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TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012

HIGHLANDER INTERVIEW

UC PRESIDENT MARK YUDOF ON PAGE 10

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Israeli flag defacement alarms UC Riverside community E r i c G a m b oa SENIOR STAFF WRITER

T y l e r J o e /HIGHLANDER

The defacement of the Israeli flag at UC Riverside, along with the heckling of an Israeli solder’s speech at UC Davis, has prompted swift denunciations from university leaders including UC President Mark Yudof and UC Riverside Chancellor Timothy White. An investigation is already underway to identify the individual(s) who wrote the word “terrorists” on the flag displayed by the Jewish student group Hillel. “I cannot imagine the amount of hatred a single person must have to write ‘terrorists’ on a flag. I am extremely disappointed that my friends, family and I have been targeted this past week, yet I hope that the student body as a whole can mature from this and grow far away from racism, harassment and hate crime,” stated Jacqueline Zelener, a first-year undergraduate student and active member of Hillel, in an interview with the Highlander.

“Such an action is antithetical to all we stand for at UCR. We are a campus that expects among its members a proper respect for others across national, gender, ethnic, faith and political boundaries, among others,” stated Chancellor White in a campus-wide email dated March 7. The incident stands in stark contrast to the recent efforts made to improve ethnic-religious relations, as evidenced by an interfaith comedy show co-sponsored by groups including Hillel, the Muslim Student Association and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP); the collaborations are part of a larger effort towards gaining support for the creation of a Middle Eastern Student Center. “It was wrong for a vandal or vandals on the UC Riverside campus to deface the Israeli flag…. I applaud Chancellor White for his rapid and vigorous condemnation of this cowardly act. And I join him whole-heartedly in that condemnation. The chancellor was DEFACEMENT CONT’D ON PAGE 4

Court order postpones release of UC Davis task force report Chancellor’s Town Hall Meeting K ev i n K e c ke i se n

S a n dy V a n

SENIOR STAFF WRITER

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The Alameda Superior Court has permitted a restraining order which will temporarily suspend the release of the UC Davis task force report regarding the Nov. 18 pepper-spray incident. The request came from the attorneys who represent the UC campus police union, on the grounds that the report is an infringement of police privacy laws. After continuous delay of the report, legal disputes have been raised over the degree of protection to which law officials are allowed from public scrutiny. A court hearing on March 16 will determine whether the temporary restraining order will be removed or whether a permanent injunction will be granted in its place. The purpose of the UC Davis task force in creating an outline was to promote transparency and determine the legality of the police response who peppersprayed numerous non-violent protesters who had been ordered to disperse.

E r i c G a m b oa SENIOR STAFF WRITER

C o u rt e s y

“We are obviously disappointed that public disclosure of the findings and recommendations of the task force chaired by former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso has been delayed. The work of the task force represents a crucial step forward for the UC Davis campus as it attempts to move beyond the events of Friday, Nov. 18,” stated UC General Counsel Charles Robinson in a press release. The UC General Counsel had unsuccessfully tried to counter

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the court order on March 5. John Bakhit, the attorney who represents the UC campus police union, argues that the report is in violation of the California Penal Code which enacts privacy protections for law enforcement in criminal or civil proceedings. “Our concern is not just the names, but rather any types of conclusions related to discipline or allegations of misconduct that would be released to the public; that would be a UC DAVIS REPORT CONT’D ON PAGE 5

Last week UC Riverside Chancellor Timothy White hosted his quarterly town hall meeting to address leadership transitions, issues regarding the general fund budget outlook, the learning environment on campus and the progress on UCR 2020 projections. Chancellor White started his presentation by explaining that the university is currently searching for a new vice chancellor of finance and business operations, vice chancellor of research and a university librarian. He then explained that the university has recently hired new interim deans for the Graduate School of Education, School of Business Administration and CNAS. The meeting took on a sobering tone as the Chancellor discussed the general fund budget outlook.“I don’t think I’ve stood in front of you one time in my four years here at the university to say ‘it’s stable and looks good.’ This is a continuing theme. This is a persistent challenge for higher education in general, and we’re no different than any other UC campus,” stated Chancellor White. According to White, the state budget lacks predictability, which makes planning and commitment of state money for the university difficult to maintain in both the short and long-term. The chancellor remained optimistic, however, noting that revenues in the state are slightly up and that unemployment has dropped down to 10.9 percent. Chancellor White explained that there is a plan on the table between the UC Office of the President (UCOP) and Gov. Brown for a four year commitment to a block grant that would TOWN HALL MEETING CONTINUED ON PAGE 3

THIS WEEK’S EVENTS WED 3/14

Therapy Fluffies 11:00am - 2:00pm Bell Tower

UCR Choral Society 12:10pm - 1:00pm ARTS 157

Women’s Tennis vs. Portland 2:00pm - 6:00pm Rec Center Tennis Complex

THUR 3/15

“BlaqOUT” Discussion 5:00pm - 6:00pm Costo Hall 245

SAT 3/17

Saint Patrick’s Day All Day

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Volume 60

Issue 21


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NEWS

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012

HIGHLANDER

UC Riverside research on surveillance aims to improve security Andie Lam STAFF WRITER

A new study on surveillance cameras conducted by researchers at UC Riverside may help streamline the efficiency of surveillance systems at a time when defense and monitoring has become a prominent issue in the country. Associate Professor Amit K. Roy-Chowdhury and his former graduate student, Bi Song, are co-authors of a recently published book, “Camera Networks: The Acquisition and Analysis of Videos Over Wide Areas.” “The prevailing feeling is that the more cameras you have the more secure you are. That’s wrong. The real issue is how the feeds from those cameras are being monitored,” stated the RoyChowdhury in an interview with UCR Today. Surveillance cameras are a powerful tool used by many businesses and public facilities to prevent theft and vandalism. However, a 2008 report published by The Independent found that only 5 percent of crimes in the United States are solved

using surveillance cameras. Today’s method of surveillance normally consists of security personnel tediously monitoring dozens of screens for suspicious activity. RoyChowdhury’s book addresses these constraints in modern camera technology, which stems from challenges in wide area tracking, the positioning of cameras, recognition methodologies and other camera design-related problems. Roy-Chowdhury is attempting to optimize the cameras to recognize objects that may be considered suspicious. Once a suspicious object is detected, the camera system will immediately alert the security person on duty. Even if an individual manages to escape after committing a criminal act, the smarter camera system envisioned by Roy-Chowdhury might still be able to catch these perpetrators during the post-crime investigation process. Once the camera system identifies a suspicious individual, it can zoom in on the person’s face in order to facilitate the job of facial

B ryan T u tt l e /HIGHLANDER

recognition software. Andrew Bhanu, a forthyear electrical engineering student at UC Riverside believes that the research will greatly alleviate security problems. “With years of witnessing the evolution of camera technology in phones

and other systems, it is great to hear about surveillance camera research that will do wonders for public safety,” stated Bhanu in an interview with the Highlander. Roy-Chowdhury has installed 37 cameras at the Bourns College of Engineer-

ing at UC Riverside as part of his ongoing research. He believes that his book is the first to focus on camera networks in a comprehensive manner that considers the merits of image processing, computer science, mathematH ics and statistics. ■

Sociologist Robert Nash Parker deems three-strikes law outdated

C o u rt e s y

Cristina Granados STAFF WRITER

UC Riverside Professor of Sociology Robert Nash Parker has released research findings in which he asserts the failure of California’s three-strikes law in deterring crime. The three-strikes law, which imposes stricter sentences for individuals convicted of three serious criminal acts, is labeled by Parker as a burden which results in the overcrowding of the state prison system. The study stands in opposition to the positions held by politicians

and law enforcement who assert that the three-strikes law has decreased the levels of violent crime in California. “By the most simple and basic rule of the logic of causality, three-strikes fails to pass muster: that is, the drop in violence that California’s political and law enforcement leaders claim was caused by three-strikes actually began two years before the law was passed and implemented,” stated Parker in his research paper. The co-director of the Pres-

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LA T i m e s

ley Center for Crime and Justice Studies has published numerous studies that shed light on the role of alcohol access on violent crime rates and gang activity. In the present study, Parker found that alcohol consumption increased a year or two before an upturn in homicide rates and where alcohol consumption has decreased so did homicide rates. “Political leaders, activists, law enforcement personnel and elected officials in California believe the state’s three-strikes law is the cause of this magnificent decline

in violence. That is not the case. Three-strikes has had nothing whatsoever to do with the drop in violent crime,” stated Parker in an interview with UCR Today. “My analysis suggests that alcohol policy designed to reduce overall consumption in California may be more effective at reducing violence than three-strikes or other criminal justice policy initiatives.” Supporters of the three-strikes law, however, insist that the law places a reasonable punishment for repeat offenders. “I like the three-strikes law only because there needs to be some limitation on violent crimes that a single individual can really commit,” stated fourth-year UC Riverside student Matthew Barrera, who also expressed his disbelief with the alcohol-crime relationship. “I don’t necessarily believe that alcohol consumption relates to crime rate because most crimes do not happen when an individual is under the influence. I think most crimes are [premeditated],” concluded Barrera. Parker addressed the fact that the three-strikes law disproportionately harms low-income individuals, especially the unemployed, who can face life sentences for non-violent crimes such as burglary. Parker hopes to see the law modified so that if focuses on individuals with a history of violent crimes. Furthermore, he argues that a risk

assessment test should be given to current inmates to determine whether they should be freed for non-violent acts. Those inmates deemed only a low threat would be released from state prison with social support to help them make a successful transition. Parker first came to California in 1991 and witnessed the events that lead to the passage of the three-strikes law. Ever since beginning his term with the Presley Center in 1996, Parker has believed that this law would have negative long-term implications for California. “I went to Sacramento and was introduced to Legislators, and I told them at the time, 1997, that my prediction was that in the future the state prison system would be paying millions and millions for health care for an aging inmate population,” said Professor Parker in an interview with the Highlander. “I wish I had published that prediction somewhere, because it came true in a monumental way.” “We could release about 40,000 prisoners directly and save billions of dollars right now,” noted Parker, but this does not necessarily mean elected officials in Sacramento will respond to such a financial incentive. “Politicians only like working with professors when the professors say something that already agrees with the political stance the politician has already decided to take,” stated H Parker. ■

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HIGHLANDER TOWN HALL MEETING FROM PAGE 1

increase the UC’s base budget by 6 percent each year. The plan would go into effect next year if approved. The chancellor expanded his discussion of Gov. Brown and state legislators by referencing the rallies that occurred at the capitol, stating, “[Sacramento] is where we are all focusing our efforts to try and make sure that we’re bringing pressure to bear, and yesterday a lot of people got a lot of attention that’s starting to have an impact and I’m very happy to learn about that.” The chancellor proceeded to provide updates on the UC system in general and UC Riverside. White noted that a $100 million cut for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, which was largely absorbed by UCOP, has returned in the 2012-2013 fiscal year’s budget. The chancellor made it clear that the UC is working hard to manage the budget shortfalls, citing $15.5 million in campus and organizational reductions and $22.2 million in tuition from overenrollment of about 2,500 unfunded students (students who pay their tuition and fees but are not funded from the state) in 2011-2012. Chancellor White then gave three separate scenarios for UC Riverside’s next three years. For the best case scenario, there would be a $36.7 million budget shortfall for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, $33.8 million for 2012-2013 and $35.5 million for 2013-2014. “Best is a word not in the eyes of our students, but in the eyes of the finance people,” stated the chancellor, who then elaborated that the best case scenario in terms of university revenue entails two separate 5 percent tuition increases. However, this scenario would not only allow for faculty merits and promotions, retirement and staff salary increases, but the UC would be able to balance their budget to a surplus of $1 million in 2011-2012, $6.5 million in 2012-2013 and $5.9 million in 2013-2014. For the medium-case scenario, tuition would raise 5 percent once next year but there would be a deficit of $4.1 million in 2013-2014. Meanwhile, there is no tuition change in the worst-case scenario and campuses would absorb $300 million in reductions if the $200 million trigger cuts are approved in November. While 2011-2012 would see a surplus of $1 million, there would be a deficit of $33.8 million in 2012-2013 and $45.6 million in 2013-2014. Chancellor White switched gears and talked about the degradation of the learning environment on campus for the past three years. “I must both mention and congratulate...the faculty and staff of the University of California, Riverside because without the really heroic efforts that people have made to do more with less, we would have had a much greater degradation of our learning environment for our students,” stated White, who explained that the issue of degradation was the “largest challenge” to UC campuses. Over the last three years, there has been a reduction of 75 staff (career, limited and contract appointments), yet the expectation of service has remained the same. According to White, this creates pressure points on staff and faculty as they are required to work harder.

