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FOR THE WEEK OF TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014

Highlander University

Volume 62

of

C a l i f o r n i a , R ive r s i d e

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@UCRHighlander

Senators pass amendments to 2013-14 Elections Code

UCR Highlander Newspaper

► SEE ASUCR, PAGE 4

UCRChannelH

Student petition condemns truncated winter break

Lunar Festival 2014

MICHAEL RIOS Senior Staff Writer

WINNIE JENG Senior Staff Writer

After a long night of debate at the Jan. 22 ASUCR senate meeting, senators unanimously ratified the new 2013-14 Elections Code, which aims to establish fair competitions in future general elections. The climax of the night’s discussion encompassed the removal of an election mandate that required a two-thirds majority of the voters to approve a constitutional amendment if and only if at least 20 percent of the student population participated in the voting. During the meeting, senators also passed a resolution which condemned a racial hate crime that happened at San Jose State University. Elections Director Chris Sanchez went over point-by-point all the changes that had been made in the new Elections Code. Some notable changes included the addition of a preamble section in the Elections Code, an increase in CNAS and BCOE senator-candidates’ required nomination signatures from 25 to 50, a decrease in

Issue 15

Serving the UCR community since 1954

Downtown Riverside brought in the Year of the Horse at the Fourth Annual Lunar Festival.

Features, Page 10

VINCENT TA / HIGHLANDER Downtown Riverside hosted its annual Lunar Festival, celebrating the Year of the Horse.

UC Riverside will be shortening the length of winter break from three weeks to two this upcoming school year as a direct response to a UC policy requiring universities to change their academic calendars to avoid conflicts with the Jewish holidays Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It’s a move that has gained some support from members of the UC community, but has also garnered criticism from students who argue that the change is inconvenient for those not affiliated with the holidays. The Jewish holidays sometimes take place during move-in day at quarter-based UCs. Members of the Jewish community expressed concern over the UC move-in day, which overlapped with the holidays back in 2006. A year later, the UC implemented a policy that would go into effect in fall of 2014, which would shift movein day up one week since it will take place during Rosh Hashanah. This means that instead of having move-in day during the third week of September 2014, students will move into residence halls during the final week of the month. This, in turn, creates a domino

UC Board of Regents: ‘5 percent is not enough’ SANDY VAN Senior Staff Writer

UC President Janet Napolitano is blazing a trail for several initiatives, which includes, but is not limited to: reducing the UC Office of the President’s (UCOP) budget by 6.5 percent, finalizing contract agreements with UC labor unions and reaching a carbon neutral standard by 2025. The president’s announcement occurred during the UC Board of Regents meeting at the UC San Francisco (UCSF) Mission Bay from Jan. 22-23. The meeting revolved around the 201415 proposed state budget, which allocates a 5 percent increase — about $142 million — to the UC budget, falling $120.9 million short of what the regents requested in Nov. 2013. Napolitano planned to enact a freeze on systemwide tuition, which is needed to obtain the state’s $142 million allocation, but board members argue that proposed state funding levels will not be enough to support unfunded pension liabilities and increasing UC student enrollment in the future. The two-day discussion also included a rare meeting between three leaders of the state’s public higher education systems: former UC Riverside Chancellor and current

California State University (CSU) Chancellor Timothy White, UC President Napolitano and California Community College (CCC) Chancellor Brice Harris discussed revamping the 1960 California Master Plan for Higher Education — a blueprint for making public higher education more affordable and accessible to students in California. UC president lays groundwork for further initiatives Napolitano plans to pursue a budget over the next two years that will determine the “appropriate size, shape, and roles of the Office of the President,” while gathering input from the 10 UCs. With the intent of “leading by example,” Napolitano has pledged to curb administrative expenditures by reducing travel expenses by 10 percent and capping overall staff at UCOP. “Any replacement positions will be subject to prior approval by me or my designees, and departments will be required to develop staffing plans that address future needs and attrition,” reported Napolitano. She will also provide support for undocumented students through her onetime allocation of $5 million for each UC campus. The funds will provide in-house staff training at student resource centers,

create undocumented student advisory-group meetings, and offer additional financial support, such as UC student loans and workstudy positions. The UC president is also supporting postdoctoral and graduate students through her previous allocation of $10 million. Part of the fund will go to the President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (PPFP) — a program that provides financial support for STEM scholars who are interested in becoming UC faculty members. The funding will also offer diversity fellowships to graduates who faced difficult conditions or situations that disadvantaged them academically and to undergraduates from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) who are admitted to UC doctoral programs. “Currently, only about 3 percent of Ph.D. students are African American, 1 percent are American Indians and 8 percent are Chicano/ Latino, all less than the representation of these groups in California and the nation,” revealed the UCOP research and graduate studies report. Also, Napolitano stated that she is taking steps to improve faculty diversity in the wake ► SEE REGENTS, PAGE 6

► SEE PETITION, PAGE 4

INSIDE: Yale punishes innovative thinking student Sean Haufler, but chooses to challenge authority. OPINIONS

PAGE 7

Vicky’s Burgers is too far and too low quality to justify traveling 20 minutes from campus. PAGE 12

FEATURES

In all their indie-rocking glory, of Montreal took the Barn by storm. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

PAGE 16

Peyton versus the “Legion of Boom.” We preview football’s biggest game, the Super Bowl. PAGE 19

SPORTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

PAGE 2

STAFF

PAGE 7 PLEASE RECYCLE AFTER READING


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NEWS

TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014

HIGHLANDER

ASUCR-sponsored Bear’s Den celebrates grand opening MICHAEL RIOS Senior Staff Writer

Thursday, Jan. 23 marked the grand opening of the ASUCR Bear’s Den, a lounge-like room located in HUB 105, which will serve as a multipurpose area for any registered student organization (RSO) on campus to reserve and utilize. According to ASUCR Executive Director Laurie Sinclair, the grand opening attracted a rough estimate of 350 to 400 students from numerous UCR organizations including Feel Good UCR, Women’s Rugby Club and Pi Beta Phi. It featured poster-making activities, photo opportunities with Scotty the Bear, food, drinks and giveaways. The space that now occupies the Bear’s Den was the former home of the ASUCR Exchange, a campus store that sold sorority and fraternity items, discounted amusement park tickets, gifts and school supplies. The store was closed in late 2012 after it began losing money, however. According to Sinclair, ASUCR wanted to utilize the area again and add a service that would not risk losing revenue. Different ideas including an ice cream store and a barbershop were considered, but were ultimately ruled out. At one point, ASUCR

realized it had money to spend in RSO reserve funds, which is unused and leftover money ASUCR has from funds earmarked for club use. So they decided to use the money to create a space that can be utilized by the same organizations free of charge. As of Thursday, the space has become available for organizations to use. According to Sinclair, rules and regulations will be put in place for each organization that reserves the den, however. For instance, no excessive noise will be tolerated, no pets will be allowed indoors and the sale of food will be prohibited. Routine checkups will be made by ASUCR student staffers to make sure the den is kept in the same shape it originally was prior to the reservation. Additionally, security cameras will also monitor the area at all times. If damages are made to the area or if the key to the room is lost, the organization reserving the room will be billed for the repair work. As for the expenses that went into making the den a reality, ASUCR spent an estimate of $10,000. The costs covered the design of the space, furniture, rugs, photos, lights, a table, a white board and supplies that will used to decorate the room, in addition to a brick wall with free installation. ASUCR will also spend $16,000 a H year to cover renting expenses. ■

VINCENT TA / HIGHLANDER ASUCR invites student organizations to check out the Bear’s Den for club events.

Photo of the Week

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Where are the Jobs? The Hidden Job Market 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. Highlander Union Building 268

Tuesday Talk - Grrrl Talk 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. Costo Hall 245

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How Not to Get Fired: Professional Etiquette 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Highlander Union Building 268

AGSM Graduate Programs Info Session 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. Anderson Hall 021

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Women’s Basketball: Cal State Northridge 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. SRC Arena

Laugh More 7 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. The Barn

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AGSM /SoBA Dean’s Speaker Series: Victor Tolan 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Highlander Union Building 269

IIGB Seminar 12:10 p.m. - 1 p.m. Genomics Building Auditorium 1102A

PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR

Traditional Chinese art adorned the cultural booths at the Lunar Festival in downtown Riverside.

