHLANDER

The University of California has decided to ban all forms of smoking and tobacco products throughout its campuses. The policy was recently announced earlier this month and will gradually take effect over the next two years. “As a national leader in healthcare and environmental practices, the University of California is ready to demonstrate leadership in reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke,” stated Yudof in a public letter to each campus chancellor. “Offering a smoke-free environment will contribute positively to the health and well-being of all UC students, faculty, staff, and our patients and visitors.” According to state and national public health records, California’s 12 percent smoking population is one of the lowest in the nation, compared to the national average of 19.6 percent. Nearly 8 percent of all UC students smoke, with a slightly higher percentile among campus employees. The aim of the new policy is to encourage healthier lifestyles through preventative care and to create a safe environment

for those who would otherwise be subject to secondhand smoke. UC Riverside Preventive Care Specialist Dr. Ken Stewart has worked with the Wellness Oversight Committee for the last few years focusing on areas such as smoking education and awareness. “The UC is transitioning into a smokefree environment and we have programs here which will help students stop smoking” stated Stewart. “Many of them in school want to stop smoking because they realize it’s a problem for their health, they realize they want to be free from that hacking cough so we here at the campus health center help them make that transition.” UC Riverside’s current smoking policy requires “a distance of 25 feet from a building’s entries, outdoor air intakes and operable window” for smokers, but this policy has gradually resulted in 10 designated smoking areas around campus. Due to the recent decisions made by the university, the advertisement and usage of all smoking and tobacco products will be banned by 2014. “To completely take away that right [to smoke] and provide

us with one corner? I guarantee you over 90 percent of the smokers will continue to smoke because it’s a habit. I understand those who do smoke and those who don’t smoke, but sometimes I just need a cigarette,” said third-year biology major Devon Robinson, a regular smoker who felt strongly against the decision. According to scientific findings, certain “triggers” in one’s environment—namely, stress—can play a role in motivating one to smoke. “For example, if they drive a certain way, a certain route to school and doing that route they may stop at a stop light and it triggers them to smoke then I suggest them to go another route,” added Stewart, who also said that there are programs at both the Campus Health Center and the Well to combat smoking habits. One initiative provides “quit kits” to aid those who wish to take the necessary steps in combating their smoking addiction. ”I think the university as a whole is moving towards stronger and better health for our students because in college this is where a lot of students create the kind of lifestyle that H they want,” said Stewart.■


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OPINIONS

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

HIGHLANDER

On June 6th, the Supreme Court refused to strike down a California law that offers state residents reduced tuition rates at California colleges. The law’s opponents argue that the bill, which does not distinguish between lawful residents and illegal immigrants, violates a federal law that prohibits states from giving college benefits to illegal aliens on the basis of residence within a state. Unfortunately for the law’s detractors, the Supreme Court wouldn’t even hear their challenge. Lawyers for a conservative immigration-law group that backed the appeal claim that the law is patently unfair to the thousands of full-bred American high school graduates who apply to California colleges from other states each year. These students will have to pay as much as $20,00 more for college tuition than the illegal immigrants (and many other California residents) that the bill aids. Others have argued that the bill gives preferential treatment to illegal immigrants - it is just one more derivative of affirmative action, bent on taking positions away from the hard working, middle-class Caucasians who really deserve

HIGHLANDER EDITORIAL

W e s l e y N g /HIGHLANDER

AGGRESSION OF FEW OVERPOWERS MESSAGE OF MANY Last week, UCR played host to the University of California’s first major student protest since peaceful activists at Davis were pepper sprayed by UC police in November. Many hoped that the demonstrations, which took place in conjunction with the regents meeting, would show that students were not afraid and that they would continue to stand in peaceful solidarity against what they feel to be regents’ support of economic injustice. Some protesters even called for regent reform. Unfortunately, protesters wound up communicating something quite different. Not everyone at the demonstration conducted themselves in as peaceful or responsible a manner as students at past protests have. Some used steel barricades to block police from getting from place to place on campus. Others pushed those same barricades towards police in an effort to clear space for the growing crowd, a move that police understandably interpreted as threatening. Many more goaded police on, cursing and yelling as though they were trying to get a rise out of them. It should be noted that nowhere near all of the people at the demonstration behaved as combatively as those mentioned above. The vast majority tried throughout the day to maintain a productive protest environment, chanting and giving speeches to inspire the group to constructive action. There was an incredibly diverse group of different student and outside populations at the demonstrations, each of which had varying goals and utilized many different tactics during the protest, and it would be wrong to blame all of them for the demonstration’s hostile tenor. Regrettably, the actions of the few individuals who were responsible had serious ramifications for all. Meanwhile, inside the regents meeting, seated protesters voiced their concerns about recent tuition hikes, HIGHLANDER STAFF

rising administrative costs and a lack of communication between regents and students. This portion of the protest was probably the most civil and successful of the day, despite interrupting a discussion on alternative non-tuition based revenues. Many protesters were also needlessly disrespectful, often yelling and injecting profanity-laden commentary into their speeches to regents. At times, they complained that their voices weren’t being heard, even though the public comment portion of the meeting was extended in order to give them more time to air their grievances. In all the ruckus, it is no wonder that much of the protesters’ message was lost. Unlike the demonstrations at Davis and Berkeley, the UCR protests seemed, for many, to be much more about making noise than making a point. For most of the day, there was a vocal minority of students that remained unnecessarily aggressive. Police used reactionary force in response to acts of protester aggression, like using signs to encroach on police lines, in order to keep the situation under control. At various times throughout the day, they fired pepper-pellet guns at people’s legs and shoved them with batons in order quell unruly sections of the crowd. Unfortunately, some students who were not involved in police confrontations were caught in the crossfire, but officers did not target these students. None of the force that police exerted against protesters on Thursday could realistically be called “police brutality,” at least not to the extent of what was witnessed at Berkeley or Davis. The authorities used extreme caution in judging where and how force ought to be used, and they only resorted to it when it was a necessary recourse to student action. Clearly, officers learned their lesson from the Davis and Berkeley protests; they remained calculated and composed throughout the day. Sadly, the small sect of protesters who

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Highlander editorials reflect the majority view of the Highlander Editorial Board. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Associated Students of UCR or the University of California system.

