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Highlander University

Volume 62


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

Issue 21

Serving the UCR community since 1954

UCR Highlander Newspaper


Cancelled Heat concert cost nearly $600,000


VICTORY: Men’s basketball secures last playoff spot versus UC Davis SPORTS, PAGE 28

MICHAEL RIOS Senior Staff Writer

$570,000 — that’s the reported amount that was spent on the cancelled Heat Music Festival this year. Of that amount, about $330,000 was paid to headliners such as Childish Gambino, Madeon, Ciara and other artists that UC Riverside students never got a chance to see perform. Worrisome weather forecasts

were what led to the cancellation of the March 1 festival, despite the tagline at the bottom of each Heat ticket which promised a concert — “rain or shine.” “We didn’t cancel the concert because of rain,” explained Highlander Union Building (HUB) director Todd Wingate in an interview with the Highlander. “We cancelled it because there was potential lightning. That was the danger piece.”


In the days leading up to the concert, the HUB met regularly with the university’s emergency manager to determine whether or not the forecast would affect the schedule of the festival. As March 1 neared, officials saw no significant signs that would have derailed the event. By 1 p.m. Saturday, the HUB received the green light to go ahead with the ► SEE HEAT, PAGE 5

Celebratory event recognizes six UCR female students PHOEBE YU Contributing Writer

The fourth annual Celebration for a Day of Appreciation and Recognition of Women Students’ Celebration event was held last Thursday as one of the many ways in which the UC Riverside community is commemorating March’s National Women’s History Month. The celebration honored six undergraduate and graduate female students in the areas of leadership and civic engagement, social justice and overcoming adversity. Josephine Turner, former president of the American Association of University Women’s Riverside branch, addressed the need for change and a call for action among women. “If you believe that women earning 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, is not right, you must fight for change,” Turner implored. “We (women) need to be better represented.” The American Association of University Women is an organization that provides scholarships to women and supports legal advocacy and research in gender issues. The association is partnered with the university so UCR students are

able to obtain a membership at no cost. The first honoree of the evening was Katherine Tsai, a third-year undergraduate student majoring in biology. Richard Hooley, an assistant professor of chemistry, presented Tsai the Leadership and Civic Engagement Award, naming her an “exemplary supplementary instruction leader.” The graduate student honoree for leadership and civic engagement was Vickie Vertiz, a creative writing major. Kenji Liu, creative manager at UCR’s Extension Center, identified Vertiz as the first in her family to finish school above the fourth grade and indicated that she is currently working on her second master’s degree. Afterwards, Vertiz read a short poem she had composed about experiencing poverty as a college student. Afterward, associate professor of women’s studies Chikako Takeshita presented second-year undergraduate student Gabriella Bobadilla with an award for social justice. Bobadilla is a Spanish and theater double major who is involved in many social justice-related community service endeavors such as Operation SafeHouse — a program that provides


Taylor Johns (No. 5) cheers on his teammates from the sidelines.

emergency shelter for youths at risk in the Inland Empire. Steve Whitestone, a representative from UCR’s Student Affairs Communication, presented education major Remie Rahman with the graduate student award for social justice. Whitestone praised Rahman’s “tireless work ethic” and commended her efforts as a full-time special education math teacher and peer mentor at the Well. The undergraduate student honoree for the Overcoming Adversity Award was presented to psychology major Jacklyn Kozich by David Glidden, a professor emeritus of philosophy. U.S. Navy veteran Kozich was involved in a motorcycle accident during a commute to school from Temecula and consequently placed in a wheelchair for several months. Glidden cited an incident in which Kozich pulled herself and her wheelchair up three flights of stairs after falling to attend class; Glidden applauded her “determination to succeed” and her efforts in advocating for improved accommodations for disabled students. Lastly, professor of plant pathology and ► SEE FEMALE STUDENTS, PAGE 5

INSIDE: Why are people watching a video game character stumble drunkenly for hours? We analyze Twitch Plays Pokemon. OPINIONS


The Dating Doctor came to campus to enlighten students about attraction, breakups and everything inbetween. PAGES 14


Back to the Grind’s open mic series is packed with solid talent and good vibes.



Men’s basketball player Taylor Johns is more than just a highlight reel. PAGE 25










UC meets deadline for Violence Against Women Act SANDY VAN Senior Staff Writer

The UC announced the expansion of its systemwide policy against sexual and domestic violence, stalking and harassment, in order to meet the March 7 deadline to comply with the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The federal law, renewed by President Barack Obama, allocates $660 million over the next five years for programs for transitional housing, counseling, support hotlines for rape or domestic abuse victims and legal assistance. The 1994 law, which expired in 2011, was reauthorized by 199 Democrats and 87 Republicans in a vote of 286 to 138 on Feb. 28. VAWA was previously stalled by Republicans in the House of Representatives, who unsuccessfully attempted to pass an alternative piece of legislation which stripped certain protections granted to Native Americans and gay, bisexual or transgender victims of domestic violence — offered in the renewed VAWA law. “Over more than two decades, this law has saved countless lives and transformed the way we treat victims of abuse,” Obama said in a news release. “Today’s vote will go even further by

continuing to reduce domestic violence, improving how we treat victims of rape, and extending protections to Native American women and members of the L.G.B.T. community.” According to federal statistics released in 2012, 37.4 percent of female rape victims were first raped between the ages of 18 to 24; 1:5 women and 1:71 men reported experiencing rape in their lifetime. UC Media Specialist Brooke Converse said UC policy changes will include expanded training and education, increased reporting requirements, broader protections for victims and sanctions, in addition to protective measures that universities may implement after a final disciplinary review. Converse adds that further policy changes may be mandated by state legislation under the guidance of the federal government. “We have no tolerance for sexual violence or harassment of any kind,” UC President Janet Napolitano said in a press release. “The university must, and will, hold itself to the highest standards, and I expect all of our locations to do everything possible to make everyone aware of these standards.” Among the new changes at a university level, communications

BRANDY COATS / HIGHLANDER According to 2012 statistics, one out of five women and one out of 71 men reported experiencing rape.

supervisor of the UCR Police Department (UCRPD) Judy Lane said that under the VAWA, sexual harassment is a new category that must be publicly reported in future UCR Clery reports starting from 2013. Lane adds that UCRPD handled one rape, one attempted rape and three sex offense cases last year. “Clery requires us to get incidents that are reported to other people on campus (such as Title IX) and local police departments,” Lane said. “We will not be collecting that information

hoto of of the the Week eek Photo


“It was a good night for UC Riverside.”

Upcoming Events


UCR fans crossed their fingers to support the players during a high-stakes free-throw shot.

should also be mandatory for all clubs and organizations before they are allowed to register or reregister their organizations.” Arterberry says the Title IX office is the official office for reporting cases of sexual harassment at UC Riverside. Other resources available for sexual assault survivors are the Women’s Resource Center, UCR’s Survivors Support Group, Counseling Center, the Well, the Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center and the Campus Health ■H Center.



Baseball: Gonzaga 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. Riverside Sports Complex

Tuesday Talk - Let’s Talk About Sex 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. Costo Hall 245


Therapy Fluffies 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Bell Tower

Men’s Tennis: Richmond 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. Andulka Park


Women’s Tennis: Georgetown 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. Andulka Park

Sunset Stroll to the “C” 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. Highlander Union Building 248


Growing Vegetables in Containers 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. UC Riverside Extension Center

Baseball: Stony Brook 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Riverside Sports Complex


LGBT Pride Run OUT UCR vs UCSB 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Student Recreation Center

Women’s Track & Field: UC Santa Barbara 12 p.m. - 8 p.m. UC Riverside Track Facility


Men’s Tennis: Army 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. Andulka Park

Baseball: Stony Brook 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Riverside Sports Complex


Walk with Ease Group Walk 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. Scotty the Bear Statue

Finals Week Stress Relief: Coffee & Snack Break 9:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Orbach Science Library


Cameron Yong

for a couple of months as we are still getting guidance on the new requirements under VAWA and they are not officially due until Oct. 1. So when the 2013 Annual Security Report (Clery) comes out those numbers could potentially be a little higher.” Student affairs officer at UCR’s Women Resource Center Romanie Arterberry said she felt that training on sexual assault prevention should be mandatory for incoming freshmen. “Education is the key,” Arterberry said. “I feel training







-Executive Associate Athletic Director Janet Lucas on 99 for Title IX, a fundraising event for women’s athletics

Scan this QR code and visit us







COMPILED BY WINNIE JENG, senior staff writer


UCR ESTABLISHED ENDOWED CHAIR IN JEWISH STUDIES On Feb. 20, UCR announced the establishment of the endowed Maimonides Chair in Jewish Studies to learn about Judaism and the heritage of Jewish people among the campus community. Nearly $504,000 was donated by the UCR community to endow the chair, according to UCR Today. The endowed chair seeks to strengthen the department of religious studies at UCR by sponsoring events that educate community audiences on topics related to Jewish studies, with in-depth emphasis on the examination of ancient and modern

texts, rituals, literature, language, history, politics and Jewish thinkers. Department chair of religious studies and holder of the Saini Chair in Sikh and Punjabi Studies, Pashaura Singh, says, “It will promote town-gown cooperation,” by renewing pride among Jewish students through outreach activities with the city. For more than a decade, the Jewish community has been involved in fundraising, raising more than half a million dollars for the purpose of establishing the endowed chair in Jewish studies.


COURTESY OF THE ARAPAHOE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE UCR alumni James Holmes is scheduled for trial on Oct. 14, 2014 for the massacre two years ago in Aurora, Colorado.

The trial for James Holmes, a UC Riverside alumni charged in a mass shooting at the opening night showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colo., is scheduled for Oct. 14, 2014, over two years after the massacre took place. Judge Carlos Samour noted that the trial date for Holmes might be further delayed as Holmes’ defense attorney is pursuing a second sanity evaluation on Holmes to be reviewed by the court. Prosecutors had sought to order a death penalty for Holmes, who was charged with multiple accounts of first-degree murder and attempted murder for killing 12 people and wounding at least 70. However, Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

“As much as I know people are eager to have this trial take place … I also want to make sure we’re doing things right,” said Samour at a court hearing. While at UCR, Holmes was a dean’s fellow, regent’s scholar and a member of the Phi Beta Kappa society, an academic honor society. He graduated from UCR in 2010 with highest academic honors and a Bachelor of Arts degree in neuroscience. In 2011, he enrolled in a Ph.D. medical program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (AMC). AMC officials noted that a few months prior to the shooting, Holmes’ academic performance declined. He withdrew from the graduate program in neuroscience without further explanation.

The University of California, Irvine (UCI) plans to throw a $2 million commencement ceremony at the Angel Stadium in Anaheim, with the hopes of attracting President Obama as the keynote commencement speaker. The upcoming spring commencement ceremony marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s dedication to the campus grounds on June 20, 1964. “We’d like to kick off our 50th anniversary celebration with another visit from the president of the United States,” said Cathy Lawhon, chairwoman of the 50th Anniversary Planning Committee in a campus press release. Despite fierce competitions with

hundreds of other universities also requesting the president to give a commencement address, UCI officials remain “very hopeful” to receive a positive response by April. The university engaged in a letterwriting campaign addressed to the president, which amounts to close to 10,000 postcards from students, alumni and staff. In addition, a video featuring Mamadou Ndiaye, the tallest collegiate basketball player in the nation, asks Obama to have a one-on-one basketball game if he comes to UCI, in an attempt to appeal to his love for hoops. The postcards and video were hand-delivered to the White House by the university’s Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Thomas Parham on March 7. ■H

ASUCR leads diversity council for Costo Hall departments SANDY VAN Senior Staff Writer SANUJA DAS Contributing Writer

Senators unanimously passed a bylaw chapter (XXVI) to establish a 12-member diversity council under the oversight of ASUCR to advance UCR’s Principles of Community — guiding campus principles that seek to create a safe and respectful environment that nurture intellectual and personal growth of UCR students. Holding their last meeting of winter quarter, senators also debated over a resolution to lower UC tuition. Falling under ASUCR’s office of internal affairs, the diversity council will consist of one representative from the African Student Programs, Asian Pacific Student Programs, Chicano Student Programs, Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center, Middle Eastern Student Center, Native American Student Programs and Women’s Resource Center in Costo Hall. In addition, the council will include two ASUCR senators and the vice president of campus internal affairs, along with one representative from GSA.