Quotebook “What is something that can be given out in a limited quantity that will not affect the legitimacy of the election?” -ASUCR Elections Director Chris Sanchez on a candidate’s gift-giving expenditures

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Upcoming Events

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Cinderella Project: Become a fairy god mother! 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Costo Hall 265

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Cinderella Project: Become a fairy god mother! 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Costo Hall 265

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Monday

The Affiliates of UCR Luncheon Meeting 11:30 p.m. - 1 p.m. UCR Extension Center Room D

Mid-Term Nap Session 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. Highlander Union Building 260

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NEWS

TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014

HIGHLANDER

► ASUCR FROM PAGE 1

the party candidacy requirement from seven to three people to increase the number of political parties and deregulations on gifts given by lobbyists. Sanchez recognized that the legitimacy of gift-giving during the campaign season could be a highly controversial and sensitive topic. Election candidates are required to reveal the amount of money they spend, but Sanchez said they could easily lie about their expenditures and the amount of gifts that they passed out; he encouraged senators and executive cabinet members to brainstorm methods to regulate gifts given out during campaigns and to further amend this section of the Elections Code. “This (gift giving policy) has been worked on very, very thoroughly by the elections committee, and has spurred the idea of reaching out to other UCs to see how they did it,” said Sanchez. “But ultimately, we found out that other UCs … (also) have no effective way of controlling it.” Sanchez encouraged the senate to think of alternative solutions in the future. One point under the eligibility requirement section of the new Elections Code was struck out with unanimous approval by the senate. The point concerns the role of the judicial branch in approving or disapproving ineligible individuals who wish to run in the election but do not meet the GPA requirement or are not in good standing with the university. Members of the judicial branch did not desire to play a role in approving candidates as they believed many complications would follow if the judicial branch made decisions contrary to the elections committee. Senators Nafi Karim and Abraham Galvan questioned the removal of a portion of the Constitutional Amendments section, which stated that twothirds of the voters from 20 percent of the student population need to approve an amendment for it to be adopted into the constitution. Sanchez explained that the removed statement was contradictory to the constitution,

JASON LIN / HIGHLANDER TAPS Interim Director Greg Artman addresses the senator’s concerns over plans to create more parking lots to accommodate the growing student population.

which does not require 20 percent of the student population to vote for the approval of an amendment, but rather, only a two-thirds majority of the voting population to approve the adoption of the amendment. Additionally, the removed statement was found to originate from an unknown source. “It wasn’t supposed to be there

“It wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place, and it was never enforced,” - Chris Sanchez, Elections Director in the first place, and it was never enforced,” said Sanchez. “How that part gets into the Elections Code seems strange. We checked thoroughly into the minutes of past ASUCR meetings, and all the things that were passed, and we couldn’t find it anywhere,

► PETITION FROM PAGE 1

effect in scheduling: Fall quarter instruction at UCR will start on Oct. 2, 2014; instruction will end on Dec. 12; the last day of finals week will be Friday, Dec. 19; and winter break will officially start on Monday, Dec. 22. All dates take place one week later than they normally would. But the start of the winter quarter in 2015 will take place around the same time it usually does: Jan. 2, 2015. In all, the shift in scheduling means that the length of winter break shrinks from three weeks to two, but summer break will last longer for students. UCs in the quarter system will see the most drastic change to their academic calendars since the move-in days of those universities will conflict with the celebration of the Jewish holidays this year. The calendars of UCs in the semester system will be unaffected, however, since their move-in schedules do not conflict with the holiday celebrations. However, because Rosh Hashanah is based on the lunar calendar, it isn’t a fixed date. This means that the UCs in the quarter system will return to threeweek winter breaks in 2015. The late start to the fall quarter won’t be seen again until 2020. Despite this fact, the scheduling change has

HIGHLIGHTS: Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) Interim Director Greg Artman discussed the potential for an on-campus parking fee increase with senators. Vice President of Internal Affairs Johnny Ta announced that 24 food trucks will be joining UCR’s Second Annual Food Truck Festival, which will take place on April 16. BCOE Senator Jessica Moncayo invited everyone to participate in the Athletics Tailgate Party to get to know UCR’s student athletes. The event will take place on Feb. 8 at Lot 19. where that part was added into the Elections Code. Thus, (it is) making us believe that maybe someone who was drafting the Elections Code accidentally added it without it having ever been approved.” After learning the context of the removed portion, Galvan expressed that he still believed the removed statement brought up a good point in making sure that one student cannot drastically amend the constitution over one election. “The reason why there is that (requirement for) 20 percent of the student to vote is that we want to make sure that our student body agrees with the working of the government,” expressed Galvan. “If only 5 percent of the student population vote, then it’s not reflective of the student population.” Galvan and Karim proposed to re-incorporate the removed part of the Elections Code. The motion,

created a stir among some UC students. Last week, an online petition was created on change.org, which asked the UC not to go through with the scheduling move. The petition expresses outrage toward university officials and argues that it “isn’t fair” to make a drastic change for the entire student body given that the holidays only affect a limited number of people in the UC. An excerpt from the petition reads: “We, as students, use this break to spend time and reconnect with our friends and families during the holiday season, while others use it to earn some extra money to help pay for school and living expenses.” As of press time, the petition has collected over 20,000 signatures. Not all are condemning the change. UCR associate professor of religious studies Michael Scott Alexander supports the fact that the UC is taking measures to accommodate students who celebrate the religious holiday. “I’m glad the administration is dedicated to religious diversity, it’s a key component of UCRs cultural diversity,” said Alexander in a statement to the Highlander. Move-in day for fall 2014 at UCR is scheduled for H Sept. 28, two days after the end of Rosh Hashanah.■

however, did not pass, as seven senators opposed the motion and three abstained. Therefore, the removed portion remained out of the code. After the meeting, Galvan expressed his disappointment in the failure of his motion’s passage in an interview, stating, “People elected us to have discussion, people didn’t elect us to just be there for an hour. If we spent another 30 minutes to get people’s concerns out, it could have brought a healthy discussion … It is unfortunate to hear anyone mentioning comments like, ‘Hurry, let’s finish up,’ during the meeting.” Following the passage of 2014 Elections Code with amendments, President Pro Tempore Aaron Johnson carried on the agenda by presenting a resolution entitled A Bill in Solidarity with the Demands of Black Student Activists at San Jose State University.

The resolution described a first-year black student studying at SJSU who was bullied by his white suitemates who repeatedly antagonized him through various acts, including calling him racist names, attempting to lock a bicycle lock around his neck and posting a Confederate flag in the common area. The names of the victim and suitemates were not publicly available, due to privacy concerns. Senators pledged to stand in solidarity with the black community at SJSU, demanding the university address the issue of racial discrimination and harassment and exercise zero tolerance for such actions, according to the resolution. With one accord, all senators passed the resolution without ■H further ado. Contributions to the article were made by Aaron Grech.

Graphic by BRANDY COATS One week of next year’s winter break will be re-allocated to summer break.


NEWS

HIGHLANDER

► REGENTS FROM PAGE 1

of the Moreno Report, which investigated high-profile cases of alleged racial and ethnic bias and discrimination at UCLA. The report revealed that the university’s diversity policies and procedures for faculty were “vague,” “difficult to access” and “essentially nonexistent,” citing such instances where faculty complaints over discrimination were ignored by senior department heads. The UC president notes the report has systemwide consequences and will work with the UC chancellors in the upcoming weeks to address issues raised by the findings. Another notable project includes the president’s goal to cement long-term, multi-year agreements with labor unions. The UC has finalized four different contracts with five different unions so far, with the exception of AFSCME 3299 — representing 13,000 patient care workers. Despite 20 months of bargaining negotiations and the initiation of more than four different strikes, the union has yet to reach a contract agreement with the UC. During public comments, members of the union announced that it will be holding a strike vote from Feb. 11-13, due to the UC’s alleged refusal to offer a fair contract with higher wages and to enforce staffing safeguards, the lack of which can “underserve students and leave patients at risk.” ASUCR Vice President of External Affairs and UC Student Association President Kareem Aref later advised the UC regents to take into consideration the concerns made by the largest labor union in the university system. Napolitano said, “The goal is to have both a good, fair work environment, and the stability that allows university management to plan effectively,” referring to cementing ties with UC employees. The UC president also spoke

ARCHIVE / HIGHLANDER UC President Janet Napolitano presented new proposals for the UC at the latest Board of Regents meeting.

of strengthening relations in the fields of academia and health between the U.S. and Mexico, which previously led to the establishment of the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC Mexus) in 1980 at UC Riverside. The primary mission of UC Mexus is to create, sustain and coordinate the UC’s approach to Mexico-related studies. A member of the UC Mexus Advisory Committee, Ann Hirsch, said her students benefited from the interactions as a result of UC Mexus. “This is a great program that fosters closer ties with Mexico on a number of fronts,” Hirsch said. “As a scientist, I believe that these types of collaborations are very significant, not only in terms of generating scientific discoveries, but also especially for the training of younger scientists from both the U.S. and Mexico.” Later, the UC president reported that the UC is on its way to becoming the first research university in the world to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. Speakers from Fossil Free UC, a sub-campaign of the UC Student Association, supported Napolitano’s goal and urged the regents to divest from the top 200 fossil fuel companies and instead invest in clean, renewable energy.