E m i ly W e l l s SENIOR STAFF WRITER

An eye-catching editorial in a recent issue of PLUS Model Magazine has started quite the buzz. It features implied nude photos of plus-size model Katya Zharkova with captions that reflect on the unrealistic beauty standards currently set by the modeling industry. While the intention of promoting body diversity in models is a good one, misleading statistics and questionable claims have caused some to deem the editorial’s contentions dubious. “20 years ago,” writes PLUS, “the average model weighed 8 percent less than the average woman. Today she weighs 23 percent less.” Unfortunately, no sources are provided for this statistic, and a basic search yields little supporting evidence. What is evident, however, is the rapid rate at which Americans are gaining weight. The average American woman’s weight has increased by 11 pounds (7 percent), from 152 pounds to 163 pounds in 10 years, while her height has remained about the same (an increase of 0.1 inch, or 0.2 percent taller). The results are from the National Center for Health Statistics, based on two studies: “NHANES III,” and one of the most recent available, “HANES.” While the issue of too-thin models certainly needs to be addressed, they remain in the minority when examining the weight problems of society as a whole. A study by the Trust for America’s Health found that nearly two-thirds of states now have adult obesity rates above 25 percent. Being overweight is becoming increasingly acceptable. What is ironic is that the gap between what the “ideal” body (extremely thin) and what has become the average body (too heavy) is larger than ever before. Both perceptions need to change. Models should not have to become heavier as other women become heavier, nor should they have to maintain shockingly low body weights. Trading one extreme for the other will serve no one well. The next outlandish claim made by the magazine is that “most runway models meet the Body Mass Index physical criteria for anorexia.” While this certainly sounds shocking, further research into the Body Mass Index (BMI) system shows that this is an inherently flawed manner of measuring health. BMI gives a numerical measurement based on an individual’s height and weight. It was introduced in the early 19th century by a Belgian named Adolphe Quetelet, who was a mathematician, not a physician. The formula was intended to give a quick and easy way to measure the degree of obesity of the general population to assist the government in allocating resources, not to indicate level of fatness in an individual. BMI takes no account of the proportion of bone, muscle and fat in the body. In the massive amount of Americans who lead relatively inactive lifestyles, the BMI actually assumes low muscle mass and higher fat content. It can work well for a person who fits this profile, because it was formulated for them, however for a significant portion of the population the BMI would be terribly misleading. AdditionMODEL PROPOSAL CONT’D ON PAGE 9

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thought it more important to provoke authorities than rally support for their cause marred the event for everyone. That should not, however, discourage the peaceful majority of individuals who showed up in astonishing numbers to support student rights. Their passion and vigor was, undoubtedly, in the right place. Their message, cruelly, was largely drowned out by the provocative tactics of the few overly aggressive individuals among them. Protest, an irrefutably powerful tool, must be wielded with caution and purpose. A more creative, constructive approach would have made last week’s demonstrations much more successful. Protesters could have, for example, sat down in the middle of the road by which it was believed regents would be leaving, quietly impeding their exit. The symbolic power of a demonstration of this nature would’ve drastically and positively altered the tone of the day’s events. And let’s not forget that protest is not the only way to make a difference. The regents are well aware of students’ disapproval of budget cuts and tuition increases; most of them dislike it too. Students’ voices have been heard—it might not be such a bad idea for them to take the next step and start working with the appropriate leaders and legislators to develop a solution to the problems the UC is facing. After last week’s protest, the regents announced that they would be moving their May meeting to Sacramento, where they hope to join students in protesting continued state budget cuts. Perhaps it’s time to take peaceful, creative protest to the capital.

A model proposal

Kelly Mahoney

LEGAL

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OPINIONS

HIGHLANDER

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

9

LETTER TO THE EDITOR from

HUNG TRAN Opinions Editor 2010-2011

The Highlander accepts letters from the campus community. They should be 400-500 words in length and include the author’s name and contact information. Contact editor Townsend Scholz at opinions@highlandernews.org for more information To begin, the Fix UC proposal isn’t trivial in the least. Eventually levying 5 percent of graduates’ income for two decades of employment—this idea would fundamentally change what higher education represents to students of the UC and Californians alike. On paper, the proposal, if implemented, would effectively reduce state contributions to the UC system in favor of funding from recent graduates. Once in full force, it’s quite conceivable that the generated fees would ostensibly cover for any and all conceivable needs for maintenance and expansion of the UC system as necessary or imaginable.

Critical to the success of this plan, however, is the assumption that under the proposal, student enrollment and graduation rates do not significantly change. Additionally, the plan would have to be amenable to future students who would eventually absorb the full brunt of student fees as graduates. None of the suppositions on which the proposal rests should be taken for granted; the full implementation of Fix UC represents an experiment in every sense of the word. For students considering a UC education, the Fix UC proposal would give high schoolers pause by dividing them along how they want to pay. Regardless of how or when fees are paid, the final cost of attending always plays a major factor in which college to attend. Prospective students may simply balk at the UC, believing that their income out of college would result in them paying far more into the UC than they would have by paying at flat tuition rates elsewhere, even with private loans. Along the same

MODEL PROPOSAL FROM PAGE 8

ally, it suggests that there are distinct categories of underweight, ideal, overweight and obese with extremely sharp boundaries. I was surprised to find that my own BMI puts me in the physical criteria for anorexia when I live a mainly healthy lifestyle. BMI makes no accommodations for people who are naturally and healthfully above or below the average. The modeling industry has been fairly kind to me. However, growing up in the similar worlds of ballet and modeling, I saw plenty of girls who constantly grappled with their weight, often resorting to unhealthy weight loss techniques and justifying it as dedication to their craft. It is certainly a delicate issue. Eating disorders have become commonplace in these industries, and we need a more comprehensive way of determining a model’s health than a BMI measurement. So long as a model is at a natural, healthy weight for her, be it over or under the average, she should be encouraged to pursue her craft. But naturally thin models have often been unfairly targeted. I’ve yet to see an attack on a plus-size store for promoting unhealthy lifestyles. We must acknowledge that this is a two sided issue. So what is a solution? It is certainly not requiring models to maintain a certain BMI, as many European countries have done. Rejecting models based on a low BMI is every bit as discriminatory as banning models with a high BMI would be. I think France handled this issue particularly well. When a bill to require a model’s BMI to be 18 or above failed, the country started a nationwide campaign to raise eating disorder awareness. I would contend that raising awareness of the problems with being severely overweight is every bit as vital. Additionally, the modeling industry needs to change the way it chooses models. Several alternatives to a BMI requirement that give a more accurate measurement of one’s health have been suggested, such as the body adiposity index, which many believe gives a more accurate measurement of body fat. Most of all, the fashion and beauty industries must stop pitting “skinny” and “curvy” women against each other. Lately, many ad campaigns have attempted to capitalize on the “real women have curves” mentality. This is just as detrimental as featuring primarily slender models. “Real women” come in many shapes and sizes, and what both ends of the spectrum need to aspire to is a healthy weight, H whatever that may be for the individual.■

lines, a student whose family can afford to pay upfront would probably prefer to do so, preferring a fixed cost to the variable fee posed by Fix UC. While the total cost would probably remain below that of a private university, the uncertainty associated with the cost of a UC education under the proposal would cause some potential students to think twice about considering the UC. Regardless of how the plan might influence enrollment figures, how Fix UC might influence the treatment of a UC education should also be considered. Presently, the costs associated with a collegiate education serve as an impetus to maximize course load and graduate inside of four years. Under the proposal, students, who would become free from the most serious financial considerations, would ostensibly take more risks with choices of courses and majors, take fewer courses per quarter, exercise somewhat less rigor in coursework, and in general, take longer to graduate. That, imagin-

ably, leaves less room for new students to cycle into the UC system for lack of significant pressure to graduate quickly in an environment where open seats for courses are already scarce. This doesn’t take away from the fact that the Fix UC proposal is highly creative or original; it’s certainly the first plan I’ve heard of that would ultimately decrease the dependency the University of California has to its namesake state. It has the potential to fulfill the requirements of the California Master Plan for Higher Education—that any and all who want who want a quality college education can pursue such a goal without immediately having to consider finances. Hell, I even like the idea. But my biggest concern is this, and it’s a big one: if implemented, would these changes seriously alter the UC system in a way that limits its rigor, prestige and competitiveness against other universities in California and the United States in attracting and graduating top students?

