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Highlander University

Volume 61


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

Issue 25

Serving the UCR community since 1954



UCR Highlander Newspaper



J o h n n y M a /HIGHLANDER Freshman computer science major Derek Liu votes at an A&I polling site.


On Friday, April 19, at about 7:30 p.m. the results of the ASUCR elections were posted online. For the second consecutive year, the [YOU]UCR party dominated the ASUCR elections results, leaving OUR’SIDE with a single senate seat. This year’s voter turnout of 2,913 students paled in comparison to last year’s turnout of 4,693 students, which dropped from 27.5 to 17.1 percent of the student population. The KUCR referendum did not reach the required 20 percent of total student votes to pass. The referendum sought to fund the campus radio station, KUCR, by increasing undergraduate fees from $3.00 to $6.50. However, the majority of participating students voted against the fee increase. ASUCR Constitutional Amendment 1, which would have increased the number of senators from 16 to 20 did not pass. While ASUCR Constitutional Amendment 2, which makes various updates and corrections to ASUCR proceedings and directors’ titles did pass. Senator Aaron Johnson, who won a reelection, shared his feeling of eagerness to continue serving on the ASUCR Senate. “I’m really grateful and really excited to start my second term. It was definitely an experience—different from last year, being on the senate and fulfilling those responsibilities at the same time,” said Johnson. “So it was definitely really busy [and] a little bit tricky but I’m really excited to get the ball rolling for next year.” Johnson remarked that the drop in voter turnout was the result of lower competition between the political parties compared last year’s elections. “I wished more students would

have voted,” said Johnson. “I think the elections commission did everything that they could ... the publicity seemed, like, a lot more. I just honestly think it’s because maybe students felt like [there] wasn’t a lot of competition ... because last year it was definitely a much more competitive election with R’Voice and everything.” “Truthfully, I was disappointed [with] the turnout because we were not able to hit the 20 percent mark,” said Ranjit Nair, member of the OUR’SIDE party and the only non-[YOU]CR candidate who was elected. “If I could convey anything to the student body right now, it would be a plea to vote in the upcoming elections on everything proposed on the ballots. These elections determine everything from representation to new legislation and it is the duty of the students to decide whether or not they want to see change.” Ranjit reacted to his win. “As it turned out, I am the only member of OUR’SIDE elected as a Senator,” said Ranjit. “I can only describe this feeling as bittersweet as I know many well qualified and dedicated individuals who I worked with could not secure a seat. Nonetheless, I, along with the members of [YOU]CR will look towards the future as we stand not as two separate parties, but as one unified government in the upcoming year.” Despite the united front held by ASUCR candidates, students such as fourth-year English major Perris Wabui did not feel encouraged enough to vote. “Apart from the reminders on the whiteboards in my classes there were no other blatant reminders or obvious booths set up outside of my classes, so it just slipped my mind,” she said. “I think maybe if it was advertised a little bit more, I might have stopped at a booth. It’s a lazy H mentality, but it’s the sad truth.” ■

A tale of two weekends

A&E, Pages 14-15

C h ri s L o C a s c i o /HIGHLANDER

INSIDE: Highlander Showdown: Two takes on the increasing use of drones by the United States.



25th annual Tomás Rivera Conference honors the former UCR chancellor.





Riverside International Film Festival delivers four days of awards and unique filmmaking. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT


Men’s and women’s track & field set personal and career bests over the weekend.








c o u rt e s y o f c b c . c a





Student representatives vote to abandon UC SHIP S a n dy V a n


“The Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC), along with the Graduate Student Association (GSA), have voted in favor of opting out of the UC Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) and choosing to go with a local, fully-insured UCR Plan,” reported Jorgelina Marin. She is one of five undergraduate representatives on the UCR Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC), which assesses the implementation of health care policies on campus. SHAC members reasoned that the campus will obtain better control over rising health care costs by holding a direct line of communication to an external provider. The preliminary decision is a milestone for the campus, which according to Marin has often been overlooked at the UC negotiations table for having a smaller student body compared to other campuses. The unanimous vote was made by the Graduate Council on Monday, April 15 and by the undergraduate representatives on Wednesday, April 17 during a SHAC meeting. “Aside from the huge deficit we face, one of the major factors was that many of the students have had difficulty when dealing with Anthem Blue Cross. These issues have ranged from students not being reimbursed for their medical care, bad customer service, among other

issues,” Marin said. Under SHIP, all changes to the systemwide insurance plan needed to be made through UCOP as opposed to a direct insurance company, which diminished the influence of each campus. “UCR has to meet with all the other UCs to determine changes in the insurance plan, however because we are a smaller campus our requests often are not met,” said Marin. “The key word is autonomy. Meaning when we opt out for a local UCR-only insurance plan, UCR students will have a greater amount of control over the types of benefits they wish to see,” which Marin describes as a “more financially secure” decision. Other UC campuses expressed a desire to take on the banded approach—differential health care packages for both undergraduates and graduate students—versus leaving the UC health care umbrella entirely. “UC Berkeley, Davis and Riverside voted to opt out of SHIP. But the UC campuses of Irvine and Santa Barbara want their undergraduates to leave, while their graduates voted to stay...because the premiums/quotes may be higher than expected,” explained Sandeep Dhall, the campus representative on the UC SHIP Advisory Board. “The quotes of fully-insured were only like $14 difference (for undergraduates) from the UC SHIP

rates at present. Hence it only makes sense for the undergraduates to opt out, as per the graduates students there are things at stake...” said Dhall. Graduate students face an increase of $700 to $800 by pulling out of SHIP, which warrants fears of reduced research grants and limited fellowships commonly offered to them on campus. This may also lead to a reduction of as many as 20 teaching assistant positions at UCR. Members of the Graduate Council argue that UCR has limited financial leverage, which places the campus at a disadvantage for negotiating rates on a systemwide level. UCR has approximately 3,200 graduate students, which is relatively smaller compared to the campuses of UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego, which boast an approximated and combined total of 30,000 graduate students, according to Dean of the UCR Graduate Division Program Joseph Childers. “And clearly places... like Berkeley, UCLA and UC San Diego with larger graduate student populations have more to lose, they have a bigger voice,” he said. “Clearly if all of the campuses, or even just a few campuses withdraw, it will probably drive up the rates for the remaining campuses,” said Childers. He was considerate of the difficult decision, which goes beyond a simple financial splash and contributing to a much more global riptide within the university


Stress Recess 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Bell Tower

1-Hour Sleep Sessions: Nap Like A Kid 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. HUB 260


Denim Day 12 a.m. - 11:55 p.m. HUB

Softball vs. Cal State Fullerton 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. Amy S. Harrison Field

Evidence tells the audience to raise their hands up. Hands move up and down as Evidence raps in front of the audience.

Quotebook “...the next marathon I run I’ll probably be more aware of things...” - Loren


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control over premiums moving forward. This entire process has been extremely difficult as our representatives had to continually operate in an uncertain environment with only limited and constantly changing information.” Huang felt skeptical that UCOP has the much-needed managerial skills to provide coverage over large groups of people, based on the recently accrued deficit—a $57.4 million miscalculation originating from administrative errors. Given the circumstances, the campus could only come to a decision based on the UCOP’s financial track record, according to Huang. UC President Mark Yudof has vocally stated his opposition to shouldering the deficit onto the student body. But UCOP does not have the necessary funds to pay off the deficit, which may buoy itself upon the backs of campuses. UCOP is planning to structure and service the deficit separately from student health care premiums. “There is a process in place to make decisions regarding UC SHIP and that process will continue as planned. The Executive Committee is scheduled to meet on April 24. They will give their recommendations to the Council of Chancellors at their meeting on May 1. It will be up to the chancellors to decide how to move forward on their individual campus,” said UC Media Specialist Brooke Converse. ■H


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system. “For undergraduates, typically it’s parents or it’s students who’s paying for [the premiums]. Often for graduate students, it’s the campus who pays for it through TAships ... and people who have grants or higher graduate students. So it’s a different constituency of people who are responsible for the money,” Childers explained. By going with an outside and fully-funded provider, the student body would not be liable for any future deficits that may be incurred through UC SHIP. Childers explained that UCR previously negotiated its own health insurance rates prior to entering UC SHIP, which held a supposed surplus of $12 million back in 2011. With limited control over cost-effective measures, the campus experienced difficulty in keeping rates low. “I suspect around 600 (TAs are covered under SHIP), which means it’s going to be about a $450,000 hit to our campus ...” said Childers. By resorting to an outside provider, graduate student premiums become costlier, which ultimately reduces the grant packages—health benefits and salaries—that faculty members are able to provide for them. To explain the rationale behind the decision, Graduate Student Association President Henry Huang said, “From my perspective one of the main factors that influenced the decision to opt out was to have more



Finding an Internship 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. HUB 268

Momma Highlanders with Scotty Cubs 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. HUB 379


ENCUENTROS/ ENCOUNTERS 2013 - Tango 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. INTS 1113 Softball vs. Cal Poly 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. Amy S. Harrison Field

Baseball vs. UC Santa Barbara 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Riverside Sports Complex

Baseball vs. UC Santa Barbara 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Riverside Sports Complex


Softball vs. Cal Poly 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. Amy S. Harrison Field

Baseball vs. UC Santa Barbara 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Riverside Sports Complex


VII Annual UCR Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity Symposium 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. HUB

Careers in Publc Accounting 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. HUB 268







UCR Professor, on running the Boston Marathon

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UCR School of Medicine bill passes in Senate committee Winnie Jeng CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Senate Bill 21, which requests $15 million in state funding for UCR’s School of Medicine, received unanimous, bipartisan accreditation at the Senate Education Committee last Wednesday, April 17. The bill is now being passed unto the Appropriation Committee for a comprehensive review and analysis before it can be voted on. State funding of the School of Medicine is critical for addressing Inland Empire’s physician shortage, said Senator Richard D. Roth (D-Riverside), the author and primary advocator of the bill. According to the California HealthCare Foundation, Inland Southern California is currently facing severe primary care physician and pre-med student outsourcing, as California has very limited medical school seats per capita. For every 100,000 people, only 17 medical school seats are available, which is far less than the national average of 32 seats. Therefore, in addition to building the medical school, UCR is also working with various community partners, hospitals and medical clinic groups to build a new residency program in the Inland Empire. “Much of the determining factor of where a physician will ultimately practice is where that physician finishes his medical training. So we’re investing in the residency training program to keep the physician here where we need them,” says Kathy Barton, Executive Director of UCR School of Medicine. Prior to receiving the $15 million state funding, UCR School of Medicine Dean G. Richard Olds acquired $10 million in funding per year for 10 years from local and community contribution for the general start-up cost. “The community stepped forward in an enormous way,” said Barton. In the earlier stage of opening up the medical school, the $15 million will go toward building the educational platform, which largely involves hiring the clinical faculties who will be administering the residency program of the third- and fourthyear students. Furthermore, faculties will provide patient care and temporary relief to the physician shortage to sustain the supply of physicians in addition to educating students. “This summer we’re starting our first residency program,” said Barton. “We’re ramping up the first residency program right away so that by the time this first class graduates, we will have as many residency slots available to them as possible.” The school will be putting heavy emphasis on the primary care medical specialty program, which directly addresses the physician shortage crisis in

A r c h i v e /HIGHLANDER Students hope that Senate Bill 21 will help the UCR School of Medicine become prestigous and impactful in the Inland Empire.

the Inland Empire. Three other medical specialties— general surgery, OB/GYN and psychiatry—that are also in short supply will also be emphasized in the programs.

The school will receive its inaugural class of fifty students on Aug. 9, 2013, half of which were selected from the UCR pre-med undergraduate population. The admission

openings are likely to expand in the coming years. “For our medical school to receive full funding by the state is very inspiring for students who want to pursue careers in

health care,” said Elizabeth Koo, second-year pre-med student. “It’s going to be a great booster for our school’s prestige, as more students would now want to come to UCR for the medical school.” Before the establishment of UCR’s medical school in 2012, students who wished to participate in the Thomas Haider program would be required to transfer to UCLA to complete the third and fourth year of medical school. Now, however, with the addition of the new medical school, the Thomas Haider program will still continue its same curriculum, but the process of transferring to another school will be entirely avoided. Besides training physicians and sustaining the physician supply, Senator Roth envisions that in the long run the UCR School of Medicine will have a positive economic impact on the Inland Empire. ■H












Senators hear update on health care insurance plan



W e s l e y N g /HIGHLANDER I n re s p o n s e t o A S U C R C o n t ro l l e r C r y s t a l K i m ’s re p o r t o n l a rg e i n c re a s e s i n f u n d i n g a l l o c a t e d t o c l u b s , P re s i d e n t L i a m D o w a f f i r m s t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f t h i s f u n d i n g a n d e x p re s s e s h i s d e l i g h t .


The ASUCR senate meeting that took place Wednesday, April 17, received reports on the UC Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), funding allocations and the United States Students Association (USSA). The number of audience members was moderate, although the presence of the Armenian Student Association was noted by Academic Affairs Director Shadi Matar. The most addressed topics concerned elections and ex-officio representatives’ reports. ASPB promoted awareness of Spring Splash, and the Student Health Advocacy Committee (SHAC) reaffirmed their stance to opt out of the UC SHIP insurance plan. Jorgelina Marin, an undergraduate representative on SHAC said, “This would give UCR students full control over the design of the plan and the benefits they would like to see and also this would be great because if it turns out that the cost of our health care exceeds the money that was given to us UCR would not be held liable for these charges.” Elections also proved to be a significant top-

ic at the meeting. Senators emphasized the importance of “smooth transitions” for new candidates into the senate. In her report, Controller Crystal Kim also noted an increase in allocated funds designated to clubs. “This year the projected budget allocated is $150,000 more than any in the past.” President Liam Dow stated, “It’s a really nice thing to see the fees that students pay are going back to the students.” Two individuals spoke during the public forum and comment period. One was representative from the USSA, Chirag Bhakta, who appealed for the senate’s support of lowering all student interest rates to 3.4 percent permanently. To this, the senators showed great interest; all motioned to extend the speakers time to learn more about it. The second presenter, Armenian Student Association representative Sabouh Tonyeumijan, delivered an emotional speech designed to sway senators to allow UCR to officially recognize the Armenian genocide of 1915. Senators decided that they would research that request with other populations on campus before they would ■H decide to make any moves on the matter.