State funding squelches UC efforts for further investments UC President Napolitano is collaborating with Gov. Brown’s administration to identify new tuition policies and plans to enact a tuition freeze for the 201415 academic year. The 2014-15 preliminary state budget offers a 5 percent or $142.2 million increase to the UC budget, but the amount falls short of the $120.9 million that the regents asked for back in Nov. 2013. “The State appropriation currently represents only about 40 percent of the University’s general funds, so a 5 percent increase only yields a 2 percent increase in our general funds, and one-half of that increase has to immediately go into (UC Retirement Plan) to address our unfunded liability,” reads a UC business operations report. The governor’s budget proposal also offers $50 million in competitive awards to incentivize public higher education systems to expedite student graduation rates. UCOP Vice President of Budget and Capital Resources Patrick Lenz said, “While there wasn’t a specific dollar amount set aside for the UC (back in November), clearly there was an assumption that the five percent is not enough to address increased

enrollment and the quality areas.” The California Legislative Analyst’s Office indicates that the May budget revision — a mandatory update of the proposed state budget that occurs in May — may provide the state with additional revenue, which will give Gov. Brown the opportunity to address key state retirement liabilities. Public higher education leaders discuss the California Master Plan for Higher Education CSU Chancellor White, UC President Napolitano and CCC Chancellor Harris discussed ways to reinvigorate the state master plan, which aims to increase accessibility and affordability for students, while relying less on volatile public resources. Napolitano announced aspirations to create a studentcentered website portal, an online resource aimed to help students stay on the graduation track during their college career. She emphasized the need to streamline student transfer rates through further dissemination of financial aid information. Harris added that K-12 students, especially those facing socio-economic difficulties, may feel less equipped to follow the college route. “Students in California self-select out of

going to a four-year college or university because they think in the end they can’t afford it without knowing early on what resources are made available to them,” he said. As a product of the state’s public education system, White described the state master plan as being “fundamentally strong,” and “a bit tattered around the edges,” just like himself. Future meetings between the trio of college leaders would allow renewed conversations over the “backhouse” or financial infrastructure of the university systems, according to the CSU chancellor. “It’s not to save money for money’s sake … but rather to think of ways in which we can direct the vast majority of our resources to our core issues of teaching and learning, research and engagement with the community,” White said. “We need to shift the cost curves in these processes, but not shift the quality curve.” Gov. Brown described the master plan as not being “biblically permanent” and urged new ways of thinking, such as increasing online classes, to address issues of campus capacity and financial constraints. “I think if we’re going to get serious, then we have to step back and say: What are the most effective ways of certificating (and transmitting) knowledge?” Brown remarked. Other members of the board, such as UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, said greater emphasis on online courses may create an educational divide, especially among students from different economic backgrounds on college campuses. “One thing that I would argue is that we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of residential education,” he said. “The only reason that I became a scientist was because I happened to walk into a laboratory and got a chance to do laboratory research.” Napolitano, Harris and White all expressed further desires to H collaborate in future meetings. ■

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. OPINIONS . OPINIONS

HIGHLANDER

TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014

7

HIGHLANDER EDITORIAL

YALE STUDENTS PUNISHED UNFAIRLY AFTER PROVIDING A BETTER COURSE SITE

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ale University has made it clear that students’ right to explore the Internet is far less important than its command of authority over students. In January 2012, two Yale students, Harry Yu and Peter Xu, created an alternate course website that mimicked Yale Bluebook, an online course book for students to search for various classes. The site was named “Yale Bluebook Plus” (YBB+). YBB+ allowed students to search for courses but also allowed them to sort through classes by average rating and workload. But what also made this site better was that it was technologically advanced. The YBB+ had a more lightweight user interface and was more efficient than its competitor, and compared course statistics much more easily. Then Yale’s ego got in the way once the university found the efficiently run site was far more improved than the original and decided to blocked it under Yale’s Wi-Fi network due to copyright issues. However, once the students tried to upload it again under a different name, Yale then used the excuse that it “let students see the averaged evaluations far too easily.” The students were then warned that if they posted the website again they would have to attend a punishment committee. When attending an Ivy League institution that opens a multitude of doors for you to explore education with high-achieving scholars, it brings into question why Yale limits students’ ability online and does not further encourage this sort of application creation. After this, Yale student Sean Haufler created a Chrome extension that enables students to use the site without infringing on copyright, but he now fears that Yale will also penalize him as well. Yale, an institution for higher thinking, has threatened to punish students for creating a website that

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better performs the original. They censored something that was studentsupported as well as a better and more user-friendly version of what students were already using. Sean Haufler has now taken the opportunity to prove to Yale how ridiculous its censorship policy is by providing another outlet for students to access the site. His project also shows how students are creating a better version of what Yale is already offering. Haufler improved what had already been established and in a way that satisfied all of Yale’s issues with the previous Yale Bluebook. This then draws up the question: Instead of being threatened to attend a punishment committee, why are students not invited to work with the developers to figure out how to incorporate the successful parts of this new version with their current interface? The original Yale BlueBook was a student-run site that did receive permission to use Yale’s data. So why is Yale preventing students from using this sort of data again? It is such an easy solution to work with students rather than just censor student-supported projects. But although it seems reasonable to be upset with Yale’s censorship, some may be concerned with the idea that the student website did place a sort of bias on class selection, alleging that it creates a means to discourage a student from taking a rigorous course due to the workload and ignore a class that will intellectually challenge the student. But this is no different than what the website Rate My Professor offers. It is ultimately up to the student to decide what class he or she wants to take. However, inhibiting students from vocalizing what they think of the class should not be a reason for the school to block the site. Subjectivity in terms of how people rate the course load is going to be inevitable so it seems like an unreasonable decision for Yale to make. There’s nothing really that

different about Yale Bluebook Plus anyway — but that it is more efficient, technologically advanced, and run by student geniuses. The idea of a university is that students should be engaged in studentrun projects to advance the university in technology. This applies to UC Riverside as well. But on this campus, the issue is not with students creating websites that violate copyright policies, but with having less efficient sites such as GROWL — which tends to shut down late at night — and other UCRutilized sites. UC Riverside should take more notice of innovative students within the university to create sites that are faster, function all hours of the day, respond quicker to commands and most importantly do not crash during class registration. Universities are like a microcosm of what students will experience in the real world, so engaging students in projects such as this will also provide experience in their own major. Opening up the possibility for students to improve upon the technology that is already in use will provide a springboard for students to engage in real programs for vital career experience. The students of Yale have taken the initiative to ameliorate the technology of the university but Yale’s decision to penalize students is rather extreme. Yale University should take this as a friendly critique of their own site and work with students by asking for constructive feedback and providing a chance for students to work on the site as well. Universities should be more open to the concept that students have an upper hand in making accommodations to ■H their own scholastic needs. 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.

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OPINIONS

TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014

HIGHLANDER

Students should accumulate life skills through experience, not classes

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Forcing students to learn a host of similar general education classes in college doesn’t make well-rounded citizens, but rather, a homogeneous class of graduates with no unique education background. SANUJA DAS Contributing Writer

Experience is an aspect of life that is different for every single person. It is highly unlikely that you can find two of the same people characteristically, physically or even skillfully. The reason every college student goes through years of specialized undergraduate education is to focus on and excel in a specific field of the world. However, as cited by Psychology Today, a recent concern is the lack of life skills being taught to Americans of our generation through their college education. But life skills should be left up to students’ experience, rather than their formal education. Life skills are defined as the ability to manage with stresses and challenges of daily life. Every decision we make, whether it is a physical action or a mental note, is part of a larger experience. Life skills also include the emotions that we develop in reaction to certain actions. These feelings, and life skills in general, simply can’t be

learned in a classroom setting. Many professionals argue that it is necessary for life skills to be recognized within schools. Learning to live in tight spaces and with roommates in possible bad conditions, social networking, financial budgeting and so forth can be utilized in the future and may come in handy if similar situations ever arise again. In a recent article in the Huffington Post, it is argued that we should be taught budgeting, computer coding, emergency medical training and sustainable living, among other things — practical life skills that can be utilized on a daily basis. However, it is not possible for us as individuals, who coexist with billions of other people, to differentiate between each other or even learn from one another if we all have the same background material. The concept of experience would be completely obliterated. In a Stanford report in 2009, researchers from the university claimed that people who are expected to absorb distinctly different information on a daily basis cannot

... life skills should be left up to students’ experience rather than their formal education.

pay attention. Students in college are already expected to learn from a range of three to five different courses in a limited amount of time and then move on to the next quarter or semester. So adding on extra courses to learn things that are taught through experience and situations one encounters seems like a waste of time, money and brain power. College students shouldn’t be required to memorize “life skills” along with their main courses. Quality always triumphs quantity. Most people want others they can rely on for well supported advice or opinion, not individuals who know merely the same information and attempt to create simplistic solutions. The way we develop life skills is different from other individuals, allowing us to have something that keeps us unique. I can see why a general knowledge course may be helpful. But trying to teach students everything doesn’t seem like the best solution nor does it sound like a smart one. It’s simple, really: Leave “life skills” up to experience and college for our specialized education; the more undivided attention, focus

and brainpower that goes into one area of study results in more advancement and progress. Today, in 2014, if there is an issue that needs to be resolved, the simple solution is to Google quick tutorials and answers or buy a “How To” book from your nearest bookstore. That’s what the Internet and bookstores are used for: to make your life easier and provide easy, accessible information fast. What you could learn in a 10week session at your college can be condensed into one day of reading, viewing videos, or even consulting a friend who knows more about it than you. Similarly, the theory that practice makes perfect is true. So tell me: What is the point of learning a general concept in college if you never utilize it in your four years at college? And then five years down the road if you can’t even recall which computer code to use to debug your electronic device, was it worth taking an entire class for it? The goal of a college student is to be the wisest at what he or she specializes in — not an expert on the tips and tricks of daily situations. ■H

The way we develop life skills is different from other individuals allowing us to have something that keeps us unique.