Let the smoke clear and the cessation begin T i m R. A g u i l a r STAFF WRITER

UC President Mark G. Yudof has directed all 10 UC Chancellors to form committees for the purpose of making the UCs smoke-free campuses within the next 24 months. His directive is aimed at removing all sales and advertising of tobacco products from every UC campus, including parking lots, outdoor parks, recreational areas and private residential space. Except in the minds of some smokers, there is little debate regarding the serious effects of second-hand smoke (SHS). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified SHS as a “known human carcinogen.” Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemical compounds, 250 of which are known to be harmful and 60 of which are known to cause cancer. Smokers who claim that the smoking ban infringes on their personal liberties, denying them the right to light up, are themselves in denial. They refuse to acknowledge the rights of others, along with 46,000 heart disease related deaths, 3,400 lung cancer deaths and up to 1 million asthmatic children—all results of SHS. The US Surgeon General’s Office linked SHS to spontaneous abortion, still-born birth, damaged sperm, harmful fetal development, and sudden infant death syndrome, to name a few. So let’s be perfectly clear: on the issue of liberties, you cannot take a gun to your head, pull the trigger and (because your head is empty) blow the brains out of the person standing next to you. The freedom to light up imposes your will on others, a will that brings with it serious harm and death. Presently, UCR has designated smoking areas, yet cigarette butts continue to line our walk ways and often end up in flower beds and garden areas, including lawns. The system of enforcement upon which the university has relied in the past has not proven effective, principally because compliance in this system is dependent solely upon honor and signage. Legislating enforcement without the resources necessary to secure compliance presents a serious problem, one which is exacerbated by the fact that administrators are contending with a legal addictive agent—nicotine; so on to cessation.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia

In 2007, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that 45 million adults in the United States smoke, and over 13 million smokers try to quit each year; but less than five percent will be cigarette free six to 12 months later. Cigarette smoking tops the list of the most preventable causes of death in our country, killing an estimated 438,000 people each year. According to the American Heart Association, nicotine addiction is one of the hardest addictions to break and is similar to a heroin or cocaine addiction. Within 10 seconds of taking a puff, nicotine causes the release of dopamine into the brain, resulting in a feeling of pleasure. With each cigarette the cravings increase and dependency takes hold. However, there may be opportunity lurking within the UC’s ban on smoking. It appears that President Yudof’s directive includes a stipulation requiring that cessation resources be made available to staff and students. Currently, the healthcare industry spends $100 billion annually on tobacco related care, much of it directed at prevention and cessation programs, according to the CDC. States struggling to make ends meet will spend less than 2 percent of their tobacco tax and billion dollar tobacco settlements on cessation and prevention programs. The American Lung Association

(ALA) identified California as one of the worse states when it came to prevention and cessation programs. The state received an “F” grade for tobacco prevention and cessation and a “D” grade for their tax on cigarettes. This fiscal year, California’s total funding for state tobacco control programs is $85 million, and its cigarette tax is 87 cents, which is lower than 22 other states. Of these states, 17 charge a tax between $1.46 and $2.92 and five charge a tax over $2.92. So why hasn’t California done its share in the areas of prevention and cessation and why is our tax so low? A study by the ALA reported that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces the amount of children that smoke by approximately 7 percent. It’s time to reduce access to cigarettes and increase the cigarette tax in California. Are you getting the picture yet regarding opportunity? Yes, the University of California is a leader in research and education, and who better to brave this world of science and medicine then the incredibly brave and brilliant minds therein. This is an opportunity to create successful prevention and cessation programs; an opportunity to discover the magic pill that will save millions of lives, billions of dollars and restore revenues to our educational system. So what are we waiting for? Get H to work! ■

In Issue 13, the article “Iraq casualties continue to mount” should have been credited to Tim R. Aguilar and the article “The NDAA puts American freedom at risk” should have been credited to James Njuguna.


FEATURES

HIGHLANDER

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

11

UCR GLOBAL BRIGADES

JOIN NEW SUSTAINABILITY EFFORT IN GHANA

BY CHELSEA SANTOS, STAFF WRITER // PHOTOS COURTESY OF MICHAEL CLEMONS Among the many qualities that have added to UC Riverside’s high esteem as a public institution, the most striking is its commitment to contributing to the public good. The number of service-based student organizations alone is a testament to such a commitment. While holding lifestyle workshops at Olive Crest Orphanage and working at local soup kitchens, however, the UC Riverside Global Brigades (UCR GB) chapter goes above and beyond local boundaries, sending students to impoverished countries in need of healthrelated services and basic amenities. Since 2004, the largest student-led, non-profit organization has developed from the collective efforts of various universities, both private and public, across the globe in building healthy families and empowering communities through sustainable projects. Students can choose from nine brigades that cater to a variety of interests from architecture to micro finance. They also have the option to work in Panama, Honduras, or more recently, Ghana. In 2009, the Global Medical Brigades (GMB) at UC Riverside sent its first group of students to Pajarillos, Honduras, where they built mobile clinics in two rural communities, provided public health workshops to locals, and constructed stoves, house floors, and pilas, or mud brick containers which store clean water from a nearby river. As a result, rural villagers no longer have to worry about developing respiratory problems from the

smoke in their homes or foot infections due to the absence of concrete floors. In addition, with two physicians, the group of eight volunteers served 611 patients within a five day trip. Four years later, the UCR GB has expanded to include Public Health, Dental and Water Brigades in addition to its long-standing Medical Brigade, continuing to provide basic healthcare and essentials to different communities in Honduras. From only eight members, the robust GMB has now grown to over 50 members, new and veteran alike. Among its veterans, third-year political science major Michael Clemons, has not only returned each year as a member, but has grown more involved as a leader. As the current president of GMB, he reveals, “after volunteering with GMB last year in Honduras, I formed so many deep connections with patients that have stayed with me. Seeing the joy in their faces just by helping take care of them motivates me to raise as much money possible and to work even harder every year so that I can continue serving those in need.” Last year, UC Riverside became one of 25 universities in the United States to receive an invitation from the global organization to begin developing programs in Ghana. Orion Hass, the co-founder and chief executive director of GB Ghana has categorized UCR GB as one of the strongest chapters in the world among UCLA, Harvard, Columbia, USC, Oxford and the London School of Economics. “Students