Meetings on Mondays at 5:15 pm at HUB 101

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UCR’s connection to the Boston Marathon bombing S a n dy V a n


Drawing thousands of spectators and athletes from around the world, the Boston Marathon in Massachusetts witnessed two deadly bombings on Monday, April 15, which resulted in the death of Lu “Dorothy” Lingzi, 23, a former UCR Extension student and one of the three victims killed. Qualifying in the top 10 percent of marathon runners, UCR Assistant Political Science Professor Loren Collingwood participated in the marathon alongside 26,839 other participants—180 of whom were left injured by the bombings. Officials reported that the bombs consisted of a pressure cooker filled with shrapnel and gunpowder. Just one day after the incident, Chancellor Jane Conoley delivered her condolences towards the fallen and the injured. “This occurrence is, of course, a reminder that we should each watch out for our own community—with the clarity of purpose that avoids malice and stereotypes. I know you all join me in sending our thoughts and prayers to Boston,” said Conoley. UCR Extension student killed Growing up in the city of Shenyang, China, Lingzi studied mathematics and statistics at Boston University in Massachusetts. She and 19 other students came from the Beijing Institute of Technology in 2010 to the UCR Extension Center. There, Lingzi studied math and business for three months. Bronwyn Jenkins-Deas, director of the International Relations Program at the UCR Extension Center,

recalled Lingzi being a “bright student.” “The important thing is she’s remembered as her name, not as a Chinese student who was an exchange student. I hope that people will learn about her because she lived such a short life. We want her to have as much impact as possible in terms of remembering things about her and what she did. It was a real tragedy,” Jenkins-Deas said in a press release. In reaction to Lingzi’s death, Professor Collingwood felt that it was unfortunate for her to be entangled in an American sporting event, only to be mortally affected by this kind of tragedy. “Here you are in another country, you don’t really quite understand the culture very well yet and you’re still fitting in and when I see this great American race, the Boston Marathon, it is easily the greatest sporting event that I’ve ever been affiliated with. But I do know we get a lot of international exchange students coming to UCR through the Extension Center, so it’s just really sad,” said Collingwood.

C o u rt e s y o f F a c e b o o k Lu Lingzi, a former UCR Extension student, was one of the three victims killed at the Boston Marathon last Monday.

At the finish line Holding brief recollections of the event, Collingwood said, “There’s the Boston’s Commons right in the middle of the city ... but underneath it my car was parked and the bombing must have happened while I was under there getting the car out.” Finishing with a time close to three hours, Collingwood left the Boston Marathon around 1:00 p.m. — a little less than two hours prior to the lethal bombings that struck near the finish line. Officials stopped the traffic of marathon runners near the 21-mile line due to the deadly explosion, according to the

C o u rt e s y o f UCR T o d ay P ro f e s s o r J u a n F e l i p e H e r re r a a s k s U C R s t u d e n t s a n d p e o p l e i n t h e a re a t o s e n d B o s t o n p o s i t i v e t h o u g h t s i n t h e f o r m o f p o e t r y. H e s t a r t e d a s i m i l a r p ro j e c t l a s t y e a r a f t e r t h e s c h o o l s h o o t i n g i n S a n d y H o o k .

Miami Herald. Collingwood stayed at a friend’s place on Beacon Street only a few blocks away from the site of the marathon. He continued to drive a rental car in order to drop his girlfriend off at the airport around 3:15 p.m. Afterward, he planned on dropping off the rental car, but stopped for gas near the airport facility, where he learned of the bombing from a nearby driver. At that first realization, he said, “That would explain why I was getting so many buzzes on my cell phone while I was driving and obviously I was getting ready to fly, so I was a little concerned about that.” Collingwood left for his American Airlines Flight 541 to Dallas at 5:35 p.m., where the series of events of the day began to sink in. “I think when it hit me the most was when I was waiting in line at the airport, watching CNN, when I was at the bar and I kind of lost track of time for a second,” he said. Collingwood then recalled a feeling of camaraderie and even mixed emotions with many of the passengers at the airport, many of whom wore the same running outfits assigned to them at the

marathon. “One of the women ... asked me, ‘Did you finish the race?’ And I didn’t realize what she was asking because I didn’t know at that point that they completely shut off people from finishing. So I was like: ‘Yeah ... of course I finished the race.’ But now I realize later that she was wondering if I actually had a chance ... before the bomb went off,” explained Collingwood. “I think most marathoners, when you’re in the zone, you don’t think of the possibility of a terrorist attack. It’s the last thing people would think,” Collingwood said. “You go there and feel the history of the race. What’s so cool about it is you have the elites and the pros, but then you have a bunch of people like me who have regular jobs and like running. It is something that gives us an outlet and we can still work towards improving ourselves.“ Reaching out to the community In reaction to the bombings, UCR Creative Writing Professor and California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera started collecting verses in his classes for a

project entitled “Poems for the People of Boston.” “I want students in our campus, Riverside area and California to feel very free to write down their feelings, thoughts and kindnesses so that they feel like they can do something very important for the people of Boston, that is, something uplifting, supportive and positive through a poem, in whatever manner, a line or two or more,” said Herrera. “I am also requesting assistance in sending these poems out to media, newsletters, community centers and websites in the Boston area.” He encourages other students to become more involved on campus by writing a poem and sending them to him. He explains that the poems “give us a chance to open the doors of kindness for our community and for Boston in a time of deep need.” Students such as Joshua Dolson, fourth-year electrical engineering major, was appreciative of lending a hand to the Boston victims. “It’s a tragedy what happened, but it’s great to see people like Juan who are showing their support for the victims and their families,” expressed Dolson. ■H






RESEARCH NEWS FROM UCR AND THE UC SYSTEM by Dean Mayorga, Senior Staff Writer

UCR: Male moths use ratio-based attraction through pheromones

C o u rt e s y


The University


K e n t u ck y

UC R alumni and faculty h a v e f o u n d t h a t t h e a t t r a c t i o n o f m a l e m o t h s t o f em a l e m o t h s o f t he same s pecies relies o n s p e c i f i c p h e ro mo n e r a t i o s i n t h ei r resp ect i ve m a t es.

Thanks to some of UCR’s own alumni and faculty, several questions regarding the mating patterns of moths have been answered. Distinguished Professor of Entomology and A.M. Boyce Chair Ring Cardé and former graduate student Teun Dekker both participated in international research that focused on how male moths use pheromones to find mates. Female moths have various blends of pheromones that differ across species. Only a male moth of the same species will be attracted to its respective mate’s pheromone ratio. However, there are many cases of hybrids. This is the problem that Cardé, Dekker and the rest of the team addressed when their study of the European corn borer flying through a pheromone plume showed “that as the male moth flies upwind along the pheromone plume, its olfactory circuitry loses the ability to measure this ratio,” UCR Today reported. “We just did not expect the change of behavior,” said Ring Cardé. “When we found out, in a way that was the simplest

part because it cried for an understanding of a physiological basis. It went against what we thought was the processing system [which was]: you have two kinds of receptors. And if ratio is critical to response than what you’re doing is comparing the firing rates of receptor A and receptor B. And that’s how you know the ratio is the same. We always had assumed that once you were in this odor plume that the receptors would pretty much be firing at the same rate. And [we] always thought that ‘yes, this is the correct ratio’ and ... we knew from the behavior experiments that this couldn’t be true.” Now that such a finding has been made, Cardé says it may be appropriate to see if such behavior persists in other organisms. “This may apply to a mosquito, approaching a human host. It might also apply to the way we sense odors in everyday life,” said Cardé. “The reason why this hasn’t been uncovered before is no one ever thought to change the odor blend while the animal is in the process of ■H responding.”

UCD: Android apps susceptible to malware A recent discovery made by a group of UC Davis researchers exposed serious security flaws within the Android operating system’s apps that may lead to privacy risks. The team was led by Professor of Computer Science Zhendong Su and Liang “Dennis” Xu, who initially pointed the flaw in the apps. Android users are at risk of downloading malicious codes through applications, ‘phishing email’ or simple web links. The embedded malware may

target other nearby programs, reported the UC Newsroom. App developers often create an error by leaving sensitive coding public, instead of private, according to Xu. “All apps are potentially susceptible to this type of errors, but the issue is certainly more critical for those apps that access/store important private information,” Su explained. Su and his team are planning to examine more of the popular Android apps as well as other ■H platforms such as iOS.

L e e n a B u t t /HIGHLANDER

UC Davis researchers have discovered malicious codes embedded in several Android apps.

UCLA: Study shows nanodiamonds may reduce breast cancer

C o u rt e s y


UCLA N e w s r o o m

R e searcher s at UCLA ha v e f o u n d t h a t n a n o d i a mo n d s c a n a i d i n d el i veri n g ca n cer- f i g h t i n g drugs to tumor s ites . Te s t s p e r f o r me d o n mi c e h a v e y i e l d ed p ro m i si n g resu l t s.

According to UCLA researchers, nanodiamonds—diamond-like particles found in the process of mining—may prove useful in fighting a specific category of breast cancer called triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Led by Dean Ho, a professor at the UCLA School of Dentistry and co-director of the Jane and Jerry Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology, the studies demonstrate how nanodiamonds can deliver cancer-fighting drugs to tumor sites. The particles not only act as agents for the drugs but also improve the drug’s overall effect, according to the UC Newsroom. Studies were conducted on mice that had TNBC. Professor Ho explained that, “for some of the mice, the tumors were virtually no longer detectable, which was a marked improvement over the clinical standard that was tested. With regards to side effects, it should be noted that the mice injected with the drug alone all died before the study could be completed, whereas the nanodiamond-therapeutic agents were very well tolerated, and eliminated the early

death observed with the mice injected with drug only.” With such reported success, Ho and his team are actively continuing more research. “We are aggressively pursuing the continued testing of our nanodiamondtherapeutic complexes with regards to optimizingt therapeutic efficacy, reducing toxicity, as well as developing scalable approaches to synthesizing this compound,” said Ho. “Nanodiamonds have very interesting surface properties that can mediate marked improvements in drug delivery as well as imaging, and our developmental roadmap is geared towards enhancing the way that cancer and other disorders are treated and diagnosed.” If developed into an actual accessible treatment for people with TNBC, the nanodiamond-therapeutic complex would be injected intravenously, although Ho says that he and his group are working on other methods that can be ingested or topically applied. These methods would be useful for other diseases such as other types of ■H cancers and wound healing.








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hanks to the tireless efforts of the UC system, UCR students’ health care premiums are going up. During the 2010-2011 academic year, UCOP took it upon itself to implement a UC-wide health insurance program that individual campuses could opt into called UC SHIP (Student Health Insurance Program). The reasoning behind this decision seemed straightforward enough: the UC system would keep student premiums down by taking on the financial risk providing medical coverage entails. That is, instead of the UC contracting with a health insurance company that would pay for medical procedures, the UC itself took on students’ medical costs. In so doing, and by providing access to a significantly larger student population, it was hoped that the UC would make costs more affordable to students while saving money. A number of campuses were persuaded to join the fledgling UC SHIP during its first year of existence. UCR, however, declined—it was already contracting with a health insurance company that provided good care to students and kept costs relatively low. But the shiny new SHIP program offered tantalizing benefits. Graduate student premiums would go down, while their dental and vision benefits would be expanded. Coverage of preventive care would increase. Students’ lifetime coverage caps would jump to $400,000, with a $10,000 pharmacy maximum. Each of these advantages individually were tempting enough. But together they were more than sufficient to convince UCR to accept a modest $10 increase in undergraduate student premiums and hop on the UC SHIP bandwagon the next year. It probably seemed like a good idea at the time. Before long, the allure of UC SHIP began to lose its luster. In UC SHIP’s very first year of operation on the campus, UCR alone racked up a

I l l u s t r at i o n

$1,690,000 deficit. The next year, that number ballooned, resulting in UCR making up nearly $3.5 million of UC SHIP’s overall deficit. But this was not merely a UCR problem—this was a UC problem. The company the UC system hired to generate premium rates and estimate the financial stability of the program, Aon Hewitt, botched its calculations. Instead of a hefty profit margin, as was originally estimated, the UC was hit with the news that UC SHIP was instead mired in a $57 million deficit. Now, the health insurance program once touted as helping the UC cope with uncertain state funding is adding $25 million in debt per year. Guess who gets to foot the bill? UC President Mark Yudof has stated that he doesn’t want students to pay the price for the error. But let’s be honest— in a cash-strapped university system where the state is not investing as much as it should be, where else will the burden fall? The UC is suing Aon Hewitt for its errors, but the court case is likely to drag on for years, and any money the UC wins will likely be swallowed up by the cost of suing the company in the first place. In the meantime, the UC SHIP deficit will keep festering. The funds to erase it have to come from somewhere, and the go-to places for funding have always been students’ pocketbooks. Simply put: remaining onboard UC SHIP is not tenable. As the UC seeks to navigate a growing sea of red ink, UCR students would be slapped with the bill. We will already have to pay for the deep deficit UC SHIP is currently experiencing, and if we wait longer, the flailing health insurance program will accumulate even more debt, resulting in even greater hikes in student premiums. Truth be told, the alternative isn’t smooth sailing. If UCR strikes out on its own, it will have to engage in a search for a health insurance company to contract with. Premiums in the short-term will probably increase. Graduate students will be hit hard, potentially resulting in a


B r a n d y C o at s /H i g h l a n d e r

loss of Teaching Assistant positions. But it’s the difference between standing on the Titanic as an iceberg cuts a gash through its hull and sitting in a lifeboat watching it go down. Neither is particularly enticing, but it is far better to be in the lifeboat than on the doomed ship. UCR’s undergraduate student representatives on the Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) made the right decision when they voted on April 17 to opt for the lifeboats and discontinue UCR’s membership in the program. But it is up to Chancellor Jane Conoley to make the final decision about UCR’s status in UC SHIP after the Council of Chancellors meets on May 1. Students must make it clear that going down with UC SHIP and getting suckered into accepting the wretched state of our health insurance program is not the solution. We must stand up for our health because nobody else is going to. Given the titanic impact on students, SHAC needs to do more to inform the campus about the impacts of the UC SHIP fiasco. ASUCR can prove its worth by campaigning against the harm UC SHIP poses and pressing the administration to ensure students avoid the brunt of the damage. The student body must take action to prevent its health insurance from being tied to the the deficit-ridden UC SHIP. We shouldn’t be in this situation. UCR didn’t have to buckle to the pressure to join UC SHIP. But it did and here we are. Now the UCR administration can redeem itself by being ready and able to make the tough decision that will secure the health of its students while minimizing the cost to students and UCR as a whole. After a stormy two years at sea, land is finally in sight. But UCR must chart its own course—free of UC SHIP—if it ■H hopes to ever make landfall. Highlander editorials reflect the majority view of the Highlander Editorial Board. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Associated Students of UCR or the University of California system.