Courtesy of Flickr

Aside from major-specific classes, students are required to take general classes that often divert their focus from the subjects that matter for their future career paths.

The opinions expressed in the Opinions section belong solely to their authors and do not represent the Highlander Editorial Board or the University of California, Riverside.


HIGHLANDER

. FEATURES .

TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014

9

UCR AROUND THE GLOBE

FLORENCE, ITALY

NAME: Linda On YEAR: Sophomore MAJOR: Pre-Business/Business Administration COUNTRY: Italy HOST INSTITUTION: UC Center Florence

C

iao, my fellow Highlanders. This time last year I remember applying to study abroad in Florence, Italy for the summer of 2013. To be completely honest, I didn’t think I was going to go through with it because I was in my first year of college and still very confused about what I wanted. Wanderlust and adventure definitely run through my veins, so I just thought, “When am I ever going to be ready for anything?” A number of meetings, countless amounts of paperwork and three connecting flights later, I found myself flying over the hills of Tuscany. To say that I was scared and nervous would be an understatement. I was going to spend the next 10 weeks of my life living in a different country, learning another language and trying my hardest to make one friend. The first couple of days definitely were not postcard perfect, and not to mention I lost my luggage for three days, so that definitely added onto the stress of living in a foreign country. In retrospect, my time abroad had its ups and downs but I absolutely wouldn’t change anything about it. I loved waking up every morning with a purpose of doing something new. I loved wandering the cobblestone streets of Florence and indulging in the most amazing meals Italy had to offer. And surprisingly, I loved attending class. I took two Italian courses and a cinema class and it was so personal and interactive. I definitely bonded with both of my professors and actually learned a lot. Fair warning my friends, the “study” in study abroad is not just an ambiguous word — you actually are expected to study! My friends and I always joked that “we didn’t come to Italy to get As,” which is what brought me to Paris,

Amsterdam and London. Paris was a gorgeous escape filled with escargot, baguettes, sightseeing and crepes. Amsterdam was definitely the craziest and haziest weekend of my life, which involves almost missing a flight and a final! London was industrial and reminded me so much of home. We had no time for sleep because we attended EDC London, visited Big Ben, rode the London Eye and even found time to have real English tea. Yet with all of this country-hopping, I still spent a lot of time in Florence. My favorite memory in Florence would have to be the Fourth of July. Everybody has a moment where they kind of sit back and realize that they made a damn good choice to come abroad, and the Fourth was my moment. My friends cooked home-made burgers and made some all-American food to cure our homesickness that day. We had an American flag, took a bunch of pictures and sported our red, white and blues. We spent the night out on the town and met so many other Americans and we all just commemorated our patriotism. That night was so great because it made me realize how small the world was and made me feel so grateful to be in Florence, and even more grateful of where I’m from. Studying abroad is more than just seeing the sights. I remember the first time I ordered a cappuccino in full Italian and the barista responded in full Italian. It’s for moments like those: moments of personal growth, of realizing who you are or the potential to be who you want to be. Studying abroad has allowed me to open my eyes to the world, to become accepting of other people’s cultures, languages and backgrounds. It was the best experience of my life and I hope you fellow Highlanders ■H take advantage of the opportunity!


10

FEATURES

TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014

A Day of

Culture for theYear of the Horse

By Maxine Arellano, Staff Writer // Photos by Vincent Ta, Laura Nguyen and Stephanie Sanchez

B

One week before the Lunar New Year, downtown Riverside hosted its own celebration to commemorate the Year of the Horse. With performances from all walks of Asian and Pacific Islander life, the festival was filled with exciting sights to see.

y the third week of winter quarter, the holiday honeymoon officially ends. Saturday mornings consist of sleeping past brunch hours, studying for midterms and calculating what grade you can get on a final to pass the class. But on the last Saturday of January, many had different plans to spend the day. UCR students, Riverside residents and even guests all the way from San Diego gathered in downtown Riverside to celebrate 2014’s Asian Pacific Lunar Festival. Visitors were immersed in various Asian cultures from the morning parade to the evening fireworks, enjoying a multitude of sights, sounds and flavors throughout the day. Red lanterns strung across Mission Inn Avenue lured visitors away from the farmer’s market and into Asia. The Parade of Nations kicked off the morning. A dancing lion — from the UCR Vietnamese Student Association’s Tiger Crane Lion Dance team — led parade participants down Main Street and Mission Inn Avenue. Traditional music faded into the crowd’s cheers as they watched the dancers mimic the lion’s dance. Sumo wrestlers and cosplayers skipped down the street and waved sparklers to the children, who waved back from their parents’ shoulders. Once the tail end of the parade rounded the corner, more guests trickled in further down the road to the main stage to view the opening ceremonies. I wandered around and ended up at a vendor selling long-mittened panda hats as well as bamboo trees. A little girl ran to the bin holding wooden bows and arrows and flipped her pigtails over her shoulder as she dug into it for her weapon of choice. She jumped to her feet, posing like Katniss from “The Hunger Games,” hunting for her prey. “Mommy, bow and arrows!” Her mother rolled her eyes and turned her attention to the jewelry. “You have enough bows and arrows.” “Never enough!” the little girl responded, releasing the invisible arrow into the sky. My focus was shifted by the familiar beat of the drums. Any UCR student could recognize a taiko drum from miles away. I meandered to the main stage to see the Senryu Taiko drummers opening the ceremonies with their high intensity and powerful hits. Performances bounced between the main stage, the library, metro station and the intersection of Mission Inn Avenue and Lime Street. The first few performances embodied all cultures of Asian heritage, appealing to every guest: traditional Chinese dances for the lovers and kung fu for the fighters. Many enjoyed the Bollywood dancers who took the stage, and many sought out all the other entertainment offerings. While the parents took a mini-tour through the free health expo and explored their way into a healthier 2014, the kids bombarded the children’s village, where they designed their own fans and colored in their own Chinese New Year calendars. The parents practiced those tai chi breathing techniques as the kids dragged them to the facepainting booth across the way. They waited in line to get dolphins jumping off their cheeks or blood oozing from their eyes. Many of them were inspired by the cosplay participants that rolled in to show off their own style. Cosplay first started in the 1930s at sci-fi conventions, where fans dressed up as their favorite characters. The trend traveled to Japan, where they

coined it as “Costume play.” It started with Japanese cartoons and has thrived into a worldwide trend. Fast forwarding over 80 years, the Lunar Festival held warriors, princesses and Pokemon trainers. Jennifer — or better yet, Megurine Luka from “Project Diva” — and Kris Zoleta, photographer and director of Comicon, emceed the event and introduced models such as Riku from “Kingdom Hearts” and Goddess Hylia from “The Legend of Zelda.” I was quickly informed by eight-year-old cosplayer Kat Black from San Diego that cosplay has no limitations. As she showed me her homemade kimono, I could not help but gaze into her electric blue contacts. She explained it can be from any fandom, from “Doctor Who” to anime. Some ladies rocked the lolita dresses, and others laced up their boots to kick ass and take names. Kayla Anderson, a three-year cosplay participant from LA, wore the blood of her enemies as lipstick while dressed up as a character from “Sailor Moon.” “In Japan there is a social stigma,” Kris Zoleta said, “but here in America, with the rise of ‘nerdom’ it’s almost cool to be a nerd … it’s a sea of perception. We are like a family.” He started in the festival when the director, May Lynn Davis, admired his photography and wanted his involvement. Three years later, Zoleta is a member of Riverside’s Asian Pacific Cultural Association (APCA) and created a free event for everyone to be a part of, not only for cosplay but the culture itself. The scent of funnel cakes hovered around me as Sandra Blanco, third year, enjoyed a Chinese pancake. Others stuck with the pina colada and kettle corn. Tanya Hill, fourth year, revealed her fortune from a fortune cookie as she explained she didn’t know what the lunar festival had in store. “It’s cool, we saw the hula dancers … it’ll be fun to come next year.” Just like third-year Sahard Goleston, who tabled with UCR’s Psychology Club, didn’t know what to expect, but enjoyed it from the start with the parade. “I’ve never seen that kind of stuff besides in movies, so that was cool.” As the sun dimmed down, the flames lit up. Tupua Productions performed the Samoan fire knife dance. The banging drums and flying flames did a number on my anxiety, but the crowd’s cheers kept it going. Fire marshals watched over the flame batons, but seemed at ease when performers caught them midair without even batting an eye. Before the festival came to a close, founder and president of the Asian Pacific Cultural Association May Lynn Davis said, “I want people to learn about the Asian culture and Asian heritage. There’s diversity all over, and this is an inclusive event. We’re all one unit, and we’re all one community.” It is said for the Lunar New Year, fireworks are shot off to scare away evil spirits and start the new year with happiness, love and prosperity. With that said, the entire festival counted down from 10, and once they ended at one, the night sky lit up in a glorious display. Car alarms rang behind the boom and pow of every spark. Streams of gold flew up and lit every face staring up in awe. Red sparks rained down on the crowd. Chinese lantern fireworks shot up into the sky to blow up the past and light up the future. As the fourth annual Lunar Festival came to close, APCA Vice President Taffi Brandriff said this was the biggest and most successful festival yet. She hopes to keep it growing and see “the smiling faces ■H engage in the culture.”