The pressure put on faculty is further exacerbated when one accounts for the increase in student enrollment by almost 3,000 students since 2008; the subsequent surge in class size has resulted in popular classes such as Physics 20, Chemistry 1A and Biology 5A having gained over 250 additional students (Physics 20 has witnessed a massive increase of 478 students since 2008). Some of the highlighted potential solutions for the learning environment include a more selective admissions process, redesigning majors to have fewer credits and relying more on learning communities/peer counseling for academic credit. The final portion of Chancellor White’s presentation focused on UC Riverside’s goals for 2020. The four main goals were improvements in academic achievement, diversity, access and community engagement. The first of six components of academic achievement focused on extramural funding improvement, which relies on grants provided to researchers; UC Riverside has excelled in this enterprise, as evidenced by the award tally of

$66 million during a five month period in 2011. The promotion of interdisciplinary centers, professional schools and the optimization of research activity were the following goals. Among the notable developments were the approval of a graduate school of public policy and appointment of a task force to establish an Honors College. The chancellor also provided an update on the UC Riverside School of Medicine. University administrators will be re-applying for the school’s accreditation in April of this year and will be provided with their accreditation decision in the fall. If the school were to earn accreditation, the intended opening of the medical school would be fall of 2013. The goal of improving access and diversity were summarized by efforts to create new degree programs (master degrees in professional accountancy, bioengineering and computer engineering) and continuing to promote the needs of a diverse study body. Although no specific steps were outlined for the latter part, the presentation noted that National Science Foundation grants in support of women and

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012 federal grants for Hispanic Serving Institutions were some recent accomplishments. Lastly, the goal of community engagement was expressed by the university’s longterm goal of earning a Community Engagement Elective classification by the Carnegie Foundation. After his presentation, the chancellor opened up the floor for discussion. John Gust, a graduate student in anthropology and unit chair for the teaching assistant union on campus, brought up several points ranging from the police presence on campus during the regent’s meeting Jan. 19, pay raises for senior managers to the potential for new classes to be offered if the medical school were to not be opened. Chancellor White took this opportunity to display several photographs from the Jan. 19 protests. White said that what he feels he could have done better is to have communicated to campus in advance to anticipate a large number of police officers and that there would be areas of the university closed off. “That’s all protected speech and it’s perfectly acceptable,” White

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said in regards to a picture of a girl holding a sign which read, “Hail Satan. Hate cops. Fight back,” while making an obscene gesture. The chancellor was then immediately asked by Anthony Cristofani, a graduate student in comparative literature, why police officers acted violently and why the chancellor condones it. “There was all a peaceful part but there were also points of violence,” Chancellor White said. Chancellor White then explained that a photo of a girl shoving a sign against John D. Stobo, M.D., senior vice president for health sciences and services for the UC, is an example of “crossing the line.” The chancellor called upon Dr. Joseph Childers, dean of the graduate division, to present research and updates on graduate student mentoring programs and Jadie Lee, director of labor relations, to discuss a system-wide phased retirement program. In closing, the chancellor elaborated on the role of technology in the classroom and the benefits of Assembly Speaker Perez’s “Middle H Class Scholarship” for students. ■


DEFACEMENT FROM PAGE 1

right to assign campus police to investigate,” stated UC President Mark Yudof in an open letter to the UC community. Some believe that the defacement of the flag might have been prompted by a conference on March 1 that featured Israeli soldiers speaking about the Arab-Israeli conflict. According to reports, several audience members walked out and disrupted the event that was hosted by numerous Jewish organizations including Hillel. In an interview with the Press-Enterprise, Hillel director Adina Hemley noted that the proximity of the controversial conference and the flag’s defacement posed “a bit of a strange coincidence.” This sentiment was shared by Hillel Vice President Devora Moore who told the Highlander, “This act was most likely sparked by an event last week by Highlanders for Israel in which Israeli soldiers came to speak. I am respectful of others views, however, I am not tolerant of hate or vandalism.” Safety concerns have been reignited by the flag’s defacement as some members of the Jewish community feel that the acts might have been anti-Semitic, antiZionistic or both. “Although I still feel safe on campus and acknowledge that this is the view of few individuals on campus, it hurts me to say that other members of Hillel have complained that they do not feel safe on campus,” commented Moore. Addressing any suspicions aimed at Mus-

NEWS lim or Palestinian-related groups, SJP President Hadil Bashir and representatives from the Muslim Student Association (MSA) have joined in denouncing the flag’s defacement. Bashir also defended his organization and expressed his indignation regarding the suspicions directed toward SJP’s involvement in the flag’s defacement. “Our organization has never advocated for any member to resort to these acts against anyone at UCR....We are disgusted and offended at the fact that some members from Hillel have immaturely arrived at the conclusion that members of SJP were behind this act,” stated Bashir in a letter to the Highlander. SJP’s response, however, has garnered mixed reactions from members of the Jewish community. “Aside from these [public condemnations] meaning a lot on a personal level, they also represent something that has never happened before and is a huge step forward,” stated Daniel B. Leserman, third-year physics major, treasurer of Hillel and vice president of Highlanders for Israel. However, the director of UC Riverside’s Hillel chapter expressed a far different response by dismissing the public condemnation as insincere. “Sadly, SJP qualified their condemnation only to the defacement of the flag (the symbol of the only Jewish state in the world; there are 56 Muslim countries), while expressly denying any official involvement in last week’s disruption of Highlanders for Israel’s presentation by members of the Israeli

Defense Force,” stated Hillel Director Adina Hemley in an open letter sent to the Highlander. “SJP’s denial would have a lot more credibility if they took credit for actions we have on video [of the Israeli Soldiers Speak Out’ conference].” Students such as Leserman have expressed optimism due to the combination of the multigroup endeavors and the support that has been shown by SJP and MSA. “This should not be a step back from working together, but it should be a step forward. In regards to the hope for a Middle Eastern Student Center on campus, this shows need for further discussion on how issues like this will be handled, but it by no means makes me lose hope or feel that it’s an impossibility,” said Moore. Zelener also expressed similar thoughts, stating, “I hope that all of the groups supporting the Middle Eastern Student Center see this hate crime as another reminder as to why peaceful dialogue is so important. Whereas the “Israeli Soldiers Speak Out” conference at UC Riverside prompted minor disruptions from attendees, the same event at UC Davis was met with a far more antagonistic response from students. One student heckler was escorted out of the room after yelling, “My only purpose today is that this event is shut down. You have turned Palestine into a land of prostitutes, rapists and child molesters.” Yudof criticized the hecklers in his open letter, stating, “I condemn the actions of those who would disrupt this event. Attempting to shout down

HIGHLANDER speakers is not protected speech. It is an action meant to deny others their right to free speech.” The week following the Feb. 27 incident, two faculty members from UCLA and UC Santa Cruz sent an open letter to UC President Mark Yudof to criticize the UC’s failure to “protect Jewish students from a hostile environment and to ensure their rights to free speech.” The faculty letter also denounced a failed resolution brought forward to the UC San Diego Associated Students Council that sought to request a UC boycott of American firms doing business with Israeli Defense Forces. The incidents have prompted active administrative responses, most notably from the student regents. “We’ve got so much work to do on campus climate,” stated UC Student Regentdesignate Jonathan Stein, commenting on news of the flag defacement via Facebook. Stein is an outspoken advocate of improving campus climate and has led efforts to create a special student-only committee for this purpose. “Students from UC Irvine can share their successes with students from UC Davis. Students from UC Merced can share their frustrations with students from UC Santa Cruz. The idea is to share what worked, what didn’t, what challenges remain and what strategies to pursue,” stated a welcome letter to the UNITE committee applications, which are due March 30. “The ultimate goal is to foster a healthier, more welcoming H and more positive environment at the UC.” ■

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HIGHLANDER UC DAVIS REPORT FROM PAGE 1

violation of state law,” stated Bakhit, who then suggested that the officers’ privacy rights had already been compromised. “These officers were compelled to speak to these ‘quote’ investigators and that in and of itself gives [the investigators] access to confidential information,” concluded Bakhit. In the aftermath of the pepper-spray incident, the development of the UC Davis task force was requested by UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi and established by UC President Mark Yudof. The task force had been responsible for the analysis of the pepper-spraying incident, as well as making recommendations for improvements in police procedures when handling campus demonstrations. Due to the court ruling, which has barred the release of the task force report, attorneys of the police union were also given access to the report, in order to protect the privacy laws of the accused policemen. “I was very frustrated to receive the news today,” stated Reynoso in a press release. “However, let me assure you that I am undeterred in my commitment to release the complete and unredacted work of the task force, a view shared by President Yudof.” Multiple delays in the release of the report have raised numerous concerns over the public availability of the findings, which President Yudof also addressed in his letter. “The entire UC Davis community deserves a fully transparent and unexpurgated accounting of the incidents in question. Though I have not seen the reports, I am told the task force and its supporting investigators have provided just such an accounting,” stated Yudof. UC Davis Chancellor Katehi indicated that UC Davis is making progress on its own internal affairs investigation into complaints of officer misconduct. “I expect for the report to validate the course of action taken by administration and police in the incident,” remarked James Phillips, a second-year philosophy major at UC Riverside, who felt skeptical of the task force’s alleged nonbiased position. “Nothing will come from the investigation other than the implementation of new tactics for the police; they will ‘humanize’ their tactics so they can be perceived as holding the moral high ground when blatantly destroying students constitutional rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.” The 19 UC Davis student protesters who were involved in the Nov. 18 pepper-spray incident have taken a federal civil lawsuit against the UC Davis campus police, Chancellor Katehi and other administrators. The students, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, believe that their civil liberties were violated at the time of the protest.

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012

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ASUCR senators prepare solidarity resolution with Hillel Carrie Meng STAFF WRITER

During last week’s ASUCR senate meeting on March 8, ASUCR President Stephen Lee announced that a resolution would be made in condemnation of the defacement of the Israeli flag. “It jeopardizes a lot of the principles that we as students hold… we are in solidarity with the Hillel organization,” said Lee in regards to the recent writing of the word “terrorists” on an Israeli flag on campus. Senators also spent a significant portion of the meeting addressing the upcoming ASUCR elections; senators approved an extension of the elections timeline passed for referendums and ballot proposals from March 16 to April 6. Changes to the Constitution are also in the process of being made to reflect the opportunity of having general (direct) elections. “This will take [ASUCR] away from parliamentary systems to a three branch system,” stated Jonathan Mansoori, the elections chair. The public forum period of the meeting largely centered on the concerns regarding the electoral representation of UCR’s School of Business Administra-

tion (SoBA) in the upcoming ASUCR senator elections. The question was whether SoBA should be represented as either a separate school or under the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS). Liam Dow, a fourth-year pre-business major, argued in favor of the latter. Pre-business majors at UC Riverside are currently classified as CHASS students and are not classified as SoBA students until later in their academic career. Dow, who is currently in CHASS and entering SoBA next quarter, noted that this decreases the ability of business students to be represented since SoBA is only allowed one seat. Therefore, a consolidation of pre-business students and business students into CHASS would theoretically allow for more representation. However, senators have noted that administrative efforts are already underway in the opposite direction, strengthening the representation of SoBA by allowing it to remain as its own distinction and potentially incorporating prebusiness students in the future. This was revealed when administrators recently allowed for SoBA to be distinguished

aside from CHASS to have its own distinct representation. “Normally, in order for any change in representation to take place it would have to be through the elections process and even so, it would not take effect until next year,” said Mansoori. The move requires an official request to change the constitution through a resolution which requires a majority vote from senators. Meeting reports occupied the remainder of the ASUCR meeting. Taylor Garrett from the Student Alumni Association provided an update on this year’s Dance Marathon. Over $15,000 was raised for the event and planning for next year’s Dance Marathon has already begun. Vice President of External Affairs Andrew Whall provided an update on voter registration. He stated that early voting booths would be available for next quarter’s elections and that a total of 388 voter registration cards have been filled out. He also noted that the UC Student Association (UCSA) student lobby conference went well, with 48 students from UC Riverside and a H total of 13 lobby visits to Sacramento. ■


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. OPINIONS .