at UCR have consistently shown their passion, dedication and commitment as an organization and we’re very happy to welcome them as one of the first Global Brigades groups in the United States to travel to Ghana,” Haas says. Since their acceptance, UCR GB has been preparing for its impending trips this summer to Ghana and Panama, seeking to raise thousands of dollars for medication and the in-country fees. The four brigades will be implementing a similar structure in their respective programs in Panama as they did in Honduras. During their eight-day trip, students work closely with physicians in a mobile clinic, speaking to patients about their history, shadowing basic check-up procedures in triage, and filling prescriptions in the pharmacy. Meanwhile, the Dental Brigade shadows licensed dentists during cleanings, extractions, and fillings and sort medicine based on the needs that are endemic to the community. Together, both brigades collaborate in leading workshops that promote daily health practices. In Ghana however, the Medical and Dental Brigades will join a select few universities on a 10 day trip building on its rapid development of sustainability projects and health care services over the past year. Students expect to tackle the endemic problems in Ghana that are distinct from Central America, specifically malaria and difficulty in obtaining clean drinking water. To help alleviate such

challenges, students aim to bring mosquito nets and water filters and instruct patients on how to use the latter. The organization’s expansion to Ghana does not call for focus away from the sustainable projects that students have already established in Honduras, however. Instead, UCR GB Chairman Ariel Reyes explains, “We are asked to offer UC Riverside students more service opportunities in the three countries rather than abandoning one or the other.” She continues, “In this way, we aim to balance the delicate shift to Ghana.” With five months left to prepare for their upcoming trips, all four brigades at UC Riverside continue to raise money while engaging members in different social events. The members of GMB, for example, actively participate in community service at a local orphanage in Riverside, teaching young adults basic lifestyle skills that will serve them well later on in their adult lives. In turn, the club allows its members to solidify their unity, connectedness and communication as a unit prior to working on the field together. Indeed, such values are those on which our institution is firmly rooted. With their continued commitment to growth and service both locally and beyond, GB has certainly proven itself as a leading example. For more information on the individual brigades, feel free to attend the first information session of the quarter in HMNSS 1503 on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at H 8:00 p.m., or go to ucrgb.org. ■


12

FEATURES

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

THE DIGITAL WORLD WITH RYAN SIMON THE IMPORTANCE OF STORY IN GAMING I’m a sucker for a good story. No matter if it’s a movie, TV show, or video game, an enthralling story will keep me hooked long after the initial awe of the special effects or amazing graphics. Video games in particular have the ability to present an engrossing story by pulling the player into the game world, and allowing them to experience the story first hand. Recently, BioWare’s “Star Wars: The Old Republic (TOR)”—a story-driven massively multiplayer online game—got me thinking about some of the recent conversations about how several game publishers are focusing less on story-driven experiences and more on multiplayer. The game industry has been undergoing an interesting transformation. With the advent of motion gaming, and an increasing amount of multiplayer-focused games like “Call of Duty,” there is a fear that storydriven game experiences are beginning to lose their appeal to gamers and game publishers. It costs the publisher more money to come up with coherent stories, and if players prefer to just shoot first and ask questions never, then there is little incentive to create a story to begin with. The problem with this line of thought is that it insinuates that games as a story-telling medium have become less attractive to the consumer—something I strongly disagree with. I demand a good story in my video games. With the little amount of time I have to spend playing games, when I do sit down with one, I like to be presented with a convincing world that pulls me away from reality. Arguably, it is this same sensation that people enjoy about films as well—the ability to disconnect from real life and plug into a different universe where impossible things become ordinary. Games like TOR take this sensation a step further by allowing players to decide the fate of their own character. Just like those choose-your-ownadventure books of yore. I think TOR’s impressive two million and growing list of subscribers would agree that they like a good story too. TOR is just the latest example of a successful story-driven game. Other recent top-sellers like “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” “Batman: Arkham City” and “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception” all hinge on providing gamers with engrossing game worlds built on strong narratives. Of course, there are certainly games that provide excellent stories and fall flat on their face when it comes to sales figures. This is all part of the risk that game publishers take when they sign up to fund new projects, but I argue it is a worthwhile one. The problem is that game publishers forget

WRITTEN BY RYAN SIMON, SENIOR STAFF WRITER

that you need another ingredient to create a great game: fun gameplay. So while millions of dollars are poured into the game’s script, the graphics, and all the technical nuances associated with game development, if the game isn’t fun to play it’s not going to sell very well. This is where the idea that multiplayer games are the future of the industry was born. Instead of tasking developers to try and balance both a fantastic story and excellent gameplay, publishers are tending to throw the story under the bus and focusing entirely on giving gamers good pure gameplay. That doesn’t sound that bad though. The game is a lot of fun, so who needs a good story? Those who argue this point tend to forget that if you strip away differentiating factors like story from two top-tier games in the same genre, say first-person shooters for example, you end up with two games that play almost exactly the same. If game publishers simply sit on their laurels and believe their highly polished gameplay mechanics are enough to keep gamers coming back for more they are sorely mistaken. Comparing with film again, if you take two fast-paced action movies and compare them solely on their core attractions—special ef-

HIGHLANDER

Photos courtesy of starwarstheoldrepublic.com, videogamer.com, digitaltrends.com

fects, casting, and fighting scenes—what you end up with is two incredibly similar films. The difference between “The Bourne Identity” and “Mission: Impossible” is story just as it is the difference between games

like “Call of Duty” and “Medal of Honor.” It would be a huge mistake for the game industry as a whole to conclude that multiplayer games sans story are the only profitable types of games. Games have certainly become more socially involved, but the amazing thing about video games is the immense flexibility the creator has in presenting their ideas. If multiplayer were to become the end all be all of the industry, game designers need only look at TOR as an excellent example for how to mesh story with social gaming. It may have been a risky venture, but TOR has successfully combined the kind of narrative gamers expect from a single-player experience in a multiplayer setting. TOR may play like some other online games out there, but what makes it unique and interesting is its focus on providing a believable world and intriguing story. There is no doubt that the gaming industry has turned to more multiplayer games. The demand is certainly there for more social game experiences, but that does not take away from the importance of storytelling. The industry has plenty of room for both types of games, and as long as consumers continue to ask for them, we will H continue to see plenty of them. ■


HIGHLANDER

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

13

Radar ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Kirsten Voss/HIGHLANDER


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TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Owen at the Barn