The council also seeks to develop action campaigns in the fall quarter to protect the interests of students and review all campus policies pertaining to diversity at UCR. Other council responsibilities include, but are not limited to, holding two town halls per year, facilitating one event among all represented organizations and tabling during the winter and spring academic quarter to engage student interest in fall campaigns. Even though all Costo Hall departments are already being funded through student service fees, the diversity council may provide additional funding for each respective department. All financial requests must be approved by the ASUCR Finance Committee. The bylaw chapter will go into effect fall quarter of the 2014-15 academic year. Following the passage of the bylaw chapter, the senate also unanimously passed a resolution which called for the state legislature to allocate its proposed funding increase of 5 percent to the UC for the purposes of lowering systemwide tuition. The resolution further says that Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed state allocation will be approximately

$12,290 in per-student funding in the 2014-15 academic year, presenting an increase of more than $500 in state funding per student from the previous year. Authors of the resolution argue that, “The Governor ’s proposed budget results in increased state funding, while proposed University of California systemwide tuition levels for academic year 2014-15 are to remain at the current level of $12,192 for undergraduates, rather than signifying a tuition decrease.” The resolution also notes that 52 percent of graduating university students in California held an average debt of $20,269. According to the American Student Assistance — a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to college students — federal and private student loan debt clocked in at $1.04 trillion in 2012, up from $833 billion in 2010, when it first surpassed the national credit card debt. “(The) cost of attending the University of California has ballooned to $12,192 per year as of 2011-2012, an 18 (percent) increase from just the academic year prior, nearly double the rate set in 2005, and more than

five times the rate of slightly over a decade ago,” reads the bill. The resolution also acknowledged the ASUCR office of external affairs for carrying out campaigns in tandem with the University of California Student Association, such as “Fund the UC” and

“Invest in Graduations, Not Incarceration, Transform Education (IGNITE),” in improving accessibility, affordability and quality to the UC system. Senators Nafi Karim, Abraham Galvan, Fernando Echeverria and Ranjit Nair were the authors of this resolution. ■H



festivities. As the festival got closer and the clouds in the sky grew darker, however, the HUB’s production team received a last-minute message from the university emergency manager and fire marshall, informing them of a potential lightning storm heading Riverside’s way. As the storm neared, its size increased and gathered potential “electrical activity.” When coupled with the rain, equipment and attendees at the concert, the conditions created a potential safety hazard, according to Environmental Health and Safety. By 4:15 p.m. security officials recommended that Heat be cancelled. And within minutes, the estimated 12,000 concert goers received notifications via text, email and social media posts informing them that the concert would not go on as planned. “No one is more disappointed than my team that we were not able to deliver what we believe would have been the best Heat ever,” Wingate said. According to him, the HUB programming staff worked since mid-summer to bring the festival to life. The HUB board even decided to increase the normal budget for the concert by 20 percent — adding an extra $100,000 to the normal Heat projected budget of $500,000. But with the cancellation of the festival, none of those plans came to fruition and the result was a $570,000 concert that failed to launch. A handful of angry students made their voices heard after the event’s ► FEMALE STUDENTS FROM PAGE 1

microbiology Hailing Jin presented doctoral student in genomics and bioinformatics Divya Sain as the graduate student honoree. Sain was diagnosed with a disorder that destroyed the cartilage in her leg and was bedridden for many months. Jin recounted her resilience in enduring the disorder alone, as an international student from India, and continuing her studies even while ill. After the award presentation, UCR’s acapella group, Not So Sharp, entered onstage and sang a short rendition of Florence



cancellation. Some complained about the long journeys they had to embark in order to arrive at Riverside, while others demanded their money back for the guest tickets they paid for. As Wingate explained it, most ticket buyers have already been reimbursed. Holders were sent emails informing them when the refunds were processed as credit in their accounts. As of presstime, only about 19 tickets have yet to be refunded. Only those who purchased their tickets through the HUB have been reimbursed directly, however. Additionally, with the money that was redistributed, the HUB went on to lose about $70,000 from ticket sale revenue. Despite some of the losses, the HUB reported that it was about $30,000 under budget. Currently, the department is working with some of the vendors of the event — including food trucks and security and safety teams — to see if they can further lower costs. When asked if the HUB could have done anything differently to prevent the cancellation, Wingate explained that the safety concerns were too great to go through with the event, so the cancellation was inevitable. Rescheduling or postponing the festival would have also been impossible considering the varying schedules of the performing artists. “I know students were disappointed, but … we are just as disappointed,” he concluded. “And, you know, if we could have figured out a way to bring it back, or do some kind of rescheduling or something, we CAMERON YONG / HIGHLANDER would have been all over it. There just wasn’t any way to do it.” ■H Workers dismantle and collect the fences that were erected in preparation for the massive Heat gathering. and the Machine’s “Shake It Out.” The evening then came to a close with a speech by congressional candidate and attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes. Reyes was raised in Colton, Calif. and worked in the onion fields at the age of 12. She went on to become the first Latina to open her own law firm in the Inland Empire. She is also currently running for Congress and emphasized the need for more women in Congress than the current 18 percent. “In my run for Congress, I want to do what I can do to change that 18 percent. You be the leader and others will follow,” Reyes concluded. ■H


Keynote speaker Eloise Gomez Reyes ended the night’s events with a speech.






E-cigarettes may be ‘toxic,’ UCR researchers say


COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS UCR professor Dr. Prue Talbot hopes to test e-cigarettes to determine how much more dangerous they are than tobacco cigarettes.


tine are still ambiguous. “We need to know more about the full range of chemicals delivered by e-cigarettes, as well as their concentrations and their long-term effects on health,” Talbot stated. Talbot’s research is being funded through a UC tobacco-related disease research program with the goals of understanding tobacco policies, prevention and cessation and tobacco-related diseases — all working toward a tobaccofree California. Students, such as second-year electrical engineer Johnathan Knecht, felt apathetic toward the topic of e-cigarettes, since he was not an avid smoker himself. “They are cooler looking than the old ones, but they don’t bother me too much,” he said. “What I do notice now is a bunch of people hiding to smoke whether tobacco or vapor. We have a bunch of tobacco smokers hiding all over campus, as if they were smoking weed!” Talbot and her team are currently studying various brands of e-cigarettes to determine the chemical concentrations most toxic to cells. “We hope that this research will help establish the safety of this new product and protect the health of H young people and adults,” said Talbot. ■


UCR professor of cell biology Dr. Prue Talbot and her team discovered the chemicals used to refill electronic vapor cigarettes (e-cigarettes) may be more harmful than tobacco cigarettes. Her team discovered that electronic vapor requires a consumer to take deeper breaths which may potentially draw in harmful chemicals to fragile parts of the lungs, as opposed to a tobacco cigarette that burns on the other end, allowing the consumer less inhalation. “Our earlier studies with electronic cigarette refill fluids showed that some of these products were toxic to both mouse neural stem cells, (and) human embryonic stem cells as well as to adult lung cells,” she said in a UC press release. In a subsequent study, Talbot’s team took apart a cartomizer, an e-cigarette’s cartridge which merges both flavored fluids and a battery-powered heater. When heated, they discovered that the cartridge contained 21 different elements, such as metallic tin from the joints of the cartomizer. Her team is currently researching the effects of nicotine vapor in adults and expecting mothers, but says the longterm effects of electric vaporized nico-








Managing Editor

Michael Rios

Colin Markovich

News Editor

Asst. News Editor

Sandy Van

Winnie Jeng



Opinions Editor

Colin Markovich

A&E Editor

Rebecca Paredes

Features Editor

Alexander Suffolk

Sports Editor

Asst. Sports Editor

Darren Bueno

Cody Nguyen

Photography Editor

Asst. Photo Editor

Vincent Ta

Cameron Yong


hen Heat was cancelled last weekend, it would be an understatement to say that students were upset. The Heat Facebook page quickly filled up with comments noting that Heat tickets were emblazoned with the words “rain or shine.” Now-useless tickets to the event were crumpled and discarded on the ground. And though a lot of the whining seemed petulant, to a certain extent, who can blame them? There’s no question that Heat is a major selling point for UCR, and a huge part of the campus identity. This year, the nearly $600,000 event was expected to draw about 12,000 people to the campus for a night of partying and fun times, more than half the campus’ student population. Unfairly stuck with the “UC Rejects” label, Heat is one of the ways that UC Riverside is able to prove that it has something to be proud of. It’s integral in building a sense of campus community and identity on par with Berkeley and UCLA, something we have been striving for for decades. And this year seemed particularly ripe to vault UCR into concert stardom. The Neighbourhood. Ciara. Portugal. The Man. And Childish Gambino as the headliner. It was a glamorous cast of musical all-stars, and the excitement around the campus was palpable. Heat seemed like the only thing that people were talking about during week eight, and tickets sold out in a dizzying 50 hours. This was the year that UCR would break that barrier — and then it never happened. It’s disappointing to say the least, and not just for students. Put yourself in the shoes of the event programmers, who started planning this year’s Heat in summer of last year. Seven months of blood, sweat, tears and toil were all extinguished in the blink of an eye by the cruel whims of the weather. It’s like building a magnificent sand castle beyond the reach of the waves, when, just as you’re ready to take the picture to preserve it for all time, a rogue wave rises up and drags it back into the sea. Students must remember that although they may have spent money to purchase scalped tickets and attend the event, it was the workers at the HUB Programming Board who put their time into ensuring that it even happened in the first place, and that they were just as disheartened at its cancellation. Beyond that personal investment in wanting the concert to go on, the HUB had


other incentives to keep the concert on. Cancelling Heat this year, with such large headliners, would irretrievably tarnish the luster of the concert, with students never forgetting the broken promise the HUB made to them. Event planners would have to rebuild from scratch something that took years to create. In addition, the HUB would not delude themselves into thinking that cancelling Heat would earn them praise and plaudits from the UCR community. They knew full well the mountains of blowback they’d receive from the campus. And yet, despite wanting to continue Heat to avoid the negative reaction, despite wanting to push through to preserve the concert’s brand, despite wanting to persevere if only because of the sheer number of hours programmers poured into it, the decision was still made: The show cannot go on. That says something very significant about the perceived threat of the storm. Confronted with potential thunderstorm warnings, HUB programmers had no choice. Knowing that the forecast called for more heavy rain, and that even tornado warnings had been issued for the Los Angeles area, people made the best decisions they could with the information they had. Of course, we all now know that there was little rain — but what if there was? Going through with Heat would have risked the integrity of the stage and people’s lives. While it’s entirely natural to want to blame someone, something, anything for the cancellation of the event, the only one really to blame is Mother Nature. Still, the HUB could have done a better job conveying the seriousness of the matter to students and concert attendees. The disappointment was largely due to missing the big names in music, but the outrage stemmed from the feeling that the cancellation came out of nowhere. Given that an unprecedented rainstorm was forecasted to dump buckets of rain on Southern California that weekend, the HUB had to at least consider the possibility of cancelling the concert, yet it declined to mention if cancellation was in the cards. Students, content with the knowledge that Heat had never been cancelled before, and not receiving any information to indicate that this year was any different, expected Heat to set UCR aflame again in 2014. If there were any flickers of concern at the state of the concert during the day before, the HUB extinguished them with a confident post to the event’s Facebook

page, gleefully announcing, “Only 17 hours left!” In so doing, it had the tacit effect of confirming that Heat would go on, a poor programming decision that settled wavering students’ fears despite the plausibility, if not probability, of severe weather. As a result, the text message that was sent out to UCR students only 45 minutes in advance of the concert’s start time was the first time they had even considered that Heat might be cancelled. This, more than anything else, was the flash point. If the HUB had let students know in advance that cancellation was an option being considered, students would have been prepared when the final decision was handed down. We still would have been disappointed and maybe even angry, but not as disappointed and not as angry — we knew it might be coming. The only inkling Heat gave about a potential cancellation was a small section from its website’s FAQ that warned of a cancellation if “the weather situation becomes unsafe.” But it was buried in a larger paragraph that trumpeted that the event would go on in spite of rain. This decision was surely made to assuage student fears, but perhaps it did so too well. The HUB should have come clean with the status of Heat, and told students frankly where the status of the show was at. A campus-wide email on Friday saying that cancellation was possible, or even just listing the circumstances in which Heat would be cancelled, would have been beneficial. Similarly, the HUB could have done without its congratulatory Facebook posts in favor of seeing where the cards fell on Saturday. The HUB should not be blamed for Heat’s cancellation, and we as students should stand in solidarity with the programming board to maintain a strong relationship and help build a better performance for next year. We will provide the the attendees and funding from our student fees; the HUB will bring the programming expertise and the technical know-how. But, like in any relationship, the HUB shouldn’t keep secrets from its partner. Next year, we’d like the HUB to trust us enough to tell us that Heat might ■H not be working out. 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. Staff Photographers

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COURTESY OF SASHA MAKSYMENKO Barricades were set up at Independence Square in late 2013 in Kiev, Ukraine during a time of great civil unrest, which was followed by an invasion into Crimea from Russia.

Economic sanctions by US, allies, is the safest route to fight Putin NATHAN SWIFT Staff Writer

Putin’s recent gains in Crimea are bad news for everybody — some are even calling this the beginning of another Cold War between Russia and the West. It almost looks to be the case, given that Putin is pulling several different strings in this conflict, from claiming that the Russianspeaking people of Ukraine must be defended by Russia to his otherworldly denial that the troops in the Crimea are not Russian soldiers. But there’s a way out of this mess, a strategy that could work on all fronts to avoid another cold war or a quick and deadly war of aggression between anybody with the spine to fire a shot against Putin’s Russia. The strategy would have to be effective in changing Putin’s mind over what Secretary of State John Kerry has called “19th century” military tactics in regard to the current situation. Here’s what must be done: One: Cross off a militaristic approach A war between the United States and its allies and Russia would be horrendous. The numbers say it all: We would clearly defeat Russia in a conventional war (and that’s without the added bonus of both sides making a nuclear wasteland out of Earth 10 times over). We tower over Russia in terms of both pure military manpower and in the amount of spending in our defense budget.