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9 21

Plastic Bag Ban : To Be or Not To Be ? J o s h ua W a g o n b l a s t STAFF WRITER

The California Senate has been considering a statewide ban on the use of plastic bags in grocery stores and pharmacies. The Jan. 2015 ban could prove to be beneficial since the effects that plastic products have on the environment have been said to be detrimental for years. Plastic is commonly associated with the unsafe chemical component bisphenol-A (BPA) and is nonbiodegradable, which means that plastic will be around for years to come and can be swallowed by various wildlife and marine species. Yes, plastic is harmful in some ways to the environment. However, many other products have damaging consequences as well. This leads to an unavoidable question: What will replace plastic bags as a convenient storage compartment for groceries and miscellaneous purchases? If Democratic state Senator Alex Padilla manages to pass the bill, I cannot say that I will have any major complaints. The only concern is whether or not the people of California will want to transition away from the long-dependable plastic bag. Many places in California have already instituted policies banning plastic bags, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Marin Counties. Has the ban worked for them? San Francisco banned plastic bags five years ago, and they did see a significant decline in bag use with an increase in reusable bags. However, there was also a spike in paper bag consumption, and although many believe paper bags to be an environmentally safer option, they may actually be more dangerous. Paper is a heavy product and, for one, requires the eradication of a large amount of trees

for its manufacturing. Paper is also not as durable—ever suffer through fumbling around with a wet paper bag full of groceries? Since a lot more resources are used to create paper bags, there is also more air and water pollution as a result. For San Francisco, the elimination of plastic bags and increase in paper bag use has actually resulted in an increase in plastic bag litter. So, if California does decide to pass Padilla’s bill, I hope its residents are prepared for the possible negative outcomes. The solution here is to also make sure that paper bags are included in the ban. Otherwise, society will just regress back to using a less environmentallyrespecting good. Just know that paper products are the single largest contributor to landfills. The increase in their manufacturing will also result in higher energy costs because paper bags weigh much more, meaning it takes more fuel to transport. Both single-use plastic and paper bags are foreseeable downsides for a state that wants so dearly to be more environmentally-friendly. Of course, there are always reusable grocery bags. To stray away from plastic, grocers and activists once tried using reusable cotton bags. The problem is that the production of cotton bags is even more environmentally demanding than the manufacture of single-use plastic bags. At this point, I would rather be a part of the condemned plastic

...the elimination of plastic bags and increase in paper bag use has actually resulted in an increase in plastic bag litter.

C o u rt e s y o f s f e x a m i n e r . c o m t A plastic bag ban is a good idea in theory, but in reality cause more trouble than they’re worth.

bag group. Actually, plastic does not sound all that bad if it can be managed in a more eco-friendly way. The 2011 ban in Los Angeles does allow for reusable bags if they are 2.25 mil or thicker, when they can be reused 125 times and hold a certain volume of goods. Reusable plastic bags are not a terrible option because they are still better than their paper counterparts and can be utilized a multitude of times. Plastic bags may be deemed evil as of now, but the pros and cons definitely need to be weighed accordingly. Plastic is a product that is harmful for the environment, but it is a better option than paper and cotton. It is better to side with the lesser of the three evils rather than to take a step in the wrong direction. Mark Daniels, chairman of the American Progressive Bag Alliance has stated that paper

and cotton alternatives “require significantly more water and energy to produce,” but also his believes the ban could “threaten California manufacturing jobs.” Daniels makes some good points here. Plastics are a big industry and cutting down on

...plastic does not sound all that bad if it can be managed in a more eco-friendly way. the production would lead to a shift in the market. The only viable option that seems to be currently favorable is using heavier-duty plastic reusable bags. No paper and no cot-

ton would keep environmental costs low, and by phasing out the manufacture of plastic bags, Californians would start seeing the environmental benefits without forcing a sudden and unexpected change. The ideal situation, for now, is to embrace the reuseable plastic bag option even though it may still have consequences attached to it. Hopefully, a greener product will be introduced that will cut back on plastic goods as we know them and lead to a future where the environment is thriving. In this day and age, all one can really do is play their part and make sure that they abide by the suggestions and take use of the reusable option without being wasteful. It is time for change, and one step away from harmful paper and plastic products could take us in the right direction. ■H

C o u rt e s y Discarded paper-based products actually make up more of our garbage than plastic bags do.







Is the United States’ drone policy working ? Drone strikes have upsides, but veiled by thick smoke screen J o s h ua W a g o n b l a s t STAFF WRITER

The George W. Bush administration first launched America’s secret aerial warfare on Oct. 7, 2001, a month after the tragic devastation of the Twin Towers on Sept. 11. Since then, the drone program has slowly grown and the number of strikes has increased from 50 under President Bush to 400 under President Barack Obama. The CIA, military and Obama administration have advertised that the use of drones will be safer for the Americans involved and will more accurately assassinate targeted al-Qaeda terrorists. In an interview with CNN on Sept. 6, 2012, President Obama assured Americans that drones would only be used in “a situation in which we can’t capture the individual before they move forward on some sort of operational plot against the United States.” In other words, there must be an imminent threat that has no chance of being stopped before violent consequences take place. Unfortunately, this has not been the case and the truth has been stretched quite a bit. I have no problem admitting that there are reasons to support drone usage, one being that the devices have been specifically utilized against senior leaders of al-Qaeda as intended. However, top-secret U.S. intelligence reports reviewed by McClatchy revealed that the strikes in Pakistan have not adhered to that promise over the past four years. One highly important example is that the drone operators were not always certain about who they were killing. This definitely calls for reforming the standards and practices that go along with the usage of this program. Drone strikes could be very beneficial to the United States’ defense of itself and its allies. The fact is the technology is significant in the preservation of lives because the drones can be controlled from behind a desk. The downside to this is that the weapon’s simplicity can be taken for granted and result in casualties without due process. One casualty in particular that exemplifies this is that of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in 2011 by a drone strike in Yemen. If al-Awlaki was a leader of al-Qaeda or was planning terrorist operations on the United States then his murder would be justified and become a testament to the accuracy of the drones that the CIA continually attests to. However, Paul Sperry’s “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives have Penetrated Washington” and other sources say that the proof was lacking. Sperry reports that the FBI agent in charge of the 9/11 investigation remarked, “There’s a lot of smoke there,” when discussing suspicions surrounding al-Awlaki. He was believed to have been affiliated with a terrorist organization when he began to make “unsympathetic comments about 9/11 in the press,” in which he said that “even if someone has disagreement with the U.S. policy, even if someone feels personally hurt by people dying in Iraq and Palestine, we don’t take revenge by killing citizens.” Alas, this is what the drone strikes resulted in: the execution of a person, and one who was an American nonetheless. These vague suspicions should hardly be

an excuse for the CIA to target and kill 265 unknown extremists if they were, above all, “not senior al-Qaeda.” There have been notable upsides to the drone attacks. This does include the killing of six top al-Qaeda leaders, but it does not mean that the tactics surrounding the strikes should not be revised. After all, Badruddin Haqqani, a leader of the Haqqani Network, was targeted for assassination, but the man killed turned out to be a younger brother, who was “a religious student in his 20s uninvolved in terrorism.” Drone usage can be a very useful tool to decrease the risk of a detrimental attack on our beloved country, but we are supposed to be a world leader and set an example for the standards in international warfare. Minor suspicion is just not enough of a reason

Attack of the drones: a violation of rights P h i l i p C a r r o l l -J o h n s o n CONTRIBUTING WRTIER

Unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAV), known commonly as drones, are arguably the most dangerous technological advancement of the 21st century. The involvement of drones in America’s continued war on terror has resulted in the death of over 178 innocent children in the Middle East—only 13% of those killed by drone strikes are militants or insurgents. U.S. drone use abroad represents only one position in the discourse over drones’ problematic existence. Domestically,

C o u rt e s y o f d r o n e wa r s u k . w o r d p r e s s . c o m Do drones offer any upsides, or do they inexcusably violate human rights?

to give permission to attack whoever we please. The usage of drones should not be condemned completely. There are foreseeable benefits, but the secrecy the CIA has been granted surrounding the attacks gives them the opportunity to pass a thin line on the boundaries of international warfare laws. If the attacks continue without proper justification then the United States could see even bigger repercussions from frustrated foreigners who suffer great losses. The New York Times has stated that “the public might know more about the drone program if it was shifted more to the Pentagon, which, operating under different laws, has more flexibility to be transparent than the CIA and is more circumscribed by international law.” If there needs to be a shift in responsibility in order to make the program more accurate and dependable then I am all for it. I just hope that President Obama’s promise, as the New York Times puts it, “to break down the wall of secrecy and work with Congress to create a lasting legal framework for drone strikes,” holds true. ■H

questions over the legality of the use of drones and the expansion of the U.S. surveillance apparatus have arisen. To what end does the current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) bill, supported by President Barack Obama, put approximately 30,000 drones in domestic skies by 2020? The defense sector, as well as lawmakers, have been leading the charge to expand the use of drones. Moreover, in late March the CIA’s chief technology officer, Ira Hunt, spoke in relation to the collection of civilian information such as e-mails, text messages and videos: “Since you can’t connect dots you don’t have, it drives us into a mode of, we fundamentally try to collect everything and hang on to it forever.” This in conjunction with expanded drone use has defenders of privacy in an uproar. It may be that within the next 20 years Americans will come to find that the only time you are guaranteed privacy is within your own thoughts. Even more eye-opening is the Obama administration’s assassination of two U.S. citizens, Anwar al-Awlaki and

his son, in Yemen without receiving the due process of law. John Brennan, former counterterrorism advisor to President Obama, has been known for his vocal support of the legality and potency of the U.S. drone program. After Brennan’s support of drone strikes earned him a promotion to director of the CIA, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky filibustered his nomination because of his support of drone use with targeted killing of Americans. Senator Paul stated on the floor of the Senate during his filibuster, “Our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court.” In response to his concerns, Paul received a letter from Attorney General Eric Holder, stating, “The U.S. government has not carried out drone strikes in the United States and has no intention of doing so.” But he went on to say that drone strikes could be used by the president under an “extraordinary circumstance,” a definition vague enough to mean just about anything. The Obama administration’s cryptic and not at all reassuring message only continues and builds upon the Bush administration’s shroud of secrecy. It is the Obama administration’s lack of transparency regarding the death of the al-Awlaki and subsequent regulations for targeting individuals for murder that proves rather startling. While the technologies’ Orwellian prospects seem to be the most illuminated aspect of the discourse on drones, one cannot forget their original purpose as machines of death and terror. Nor can we shy away from the effects they have had on the civilian population in Pakistan and other Middle Eastern countries. One must then inquire about the profound effect surveillance drones would have on the police apparatus and the American populace. More specifically, what effect would drone use have on black and brown populations in the U.S.? Seth Freed Wessler and Jamilah King of the website Colorlines make an interesting point. “Even when laws do apply, constraints on law enforcement have a tendency to slacken when communities of color are the subjects of observation,” they write. Will drones be colorblind? Will they affect the quality of life differently based upon racial identity and economic status? We have militarized our police forces and become more invasive in response to crime in low-income neighborhoods, as New York’s Stop-and-Frisk law has proven. Is it not reasonable to infer that poor black and brown communities would bear the brunt of drone expansion? Unfortunately these are not a part of the greater conversation being had about drones in the public sphere. Detractors have argued that drones exist within a new socio-political landscape where age-old expectations of privacy and human rights are fleeting. However, the possibilities for injustice and oppression to occur through unfettered augmentation and mobilization of these unmanned flying machines are astronomic. For the U.S. as a society to allow drones to become normalized would be to reconfigure the notions of freedom, privacy and basic civil rights. The emanation of drones forces us as a nation to introspectively ask ourselves where we are going and at what cost the fabric of the Constitution is worth ■H protecting.





Opinion Poll

What is your favorite class?

John Youssef; fourthyear political science major; favorite class is Ethnic Politics with Professor Tajima; “We have debates and negotiations and I like that.”

James Dewhurst; fourth -year business major; favorite class is Corporate Finance because Professor Beer is “effing awesome.”


Genaro Marzan; fourth-year media and cultural studies major; favorite class is Classical Japanese Literature because he loves how energetic Dr. Margherita Long is and that she knows her material really well. She tries to get students to interact and participate.

Karina Morales; firstyear art major; favorite class is English 1A because she likes how Professor Yee isn’t intimidating and makes students feel comfortable enough to speak up in class.


Leena Butt

Marvin Gomez; fourthyear sociology major; favorite class is Hip Hop Theatre with Rickerby Hines because he likes the atmosphere of the university theater and enjoys group activities and not knowing what to expect.