HIGHLANDER

Photos by Kirsten Voss

MUSIC REVIEWS VOYAGEUR // Kathleen Edwards RATING: ★★☆☆☆

BY: JACQUELINE BALDERRAMA, STAFF WRITER Kathleen Edwards has not sparked too much recognition since her debut album “Failure” in 2003. The Canadian countryalternative singer-songwriter has since completed three other albums including her most recent, “Voyageur,” released Jan. 17. The title of this album is certainly more optimistic than the first. The alternative genre also seems to take the lead now over Edwards’ earlier, countrydominant tunes. In joining these genres, Edwards seeks a harmony between the ballad-like narratives of country and the rhythmic beats of alternative. However, the album does not make the leap into catchy hits and award-worthy singles. Throughout the album, there are themes of lost love, misunderstood solitude and occasional hope. These seem at

first overwhelming when listed, but the accompanying melodies compensated the dreary subjects. It offers a calming experience and overall seems to capture the the complexities of sorrow and love. For most of the album, Edwards’ voice is clear and pleasant. It is also refreshing in that there are a few upbeat tracks such as “Mint” and “Empty Threat” to atone for lengthy tendencies. A first run-through of the 10 songs establishes two dividing factors in Edwards’ composition. Nearly every song has a long musical introduction with a piano, guitar, and/or violin. A few pick up speed and musically are quite charming. Steady beats and smooth melodies breath life into the tracks. This may be impart due to the fact that Edwards had several guest musicians to

accompany her including Norah Jones and Justin Vernon, the singer-songwriter behind Bon Iver. However, the songs sometimes fall short with the combination of vocals. In “Chameleon/Comedian,” the repetition makes Edwards’s voice slightly whiny. Moreover, the closing to each track tends to be drawn out. The final song is seven minutes long and completely saturates the piece with repetition, slow beats and unnecessary interludes. However, “Voyageur” is not without some merit. Edwards does offer intriguing imagery in her semisweet narratives. Verses like, “I’ve been wondering about what I’m going to do in a house full of empty rooms,” “blood is thick but it still runs,” and “I’m looking for a soft place to rest,” reestablish the melan-

cholic tone of the album while still keeping a hopeful melody in the accompaniment. Still, paired with these poetic lyrics, there is also an awry of cliché moments if not redundant lines. Overkill choruses and a lack of bold verses make these tracks inclined toward coffee-shop, background music rather than the initial entertainment. Phrases such as, “see me smile. It’s not for a funny joke… Its for every time I don’t need a punch line,” makes it difficult to take certain tracks seriously. In fact, Edwards often narrates scenes without sensitivity to enticing details, thus failing to make the stories memorable. In closing, “Voyageur” was perhaps not enough of a jump from Edwards’ earlier albums. There are certainly charming moments especially in tracks

Photo Courtesy of Zoe/Rounder

“Change The Sheets” and “Sidecar” that involve more upbeat rhythmic harmonies. Flowery and blatant narratives offer it the solemn and cheery essence of a lone voyageur. However, with the additions of inconsistent lyrics and irritating introductions and endings, the album as a whole remains sweet but H not impressive. ■


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

HIGHLANDER

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

15

MOVIE REVIEWS ALSO THIS WEEK:

THE GREY

MAN ON A LEDGE

ONE FOR THE MONEY

THE WICKER TREE

SHAME

RATING: ★★★★★

BY: DIANA S. HUANG, STAFF WRITER

Photos Courtesy of Film4/UK Film Council

2011 was a good year for Irish-German actor Michael Fassbender, who in addition to starring in blockbuster films like “X-Men: First Class” and the critically acclaimed adaptation of “Jane Eyre,” finally snagged a role that was able to coax out his best performance yet. “Shame” is a ruthless exploration of sex addiction, denial of intimacy and its many consequences all set against the backdrop of a beautifully edited soundtrack. Director Steve McQueen’s second directorial outing has garnered radiant reviews and multiple awards and nomi-

nations from around the world, making it a possible candidate for the upcoming Academy Awards, particularly for Fassbender as Best Actor. Brandon (Michael Fassbender) is a thirty-something upperclass New Yorker who leads a quiet and pristine life. His spotless apartment and meticulous daily routine calls to mind Patrick Bateman of “American Psycho.” Like Bateman, Brandon has a poisonous dark secret; unlike Bateman, Brandon’s darkness is his unbelievably active and insatiable sex drive. He leads a cold and isolated

existence for the sole purpose of satisfying his sexual needs, from picking up women, paying for prostitutes, chatting on porn sites to copious amounts of masturbation and sex at his apartment, hotel rooms and at work. Brandon’s addiction renders him incapable of forming any sort of romantic relationship, and his urges are so frequent that it’s nearly impossible for him to keep company around. Brandon’s orderly life is ruined by the appearance of his younger sister Sissy, portrayed brilliantly by Carey Mulligan, who dumps herself, literally, on Brandon’s couch and refuses to leave. It soon becomes clear that Sissy has some deeply-seeded issues herself and she serves as the mirror opposite of her controlled and restrained brother. One of the greatest moments of the film comes from the silent exchange between the strained siblings as Brandon hears Sissy sing her slow rendition of “New York, New York.” What added

to the heart wrenching scene was McQueen’s insistence on filming Mulligan singing the song live and in one take, drawing out the confrontation and adding to the slow-building momentum of the film. Sissy’s overwhelming neediness and hunger for emotional connection with her brother is sharply contrasted by the increasingly frustrated and frazzled Brandon who finds it harder and harder to hide his ferocious addiction. There are moments where Brandon and Sissy engage in moments of inappropriateness, but their actions are often a direct reflection of just how fractured and helpless they both are. As Sissy climatically states, “We’re not bad people, we just come from a very bad place,” we get the one and only glimpse into what could have caused Brandon and Sissy’s deep psychological scars. Far from being pornographic, the NC-17 explicitness of “Shame” examines, quite frank-

ly, the type of desperate, empty sex that tortured individuals engage in to escape their total lack of connection with emotions normally present in intimate relationships. Brandon doesn’t look for passion or compatibility—he seeks whatever will give him a quick fix, much like a heroin addict. Sissy, on the other hand, displays a total lack of propriety and leeches on to the nearest person who’s even slightly available so that she doesn’t have to be alone. It was a welcomed surprise to see Mulligan break out of her mold and nab a role that illuminates her versatility and potential as an actress. Fassbender and Mulligan most certainly gave the best performances of the year—their raw intensity and fearlessness of emotional and physical exposure coupled with McQueen’s unflinching and unforgiving approach to the dark side of human need made “Shame” a truly unforgettable H film. ■

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TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

