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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 29

Serving the UCR community since 1954


UCR Highlander Newspaper


Campus task force releases 40 safety recommendations Dean Mayorga SENIOR STAFF WRITER



WHAT IS GOING ON WITH TAPS? In the first of a series of reports on the finances of campus departments, the Highlander investigates one of the most controversial issues on campus, the bleeding of money from Transportation and Parking Services. Page 7

The UCR Task Force on Campus Safety has released a list of 40 recommendations, also known as “action items,” based on existing campus and community security measures. Released on May 8, the recommendations were made publicly available on the task force’s page, found at The 40 potential safety initiatives include recommendations such as eliminating unsafe parking spots, increasing the number of police bike patrols, encouraging local apartment managers to participate in the Crime Free Multi-Housing program and increasing the number of emergency call boxes around campus. According to Chair of the Task Force and Associate Vice Chancellor Charles Rowley, the discussions behind the potential safety initiatives revolved around “promoting safety in areas around the campus, enhancing safety on campus and improving communications with faculty, staff and students about safety issues and resources.” He states that a wide array of staff, faculty, students and community members provided input, which either enhanced existing proposals or developed entirely new ones. Ultimately, no suggestions were excluded from the report. RECOMMENDATIONS CONT’D ON PAGE 6

W e s l e y N g /HIGHLANDER

UC Regents file restraining order against systemwide labor union Winnie Jeng STAFF WRITER

Issuing a notice to the UC Office of the President (UCOP), the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union (AFSCME) is planning to strike on May 21 and 22 to protest against reduced pensions and poor working conditions. UCOP considers the union’s threat of withholding medical service during the two-day strike as “grossly inappropriate,” since it would substantially endanger health care patients. In response, the UC is therefore pursuing a restraining order on the premise that any strike that poses a threat to public health or safety is illegal according to California state law. The union, which represents 12,900 workers across five UC medical centers and nine student health centers, received an overwhelming majority approval rate of 97 percent

to pursue the two-day strike. The patient technical workers voiced concerns of chronic understaffing, skyrocketing management payroll and exorbitant seven-figure pensions for top executives. Earlier this year, the union released a 31-page whistleblower investigation report, “A Question of Priorities,” revealing the dwindling patient care quality in conjunction with subsidizing excessive management costs and rising debt service payments. In the report, AFSCME accuses the UC of placing profit before patient care, jeopardizing not only its reputation as a premier, world-class facility, but also the well-being of its workers. Many medical care workers have reported feeling sorely burnt-out by the understaffing situation, while many more RESTRAINING ORDER CONT’D ON PAGE 5

INSIDE: Editorial: Students are ignored in the controversy surrounding a UCR professor’s resignation.



The Food Truck Festival gives the UCR campus a unique dining experience. PAGE 16


The first annual MCS student film festival loses its focus on students. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT


Baseball: UCR claws to a win against the Toreros, but loses close bouts to the Dirtbags.



C o u rt e s y o f T h e A g g i e AFSCME protestors temporarily shut down the UC Regents meeting held on May 15 in Sacremento.








TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013


Governor Brown’s revised budget removes unit cap requirement S a n dy V a n SENIOR STAFF WRITER

The release of Governor Jerry Brown’s revised budget on May 14, also known as the May Revision, supports a four-year freeze on UC tuition, allocates $2.8 billion to the UC system and discontinues a proposed 150-unit cap on state-subsidized courses for higher education. According to UC Vice President for Budget Patrick Lenz, Brown’s prudent budget upholds a multi-year agreement to return state funding back to the university system. However, critics say the budget needs to include $15 million in additional funds for the UCR School of Medicine, which is vital for addressing the physician shortage in the Inland Empire. The May Revision projects a 20 percent increase over a four-year period for the UC system in the 201314 academic year. The revised budget also calls for debt restructuring, support for online technology and discussions on performance measures by tracking a college student’s progress on their way to graduation. With prior passage of Proposition 30, sales and income tax funneled an additional $6 billion to the state’s General Fund. “As a result of the passage of Prop 30, we were able to receive $125 million that was associated with the tuition deferral and fee buyout,” Lenz said during the UC Board of Regents meeting. The budget revisions are expected to