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 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

C o u rt e s y

o f fa s tc o m pan y . c o m

JERRY BROWN’S BUDGET PROPOSAL LEAVES EDUCATION IN THE LURCH On March 5, thousands of students from across California marched on the State Capitol to protest the massive cuts to higher education that the state government has approved in recent years. Student and state leaders alike spoke on the steps of the Capitol Building, proclaiming the importance of higher education while denouncing the continued disinvestment that threatens its survival. Speaker John Perez, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom each pushed for new state reforms, and the students made it clear that the colleges they represent can no longer afford to stand idly by as the state uses their funding to balance its books. Meanwhile, the man on whose shoulders this state rests was nowhere to be found. Since it was introduced to the state legislature earlier this year, Governor Jerry Brown’s 2012 budget proposal has taken a lot of heat from the various state organizations whose funding it threatens. The proposal, which is combating a $9.2 billion deficit, seeks to balance the budget by implementing an equal share of spending cuts and tax increases in the next fiscal year. One of the professed goals of the proposal is to deliver some much-needed aid to California’s beleaguered education system; and, at first blush, it would appear that the plan is relatively on target. If the proposal passed, K-12 and community college programs would receive an additional $5 billion in funding, and the UC and CSU systems would see increased state investment starting in 2013. The University of California would even receive $90 million to assist the institution with the cost of pensions for its retired employees. However, all is not as it seems in this year’s budget proposal. As far as the K-12/ community college funding is concerned, it turns out that most of the money will go to paying off deferrals owed to schools by the HIGHLANDER STAFF

state. The proposal, then, would not actually create much of an opportunity for new spending in these programs. As for Brown’s promise that the state will begin to invest more in higher education in years to come, it is, though not without merit, a little underwhelming. Last year alone, the CSU and UC systems were hit by over $750 million in cuts. It would take a long time for incremental annual increases in state funding to make up for so crippling a blow. This portion of Brown’s proposal amounts to little more than a sign of good faith—the state acknowledges that higher education is suffering and promises that it will do what it can to help in the future. Now we come to the $90 million contribution to the UC’s general fund. This money, as previously noted, will go directly to pay for UC employees’ pensions. In other words, students won’t see a penny of this funding, on or off campus. That is not to say that the expense is unnecessary or uncalled for—only that it will not benefit students. We can fairly conclude, then, that the assistance Brown’s budget proposal would provide to California’s education system is fairly unremarkable. Most institutions, while they would not be burdened by the plan, stand to gain relatively little from it—provided Brown’s tax initiative, which will fund the proposal, passes. Unfortunately, if the initiative, which proposes an increase in taxes for those earning over $250,000 a year and a temporary rise in the state sales tax (by a half percent), does not pass, the proposal’s trigger cuts will kick in. These would include an additional $4.8 billion in cuts to K-12 and community college funding and $200 million in cuts to both the UC and CSU systems, respectively. In other words, what would’ve been a relatively harmless (albeit not particularly helpful) plan

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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.

T i m R. A g u i l a r STAFF WRITER

In an apology he issued to Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke for calling her a “slut” and a “prostitute” on air, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh asked the question, “What happened to personal responsibility and accountability?” He was referring to a woman’s responsibility and accountability to pay for her own contraceptives, given that, according to Limbaugh, contraceptives are “related to female promiscuity” and “personal sexual recreational activities.” He has chosen to ignore the fact that contraception is medically prescribed for a variety of health reasons. Now, Limbaugh is experiencing what it means to be personally responsible and accountable for his misogynistic attack on Fluke—an attack motivated by her testimony before Congress supporting contraceptive coverage. Limbaugh may have also pushed the GOP political wagon over the edge when it comes to women voters. According to Media Matters, the liberal watchdog group, at least 36 advertisers had pulled their ad dollars from Limbaugh’s show as of March 6, including GEICO Insurance, Deere & Company, Stamps.com and AOL, to name a few. St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Connecticut withdrew its advertisements, citing, “We agree that Mr. Limbaugh’s recent derogatory comments regarding an individual testifying before Congress are not acceptable.” AOL spokeswoman Maureen Sullivan said, “We have monitored the unfolding events and have determined that Mr. Limbaugh’s comments are not in line with our values.” “Not acceptable,” and “not in line with our values,” are kind words, considering Limbaugh demanded that Fluke post her sexual activities on the Internet in exchange for having her contraceptives included in her health coverage. Yet, the Republican leadership failed to satisfactorily condemn Limbaugh’s malicious, hatefilled statement. House Speaker Boehner referred to Limbaugh’s language as “inappropriate.” “Inappropriate” is attending a blackand-white in denims and a T-shirt, not calling a woman a slut and a prostitute. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum LIMBAUGH CONT’D ON PAGE 7

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for keeping the education system afloat would turn into an unmitigated economic disaster. Brown is, no doubt, aware of the predicament in which his proposal leaves California’s already-troubled education system. It essentially holds our state’s education programs hostage – we can either pass the tax initiative and accept a plan that does little to help education, or prepare for another set of abysmal cuts to the system at large. The notion that Brown would support a budget proposal that uses the welfare of California’s education programs as leverage against its citizens in order to pass his tax initiative is not only unsettling—it is also exceedingly dangerous. Right now, only 52 percent of likely voters in California support temporarily increasing the state sales tax and income tax on high-wage earners, according to a survey conducted by the Public Policy Institute in California last week. That means that there is a realistic possibility that, if Brown’s budget proposal were to pass in the fall, the trigger cuts built into it would take effect next year. Students at the UC and other educational institutions across the state have already been made to shoulder too much of the burden of California’s budget crisis. It’s time for the state to stop playing politics with students’ futures and refocus their efforts on finding longterm solutions for the vast array of funding problems that have plagued our educational H apparatus for far too long. ■

Limbaugh pays the price for insulting law student

Kelly Mahoney

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OPINIONS

HIGHLANDER

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012

7

Long primary destined to hurt GOP’s chances in November J a m es N j u g u n a STAFF WRITER

“They wanted a quick win, but they’re getting World War I here. They’re getting trench warfare that may go on and on… I feel a little sorry for them… Next thing you know you’re watching the TV with a bottle of whisky and a revolver, you know, wondering if you’re gonna make it through the night,” said Mike Murphy, Republican strategist and columnist for Time Magazine on a recent episode of Charlie Rose. The above quote exemplifies the Mitt Romney conundrum. Here is a man who, in any other primary process, would have already put the nomination to bed and moved on in preparation for the general election. However, this is 2012, a year in which all sorts of rules, norms and traditions concerning politics are being rewritten. The political arena has always been high drama, theatre for the vain, ambitious and power-hungry members of society, but even Shakespeare himself could not have dreamed up such an epic play. There are two sides of this entire race that leave everyone thoroughly baffled. On the one hand, in any other cycle Romney, simply based on the direction in which the Republican party has been headed in recent years, would have been thoroughly unqualified to be the standard-bearer for the party and face President Obama in the fall. The party is clearly looking for a Barry Goldwater-type leader to oversee a new conservative revolution in the country. What conservatives forget is that in 1964, when they picked Goldwater over the moderate Nelson Rockefeller, the party ended up losing the election

in humiliating fashion, with the Democratic incumbent, Lyndon Johnson, scoring one of the largest landslides in history. On the other hand, in terms of simple competence and moderation, only Mitt Romney looks the part of the president. The other three seem rather out of place— they have no problems generating nonsensical, cockamamie ideas that serve to do nothing but appease their base and satisfy their respective ideologies. Essentially, Romney is the party’s only viable option, since he is the one candidate left with enough resources, infrastructure and a record good enough to take on the current incumbent. However, Republicans are freedom lovers, and in that spirit thoroughly abhor arranged marriages. The Republican primary voters feel the powers that be in the Grand Old Party forcing them to pick someone who they have no love for, and in turn they go out of their way to cast protest votes for the likes of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Never mind the fact that these two candidates have no prayer for seizing the White House from the Democrats. Make no mistake about it—more people vote against Mitt Romney in these primaries than they actually vote for any other candidate. As the race drags on, Romney’s number one appeal—the fact that he might attract the Independents that make up 40 percent of the American electorate, according to a recent Gallup poll—is being dragged down. As he relies more and more on negative campaigning and a scorched-earth policy in dealing with his rivals, Romney continues to lose more and more of his luster. He is, in turn, handing the president and his Chicago po-

LIMBAUGH CONT’D FROM PAGE 6

referred to Limbaugh’s comments as “absurd,” but he added that an entertainer is allowed to be absurd. It would appear that absurdity has taken on a new meaning for Santorum; given that he believes that “…moms raising children in singleparent households [are] simply breeding more criminals.” Should we consider his comments absurd and entertaining? But of course he’s not an entertainer, or is he? The interesting clincher came from leading presidential candidate Mitt Romney when he said, “I’ll just say this, which is, it’s not the language I would have used.” These are not words of condemnation, and while Romney turns the lens back on himself and refers to words he “would have used,” his political eye is on the prize; and that prize

c o u rt e s y o f ta l k ing p o int s m e m o . c o m

litical machine a rather easy task in November. This president was ripe for an upset, ready to be voted out of office, just mere months ago. But now it seems only a miracle or a great tragedy could bring him down. In the past, even if the base did not like the front runner, they would generally go with him simply because by Super Tuesday the process would have already been locked in. But, alas, it seems that nowadays the Republican National Committee is being run by knownothing amateurs. They seem to think a long slog would be beneficial for the party, since it was beneficial for President Obama four years ago in his battle with Hillary Clinton. However, it seems that they forgot that the Republican party is made up of individuals who ardently believe in the notion that only the worthy and the tough get to lead the masses. Republicans love red meat, and usually the candidate who throws the rhetorical bomb often enough is the one who

is the money and political support tied to Limbaugh. Romney and Limbaugh are on the same payroll. Romney continues to receive millions from Bain Capital, and Bain is co-owner of Clear Channel, the company responsible for Limbaugh’s $400 million, eight-year contract (it is in its fourth year). Another political consideration is the 14 million weekly listeners that tune into the Limbaugh’s show, a number that is down 6 million since 2003. Romney is simply being loyal to his money and support—something that shouldn’t surprise anyone, but at what costs? Contraceptives may become the deciding factor come Election Day, and Limbaugh is pushing all the right buttons for the Obama campaign. Since the GOP’s attack on women’s contraceptives began, President Obama’s

gets the most votes, particularly in the South. In that regard, the smartest, most appealing potential candidates decided not to run this goaround, which was wise of them. This should not be like middle school, where the biggest kid is also the most popular, most feared and most respected. This is a presidential race, wherein the smartest of men and women ought to be vetted and picked in a sensible race, not a process that involves idiotic mud-slinging and false posturing. Romney, God bless him, really wants this nomination, and as such he is forced to wage wars that make little political sense in the long run. He is hurting his brand and limping his way to the nomination process. This primary is dragging on and on, and each of these candidates is becoming more and more wounded as it does so. Yet they still march on, thanks to the help of Super PACs and the new ridiculous appropriation system that awards everyone delegates. Perhaps, if he ends up winning the nomination,

approval rating among women has increased 10 percent and, as of late February, stands at 53 percent. The Republican’s weak response to Limbaugh’s misogynistic attack on Fluke did nothing to change this shift in women’s support and may have alienated more women voters. It is interesting to note that Obama’s 2008 victory margin over McCain among women was 56 to 43 percent. Presently, projections on women’s support give Obama a 54 to 43 percent lead over Romney and a 56 to 40 percent lead over Santorum. Contraceptives may prove to be the Republican’s political downfall on Election Day. Additionally, in a brave and unprecedented call to arms, Miranda Norman, a senior advisor to the largest progressive group of veterans in America, VoteVets.org, and other female veterans issued a press re-

Romney might find a way to get back on message and educate the public on his 59 point jobs plan, though holding one’s breath for that could be futile at this point. Usually races are won not just by pointing out stark differences between candidates, but also by laying out a narrative that covers the history of a candidate and the vision that candidate has for the country. The Republicans are masters of the former, but lately they have forgotten how to enact the latter. The party needs to recognize one basic truth about any organized entity, be it societies, aristocracies or even political parties: none of these entities can be survived by their intransigents. It is only through healthy debate on the issues and, eventually, sensible compromise that any party survives and thrives. Otherwise, the GOP will find itself in lengthy political doldrums. If they do not get their act together soon, I fear more people around the country will soon be reaching for that bottle of H whisky and revolver. ■

lease this month calling for an end to Rush Limbaugh’s broadcast over the American Forces Network (AFN). The press release read in part, “Rush Limbaugh has a freedom of speech and can say what he wants, but in light of his horribly misogynistic comments, American Forces Radio should no longer give him a platform. Our entire military depends on troops respecting each other—women and men. There simply can be no place on military airwaves for sentiments that would undermine that respect.” If the AFN is serious about a respectful and cohesive military, it has little choice but to dismiss the likes of Limbaugh. One must wonder if the post election headline will read, “Contraceptives Protect Obama’s Presidency?” Contraceptives— H who would have guessed? ■