HIGHLANDER HIGHLANDER

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12

FEATURES

TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014

HIGHLANDER

Restaurant Review:

y k c i V

e g r r s u B ’s

RATING: ★★☆☆☆

By Colette King, Senior Staff Writer Photos by Cameron Yong A slight hesitation followed by, “You’ll like any burger you get,” is what the no-name tag cashier said when I asked him what his recommended choice was at Vicky’s Burgers. There is much to choose from on Vicky’s menu, from cold-cut sandwiches to burgers, even Mexican food — they have it all. But there’s a difference between having everything and having quality. The no-name tag cashier finally gave me a suggestion and said that the chili cheese fries were the most popular item on the menu. So I ordered the chili cheese fries along with an avocado burger with cheese and

a bacon cheeseburger. The total came out to be around $15, not including drinks. I waited for my food in one of the various booths that resembled that of any other diner. I applauded their efforts to make the restaurant aesthetically pleasing. It was set up with bar stools, booths, tables, with a slight 50s retro appeal. But ultimately, it looked like any other fast food joint. The food arrived promptly on a red tray and my appetite intensified. I was famished and I almost forgot why — probably because of the obscure location in Jurupa Valley and the tedious trip it took to arrive there. The very

Vicky’s Burgers contains a plethora of entrees and appetizers ranging from Mexican food to classic double cheeseburgers. first item that enticed me was the order of chili cheese fries. I took my plastic fork and jabbed one of the chili fries and devoured it out of hunger. To my dismay, I realized that I should have taken a better look at the plate of chili fries before opening my mouth. The plate of chili fries looked as through a can of chili, which contained a liquified mass of beans, was poured over the fries and left there to soak in the unsavory juices. I thought the fries lacked cheese but if examined closely, one could possibly detect a few shredded strands of cheddar. I slowly chewed my single fry and realized that it tasted as though it

had been frozen and thawed out and left at room temperature. It seemed like Vicky’s had ignored the typical elements that should be comprised in chilli cheese fries. The fries were not recently fried, the beans in the chilli were nonexistent, and moreover the chilli “cheese” fries has an insufficient amount of cheese. The avocado burger had some potential in that avocados make almost everything delicious — at least they were able to cut open a fresh avocado and place it between two buns. The avocado burger had the sesame buns, lettuce, tomato and cheese — everything to make a burger, but nothing to

make it memorable. The lettuce and tomato weren’t on the verge of spoiled but a step below fresh and the bun wasn’t moldy. So the quality of the burger made the minimum requirements to be edible. I was glad I paid an extra $0.55 to add cheese or it would have been almost flavorless. The next burger I tried was the bacon cheeseburger. The reason this burger was tolerable and moderately more appetizing was due to the fact that one just cannot go wrong with bacon and cheese. The slightly salty flavor that came from the crisp bacon and melted cheese encouraged me to finish the entire burger. However, the burger was made up of the same beef patty and vegetable fillers as the previous burger. Although the bacon flavor allowed this burger to be the better choice of the two, there are better choices at the local Farmer Boys on Iowa Avenue. The entire experience was not original and too out of the way to be considered a place to just stop by for a bite to receive an unremarkable piece of sustenance. The novelty of the name “Vicky’s Burgers” is also lost on the street of two other burger joints with a female name. Maybe to add some excitement the burger joints should collaborate together and create a burger joint row. But in the meantime, for students, I suggest going to Baker’s — it’s two blocks away, much cheaper, and just as good as Vicky’s. In any case, I appreciated the fact that the no-name tag employee said “like” and not “love” when predicting my admiration for Vicky’s Burgers because deep down, he knew that their burgers would only equate to ■H adequacy.


HIGHLANDER

@highlanderradar

TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014

R adar ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Events this week Tuesday | 1/28

Wednesday | 1/29

Friday | 1/31

Saturday | 2/1

Open Mic @ Back to the Grind, 7:30 p.m. Islands @ the Barn, 7:30 p.m. “Man of La Mancha” @ Fox Theater, 8 p.m.

“The Act of Killing” screening @ Culver Center, 7 p.m.

Singer and guitarist Cody Swann grooves to the beat while performing “Skin Collision Past.”

C a m e r o n Y o n g /HIGHLANDER


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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014

HIGHLANDER

MUSIC REVIEWS MIND OVER MATTER // YOUNG THE GIANT

RATING: ★★★★☆ BY: NATHAN SWIFT, STAFF WRITER

I

n an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Young the Giant’s lead vocalist Sameer Gadhia sums up the difficulty of finding their voice in their second album “Mind Over Matter.” The different mixes of music in the album — ranging from their standard alternative rock sound to 80s-tinged synth pop — sometimes don’t match, but otherwise provide a definitive example of the band’s personal growth. Given the four-year gap between their debut album and “Mind Over Matter,” it doesn’t come as a surprise that the major theme to Young the Giant’s latest output deals with overcoming struggles. The album’s title track, with a soaring string accompaniment playing an upbeat key, boasts the lyrics, “And if the world don’t break / I’ll be shakin’ it / ‘cause I’m a young man after all / and if the seasons change / will you stand by me? / ‘cause I’m a young man built to fall.” The listener is ensnared in the speaker’s vulnerability, but fortunately the song’s drums push the tempo, which keep the listener on the optimistic side of Gadhia’s vocals. “Firelight” is the most versatile track on the album, musically speaking. The subtle, almost subliminal guitar riff, descending between notes and everchanging keys, is incredibly eerie. It’s the type of song one could play on an acoustic guitar, sitting beside a campfire, gazing at the sky on a starry night. Godhi reinforces that ambiance as he softly

Courtesy of Fueled by Ramen

sings, “I don’t believe this is the end of the sea staring at me? / I could be free in a dream.” Musically speaking, this song could be a great hit for “Mind Over Matter.” It’s disappointing knowing that for as much as this song strengthens the album’s maturity, it’s not even one of the two lead singles.

It’s the type of song one could play on an acoustic guitar, sitting beside a campfire, gazing at the sky on a starry night. “Eros” is one of the more pop-ish songs on the album and doesn’t match Young the Giant’s alternative rock sound, but thankfully doesn’t hurt the album. The song’s lyrics still stick to the band’s intention of showing off their creative struggles, with one line speaking directly to the listener in “Don’t call it quits / Cold hard stare / I won’t go if / You’re standing there.” Unfortunately, the actual music that makes up the song definitely strays from what fans of Young the Giant are used

to. The synth and the guitar riff sounds like they were ripped from an 80s hit by The Police, which doesn’t match with the rest of the album. However, “Eros” only ends up being a minor smudge on the band’s attempt at diversifying their alternative rock sound.