That does not mean that defeating Russia in a military conflict would be an easy feat — the campaigns of Hitler and Napoleon say otherwise. What should be done by our leaders is anything but a fullout attack against Russia in retaliation. According to most of the media, not a single death has occurred since Putin’s incursion — the world should keep it that way. Two: Europe: the stick in the mud There’s little risk to our econo-

ports. If our American leaders decide on creating sanctions against Putin, then the EU needs to also go through on the sanctions as well. Three: As the ruble falls, the crowd roars. In the long run, economic sanctions against Russia will severely damage the ruble, Russia’s currency. The damage done is a simple equation: Limited goods in Russia’s economy will cause inflation, while the ruble will deflate in value, given that Russia will not be

...and remember, Putin’s nearly obsessed with public image (have we ever had any presidents stage shirtless calendar photos? I didn’t think so). my if President Obama and Congress decide to throw our own sanctions against Putin. But that’s like a kid deciding not to take a quarter he sees on the sidewalk. The biggest player here against Russia would have to be not us, but Europe. Russia is the European Union’s third largest trading partner, behind America and China. Russia also happens to be Europe’s single biggest supplier of energy. One must keep in mind that the European Union’s economy is just barely starting to recover, especially regarding how Germany, the strongest stable economy in Europe, is the most dependent on Russian energy ex-

trading with the U.S. and Europe, its two biggest trade partners. As the ruble plummets in value, the small but growing anti-Putin populace in Russia will grow at an increasing rate. This might seem like the riskiest part of the plan, but keep in mind that Russia’s situation will slowly but surely turn into that of the Russian Empire in its preWorld War I years, where a stale and stagnating economy led to a communist revolution in 1917. Another revolt would not be driven by communism, of course, but the fact that Russia’s populace would be suffering at an increasing rate would hurt Putin; and re-

member, Putin’s nearly obsessed with public image (have we ever had any presidents stage shirtless calendar photos? I didn’t think so). No matter how powerful and charismatic you are as a ruler, you cannot rule your country without your population’s support. The slow and painful fall of the ruble will do permanent damage to Putin’s seat of power. Many might see this as the West interfering in Russian affairs, and technically that is true. Russia’s claim to the Crimea is in itself a direct act of interference in Ukraine, so the West cannot hesitate to do the same, simply in a different manner. Four: Putin swallows his pride. If Putin possesses enough intelligence to pull out of Ukraine’s domain before we begin our sanctions, he will want to compromise on many issues. Fortunately for us, there are indeed many issues that our and Europe’s leaders would be more than willing to talk about with Putin. They can pick and choose from the Syrian civil war, how to deal with Iran’s nuclear program, and the largest deal on the table: better ways to combat terrorism in the world. There would be much to pick and choose over regarding a potential compromise; it would simply be a matter of Putin swallowing his pride. In an age where a declaration of war from two opposing sides results in World War III, the best action to punish Putin by are sanctions. They would hit harder than ■H bullets while killing none.





Let’s rethink the four-person housing cap for homeowners OSCAR CAMPOS Contributing Writer

Led by ASUCR Local Affairs Liaison Breana Ross, UC Riverside students protested the Feb. 25, 2014 Riverside City Council meeting for unfairly passing legislation that has marginalized students and driven up the cost of housing for UC Riverside students living off-campus. In response to many homeowner noise complaints last summer, the Riverside City Council passed a law that required property owners to obtain a permit to rent out a house to more than two people. The city council passed this law over the summer without any adequate representation of students. The city council did not allow for the bill to go to a fair debate without sufficient representation from both sides of the aisle, which hurt UCR attendees and citizens looking for affordable rent in the city of Riverside in the process. Home for the summer, many had no opportunity to present their case over the bill. Ross further testified that “there’s multiple ordinances passed against students that have been discriminatory, that haven’t taken the student opinion in account.” At the 100-Student March, UC Riverside students attended the weekly Riverside City Council meeting to respectfully voice their dissatisfaction and concerns with the increasing crackdown and regulations on the four-person per house limit. Because of this limit, some are being kicked out of the houses and apartments they’ve

JAKE RICH / HIGHLANDER Many students felt like they were being punished for the actions of the few as Riverside passed an ordinance last summer that seemed to target them specifically. The 100-Student March two weeks ago hoped to make clear to the Riverside City Council that students were upset over this restriction.

previously lived in and forced to now find new housing for more expensive rent. The Riverside City Council extrapolated from the actions of a small minority of UC Riverside students to generalize the entire student population. While action needed to be taken to protect the well-being and comfort of all Riverside citizens, the Riverside City Council took a path that has made it less affordable for us to live in the city of Riverside. Students who need to find cheap housing by splitting rent with more than three other people now have to settle for housing outside the city of Riverside, giving them a longer commute

to campus. The city of Riverside should be investing and supporting the students of UC Riverside, not putting them at a disadvantage

The city of Riverside should be investing and supporting the students of UC Riverside ... by contributing to the student debt we are graduating college with. Students who commute from neighboring cities, such

as Moreno Valley and Rancho Cucamonga, have to pay more in gas to get to campus every day. On the other hand, others who live in housing in Riverside do not have to deal with freeway traffic and many have the luxury of being within walking distance from campus. The 21,005 UC Riverside students contribute to the success and sustainability of local businesses and restaurants. If the prices of higher education and housing in Riverside continue to rise, prospective students are going to be skeptical of coming to a school where its city council actively makes it tougher for us to find affordable places to live.

The students of UC Riverside deserve an allinclusive debate with the city council and the citizens of Riverside. The overwhelming majority are not looking to throw massive parties or disrespect their communities’ right to property or comfort. We just want to minimize the cost of housing with our friends to hit the ground running with as little debt as possible when we graduate. Students should continue to respect their neighbors to reduce the number of complaints homeowners file so that the city council will be more open to the idea of lifting the four-person cap for housing in Riverside. ■H

Opinion Poll What did you do instead of Heat?

Rikko Montanez Economics 4th year “I spent the night eating a few pancakes at IHOP and rewatching Kill Bill Vol. 1 afterward.”

Robyn Fong Pre-Business 1st year “I ended up going to Getaway Cafe. It was really fun actually and ended up being a mini-party — there was a DJ, all my friends were there and we just made the best of it.”

Zachary Yim Psychology 4th year “Bummer that Heat was cancelled, but on the bright side, I got to see ‘The Lego Movie’ a second time.”

C ompiled

Brandon DeCastro Biology 3rd year “We went to some parties and tried to enjoy ourselves but we were pretty bummed out.”


J aspery G oh

Mackenzie Christensen Biology 1st year “I commute so I ended up just staying out here and having a movie night with some friends.”


R ichard L in

Ben Ong Economics Admin. 4th year “A lot of my friends came from different places as well as alumni from my fraternity so we needed up having a little potluck at our house.”




Twitch Plays Pokemon: a community-based adventure

COURTESY OF SUIKUZU.DEVIANTART.COM Live-stream platform Twitch hosted the widely successful community-run Twitch Plays Pokemon. COLIN MARKOVICH Senior Staff Writer

If you’re wondering why you’re seeing helixes all over the Internet, there’s a good chance you’ve been living under a dome-shaped rock. The plethora of helixes is due to the popularity of Twitch Plays Pokemon, an online site that live-streams a Pokemon game to the masses. As anybody who’s grown up in the late 90s knows, the player controls the main character, Red, on his quest to collect eight badges and become the champion. But instead of having one person handle the controls, this version is different by allowing anyone and everyone to enter commands simultaneously to the player character via chat. The result is a series of spastic movements as Red processes thousands of commands at the same time, wandering in circles, saving his game, checking his inventory, talking to the same person five times and then saving again. Needless to say, ordinarily mundane tasks become complex endeavors and progress is as slow as molasses in the movie “Frozen.” So why has it racked up over 36 million views, a number that’s just a couple million shy of the state of California’s entire population? How has it had such lasting power, with over one million players sticking around for more than 16 days to complete the game? The PBS Idea Channel has published a six-minute long video discussion about it, there’s a petition on the White House’s website to make a holiday dedicated to the Helix Fossil and it’s got its own Wikipedia page. Even CNN, a stodgy and staid bastion of politics and “hard” news, has found it worth its while to post an article about what the hip kids are doing these days. There are probably a couple of factors. The first is a sense of nostalgia for the game, and Pokemon, itself. The original games that started it all, Pokemon Red and Blue Versions, were released in the United States in 1998, and in a scant two years, more than 8.6 million copies were sold. It’s hard to overstate how much of a cultural phenomenon it became throughout the U.S. and the world, launching a television series, a card game, a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloon, specially designed airplanes and plenty more. If you were growing up in the late 90s, odds are you grew up with Pokemon in some fashion — it was almost impossible not to. The very air seemed saturated with it, and every kid

on the playground was talking about Pokemon, whether it was the video game or just the breakfast cereal. These people, often called Millennials, were born in the late 80s and early 90s and are now coming of age in the world. We are graduating high school, going to college, working jobs and searching for our way in life. It’s a much more complicated world now, and Twitch Plays Pokemon brings back some of that good-old-days nostalgia, when times were simple and all that really mattered was being able to defeat Team Rocket. The fact that Twitch Plays Pokemon takes place on the Internet only amplifies the accessibility to the Millennial generation — unlike some of our generational predecessors, computers and online networking are not foreign concepts to us. Precisely the right combination of circumstances (namely, a high degree of Internet-savvy and yearning for childhood simplicity) coalesced to draw people into the world of Twitch Plays Pokemon. The nostalgia, however, is just one small reason for the resounding success of Twitch Plays Pokemon. If it were the only factor keeping the playthrough afloat, how is Twitch Plays Pokemon still going strong a week into playing Pokemon Crystal Version? More interestingly, how would you explain the the spontaneous generation of countless memes, Twitter chatter and the creation of its own subreddit page? And why is there a meticulous track record kept of the progress of the game, even after it’s been finished? Looking at that history reveals the true reason Twitch Plays Pokemon has been so successful: The players created their own mythology and history. It wasn’t something implemented by the creator of the game from the topdown; it was handmade by the players from the ground-up. Most famously, the Helix Fossil, nothing more than a simple item, became a symbol of divine guidance and freedom. Its counterpart, the Dome Fossil, turned into a representation of temptation and authoritarianism that seeks dominance over the righteous Helix Fossil. The game’s players took two ordinary items and created a mythological story of struggle between good and evil. The same goes for the Pokemon the players travel with. To anybody else, they are bundles of grayish pixels, but Twitch Plays Pokemon devotees give them nicknames, personalities and motivations. Archetypal depictions of members of the player’s team as the messiah, the sufferer and even

the devil are just a handful of the characterizations that have organically arisen as the playthrough continued. To anyone uninitiated, it may seem frivolous and silly — and a lot of it really is. But the mythology that the fans developed provided a reason for them to stay involved and see the game through to the end. In evoking that sense of common purpose, what Twitch Plays Pokemon really did was build a community of people with the same goal. If that seems far-fetched, just think about what makes a community, well, a community. It really comes down to just one thing: a shared set of beliefs, history or identity. When we identify as Californians, for instance, we identify ourselves as part of a geographic community, one based on location. When we say we are liberal or conservative, we are saying that we are part of a shared ideological community. When we describe ourselves as college students, we are describing our shared aspiration to achieve a degree. The Twitch Plays Pokemon community is no different. Initially brought together by a common, nostalgic love of Pokemon, people from across the world stayed for the history that the Twitch Plays Pokemon players built. People with other motivations later followed (people desperately desirous of being part of the “in-crowd,” or curious onlookers who just wanted to gawk at the wreckage), but the community as a whole, regardless of each person’s individual motivations or affiliations with a particular ideology or Pokemon, was preserved by a shared history and a shared struggle. What’s more, the players were able to succeed in spite of many difficulties and the differences between the players themselves. In many ways, the success of Twitch Plays Pokemon is the ultimate feel-good story: A group of people, different in countless ways, comes together around a single common purpose and after much effort and perseverance finally achieves success. In a time of economic uncertainty and political paralysis, where Millennials are adrift in a sea of unknowing and irrevocable change, this message has a particular resonance. It is that optimistic desire to believe that success, despite all odds, is possible that pushed the players through to the end, and what makes Twitch Plays Pokemon so compelling. Guided, of course, by the almighty ■H Helix Fossil.