8

OPINIONS

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012

HIGHLANDER

LETTER TO THE EDITOR from

S c o t t S i lve r m a n & A da m D a n i els

The Highlander accepts letters from the campus community. They should be 600-800 words in length and include the author’s name and contact information. Contact editor Townsend Scholz at opinions@highlandernews.org for more information The “Doodlemeister” comic by Jeff Whitman printed on Tuesday, March 6 was distasteful. Mr. Whitman might be hoping for a Pulitzer, but he is no Steve Breen (c/o ’92, notable alum, Highlander cartoonist, two-time Pulitzer). To say this comic stunk like a skunk would do a huge disservice…to skunks. As part of the staff team that has been directly responsible for most of the school spirit initiatives in the last five-plus years (including Tartan Soul, face paint, most spirit cheers and more UCR apparel campus-wide), we are devastated that not only would Mr. Whitman choose to pen this comic, but that the Highlander (a paper I wrote for many years ago) would choose to print it. If Mr. Whitman himself chooses to be a self-hating Highlander, then he is welcome to that opinion. However, he should not subject the rest of us to his own resentment at being at one of the premiere institutions of higher education in the country. UCR is a campus of the UC system, and the UC is widely respected worldwide. The educational

and co-curricular experiences and the benefit that a UC degree bestows upon the recipient are top-notch! This comic was 1) not funny, 2) unnecessary, and 3) demoralizing. The 21,000-plus students, staff and faculty that enjoy UC Riverside on a daily basis shouldn’t have to open their campus newspaper and be made to feel like they made a bad choice. They didn’t, but the Highlander did when it let that comic get published! Just because something is submitted to the Opinions section does not mean it needs to get printed. The Highlander has a community obligation not to print such garbage; besides nobody would ever read a paper called “The Mosquito.” Mr. Whitman and the Highlander staff should think about this: of the 21,000 plus active members of the Highlander family, there are countless individuals who serve as peer mentors, orientation leaders, RAs, tutors and SI leaders, students involved in campus activities, etc. who both absolutely love it here and work tirelessly to make sure that other students do too. Anytime someone from our own campus community says a disparaging remark about the campus as a whole, all of our morale is affected. UCR students’ school pride has increased dramatically within the last five-plus years. Why? Is it the fight song/alma mater taught to students during Highlander Orientation? The

face paint, temporary tattoos, kilt and other Tartan Wear and the overwhelming growth in UCR apparel worn campus-wide? The significant decline in other universities’ apparel worn here? The efforts of a lot of individuals committed to the success and reputation of UCR and the great experiences and lasting memories formed here by students can be completely and utterly derided by the bitter opinion of one student and an erroneous editorial decision. So if you still don’t believe that UCR is awesome, here are some facts: We consistently have high numbers of professors elected to membership in the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS). Also, UCR is becoming increasingly selective and is increasingly the university of choice for the majority of students enrolled here. UCOP records indicate that UCR had the third highest percentage yield rate of students offered admission that actually SIR’d to UCR (behind only UCLA and Berkeley). Furthermore, attendance at athletic events has increased (both average fans and total fans per game) for all sports completed so far this year, including a 100 percent increase in men’s soccer. Campus event attendance is also skyrocketing, events are more appealing and many concerts, for example, draw crowds from all over California, in addition to record-breaking UCR stu-

dent crowds as recently as the BonfireHomecoming 2012. UCR has been ranked sixth in the nation in diversity (perpetually 1st among the UC campuses), 25th on the “Great Values, Great Prices” list, 44th among national public universities, 55th by “Best Undergraduate Business Programs,” 82nd by “Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs” and 97th overall among 262 national universities, public or private. If Mr. Whitman wants to be a “Sucking Mosquito,” he should Google universities with that mascot and transfer. The UCR community has over 85,000 proud alumni and a ton of students that are incredibly excited/energetic/happy to be here, plus tens of thousands more just dying to be admitted every year. The fact is, UCR does not suck, nor do its students, staff, faculty and alumni. What does suck is that we still have to fight off the haters. Here’s the deal: you’re here and UCR is incredibly awesome. All of you are too! You only get out of this experience what you put into it, so, “Go Big or Go Home.” Proud to be Highlanders! Scott C. Silverman, Ed.D. (UCR Alum: B.S. ’01 and M.S. ’04) Associate Director, University Honors Adam Ryen Daniels, M.A. Student Organizations/Orientation Advisor, Student Life

JEFF WHITMAN RESPONDS TO CRITICISM OF ISSUE 20 COMIC It has come to my attention that last week’s comic depicting the UCR mascot, Scotty, having an identity crisis has struck a nerve with some readers. Even though I am all for ruffling some feathers toward an appropriate topic, I feel that the response towards this comic could use a little insight from its author as to the message behind it. Now, believe it or not, I love this school and all it has given me. Multiple generations of my family have graduated from here, dating back to my great uncle who got his PhD in 1972. It was my first choice university and has given me numerous educational, extracurricular, research and work opportunities that I feel I would not have gotten anywhere else. I have even vol-

unteered at multiple discover days to show it off to prospective students. With that being said, I feel I am entitled to an opinion about our mascot. Drawing Scotty having an identity crisis with an overly dramatic monologue leading up to his metamorphosis into a silly mosquito proclaiming, “We suck,” was my attempt at a two-fold message. I wanted to say, first, that the bear aspect of our mascot masks what makes our school unique. I also wanted to address the public perception of UC Riverside’s ranking among the UC campuses as well as the student body’s apathy towards school spirit. If you do not believe the latter part of the previous statement, then I implore you to look at the UCR memes page

on Facebook and see what is already being said by UCR students about their school (some are quite funny). Even though the humor is often self deprecating, you will notice both a fair amount of “likes” attributed to each picture and a general ability to laugh at things we find unsatisfactory about UCR. Ever since orientation, I was told that our mascot was a bear in order to both honor and rival our sibling universities, UCLA and UC Berkeley. Only through a write-in campaign was our mascot officially made a Highlander, due to the fact that the Box Springs Mountain Range was known as the “Highlands” and possibly because our first mascot was a Scottish Terrier. Yet the school did not drop the bear.

I always found this kind of awkward because there are no bears in Scotland. And it epitomized my feeling that UC Riverside tries too hard to fit in or “keep up with the Joneses,” when we really have a prestigious record as a research institute and a rich history of work with the agricultural sciences that we seem to push into the background, like we did to Norm the Navel (Google it). Having the mosquito emerge from within Scotty proclaiming, “We suck,” was my way of dually highlighting the world-class research we have going on in Entomology and addressing the notion that we are considered the UC you go to when you do not get in anywhere else. I also chose the mosquito to say what it

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did because I, and hopefully others, could care less what our public perception is. I (we) came here for what UCR has to offer and not because of where it is ranked. If we cannot laugh at our perceived shortcomings, then we only prove that we really do feel that they are shortcomings. UCLA and UC Berkeley are great institutions, but we are not them, and we have enough going on that we do not need to pretend to be them. We are the little rural UC Research Station at the edge of the Mojave Desert that grew up and made something of itself. Also, it’s a comic. Sincerely, Jeff Whitman


HIGHLANDER

. FEATURES .

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012

9

UCR AROUND THE GLOBE UCR Student, Neil Crowley shares his travel stories from his studies abroad.

RUSSIA

Photos Courtesy of Neil Crowley

NAME: Neil Crowley YEAR: Senior MAJOR: History, Anthropology COUNTRY: Russia AREA OF STUDY: Russian Studies

I had always wanted to weather a Russian winter. For some reason, I thought doing so would give me an insight I lacked—considering I have spent my entire youth in Southern California. However, it turns out winters here aren’t as severe as in the Midwest. But it’s the combination of short daylight hours, wind chill and the dampness that gets to you. The place I live, Vasilievsky Ostrov (the largest island of the couple dozen in the Neva River delta on which St. Petersburg is built), gets the wind right off of the Gulf of Finland. This makes walking to to Primorskaya metro in the morning tough, because not only is it cold, but there are also sheets of ice that cover everything. I know I’m painting an illustrious picture of why people here are said to never smile; however, I wouldn’t have it any other way—St. Petersburg is simply amazing, and my EAP Study Abroad experience here has fostered an incredible amount of personal growth. This city is rich in history; so much so that it is the unanimously recognized cultural capital of Russia, and the entire center of it was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s here that there is a starkly Europe-MeetsRussia feel—Soviet apartment complexes surrounding a center of some of the most beautiful palaces in the world. One can’t walk a block without being in view of a massive palace or a beautifully ornate church. It’s a city filled with more museums than one can count, and the most impressive collection being in the Hermitage museum housed in the Russian Winter Palace on the banks of the Neva River. And on any given day, there are performances of all kinds: from ballet, opera, and classical, to rock, rap and DJs. In contrast to the elegant architecture, there is an essential roughness to living here—Russia, at times, can appear as if the Soviet Union never fell. The Metro lines are the heart of this city; they can take you from one side to the

other in half an hour. However, it is on the metro that one gets the feel of how things really are—crowded. Piles of people herded on to and off of trains, escalators, in and out of doorways; there is little consideration for precious personal space. Acts of kindness are reserved for those you know and those for whom you have time. But even though the public sphere may appear harsh sometimes, I assure you that after getting to know people here, I’ve realized that they are some of the most genuine people I’ve ever met, and we’ve forged some of the strongest bonds. It takes one Maslenitsa festival to watch the entire tone of the culture change from cold to warm, with parents and children sledding around parks. As for the Study Abroad program itself, I recommend it highly. Instead of learning Russian history in Southern California, I am instead learning it on the grounds of the impressive Smolny Cathedral at the same institution in which Lenin and Trotsky studied. Instead of reading online about the 2012 Russian presidential elections, I was here while they were going on; protests, anti-protest protests, propaganda—I witnessed the entire process firsthand while taking classes on it. And there is simply no better way to learn a language than full immersion—being forced to speak Russian has improved me in a short month to the point where I can hold conversations with locals. I cannot stress enough the advantages of participating in a Study Abroad program—the way it looks on a resume and its comparable price to being at UC Riverside should make it a simple decision for most. It may take a leap of faith to extend oneself outside the safety of being in a country that speaks English, but in just crossing the border into Russia, this has opened up an entire other world—I feel like the country is no longer a distant idea, but a firm reality, something I know and am familiar H with, something ultimately accessible. ■


10

FEATURES

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012

are some of the lines.

HIGHLANDER INTERVIEW: UC PRESIDENT

MARK YUDOF

Photo Courtesy of UCOP

On March 2, Highlander Editor-in-Chief Chris LoCascio sat down with UC President Mark Yudof in Oakland to discuss his take on some of the biggest issues that face students and the UC today. The interview is the first in a series with influential UC and state leaders to be published in the Highlander over the coming months. BY CHRIS LOCASCIO, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Chris LoCascio: Many students are unfamiliar with what goes on here in the Office of the President, and many confuse your role with that of the Board of Regents. How would you describe your role in the University of California? Mark Yudof: That’s a good question, and I don’t know that any reporter has ever asked me that before. We’re sort of a federalist system. We have 10 campuses with chancellors and faculty, shared governance with students—they make a lot of decisions on campus and then there are the decisions I make and some that the board make. The board can make any decision it wants, so let’s start with that. Basically, we [UCOP] have things like the general counsel’s office. We have risk management, like when students were stranded in Egypt during the revolution, we sent a charter plane to get them out. We represent the university in Sacramento and in Washington DC. We have our communications group, to get things out, and I can go on and on down the list. So there are a series of functions that I perform. I would say the most important are, and it’s always highly collaborative, but I set the admissions targets for undergraduates. I set the targets for transfer students, not just first-time freshmen. We’re trying to save money desperately. I think you know this, but we were cut a billion dollars the last couple years, three quarters of that were not borne by the students. We have things like new IT systems and we have our payroll systems and things like that. So there are some functions that I exercise some central authority over and we try to save money, you know we have UC Press and we have the digital library and so forth, and we have the telescopes and we have the institute. I would say there are some system-wide activities that I’m in charge of. We set some of the admissions parameters but the actual admission is done on campuses. Government rela-

tions, law stuff, risk management, which is insurance and what happens when if something goes wrong in a lab or if a student is injured somewhere. But the really big policy issues are for the Board of Regents. Now I’m not going to deny that I can be highly influential, but I’m just one regent among 26. So I come in and I say, ‘look, this is what we ought to do on tuition, this is what we ought to do on our budget.’ There are these proposals for revenue enhancers, ‘this is my recommendation to the board.’ So I’m influential in that, but ultimately the really big decisions, hiring chancellors—I appoint the chancellors, I have search committees—but the board, if they don’t like my appointee, they can refuse to appoint the person because they can refuse to pay the salary. So the really big policy decisions are for the Board of Regents—budgets, big political decisions, but there’s some interplay in the joints, Chris. Like, I was very active in promoting the Dream Act. We didn’t have a formal vote of the Board of Regents but I talked to them and it was fine. I went out and put my [signature] on the bill that was introduced to the assembly and ultimately it passed. CL: At the regents meeting in January, there was set to be a discussion on alternative revenue sources, and it was interrupted by protesters. The protests at UCR had been some of the biggest and most dramatic we’ve seen at UCR. You in particular have been the focal point of a lot of concerns from students. How do you feel about that? You’ve said in the past that student activism is a big part of the University of California, and I wanted to get your thoughts on that situation. MY: Well I think student activism is fine. Shutting down the regents meeting is not fine. Injuring nine police officers is not fine. Blocking the entrances and the exits for two hours is not fine. I wrote a book on

the First Amendment, I teach constitutional law, I’m on the Berkeley law faculty. So you won’t find anyone who’s more supportive than I on the rights of protest and peaceful demonstrations and all, but there was some real crossing of the line and I’m opposed to that, and we will deal with that like we would deal with any threat to public safety. So that’s point one. Point two—it’s my job to educate the students. But you know, I always remember during the Vietnam War, and I was