After a four-year hiatus from the recording studio, Young the Giant has returned with a fresh album, hoping to display the growth and maturity that’s needed for them to escape the bottomless pit of being a one-hit wonder. And aside H from a few ticks, they have succeeded.■

RAVE TAPES // MOGWAI

RATING: ★★★☆☆ BY: JOSHUA RAMOS, STAFF WRITER

W

ith a career that has expanded beyond the realm of albums, Mogwai is no stranger to the instrumental rock scene. The 17-year post-rock veterans from Glasgow, Scotland have done it all, whether it’s putting out numerous albums or creating soundtracks for films and television. All the while, the band has stayed true to the compelling ballad sounds that have become the band’s signature. On their new album, “Rave Tapes,” nothing much has changed, as the band chooses to stick to their familiar guns, utilizing the guitar and piano sounds and progressions that are similar to many of their past works. With a title like “Rave Tapes,” it’s easy to assume the album’s tracks will be filled with electronic sounds. Surprisingly, this is not the case. Only three songs on the album have a strong electronic presence; one of them, “Simon Ferocious,” is filled to the brim with deep saws and light-hearted synths, on top of Martin Bulloch’s mesmerizing drumming. Out of the entire album, “Remurdered” is the only song which best blends together sounds from the band’s previous albums and soundtracks with electronic elements. Mogwai ventures into unique sounds that differentiate the track from the music and tones of their past. Layers of eerie synths and lo-fi keys come

together beautifully with powerful guitar riffs throughout the whole song, over electric kick drums and smashing snares. “Remurdered” is an embodiment of Mogwai’s growth — but this is the only song in which their growth is apparent. Throughout the rest of the album, Mogwai do what they do best, sticking to the progressive, hard-hitting, eerie rock sounds that have defined them over the past 17 years. Many of the songs on “Rave Tapes” are similar to 2011’s “Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will” — especially “Hexon Bogon” and “Master Card,” as both contain escalating guitar riffs. Each riff grows in intensity, and pounding drum kits resemble songs like “San Pedro.” Taking notes from the soundtracks Mogwai has done in the past, the song “Blues Hour” slows down the pace of the album. The beautiful track is backed by soft drumming and haunting vocals. Once the song reaches its bridge, subtle guitar melodies and gentle keys turn into powerful riffs and intense saws, creating a harmonious and eerie track that could belong on Mogwai’s latest soundtrack, 2013’s “Les Revenants.” These songs capture Mogwai’s signature sound, even though it’s a sound that has been repeated many times before. “Rave Tapes” is nothing new from the Glasgow band, nor is it a standout album from their discography. Instead, it blends

Courtesy of Sub Pop

in perfectly with past albums “Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will” and “Mr. Beast.” Although Mogwai executes each song beautifully and with precision, the band’s systematic approach

to “Rave Tapes” does nothing to make the album stand out from the rest of its extensive catalog, with the exception of “Remurdered.” The album is definitely worth a listen, especially for those who

have never listened to Mogwai. For those who know of the band, be warned: If you’ve listened to any of Mogwai’s past albums or soundtracks, then “Rave Tapes” is H something you’ve already heard.■


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

HIGHLANDER

TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014

15

WARPAINT // WARPAINT

RATING: ★★★★☆ BY: CHRISTAL MIMS, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

W

omen have successfully dominated the music industry recently, from big pop stars like Beyonce and Katy Perry to promising newcomers like Lorde. And now, after a four-year hiatus, there’s indie-rock band Warpaint, who prove with their new self-titled album that they deserve to be added to the list of women planning to rule the music world. The Calibred quartet formed in 2004, but have taken things slowly as far as their music is concerned, with only one full-length album, “The Fool” (2010). However, they have proven that their projects are well worth the wait. If you’ve been craving more of Warpaint since their first album, you will not be disappointed with their latest piece of work. Warpaint’s unique sound is completely vibeworthy, brimming with chill guitar melodies, a heavy drum focus at the center and a lazy bass that surrounds their entire sound. Their music

is topped off with Emily Kokal’s haunting vocals, echoing in and out of prominence throughout each song. Warpaint proves how musically knowledgeable they are right off the bat. The first two songs “Keep It Healthy” and “Love Is To Die” consist of spontaneous key changes that are bound to create immediate shifts in the listener’s mood. Warpaint also experiments with hiphop drum beats, which create many highlights on the album, including “Hi” and “Biggy.” Most of Warpaint’s songs seem to trap you in a hypnotic trance, immediately hooking the listener with slow and steady intros only to entirely switch up the groove later in the song. Even dance-worthy tracks like “Disco// Very” contain their signature loopybass style and distant, whisper-like vocals that evoke an almost sedative state in any listener. Lyrically, Warpaint keeps it simple, leaving all the intricacy in their instrumentals. “Go In” is

arguably the best example of this as Kokal sings, “As it quickly went / Something could have been / I’ll go in” — the only lyrics in the fourminute track. Although repetitive at times, Warpaint creates mysterious lyrics that are open to interpretation, specifically in “Drive”: “I want to stay / Inside this vision / I see them at the table / We gotta go / Go off the wall.” This redundancy carries into the vocals, which occasionally become a wailing drone, partly because of the aforementioned trance-like nature of every song. Warpaint’s calming approach to music is suitable to the overall laidback but interesting theme of the album, but is slightly aggravating if you’re looking for each song to be noticeably distinct from one another. However, Warpaint does just enough to keep things interesting, experimenting with abstract sounds and abnormal rhythms in songs like “CC.” It doesn’t take much listening to know that these ladies kick butt. You can almost put them

Courtesy of Rough Trade

in the category with fellow indie rockers HAIM, although maybe a slightly mellower version. Fans of HAIM or even The XX should

find music gold in this newest effort from Warpaint, which proves to be a worthy addition to any alternativelistener’s playlist. ■H


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TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

HIGHLANDER

of Montreal's

Indie Encore at the Barn By Jake Rich, Senior Staff Writer and Yasmin Kleinbart, Staff Writer // Photos by Cameron Yong

T

hey’re in there being magical and shit,” said lead singer Zahira Gutierrez of Wild Moccasins, referring to legendary indie band of Montreal waiting in the wings during their performance. It was indeed a magical night at the Barn as a sold-out crowd welcomed Wild Moccasins and of Montreal with raucous dancing and cheering throughout the night. The two bands combined to put on a spectacle that electrified the Barn as the crowd — and the bands — danced the night away. To sum up the night simply, it was just plain fun. Everything about it was crazy, fast, sweaty and crowded; from the crazy, hipster crowd to the actual acts, there was never a dull moment. The audience, packed wall-to-wall, was full of 20-somethings sporting flannel, handlebar mustaches and crazy-colored hair. They relaxed until the opening act, Wild Moccasins, walked on stage. Wearing a kimono and rainbow eye shadow, Gutierrez displayed her infinite energy to the crowd, swinging her hair around wildly while singing passionately to the crowd. The indie pop fivepiece mixed Gutierrez’s bright vocals with guitarist Cody Swann’s hypnotizing guitar riffs to concoct a lively take on power pop. As the lights went up and of Montreal took the stage, a noticeable part of the band was missing. Lead singer and primary songwriter Kevin Barnes was nowhere to be found as the band played a couple of random chords, trying to confuse the crowd.

Moments later, Barnes emerged from the side of the Barn to boisterous cheers from the crowd, mumbling into the microphone until suddenly exclaiming, “The last 10 days have been a motherfucker / I didn’t know if I’d survive,” from opening song “Triumph of Disintegration.” From there, it turned into a giant dance party. Whether the crowd was just awkwardly moving in place or full-on body thrashing, everyone moved in one way or another. Despite their fast and happy tunes, of Montreal still managed to mix in a few ballads as well. “Raindrop in My Skull” illustrated that while they have fun, they can also make sadder, calmer sounds. The vocalist switched at one point from Barnes to Rebecca Cash, the only female in the band. Her voice provided a light harmony and complimented the soft sounds of the accompanying guitar and drums. It was a refreshing break from the constant movement and gave the audience a chance to listen to their surprisingly deep lyrics. Though billed under the label of “indie rock,” it is difficult to pinpoint an exact genre for of Montreal. The show ranged from psychedelic pop to shades of Americana rock and more. Some of their songs, including the aforementioned “Triumph of Disintegration” and “We Will Commit Wolf Murder,” managed to mix glam rock and funk to create a unique and crazy sound that even had Barnes taking his shirt off (much to the pleasure of

the audience). An extremely surprising and rewarding part of the show was that even after their act, the delayed stage lights signaled that they were not done just yet. With the crowd repeatedly screaming, “Encore! Encore!” Barnes ran back onto stage with his band, ready to perform again. In the past, encores at the Barn have been uncommon, but perhaps because of the band’s stature in the indie world, they obliged and gave the crowd one more song. Seeing them come back out and perform one of their most popular songs, the poppy and fun “Gronlandic Edit,” for one last dance session is a testament to their popularity among Riverside’s indie-loving crowd. The fact that the Barn was able to pull in a name as large as Of Montreal is a large step forward for the venue. It’s hard to remember the last time an artist from the indie rock genre produced a sold-out Barn show (the Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group aside). In addition, the Barn’s highly attended hip-hop shows last year prove that the venue is capable of attracting a wide variety of musical fans with great results — and now, doing so consistently with both genres is key. Of Montreal certainly showed how much spirit indie rock can bring to the Barn. Here’s hoping that future Barn headliners Hellfyre Club and Black Uhuru can show their mettle for their respective genres at upcoming shows, and that this is the beginning of a bright future for indie rock at the Barn. ■H

Indie rock groups Wild Moccasins and of Montreal attracted a massive audience last week at the Barn.