LETTER TO THE EDITOR: On the ASUCR presidential debate of Feb. 26

F rom ASUCR S en . S hadi M atar Hello fellow Highlanders! I am writing this letter to the editor because of what I saw that occurred during the Presidential debates last week. As a current ASUCR senator who is NOT running in the upcoming elections this spring I look at these election debates and the candidates running objectively and with much background knowledge to what these candidates have done and have not done in their roles as members of ASUCR. The main reason I write this is because all three candidates running for president in the spring elections have not given credit to other current senators or members of ASUCR who have been working on projects that they have taken as their ideas to work on if elected. I want to preface this by saying: I am not writing this article to align myself with any of the parties or to condemn any parties but more so to give credit where credit is due and to make sure that no presidential candidate takes credit for a project they had not started, helped with, or completed. Some examples of this credit-stealing I have seen are as follows; Candidates Sean Fahmian and Armando Saldana have stated, during the debates, that they want to improve and increase advisors in CHASS but this is a project idea taken from Senator Michael Ervin who has been working on this project for two quarters. Senator Ervin has been in meetings with the CHASS department administration for weeks in order to solve this problem on campus and from what I have seen he has not been helped in this endeavor by candidate Fahmian or Saldana. Even the statistic that candidate Fahmian gave in the debate about the “2000 students to one advisor” was taken directly from Senator Ervin who reported those statistics two weeks earlier in an ASUCR senate meeting. However, the fact that was stated by candidate Fahmian is wrong and the actual statistic is 1000 to 1. Another example is that a student named Colette King has been the main force behind the creation of the Greek/ organizational housing project but many of the candidates have taken large credit for this project when their roles have been minute or nonexistent. Both candidate Sean Fahmian and Nafi Karim have taken some credit in this effort that has been made largely by Colette. All three presidential candidates have been guilty of this credit-stealing in one form or another and need to be accountable for their actions which could be easily reconciled by acknowledging the efforts that have been made by their colleagues and a willingness to continue on these projects or improve them in the future. To my fellow ASUCR members who are running for president, I write this not to chastise you but in the hopes that you will be better leaders and not steal the credit for the work that others have started or completed. These political flare-ups that have occurred during our senate meetings and behind closed doors have made you weary to work on your projects in the fears that it will make your opponent look better or yourself look worse. In the process, these fears have subsequently harmed the projects you all are attempting to work on. You need to ignore the party politics and remember that you still have a quarter left in your term. Do not use the senate meetings to further your own political agenda by taking petty jabs at your fellow members of ASUCR. However, to be as honest as I can in this article, these statements are more true for some of the presidential candidates than the others but in this regard I am also writing this statement as a precautionary warning to 1) stop this credit-stealing early and make sure it does not occur for the remainder of the elections and 2) to make sure that students are aware of it as well when examining all the facets of a candidate. Lastly, for my fellow Highlanders reading this who will be asked to vote in the Spring, I ask you all to look at each party and candidate objectively and ask the tough questions that they all want and deserve. I myself will be voting for people from all parties who I see are the best choice to represent our university and I hope you all will take this approach as well. Thank you for taking time to read this and good luck to all the candidates in the Spring elections! The Highlander accepts letters from the campus community. They must be 600-800 words at length and include the author’s name and contact information. Topics should be UCR-centric and/or pertain to our generation of students. Contact Opinions Editor Colin Markovich at opinions@ by Wednesday if interested in writing a letter and submit completed letter by Saturday at noon. Letter can and will be rejected if it does not meet requirements.

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





Student Spotlight:

Sharon Bustamante “I couldn’t think of anything when it happened. I was just trying to fathom the fact that (Ellen) called my name,” -Sharon Bustamante

Ellen DeGeneres noticed Sharon’s dedication to her five younger siblings even when her family was facing financial problems and surprised her with a call up to stage and a new car and TV.

By Phoebe Yu, Contributing Writer // Photo by Vincent Ta


uch like encountering UFOs or talking animals, receiving a new television or a new car on a national talk show may seem like an unlikely experience delegated to blurry YouTube videos and urban legends of friends of friends’ sightings. But for third-year Sharon Bustamante, this experience became a reality when she was given exactly those things on the Feb. 17 airing of the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Growing up in a public housing community in Boyle Heights, there were many instances when Sharon had to act as more than an older sister to her five younger siblings. “Our mom would never let us go out of the house (because it wasn’t that safe) so I would have to come up with activities for my siblings to do while indoors and help them focus on their homework,” Sharon explained. Their frequent time indoors in close quarters is what Sharon believes allowed the six siblings to remain extremely close throughout their childhood until now, despite the family constantly facing financial adversity. This closeness is part of what compelled one of Sharon’s younger sisters, Stephanie, to write to the Ellen DeGeneres Show website about Sharon’s admiration of Ellen DeGeneres and of how Sharon is “a huge role model and practically a third parent (to her).” Sharon had already enjoyed attending a taping of the show in the past and was expecting the same experience for her second time in the studio. What she was not expecting, however, was getting called from the audience and being interviewed by Ellen herself. “I was never

suspicious about all this at any point. I couldn’t think of anything when it happened. I was just trying to fathom the fact that (Ellen) called my name,” Sharon accounted while mentally reliving the moment. “I was completely starstruck. She had the most beautiful blue eyes and flawless skin.” Having been informed that Sharon did not have a TV in her apartment and watched the Ellen DeGeneres Show on YouTube, DeGeneres proceeded to gift her with a 50-inch Insignia flat screen and a couple minutes later, a new five-door Mazda 3. “It was just surprise after surprise,” said Sharon. And the surprises did not end on air. They continued backstage when DeGeneres gifted Sharon’s parents with yet another TV, each of her siblings with a Nintendo Wii console and Sharon with a Roku Box, five years of Netflix and one year of Hulu Plus. While the TV is currently sitting in her apartment, Sharon will not be receiving the car until May, when Mazda will deliver it. As for the actual ownership of the car, Sharon is still undecided. “As much as I appreciate it, I know my dad would benefit more from the car,” Sharon said while expressing her concern about her dad’s 45-minute commute from Boyle Heights to Malibu every day in a car of poor condition. Regardless, Sharon’s family insists she keep the car. “They keep telling me, you deserve it. My dad’s first car was a Mazda too,” Sharon said. If Sharon takes the car, she would be able to drive to her weekend job in Bellflower (which she currently takes the Metrolink to) and take

on a tutoring job that would bring her one step closer to her tentative goal of becoming an English teacher. As a first-generation college student, Sharon saw the importance of education through her parents’ tribulations. “I would see how hard they worked and struggled financially and they made it obvious that I should go to college to not be in their position,” Sharon explained. Her desire to teach also stems from the education she received in Boyle Heights. “Education is so different in low-income communities. Though there were a lot of good influential teachers, I also had experiences with teachers who clearly didn’t care and had no motivation to teach the students,” said Sharon. “If I were to go into teaching, it would be based on these bad experiences and my desire to not be that kind of teacher.” Sharon, however, isn’t completely sure about her teaching career yet. “For some reason, I feel like there’s something different I want to do,” Sharon mused. As a women’s studies major, she also has an inkling to work for organizations that fund political female candidates. Regardless of her future career goals, Sharon’s immediate goals include attending another Ellen DeGeneres show taping with her siblings and finishing college with flying colors with the support of her family. “I have a lot of responsibility but it’s cool and beneficial to my siblings that I get to make the first mistake (as a college student),” Sharon stated. “It’s a good kind of pressure and I’ll always have five ■H reminders to be able to do well.”




COURTESY OF IMAGE GARCAGE AND FLICKR Relationships between young, attractive women and older, wealthy men (called sugar babies and sugar daddies) have existed for a long time, but the way they are now formed has changed with the advent of the Internet.

Sugar Babies:

Clever or Classless?

Brenna Dilger, Contributing Writer


uition has skyrocketed, the job market is tough and young college-age women are finding it hard to pay off school loans. It’s no easy task to balance a part-time job and rigorous college courses. So many damsels in debt are turning to sugar-dating — that is, trading their company (and possibly sex) for financial support from older, wealthy men. A young beauty dating a rich benefactor is nothing new — but sugar daddy relationships have been revolutionized through the use of online dating websites. Now, sugar babies find their sugar daddies almost exclusively

through the Internet on websites like There are several other websites that serve as a way for sugar babies and sugar daddies to connect, but SeekingArrangements is by far the most popular. The website is particularly heavily populated with college students — in fact, there has been a rise from 38 percent to 58 percent of college women contributing to the 800,000 members since 2011. That means approximately 464,000 women attending universities all across the country are using the Sugar Daddy Scholarship to pay off student loans or general bills through this one

website alone. Some argue that this is the definition of prostitution, while others stress that it is not a sexfor-money transaction, but rather an equally beneficial relationship — a young attractive girl gets financial support while the older gentleman gets good company, arm candy and maybe sex. Abby, a 19-year-old university student and self-proclaimed sugar baby, told Cosmopolitan magazine her story, describing how after joining, she entered a world of luxury. She went on several dates with different sugar daddies, who took her on exotic

vacations, showered her with expensive gifts and offered to contribute to her college funds. But she was also expected to hold up her end of the deal. Abby stressed in her Cosmo interview that she only slept with the men she was attracted to, but if she didn’t have sex with her sugar daddies, they usually broke off the “arrangement.” Sex itself is not mandatory for sugar babies, but it does seem that it is expected. Melanie Berliet, a woman who documented her sugar baby experience for Vanity Fair, verified ► SEE UNDER THE KILT, PAGE 13



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

for the Highlander





on an ABC broadcast that “most men expected some sexual relationship,” and said she was directly asked by sugar daddies if she would do the deed. ABC also interviewed a sugar daddy named Tommy (last name undisclosed) who, when asked if he would pay his sugar babies for companionship if no sex was involved, answered with a flatly honest, “No.” This raises the question of whether or not the term “sugar baby” is a candycoated way of saying “prostitute.” After all, they are offering a service for money, and that service tends to involve sex. However, many sugar babies don’t see it this way. They argue that they are being paid to “date” these men, not have sex with them. It is not just a “wham, bam, thank you ma’am” meet-up and exchange, but rather a long-term arrangement — it could even possibly be described as a relationship. Berliet defended sugar babies, saying, “It isn’t like prostitution. It’s more akin to renting a girlfriend.” Sugar daddies want to wine and dine a beautiful woman, they want to show a crowd that they are with a hot young date and they want to spend time with a young, wild college girl. It is

arguably nothing but a mutually beneficial, financially funded relationship, and sex just often comes with the package. So, if we were to look past the stigma that surrounds sugar-dating, are these sugar babies actually being smart and taking advantage of their young attractiveness? Fancy dates, high-class trips, pricey gifts, cash allowances AND paid college tuition? It doesn’t sound half-bad. And if you have mounting school debt, it makes sense why young women would be attracted to the idea of making easy money. However, sugar babies might suffer psychologically after engaging in such arrangements. A vast majority of them keep their secret sugar life under wraps, and know that they would lose respect from family or friends if they admitted to dating or sleeping with older men for financial benefits. Sara Kamin, a psychotherapist who specializes in individual and couples therapy stated that “the real danger in this kind of relationship comes from the possibility that (sugar babies) may feel that their only value comes from their body, their sexuality or their ability to be arm candy.” Tommy, the previously mentioned sugar daddy, reinforced this idea by telling ABC reporters, “When you walk into the room and you have a beautiful woman with you,



it’s a compliment to you — it’s like pulling up in a really nice car or something.” One of Tommy’s six sugar babies, Monty, who had her entire tuition paid for by Tommy, broke down in tears during an interview, murmuring, “Sometimes it gets to me to know he is my only form of income and that makes me feel like I’m not doing anything.” It must be somewhat degrading to know you paid your way through school by sleeping with a 63-yearold millionaire. But then again, it did save her from starting out her post-college life in an ocean of debt. It’s not fair to look at the world of sugar babies as nothing but prostitution with a cuter name — it isn’t defined in such black-and-white terms. The lines of prostitution, gold-digging and sugardating may be blurred, but sugar babies don’t deserve such harsh judgment. A lot of them are students just like us, trying out all avenues they can to pay their way through school — and sugar-dating is a legal, viable option to them. Several sugar babies claim to love their lifestyle and see no harm in it, while others seem uncomfortable and ashamed by their means of income. But whether or not it is wrong, right, harmful or harmless, the sugar baby craze isn’t being put to bed ■H anytime soon.