Patenting human genes should be impermissible in court Alexandria Camarella CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The United States Supreme Court has often been the primary station where controversial subjects are brought out into the open, discussed and decided upon. Just this past century, the Supreme Court has overseen topics relating to civil rights, abortion and homosexuality in the military. As America continues to improve in both biological and medical technology, it does not come as a surprise that the Supreme Court is now facing a case that involves the possibility of patenting human genes. With technology’s role in society developing further than ever before, the government should play a more active role in drawing clear lines within the scientific community to protect individuals’ rights to their own genes. The genes in question include BRCA1 and BRCA2—known more commonly as the genes linked to breast cancer. Myriad Genetics claims that it should be able to patent these genes because it has found ways to allow women to test if they possess these biological links to breast cancer. The company argues that this patent would protect its work and facilitate more of its research in this field. While it would be beneficial in the call for cancer research, a patent on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes would restrict other companies from using valuable information to explore other directions for cancer cures. If the Supreme Court decides that patenting these genes is legal, then Myriad Genetics would hold a monopoly on the rights concerning these genes. As of now, the test to check for BRCA1 and BRCA2 currently costs up to $3,000, and proves too expensive for some women because of insufficient funds or lack of adequate insurance coverage—all the while revenues from these breast cancer patents reach over half a billion dollars per year. While patents are important in protecting a company’s or individual’s inventions from theft, it is not fair to add human genetics as just another type of property. Human genes should not even be considered in patent law, and instead belong solely to the individual. Patents do give companies incentives to conduct research, but a patent on human genes is not plausible. Genes that cause breast cancer are a product of human nature and, therefore, are not synthetic. Because they are products

C o u rt e s y


Human genes belong only to the individual and patents by corporations would detract from the benefits additional research would provide.

of nature, the genes should not be labeled as a distinct entity qualifying for a patent. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) represents countless doctors, researchers and cancer patients on this subject and is at the heart of investigating this controversy. While Myriad Genetics claims that it has isolated the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes by severing chemical bonds—thus, creating something new—the ACLU argues that Myriad Genetics is taking something that was already available and putting a label on it. As the trial continues, the Supreme Court should be wary of Myriad Genetics’ claims and rule in favor of individuals being able to possess the rights over their own bodies. In terms of cancer, or other diseases, the research and cures should be open to the public because everyone’s life is valued and can benefit from the research. If the Supreme Court rules against Myriad Genetics, what would this mean for other or-

ganizations also pursuing research based on human genetics? Organizations might feel that they would lose money and be forced to compete with one another—thus losing profits. While this would benefit the American people because it would cause these tests or cures to become more affordable, what would be the incentives for the corporations to put their time and money into this research if other companies are free to steal their ideas? It is for that reason that the government should play a more active role instead of acting as a passive bystander as the United States continues to develop technological breakthroughs and research further into the human genetic makeup. Currently, the Supreme Court is deciphering whether or not Myriad Genetics has the legal right to own this gene research. If this is allowed, it is not too outlandish to wonder if the Supreme Court in the future will then decide that parents could legally alter the genes of their chil-

dren to make them look a certain way before they are even born. The U.S. government needs to draw a very clear line on patenting procedures that specifies how far is too far. If not, legalities will get in the way and Myriad Genetics will be able to hold monopolies on genes and prevent other companies from expanding on this research and generating more positives for humanity. The Supreme Court should keep in mind that although patents are beneficial in creating incentives for corporations to research or develop technology, these patents could also bar other corporations from creating more uses from the resulting products than just one company alone. If more organizations have the ability to attain this information, then there would be increased competition and cheaper products for the American people; thus, leaving human genetics as owned by individuals, not by private corporations. ■H

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.



R adar ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT @ hi g hl a n d e r r a d a r

Events this week Tuesday | 4/23

Project Unbreakable: The Art of Healing @ HUB 355, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday | 4/24

The Debonaires @ The Barn, 8:30 p.m.

Thursday | 4/25

Saturday | 4/27

E v id e n c e

Open Mic @ The Barn, 7:00 p.m. Amour screening @ Culver Center, 7:00 p.m.

t e ll s t h e a u di e n c e t o r a i s e t h e i r h a n d s u p .

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




Dropkick Murphys - One of the most energetic sets of the weekend. Chants of “oi!” and a massive circle pit woke everyone up early Saturday afternoon. Rodriguez - Not a pair of dry eyes in the tent.

2 Chainz - Despite showing up woefully late, he still drew one of the biggest crowds of any act in the three tents. Phoenix - I stood through this and all I got was R. Kelly?

The Postal Service - It was hard to tell who was more emotionally affected, those onstage or in the crowd.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Ordinary. Uninspired. Their performance was the look a tired band just going through the motions.

Baauer - Yes, Baauer successfully kept everyone around for Harlem Shake, which he saved for the end of his set.

By Chris LoCascio, Senior Staff Writer // Photos by Chris LoCascio

Dinosaur Jr. - One of the most consistent live bands ever. The big inflatable dinosaur bouncing across the crowd was a nice touch.

Vampire Weekend Time to go charge my phone.

Passion Pit Everyone was really jumpy and happy.

The Evens - If one were to list all of the acts at this year’s festival and ask “which one does not belong,” the Evens would be the clear choice. Ian MacKaye and Amy Farina’s brilliant two-piece band shines in small art spaces, not on great big festival stages.

How to Destroy Angels - Well that was some futuristic nonsense. But I guess the colorful moving curtains were cool.

Descendents - Perfect punk. Perhaps the best set of the entire weekend.

Modest Mouse - A drunken Isaac Brock single-handedly ruined their performance. Nonsensical banter, timewasting and eventually getting their sound cut out mid-”Float On” capped off the biggest disaster of the weekend.

Moby (DJ set) - The only way you’d ever find Black Flag in the Sahara tent is on Moby’s t-shirt.

Japandroids - A deep band that sounded thin. I was unsure of whether to blame the sound man or the band.

The Stone Roses - It’s sad to see a band butcher it’s own songs. In the cult band’s first stateside show since reforming, their stumbling renditions of classics sent me running from the Coachella Stage early.

Johnny Marr - Fantastic start to the festival. Closing with the Smiths’ classic “How Soon is Now?” might be the closest thing we’ll ever get to a full-fledged Smiths performance at Coachella.


t sounded simple enough. Get acts to commit to two festivals on two consecutive weekends—double the tickets, double the money. It’s a win-win for everyone involved, right? That was Goldenvoice’s idea when it shook the festival world last year and took the unprecedented step to expand the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival into two identical versions of its trademark event. But as was so clearly declared in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, separate is not equal, and no two Coachellas are alike. Regardless of which weekend you attend, you’ll pay the same $350, and your lineup will be the same. But the experience? It couldn’t possibly be more different. In 2012, I subjected myself to the experiment and signed up for the second of the two weekends. Like most other first-timers, I was generally appreciative of the expanded opportunity to attend the event nearly everyone in my age bracket competes to purchase tickets for each year. By adding the additional festival, Goldenvoice had suddenly doubled the lanes on a traffic-jammed highway, but little did I know how different our destinations would be. On the final day of weekend one, after several days of Facebook photos and Twitter updates detailing every last star sighting or special appearance, the spoiler of all spoilers tore across the Internet in what became the most talked-about Coachella moment yet. A glowing, three-dimensional Tupac Shakur took the stage alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg to end the festival. The hologram performed two classic songs and then disappeared into the night, leaving everyone on the Empire Polo Grounds stunned, and everyone at home miserably jealous. The cat had been let out of the bag, and for all of the excitement around witnessing such a spectacle, we second-weekenders couldn’t help but feel as though we’d be getting the sloppy seconds. When we did get a chance to see it for ourselves a week later, it was undeniably exciting and fun, but it sorely lacked the brilliant surprise of its unveiling the first time around. We all knew what was coming. In fact, it was all anyone could talk about the whole weekend. “I can’t wait to see Tupac!” we exclaimed. Like knowing that you had gotten what you wanted for Christmas before unwrapping it—you lose something important when you lose the surprise. My longing for that element of surprise was what made my decision to opt for weekend one this year. As enjoyable as the second weekend of 2012 was, I couldn’t forgo the opportunity to see the next big surprise in person, before everyone else. Would it be Daft Punk taking the stage with Phoenix, as had been so fiercely rumored for months before? The only way I’d find out was to be there. The talk of the campgrounds was an act not even on the bill. As Daft Punk’s marketing push for their upcoming album “Random Access Memories” ramped up in the prior weeks, it only made sense that the immensely popular EDM powerhouse would jock their new music for such a welcoming crowd. It had been six years since they last performed at the festival, and as longtime-chellers know, Goldenvoice is fond of bringing acts back to the festival. Just ask Paul Oakenfold and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, whose 2013 performances mark their fourth and third appearances at Coachella, respectively. To add fuel to the fire, a rumor had spread that Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de HomemChristo—the plainclothes human counterparts to the robot duo that is Daft Punk—were spotted watching bands and enjoying the festival backstage.

On Friday night, the robots showed up earlier than expected. Simultaneously, across all of the festival’s screens displayed a two-minute teaser for the new album and played an extended clip of the single “Get Lucky.” A quick-handed attendee managed to capture most of the video and upload it to YouTube, where it spread across the Internet like wildfire. Cheers could be heard across the festival grounds as Pharrell appeared onscreen and began to sing alongside Daft Punk and guitarist Nile Rodgers. Well played, Coachella, whetting our palates for their now inevitable appearance. The perfectly-clear desert stars had seemingly aligned. The sun had set on Saturday night and Phoenix stepped onto the main Coachella Stage to the biggest crowd they had ever performed before. Standing amongst 50,000-plus people as we collectively held our breath after each song might have been one of the most exhilarating moments of the festival. Then the stage lights turned off. The band made its way off the stage and strangers all of a sudden gripped each other in spine-tingling anticipation. This was it. We clenched our teeth and held each other close for the moment the robots were to rise from the stage atop a glorious pyramid to the triumphant declaration of “One More Time!” The surprise had arrived. “My mind’s telling me no!” a voice rang from the stage. The woman beside me shrieked. “But my body ... my body is telling me yes!” The spotlight lit up R. Kelly as he belted out “Ignition (Remix)” mashed-up with Phoenix’s “1901.” As R. Kelly asked the crowd to make more noise, the punctuation mark at the end of the ensuing “woo” was more of a period than an exclamation mark. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. We instantly cycled through the five stages of grief as we processed what was transpiring. We asked for a surprise, and Coachella delivered. Not a soul in Indio that night would have predicted R. Kelly showing up during Phoenix’s set. Once R. Kelly left, the band continued to play a few more songs before its final encore. Vocalist Thomas Mars capped the set when he leapt into the crowd, walked several hundred feet out to the sound tent, crawled atop it, and then crowdsurfed all the way back to the stage. To be fair, I was impressed by the effort. The Guinness Book of World Records might have something to say about the farthest crowd surf ever. But at this point, the only thing that could satisfy the crowd would have been that elusive appearance by the robots, which was now just a faint glimmer of hope to those who stuck around. The mood around the cellphone charging table at the campgrounds was one of bewilderment. Most agreed that seeing R. Kelly was fun, if not amusing, but hype and hope are hard to come down from. We were disappointed about not seeing a performance Coachella never told us would happen. One camper told me that Daft Punk had to perform because this year’s festival had to top last year’s. The only way they could do that was by one jaw-dropping surprise, and R. Kelly wasn’t it. This is what Coachella has become. Perhaps unbeknownst to festival organizers, the one thing that was their biggest asset is now their biggest enemy. Each year, attendees anticipate a big exclusive performance found nowhere else, and each year the stakes grow ever higher. At some point, they may grow beyond reach, and this year might have been the breaking point. Coachella’s lineup boasted over 100 acts, many of which people would venture out to see headlining a single performance. But overshadowing them all was a group not on the

Clockwise from top right: A giant snail roamed the festival grounds; How to Destroy Angels performed behind a series of moving curtains; Attendees gather on a raised platform, one of the many pieces of installation art; Punk veterans the Descendents perform on the Outdoor Stage; Portugal. the Man play on Saturday evening.


bill, who steadfastly denied the rumors of their appearance, which fell on deaf ears. Admittedly, I too looked forward to the big surprise. In a year when the festival circuit looks largely homogenous, Coachella felt as though it needed something to rightfully claim its crown as the king of American music festivals. In years past, it did just fine with its stacked lineups. But in the post-Tupac era, the crowds began to anticipate more. Myself included. As I slowly made my way away from the stage after the Red Hot Chili Peppers finished their set to conclude the festival on Sunday night, I couldn’t help but overhear a poor woman as she hopelessly hung around the stage and said, “So maybe the Rolling Stones aren’t going to play?” No, dear, they aren’t. Rather than appreciate the festival for what it was, I fell victim to the hype, just like everyone else. The rumor, the speculation, the mystery— it’s all too exciting not to partake in. On paper, Coachella 2013 was by no means a bad festival. Sure, the big reunions like the Stone Roses, Blur, the Postal Service, Jurassic 5, Grinderman and Violent Femmes were not as headline-worthy as the return of Dr. Dre, Refused and At the Drive-In the year before, but an otherwise well-rounded lineup made up for it. Weekend one was filled with its share of memorable moments. You couldn’t help but tear up as a packed house gathered in the Gobi tent to watch and sing along with 70-year-old Rodriguez, the star and subject of 2012’s Academy Awardwinning documentary, “Searching for Sugar Man.” Trent Reznor’s How to Destroy Angels played one of their first-ever performances, albeit behind a series of eerie, moving light curtains. Passion Pit got everyone joyously jumping around while the Postal Service reminded everyone of their middle school emotional anguish. But the three days also had their fair share of mishaps. Upon arriving at the festival gates on Friday, organizers were still arranging the long line of past festival posters leading out into the campgrounds. Some of the big screens didn’t work. 2 Chainz pulled up to his performance a half hour late (albeit, without his ceiling missing). A drunken Isaac Brock stumbled through Modest Mouse’s set before getting cut-off by the festival mid-“Float On” because they had run over their time. The Stone Roses were sloppy and off key. I couldn’t help but feel as though weekend one was a dry-run for the next. The thought crossed my mind that, had there not been a second festival the following weekend, could things have gone smoother? If Goldenvoice had just one shot at Coachella, maybe things would have been different. According to my 2012 weekend one counterparts, they shared just the same sentiments. Now that the two-weekend experiment has completed its second year, we can begin to draw some conclusions. I knowingly sacrificed what I thought would be a smoother ride in weekend two for the possibility of witnessing an earthshattering mega-surprise in the flesh. But at the end of the day, Coachella is a holistic experience. It is unlike any other event. I lovingly cherish the annual pilgrimage to the desert and stepping foot into an entirely new world, one inhabited by giant snails, trash-eating Tyrannosaurus rexes and happy dancing humans. If it comes down to trading a well-rounded and hiccup-free festival or being “first!” I gladly find myself preferring the former. Weekend one, you were a blast, but next year I’ll let you work out the kinks while I enjoy the perfectly-predictable H second. ■









fter their flashy, dancefriendly album “It’s Blitz!,” the New York trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs claim they’re returning to basics on their fourth studio production, supposedly reminiscent of “Show Your Bones” (2006). I say “supposedly” because while “Show Your Bones” was a great milestone for the ever-evolving band, “Mosquito” feels painfully inadequate and unable to follow the energy of their lead single “Sacrilege.” This is unfortunate, because with its vibrant, very Yeah Yeah Yeahs vibe and lively gospel choir, “Sacrilege” has quickly become a song that I felt shameless about cranking on full blast. What made their previous albums so successful and a pleasure to put on repeat was the way the songs played off of each other. On “It’s Blitz!” the combination of ampedup hits such as “Zero” and “Heads Will Roll” contrasted seamlessly with the more tamed “Soft Shock” and tender lullaby quality of “Little Shadow.” The same pattern goes for their debut “Fever to Tell.” This is important, because the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have always possessed an attractive edge to them––punkish, fun, experimental. They are the masters of cacophony, but it is always well-controlled and glamorously done: never overwhelming or underwhelming, just the right amount of chaos and quirkiness. Even the songs that aren’t my favorites are good. However, on “Mosquito,” there is definitely a line between the tracks that rocked and the ones that are unbearable. Karen O’s eclectic and electrifying performances consistently blended with talented guitarist Nick Zinner and drummer