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

HIGHLANDER

TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014

17

MOVIE REVIEWS COMING OUT SOON:

LABOR DAY

THAT AWKWARD MOMENT

ROBOCOP

ABOUT LAST NIGHT

VAMPIRE ACADEMY

I, FRANKENSTEIN

RATING: ★★★☆☆

I

BY: REBECCA PAREDES, SENIOR STAFF WRITER

t’s honestly difficult to have high expectations when putting down money to see a movie called “I, Frankenstein.” Connotations of 2004’s futuristic flop-fest “I, Robot” aside, the title suggests nothing more than another movie that mistakes the name of Dr. Frankenstein’s monster, calling him Frankenstein even though the good doctor never gave his creation a proper title. So, full of the knowledge that I’d be able to write a haughty, “wow this movie sucked, guys” review, I planted myself into my theater seat, opened my notepad and prepared to be disappointed. I wasn’t. I honestly kind of loved it. “I, Frankenstein” follows Dr. Frankenstein’s monster (Aaron Eckhart, “The Dark Knight”) as he learns about the ongoing battle between demons and angelic gargoyles. He meets the queen of the gargoyles and dramatic looks, Leonore (Miranda Otto), who names him Adam and offers him a spot on her team using his strength to fight the forces of evil. As a lone, muttering warrior, Adam bails and spends the next 200 years hunting demons solo, until he lumbers into contemporary London and finds himself playing a huge role in their epic war. This isn’t a groundbreaking film, nor is it devoid of flaws. Instead, it is good, fun eye candy, and a faithful interpretation of the original graphic novel of the same name, created by Kevin Grevioux. In the graphic novel and original screenplay, Grevioux explores the role of God — a concept tackled head-on by the film’s ongoing question of whether Adam has a soul. Created by man and thrown into the world without much say in the matter, Adam is aptly named. Given no guidance in his creation or understanding of the world, he follows a mantra of growling in the faces of angelic gargoyles and hellish demons alike: that he is his own man, not subject to the whims or orders of others. Eckhart broods well, and his contributions to the totally badass fight scenes were worth the ticket price alone; he trained with martial arts experts in the Filipino martial art of kali, which shows beautifully when he gets into a fast-paced stick fight with one of the main villain’s demonic baddies. Unfortunately, while Eckhart may be physically sound — his unnecessary shirtless scene is a testament to that chiseled fact — his emotive powers don’t quite translate on screen, which is a shame, given his standout performance

as Harvey Dent in “The Dark Knight.” Instead, Eckhart acts in favor of the idea that Adam never would have learned how to deal with emotions in the first place — which is fine, but makes his rare poignant moments fall flat. The supporting cast holds their own, as Yvonne Strahovski plays the heck out of Dr. Terra Wade in the film’s beginning, working under demon prince Naberius (Bill Nighy) to study Dr. Frankenstein’s reanimation methods. Unfortunately, the writing for her character falters toward the end, as she is forced into a love interest side-plot with Adam (it was awkward) and fades into the background as the film progresses. Nighy, on the other hand, takes his role and runs with it, savoring each line with that characteristically plummy-yetloquacious way of his. Charismatic, yes. Dark and dangerous demon prince, not so successful — but that’s okay, because watching him move through scenes is a treat alone. In Dr. Wade’s lab, as he’s giving orders and listening to Wade’s report, he picks up and replaces lab objects as if he knows what he’s doing — and he obviously doesn’t, and it’s charming in all of its excess. Speaking of excess, this film plays a lot with glamor. Wide, sweeping shots of the gargoyles’ Gothic cathedral home; scores of suited demons flooding the streets of a conveniently empty London in droves, not unlike “The Matrix”; epic battle sequences in which felled demons erupt into a fiery explosion before descending to hell — the film doesn’t hide its budget, and it’s glorious in all of its absurd glory. Don’t bother paying the extra few bucks for 3D; the regular, non-headachy version showcases the film’s dramatic special effects just fine. I can’t quite say why I kind of loved this film. I didn’t lovelove it, but I more-than-liked it. Maybe it was the surprisingly deft way the writers established the rules of Adam’s world. Maybe it was the sheer spectacle of the piece, showcasing both engaging fight sequences and dramatic explosions. Maybe it was the sheer illogic of some elements of the film, such as the gargoyle forces not knowing that the demon headquarters were literally a short walk away. Whatever it was, “I, Frankenstein” is a film to rent and watch with friends, arms full of popcorn and frosty adult beverages, reveling in the immersive scope of creator Grevioux’s and director Stuart Beattie’s vision. And in that way, ■H it succeeds.

... the film doesn’t hide its budget, and it’s glorious in all of its absurd glory.

Courtesy of Lakeshore Entertainment


18

TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014

SPORTS

HIGHLANDER

Women’s hoops hit dry spells in conference games The down season of the UC Riverside women’s basketball team continued this week, dropping two more Big West games. The Highlanders (4-15, 0-6) were the underdogs going into each game and managed to make the games competitive, but dry spells at inopportune times led to inevitable defeat. The club’s first game was against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. It was particularly close, with Riverside even taking the lead with 12:28 left to play, but they did not score for the next six minutes, sealing their fate, 74-61. In the first half, the Highlanders had a lead for a majority of the time, but the half ended on a mini-Santa Barbara offensive spurt to give the Gauchos a 34-32 lead. The squads traded baskets early in the second half until the Gauchos scored 13 consecutive points, extending their lead to 12, 6351. UC Riverside wasn’t able to recover as the team struggled on offense en route to their 11th straight loss. Simone DeCoud finished the game with 13 points, second on the team behind only Brittany Crain, who added 19. The Highlanders managed to shoot a higher percentage than their opponent from the field (42 percent versus 39 percent).

Riverside even made more three-pointers than the Gauchos, though UCSB shot a higher percentage from that distance. However, the difference in the game was made in the paint, where UCR’s struggles seem to be. Riverside had only six points all game, while their opponents had 34, 20 of which came in the second half. Santa Barbara had 25 more total rebounds than the Highlanders, with a massive total of 55. Twenty-one rebounds came on the offensive end, which led to 23 Gaucho second-chance points, compared to Riverside’s eight. Santa Barbara’s rebounding numbers were entirely a team effort. The person with the most rebounds on the team was Jasmine Ware with 11, and four others on their team had more than five each. On Saturday, Riverside faced the Big-West-leading Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Mustangs. The game took place in San Luis Obispo, where the Mustangs were 7-0 heading into the game. Riverside found itself behind early after an 11-0 run, and the relentless Mustangs never gave it up, leading by as much as 28 in the second half, en route to 8972 thumping. DeCoud led the team in scoring with 20 while adding two blocks on the night. Annelise Ito also scored in double figures

KEVIN DINH / HIGHLANDER Sophomore Akilah Martin (No. 2) drives to the basket past Cal State Fullerton defenders.

with 13 and six rebounds. This game was better in that Riverside’s aggressiveness led to 24 points in the paint as the team attempted 13 more free

throws than Cal Poly. However, the Mustangs had 47 points in the paint, which, when coupled with the Highlanders’ 33 percent shooting, led to a Highlander

loss. The squad returns to Riverside on Jan. 30 for their first home game in 12 days against Cal ■H State Northridge.

WRITE SHOOT DESIGN

STEVEN CAHILL Contributing Writer

Meetings on Mondays at 5:15 p.m. at HUB 101

for the Highlander


SPORTS

HIGHLANDER

TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014

19

Super Bowl XLVIII preview CODY NGUYEN Senior Staff Writer

We’re just about a week away from the biggest sporting event in the country, and the 48th edition of the Super Bowl looks to be one of the best matchups between two teams in recent memory. Both teams were picked as huge favorites to make it to the big game before the season even started, and here they are, set to duke it out this Sunday in MetLife Stadium for the right to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

Matchup to Watch: Denver Offense vs. Seattle Defense It’s the matchup we’re all looking forward to in this one. Two units that are undoubtedly the cream of the crop at their positions are set to square off. It’s hard to argue with the sentiment that the winner of this matchup will probably decide the outcome of Sunday’s game. Both sides are going to be doing everything they can to outsmart the other (we’ve heard about Peyton Manning and his “Omaha” calls ad nauseum), and it’s going to be a beautiful thing to watch. For the Broncos to win this matchup, Peyton Manning has to find a way to open up the running game against the Seahawks. With a front-seven that tends to overcommit to the pass rush, Knowshon Moreno needs to have a good day to open up the passing lanes for Manning. Forcing Peyton Manning into mistakes is a tall task for anyone to accomplish, but the Seattle D has to be up to the task. Forcing turnovers and keeping Manning under pressure will be crucial.

vs. Denver Broncos

Seattle Seahawks The NFC champions are a team built around the best defensive unit in the league — one which bested the league in almost every category this season, including least points per game (14.4), least yards per game (273.6) and most takeaways (39). Led by Pro Bowlers Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, the Seattle secondary (colloquially known by many as “The Legion of Boom”) remains the focal point of Sunday’s matchup. Led by second-year phenom Russell Wilson at quarterback, the Seahawks’ offense isn’t something to overlook. After winning the starting job over Matt Flynn in 2012, Wilson has accumulated two Pro Bowl honors, the Rookie of the Year award in 2012 to go with a 100.6 career passer rating, all in his first two seasons. With a receiving corps that consists of Percy Harvin, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin, the Seahawks love to stretch the field when defenses key in too much on

their not-so-secret weapon: Beast Mode, better known as Marshawn Lynch. The legend of Beast Mode started with a legendary touchdown run against the New Orleans Saints in the 2010 playoffs, in which Lynch broke eight tackles on his way to a game-sealing touchdown that clinched a massive upset for his Seahawks. Look for Seattle to heavily rely on Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch to keep the ball out of Manning’s hands and control the pace of the game against Denver. Seattle is a team fueled by its young blood. With an average age of 25.31, the Seahawks boast the fourth-youngest roster in the league. It’s a scary thought to realize that this team has yet to realize its full potential. Primed to make their second Super Bowl appearance, Pete Carroll’s Seattle Seahawks are a team fueled by an unbridled intensity to bring the franchise’s first Lombardi home to the infamous “12th Man” (Seattle’s raucous fanbase).