“I’m not the students’ problem. I’m really not. ...You can protest me, but I only have so many choices.” anti-war, people would picket the dean of liberal arts and ask him to stop the war. I’m not the students’ problem. I’m really not. My budget went down from $3.25 billion to $2.25 billion in just two years, three years. The state has cut virtually a third of the total appropriation. The students have not made up all the difference. You can protest me, but I only have so many choices. And what we have done, basically, is try to find efficiency, try to raise more money outside—we raised 1.6 billion dollars last year—and raising tuition is one of the things we do. We did furloughs. I furloughed myself. But there’s a certain lack of maturity in the understanding, when you point at the person who doesn’t have control over the legislature. I think it’s great that the students are going to Sacramento. That’s where our problem lies. 20 years ago, the governor told me, we got way more money at the UC than the prisons. Now that’s not true. They are pouring money into the prisons and

not into the young people of the state. So I understand I’m the authority figure that’s near, and it’s convenient to hang someone in effigy and all the rest of that, but it’s unfair and you don’t need my vote. You have my vote. I’m not in favor of raising tuition, I’m in favor of enhanced revenues for the state. I’m in favor of spending less money on prisons, but I don’t have the votes in the assembly and I don’t have the votes in the senate and I’m not the Governor of California, so the pressure should be where the political power is, in my opinion. CL: In regards to the protest, you had mentioned that the protesters crossed the line. Where exactly is the line? MY: Where is the line? One, throwing bottles at police officers. Nonviolence is one part. You can have lawful nonviolent protest. You can have unlawful nonviolent protest, and you can sit down and try to close the department of energy, sit in the lobby, it could be nonviolent, nonetheless unlawful and you can be removed. There is a distinction between speech activities and vehement, passionate advocacy of a position and closing down the meeting of a public body or taking on police officers and trying to take over a building, that’s the line. Now, all conduct doesn’t deserve the same sort of response. We’re investigating the pepper spray incident and other things like it. I mean if it’s a peaceful protest, even though it’s unlawful and even though it prevents us from doing our business, then we ought to handle it in a very, very gentle way, trying to avoid, to the extent we can, any injuries to the protesters. You know there’s a lot of misinformation about the First Amendment. The First Amendment does not give you the right to shout down other people. It does not give you the right to close a meeting. It does not give you the right to resist police officers and lawful orders from police officers. Those

CL: In the meeting, Chancellor Desmond-Hellmann proposed a new relationship between UCSF and the University of California. I know it’s in the very early stages, but what are your thoughts on that particular proposal? MY: Well I’m going to look at it. We really are like a federalist system. We’re like a layer cake. There’s the English department in the college of liberal arts, and then there’s the Riverside campus, and then there’s the system. It’s distributed powers just like the federal government and the state government. So I have no objection to looking at that again. Remember UCSF has no undergraduates, and it’s all professional medical education and most of its revenues come from its hospitals and the clinics and so forth. They get, and this is roughly right Chris, they probably get six percent of their 3 billion dollars in income from the State of California. So they need to be nimble, and they need to be able to respond to the president’s healthcare initiative and all that, so I’m perfectly willing to look at that and be more flexible. But this is a great university system and I don’t think this is what the chancellor wants, but we’re not talking about a declaration of independence here, 1776-style. We’re talking about flexibility, and I can appreciate that. Sometimes I think, why am I so much in the compensation business, and to some extent why am I so much in the tuition business, and all the others? There are many other models around the country. At Texas, when I was there, I really wasn’t in the compensation business. I mean, there was accountability, but it was at the campus level. Tuition varies by system. Some have it have it centrally set in the system office by the Board of Regents in our case, and some of them there’s leeway for each campus. So there’s no one model, but I’m willing to look at it. But I haven’t really reached any specific conclusions. I do know that, in my judgment, a hundred years from now UC San Francisco will still be part of the University of California, that we have a public mission, and that taxpayers, maybe not this year, but many years provided the money and the buildings and the young people and I’m not willing to overnight undo the work of 150 years. CL: One of the biggest concerns students have raised in recent years with tuition increases has been the rise in executive compensation. How would you explain that? MY: It’s not true. It’s flat out not true. This is a very good example. Give me that data. Show me the data. The only people who consistently get raises are the unionized workers. They get three to four percent a year. How many chancellors do you think have gotten raises in the four years I’ve been here? Zero. How many raises do you think I’ve gotten? Zero. How many raises do you think my vice presidents here have gotten? Zero. So what happens is, we’re a system of 180,000 employees. We have Stanford who wants to lure our hospital head from UCLA, and we make a counter-offer which is half of what Stanford is offering, we think. The unions get upset, the students say ‘there they go again.’ We meet that counter-offer. Last regents meeting when people got upset, there were nine people out of 180,000. By the way it’s self-inflicted. When we do the across the board three percent, no one over $200,000 got one of those raises. It’s flat-out untrue, and I’m having a terrible time with the truth catching up to the lie. It doesn’t mean we

HIGHLANDER never do it, but it always means that we have a sensitive position, often by the way not on state funds, often on hospital revenues or research funds or something like that. Not true. And I defy anyone, any of your friends, to come up with the data that shows there is a pattern. They can pick out one or two or five, and I’ll try to explain— the person was promoted, the person was being lured away by another institution, we needed someone to get us through the building of a new hospital or something— but you can count them on your fingers. The people under $200,000 this year got raises, across the board, almost, except that they were not meritorious, but over $200,000 got none. CL: So, to put it simply, the main two reasons are unions and competition. MY: I would say that they were negotiated agreements. No that’s not totally true. People under $200,000 for the first time in four years got a three percent raise. But the idea that highly compensated executives got raises is just untrue. I mean there’s one, there are a couple of hospital directors, but as a pattern it’s not true. And again, take a look, we’ll supply you with the data. Which chancellor? Which vice president? Did I get a raise? In every case, people go crazy, and they see that six people got a raise and say ‘there they go again’ and ‘how can they do that?’ I understand the psychology of it, but as a pattern it’s simply not true. CL: UC applications are at an alltime high, and campuses are having to get more and more selective. Have there been any efforts to change the admissions process at all, even perhaps a holistic admissions process? MY: We did it. We did it two years ago. Berkeley and UCLA mostly had holistic admissions and then, we can debate this, the others had gradations of that, and some a little and some a lot. But as of this year, for the first time, all nine academic institutions, with a little nuance which we can explain at Santa Barbara, have adopted holistic admissions. They’ve all gone over to holistic admissions. By the way, there’s a story in that. Our average tuition is $11,300, our sticker price. We set aside a third of it for financial aid. So the real price is closer to $8,000, because we don’t keep the $11,300, we keep roughly $8,000. Then we have Pell Grants, then we have Cal Grants. The actual average tuition at the University of California is $4,400 a year. Some people pay it all, some people pay zero, some pay half. This is not a good analogy, but if you think of it like a car or something, you go into the dealership, here’s the sticker price, then you say ‘wait a minute, I don’t want to pay the sticker price, what do actual people pay?’ And the only difference in our case is that it’s all income adjusted. It’s based on need. But the average tuition actually paid is $4,400. By the way, the Obama people know this, when we have been talking about some of your ideas and some of ours, they know that there’s a difference between whether you set aside 10 percent for financial aid or 33 percent. We’re highly redistributive, but not all public universities are. CL: That brings me to my next question. In his State of the Union address, President Obama made higher education a significant priority, even going as far to suggest that the federal government would cut funding to schools who don’t lower tuition. Is that a realistic statement to make? MY: I don’t think that’s quite what he

said, but I don’t mean to be too picky here, but he didn’t say unless they lower it. He was worried about the rate of growth in tuition. We’ll see when we see the final package, and there is a difference between them. In general my attitude was pretty positive toward what the president said. Chris Edley (Dean of Berkeley Law) and I have been to Washington, pitching something similar but not identical to what you’ve proposed. We’ve been filling them in that you can’t compare us to Nevada or Arizona, you can’t just look at gross tuition, you have to look at what’s set aside for financial aid, and you have to look at some other factors. But in any event, I would say two things. First, the president really does understand, believe me. He’s a very smart man with very smart people around him. The primary driver of higher tuition is disinvestment

11

lege. That was not true of 2008. Obama brought out voters. It’s really rare, but it was one of the few times in recent years where the voters who had children came out. I think it’s not that they dislike us, but it’s the demographics and as the baby boomers go through, this bulge goes through the population, and they have so many of the votes, there is just a tendency to want to serve them. So I think even at the federal level we spend something like 10 times as much on the elderly, maybe it’s seven or something, as we do on young people. I think the other thing is there has been a partial privatization, they don’t want to admit it, but the premium for having a college degree has grown since the late 1970s and the information revolution. And by premium I mean the wage differential. When I was growing up you could

“The First Amendment does not give you the right to shout down other people. It does not give you the right to close a meeting. It does not give you the right to resist police officers and lawful orders from police officers.” by the states. Everybody knows that. The amount that tuition goes up is directly proportional to the disinvestment by the state. I can give you a concrete way of thinking about it. You need some prescription drug, and you have a $20 co-pay. In one week, the co-pay goes from $20 to $40, so you have had your cost doubled. That’s a true, accurate number. That does not mean the price of the drug has gone up. It may mean that the drug company has decided it wants to make a smaller contribution, and wants you to pay for more of it. That is what’s happened across America, including California. Our actual cost is about 15 percent lower than it was 20 years ago. On an inflation adjusted basis, we spend less to produce a credit hour or degree than we did 20 years ago. Our price is going down. What’s happened is the co-payer doesn’t want to make the co-payment. So the cost to the students has gone up geometrically, far greater than the rate of inflation. And I think the president understands that, but Chris [Edley] and I will probably go back to Washington and try to work with him. By the way, I also like his accountability stuff. I think completion rates are very important. The number of poor kids who enroll is very important. I really sense that, at least with the University of California, we have a great friend in Washington who will be able to work through these issues. Now whether all this stuff will pass, I have no idea. It’s an election year, and who knows? CL: In your opinion, why has the state continued to disinvest in the University of California? Can you diagnose the problem? MY: I did. I wrote an article a while ago. Some of it I think is demographic, which might strike you as strange. The percentage of families, and I’m talking America, not just California, the percentage of families with children has declined markedly since the 1950s and the baby boom generation. So you see things emerging that are more the priorities of an aging population. You see more emphasis on pharmaceuticals for the elderly, you see a great prison expansion, ‘lock up the bad guys,’ social security in a lock box—you see what you would expect in an aging population. That is reinforced by the fact that in most elections, the majority of all the voters do not have children in school, either K-12 or col-

get a job at an automobile factory, get a pretty good job, well-paying job, union job, with health benefits and a retirement plan. Those manufacturing jobs are leaving, so there’s a premium on higher education. The unemployment rate for people with a college degree is half what it is for the rest of the population. That has fed, I think, the idea that it benefits, in your case Chris, you, more than it benefits California. I think that’s a misbegotten policy. I think that’s the second part. The other thing is the way Washington has set it up. We don’t have a coherent national higher education policy. We never really have. We want access, Pell Grants, GI Bill. Don’t give pizza to loan officers, because they may make improvident decisions. Report certain sorts of criminal activity, and research grants and we’re out of here. That’s the national policy. But we have had more national policies on healthcare and so forth. There aren’t matching programs, by and large. The president’s made some movement in this direction, but if you’re the legislature, you give up dollars by not funding medical care. In higher education, you’re not giving up dollars that they see. In reality, they’re giving up a lot of dollars, but it’s not Washington dollars today. What they’re giving up is economic growth and employment. CL: What would you see as the solution to this issue? There are a number of tax initiatives slated for November, including Speaker Perez’s Middle-Class Scholarship Plan, the Millionaires Tax, Governor Brown’s budget... MY: Let me say a couple things to be clear. I really do support the speaker’s plan. I think it’s wonderful for our students. It doesn’t help us on the educational side, or you. There’s some problems, but if it passes and it works, it should make it more accessible for the middle-class. That’s positive. That’s good news—I’m for it. It doesn’t put a dollar toward a single professor. You cut us $750 million dollars in a year, it doesn’t return one dollar to hire a professor, or to provide student services, or to mow the grass, or to heat the buildings, or instructors or TAs. So I’m for that. When it comes to revenue enhancers, I hadn’t totally made up my mind, but each of them has pluses and minuses. The YUDOF INTERVIEW CONTINUED ON PAGE 12