Courtesy of Interscope Records

Brian Chase. The three work well together and have been dishing out sass since the band’s earliest days, but certain songs off their latest endeavor, such as “Mosquito” and “Area 52,” felt strangely forced and unpolished. The lyrics “They’ll suck your blood!” stung in a bad

...the band created an album that reflects what they want their listeners to hear, not what they think their listeners will want. way, and not even Karen’s alwaysenthusiastic yowling can save the song. “Area 52” is punctuated by weird high-pitched buzzing, emulating an alien vibe, and the result was tasteless and forgettable. The second song off the album, “Subway,” is one of the more subdued songs utilizing the softer side of Karen O’s distinct vocals. It is memorable because the band incorporated the lonely sound of wheels chugging along the tracks, which created a quiet, eerie and haunting nostalgia that can only be an ode to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ hometown of New York. “Buried Alive,” on the other hand, is quite the unique piece. It features Dr. Octagon, the extraterrestrial gynecologist persona of rapper Kool Keith. As a band as weird as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Karen and Dr. Octagon birthed a strangely groovy

track that required several plays for me to appreciate the trippy, slightly nightmarish quality that was a welcome change from the disaster of “Area 52.” Despite a few setbacks, it’s unfair to say that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs didn’t try. Always staying true to their humorously blunt attitude, the band created an album that reflects what they want their listeners to hear, not what they think their listeners will want. Sure, they

may have missed the mark a bit, but after generating three incredible albums all with varying qualities and sentiments, it’s understanding that they finally pushed out an album that’s not quite satisfying to their fans. It’s been almost exactly 10 years since the band’s debut album, and it’s clear that they’re still growing and experimenting with their sound. Listening to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is like going on a rollercoaster: the highest highs are

far from the lowest lows, and each track is unpredictable and offbeat in its own funky way. Though not their strongest album, “Mosquito” still has its gems. Even if none match up to the brilliance of “Sacrilege,” tracks such as “Buried Alive,” “Despair,” and the sweet “Wedding Song”—Karen O sang this to her husband Barnaby Clay at their 2011 wedding—round out an otherwise bumpy trek through their fourth transformation. ■H




he Man on the Moon returns with “Indicud,” the third album that plays a hefty interlude to Kid Cudi’s astronomical series. When describing his latest album, Scott Mescudi (“Kid Cudi”) identified Dr. Dre’s “2001” as his inspiration and said this was the opportunity to add “more energy into [his] signature sound.” As soon as the album begins, there is little distinct difference from the chilled-out smoke music expected from Cudi. It isn’t until you delve into the lyrics and the journey to this album that Cudi’s growth is revealed. Rather than submissive lyrics from “Man on the Moon” and “Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager,” the more confrontational “Ain’t no such thing as Satan, evil is what you make it / Thank the Lord for that burning bush” lyrics from “Just What I Am” establish a different and more positive Kid Cudi. Considering drugs were a major part of

his creative outlet in previous works, the sobriety gives him a new sophisticated outlook on life. Rather than exhibiting anger and submissivity, Cudi’s emotions come from frustration, appreciation and acceptance. “Indicud” is far from what people expect considering the focal beats and vocals aren’t what are highlighted, as in his previous works. Kid Cudi revisits his past influences with some dark tracks presented in a new way. “Burn Baby Burn,” “Red Eye” and “Lord of the Sad and Lonely” provoke his critics and dysfunctional relationships through a talented rap flow that confronts the feelings and emotions said events instilled. The initially depressing tone builds up in rhythm and lyric into a state of empowerment. The main transformation lies in the lyrics; rather than an angry high kid, “Immortal” proves his now-positive outlook as a content man “living life as if he got powers.” It represents Kid Cudi’s resurrection and second

chance at life. Even the pop track “Girls,” while extremely dull and repetitive, exhibits a more upbeat techno sound than his normally relaxed rap lines. As opposed to his previous albums, self-producing “Indicud” led Cudi’s new sound into a seemingly monotonous groove. Aside from a solid few, the 18 songs blend together with basic drum beats and similar synth sounds. Despite the indistinct sound of the album, the heavy, dark themes served as a prevalent tone and source of inspiration. In addition, Cudi’s experimentation with various genres brings a more positive rapper out on the table. A dash of indie and pop uplift his signature rap flow to a more accessible audience, and the unorthodox choice of featuring artists saves the album from being lost in space. Father John Misty, Michael Bolton (yes, that one), Haim and RZA represent diverse genres and contribute a little piece of everything to create an unclassifiable,

Courtesy of Wicked Awesome Records

psychedelic rap contingent on his weed-filled past. Scott Mescudi emerged as a new man with “Indicud.” The extreme challenges of producing an album on his own led to a significant growth outside his

comfort zone as a musician. His unadulterated freedom created a progressive piece within his own musical niche that will leave listeners earnestly waiting for the conclusion to his “Man on the Moon” series. ■H





A Column

Fashion Instinct Closet Essentials:

by Thelma Annan, Staff Writer

Next to the basic white tee and the perfect pair of jeans, a cardigan is a closet essential. Living in Southern California, we all understand how bipolar California weather can be. We leave the house confident in one thing, only to be let down by the weather’s betrayal mid-afternoon. A cardigan is the perfect piece to fight back fashionably. Now that we are finally transitioning from winter to spring, cardigans are here to take the change with us. Cardigans come in a variety of materials and styles to accommodate any fashion taste or weather condition. From the basic, to cropped, to open cardigans and oversized granddad’s, you’ll be sure to look in-cred-i-ble. For the colder times of the year, a chunky knit is the perfect layering piece. Want to look put together all while staying comfortable? This is the cardigan for you. Ladies, you can try out a chunky knit cardigan in the typical route of black leggings and a tunic, topped with a thick scarf and knee-high boots in the fall. Or you can take a more feminine approach in an abovethe-knee flared skirt, a pair of thigh-highs and some cute booties. For guys, a shawl collared cardigan like one from Urban Outfitters is most popular. Wear it with a basic shirt underneath to prevent too much distraction. For a more fashionable approach, layer two shirts underneath: a collared shirt and a plain tee. When choosing a cardigan, you can never go wrong with neutrals, but don’t be afraid to pick one out with a bit more personality in its design. For those warmer months of spring and summer, a lightweight cardigan is all you need to pair with some highwaisted shorts and top. If you find yourself wearing solid colors, pair your outfit with a Forever 21 striped or Aztecinspired cardigan to stand out. Or if you’re wearing an eye-catching printed outfit, such as a floral summer dress, wear a solid colored cardigan to prevent clashing. Gents, a fitted classic cardigan will be best. For the colder summer nights, a lightweight cardigan is perfect to keep you looking casual and impressive. Although a cardigan is typically a laid back piece, it can be utilized for more sophisticated situations. Tired of the boring old, stiff blazer? Give cardigans a try. Whether you’re at the workplace, an interview or even a wedding, a cardigan in right color and fit will keep you looking professional with the right amount of comfort. For these types of scenarios, a dark or


neutral colored cardigan is most appropriate. Guys, substitute your business blazer for a v-neck, button up cardigan from J. Crew. Buttoned at the top, try an appropriately colorful dress shirt with a tie tucked beneath the cardigan. Ladies, a cardigan would go best with a business pencil skirt or dress pants. Place the collar of your button up shirt over the cardigan’s neckline to give your look a polished feel. Unlike the camo jacket, the jean jacket or the faux leather sleeve, cardigans will never go out of style, so make sure to invest in a quality one. Thankfully there are many out there at affordable prices, so there’s no need to break your bank. ■H

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blivion,” the second directorial effort from Joseph Kosinski (“Tron: Legacy”), is a visually stunning, if empty piece of pop entertainment. With a pedigree in video game commercials and graphic novels, Kosinski builds a post-apocalyptic earth that is both gorgeous and potentially menacing. Tom Cruise plays Jack Harper, one of the last humans stationed on a war-torn, post alien-invaded Earth. He and his lover/mission partner Victoria (played mutely by Andrea Riseborough) must monitor and maintain a fleet of drones tasked with mining Earth’s resources, while what is left of civilization waits above Earth’s atmosphere in a massive space station. As their mission comes to a close, Harper begins to uncover the true meaning of their increasingly ominous plans. If the plot sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because it is. Oblivion’s narrative and visual palette borrow from over a dozen visionary science fiction epics, most notably Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” and the more recent sci-fi powerhouses, “Wall-E” and “District 9”. Unlike the ambitious and introspective canon of the films from which Kosinski draws inspiration, there is no gravity to Oblivion. As a filmmaker, Kosinski is undoubtedly a talented visual artist, but he lacks the same zest for narrative form and context. The success of science fiction filmmaking of this scale is incumbent upon an incessant questioning of what it is to be human.This introspection is non-existent in Oblivion. If Kosinski utilized intertextuality in his allusions to older, better films, we would have had a deeper, more conceptually rich work. There lies Oblivion’s major fault. There is no attempt to go the extra mile. With world-class actors and a $100 million price tag, the film is remarkably competent. At first glance, “Oblivion” (much like “Tron: Legacy”) is a visual feast, a film aspiring to uplift the modern Hollywood spectacle out of the bowels of mediocrity. Upon further inspection, the film is a Trojan horse, no where near the visionary picture its cinematic sensibilities would have you believe. That being said, there is a lot to like here––including “

a stellar performance from Cruise who through his immense physicality serves to immerse the audience in the day-to-day world Harper inhabits. Morgan Freeman turns in strong work as Malcolm Beech, a revolutionary leader. His presence during the film’s second half gives Oblivion much-needed vitality as an overly long, seemingly undeserved running time begins to plague the film. Kosinski finds his strength in his action sequences. They

WRITE, SHOOT, OR DESIGN FOR THE HIGHLANDER Meetings on Mondays at 5:15pm at HUB 101

are effective, exhilarating and immediate in direct contrast with some of the film’s more subtle moments. Though thinly plotted and conceptually weak, Oblivion is an above average scifi actioner with more than enough visual arrestment to satisfy audiences awaiting the slew of summer blockbusters in the coming months. However, those expecting a more cerebral outing akin to last year ’s instant-classic “Prometheus” will be greatly disappointed.

Courtesy of Universal Studios





Riverside International Film Festival Day 1: “The Riverside Dust Bowl” By Joshua Wagonblast, Staff Writer I saw that the Riverside Plaza was empty as soon as I turned the corner, as if the Dust Bowl had just ended and people were afraid to exit their homes. The only thing missing was that familiar cliché of cricket noises filling the background. Physically going out to the movies has become less popular, but where were all the film lovers? I was excited to attend the Riverside International Film Festival on Wednesday, April 18, but it was a surprise to witness such a diminutive turnout by the Riverside community––especially from UCR students who are lucky enough to attend the function for free. “Adonis” was the first film I saw, and it was 10 minutes too long. The overly-cartoony and drearily written short was excruciating to watch as a man and his dog saunter around in front of a green screen trying to pick up various women. “Adonis” was even duller than the director who spoke afterwards, but the whole hodgepodge of comedic shorts was not entirely a bust. “Leo’s Lover(s)” was one notable film that outshined the rest. The film wasn’t outrageously

funny, but was instead witty with an entertainingly intelligent bite. Writer, director and actor Alan Weischedel has a knack for clever comedy and is almost as neurotic in person as he was on screen. Hopefully, he’ll be able to keep his distance from becoming too much like Woody Allen. The real delight of the whole event was “Of Gods and Men,” a French film that sucked me in from the first minute. Although simplistically styled and shot, the monastic modality had an existential purpose that worked well with the religious themes and eight monks who were the center of the picture. The film did not include much action and was only violent when necessary, since the real point of the film was to pull audiences into the mental struggle the monks experience throughout. Every moment was just as enticing as the next. One wonders what the true point of altruism and dedication to God really is during a time of Algerian civil unrest. All I can say is that it was a very powerful movie that depicted the factual incident in a delicate, but subtly fierce manner.

Day 2: “Please Silence Your Cellphones” By Sean Frede, Senior Staff Writer On Thursday, April 19, the Riverside International Film Festival hosted two showings of dramatic shorts by up-and-coming directors. Even though the faint echo of explosions could be heard from the latest G.I. Joe IMAX sensation next door, the film festival entertained audiences with some very moving films, all of which didn’t need 3D gimmicks to get their point across. The first showing started at 1 p.m. with “Zane,” a student drama directed by Len Chi. It’s the story of a man growing up in Berkeley who is trapped by the pressures of seeking acceptance from gangs. While the lead actor did a wonderful job displaying raw emotion after he makes wrong decisions, the story lacked originality. It was that same stereotypical story of an inner city man struggling to get out of the ghetto. The second film of the day was “Nora,” directed by Michael Peer. This 13-minute movie spanned the entire lifetime of a woman suffering from abusive relationships. The superb editing kept the story jumping nonlinearly from childhood to adulthood. I just wish there would have been a stronger script because the dialogue was predictable. The second showing began with “Ojalá,” directed by Ryan Velasquez, which was by far my favorite film of the day. In 21 minutes

this film captured 25 years of a mother’s life, from growing up in Guatemala with aspirations of being a singer to being a single immigrant mother in L.A. working as a maid. The cinematography and framing was well balanced and very clean. The dialogue felt true and the tension between a mother and daughter’s struggling relationship moved the viewer. I am looking forward to what this director will do next. The next three movies, “Towing,” “The Favorite” and “A Perfect Day,” were all plagued with very on-the-nose and cliché dialogue that made it difficult for me to even get interested in the stories at all. The final movie was “Worlds We Created.” Directed by Nicholas Santos, the short was very original and refreshing. With almost no dialogue, the story explored what it means to be a young boy and the difficulties of losing imagination and becoming trapped in the real world. The editing, lighting and soundtrack really propelled this move above and beyond. The second day of the film festival was an overall success and led me to wonder why so many of us think CGI explosions are needed to arrest our attention, especially when unique and real stories exist right under our noses––as long as we look hard enough.