a House Call from the

Dating Doctor

by Phoebe Yu, Contributing Writer // Photos by Richard Lin


ove aside people: The Dating Doctor is in town. At an ASPB-organized event on Mar. 4, David Coleman, aka the Dating Doctor, paid UC Riverside a house visit to share with its students his expertise on love, dating and everything in between. The room was abuzz, students’ eyes lit up in anticipation, and the seats became increasingly filled. The audience lingered around the room and picked up free candy, condoms and Scantrons while waiting for the Dating Doctor to appear. Introduced by the ASPB directors of films and lectures, David Coleman is an acclaimed 14time National Speaker of the Year and is also known as the inspiration behind Will Smith’s character in the film “Hitch.” “Like Will Smith had Kevin James, you guys will be my one-on-one clients for tonight,” Coleman promised the audience before preparing to launch into his lecture. “It will absolutely be the most inclusive show.” Coleman began the house visit procedure with some fundamental advice for the self. “I want you to complete yourself on your own and find someone who complements you,” he stated. “When you’re in a great relationship, parking is easier to find and ice cream doesn’t seem to have calories. But you will not find the right person until you become the right person.” To accompany this introductory advice, Coleman presented an allencompassing mantra he readily encouraged students to adopt. “I would sooo date me,” Coleman said while emphasizing the “so” with a bobble of the head. “Look at yourself in the mirror each morning and repeat that every day.” Coleman’s interactive and engaging lecture style had students repeating aloud many more mantras and catch phrases of Coleman’s. One such catch phrase was the “hmm theory of attraction.” “A hmm is someone who stops you dead in your tracks,” Coleman explained. With this theory in mind, Coleman urged the audience to become “fat penguins” and break the ice with the recipient of the “hmm.” “It’s not about your appearance,” Coleman reassured. “It’s the attitude.” The Dating Doctor continued to guide the audience through the subject of attraction by explaining the “ABCs of attraction”: attraction, believability, chemistry and desire, all of which he believes can be determined in five minutes between two people. Coleman also warned the audience, “If you smother them, they are gone (regardless of these ABCs).” Where there are attraction and the blossoming of relationships, however, there are also heartbreak and breakups. Coleman described breakup season among college

students as predominantly occurring after Valentine’s Day, after spring break, and before the summer. As an antidote for weathering this season, Coleman prescribed the audience the acronym “DATE”: distance, activity, time and exit. Coleman cited keeping a distance, getting involved in activity, letting time heal and exiting on one’s own terms as essential ways for remedying the pain of a breakup. In addition to this remedy, he presented a formula dubbed “David’s Rebound Ratio,” for determining the amount of time usually needed for recovering from a breakup. Coleman recommends waiting two weeks for every month of dating and two months for every year into a relationship. Coleman also provided telltale signs for spotting a cheater, while disclaiming to the audience that these signs could be purely coincidental and not at all related to cheating. His list of the subtle signs of cheating included instances such as when a person changes his appearance for the better, answers questions with questions, and gets protective of his phone and computer. In addition to assessing potential cheating, Coleman presented a set of signs for gauging a mutual “hmm” in women and men. Of these signs, Coleman explained that a man is interested in a woman if he has “moosh” brain around the woman and cannot maintain a cool demeanor. For the men, he explained that a woman is interested if she breaks the “touch barrier” and touches the man’s arm or shoulder while laughing and talking. “We all project an image before we ever say a word,” Coleman emphasized. Midway into his lecture, Coleman called a random audience member to the stage and asked the rest of the crowd to determine his character and personality solely by his physical appearance. The crowd’s conclusions of him ranged from music lover to science and engineering major. Before allowing the audience member (whom Coleman dubbed “Stripes”), to return to his seat, Coleman asked a final question of whether anyone wanted to go on a date with Stripes and if so, offered $20 toward their first date. No brave soul raised a hand during the public inquiry but it remains unknown if Coleman was approached privately after the show. Coleman ended his house visit with a lengthy Q-andA session. “Feel free to ask anything,” Coleman said. “It’s a laboratory in here tonight.” The questions ranged from advice on how to exit the friend zone to determining whether a one-night stand could evolve into a dating relationship. As answers to these questions, Coleman emphasized, more than anything, the importance of staying true to one’s self, taking it slow and maintaining a positive attitude. “The totality of what we are plays into who we want to be,” Coleman concluded. ■H

“When you’re in a great relationship, parking is easier to find and ice cream doesn’t seem to have calories. But you will not find the right person until you become the right person.” -David Coleman

David Coleman, aka the Dating Doctor, gave advice coupled with constant humorous blurbs that kept HUB 302 bursting with laughter all through the evening. Coleman addressed qualms such as bad kissing, pick-up lines, and physical appearance. He even called onstage a UCR student whom he nicknamed “Stripes,” to offer up as a date to any open-minded ladies.


RATING: ★★★★☆




Marisa’ s Italian Deli

By Mazine Arellano, Staff Writer // Photos by Laura Nguyen


he Canyon Crest Towne Center gains its own piece of Italy with its newest edition of Marisa’s Italian Deli. Embedded within the shopping center, not even the February fog could hide the vines spiraling around the cobblestone entrance underneath a sign of the silhouette of Marisa. Gary Romano (owner of Romano’s Chicago Pizzeria and Canyon Crust) names his 7-week-old deli and cafe after his 10-year-old daughter and pays homage to his Italian roots. Not only does it create subs and “sammiches” good enough for the wise guys, but Marisa’s Italian Deli opens up the Mangiare Bene: a packed pantry with pastas, chocolates, olives and even nutella for those who need to do some grocery shopping as well as LavAzza Cafe for macchiatos and espresso. While noticing the patio that transports the guests to the countryside of Florence, the front door releases the aroma of fresh bread to lure people in. The Italiano tour begins with a pastry case in the front corner, filled with tiramisu and bredele — a cookie assortment of anisbredela (cake with egg white and aniseed) butterbredle, schwowebredle (orange and cinnamon), spritzbredle, small pain d'epices and spice cakes that are made with sugar rather than honey. A bed of meats and cheeses rests beside the cash register, all

of which with names that do not easily roll off the tongue. Finocchiona, soppressata, grano padano as well as other tongue twisters are packaged and ready for retail or, for a better deal, to be sliced by the quarter pound. Above and behind the cutting boards is the chalkboard menu. There are three categories of sandwiches: Specialita’s (small $5.99, large $8.99), Italiano Subarminos (small $5.99, large $8.99) and Sammiches ($8.99 served with a choice of coleslaw, potato salad or pasta salad). A favorite under Specialita’s is the Forget About It (hand gestures go great when ordering this one!) — roast beef, giardiniera, onion, pepe rosso cheese and mayo all toasted on an Italian roll. Another sure shooter is the Tommy Gun, with salami, capocolla, mortadella and pepperoni. The difference between these two categories and Sammiches is that the few choices of sammies are served on your choice of wheat, white or rye sandwich bread while Specialita’s and Submarinos are served only on an Italian roll. The Yard Bird Italiano Subarmino — capocollo, oven-roasted sundried tomato, turkey, aged provolone with lettuce, tomatoes and their vinegar oil blend — looks the most enticing beyond the popular choices and I couldn’t resist a cannoli to complete to the meal. Guests can wait for their meal in

either the few tables pressed against the window, the one long dining table in the center or even relax in the living room set in the back corner that looks like where the Godfather would take care of business. After 10 minutes of waiting, the name for the sandwich is called. The 6-inch Italian roll (small) is fluffy and dying to be torn to enjoy its buttery and flaky glory by itself. The height of the sub is a bit disappointing, as the hearty meats are sliced into see-through sheets. This specific sandwich is ordered with pickles and adds extra crunch with the vegetables and acidity with the house vinegar oil blend throughout each bite. The sundried tomato turkey is the most surprising flavor as it encompasses a subtle sweet flavor that meshes well with the other components. Shreds of lettuce and two slices of tomatoes are stacked on top of one another in the center of the sandwich with a slice of cheese resting beneath. With no condiments besides the vinegar oil blend, the ends of the sub were dry, leaving the center mound of lettuce soggy — a nitpicky detail but tasty nonetheless. After the first few bites, it feels like biting into a roll with a surprise center rather than a sub sandwich. With the use of quality ingredients, however, the Yard Bird is definitely not a Subway sandwich; however, the quantity of the meal does not do it justice. A Club Sandwich, listed under the Sammiches, is much bigger with multiple

folds of meats and cheese. The choice of side is served in a four-ounce cup … again, smaller than predicted with the escalated price. Not much later did the server bring the cannoli to the table. Custard filling tempted the edges of the deep-fried shell with chocolate chips glued to the ends and powdered sugar dusted over. No mess with these as the filling is so thick and rich, with one bite into the shell, the pieces instantly stick to the center. With the first bite, the custard melts off the tongue and the cinnamon plays with sweet and warm flavors. The shell itself is almost like a waffle cone to vanilla ice cream: perfect pairing! The shell has air pockets on top which makes it very airy and light cut through the richness of the custard to make having just one cannoli a challenge. Guests can choose between old-fashioned cinnamon and cherry filling with either chocolate chips or pistachios as toppings. The best part is definitely the dessert, and finding out Marisa’s Italian Deli plans to expand their bakery is even better. Underneath big band oldies playing throughout the cafe, the lunchtime rush hustles in. Members from the UCR volleyball team and office clerks get their midday caffeine fix from the LavAzza Cafe menu and take their sandwich to go. The ambiance itself is more memorable than the actual food for the price, but the deli and cafe definitely deserve a second glance to try out the multi■H tude of items.

Marisa’s boasts a huge selection of authentic Italian foods from specialty subs to scrumptious pastries.








Congratulations to the Highlander staff for taking home a total of seven awards — including five first-place awards — at this year’s California College Media Association competition! The Highlander earned the most awards out of any weekly UC newspaper and the third-most out of all weekly newspapers statewide!

Cody Nguyen

Best Sports Column, First Place

Brandy Coats

Best Photo Illustration, First Place

Grace Kang Best Cartoon, Second Place

Highlander Editorial Board Best Editorial, First Place

Highlander Staff Best Back to School/ Orientation Issue, First Place

Highlander Staff

Best Feature-Page Design, Third Place


Best A&E Story, First Place


Chris LoCascio







Events this week Tuesday | 3/11

Wednesday | 3/12

Thursday | 3/13

Friday | 3/14

Open Mic @ Back to the Grind, 7 p.m. Mobius Trio @ Culver Center, 8 p.m. Riot Grrrl @ Blood-Orange Infoshop, 7:30 p.m.

The Pink Floyd Experience @ Fox Theatre, 7 p.m.

UCR student Christina Pham participated in the Open Mic with “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey.






Artists on

the Grind

By Sarah Doyle, Contributing Writer // Photos by Jason Lin


ou never know what you might discover at Back to the Grind. Back to the Grind is a coffee shop situated in downtown Riverside right off the main stretch of University Avenue. Within this community-established coffee shop are eclectically covered walls of art that showcase the local talent. Sporadically placed chandeliers hang from the ceiling with an array of colorfully intertwined string lights. One of the large wall paintings states, “Back to the Grind is a place for all to come together leaving all labels outside,” a concise encapsulation of this Riverside institution. As barista Talene Salmaszadeh juiced beverages behind the bar, she remarked, “If it wasn’t for this place, I still wouldn’t be in Riverside.” It’s easy to see why Back to the Grind is a place that keeps people coming back for more. It houses a welcoming convergence for various groups to come together, creating a space that allows for all who enter to feel accepted in whatever state they arrive. The venue’s weekly Tuesday open mic, geared toward showcasing local musicians, is just one example. Sign-ups begin promptly at 6:30 p.m., the open mic begins at 7 p.m. and for the next two hours, a slew of familiar faces and newcomers perform two songs per set. They bare their souls and their musical skills for all of the coffee shop patrons to hear. Bill Odien and Dave Call are the cocoordinators for the open mic, an event that has been going on for years. As Call commented, “We think we have the oldest open mic night in Riverside.” Back to the Grind is a safe haven for the small, but immensely prevalent bohemian art culture in Riverside. Its doors

remain wide open for everyone who enters; the space houses the misfits, the houseless, the writers, the singers, the yogis, the professionals, the youngsters, the college students and more. This was no exception on a warm evening last Tuesday. The open mic commenced with the emcee of the night, Odien, setting the energy at an enthusiastic welcome to every artist that graced the stage. By stage, I mean a blocked-off area where amp cords sprawled over the scratched and faded wood floors, connected to the guitars and mics around the performers. The audience of about 20 patrons were seated at tables facing this intimate setup while the rest of the Back to the Grind customers went along with their business, keeping the lively pace of the backdrop going. It was hard not to sense the immense familiarity that many of the attendees held toward each other. To create a welcoming environment, the audience contained a contagious, enthusiastic rapport throughout the show, whether through clapping or vocal affirmation. It was a prime environment for any artist to want to perform. As local Riverside resident and regular open mic performer Faust commented, “Every time I come here I get inspired.” This inspiration was easily felt in the rawness of the singer-songwriter’s voice. His brand of vulnerable energy, rarely expressed in such a public setting, was felt

by the audience through the reverberation of the their toes tapping against the ground and the supportive clapping to Faust’s set. It was hard not to feel an easy-going, feelgood nature from his performance. It takes a certain kind of courage to put yourself on the line. The potential of the public crash-and-burn lingers, but more often than not this open mic really highlights the immense talent and passion that resides in Riverside. The open mic is comparable to a weekly sermon for the community to come together, searching for answers, affirmations, acknowledgment. The sacred space created by this weekly event, with the responsive nature of the audience to the performers, is something worth acknowledging. Some expected technical difficulties occurred, which tested some artists’ ability to shift with the sometimes tumultuous environment of malfunctioning mics and amps. However, it was endearing to watch various regulars help whoever was performing. They fixed performers’ mics, adjusted the volume and made sure things could be controlled and manipulated in the most agreeable circumstance for the musician. The acoustics of Back to the Grind are conducive for an open mic night. Even though there was a consistent murmur of voices and laughter, in a nondescript way it did not take the focus away from the performers. It added to the performance,

...the space houses the misfits, the houseless, the writers, the singers, the yogis, the professionals, the youngsters, the college students and more.