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FEATURES

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012

HIGHLANDER

HIGHLANDER INTERVIEW CONTINUED: YUDOF INTERVIEW FROM PAGE 11

Millionaires Tax is very attractive to me because it actually has a sum of money that, on the face of it, would be directed toward higher education. I have no philosophical objection. That’s another problem. People somehow get confused, like it’s Mark Yudof and Sherry Lansing standing between them and revenue enhancement. Not true. You could talk to her, I think she’d have the same view. The governor’s proposal, I think, is very clever and balanced. I sort of like that. I have more trouble with the Munger proposal. But at the end of the day I’m really willing to be supportive of revenue enhancements, why wouldn’t I be? The University of California, our students, faculty, staff would hopefully benefit. But there are wrinkles to all this stuff. I would prefer to have a deal, an agreement with the legislature and the governor about what’s going to happen to the university over the next three or four years. If that were tied to the governor’s revenue enhancing proposal, I would certainly take a very serious look at that. The problem with the Millionaires Tax is there’s no what we’d call ‘maintenance of effort’ provision. So they could give us the money from the Millionaires Tax, but then they could pull money out elsewhere. In other words, there’s nothing in it that says you can’t go below last year, or you have to be a certain amount above it, so we’re worried about that. In other words, the power would ultimately be in the hands of the legislature. The game would not be over the day it passes. We’re also concerned about if there’s more than one revenue measure, will they kill off each other? I hear that in the capitol all the time. They say, ‘Mark,’ when I speak to legislative leaders, ‘let’s get behind the governor’s proposal.’ There will be two or three proposals, and they’re more experienced than I—they think it could drag down the whole thing if the voters are divided among the proposals.

Chris, I don’t honestly know, I’m just telling you what I think and what I hear. CL: What do you think is the value of a UC education? MY: If you want to know what I think— my feeling is, a university education, this will sound trite but I’ll try to make it better, should be preparing you for life. We’re not going to teach you all the anthropology that you could

MARK YUDOF

And third, I do expect you to know something when you graduate. I don’t want a doctor who never took anatomy. I’m not that far out in my cognitive skills. I hope we teach you something that enables you to get on with your life. But I’m a liberal arts guy, so I think I was well-served. I read Wallace Stevens and Pindar’s Odes and all that, and I never felt left behind. I don’t read too many journalists. So I don’t have have a mechanical view of this. I think people get too tied up

mary goal is that we come through this crisis still being the best public university in the world, building on our $5 billion a year of research, our medical facilities. Every year there are more students applying. Apparently we haven’t priced out of the market, when your apps are going up ten percent, and when your student body is forty percent lowincome. So I have to be honest. I wish it were different. I do believe in the multi-campus ap-

“What we can do is provide you with the cognitive skills and the way of problem solving and the ability to synthesize ideas, whether you turn out to be the vice president of a philanthropy [group], or you turn out to be a neurosurgeon, or a teller at a bank, or a police officer. Those skills will enable you to be a thinking, cognizant human being that can work their way in the world.” possibly know, or all the history, or all the Spanish, or all the civil engineering. What we can do is provide you with the cognitive skills and the way of problem solving and the ability to synthesize ideas, whether you turn out to be the vice president of a philanthropy [group], or you turn out to be a neurosurgeon, or a teller at a bank, or a police officer. Those skills will enable you to be a thinking, cognizant human being that can work their way in the world. That’s one. Another is I really deeply value the challenge of diverse ideas, the fact that we have African-Americans, and Hispanics, and Asian-Americans and so forth prepares you for a world in which not everyone thinks like you, not everyone looks like you, not everyone lives in your city. I think that’s what a great university can do. It can expose you to other ideas, other cultures, and prepare you to be more of a global citizen. Those are two.

with, ‘we don’t teach you how to turn a bolt,’ or ‘we don’t give you a specific type of business course.’ That we failed. Our students are smart. They’ll figure all that out. What we need to do is give them the cognitive skills to be all they can be. That’s my goal for the university. And I think we do it very well. I mean look at our graduation rates. Look at a place like Riverside with an astounding degree of diversity. The graduation rates could be higher but they’re still darn high, compared to national standards. CL: I have one last question. UCR has a long-term development plan called UCR 2020. Do you have any long-term plans for the UC? Any particular goals in mind for the next five, ten or twenty years? MY: Well it’s very hard, because I feel like we’re under siege. You know, my pri-

proach, so we’re putting money into multicampus research; we’re participants in telescope projects. We do a lot of things that say the power of 10 is better than the power of one. I would say there are some things I’ve wanted to fix. I do think we should reexamine our governance model. We did fix the pension fund—we haven’t talked about that, but we’re just about the only large public employer in the state to have fixed it. But our faculty and students are so good that the actual intellectual directions, I fully trust them to figure out. My problem is to protect them and facilitate what they do. CL: Thank you very much for the interview. MY: Thank you, sir. You asked good H questions! ■

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HIGHLANDER

FEATURES

MR.KEBAB

Fatima Mirza & Emily Wells, Senior Staff Writers Wesley Ng, Photographer

WRITE FOR THE HIGHLANDER NEWSPAPER

MEETINGS ON MONDAYS 5:15PM @ HUB 101

★★★★☆

At first glance, Mr. Kebab, a Mediterranean restaurant located on Iowa Avenue, is far from impressive. The location is hardly ideal and the interior design isn’t spectacular either. But after sampling the food it became clear that what entices customers to Mr. Kebab is not the initial aesthetics. We were starving when we walked into Mr. Kebab’s on a particularly hot Friday afternoon. A few people occupied the tables and beige colored booths, but other than that the place was quiet. The walls were lined with mirrors that gave the restaurant a spacious feeling, and fixtures of plants that hung from the ceiling helped add a splash of color and freshness to the pale color scheme. Immediately the hostess approached us and informed us that they were serving their buffet. We were hesitant to opt for the buffet, but once she gestured to the abundant food options, we were sold. Perfect for students with big appetites and small budgets, the buffet offers a wide range of food items

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012

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for only $11.99. Mr. Kebab’s buffet is every Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The rest of the time the restaurant offers appetizers such as stuffed grape leaves or main meals that range from hamburgers and pita bread wraps to extravagant plates. The plates are anywhere from nine to 17 dollars and are composed of many different items, such as kebabs, rice, salad, hummus and falafel. The amount of buffet items to chose from was almost overwhelming, especially because the items were all authentic Mediterranean dishes we were not too familiar with. Luckily, our hostess was attentive and kind. She took great care to explain to us what the dishes were called and what they were made of. It was clear that she was very knowledgeable about the items and their ingredients, she even pointed out which items were vegetarian and which were not. She told us to not hesitate to ask her if we had any questions, and with that we were left with the deciMR. KEBAB CONT’D ON PAGE 14


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TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012

FEATURES

LAMBPEPPERLAMBTOMATOLAMB MR. KEBAB FROM ON PAGE 13

WEDNESDAYS @ 9AM

KUCR RADIO 88.3

HIGHLANDER NEWSROOM

sion of what to eat first. We piled our plates with everything they could hold—pita bread, hummus, mutabbal (a dip and appetizer made of eggplant), two different types of rice, mosakaa (eggplant stew), beef kebabs, lentil soup and more. The hummus was by far the best we had tried in a long while. Hummus, a popular dip composed mainly of garbanzo beans, is hard to mess up. Even so, the hummus at Mr. Kebab was exceptional—drizzled with the perfect amount of seasonings and olive oil. It went perfectly with the soft pita bread and the crunchy falafel. Falafel is a vegetarian item made of chickpeas and, when cooked properly, it is crunchy on the outside and soft and flavorful on the inside. Mr. Kebab’s falafel’s did not disappoint, in fact it complimented the rest of the items completely. The white rice went well with the two different stews—the eggplant stew and the green bean stew with meat. The stews were only slightly spicy and were a bit too watery. The chicken itself was wonderful, it had the perfect amount of flavor and tenderness. The kebab was slightly dry, but that is often how Mediterranean style kebab’s are made. Despite the dryness, it was still quite tasty. One of the more interesting items was a green rice with fava beans. The rice had a very strong aroma and was seasoned with fresh dill weed, which gave it a very exotic taste. It went nicely with all the other items, especially the kebab. After sampling almost all of the buffet items, we were stuffed. The buffet is definitely filing, as most buffets often are, but it was also delicious. Each item was flavorful and high in quality. Regardless of the food coma that would ensue, we got a small

plate of dessert items. The caramel custard that came in a plastic bowl was standard. The namura however was definitely an interesting dessert item. It was served in small cubes and was made of semolina and syrup. It was crunchy and chewy, with a very hard surface that was difficult to bite into, but sweet. Seeing how much we enjoyed our hummus, the hostess gave us some hummus to go. Her consideration was thoughtful, and it made the experience all the more enjoyable. But the kindness of the service was not the only thing that will bring us back to Mr. Kebab, the food was remarkable and affordable and it will surely make regular customH ers out of us. ■

HIGHLANDER


HIGHLANDER

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012

R adar ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Jonathan Godoy/HIGHLANDER

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TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

HIGHLANDER

UCR IS

DANCING ~2012~

Emily Wells, Senior Staff Writer // Jonathan Godoy, Photographer

The UC Riverside Department of Dance has put on another quality production with their annual undergraduate showcase, “UCR is Dancing.” Under the artistic direction of Visiting Assistant Professor Joel Smith, 17 undergraduate dance students presented original choreography that reflected five quarters of study in dance composition. The students have been working with faculty members Wendy Rogers and Susan Rose since the fall of 2010, creating choreographic projects based on a variety of structures and methods. At the start of the fall quarter, student choreographers hold auditions for their pieces. Students of UCR from all kinds of dance backgrounds attend an open audition, and the choreographers select the dancers they wish to work with. The completed dance pieces must then audition at the end of fall quarter to be featured in the show. If selected, the pieces rehearse through winter quarter and perform at the end of it.