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Actor Kevin Sorbo (right) accepts a Lifetime Achievement Award for Acting from Dr. Harki Dhillon (left) at the Riverside International Film Festival’s Annual Gala.

There were many prominent films at the film festival, but “Of Gods and Men” is reason enough for me to recommend attending the event. For anyone who has their doubts

about going, then just know that you may be missing out on a movie that could be a worthwhile, thought-provoking and hardhitting experience.

DAY 3: “GALA” Day 3 marked another long day of short films, including “The Brother,” “A Cat in Paris” and “Flatland.” The day concluded at the Culver Center with the festival’s annual gala, where actor Kevin Sorbo was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Acting.

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Day 4: “A Pleasant Surprise” By Matthew Guerrero, Contributing Writer

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Film screenings were held at Regal Riverside Plaza Stadium 16.

The Riverside International Film Festival offered a unique opportunity to watch sometimes great, sometimes terrible movies and to spend some time meeting directors. On the docket for Saturday night: “The Favorite,” “Hecho En China” and “Drought.” The movies lacked superb acting and careful attention to detail—some of the subtitles were spelled incorrectly—but the viewing experience was well worth my time. The films offered an organic look into real actors and a delightful respite from heavily saturated CGI and special effects scenes. The festival primarily consisted of documentaries. Actors and directors quite often made films for the sole purpose of offering critical insight into controversial and sometimes unheard of issues in the world today, including tough issues like corruption in foreign governments and the age of technology. “Hecho En China” was a great

example of a film attacking these issues. The comedy detailed the travels of Marco and his stock boy from Tijuana to Monterey in order for Marco to meet his lover from his teenage years. The film confronts the popular label “Made in China” and contributes some interesting talking points to the global conversation. The acting was sub par throughout the film, but again, it felt organic and some of the comedy was actually more humorous than what some big time films have offered this year. “The Favorite” documented the rocky relationship between a mother and daughter. It tackled the trivial pursuits of adults who ignore their children. In the film, a mother loves her dog more than her daughter, making her daughter jealous. The acting was worse than “Hecho En China,” but did provide a learning experience for the viewer.

“Drought” was a powerful documentary about a migration from a small town in Northern Mexico to find water. The documentary is the most decorated film I had a chance to view, and was primarily about bringing together people under pressure and the ineptitude of a small town. Overall, the festival was a fantastic opportunity to view some films unaltered by expensive Photoshop. The films emphasized controversial issues rather than motorcycle chases and explosions. I recommend the festival to any avid movie watcher entirely for the chance to experience a new perspective on what movies should be–– and to gain a new appreciation for how difficult it is to make a quality movie. The Riverside International Film Festival continued on Sunday, April 21, and concluded with an award ceremony recognizing the best films of the weekend. ■H









to right:

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UCR N e w s r o o m ; W e s l e y N g /HIGHLANDER

Left to right: Tom á s Rivera served as the Chancellor of UCR from 1979-1984; Luis Alfaro leads a workshop on playwriting and performance from/for the community. He shares a story about how he helped launch Festival Latino in Oregon and what a success it turned out to be.

Tomas Rivera Conference honors the legacy of UCR chancellor

By: Jessica Martinez, Contributing Writer “Let’s meet at Rivera.” These are common words spoken by students at UCR, yet they may not often stop to think about the man whom the library was named after. Tomás Rivera, the youngest, first minority and Chicano chancellor, lives on through the legacy he left behind in his work and archives. The 25th Anniversary of the Tomás Rivera Conference was held on Friday, April 19 in HUB 302. Billed as “A Celebration of the Life and Work of Tomás Rivera,” it was an all-day event free and open to the public. The day began with opening remarks by Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair Tiffany Ana Lopez. Lopez stated that the conference had been spearheaded by Concha Rivera, Tomás Rivera’s widow, and Carlos Cortes, to have a forum for conversations about pressing issues in the arts, administrative leadership, education and the humanities in general. She then introduced Chancellor Jane Close Conoley for the welcoming remarks. Chancellor Conoley stated that Rivera was not only the first Latino chancellor in the UC system but he was the first in the country. She also believes, “It is important that we honor a man who typifies the challenges and the journey of so many at UCR. Chancellor Rivera is a shining example of what education can accomplish in an

individual.” Chancellor Conoley reiterated Rivera’s civic morality and stated, “As Dr. Lopez said, the chancellor’s message of civic morality is the ideal we hope to instill in each student that passes through our doors here at UCR.” Throughout the conference, the phrase “civic morality,” often used by Tomás Rivera, was constantly repeated. It referenced having a civic morality to use the resources we have at the university that create bridges between the university and the community. Lopez then introduced the three panelists who have had careers of making art for over 25 years. The first panelist was Luis Alfaro, a playwright, community activist and professor of theater at USC. Alfaro is also a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship. He grew up in Pico Union in downtown Los Angeles, which was the most violent and poorest neighborhood when he was a kid. Alfaro then proceeded to share his family story. He lived in a house with 16 people and every time there was a shooting, they would get down on the floor of the kitchen and hold hands in a circle. Alfaro stated he loved this because he felt so connected to his family during these times. He contributes this as the “connective tissue” that made him the artist he is because of the stories that got told on the floor of the kitchen. Alfaro recalled his father telling him that one of his jobs was to bring to light all that is in the dark after he wrote a story of shootings in his neighborhood and was suspended in the fourth grade. He shared one of his pieces in which he asked

the audience to sing the refrain of “Lovin’ You” by Minnie Riperton and soon the whole room was filled with “la la la la las.” His story was about his excitement over singer Minnie Riperton as a ninth grader and growing up in Pico Union. Alfaro also spoke of his mentors and how he evolved as a storyteller and activist. The notion of service and giving was embedded in him because he was brought up as Pentecostal and Catholic. He wanted to use art to create social change and does so by going around the country and living in communities that are disenfranchised. He educates himself on issues communities are facing and advocates for change. Alfaro believes to make great art you have to educate yourself and to him, theater is both spiritual and political. The next panelist was Josefina Lopez, also a playwright, screenwriter and founding Artistic Director of CASA 101. Lopez’ play “Detained in the Desert” was performed at UCR a few years ago. She grew up in Boyle Heights and was undocumented for thirteen years after coming to the states at the age of five. Her household was very “macho” and she grew up questioning why her brothers were treated better than her. She decided to use her anger to make a change. Anger is what we sometimes call passion, Lopez stated. “If I hadn’t picked up the pen, I know I would have killed myself,” she said. She wrote “Real Women Have Curves,” a play RIVERA CONT’D ON PAGE 21

V i nc e n t T a /HIGHLANDER The whole cast stands before the audience in this adaptation of “And the Earth Did Not Devour Him.” The original story by Tomás Rivera was adapted by Tiffany Ana López. Ana López condensed the 150-page novel into a one-and-a-half hour play.





Interview with Dr. Jan Bacher, advocate for autism awareness Lauren Green CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Dr. Jan Blacher is the founder and director of the UCR Support, Education, Advocacy, Resources, Community and Hope Center (SEARCH) that researches and educates people about autism. In observance of Autism Awareness month, the distinguished professor in the UCR Graduate School of Education enthusiastically shared some of her knowledge about the disability and the importance of its awareness in an interview with the Highlander. Although she never intended to focus solely on autism, the growing prevalence of the disability was an important factor that led Blacher to her research. “When I was training we had to look far and wide to find a child with autism. Now I can barely go to the grocery store ... I see them everywhere, so the phenomenon is very real,” said Blacher. Eventually, her involvement led her to one project (of many) studying autistic children transitioning to schools. “What sucked me in was this clinical work with families [of autistic children] who were undergoing this transition to school and it wasn’t going well at all. And that was the underpinnings of the study I’m doing now: to try and figure out which children are more successful and why; from a parent’s perspective, a teacher ’s perspective and in a way the child’s perspective, too.” Through her studies at the SEARCH Center, Blacher and her team of researchers dedicate themselves to children that range across the autism spectrum. They are also steadfast in upholding “the UCR Promise” of giving back to the community. “We’re different from most centers because we do research and I train doctoral students to do research with families and autism and with school, but if they work or are funded through this center, they have a 10hour a week obligation in service to the field,” Blacher said. This means that researchers are committed to giving back to the community and are “doing some really tangible outreach in autism as well as some ‘ivory-tower ’-learned techniques and publishing papers.” Since the demand for knowledge and education about autism is ever growing, Blacher is hopeful for opportunities to further propel awareness through her work. At UCR, she sees numerous ways to RIVERA FROM PAGE 20

that portrayed Latinas working in Los Angeles sewing factories. Lopez decided to pay for her own production with her financial aid from UCLA which ran for thirteen weeks. It was seen by a producer and then the movie came about through HBO. She had wanted to be an actress but was constantly turned down because she wasn’t right for the “stereotypical” Latina roles. Deciding to write her own plays and screenplays in order to create a world she believes in where the Latina girls aren’t stick skinny was her way of creating change. She founded CASA 101 in Boyle Heights because she wanted to give back to her community with a theater that produces plays about Latinos

V i n c e n t T a /HIGHLANDER D r. J a n B l a c h e r f o c u s e s o n h e l p i n g f a m i l i e s w h o h a v e a c h i l d s u f f e r i n g f ro m a u t i s m . S m o o t h S a i l i n g h e l p s c h i l d re n t r a n s i t i o n i n t o k i n d e rg a r t e n a n d e l e m e n t a r y s c h o o l l i f e .

involve the campus, students and faculty with her research. Future plans for SEARCH include creating a curriculum for professors and staff in order to better educate students with the disorder. “One of the things that we’re trying to do is make faculty of students that may be on the spectrum aware of the kinds of diversity of the students they’re teaching, and be more accepting of it.” Eventually, Blacher may team up with the UCR School of Medicine, with hopes to “stand in the community and make it known that UCR is also aware of the kinds of problems that its constituents are bound to.” Blacher also emphasized the

importance of autism awareness and the Latino community near UCR. “Many of these communities have been left out ... it’s time for them to get greater access to services, early on when it counts ... so we can get these kids identified and get them assistance.” Above all, Blacher hopes that people, especially at UCR, understand two messages about autism. “People should be positive about autism. Some children that have autism are very bright, and UC-qualified; they may go to a UC campus like UCR. And I hope that college students at UCR will better understand peers on the spectrum, and that

the UCR faculty will see beyond the social communication deficits and awkwardness that characterize autism. The same message goes to the community: autism is a disorder that is becoming a common disorder—one that we should all be aware of and embrace.” The university has been celebrating Autism Awareness Month since early April. The Bell Tower was lit up with blue light for two weeks in recognition of the month. In addititon, Blacher will host an event on Tuesday, April 23 at HUB 260 entitled “1 in 88, Autism in Your Community and Why You Should Care.” The lecture will ■H be free to the public.

year round. It started as a small theater but has grown to become a state of the art theater where people can give proper respect to their story. Lopez also teaches writer workshops because she believes everyone has a story to share. The final panelist, Barbara Carrasco, is an artist, activist and founding member of the Dolores Huerta Foundation. She has produced a portrait series of Chicano leaders which now includes the portrait of Tomás Rivera that she drew freehand after researching his archives and speaking with his wife Concha Rivera. That portrait was used for the conference’s flyer and poster image. She worked with Cesar Chavez to create banners for the United Farm Workers. Another great accomplishment of hers is that the Girl

Scouts Foundation will use her portrait of Dolores Huerta, a civil rights activist, as a patch for girls to earn after completing a project about Huerta. Carrasco believes art can be used to make social change. Steven Mandeville-Gamble, the University Librarian shared his plan to make Tomás Rivera’s archives digital so that anyone around the world would be able to view them. It will require time but it will bring Rivera’s work back to life. Tiffany Ana Lopez, also appointed Lisette Lasater the first-ever Tomás Rivera Teaching Assistant which will begin in the fall later this year. Lasater holds a UC teaching certificate and is also a recipient of the Rivera Endowment Fellowship among her many accomplishments. She is a first generation college student and

accepted her position expressing how much she loved teaching. “I tell my students at the start of every quarter that being there with them in that classroom is my dream.” The first portion of the 25th Anniversary of the Tomás Rivera Conference concluded with a lunch and performance by Quetzal, Grammy Award-winning artists for their album “Imaginaries.” After lunch, guests who registered for workshops taught by the three panelists and other invited speakers, broke into their respective workshop classes. The all-day conference concluded with a reading of Rivera’s “And the Earth Did Not Devour Him,” a play that told the story a Latino family struggling with poverty and dis■H crimination in South Texas.








C l o c k w i s e f ro m l e f t : C o r r i d o r t o t h e b a c k o f P ro A b i t i o n l i n e d w i t h p h o t o s f ro m t h e P ro h i b i t i o n e r a ; M a î t re d ’ B r i a n H o p p e r g re e t s p a t ro n s ; T h e K i m C h i ’s s l i d e r s .

By Joshua Wagonblast, Staff Writer//Photos by Wesley Ng ★★★☆☆ When I think speakeasy, I picture myself walking down a small concrete staircase to a large walnut-colored door where men in high-waisted jackets and short trousers, cuffed at the bottom, sit inside listening to jazz while holding a warm glass of scotch. The new bar/restaurant “ProAbition” had none of these things, except for the scotch. To be fair, times have changed and so has society’s fashion sense. The 1920s theme is also just a gimmick to attract various college students who believe to be cultured and need a trend to subscribe to. However, I cannot help but still be disappointed with the décor of the recently opened “speakeasy,” if one could really call it that. ProAbition is rather another bar trying to be something it’s not, which makes the atmosphere come off as confusing instead of alluring. While sitting there on my barstool with my Black Beauty Cream Stout in hand, I actually thought about “The Salted Pig,” another bar/restaurant that did the same thing ProAbition is doing now, except they were more on the nose with it.