Back to the Grind hosted the skills of over a dozen performers, artists and poets at their weekly Open Mic Night.

as the liveliness within the coffee shop kept the energy of the show at a consistent pace. For some performers, it feels as if this is their therapy — a place they can grasp some kind of acknowledgment that is hard to find in this fast-paced world. Nate the Hay started his set by exclaiming, “Everybody seems to be playing happy songs. That ain’t me.” He was not exaggerating. As he began playing his first original song, “Fool For Me”, it quickly became apparent the performer, in front of this attentive audience, was going through a sense of anxiety and sadness — a lingering and universal feeling amongst aimlessly energetic youth. Nate’s music seemed to be an outlet that allowed him to articulate himself in a way that other forms of communication could not. Back to the Grind attracts everyday people. Seen from a semi-outsider such as myself, their lives are deeply intertwined in its communal environment; this is not just a place where people can get caffeine, but converge as individuals to make up an enduring community of misfits. In a world that seems obsessed with perfection, the imperfections of the open mic series are beautiful. The majority of musicians had parts of their set that didn’t have perfect pitch, flubbed guitar picking, missed words or competition with noisy coffee shop patrons — things that, on the surface, may seem to diminish the talent of the performance. But to me, these elements made it an authentic and tangible presentation of the beauty of the human experience. Back to the Grind’s open mic is a true depiction of what it means to be human, searching for connection and affirmation of the emotions shared between ■H people.





Awayfrom Great concerts bring out the



by Jake Rich, Senior Staff Writer

sat waiting at my computer for 40 minutes. Forty freaking minutes, desperately hoping that I wouldn’t click the “purchase” button 30 seconds too late, resulting in the stampede of thousands of other online ticket buyers beating me to the punch. Just as I was giving up hope, an order page reading “Purchase tickets for Coachella Weekend 2” displayed on my screen. I quickly entered my information and received my confirmation email shortly afterward, triumphant. But this entire process brings up one question: Why would anyone wait that long and put in that much dedication just for concert tickets? The answer is not inherently simple. Concerts, and live performances in general, have been happening for hundreds of years. Before the invention of recorded sound, the only way to possibly hear the melodious sounds of your favorite instruments played by your favorite people was to see them in the flesh. As time progressed, the act of listening to music in a solitary manner became easier — from the first 12-inch 78 vinyl records, to cassette tapes, CDs, phones and MP3 players. In spite of all of this, millions of fans every year still flock to see their favorite artists or bands — even stars who lip-sync most of their lyr-

the best in artists, fans

ics often attract crowds in swarms to their shows (usually because their accompanying dance moves or visuals are that good). Though the answer to what makes a great show varies from person to person, a good concert often delivers an emotional resonance that can leave an attendee thinking about it for days, months or even years after. A great show is not about having every note played perfectly, or replicating the exact sound of the artist’s recorded material — it’s about experiencing a collective passion with those around you, and the artist. Some bands whose records I truly love cannot — or refuse to — emote the feelings on their recorded material during their shows. A band that just stands and plays its songs without hardly moving or talking to the audience often results in some of the worst shows, and just because you are a successful recording artist does not necessarily translate to a great live show. The same applies vice-versa: Artists who may have average-to-good recorded material can elevate their status by emotionally connecting with their audience and showing their passion. Whether that is through jumping around on stage, chatting with the audience, walking into

the audience or showing their emotions through their faces while singing, a band can truly build a large following just through great interaction at live shows. Though it can certainly help, confetti and fancy lighting are not necessary — a simple, passionate sing-along can make somebody’s night or year, and be a life-changing experience. As I look forward to being greeted by the beautiful blue skies, sunsets and smells of Indio, my answer to the question of what makes a good concert is this: The feeling of being pushed up against a thousand other sweaty people who love the same thing as you, and moving and moshing in time as the band members wear their hearts on their instruments. It’s nearly indescribable. For a moment, you’re in a bubble where no one can get you — all of society’s pressures and fears and problems drop away. Strangers become your best friends, romances blossom and fear fades away as life’s passion sweeps you up for one night, or even just a couple hours. And while you, the band and your friends sing your hearts out with your hoarse voices echoing loudly off the rooftops or deep blue night skies, the reverberations transform an ordinarily vacant place into something extraordinary. ■H

Strangers become your best friends, romances blossom and fear fades away as life’s passion sweeps you up for one night, or even just a couple hours. Artists and music fans alike experience a synergistic effect where the love from the audience fuels spectacular per fomances by the artists.







RATING: ★★★☆☆



trider” is not Strider Hiryus’ first time in action, but a reboot of Capcom’s 1989 arcade game. The original was known for a lot of flashy moves, which the reboot has in abundance, bringing its lightning-fast action to the PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360 as a downloadable game. At its best, “Strider” is a smooth action-packed game with some excellent side-scrolling gameplay that rivals some of the best action platformers. It’s unfortunate that it is held back by bad pacing and poor level design. All of the action in “Strider” takes place on a 2D playing field, so its basic mechanic is moving right and left. Essentially, you must get from one end of a level to the other, while you jump around as you fight a bunch of robots that are shooting at you. You gain new power-ups as you progress, which allow you to jump higher, as well as powerful attacks that allow you to take down some bigger enemies. The game is relatively difficult; the enemies have different ways of creating different obstacles. Some of these enemies may be difficult to beat at first, but after a while you can learn their patterns and weaknesses.

As for style, there is plenty of it here. The city you are exploring is reminiscent of “Tron,” with lots of different neon lights that flash before you while you race through the level. Strider is the quintessential cool guy: He is a mysterious ninja, clad in cool purple and wields a neonred blade. All of his attacks look very over the top, and while not all of the moves do a lot of damage, just watching the neon blade moving through the air during lightning-fast combat is pleasing. When Strider is running around, he runs with his blade out — so even his running looks like something out of “The Matrix.” Now, the question that needs to be asked is: How much substance is there? This is where Strider falls flat on his face. Everything looks good, but becomes extremely repetitive very quickly — gameplay is just a bunch of slashing with very little strategy. The variation in enemies is lacking, too; the robots all look the same (with a few exceptions), and can only be distinguished by their different guns. Some have shotguns, pistols and the most annoying ones have snipers. All of that could have been forgiven if the level design was imaginative — unfortunately,

Courtesy of Capcom

it is not. Once you play the first level, you have pretty much seen every level. The level design is very confusing and forces you to rely on the map excessively to figure out where to go next. A lot of times I found myself lost because the levels lack any natural progression, and I would reach a wall only to find that I had missed an obscure exit. There are even times when it is difficult to tell the difference between the background and foreground. In a game all about jumping around from one spot to another, this is a

real problem. Given its lack of creativity, you may be surprised when you reach the boss stages. How does flying around a giant robotic dragon as turrets try to shoot you down sound? This type of imagination and fun would have been appreciated in the rest of the game, and as a result, the elaborate boss fights are some of the most exciting parts of “Strider.” This game should only take about six hours to complete if you are just trying to get to the end, which is not bad consider-

ing that it will only set you back $15. Plus, there is a lot to collect throughout the game, so if you are a completionist there is plenty to do after your first playthrough. “Strider” really could have been something special. The ninja looks cooler than ever, the boss fights truly are large and the combat is very fast. It just lacks some substance. It is not a bad game by any means, nor is it great. It is just good, and for only $15, good could actually be ■H a bargain.


RATING: ★★☆☆☆



hat comes to mind when you think of the number 300? Is it slow motion? What about overly saturated CGI? Or maybe a super kick that sent a Persian messenger plunging to his death? If you answered “Yes,” to any of these questions, then you have come to the right place. “300: Rise of an Empire” is the sequel to Zach Snyder’s 2006 action film “300.” The film follows Greek general Themistokles as he leads a charge against an invading Persian army, led by godking Xerxes and his naval commander Artemisia. Unlike its predecessor, “300: Rise of an Empire” delivers more than just powerful kicks and a witty catchphrase. With that in mind, it is safe to say that the best aspect of the film hands-down is its action. Realism has never been a concern for both directors Zack Snyder and Noam Murro — therefore, it becomes very easy to create unique action sequences that take the viewer into battle. For example, in the opening sequence of the film we follow Greek general Themistokles as he charges a Persian fleet. As Themistokles cuts down his foes to get to King Darius, we follow every slice and dice. Only in a “300” film can we witness a man change from onehanded sword and shield combat, to dualwielding swords while still dispatching countless enemies in a flawless and fluid motion. The action sequences are treated as an art that begs the question: How many ways can we kill a bunch of people and make it look cool? In addition to glorified action

sequences, the film presents compelling characters with dynamic relationships. Every main character has an intricate back story that provides reasoning to who they are and why they take the actions they do. The main antagonist of the film, Artemisia, is not just a cold-hearted bitch for no apparent reason. Her family was killed and raped by the Greeks in front of her very eyes and she was saved by Persians. Because of this, her undying loyalty to the Persians is not questioned for the rest of the film. “300: Rise of an Empire” does a great job of placing every character into context within the story, and no character is left without a goal or motive, making them likable and relatable. And while some of the interactions between characters are somewhat stereotypical, there are a few surprises, like the sexual tension between Themistokles and Artemisia. However, action sequences and halfway decent characters are no substitute for the basics: a good plot. The plot development in the film was handled rather poorly and I am completely assured there will be a handful of viewers who walk out of the movie theater thinking, “What was the movie about?” The second act should be filled with multiple plot twists and character arcs, but is instead crowded by several naval battles that are essentially the same routine played over with different scenarios, but the same ending: Themistokles goes out with his small navy and looks outmatched, only to find a creative way to defeat the fleet. The point of the film seems to be to distract you with all of the eye candy in its

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

world, and hope you will forgive or even forget about its vanishing second act. The film also calls itself a sequel but it is really a conglomerate of the past, present and future. The events of Snyder’s “300” do not have any weight on the film until the third act, so it really is kind of pointless to call it a direct sequel. Either way, upon walking into any film it is safe to suspend your disbelief at the ticket counter and let your imagination

take hold. If you can’t do that, then this film obviously isn’t for you because you will probably cringe at how unrealistic it is. But, if you find yourself able, you might enjoy the film for what it is: a glorified piece of eye candy. It manages to deliver to its core audience, and even ups the ante in terms of visuals and action. “300: Rise of an Empire” does not innovate in any way, but it sure does find a lot of ways to ■H look cool.






RATING: ★★☆☆☆



ith “Louder,” Lea Michele has released her very first album with Columbia Records as a solo recording artist. Most of her work has been on Broadway and “Glee,” where she was constantly singing covers of popular songs with her castmates. Michele’s soprano voice is big and beautiful, and in her new album she produces a sincere and sentimental work mostly about heartbreak and love. Although Michele’s voice is lovely, her songs lack any personality and do not sound like the chart-topping pop album Michele is trying to make it be. The album’s single, “Cannonball,” describes Michele flying into the world like a cannonball. Her Broadway vocals are huge, but her voice doesn’t seem exactly ready to be used for pop music. She sings with too much projection, as if she’s singing for a live audience and

not a recording studio. The lyrics in the chorus seem forced as she sings, “I got this new beginning and I will fly / I’ll fly like a cannonball.” “On My Way” is a better pop song than her single. The chorus is catchy and Michele’s vocal range and talent is more prominent as she sings, “I know my heart’s too drunk to drive / But I’m on my way to you.” The song is packed with passion in its beginning soft melodies, then suddenly bursts into stronger vocals and instrumentation before returning to its softer tones. Michele’s album takes a somber turn with “Battlefield,” a melancholy song about a love coming to an end. She sings, “We both have to let go,” and her metaphor of love as a battlefield works well in the song because of the gentle piano that accompanies her strong vocals — even though the idea isn’t original or new. As she sings, “What seemed


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like a good idea has turned into a battlefield,” she sounds both nostalgic and sincere in accepting her loss. Unfortunately, “You’re Mine” has a bland chorus and detached meaning. Supposedly, the song is dedicated to her late love who passed away over the summer of 2013, but there is nothing especially specific or passionate that would identify the song for anyone in general. It’s very blase, and Michele’s voice only sounds sweet in the slower parts of the song rather than the long notes. She simply sings “You’re mine, for life,” and offers no other sentiments of love. Although Michele’s voice is nearly flawless in all of her songs, she lacks emotion in her love ballads. More passion is heard in her woeful tracks about heartbreak, but the lyrics usually don’t match the resonance and clarity of her voice. As a pop album, it isn’t very successful since any sense of

Courtesy of Columbia

personality is obviously missing from every song. There’s no doubt about Michele’s talented voice, but her focus should definitely be on the lyr-

ics and the story she’s attempting to tell — especially since most of her songs don’t soar as high as her voice, but instead fall flat. ■H






RATING: ★★☆☆☆



harrell Williams has quietly dominated the music industry for quite some time by helping produce some of the biggest albums for today’s hottest stars, including Miley Cyrus, Usher and Jay-Z. However, in 2013 he took a step out from behind the scenes and was featured in some of the year ’s biggest hits: Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.” Now in 2014, he graces us with his second full-length album, “Girl.” Filled with infectious dance hits, “Girl” does not disappoint. There are definitely more than a few crowd-pleasers on Williams’ latest effort. Each song has a full and clean sound that only a top-notch producer could create, as well as a unique and diverse style in terms of beats and samples.