The pieces certainly focus on different aspects of dance, but maintain a seamless consistency as well. Some were quite rhythmically dynamic, while others utilized space, time and energy. One theme that seemed to be universal through most of the pieces was the exploration of relationship dynamics. Physical contact between the dancers was used quite powerfully, and a stark contrast was created when individuals in the performance were singled out. Many of the pieces ended with one dancer watching the rest or wandering off, emphasizing isolationism and individualism. It seemed as though each piece offered the audience a problem of humanity that needs to be solved, sometimes offering a resolution and sometimes leaving viewers chilled. One of the pieces that was strikingly unique was “100 Beats per Minute,” choreographed by Delicia McKinney, Christina Park and Mynesha Whyte. The piece featured dancers in camouflage, stomp-

ing militarily around the stage. The piece was perhaps the most effective vehicle to explore the concept of collectivization, as various dancers broke out of the marching to dance their own phrase. A phenomenally hilarious performance was given by choreographer Jessica Finkelstein in collaboration with Hannah Zisman. Her piece, which was the only one to feature dialogue, made light of the cliches and arbitrariness of many dance performances. She announced to the audience at the start, “I’m smiling because this is a happy piece. You’re going to like it—I can tell.” From there, she mocked the overdramatized motions and gazing into the distance that are so prevalent in contemporary dance. It was even more amusing because of the applicability to the performances that preceded hers. Of her performance, Finkelstein said, “I feel like my piece brought something different to the ‘UCR is Dancing’ stage and I think the audience responded well. This

year has been wonderful and it wouldn’t have been anywhere near to this good if it wasn’t for all the other choreographers and dancers in the cast; not to mention our artistic director Joel Smith who helped to push us to go the distance and helped each and everyone one of us create something amazing we can all be proud of!” Overall, this year’s “UCR is Dancing” was an outstanding showcase of the dance department’s commitment to unconventional contemporary performances. Student Jennifer Sayed said, “I thought there were some extremely talented people in the show, and that this year’s show was even more entertaining than last year’s.” The student choreographers included Alyssa Burton, Belgica Del Rio, Jessica Finkelstein, Irvin Gonzalez, Lauren Harnitchek, Delicia McKinney, Christina Park, Ivy Rivas, Maria Romero, Ally Sanchez, Edwin Siguenza, Ariel Stern, Dyanna Uribe, Kimberly Washington, Cydney Watson, Mynesha H Whyte and Hannah Zisman. ■


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

HIGHLANDER

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012

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MOVIE REVIEWS ALSO THIS WEEK:

21 JUMP STREET

DETACHMENT

THE FP

JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME

JOHN CARTER RATING:

★★★☆☆

BY: JACQUELINE BALDERRAMA, STAFF WRITER

Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Disney’s John Carter was released March 9 by Andrew Stanton, director of “Finding Nemo” and “WALL-E.” The story is based on Edgar Rice Burrough’s “Barsoom” series. This actionadventure-fantasy seems to be what you get when you cross “Star Wars” with “Prince of

Persia.” There are aliens, spacecrafts, ridiculous stunts and a nearly cliché plot. Yet, despite these negative appearances, the movie was surprisingly entertaining with its classic Disney themes of love, determination and hope against all odds. John Carter (Taylor Kitsch)

is a former confederate soldier who finds himself accidentally transported to Mars, or Barsoom as the martians call it. With the astonishing ability to leap incredible distances, he quickly becomes of interest to the inhabitants of Mars, which include Tharks—ruthless four armed creatures—as well as martians of the cities Helium and Zodanga. These two cities have been at war and Sab Than, Prince of Zodanga, (Dominic West) has acquired a powerful weapon by mysterious enforcers of the solar system. In order to prevent the razing of his city, the king of Helium offers his daughter’s hand in marriage to the San Than. As a result, the soon to be wed Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) seeks Carter’s help after witnessing his astonishing abilities. Thus, the earth foreigner, at first only motivated by the desire to return home, is chosen the unlikely hero of this tale. Despite the seeming ridiculous pairing of a confederate veteran and the ritualistic yet advanced technologies of the martians, this film is well formatted in balancing the themes of family, love and determination. Not

only is the film attractive with the visual effects which include gigantic monsters, spaceship explosions, and brutal battles, there is also a sensitivity to the characters themselves. Carter has during the war lost his wife and child. Furthermore, the same discord and loving ties on earth are also present on Mars. Promises are made and forgiveness is administered as all the inhabitants of Mars witness the potential destruction of their home planet. There are cliché moments, however, that push the film into less serious situations such as the damsel in distress, promised to a man she does not love. However, the comic relief and completeness of the story seem to compensate this. Furthermore the film is not without twists and suspense. Carter finds himself against impossible odds with the forces of fate. As both a flawed and charming character, it is easy to cheer for him as he confronts, outwits and puts on a spectacular array of stunts. Overall, the film was highly entertaining, perhaps due to the fact that the absurdity of the situation jump starts an adventure in a completely different world

SILENT HOUSE RATING:

★★★☆☆

BY: JOSEPHINE LIEN, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Within the first few seconds of watching “Silent House,” I pondered whether or not I had made a horrible decision selecting the film. Utilizing the ever-popular shaky, one-take style of filming that suggests the control of a hyperactive toddler, I felt sympathy for my head and stomach. Despite my physical discomfort, its storyline and moments of panic left me somewhat satisfied. The film features the three stereotypical elements of horror: an old house, creepy little girls and a lack of electricity and cell phone reception. Basically, it contains all the components that lead to the characters’ inevitable downfall. Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen), her father John (Adam Trese) and her uncle Peter (Eric Sheffer Stevens) attempt to renovate their vandalized family retreat in order to sell it. After she hears knocks on the door, Sarah reluctantly opens it and meets a suspicious woman who claims to have been her childhood friend. Mysterious sounds soon reverberate within the house, causing Sarah and her father to investigate each room. Her father suddenly disappears, forcing Sarah to fend for herself against unknown figures who pose great harm. Olsen’s acting actually far surpassed my expectations, as her pained expressions and trembling lips displayed a nearly genuine sense of fear. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about Trese or Stevens; their mediocre responses to their characters’ terrifying situations would fail to convince anyone. As far as its level of scariness, it deliv-

ers a fair amount of chills. The constant darkness and brief glimpses of apparitions created a tense, creepy atmosphere. It occasionally relies on cheap scare tactics such as John or Peter suddenly popping into the frame, but they are compensated by scenes such as when Sarah enters a bathroom and witnesses blood pouring from an opening in the wall and a little girl bathing in a bloody bathtub with empty beer bottles. Overall, the film functions as an unexpected mixture of “The Strangers” and

“Black Swan” and dwells on the fear of the unknown. Numerous questions remain unanswered until the final few minutes of the movie, causing me to establish a series of connections post-viewing. In fact, I departed the theater bewildered and unsure of my thoughts, although I did feel partially cheated by the major twist. If you appreciate a cerebral film (and motion sickness is not a problem), “Silent House” will surely elicit a few screams and inH tense thinking. ■

with its own species, customs and cultures. Like Carter, the viewer too is transported to a different time and place where space crafts fly on light and mysterious figures of fate can take on any shape they please. As a result, John Carter portrays a vast new setting of Mars while keeping in tacked very human struggles of war, family and power. In the end, it seems we are not so different than the alien forms on a planet H that once seemed so far away. ■

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18

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

HIGHLANDER

MUSIC REVIEWS XIU XIU // ALWAYS RATING: ★★★☆☆

BY: DIANA S. HUANG, STAFF WRITER Courtesy of Polyvinyl

Boiling with manic depressive energy, Xiu Xiu returns to the experimental rock and punk scene with their eighth studio album, “Always.” Front-

man and founder Jamie Stewart made a name for himself and his band with their angst-filled lyrics and riotous music. Xiu Xiu has never been good at

pleasing the masses, and this album is no different. The band often polarizes their listeners with Stewart’s crooning, trembling vocals enveloped by Angela Seo’s cacophonous drum beats. What set “Always” apart from previous albums are Stewart’s daredevil lyrics on modern day topics. As a songwriter, Stewart never shied away from controversy and often used shock-value in penning his songs. Even though certain topics have become more highly sensitive due to the ever-changing political and cultural landscape, Xiu Xiu certainly threw in their own opinions amidst roaring instrumentals and Stewart’s sorrowful vocals. “Smear the Queen” and “The Oldness” are chock-full of Xiu Xiu’s signature style, with “Smear the Queen” painting visual imagery of gore and violence common in Xiu Xiu’s music, and “The Oldness” utilizing heartwrenching piano to incite a certain feelings of hopelessness and despair with its listeners. Drummer Angela Seo’s voice is featured most prominently in “Joey’s Song,” the only track on the album that features a catchy chorus and consistent instrumentals, and will definitely become a fast favorite amongst fans. Others like “Factory Girl” and “Honey Suckle” are reminiscent of the electro-pop feel of their previous album “Dear God, I Hate Myself,” complete with videogame noises and obscene lyrics. “Always” boasts two uncomfortable and visually disturbing tracks: “I Luv Abortion” and “Gul Mudin.” The former is Stewart and Seo’s bold opinion on one of the hottest topics right now. However, despite their efforts to piss off right-wing Americans, the lyrics “when I look at my thighs I see death” and “you are too good for this life/a hyena infected with rabies would give birth to you” render even the most ardent pro-choice listeners troubled and feeling queasy. Xiu Xiu excels at obscenities and they seem to specialize in pushing the envelope

when it comes to their lyrics. The two minute 30 second track “Gul Mudin” is a blatant reference to the American soldiers in Afghanistan who murdered and mutilated civilians, posed with the corpses and kept body parts as trophies. The track title is also the name of the 15-year-old boy killed by two of the soldiers. Despite Stewart’s trademark tremulous vocals, the alarming lyrics are sung with clarity to make sure the listeners do not simply pass this off as another depressing song off the album. Xiu Xiu stayed true to their roots, bringing forth yet another album infused with one morbid song after another. For those wanting a feel-good album, this is not it. Xiu Xiu has never made music for the faint of heart, and they’re not about to start any time H soon. ■

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. SPORTS .

HIGHLANDER

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012

19

Baseball wins weekend series against the Hornets K e n da ll P e t e r s o n STAFF WRITER

March 6, 2012 Bruins 4 -- Highlanders 0

PRANAV BHAKTA

P-BHAK’S CORNER The Peyton Manning Auction The Indiana Colts released their franchise star quarterback of the past decade, Peyton Manning, this past week. The Colts have decided to move on in the rebuilding phase as they hold a first-round overall draft selection in this year’s NFL draft. The Colts will benefit since they won’t deal with the massive contract of Manning and they will get to draft a cannot-miss prospect in Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. This makes the Colts’ decision to drop Peyton Manning, a premier generational athlete that does not come very often, easier for the fans to understand. With Manning in the free agency market, which team in the NFL is best suited to sign Manning and make a genuine run at the Super Bowl? The team mostly likely favored is the Miami Dolphins. Miami has the money to afford Manning and does not have an existing commitment to a player at the quarterback position. The Denver Broncos have made a serious push for Manning as they have a strong running game and a good defense with a brilliant secondary. The Broncos lack a substantial passing game, which Manning would give them if he joins the Broncos. That would also mean Tim Tebow will have to take a ticket out of Denver, something Tebow fans might not be to pleased about. An interesting team that could acquire the services of Manning is the San Francisco 49ers, since they have the cap space and can add an additional star wide receiver from free agency. They have a good overall team, but the only issue with Manning putting on red and gold is that current 49ers quarterback, Alex Smith, is represented by the same agent as Manning. There are sure to be some emotional conflicts if Manning goes to the 49ers. Where the greatest quarterback goes is anyone’s guess, but when Manning does pick a team, it is going to be very H interesting. ■

The Highlander baseball team traveled to Los Angeles, California to face off against UCLA for another outer conference battle. Riverside was shutout in route to a 0-4 loss at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Mitch Patito started on the mound for the Highlanders before being pulled in the fifth inning. Patito had seven opponents striking out but he allowed six hits, three runs and three walks. Grant Wilson, the starter for the Bruins, went 5.1 innings and only allowed two hits and one strike out. Riverside’s pitching allowed 10 hits while they only mustered four hits. Vince Gonzalez had two of the team’s four hits as he went 2-4. The Highlanders, as a team, stopped their woes of striking out as they only stuck out four times. Riverside’s bats could just not find the gaps in the Bruins’ defense, and they lost the game by a score of 0-4. March 9, 2012 Highlanders 15 -- Hornets 4 The Riverside baseball team faced off against Sacramento State in what turned into a slugfest. The Highland-

ers used the first two innings to set the tone as they beat the Hornets by 11 runs in route to a 15-4 victory. Dylan Stuart (2-2) started for the Highlanders and went five strong innings. Stuart got five strike outs, allowed eight hits and four runs. The bats for UCR were running on all cylinders as all the starters achieved a hit and combined for a total of 16 hits and 15 RBIs. The Highlanders showed greatness but a couple names that stood out were Eddie Young who went 3-3 with three RBIs, Drake Zarate who went 2-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored and Devon Bolasky who went 2-2 with three runs scored. Coach Doug Smith was asked about the team’s performance. “We swung the bats poorly all year long,” he said, “we have been working hard and it was great to finally see it carry over.” March 10, 2012 Highlanders 1 -- Hornets 0 UCR baseball faced off against Sacramento State for the second game of the weekend Saturday afternoon. Riverside would shut out its opponent, 1-0, in a record-setting game for the Highlanders. Eddie Orozco started the mound for UCR and pitched a magnificent

G o r d o n H u ang /HIGHLANDER

complete game. Orozco only allowed three hits but he got a superb 15 strikeouts. The Hornets got more strikeouts than the Highlanders in this game. UCR mustered six hits and two of them came crucial in the bottom of the third inning. Bart Steponovich singled to shortstop then Jake Gallaway grounded out to third but that advanced Steponovich to second. Devon Bolasky came up and singled down the left field line for an RBI. Steponovich scored the only run UCR needed as he went 2-3 at the plate. UCR won in a 1-0 shutout. March 6, 2012 Highlanders 2 -- Hornets 5 UCR baseball finished the threegame series against Sacramento State this past Sunday afternoon.