Aside from the theme and its identity crisis, I did enjoy my time at ProAbition. Whether or not the place really fit into its own angle was only a minor letdown, and it was hard to blame the eatery for taking a modernized look at a glorified era. I just wish they would have changed the music—electronica in a “speakeasy,” really? The upsides to ProAbition were the two reasons I wanted to check out the saloon to begin with: the food and the booze. To start, I decided to sample a few beers. They had a nice selection that included a good amount of craft beers, some of which are from local Riverside breweries. After some sampling, I decided to go with the regional brew, the Black Beauty Cream Stout. The cream stout was exactly my kind of beer, it was thick and bold with a rich dark-roasted malt aroma and a coco-vanilla aftertaste. Speaking of the food, which is discounted along with the drinks during Happy Hour, there are some wonderful choices to pick from. One notable thing is that the menu is fairly diverse and provides a lot

of options to the clientele. The appetizers are also some great upscale finger-food for college students looking for cheap eats and a drink from 5-7 p.m. If one decides to visit when it is not happy hour, they will notice that the prices are relatively expensive, especially the entrees. Personally, I decided to stick with the tapas as they are more easily shared and were better for a drinking hour with friends. One suggestion for students would be the shoestring blue cheese fries. You can get fries anywhere, but they are definitely the most convenient during a night out in downtown and the unique take was handsdown delicious. The fries definitely solidified my newfound love for blue cheese. We also decided to try the Tandoori chicken, pork belly mac ‘n’ cheese and Kim Chi’s sliders. The mac ‘n’ cheese was nothing special and the noodles and cheese were the typical gooey comfort food that I expected. The dish wouldn’t be worth the price without the succulent pork belly that accompanies it. Kim Chi’s sliders were not as good as I

had hoped for. I fancy myself a fan of Korean food and I was interested in how the dish would be presented. The chef deserves points for presentation, but the sliders could have gone without that extra pinch of salt, and the pork needed less time over the fire since it was a bit dry. Nonetheless, the bread was tasty and fluffy and the vegetables were very well done and blended pleasantly with the barbecue sauce. My favorite of all the dishes was the Tandoori. The chicken was moist and marinated perfectly. The hint of lime gave the dish an unexpected kick in the midst of savoring the chicken, pickled onions and cucumber salad. The decision to throw it all into a pita was also the right move, being able to snack on the cuisine like a taco made it all that better. I also wish I would have asked what sauce they used because it a subtly sweet addition that worked well with the chicken and the veggies. ProAbition may not be an ideal 1920s hangout, but it is absolutely worth checking out if students are searching for a good time that can be spent in a velvety red upholstered booth around a whiskey barrel where some good food and drinks are in abundance. Plus, there are jazz and burlesque shows throughout the week, and if you like the establishment on Facebook, you can receive “speakeasy specials” that require a code word to obtain from the barkeeps.

T h e i n t e r i o r o f P ro A b i t i o n d u r i n g h a p p y h o u r.




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UCR AROUND THE GLOBE There was a photo caption here according to last year’s issue, though the font was different.


NAME: Reggie Arevalo YEAR: Senior MAJOR: French and Linguistics CITY, COUNTRY: Lyon, France HOST INSTITUTION: University of Lyon A glimpse of the French lifestyle, culture and society would be a fair summation of what I wanted to experience as a UCEAP student in Lyon, France. Did that come to fruition? Oh yeah, and much more. I got more than I wished for. It isn’t just a mere glimpse that I have experienced, I now find myself amidst the living and breathing machinery that is the French culture and society. Let us recap from the beginning of it all. Overwhelmed is an understatement for the feeling I felt as I finally stepped out of the Saint-Exupéry Airport in Lyon that fateful August afternoon. It felt surreal. I was surrounded by people who look completely different from us, speaking a language that I initially thought I had great command of (boy, was I wrong). I couldn’t help myself from smiling at every conversation exchanged in French. Yet, I felt uprooted from the comforts of California, home. In short, I experienced slurry of utter excitement and intense longing for home. Bienvenue à Lyon: Welcome to Lyon. Then, reality set in quick and hard. The first few weeks were filled with the hustle and bustle of paperwork for the university and practically starting from scratch in a new land. Within a threeweek span, I “manually” signed up for classes, found an apartment, opened a bank account, got a cellphone and obtained a French residency permit vignette on my passport, among other things. Although fairly simply done, the way French bureaucracy works does not fit the “American logic’” that I am very well accustomed

to. These are the realities that quickly confronted me, bringing me from the lofty La-La Land to reality that is actually living in Lyon. For the first semester, I rented a room from an elderly couple of noble status. In no way am I exaggerating when I say it is one of the most elegant apartments I’ve ever set foot in. My room was lavishly appointed with turn-ofthe-century furnishings, complete with floor-to-ceiling tapestry covering half of one wall. I often told my friends that I needed a monocle and pocket watch to feel completely at home in that apartment. Soon enough did I belong without being of nobility, or even without the requisite fashion accessories. They treated me like their own grandchild. For the current semester, I live in a more humble, yet very comfortable apartment, shared with a French M.A. student and a Finnish Erasmus student. Living with them has been a complete change of pace from my previous home away from home. Living with young people is, as always, exciting. One would think that it is only with French people that you get to socialize with in Lyon. Living in Lyon, France has been nothing but short of global. Left and right, you are surrounded by not only French people, but people from all continents of the world. Frequenting Erasmus parties, I got in touch with the youth of the world. During my stay in Lyon, I have met and socialized with French, Spanish, Italians, Germans, Moroccans, Croats, Hungarians, Finns, Swedes, Belgians, Russians, Taiwanese, Japanese, Koreans, Mexicans,

Rwandans, Brazilians, Chileans, Venezuelans, Australians, Canadians and last but not the least, Americans. Left and right, I am reminded that I am nothing but a small particle in the sheet that is humanity. I am reminded that I have yet to know more about the world. As with other people who study abroad, traveling is an essential part of my European stay. And as with other study abroad students, I hold conserving money as one of the tenets I live by. Couchsurfing, thus, became a norm in my travels. Not only is couchsurfing a free means of getting housing, it is way of getting to know locals and understand a place from a local’s point of view. Plus, they ought to know where the nicest bar in town and the best hole-in-the-wall café within the 10 km radius, right? Of course they do! From personal experience, couchsurfing hosts and cocouchsurfers alike are more than willing to open up and talk about everything under the sun from intellectual ideas and politics to Rihanna’s latest hits. So, talked, I did! As I take a bite of the world, I learned countless things about myself. It was while I was in Antwerp, Belgium when I learned that I in no way whatsoever enjoy black licorice. It was while I was in Split, Croatia that I learned that I love singing my heart out to Dalmatian pop hits. It was while sipping sangria in Barcelona that I was reminded that I have wisely chosen to surround myself with great friends. Studying abroad isn’t all fun and games, we had to study as well. It is “studying” abroad, after all. The French university system is utterly different from UC system, to say the least. Let me recount a handful of differences: classes meet once a week for two hour sessions; most of the materials are learned independently; essays are 1.5 spaced; grades are determined by only one or two exams or presentations; professors are unpredictable; all cours-

es are taught in French, spoken at 3,000 words per second. Needless to say, you still learn quite a bit. Language-wise, I learned a lot more outside of school than I did in school. When you are faced with a native speakers that spew French words like there is no tomorrow, every waking moment of your stay in Lyon, you have no choice but to adapt to the way they speak and assimilate. Slowly

c o u rt e s y o f

R e g g i e A r e va l o

but surely, my French improved, especially when compared to the day of my arrival. As the days inch to my return home, I introspect. I pushed myself to my limit—it is in this discomfort that I now find comfort. I find myself more open to different cultures, to different mindsets. Participating in UCEAP is like stepping in someone else’s pair of shoes and slowly fitting in them. ■H





Juan Felipe Herrera’s

Walk “ for Boston

We’re gonna do a walk of peace, a walk of support, . - Juan Felipe Herrera


n Tuesday morning, following the tragic bombings at the Boston marathon Monday, April 15, students filed somberly into Juan Felipe Herrera’s creative writing class “Anatomy of Poetry” and took their seats. There was something different in the air that day; the professor’s typically chipper demeanor seemed to be dimmed and tarnished. As the majority of the class had filled up the room by 9:40 a.m., Herrera took off his beanie and looked down at the ground. “We’re gonna do something different today,” he said in a voice that was lower and quieter than usual. Students who had previously taken

courses instructed by Herrera already knew what was coming next. Herrera, who has been described as “a beloved professor and colleague” by UCR’s chair of the department of creative writing Andrew Winer, focuses on giving back to the community while providing equal opportunities for expression. Last year, the award-winning California Poet Laureate started the Unity Poetry Wall, a nationwide project for the victims of Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Herrera also composed “I Promise Joanna,” an anti-bullying letter-writing project inspired by 10-year-old Joanna Ramos, who died after being bullied in her elementary school in Long Beach.

On the board, he wrote “Walk for Boston” in chalk. Then he asked students to stand up and follow him outside. It was a cold and somber Tuesday morning. White clouds loomed over UCR’s campus, sparing no warmth or sunshine. Students were shivering but remained respectful and committed to the cause. “We’re gonna do a walk of peace, a walk of support,” said Herrera. In silence, students followed him a short distance from Sproul Hall to Hinderaker Hall and back. When everyone had returned to stand back in front of Sproul, the entire group held hands and raised them up to the sky. After students reentered and settled into the cozy classroom, Herrera asked

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By Toni Louie, Staff Writer Photo Courtesy of Latino Heritage

them to collectively come up with a proper title for the poetry they were about to write for the victims of the Boston marathon bombing. Together they settled upon “A Letter to Boston.” Soon the class fell into a comfortable silence and only soft inhales and exhales, or the clicks of pens and pencils could be heard. Herrera could tell that this was “something very deep for the class,” judging by the focused expressions that each of his students wore. Once the class was finished, Herrera assigned his students to type up their poetry, post it on iLearn, then take it from there—whether that meant sending them to Boston or igniting another community project.

Upon hearing the horrifying news the day before, Herrera recalled, “I couldn’t believe it.” He watched the replays over and over again on CNN, wincing at the heartbreaking images of what he described as “a brutal act.” People losing their limbs, their lives and their loved ones was a thought that plagued Herrera. “I felt helpless,” he said, “but I had to think: ‘What can we do?’” The walk for Boston was an impromptu idea conceived on Herrera’s way to class Tuesday morning. His concept of bringing poetry students together to unite for awareness and compassion “creates a full circle,” says Herrera. “A circle of pain, then healing... of creativity and support.” ■H

Congrats to these hard working members of the Highlander staff for winning the following annual awards from the California College Media Association (CCMA) for 2012: Best Arts & Entertainment Column/Criticism, Third Place: Grace Kang Best Cartoon, First Place: Jeff Whitman Best News Photograph, Second Place: Tyler Joe Best News Series, First Place: Eric Gamboa, Sandy Van, Carrie Meng Best News Series, Second Place: Andie Lam, Carrie Meng, Colin Markovich Best Photo Series, Third Place: Kevin Dinh, An Tran Best Personal Opinion Column, Second Place: Colin Markovich




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The Deutschland Diaries: Excerpts of the experiences and misadventures of a UCR student studying abroad.

By Alex Suffolk, Staff Writer

The Train April 19

I was on a train, alone, in the middle of the night, thousands of miles from my family in the states and with four hours of sleep fighting against four beers in the battlefield that was my body. I’m not usually prone to such surreal, existential realizations, but I couldn’t help but be amazed at where I was in that very moment and how natural it felt to be there. I had spent the day in Berlin, slowly learning how to navigate the sprawling public transportation system as well as taking a look at several second-hand shops and a Turkish market. I had been with Gabs from my program, a chill guy from the Netherlands that she’d previously met on a subway and several Californians that were from a different program than we were. You know, it’s really funny. When you travel long distances, you give yourself the idea that our planet is this vast world, but as you meet and talk to more people, you begin to realize just how small it actually is. After the shopping, we went to a park where we drank beer and held conversations ranging from the German education systems to the nature of time itself. Then the clouds of the horizon tinted violet with the sundown, and I decided to make my way back home. One of the Berliner-Californians walked me to the subway station and put me on a train, assuring me it would take me where I needed to go. It didn’t. After intense study of the S-Bahn and U-Bahn maps (which look something like thirteen different colored games of Pipe Dream bleeding into each other), I was able to hop on to one train, get off, get on another, get stranded in the middle of nowhere and then finally board the train that would surely take me back home to the Potsdam Hauptbahnhof.

And after such a rush of confusion and leaps of faith, I was able to relax, which is when it hit me that I was on a train, alone, in the middle of the night and so on. After my little moment, I came back to the world around me and couldn’t help but notice the few others that were also riding the night train. Directly across from me was a young couple with their baby girl. Their luggage implied that they had come from an extended trip somewhere or were on their way. They spoke only in quiet and short sentences to each other, but always with a smile. Every once in a while, they’d bend down to kiss their daughter. Then the father bounced the baby up and down on his knee, making a whoosh noise as he lifted her and she would laugh as she rose—a rocket propelled by giggles. After her flight, she turned around and stared at me. I couldn’t decide if she was confused or just being curious, but then it occurred to me that if I was trying to analyze a baby’s expression, I was probably staring at it for too long and should probably stop. That’s when I looked at the girl in the corner seat, leaning against her backpack and bundled up in a big green jacket. She couldn’t have been more than twenty and she spent a majority of the ride with her face lit up by that dim cell-phone blue. She kept putting her phone down and picking it back up. And with every time she put it down, crimson crept deeper and deeper into her eyes. She was trying so hard not to cry. Then, she fell asleep. And she must have dreamed, because that was the only time she smiled. The only significant noise in the train car was at the far end. Two guys were sitting under a sign that specifically warned against open alcohol. In their hands were open bottles and between their feet was a case of beer. Laughter and clinks of glass traveled over to my side of the train constantly. Strangely enough, despite

their laughter being uproarious, I didn’t hear them say single word. They were like alcoholic hyenas, able to communicate purely through wordless cheers and that level of laughter that shoots all of your blood to your cheeks and forehead. Full-on, tomato-faced hysterics. I couldn’t help but chuckle a bit with them, partially because that obnoxious level of joy is contagious and partially because of how they were on the other side of the train car as the girl and also on the other side emotionally. The last person I noticed was an old man by himself leaned against one of the windows. His gray beard poofed up as he rested his face upon the glass. I wouldn’t say that his blue and white raincoat was dirty, but it would probably need a wash sometime soon. He would switch between holding his hand over his eyes and placing it on his lap, where he would continue to stare down at it. He never looked up once the entire ride to Potsdam. I was still dozing from my lack of sleep the previous night, but I could still see that this man had weariness in his face that I haven’t come close to ever experiencing. Finally, we came to the end of the line in Potsdam. The couple and their giggle-rocket, the heartbroken girl, the hyenas, the tired man and I all shuffled out of the train and into the station. And I couldn’t decide why, but I felt like I’d met all those people before. Those faces of innocence, sadness, hilarity and fatigue— I know I’ve seen them before. Maybe on different people, but I’ve seen those same faces. And as I waited for the bus to take me back to my dorms, it didn’t feel like I was living in a foreign country anymore. I spent so much time in the previous weeks paying attention to all the little different things, but that ride on the train showed me just how some things are exactly the same as everywhere else. Hmm, or maybe I am just prone to surreal, ■H existential realizations after all.