HIGHLANDER

THE IRON LADY RATING: ★★☆☆☆ BY: EMILY WELLS, SENIOR STAFF WRITER As a die-hard Meryl Streep fan, I sincerely wanted to love “The Iron Lady” as much as I adore nearly every film she has starred in. Unfortunately, a somewhat memorable performance was not enough to make up for the completely forgettable film. The biographical British film, directed by Phyllida Lloyd, begins with a peek into the life of an aged Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep), the longest serving Prime Minister of the UK in the 20th century. Thatcher is buying milk, and walks home alone. It is revealed that she was supposed to have been supervised at all times, and her mental health is deteriorating. Over the course of several days we see her grapple with dementia and the frustrations of not having control over her life. Thatcher is comforted and occasionally haunted by visions of her deceased husband, Dennis Thatcher (Jim Broadbent). The film also portrays Thatcher’s earlier years, with a younger Margaret played by Alexandra Roach. We see her working in her father’s grocery store, where she supposedly formed the conservative values that would permeate into political policies later in her career. She is accepted at Oxford, and aspires to a career in politics. Because she is a woman, she must struggle to break into the maledominated Tory party for a seat in the House of Commons. A main theme of the movie is developed at this point—power comes with a price. Thatcher is constantly putting her relationships and loved ones below her political aspirations. The film is largely a blur of non-sequitur, sloppy montages of Thatcher’s rise to power that do little to challenge any one’s preconceived notions of her as a person. The movie is cookie-cutter at best, and those looking for an insightful docu-drama will be left completely unsatisfied. The film’s attempt to humanize Thatcher was ultimately a failure. Viewers fail to empathize with her on any level. The filmmakers attempt to provide a balanced approach to Thatcher as a politician, exploring both her strengths and successes and the detrimental impact her staunch conservative policies brought unto the lives of the British public. Meryl Streep by no means fails at the role, but she fails to shine to her usual extent. Going into the film, I expected her performance to remain strong even if the rest of the movie was a failure. Unfortunately, Streep was quite bland. Jim Broadbent portrayal of Thatcher’s deceased husband was probably the most captivating performance of the film. Ultimately, the film leaves the viewer feeling overwhelmingly indifferent. There was little reason for it to be made, and despite several moderate qualH ity performances, is utterly missable.■

Photos Courtesy of Pathe Productions Ltd/ The Weinstein Company

HIGHLANDER EDITORIAL STAFF

MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIES OF 2012

EMILY WELLS, A&E EDITOR The Great Gatsby Dark Shadows Life of Pi The Three Stooges Skyfall

RYAN SIMON, TECH DIRECTOR The Avengers The Dark Knight Rises Prometheus Skyfall Men in Black 3 The Amazing Spider-Man

MIKE RIOS, SPORTS EDITOR The Dark Knight Rises The Avengers Lincoln The Hobbit

ERIC GAMBOA, NEWS EDITOR The Dark Knight Rises Hunger Games Prometheus

TOWNSEND GALLINGER-SHOLZ, OPINIONS EDITOR The Dark Knight Rises The Secret World of Arrietty Coriolanus

FATIMA MIRZA, FEATURES EDITOR The Dark Knight Rises Life of Pi The Great Gatsby Being Flynn


HIGHLANDER

. SPORTS .

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

17

Track and field unveils newly-constructed stadium Michael Rios SENIOR STAFF WRITER

It’s been over seven years since UC Riverside’s track and field teams hosted a meet on their own home turf. A worn-out track and hazardous conditions have kept the program from competing on the historic UCR Track Stadium since 2004. During those seven years, numerous attempts were made to restore and remodel the damaged stadium, but only until recently have those plans finally come to fruition. Last spring, construction crews began tearing down the old stadium to make way for the new and improved facility. Built in 1983, UC Riverside’s previous track stadium was one of the most utilized facilities in the university. Aside from hosting collegiate races, the track was also home to a number of historical events including the National Youth Sports Program and the Special Olympics. As the years went on, a small amount of renovations were made to the weary stadium, but very few were as significant as the one made this past year. A facility that featured a ragged track and tattered benches, the UCR Track Stadium was deemed unworthy of hosting an NCAA meet in 2004. Since that time, UC Riverside’s track and field teams have been forced to schedule every single one of their events on the turfs of their opponents. “It was very old,” said head coach Irv Ray of the previous stadium. “It was built in 1983 and nothing had really been done to it since then. It had holes and liability issues. It wasn’t a safe environment.” The tarnished stadium was still used by the track and field teams during practices, however. Even then, a number of student-athletes complained about its poor conditions. Some runners had shin splints and others had to pick pieces of the torn track off their shoes. The renovated stadium was designed to end those problems. The new facility features a strong, unsullied track, new infrastructure and sturdy bleachers for the fans. When Dr. Timothy White was named UC Riverside’s chancellor in 2008, one of his initial concerns was the status of the facilities in the university. Upon seeing the poor conditions of the old

L inh C hai /HIGHLANDER

stadium, White took it upon himself to help renovate the facility. “I’ve been here 10 years and during that time it seems like there has been one financial crisis after another,” recalled Coach Ray. “There just wasn’t any funding. Since I’ve been here, there have been three chancellors. It took Tim a little bit of time, but he was very committed to having good facilitates.” “I think when Chancellor White got here, every decision he made was about the general students on campus,” added Athletics Director Brian Wickstrom. “When he went out and saw the track, that’s what started it.” According to Coach Ray, the cost of the new stadium was about $2.3 mil-

lion. “[The money] came out of the chancellor’s discretionary fund,” he said. “You can’t use tax-funded dollars for any athletic facilities otherwise UCR would be building a huge football stadium or something. You have discretionary money and money that’s funded.” The new facility has also served other teams on campus. UCR’s soccer, basketball and softball teams have already started holding practices on the newly-constructed stadium. The new facility was also designed with students in mind. On certain hours of the day, UC Riverside students will be allowed to run on a designated lane built inside the stadium to prevent wear and tear on the main track.

“Now we have a track that’s built to NCAA specifications,” said Coach Ray. “We can host the conference championship, it’s a softer, better, resilient track as far as training purposes and it also serves all the events. Before, we weren’t able to do all the events. Now we can do all the events: long jump, pole vault, high jump and all that.” UC Riverside will officially open the doors of the new stadium on March 10 in a dual meet against UC Santa Barbara. It will be the first time the UCR Track Stadium will host an event in nearly a decade. To add to the excitement, the Highlanders are also scheduled to host the Big West ConferH ence Championships in 2015.■