UC Riverside was unable to withstand the Hornets’ young pitcher Brennan Leitao in route to a 2-5 loss. Trevor Frank started the mound for the Highlanders. Frank went eight innings, allowed five hits and five runs with four strike outs. The Highlanders were scoreless until the eighth inning when they scored two runs on two hits. Phil Holinsworth started it when he singled through the right side of the field. Clayton Prestridge reached the bases on an error and the Highlanders had two men on. Eddie Young then singled to right field as he scored Holinsworth for an RBI. Prestridge found his way to home plate for the second run scored but that would be it for Riverside in the game. UCR didn’t get the comeback win but the team still won its first H weekend series of the year. ■

Softball earns five wins in eight games this week K e n da ll P e t e r s o n STAFF WRITER

March 6, 2012 Highlanders 2 -- Hawks 1 Riverside squared off against Saint Joseph’s Tuesday and took the first of two games. UCR claimed two late runs that sealed its 2-1 victory. Jordyn McDonald started for the Highlanders for a complete game as she pitched all seven innings. McDonald allowed one run on six hits, three walks and got six strikeouts in the process. UCR scored in the fourth with a sacrifice bunt that tied the game at one a piece. In the next inning, the Highlanders mustered up two hits by Brittany Keeny and Alexis Pickett to get the lead, and that would be all that Riverside needed to get the victory. March 6, 2012 Spartans 15 -- Highlanders 6 UCR wrapped up play on Tuesday against Michigan State in route to a 6-15 loss that ended with the eight-run mercy rule. The Highlanders played catch-up since the start of the game but it just wasn’t enough. Riverside scored in the first two innings to put their deficit within two 6-8, but that would be as close UCR would get. MSU continued to pile in runs and won it, 15-6. March 7, 2012 Highlanders 7 -- Colonels 6 UCR softball faced Eastern Kentucky for the first game of a double-header Wednesday. The Highlanders came up victorious when they homered three times in the game to seal the 7-6 win. Jordyn McDonald continued her excellent pitching, going the full seven innings. She allowed six runs, two walks and got eight strike outs. Brittany Keeney shined in the game, going 3-3 with three runs, three RBIs and two homers.

March 7, 2012 Highlanders 16 -- Colonels 8 The UCR softball team concluded the doubleheader against Eastern Kentucky Wednesday in route to a 16-8 mercy rule win after six innings of play. Casey Suda started for the Highlanders but Taylor Alvarez picked up the win. The game was all tied up after five innings but Riverside scored eight runs on five hits in the bottom of the sixth. UCR homered three times in this game as well; two of them came from Kayla White who went 3-5 with four RBIs and three runs scored. The 16 runs were the most scored by UCR this season. March 9, 2012 Highlanders 4 -- Hawks 0 Riverside’s softball team opened up the Amy S. Harrison Classic with a 4-0 shutout win against Saint Joseph’s. Jordyn McDonald continued to pitch well for the Highlanders as she went all seven innings. McDonald allowed three walks, five hits while striking out five batters. UCR did damage in the third inning. Kaylie Atkinson walked, Halle Luna was hit by pitch and Kayla White drilled the ball down the right field for a two RBI triple. White later scored on a wild pitch to put the Highlanders up 3-0. Riverside, in the sixth inning, claimed another run to put the game away. March 10, 2012 Highlanders 3 -- Bobcats 2 UCR softball continued play at the Amy S. Harrison Classic against Quinnipiac. The Highlanders were scoreless until the third inning and would use that inning to help them win 3-2. Taylor Alvarez started for Riverside and only allowed two runs while she pitched all seven innings. With two outs in the third, Riverside went on a two-out rally. Kayla White walked and Dionne Anderson singled up the middle. White and Anderson both stole their next bases and then Brittany Keeny singled to right field for two RBIs. UCR scored in the next inning and held off Quinnipiac to just two runs to get the victory.

K i r s t e n V o s s /HIGHLANDER

March 11, 2012 Bobcats 3 -- Highlanders 2 UCR softball played Quinnipiac again Sunday morning. Riverside played from behind and was unable to get the sweep, losing 2-3. Amy Lwin started for the Highlanders and could only go four innings before being pulled. Lwin allowed seven hits on three runs with one strikeout. Jordan Paolucci led off the top of the second for the Bobcats with a homer and Quinnipiac would score again for a 2-0 lead. The deficit would be too much for Riverside as the was unable to pull a comeback. UCR’s Yesenia Duenas went 2-3 with one RBI while Dionne Anderson went 2-4 with one RBI and one run scored. March 11, 2012 Lions 7 -- Highlanders 6 UCR softball concluded play at the Amy S. Harrison Classic against Loyola Marymount this past Sunday afternoon. The Highlanders were unable to secure their lead into the final innings as it went into extra play with the Highlanders losing, 6-7. The bats were hot for UCR as they jumped on Loyola 5-1 by the fifth inning. However, Loyola scored three runs in the seventh inning to tie the game which sent it into extra innings. Riverside allowed two runs in the eighth and that would be it as UCR could not win it in the bottom of the inning. Kayla White for the Highlanders was superb, going 4-5 with three RBIs, two runs scored and H one home run. ■


20

SPORTS

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012

HIGHLANDER

First-round loss to Cal Poly ends Riverside’s season M i c h a el R i o s SENIOR STAFF WRITER

The UC Riverside men’s basketball team punched its ticket to the Big West Tournament as the fifth seed this year. In the 10-plus years they’ve competed in the Big West, the Highlanders have made it to the tournament six times and have advanced to the second round thrice. Coincidentally, each time the Highlanders advanced to the second round, they defeated the Cal Poly Mustangs. Looking to continue that streak, the Highlanders traveled to the Honda Center in Anaheim to compete in the first round of the 2012 Big West Tournament against the Mustangs once again. However, a determined Cal Poly team looked to crush the Highlanders’ hopes of defeating them for the fourth straight time. Led by Amaurys Fermin, the Cal Poly Mustangs used a strong second half effort to beat the Highlanders with a 66-54 final score. With that loss, Riverside’s 20112012 season came to a disappointing close. “The season is over,” said Highlander head coach Jim Wooldridge in a disgruntled postgame interview. “We couldn’t match them offensively. We knew they were going to continue to attack us in the lane. We just didn’t have enough bulk in there. We just couldn’t find any offense. It’s pretty simple.” The Highlanders had a solid start to the game as Riverside used a 10-2 run toward the end of the first half to take a 34-28 lead

MICHAEL RIOS

RIO-SIDE Deficiency?

Kevin Dinh/HIGHLANDER

going into the locker rooms. Robert Smith led the Highlanders in the first 20 minutes of action with 10 strong points. With a solid six-point lead, the Highlanders opened the second half with a lack of energy and enthusiasm. Cal Poly took advantage of the Highlanders’ lackluster play at the start of the second half as the Mustangs outscored Riverside 22-5 in the first few minutes of action. Cal Poly led by as many as 12 points late in the game. Coach Wooldridge called various timeouts to get his team back into it, but the Highlanders were unable to muster any type of comeback. Cal Poly maintained

its double-digit advantage for the majority of the final minutes. The final buzzer went off and the Highlanders ended their season with a 54-66 loss to the Mustangs in the first round of the tournament. After the game, graduating senior and star forward Phil Martin voiced his thoughts on Thursday night’s loss and the way the season ended. “It just didn’t bounce our way tonight,” he said. Martin finished the season as the Big West’s leading scorer, averaging 19.5 points per game in conference matches. He ended the game with 15 points. Martin also earned Big West first-team honors at the end of the regular season.

The Highlanders will now look forward to the 2012-2013 season. Robert Smith, one of the team’s leading scorers, commented on what he expects from the upcoming season. “[We have] to stay consistent,” Smith replied, referring the the team’s up and down streaks of this past year. UC Riverside ends its 2012 season with a 14-17 overall record and a 7-9 conference record. Cal Poly advanced to the semifinals of the tournament but lost the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. The winner of the Big West Tournament was Long Beach State, who defeated the UC Santa BarH bara Gauchos on Saturday. ■

Track and field returns to Riverside for the first time in seven years P r a n av B h a k ta SENIOR STAFF WRITER

The UC Riverside track and field team hosted its first home meet since 2005 on Saturday afternoon in a dual meet versus UC Santa Barbara. The UCR women’s team took home first place, narrowly winning 92-86. The men’s team had to settle for second, losing narrowly by six points, 87-93. The meet was extremely close, making the final events very significant. The new UC Riverside track stadium boasts an eight lane, Rekortan M99 world championship surface and hosted its first meet since 2005. “The new track facility is remarkably overdue,” said Chancellor Timothy White in a press release. “We are now, for the first time in many years, able to host home meets so our student-athletes can perform in front of their friends, family and the campus community.” The field events kick-started the day with a win from Ashley Gatewood in the javelin event with a throw of 48.85m. In the hammer throw, Nikki James placed first with a throw of 54.56m while Gatewood came in at second with a throw of 52.06m. In the discus event, James threw for 48.47m for first place narrowly edging out teammate Deja Watkins who threw a distance of 48.11m. In the jumps the Highlanders secured two first-place finishes by Danielle Littleton in the women’s long jump with a leap of 5.66m and Jazmine Lewis in the triple jump with a leap of 11.39m. In the men’s field event, Travis Smith took first place in the shot put event with a throw of 17.24m. Smith was not done as he also took first in the discus event with a throw of 51.10. In the hammer throw, Caleb Stuart finish place with a throw of 59.62m. In the jumps, Ted Hooper took first place in the long jump with a career-best jump of 7.26m. Ryan

J o nathan G o d o y /HIGHLANDER

Swafford took second place in the long jump with a jump of 6.77m. Swafford also earned first place in the triple jump with a leap of 15.77m. In the running events, the women’s team did very well, picking up a couple of victories to secure their overall team victory. In the 400m dash, Yozmine Modeste picked up five points for the Highlanders with her first-place finish at a time of 56.52. In the 800m, Alisha Brown finished in first place with a time of 2:14.54. Adriana Paz ran a 1:03.62 in the 400m hurdles, placing first. In the 1500m, Raquel Hefflin placed first with a run of 4:39.65 and was followed up by Damajeria Dubose who placed second with a time of 4:40.20. In the final event of the day, the team of Brown, Paz, Michelle Macias and Modeste won the 4x400m relay with a time

of 3:49.81, edging out the UC Santa Barbara team by a bare second. In the men’s running events, the Highlanders got off to a good start, winning the first running event of the day, the 4x100 relay, as the team of Justin Harris, Hernell Dyer, Michael Hern and Bryan Adams took first with a time of 41.14. In the 100m dash, Dyer took home first with a time of 10.884 and Hern placed second with a time of 10.889. In the 200m dash, Bryan Adams took home first place with a time of 21.71. In the 400 hurdles race, Sean Ferrera finished first with a time of 52.13. In the 3,000m distance race, Chad Hall ran a 8:33.74 which was good for a first-place finish. The Highlanders will compete next at the Arizona State Baldy Castillo Invitational on H March 16 and 17. ■

In the past, I’ve criticized our school’s program for so many things. Among these criticisms were the program’s inability to emerge as a legitimate and competitive university around the nation. The most recent event that supported my claims was the basketball team’s early fall in the conference tournament. There are many more things to list, but there is no need to get into that at the moment. I’ll admit, my points have been dangerously close to becoming negative and unhelpful forms of criticism, but I feel it is necessary to point out our flaws before we can proceed. That’s the theme of this column: progress. I feel that nothing is more dangerous to the progress of our university than to believe that our talents are limited, that our accomplishments are ultimate, and that our goals will never be realized. This column and others I have written in the past were not necessarily meant to criticise; they were meant to be a call to action. I think that there is no better time to move forward than now. Look at us. We’ve come a long way, relatively speaking, but we have yet to do anything as significant as gain the nation’s undeniable respect. We sometimes pride ourselves in being competitive and talented, but we sometimes fall just short of proving that. Therefore, I propose that we forget our past shortcomings and change, adapt and upgrade like we’ve done in the past. We are the school that upgraded to a more competitive division, the school that defied criticisms to renovate our identity and the school that still perseveres even though odds are stacked against us. We know what we’ve done in the past and we know that we do have a proud history. That’s the first step. We must look at our previous achievements and accept that our goals are possible to realize. I’ll end this column with the words of someone who is quickly becoming a hero of mine. Legendary sports figure John Wooden once said, “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.” Riverside, we cannot continue to accept the status quo. It’s time for a change and time for us to finally get stuff done. We’ve made small progress, but now we have to take an even bigger leap. We are a school with a lot H of potential. Why waste it? ■


Volume 60 Issue 21