uphold an extended four-year tuition freeze. Governor Brown, who is tasked with meeting the voter-approved constitutional amendment Proposition 98—which sets a minimum amount of funds for education— and paying down the state’s debt, expressed his desires to expedite a four-year graduation rate for students pursuing higher education. In his early January budget, he proposed a 150-unit cap on subsidized courses, which would have impacted 2,200 UC students in the 2013-14 academic year. However, due to the lack of support from the California State Legislature, Governor Brown discontinued the unit cap in his revised budget. The Senate and Assembly subcommittees previously rejected Governor Brown’s proposed unit cap on the basis that it was not a cost-effective measure and only served as a detrimental learning barrier for students. “While the premise of a unit cap is to ensure or help facilitate that students graduate within a reasonable time period, I think that there’s also a possibility that [a unit cap] will actually hurt students in terms of being able to gain the academic and educational experience that they want to gain at the CSU and UC,” said Student Regent-designate Cinthia Flores in a press release. Lenz also stated that the debt restructuring proposal is critical to

C o u rt e s y o f T h e S ac r a m e n t o B e e Unsurprisingly, Governor Brown did not include UCR’s Medical School in his May Revised budget.

preventing a tuition increase in future academic years. The proposal is expected to generate $80 million in additional revenue for each upcoming year. Following up on other priorities, Executive Vice President of Business Operations Nathan Brostrom stated that ongoing collaborations with the governor aim to provide $15 million in additional revenue for the UCR School of Medicine. With the belief that the state needs to increase contributions to UCR’s School of Medicine, Brostrom said, “This is an incredibly important facility not only for the UC but for the whole state. It is focused on primary-care physicians


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Quotebook “But it’s one that is unlike those of the past ... because we’re sailing into some rather uncertain times.”

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and adding them in an area that is the most underserved in the state, the Inland Empire.” Through the Affordable Care Act, there will be nearly 500,000 uninsured residents eligible for health care coverage by the beginning of 2014. In response to the recent news, Chancellor Jane Conoley replied, “We did not anticipate that funding for the UCR medical school would be included in the Governor’s May Revised budget, so it is not surprising. We are still hopeful of securing the state funding needed for [the] school through the legislative process.” Referring to AB 27 and SB 21, Chancellor Conoley expressed

gratitude to Senator Richard Roth and Assemblymember Jose Medina for their continuing efforts to provide funding for the medical school. Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives at the School of Medicine Kathy Barton also supported the legislative measures currently being enacted. “What is being requested in AB 27 and SB 21 is a very small investment, in part because UCR is not constructing a costly university hospital. Instead, the school will leverage its partnership with healthcare providers in the region—a partnership that will vastly expand access to medical care in the underserved Inland Southern California region,” she said. ■H



Dr. Temple Grandin HUB 302 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.


Community Service Fair and Food Rivera Library Archway 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.


UCR Choral Society - Folk Music of England, Scotland and Ireland ARTS 157 2 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

WOW Closing Ceremony HUB 260 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.


Baseball vs. Hawai’i Riverside Sports Complex 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

1st Annual Unity Grammys INTN 1002 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.


Baseball vs. Hawai’i Riverside Sports Complex 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

32nd Annual UCR POW-WOW UCR Sports Complex 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.


Baseball vs. Hawai’i Riverside Sports Complex 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

32nd Annual UCR POW-WOW UCR Sports Complex 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.






Saturation 2013 Back to the Grind 2 p.m. - 9 p.m.