Track and field fares well at Mt. SAC Relays, Beach Invitational K e n da l l P e t e r s o n SENIOR STAFF WRITER

The UC Riverside track & field teams had an odd week when they divided their squads at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. and the Beach Invitational in Norwalk, Calif. from April 18-20. The limited squad that was sent to the Mt. SAC Relays on Thursday, April 18 competed well. Raquel Hefflin recorded a season best with a time of 4:27.69 and Alisha Brown recorded a season best as well when she ran for 4:28.23 in the women’s 1,500m. In the men’s 1,500m, junior Seth Totten was the only male to compete and he finished with the time of 4:01.19. In day two of the Mt. SAC competition, Ted Hooper posted a career-best of 7.55m (24’ 9.25”) for a sixth-place finish in the men’s long jump. The sixth-place finish moved Hooper into first place in the Big West Conference in the event and the top 10 in the West Region.

On the women’s side, Amber Wright and Noelle Abboud both recorded personal bests in the 400m, finishing in 19th and 36th place, respectively. Wright jumped 55.25 while her teammate was not far behind with a jump of 56.23. Michael Hern finished 39th in the 100m with a time of 10.92 and Hernell Dyer finished the 200m with a time of 21.79 for a 39thplace finish. The 4x400m relay squad of BJ Smith, Michael Koger, Dylan Gates and Justin Harris finished with a time of 3:14.82 for a 15th-place finish. The 100m hurdles, Danielle Littleton came in 19th place with a time of 13.94 and Briana Kennedy-Feldhaus (14.26) finished 28th. The women’s 4x400m relay team of Abboud, Alisha Brown, Damajeria Dubose and Wright (3:47.92) came in 13th. The men’s 100m in the Beach Invitational saw Dyer (10.53) get his lifetime best for a sixth-place finish and Hern also logged a personal best of 10.61 for a ninth-


KENDALL’S FASTBALL Early Success V i n c e n t T a /HIGHLANDER Junior Alisha Brown takes the baton and races down the track. With help from her teammates, Brown is able to secure a healthy lead from UCSB in a March meet.

place finish. Dyer now ranks second in the conference and Hern ranks fourth. On the women’s side, Phoenisha Schuhmeir finished sixth in long jump with a distance of 5.76m. Tiffani Stone jumped 5.43m for a 19th finish and

Jazmine Lewis finished 31st with a leap of 5.29m. In the triple jump, Dubois (12.09) got sixth, Schuhmeir (11.15m) placed 26th and Stone (11.01m) finished in 19th. Deja Watkins achieved a new season best in discus throw ■H with a 47.38m toss for 13th.

The MLB season is under way and it feels great to get back into baseball mode. It is a very long season and although it has just begun, I want to zone in on the National League East Atlanta Braves and the success they have had thus far. The Braves’ NL East competitor Washington Nationals were given the upper hand to win the division, but the first two weeks are a testament that the Braves will not go down without a fight and reclaim the division that they dominated in the 90s. The Braves started out the season 11-1 with a 10game winning streak before it was snapped by the Kansas City Royals. They have had the help from their new acquisition Justin Upton, who leads the majors in home runs with nine and slugging percentage with .761. Upton last year did not hit his ninth homer until Aug. 3, 2012. Atlanta has been successful at the beginning of the season without its starting first baseman Freddie Freeman and All-Star Brian McCann, who both are on the DL. When they get those two guys back into the lineup, pitchers will have an even harder time getting outs. The Braves were at one point second in slugging percentage but have since dropped to eighth with .437. If I were to say that the Braves were to be first in the NL East division and have the second best record in MLB, you would call me crazy. But they have shown what they are capable of. Without McCann in the lineup, Evan Gattis, a pick up the Braves got over the off season, has been filling the hole nicely during the DL stint of McCann. Gattis has shown that he can be a great attribute to the ball club. He is only 26 years old, which adds young depth to an already young core to the Atlanta ball club. Let’s not forget about the pitching, which is one of the best and deepest in the league. In Atlanta’s first 13 games they only allowed 26 runs while scoring 68 runs. The pitching will be key for the Braves to go deep into the playoffs and have a chance to contend for the H Commissioner’s Trophy. ■




The women’s golf team started the first day strong, but tumbled out of the Fresno State Lexus Classic, placing 13 out of 15 teams. Amelia Ek led the Highlanders with a total score of 222. Long Beach State claimed the top spot, firing a team score of 892.

Julian Ruffin emerged as the only victor for UC Riverside in the university’s 6-1 loss to UC Irvine. The Irvine native won his match in a comfortable two sets, 6-4, 6-3.

The women’s tennis team wrapped up its regular season with 6-1 loss to Cal State Fullerton. The Highlanders finished the season on a ninegame losing streak, but will look to turn around their misfortune next week in the Big West Conference Championship in Indian Wells, Calif.

The men’s tennis team was swept by Big West foe UC Davis 7-0 on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Andulka Park in Riverside, Calif. The Highlanders were competitive in most matches, but fell short in singles and doubles.

Seniors Jimmy Roberts and Simon Peters celebrated Senior Day with two victories as the Highlanders fell to nationally-ranked Pacific 4-2. The UC Riverside Athletic Department provided free pizza for all students attending the match.

C o u rt e s y


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UCR A t h l e t i c s M e d i a R e l at i o n s

Senior Jimmmy Roberts prepares a forehand against Pacific Tigers.






Baseball gets swept by UC Davis, slides to sixth in Big West Matthew Guerrero CONTRIBUTING WRITER

April 16, 2013 Rebels 24 - Highlanders 11

The Highlanders came into Tuesday’s action against the Las Vegas Rebels as winners of 11 straight games at home, but fell to the Rebels 24-11. The team remains tied in the record books with the 1995 and 2003 teams for the most consecutive wins at home. Center fielder Devyn Bolasky and second baseman Nick Vilter led UCR with three hits each, while Francisco Tellez led the team with three RBIs in what was a productive offensive day for the Highlanders. However, they would be overshadowed because the Rebels did more damage against the Highlander pitching as shortstop T.J. White had seven hits and knocked in six runs. First baseman Patrick Armstrong recorded four hits and four RBIs for the Rebels. The Highlanders scored the first run of the contest when Joe Chavez scored on a passed ball after he received a walk to start the first inning. The Rebels would bring in three runs against starting pitcher Donovan Gonzales in the third with three straight singles, a sacrifice fly and a fielder’s choice. After taking the lead back in the bottom of the third, the Highlanders gave up six runs in the fourth inning and the Rebels continued the attack with seven more runs in the fifth to knock UCR’s pitching around.

Although the Highlanders managed to score runs the rest of the way, the deficit proved too much as the Rebels cruised to an easy 24-11 victory. Riverside’s pitching gave up the most hits since 2002 and fell to 17-15 overall on the season. April 19, 2013 Aggies 4 - Highlanders 3

UC Riverside traveled to UC Davis for a Big West Conference series and dropped the first game 4-3 to the Aggies. Clayton Prestridge led the Highlanders with two hits, while David Andriese knocked in two runs for the team. John Williams collected three hits for the Aggies. Highlander Francisco Tellez extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the first inning while Prestridge also singled in the first to extend his own hitting streak to 12. Riverside would take a 2-0 lead in the third inning, when Tellez reached on a fielder’s choice and would later score on an Andriese single. The Aggies would tie the game 2-2 in the third inning after a wild pitch allowed Adam Young to score and then John Williams tagged home on a sacrifice fly by Nick Lynch. Joe Chavez drew a walk in the fourth and scored on a double to left by Nick Vilter, as the hot Highlander offense took back the lead at 3-2. Adam Young would get the best of Highlander pitcher

V i n c e n t T a /HIGHLANDER S o p h o m o re s A l e x R u b a n o w i t z ( # 2 0 ) a n d N i c k Vi l t e r ( # 2 2 ) t a k e p r a c t i c e s w i n g s b e f o re s t e p p i n g u p t o t h e p l a t e i n a g a m e a g a i n s t S a i n t M a r y ’s i n M a rc h .

Dylan Stuart in the sixth inning, as he punched a single through the right side to give the Aggies a 4-3 lead. After this loss, the Highlanders earned their 10th straight Big West defeat on the road. April 20, 2013 Aggies 17 - Highlanders 4

After losing a close first game to the Aggies, the Highlanders fell 7-4 to Davis due to clutch hitting by the Aggies late in the game. Clayton Prestridge continued his hot hitting with three more hits, and Nick Vilter also picked up two hits and an RBI. David Andriese knocked in the first run of the game in the first inning when he lined out to score Francisco Tellez. In the second inning Adam Young drove in a run, tying the game

up at 1-1 for Aggies. UC Davis would score two runs in the fifth inning. Three innings later, Nick Vilter would score in the eighth after a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to one 4-3. Steve Patterson would scorch a three-run homer in the eighth inning, sealing the game for the Aggies. Although Vilter knocked in a run in the ninth, it wasn’t enough as the Highlanders dropped their second straight game to UC Davis. April 21, 2013 Aggies 19 - Highlanders 8

The Highlanders looked to take the final game of a three-game set against UC Davis after losing two straight, but were hit hard by the Aggies, losing 19-8. Mark Garcia pitched just three and two-thirds innings for Riverside, allowing

seven runs on 10 hits. Bart Steponovich had three hits for the Highlanders and David Andriese continued his big weekend with two more RBIs. The first inning started well for the Highlander offense as Clayton Prestridge singled and Andriese drove in a run to take an early 2-0 lead. A balk and a Paul Politi home run in the bottom of the second inning proved to be tough for UCR as the Aggies plated five runs in the inning to take a 7-2 lead. The Highlanders would score twice in the third, but the Aggies would come right back in the fourth and extend the lead to 10-4. The game would get out of hand as the Aggies kept their scoring up and added nine more runs before it was over, including a four-run inning in the seventh. The Highlanders couldn’t manage to sneak back into the game as they scored just one run in the ■H ninth inning.

Softball wins first conference game against UC Davis C o dy N g u y e n STAFF WRITER

April 18, 2013 Titans 11 - Highlanders 0

The Highlander softball team needed the help of the mercy rule to end its woes after five innings, during which they found themselves down an unfathomable 11 runs. Though the match remained scoreless after two innings, the Titans were quick to capitalize on three Highlander errors in the third inning to put six quick runs up on the board. Titan Ariel Tsuchiyama added another run for the Titans in the fourth. Four additional runs came in the fourth inning for Fullerton to cap off its huge 11-0 lead that would secure a quick victory for Fullerton. April 18, 2013 Titans 3 - Highlanders 1

Another tough match ensued for the Highlanders as they took the field for the second game of their doubleheader against Fullerton en route to a 3-1 defeat. Again, the Titans struck first with two runs off an Eliza

Crawford homer in the first inning. In the second, Titans Carissa Turang and Tiffany Sheffler hit a double to net Fullerton another run, increasing the lead to 3-0. Highlander pitcher Alyssa Razo performed exceptionally well the rest of the match, only allowing two hits and shutting the Titans out. However, the UCR offense could not find its groove as Natalie Sanchez’s RBI single was the only run the Highlanders could muster.

majority of the match as no scoring was to be found for UCR until their last gasp at the bottom of the seventh inning. Dionne Anderson singled to shortstop in the final half-inning of the match, allowing Marissa Escalante to score the team’s first and only run. April 21, 2013 Aggies 1 - Highlanders 0

April 20, 2013 Highlanders 8 - Aggies 5

UC Riverside’s softball team won its first conference match of the season in shootout fashion, topping the UC Davis Aggies by scoring eight runs at home. The Highlanders’ blitzkrieg of scoring started right from the getgo with Ashley Ercolano’s homer and Marissa Escalante’s triple putting three runs on the board for UCR. In the second inning, albeit not for long, Davis was able to steal the lead from the Highlanders with four straight runs. Highlander Nicolette Lujan tied the game with an RBI at the bottom of the second inning. Two innings later, the Highlanders

B rya n T u t t l e /HIGHLANDER F re s h m a n s t a r t i n g p i t c h e r A s h l e y E rc o l a n o k e p t F u l l e r t o n f ro m s c o r i n g i n t h e f i r s t t w o i n n i n g s , b u t l e t u p s i x r u n s i n t h e t h i rd .

scored four straight in the fourth which would prove to be enough for UCR to secure victory in game one. April 20, 2013 Aggies 3 - Highlanders 1

After their 8-5 victory, the Highlanders took the field for the final game of the double header

against UC Davis but fell 3-1. The match was a polar opposite of the high-scoring affair that took place a few hours prior. Both teams remained deadlocked at 0-0 through the first four innings. Davis finally broke the tie at the top of the fifth with three straight runs on the Highlanders’ starting pitcher Alyssa Razo. The Highlander offense was missing in action for the vast

After splitting the doubleheader Saturday, April 20 against the Aggies, the Highlanders concluded their three-game series against UC Davis in a decisive rubber match, falling 1-0. The first six innings saw absolutely no scores by either team. In the final inning, Aggie Chandler Wagner struck a single that paved the way for Kristin Bava’s RBI single to left field. Wagner’s run would be the only score of the game, as UC Davis was able to secure the 1-0 victory over UCR by shutting the Highlanders out. With the loss, UCR softball falls to 1-13 in conference play, with its next opportunity coming at home against Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday, April ■H 24.

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Volume 61 Issue 25

Volume 61 Issue 25  

Volume 61 Issue 25