You can’t mention the Denver Broncos without attaching them to one of the greatest players in the history of the game. At 37 years young, Peyton Manning accomplished what is undoubtedly the greatest statistical season by any quarterback in the history of the NFL. On the way to breaking Tom Brady’s single-season touchdown record with 55 in the regular season, Drew Brees’ single-season passing yardage record with 5,477, and tying six other quarterbacks by throwing for seven touchdowns in a single game, Peyton Manning led his Denver Broncos to a 13-3 record in the regular season. Being in the twilight of his career, who knows if we’ll ever see Manning in the big game again? With only one Super Bowl title to his name, Peyton Manning is searching for one more ring to silence the critics and further cement his legacy as an NFL great, but time is of the essence. Don’t be so quick to give all the glory to Manning, though. With Julius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker and Demaryius Thomas at his command, the Denver Broncos

also boast the best receiving corps in the NFL. One way or another, the Denver offense has found a way to dismantle an opposing defense. With all the attention that Manning and his receivers have garnered, Knowshon Moreno, once regarded as a first-round bust, has led a revitalized Broncos ground attack, rushing for 1,038 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. If there’s any offense that can effectively challenge Seattle’s defense, it’s this one. Led by the wily veteran cornerback Champ Bailey who is making his first Super Bowl appearance, the Denver defense has been missing the presence of their star pass-rusher Von Miller, whose season was cut short due to a torn ACL suffered back in December. With wins over the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots in the playoffs, the Denver Broncos are headed for their first Super Bowl appearance since 1998. With a victory on Sunday, the Broncos will take home their third Lombardi Trophy.

Prediction When the matchup was set, every sportsbook across the nation opened with the Denver Broncos as the slight favorite to win it all. While the Broncos boast one of the best offenses the NFL has ever seen, the Seahawks will give them everything they can handle. I’ll take Seattle’s defense

over Denver’s offense in a game where temperatures look to dip into the 20s (Peyton Manning is 2-8 in games that feature temperatures below 30 degrees). The Seahawks’ offense, with its potent vertical passing game and power running game also gets the nod over the Broncos’ ■H defense.

Seahawks 24 - Broncos 20 MVP: Russell Wilson

Men’s and women’s tennis double faults in two losses DARREN BUENO Senior Staff Writer

It was another tough week at the office for UCR’s tennis programs. The women’s team only secured one match win in a 6-1 loss to Air Force. The men’s club, however, fared slightly better as they came up one match shy from a victory, losing a 4-3 nail-biter to Northern Arizona. Freshman Jasmine Almaguer was the bright spot in the Highlanders’ home season opener against the visiting Air Force Academy. The John W. North High School product won her match in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2, and was the only UCR

player to score a win on the day. The women’s team next faces Nevada on Jan. 31. On the men’s side, the duo of Jack Felich and Julian Ruffin got UCR started in winning fashion as they secured a win, 6-4, followed by another victory by the Highlanders’ Marcus Vizcarra and Calvin Ngo, 6-0. The two doubles wins gave Riverside the first point of the match. In singles, Ruffin earned a straight-sets win over Northern Arizona’s Trevor Unger while teammate Cooper Bridge followed suit with a 6-2, 5-6, 10-7 triumph over Fabio Tomasetti. The Lumberjacks, however, won in the four other

matches as UCR came up one win short, losing 4-3. The following day, the men’s tennis team faced off against Arizona. They were aced from top to bottom as the Highlanders failed to win a point en route to a 7-0 loss. The Wildcats shut out UCR from the onset as the team didn’t surrender more than three games in the second set of singles. The Riverside doubles team of Calvin Ngo and Marcus Vizcarra were downed in 20 minutes, 6-1 followed by a 6-2 doubles loss by Luis Gastao and Cooper Bridge. The men’s team is scheduled to compete against Weber State on Jan. 31 ■H in Las Vegas.

VINCENT TA / HIGHLANDER

Freshman Cooper Bridge returns a ball from the opposing player.


20

. SPORTS .

TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014

HIGHLANDER

Steven Jones’ perfect night leads UCR to 61-58 victory over Cal Poly MELISA BIVIAN Contributing Writer JAN 23, 2014

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Gauchos 68 - Highlanders 65

The Highlanders (6-13, 1-4) were one free throw away from their second conference win of the season. With five seconds left in regulation, and tied at 60-60, Taylor Johns missed a potential game-winning free throw en route to a 68-65 overtime loss to the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (12-5, 3-1). As the first half began, Riverside took control of the game early, jumping out to a 10-7 lead. But it wasn’t long until Santa Barbara caught up. With 10 minutes remaining, the Gauchos slowly took the lead. Riverside looked to cut the lead, but turnovers, a missed jumper, and fouls contributed to an 11-point deficit at the half, 33-22. Three minutes into the second period, the Gauchos took the largest lead of the night, 3922. Riverside was determined to change the game around as freshman Sam Finley sparked the team and crowd with a series of three-point plays. The Highlanders clawed their way to 50-50 behind both Finley and Taylor Johns, who also contributed by coming up with huge blocks time and time again. With five seconds remaining in the half, Johns had the opportunity to steal the win from the Gauchos as he shot his second free throw, but fell short as regulation came to an end, 6060. With another chance to win the game, overtime began in the Gauchos’ favor. Riverside would continue to struggle as they kept missing their shots and putting UC Santa Barbara on the foul line. Connecting on six of nine free throw attempts, the Gauchos

Steven Jones (No. 10) makes a big steal Thursday night against UC Santa Barbara.

would increase their lead to as many as five points, 67-62. With 12 seconds remaining and down by three, Finley attempted to score a three-pointer, but fell short as the game came to an end, 68-65. The Highlanders shot 63 percent from the field in the second half, but only made three of 21 three-pointers on the night. Patton led all scorers with 23 points, while Finley added 20 points. Alan Williams led the Gauchos with 21 points and seven rebounds. JAN 25, 2014

.............................................................................

Highlanders 61 - Mustangs 58

The Riverside crowd of over

1,000 stood and cheered for the men’s basketball team on Saturday night as they faced Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Behind a double-double from Steven Jones and strong play from Sam Finley, Riverside (713, 2-4) would come out with the victory, 61-58, earning their second conference win of the season. The Mustangs (8-11, 4-2) would slowly take the lead as the Highlanders struggled to hold on to the ball. Making threepointers and connecting on their jumpers, the Mustangs led by as many as nine points as eight minutes remained. Both teams, however, struggled to connect,

as shots were missed, blocked and balls stolen throughout the half. Riverside slowly began to recover as the lead was cut to six points, 26-20. For the period, the Mustangs shot an abysmal 34.6 percent from the field while the Highlanders proved no better, shooting 35.3 percent. Trying to turn the game around, Riverside began to gain momentum as Steven Thornton and Chris Patton would lead the Highlanders to the first tie of the night, 31-31. Behind two scores from Ridge Shipley, Cal Poly gained a seven-point advantage, 50-43, but UCR continued to chip away. With one minute remaining and one point behind,

KEVIN DINH / HIGHLANDER

the Highlanders took the lead as Taylor Johns came out with a block and secured the offensive possession for UC Riverside. With one second remaining, Sam Finley would cement the win by making both free throws, 61-58. Steven Jones led the Highlanders, tallying 11 points and 10 rebounds. Jones also didn’t miss a shot on the night, making all five of his attempts. Patton added 17 points while freshman Finley added 10 points. David Nwaba led the Mustangs with 17 points. The Highlanders now prepare to face Cal State Northridge on ■H Jan. 30.


Volume 62 Issue 15