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18

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

SPORTS

Men’s tennis opens the 2012 season in negative fashion Adolfo Bejar STAFF WRITER

The men’s tennis team opened the 2012 season at the SRC tennis courts on Wednesday afternoon and then traveled to San Diego on Sunday. The Highlanders hosted Nevada at the SRC tennis courts in the first fixture of the season. The Wolfpack proved to be too much for the Highlanders as they won all three points in doubles and six out of seven in singles. While on Sunday, the Highlanders travelled to San Diego and came back home empty handed as they lost all seven points in play. Wolfpack 6 - Highlanders 1 On Wednesday, the action began with doubles matches. All three games were battled hard. UCR’s Felix Macherez and Austin Andres faced Nevada’s Wessin Derbel and Fernando Sunago in a closefought match where the powerful serve of Nevada’s pair troubled the Highlanders. UCR tried to respond with long shots, but the Wolfpack

looked comfortable at all times on the court. The final result was a 8-5 victory for Nevada. In the second and third matches, UCR again fell short. Highlanders Kevin Griffin and Jimmy Roberts were defeated 8-5 by Nevada’s Victor Ouvard and Moez Echargui. The Wolfpack claimed the point in doubles when Philip Hinojosa and Nathan Reix defeated UCR’s Luis Gastao and Simon Peters with a score of 8-6. In singles action, Nevada widely dominated the Highlanders. UCR could not take but one point out of the seven in play. UCR’s Felix Macherez faced Nevada’s nationallyseeded no. 55 Wessin Derbel. The match started off balanced but as Derbel adapted to the court, he took control of the game and showed his class and fine forehand, winning the match easily by 6-1, 6-2. Elsewhere, Highlander Austin Andres claimed the lone point for UCR in his match against Quentin Mege. Andres showed the variety of shots he possesses in his arsenal. From powerful forehands to perfectly executed backhands

HIGHLANDER

PRANAV BHAKTA

P-BHAK’S CORNER David who?

B ryan T u t t l e /HIGHLANDER

and drop shots, Andres put in a fine performance to beat his rival and claim the victory by 6-4, 6-3. Other results included UCR’s Luis Gastao losing to Moez Echargui by 6-0, 6-4 and Highlander Jimmy Roberts losing to Victor Ouvard by 6-1, 7-6. Aztecs 7 - Highlanders 0 On Sunday, the Highlanders were looking to get back on track after their loss to Nevada, but San Diego State had other plans. Doubles matches were completely dominated by the Aztecs, who won all three encounters. UCR’s Felix Macherez and Austin Andres were swept by SDSU’s Javier Pulgar and Hunter Nicholas with a final result of 8-1. On the second doubles match, UCR put in a contest as Kevin Griffin and Jimmy Roberts got in front in their match against SDSU’s Spencer Simon and Rickey Baylon, but the Aztecs came from behind and defeat-

ed the Highlanders by 8-5 to claim the first point of the afternoon. Singles action was not far different from what both teams presented in doubles matches. UCR was swept losing all six remaining points to the Aztecs. UCR’s Felix Macherez and Austin Andres were handed hard defeats when they faced Javier Pulgar and Rickey Baylon. They lost by scores of 6-0, 6-4 and 6-2, 6-2, respectively. Jimmy Roberts was the only Highlander that put in a decent performance; he won the first set of the match against SDSU’s Thorsten Bertsch by 6-2, but then dropped the second set to Bertsch, losing it by 6-4. A tie break was forced to decide a winner and even though Roberts had a great first set and a decent second set, he was swept in the tie break by 10-0. Next for the UCR men’s tennis is a visit from Northern Arizona to the SRC tennis H courts on Sunday afternoon. ■

This weekend, David Beckham re-signed a deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy to play for two more seasons in the MLS league. So why was this news not a headline like the time when Beckham first arrived to the United States in superstar fashion? I understand if this recent news did not make the front cover of every news site, but even on a sports website like ESPN. com, this news was not front cover material. I understand the excitement of an international star like Beckham bolting to the City of Angels, an ambassador for the sport of soccer, but five years have almost passed and the buzz around Beckham has mostly passed. So what happened? The thing is, even I cannot wrap my head around that answer. Beckham struggled in his first couple of seasons in a Galaxy jersey, primarily due to injuries, but he still was a success marketing-wise, and brought huge exposure to the sport of soccer. In the last year, Beckham has been more successful on the field, leading the Galaxy to a MLS league title in 2011. However, all of his achievements have not translated to the headline news like his arrival did. So why did Beckham re-sign to play again where some might view he has run out his welcome? The thing is, when Beckham made his superstar arrival in 2007, he said “I’m coming there not to be a superstar. I’m coming there to be part of the team, to work hard and to hopefully win things.” Beckham has just done that and has played well for his team, the LA Galaxy. Again, his first years were disappointing, but Beckham has found his niche. Although he may not be headline news anymore, Beckham continues H to build his legacy. ■


SPORTS

HIGHLANDER

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

19

Women’s basketball snaps its month-long skid P r a n av B h a k ta SENIOR STAFF WRITER

Roadrunners 72 - Highlanders 66 The Highlanders could not seal the deal on the road against non-Big West opponent CSU Bakersfield on Wednesday, Jan. 18. The defeat extended their losing streak to nine games. The Highlanders fell to 2-16 in the season, while the Roadrunners improved to 4-18 for the season. Highlander Natasha Hadley led the team in points with 19 points, while teammate Jamila Williams had a double-double and a career-high 13 points and added 14 rebounds. The Highlanders got out to another early start thanks to a 9-0 run, which had them leading in the game, 12-3 in the first 3:17 minutes of the game. The Roadrunners responded with a massive 21-4 run which saw them take a lead of 24-16. The Highlanders battled back and managed to get the game tied at the end of the half with the score deadlocked at 32-32. In the second half, the Highlanders went up by seven points at 45-38 with 14:02 remaining. The Highlanders continued to press on and managed to extend their lead to nine, 5748, with 6:29 remaining. However, the Roadrunners went on a 12-4 run and closed the gap to just one with the Highlanders leading 61-60 with 4:17 left to play. With five quick points on two possessions, the Roadrunners took a 6763 lead with just 41 seconds left. Highlander Tre’Shonti Nottingham’s three-pointer to cut the lead to one, 67-66. That was the closest the Highlanders would get. In the last 33 seconds of regulation, the Highlanders had no luck on the offense side and the game got away as the Roadrunners converted on their free-throws. The final score was 72-66 as the Roadrunners took the victory in this non-league match-up.

B ryan T u t t l e /HIGHLANDER

Highlanders 69 – Titans 65 On Saturday, Jan. 21, the UC Riverside women’s basketball team pulled off a 69-65 home victory against CSU Fullerton after blowing a seven-point lead they had at the half. Highlander TréShonti Nottingham scored the last five of six points to put the Highlanders back in command and held off the Titans’ offense in the last minutes to secure the win. The win ended the Highlanders’ nine-game losing streak and was their first win in conference play. UC Riverside improved to 3-16 overall, and 1-6 in league, while CSU Fullerton fell to 8-10 overall and 1-5 in league.