“Girl” includes Pharrell’s biggest hit of the year, “Happy” from the animated movie “Despicable Me 2.” This song sets the tone for the entire album by introducing a throwback sound joined by light and carefree lyrics. Most of the songs infuse funk, pop strings and old-school beats, and the album’s disco sound is almost reminiscent of a time that saw the masses in neon clothing grooving down roller-skating rinks. However, no matter how oldschool the flavor, Pharrell manages to simultaneously master the futuristic sound that has dominated modern pop music: smooth vocals, crisp hooks and repetitive catch phrases. The album’s opener, “Marilyn Monroe,” consists of cheery strings and Williams introducing the subject matter that is present

Courtesy of i Am Other and Columbia in every song on the album: girls, girls and more girls. Staying true to the title, Williams saw fit not to include songs on the album about anything else — or to be terribly creative with the lyrics. He croons, “We’re so hard / I was so hard that they can’t chew / Then my lucky star / I guess you came from behind the moon.” Honestly, it’s hard to even guess what he is trying to say with this. However, this isn’t to say that there is a lack of diversity to be found in other aspects of the album. Pharrell invited a variety of artists hailing from different genres to lend their talents to the album. He is joined by Justin Timberlake on “Brand New,” which features both artists displaying a breezy falsetto. One of the most notable collaborations on “Girl” is his track with Daft

Punk, “Gust of Wind.” But with lyrics like “When I open the window / I wanna hug you / ‘Cuz you remind me of the air / I said yeah,” the song needed its soulful guitar melody and retro patterns to get the listener focused on dancing — instead of wondering why Pharrell is talking like a 5-year-old. All in all, “Girl” is about fun. Lyrically, these songs lack depth and prove that this album is to be enjoyed during times of blind glee —

perhaps cruising down the coast with friends, sweating on the dance floor or simply choosing the soundtrack to a happy day. If you’re looking for a song to put you on the verge of tears or encourage you to ponder the reasons of our existence, don’t go looking for it on “Girl.” Pharrell doesn’t have the best voice in the world, but what he lacks in vocal ability he makes up with perfectly crafted songs that are hard not to enjoy. ■H






RATING: ★★★★☆



eal Estate has never been a band to step beyond its selfimposed borders. Since its debut, the band has had its feet pressed firmly into the sand of the chill, psychedelic and carefree surf-rock it has become known for. On the latest album, “Atlas,” the band reaches its full maturity, providing deeper lyrical content and refining its signature rockdaze sound. Real Estate’s coming-of-age becomes apparent on the album’s opener, “Had To Hear.” Starting off almost like any other Real Estate song would, with elegant and relaxing guitar melodies and cheery drumming, “Had To Hear” really sets in as soon as lead vocalist Martin Courtney begins to sing. With a slightly melancholy and nostalgic tone in his voice and lyrics, Courtney breathes life into the song, bringing listeners closer into his personal life. “I had to hear you just to feel near you / I know it’s not true / But it’s been so long,” the singer passionately croons, almost as if he’s speaking directly to you. While Courtney’s lyrical content on previous albums felt vague and out of focus at times, his verses on “Had To Hear” and all throughout “Atlas” are more down to earth, which helps listeners connect to the songs. The brilliance of “Atlas”

is in the band’s precise instrumentation selection. Real Estate utilizes almost neutral chord progressions and melodies, keeping the same lighthearted and dream-like sound, while also blending beautifully with the tone of Courtney’s reinvigorating lyricism. This sounds like a step in a different direction for Real Estate, and their aged-yet-fresh sound is apparent in “The Bend.”

... the singer passionately croons, almost as if he’s speaking directly to you. The familiar tropical sounds of the song’s intro and verses take note of Courtney’s relaxed singing. Once the song reaches the chorus, its warm and euphoric resonance goes cold, as his imagery and the overall vibe grows sadder. “‘Cause it’s so hard to feel / They control you,” Courtney chants over intimate guitar melodies. The neutrality of the chords makes his vocals sound edgier and melancholy, while having a feel-good vibe at the same time. The culmination of Real

Courtesy of Mexican Summer Estate’s newfound maturity is demonstrated on the album’s standout track, “Crime.” Staying true to its surf-rock roots, it is here where the band mixes classic melodies and simple lyrics with unforgettable rhythms and deeper meanings. As soon as the track begins, listeners are treated to upbeat guitar chords and endearing drumming, similar in sound to past songs like “It’s Real.” The song becomes even more enticing once Courtney begins to sing: “Stay with me / All will be revealed.” Lead guitarist Matt Mondanile plays away, giving an astonishing guitar solo near the song’s finish. Courtney’s effortless yet complex lyricism, mixed with Mondanile’s rhythmically perfect guitar melodies, allows listeners to feel completely lost in the music. “Atlas” is Real Estate’s most endearing and profound album to date. If you have listened to Real Estate’s music before, you will not find any major changes on “Atlas,” but the beauty of the album is in the band’s attention to detail. Real Estate is steadily becoming a more sonically connected band with deeper, more personal messages. This is the album that all Real Estate fans have been waiting for, and if you have never heard of the band, “Atlas” might just make ■H you a fan.





Baseball’s offense on full display Women’s basketball competes in season in 9-1 win over Sacramento finale, falls short of Big West Tourament spot ALEXANDER MANZO Contributing Writer MARCH 7, 2014


Highlanders 9 - Hornets 1

The Sacramento Hornets came buzzing in from Northern California but they lost their stingers on the way down south with a huge loss of 9-1 to the UC Riverside baseball team. Starting pitcher Jake Smigelski helped UC Riverside keep the Hornets at bay by only allowing one run in the third inning before being switched out after the seventh inning. It did not take long for the Highlanders to get the first points of the game. In the second inning after a line drive to right field, designated hitter Drake Zarate helped Nick Vilter get to third base, and with a double from catcher Mark Ellis, he was able to score. Third baseman Cody Hough helped get the second run of the inning by hitting a single down the middle and with an error from Sacramento’s second baseman Zarate, was allowed home. Shortstop Austin Roberts bunted and was tagged at first to end the inning. Sacramento followed in the next inning with outfielder Nathan Lukes getting home with the help of a single by Brandon Hunley. Once the fourth inning came around the crowd started to root louder and louder for the Highlanders. When they got up to bat, they responded by scoring once in that inning and again in the fifth. Smigelski and the outfield were able to hold down the Hornets from even getting to third base for the rest of the game. The sixth inning would prove to be the

best of the game after a pitcher change for Sacramento, sending in Austin Ragsdale. The Highlanders would score three times with the help of Vilter, Zarate, and Houghs once again, making the score 7-1. Even with two more pitching changes in the seventh and eighth, the Highlanders extended their lead by scoring in both innings before cementing the score to 9-1. The Highlanders’ record is now 8-6. MARCH 8, 2014


Mountaineers 2 - Highlanders 1

The sports complex was roaring in the ninth inning as Joe Chavez ran in after Devyn Bolasky’s shallow hit was caught and the Highlanders, who were down for the majority of the contest, finally got on board in the final inning against West Virginia. Much to the dismay of the crowd, David Andriese’s final swing didn’t connect as UC Riverside lost the game 1-2. Starter pitcher Ben Doucette was able to hold down the mound for the first five innings and only allowed the Mountaineers one run in the third inning. Doucette sent six batters back to the dugout on strikeout and only allowed two walks during his outing. In the sixth inning, the Highlanders sent in Angel Landazuri for the rest of the game. Landazuri only allowed three hits and one walk, but also let West Virginia get an insurance run in the final inning. The two best at bats were from Nick Vilter (2-4) and Bolasky (3-4). Vilter was able to obtain a double in the second inning, and a single in the eight. Bolasky hit two singles in the first and fourth innings, and an RBI in the ninth. ■H

JASON AHN Contributing Writer MARCH 8, 2014 ............................................................................. 49ers 89 - Highlanders 81

With only 43 seconds remaining in regulation, Long Beach State had the lead, 8479, and had the possession. UCR’s Tahvia Morrison fouled the 49ers’ Lauren Spargo to stop the clock, which furthered the gap to 10 points. The play clock wound down as the Highlanders’ season finale came to a bitter end with a loss to Long Beach State, 89-81. With a Big West Tournament spot on the line, the Highlanders entered the game with an air of determination. UCR’s Brittany Crain was ready to beat the 49ers. “I was ready to give everything,” she stated. “Because it was the last game of the season, I was ready to give it my all.” Crain’s effort resulted with 31 points in 35 minutes. Annelise Ito finished with 16 and made all eight of her free throws. Kiara Harewood had 15 while Simone DeCoud tallied 12 points. Taylor Wallace said, “It was a great game. My teammates fought ‘till the finish. They left everything on the floor, and went out fighting.” Natasha Hadley was playing in her last UCR home game as the team celebrated Senior Night by acknowledging her impact on the university before tip-off. In the first half, there were a total of 10 lead changes. With 2:08 remaining in the first half, Long Beach State was leading 30-36. Morrison was sent to the free-throw line after Long Beach’s Anna Kim fouled her. She made one, and on the next pos-

session, Long Beach’s Sanchez missed a three. As Kiara Harewood was taking her shot, she was fouled and made both of her attempts, bringing the score to 33-36. The opening half came to an end with a steal by Harewood and UCR score, bringing the score to 41-35 Long Beach. The Highlanders played better in the second half. With 13:55 remaining, Harewood emphatically blocked Long Beach’s Hallie Meneses which led to a layup from Crain to give the Highlanders a one-point lead, 51-50. Long Beach responded with a three from Raven Benton, followed by a jumper from Harewood, a miss from Clark and two free throws from Crain to bring the game to 55-54 in favor of the Highlanders. With 3:30 remaining, the Highlanders tied the game, 79-79, with Ito’s two free throws. However, two free throws and a three from 49er Lauren Spargo widened the gap, 84-79. UCR’s offense couldn’t sustain as the team remained at 79 for multiple possessions which led to the 89-81 defeat. The game was especially hard for graduating senior Hadley. “It meant a lot,” the center stated. “Since it was the last game of my college career, I hoped we could play it out but because of the (knee) injury I got in Davis, I couldn’t play. My teammates fought hard today.” Coach John Margaritis is looking forward to training the team hard during the off season. “The season’s over but the girls will still lift and run. We have all summer to train and a little before school ends and before school starts.” UCR finished the season 6-23 overall with a 2-14 record in conference. ■H





more than just a block party By Melisa Bivian, Staff Writer Photos by Cameron Yong


e’s hard to miss. Standing 6-feet-7-inches tall, he practically intimidates anyone beside him. Forward sophomore Taylor Johns can often be seen pumping up his teammates on court as well as dropping jaw-breaking dunks and monster blocks. Even though Johns is intense on the court, he is a sweetheart off of it. Johns can often be seen with his teammates or friends, roaming the sidewalks of campus with a wide smile on his face. I had the opportunity to sit down with one of UCR’s biggest stars as he was getting treatment on his left arm for UCR’s Thursday victory over the UC Davis Aggies. I was nervous as I approached Johns, but his warm presence made me feel welcomed. Johns explained: “I’m the nicest person you’ll ever meet on this campus, ever. If you want to say hi, you can say hi, you can take pictures and everything. Just talk.” Coming off an injury-plagued freshman campaign, Johns came into this season hungry for redemption. Johns doubled his point average for the 2013-2014 season to eight compared to 4.6 last season and contributed 71 blocks this season. Not only that, but he has led Riverside in scoring and rebounding

Taylor Johns (No. 5) always gives the crowd a show with his tenacious dunks.

for multiple games throughout the season. The sophomore also is currently number one in the conference in terms of blocks (42) and is fifth for most rebounds per game (8.1). In what went down as the largest comeback in UCR history on Jan. 16, 2014, Johns led the Highlanders with 22 points, including a phenomenal reverse dunk against UC Davis. Hundreds of students were tweeting and cheering for Johns’ play to be on SportsCenter’s Top 10. Murmurs around the Student Recreation Center began to float all over as excited students waited in anticipation to see if Johns would be featured on ESPN’s flagship program, which he eventually was. With a smile on his face, Johns expressed his gratitude toward fans’ determination: “I feel good, it was a good play. It just was a good basketball play, everybody wants to be on SportsCenter, so I guess it was pretty cool.” Johns is currently undeclared, but he wants to study psychology. He explains how he would specifically like to work with kids as he loves to play with his nieces and nephews. “I want to redirect kids into the right path,” he said. Growing up in a tough neighborhood, Johns encountered several obstacles, but was successful in obtaining a scholarship to study at UCR. Johns would like to play basketball professionally, but if things don’t go as planned, his backup plan is to make

a difference through the profession of psychology. He feels that he can relate to children who are experiencing the same obstacles he once faced and motivate them to keep pushing forward. After a long day of school and practice, Johns enjoys relaxing at home. He explained how there is nothing better than sitting on the couch and watching television with great company. He enjoys watching shows on Disney Channel, but prefers to watch SpongeBob on Nickelodeon or SportsCenter. If he isn’t watching TV, he enjoys listening to music or talking with friends. Getting his head back in the game, Johns stated: “We know this is an important game, everyone has the same mindset that we have to win.” By having the same mentality, the Highlanders were able to achieve their goal of taking the victory against UC Davis once again and becoming the eighth seed. Securing their place in the conference, the Highlanders now prepare for the Big West Conference quarterfinals that will take place on March 14 at the Honda Center. The next time you see Taylor Johns dominating the floor with his jaw-dropping dunks and intimidating defensive play, don’t forget that he’s not the bully that you see on the court, ■H but the nicest guy you’ll ever meet on campus.