The Highlanders got off to a very hot start in this game and they opened the game with a 6-0 run in the first 1:34. The Highlanders were shooting well at 70 percent from the floor and would go on to extend their lead to 15 points on three different occasions in the first half. The Titans went on a run of their own and closed the Highlander lead to 34-29 with 5:35 remaining in the first half. The Highlanders responded with a 6-1 run of their own to gain back their lead. At the end of the half, the Highlanders found themselves with a sevenpoint lead with the score at 42-35. In the second half, the Highlanders saw their lead evaporate as the Titans came in

waves to cut down the Highlander lead and eventually tied the game at 55-55 with 8:52 remaining. On the Titans next possession, Lauren Chow hit the three from beyond the arc to give her team its first lead of the game, 58-55. With 1:44 left in the game, the Titans held a 65-63 lead, where Highlander Nottingham took over the game on the offensive side to give the Highlanders the victory, 69-65. The Highlander defense did extremely well in the final minute, causing the Titans to turn over the ball twice and miss two of their shots. Nottingham led the Highlanders with 23 points and the team hit 55 percent of their shots as H a whole. ■


20

SPORTS

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

HIGHLANDER

UCR basketball loses a tough one on the road

MICHAEL RIOS

RIO-SIDE Where will UCR finish?

Kevin Dinh/HIGHLANDER

K e n da l l P e t e r s o n STAFF WRITER

Last Wednesday, the UC Riverside men’s basketball team took a trip down to Cal State Fullerton. The Highlanders hoped to keep their hot winning streak alive and maintain their position in the tough first-place battle with the Long Beach State 49ers. The Titans shattered their hopes of a first-place seed and a 5-1 conference start as UCR now stands at 4-2 with its loss to the Cal State Fullerton Titans. UCR lost the match, 61-72. The 72 points allowed were the most scored against Riverside since San Diego State scored 80 in an 80-55 victory on Dec. 19, 2011. When Coach Jim Wooldridge was asked about the points given up, he said, “We were disappointed how we played. I know the team was disappointed on the outcome.” Wooldridge went on to talk about the things the team needs to do to win games, “[The players] understand they need to buy in on what they’re doing, defensively and offensively. We got out of character a little. We gave up 66 percent at second half. We’re not going to beat anyone like that.” The match ups against the Titans were a complete struggle for the Highlanders as Fullerton came in and chal-

lenged UCR. Wooldridge’s team was held to 36.7 percent shooting (11-30) and shot a poor 18 percent (2-11) behind the arc. For the most part, the free-throw shooting was where it was all year, decent at 57 percent (4-7). The guards for Riverside struggled to find their groove and collectively as a bunch scored a sufficient amount of points. The Highlanders’ Robert Smith shot in double figures, scoring 11 points, going for 3-8. His only three buckets were from behind the arc (3-4) while making two of three free-throws. Phil Martin struggled with nine points (4-13) but added five assists. Kareem Nitoto went 3-13, scoring nine points as he jacked up eight threes, only making one. As a team, they shot 30 percent (6-20) from behind the arc, but forced 16 turnovers that led to 17 points. As the first half came to an end, everything looked good for Riverside, leading by as many as nine points when they went on a 13-3 run midway through the period. Defense was the focus for the Highlanders. They forced the Titans to shoot 37 percent (10-27) from the floor and 25 percent (3-12) from three-point land. However, the two teams picked up their competition in the second period and UCR gave up 45 points, only scoring 33 of their own, which were insuf-

ficient to beat the Titans. The Titans opened up the second half on a 17-4 run, turning a one-point lead by UCR to an 11-point lead in their favor. The deficit for Riverside ended up being too much to handle. Runs are part of the game and Coach Wooldridge was asked if he had any ways of preventing runs. “We just need to go back to our formula,” he said. “We have been a great defensive team and sharing the ball for high percentage shots. It’s a greedy defensive team and good teamwork on the offensive game and team help. If we do that we believe we can be very successful.” Fullerton had two players scoring well into the double figures. Kwame Vaughn went off for 28 points (11-15), two steals and five rebounds. D.J. Seeley contributed with 22 points (7-17) and two steals as he drained four threes from behind the arc and grabbed eight rebounds. The Titans were able to shoot an astounding 66.7 percent in the second half for a total 52 percent at the end of the game. UCR only shot 50 percent in the second period and finished shooting 42.6 percent overall. The Highlanders have a week off before returning to play Thursday, Jan. 26 at the Student Recreation Center against H Long Beach State. ■

MEN’S BASKETBALL BIG WEST GAMES

ALL GAMES

Team

W

L

PCT

GB

W

L

PCT

Home

Away

Neutral

Long Beach

7

0

1.000

0.0

14

6

.700

7-0

4-6

2-1

UCSB

4

2

.677

2.5

9

7

.562

7-3

2-4

0-0

UCR

4

2

.667

2.5

10

9

.562

5-2

4-5

1-2

CSUF

4

2

.667

2.5

12

6

.666

7-1

4-4

1-1

UCI

3

4

.428

4

6

13

.315

4-3

3-7

0-2

Cal Poly

3

4

.428

4

12

8

.600

6-4

4-4

2-0

Pacific

2

4

.333

4.5

6

12

.333

5-4

1-8

0-0

CSUN

2

5

.286

5

5

12

.294

3-4

2-8

0-0

UCD

0

6

.000

6.5

1

17

.056

1-5

0-10

0-2

I’ll admit, it’s kind of strange seeing UCR this high up in the Big West standings. I don’t mean to criticize the team or anything like that, but it’s not something I’ve been used to seeing, especially from a basketball team that suffers from offensive lapses at times. It makes me wonder how long UCR can sustain its advantage over the rest of the conference. The Highlanders were as high as second place last week with a strong conference record of 4-1, the best start in UCR history. Since then, the team has played only one road game and ended up losing it, but only by a small margin. The bottom line is that they’ve been playing well. And now I have this strange, thrilling and excited feeling whenever I watch this team. I’ve come to realize that for the first time in a long time, this team actually has a lot to lose. We’re at a point where the stakes are higher. It’s not only about winning and losing, there’s a certain element of pride riding on these games. The Highlanders are in the best position they’ve ever been. They’re starting to play well and starting to dominate a conference that’s been anything but friendly to them. This can be a potential turning point for UCR. We’ve been waiting for such a long time to see a winning record from this team and we’re finally getting it. But how long can it last? UCR will have a handful of players graduating this year. So that means the recent success may be gone before we have enough time to enjoy it. I think the team can and will finish high in the standings. It’s not that hard to imagine. The team is playing well together, they’ve been executing their offense, they’ve been together for such a long time now, they have veteran players and Phil Martin is simply having a heck of a season. I think the Highlanders realize that their window of opportunity is small, and that is why they’ve been playing so perfectly. It may be their last chance to make a name for themselves. It’s definitely their best. UCR won’t have another opportunity like this for a while. UCR looks like it’s on a mission to do something great this year and I do not see them falling anytime soon. I can’t believe these I’m saying this, but I think UCR will finally reach the NCAA tournament this season! I know its crazy and far-fetched, but there is no reason to doubt them. When the stakes are this high and the team is playing this well, I simply cannot force myself to bet on anyone other than my HighH landers.■


Volume 60 Issue 14