Softball hosts Mizuno Invitational, Highlander Classic CODY NGUYEN Senior Staff Writer MARCH 3, 2014


Ramblers 6 - Highlanders 5

After inclement weather forced a postponement for their showdown against the LoyolaChicago Ramblers, the UCR softball team took to their home field last Monday for the second fixture of the Mizuno Invitational. The match remained closely contested throughout, with the Highlanders and Ramblers trading runs through the first six innings. At the bottom of the sixth, the Highlanders earned two runs, which gave them a 4-2 lead. It didn’t take long for the Ramblers to reply, as they scored two runs of their own in the seventh to even the score up at 4-4. Both teams scored one run apiece in the eighth inning, keeping the score tied at 5-5. After a scoreless ninth inning, the game went to a decisive, winner-takes-all round of extra

innings. A Loyola run at the top of the 10th forced the Highlanders to score at least a run for the match to continue, a feat they could not achieve as the Loyola Ramblers eked out a close win over the UCR softball team. MARCH 3, 2014


Highlanders 3 - Ramblers 2

It didn’t take long for the Highlanders to remove the bitter taste of defeat from their palates as they took down the Ramblers in game two of the doubleheader. The Highlanders got on the board first at the bottom of the first when a Haley Harris double to left center allowed Dionne Anderson to score. A walk awarded to Harris at the bottom of the second inning allowed another UCR score as Stephanie Tickemeyer made her way uncontested to home plate from third. Lauren Moore’s home run in the top of the third cut the UCR lead to 2-1, but the Highlanders

answered in due haste when an Ashley Ercolano double put them up 3-1. An Erica Nagel sac fly allowed Lauren Zaworski to score in the top of the fourth, cutting the Highlander lead to 3-2. Zaworski’s score would be the final one of the match, as the Highlanders buckled down and did not allow another score for the last three innings, allowing UCR to end the doubleheader 1-1 against the visiting Loyola Ramblers. MARCH 6, 2014 ............................................................................. Highlanders 3 - Bruins 2

The UC Riverside softball team, set to play their final doubleheader of the Mizuno Invitational, took on the Belmont Bruins Thursday in an absolute nail-biter of a match. Both teams held each other scoreless for the first two innings, but the Highlanders ended the scoreless drought when a Haley Harris double allowed Karina Romero and Dionne Anderson to

reach home plate. It took three innings for the Bruins to respond, when a ground out by Amy Zeronian sent two runners home. At the bottom of the seventh, the Highlanders capitalized on their opportunity to close out the game when Taylor Wright reached home plate off a sac fly to right field by Haley Harris, giving UCR a victory by the slimmest of margins. MARCH 6, 2014


Highlanders 6 - Bruins 5

It was yet another thriller produced by the Belmont Bruins and UCR Highlanders in game two of the doubleheader. Both teams were held scoreless through the first three innings of play, but when the fourth inning arrived, it seemed as though a new game had begun. Belmont scored five runs to put the Highlanders in a huge hole going into the bottom of the fourth. The Highlanders answered

with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth, cutting the deficit to 5-3. After a scoreless fifth inning, the pressure started building on the UCR squad. Subsequently, the Highlanders held the Bruins scoreless at the top of the sixth and capitalized on their opportunity to steal the game with another trio of runs at the bottom of the sixth, giving them a late 6-5 lead which proved to be the eventual final score of the match. MARCH 7, 2014


Highlanders 5 - Aggies 2

The Highlander Classic started off on a good note for its hosts as the UCR softball team took down the visiting Utah State Aggies on Friday. UCR got on the board first with two runs by Dionne Anderson and Natalie Sanchez. After scoreless second and third innings, the Aggies scored their first run of the game when Victoria Saucedo hit a home run to center field. The Highlanders responded by putting three runs on the board at the bottom of the fourth to widen the margin to 5-1. Utah State scored a run in the top of the seventh, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Highlanders from securing a 5-2 victory in their debut at the Highlander Classic, as well as extending their winning streak to four in a row. MARCH 8, 2014


Torreros 6 - Highlanders 3

The San Diego Torreros brought the UCR softball team’s winning streak to a screeching halt on Saturday as they came away with a 6-3 victory over the home team. The Highlanders jumped out to an early 2-0 lead at the bottom of the second, but San Diego scored two of their own just a half-inning later. The Torreros continued pouring it on with four runs at the top of the fourth, giving them a 6-2 lead. UCR scored a single run at the bottom of the fourth, but that was all they were able to muster up for the rest of the match as the Torreros were able to end the Highlander winning streak at four games. MARCH 8, 2014


Bengals 9 - Highlanders 0

The UC Riverside softball team was shellacked on Saturday as they were completely overwhelmed by the Idaho State Bengals, dropping a 9-0 decision that ended early due to the mercy rule. Idaho State asserted its dominance early, scoring four runs in the top of the first, three runs in the second and two runs in the third. With a 9-0 lead going into the fourth inning, the Highlanders had to draw within at least seven points of the deficit to prevent the game from ending after the fifth inning. The Highlanders were unable to complete the feat, being shut out throughout the rest of the match that ended in a 9-0 Idaho State victory. ■H






By Darren Bueno, Senior Staff Writer

t the 2008 Australian Open, Venus Williams, an advocate for gender equality within the sport of tennis, bellowed: “There is nothing against right. Right is right. Wrong is wrong. And I’m not a fool.” Over six years later and 8,000 miles away, a similar conversation unravelled in the confines of a traditional office on the campus of UC Riverside. Janet Lucas, executive associate athletic director and senior women’s administrator, witnessed the passage and effects of Title IX, a 1972 law banning sexual discrimination in education programs or activities that receive federal funds. She has seen the growth of women’s collegiate sports, but most of all perhaps, Lucas knows the importance of what is right and what is wrong within college athletics. “From my perspective with Title IX, there is a difference between doing something because it’s mandated versus doing something because you choose to. And (that) aspect for me is when the culture starts to change because it’s the right thing to do, because the experience is valued, not because the law says you must do it in a certain way.” On Feb. 26, UC Riverside hosted the fifth annual “99 for Title IX,” a fundraising event designed to raise money and awareness for UCR women’s athletes. Forty years after the passage of Title IX, which, despite its shortcomings, remains a revolutionary hallmark for female student athletes everywhere, patrons view the event as a symbol for the

changing landscape of opportunity with collegiate athletics. “This a fabulous event for us that we have had for five years. It was a strong statement to begin with and gets better every year,” Lucas stated. “It is the campus and local community really saying there is value to the opportunities provided to female athletes. Value on many levels. I know equity tends to be the nature of the conversation. By attending the event, you can see how people talk about their own experiences, what it brings to them.” Chancellor Kim Wilcox opened his home to over 150 athletics supporters, each of whom donated at least $99 dollars. Behind “99 for Title IX” lies a strong community of lawyers, business professionals, city officials, former athletes and athletic directors, who strongly back the importance of women athletes having the best experience within college possible. One of those athletes was senior women’s basketball player Natasha Hadley, who was picked as the honorary student guest speaker. “I thought it was amazing,” Hadley blushed. “It felt good being there and I really enjoyed giving my speech because it’s not just about equity and getting the scholarship, it’s about the people I have met since I’ve been here and the experiences that will never be taken from me. It’s amazing to have a group of people supporting me in that room who want that for other women and girls like myself.” “I thought her speech was wonderful (because) it makes it real,” Lucas added. “(Title IX) is not just a law. It changed our culture. Our culture is still changing but it changed us a lot. I was participating as Title IX was being passed, so what opportunities are available to Natasha and her peers are light years different than what was available

to me.” UCR graduate Brenda Martinez, who was the first woman to medal in the 800-meter at the World Championships last year, was the night’s keynote speaker. The Olympic hopeful inspired her UCR peers to continue living in the legacy of women’s athletics and spoke of her experiences at the university and her overwhelming success on the track. By the end of the night, smiles were abound and over $30,000 were raised, the most in the fundraiser’s five-year history. Supporters of the event understood the importance of continuing to fight for women’s equality in collegiate sports. There is equal treatment on paper, but the culture reception leaves much to be desired. “Are we where we want to be? Probably never because the opportunities are going to grow as our culture changes. One of the biggest step forward for us is when young men got married and had daughters,” Lucas explained. “And they see the experiences their daughters could and couldn’t have. And they wanted more for them. That was a tremendous component as well when we talk about really changing the foundation of the attitude towards women’s athletics.” For one night, women’s athletics was praised. The Riverside community stood strong behind the belief of value in the college experience. The hope is for every day to be a day of equality for all, not because it is required, but because it is the right thing to do. “Because we live and breathe the athletic experience, we understand what it feels like to be told no,” Lucas said. “We don’t want that to happen to ■H someone else.”






They’re in! A packed SRC Arena fuels men’s basketball to Big West playoff berth STEVEN CAHILL Staff Writer MARCH 6, 2014


Highlanders 78 - Aggies 65

When it was time for tip-off Thursday night, there was not an empty seat to be found on the student side of the Student Recreation Center arena. Everyone knew the stakes of the game for the UC Riverside men’s basketball team: win, and you’re in the playoffs. ESPN certainly knew it, as they had their desk, broadcasters, cameras and lights prepared to capture the action. But most importantly, the players knew it, and they never let up, leading from the opening tip to the final buzzer in a win over UC Davis, 78-65, which secured UCR’s spot in the Big West Conference tournament. Going into the game, both teams had a record of 4-10 in the Big West Conference, but UCR certainly didn’t play to its record. Starting from a Chris Patton post shot in the first 20 seconds of the game, the Highlanders never looked back, leading from start to finish. Back-to-back threes by Steven Jones and Steven Thornton pushed the lead to eight in the first four minutes, and it became clear that it would be a “perfect night for Riverside basketball,” as Coach Cutts put it after the game. That summary describes a majority of the important categories on the night, as UCR was ahead of UC Davis in field goal percentage, free-throw percentage, rebounding, bench points and points in the paint. “We’re growing. We’re learning,” Cutts acknowledged after the game. “It’s taken us a long time. But I’m happy where we’re at. We talked about being a good team in March, and now we’re 2-0 in March.” Momentum is important in all sports, especially leading into the playoffs, and Riverside clearly realizes that. Coming off of what Patton called their “best win of the season,” the Highlanders played with intensity that exemplified the growth and maturity the team has experienced this season. “In our non-conference season we took some tough losses, but they weren’t really close games,” explained Sam Finley, who had 19 points off the bench Thursday, adding on to his impressive rookie season. “Then in our conference season we were having close games, and now we’re trying to finish those close games.” This game might not have been very close, but they definitely finished strong. At about the five-and-a-half-minute mark, Jones managed to get the ball on a fast break and dunk it with authority, pleasing not only the Highlander bench, but the max-capacity crowd as well. The fans showed their support all night, and the players took notice. Austin Quick, who had a very balanced night with two steals, three assists, five rebounds and five points, claimed that the energy the fans brought sets the pace. “It gets rid of the fatigue factor,” he said. “With all those people out there there’s no time to be

CAMERON YONG / HIGHLANDER Chris Patton (No. 54) jumps for the rebound and quickly secures the ball from UC Davis.

tired. It’s always next play, next play, next play. With that energy you can’t even think about being tired.” The game’s leading scorer and rebounder (20 and nine) Patton felt the same way, admitting, “Coach Cutts sometimes has to get us going. He talks about how we need more juice. But not once the entire day did he have to say that. And before the game I just didn’t see any way that we couldn’t win.” MARCH 8, 2014 ............................................................................. 49ers 74 - Highlanders 67

In a game that seemed completely reverse of their last contest against UC Davis, the UCR men’s basketball team fell behind in the opening seconds and could never catch up, losing 67-74 to the Long Beach State 49ers. On paper, it would seem to be the obvious result for the game, considering that Long Beach State had already locked up the number three seed in the Big West Conference playoffs while Riverside held only the number eight seat. Long Beach State has also had a history of success in those playoffs, having won the tournament as recently as 2012. The 49ers, however, never could completely shrug off Riverside, resulting in only a seven-point win. UCR was hoping to carry over some of the momentum that they had created by winning two games in a row, but Long Beach shut them down early. The club shot

25 percent from the field and from three in the first half, while the 49ers shot 51 percent from the field in those same 20 minutes. This discrepancy led to a 7-0 run by LBS late in the first half, extending their lead to 12 at the half, 34-22. The second half was particularly interesting. Even though the lead reached its highest point at 20 with 3:14 left, UCR was still in a position to win with 30 seconds left. This was due to an impressive defensive effort in that timeframe, resulting in a 13-0 run. Tre Owens, Nick Gruninger and Austin Quick each made a three during the run, with Gruninger and Quick also forcing turnovers to keep the run going. But it was a little too late as Long Beach made enough free throws to hold off the massive comeback, 74-67. Steven Thornton led the game in scoring with 17 points, while Lucas Devenny led the team in rebounds with 10. Sam Finley continued his consistency at scoring the ball, adding 14 points, and Quick had a good showing off the bench with 16 points and three steals. The Big West Conference playoffs start this Thursday in Anaheim at 6 p.m., as the UC Riverside Highlanders take on the number one seeded UC Irvine Anteaters. Riverside lost both matches against Irvine during conference play, but has played better basketball as of late. All four quarterfinal games on Thursday will be televised on ■H Prime Ticket and Fox Deportes.

Volume 62 Issue 21