Memorial Day All Day



- GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN, On the revised state budget

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Three and a half years ago, Highlander Editor-in-Chief Lillian Nguyen convinced me to review a performance at the Barn. At the time, I was a stubborn, hard-headed first-year student dead set on writing a novel, and despite my avid newspaper consumption, I never once considered journalism as an option for me. But after months of pleading, she struck a chord with my passion for music and coaxed me into the newspaper with the opportunity to interview a favorite musician of mine, Frank Turner. The interview was a trainwreck from its onset. Before the show even started, I got in a tiff with the Barn director for having set up an interview without him involved. Once that got sorted out, I was escorted to the Barn’s dimly lit makeshift green room, where I nervously sat down across from Turner and sputtered out a series of poorly-planned questions. He picked up on my inexperience and, once I admitted it was my first interview, helped walk me through it. We established a common ground through our mutual love of punk rock and soon salvaged a spirited chat. It was that conversation, and the thrill of creating the article that came out of it, that brought me back to the Highlander for my next writing gig. Both he and I have come a long way since the night of my first assignment in January 2010. Turner performed at the Opening Ceremonies of last summer’s Olympic Games in London at the personal request of fan and ceremony director Danny Boyle. I was hired as the editor-in-chief of the Highlander a year and a half later, and have since interviewed a number of other interesting people, from Will Ferrell to Governor Jerry Brown. After two years at the helm of UCR’s student newspaper, the time has come for me to pass it on to the next generation of editors. This issue of the Highlander will be my last as editor-in-chief. I leave the newspaper in 2013 an entirely different organization than the one I took over in 2011. Back then, the Highlander was a shell of its former self, having been hollowed by a collapse in advertising thanks to a devastating recession. Simply publishing the newspaper each week was an astonishing feat for the editorial board given the dire circumstances. When I was hired that spring, I inherited a newspaper that, despite its struggles, held an immense amount of potential. Today, I not only believe that potential has been realized, but it continues to reach new heights. The past two years have seen numerous areas of improvement, including launching a new website, doubling the number of paid student positions, completely redesigning the newspaper, introducing a number of new features and interactive content, expanding newspaper distribution to greater Riverside, launching the Channel H video network, fostering investigative reporting and shifting the general editorial philosophy to one guided by student interests. At a time when most student newspapers across the country have downsized and struggled to make ends meet, the Highlander has seen unprecedented growth, both in advertising revenue and overall quality of journalism. Now that the growing pains of the Highlander’s transformation are behind it, I can’t wait to see where the new editorial board takes it in the coming year. As I transition out of the editorship, I will return to my first love of writing as a columnist for the remainder of my time at UCR. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have worked with two immensely hardworking editorial boards and a whole host of talented writers, photographers, designers and staff. Each week they put in the long hours to produce what has become one of the most well-respected student newspapers in the state, and I will be forever grateful for their dedication to publishing quality journalism week in and week out. Finally, I would be remiss not to thank you, the reader, for your support of the Highlander over the years. I can think of few joys greater than the one I feel when I see a student reading a copy of the newspaper on campus. Each newspaper is produced with you in mind, and if my work has at all influenced your deeper engagement with the world around you, on campus or off, I will consider my editorship a success. Sincerely,

Chris LoCascio Editor-in-Chief, 2011-2013






have expressed concerns that the pace of services does not prioritize patients and the underinvestment in medical equipment risks compromising patient care. Regarding the problem of short-staffing, Todd Perez, a UCLA senior emergency medical technician stated, “Sometimes, you’ve already been driving all day and there are bad weather conditions … when you’re short-staffed, it’s much more tiring to be on the road. It’s not safe for us, for other drivers on the road or for the patients. You’re risking an accident.” In addition, Perez claims that hospital short-staffing can cause each worker to be unnecessarily and unconditionally indispensable during work hours. He explains that if even one person is absent due to illness or injury, the ambulance team may reach the end of a twelve-

hour shift without finding anyone to relieve them. Moreover, from 2009 to 2013, UC expanded management positions by 38 percent, adding $100 million to the annual payroll. However, “Hiring more and more managers does not translate into greater productivity,” says the report. While the administrators’ salaries and management positions are continuously inflating, frontline patient care workers’ salaries and retirement benefits are shrinking. AFSCME believes it is the right and duty of the workers to demand for fairworker treatments, thereby increasing the overall quality of the service. AFSCME demands more state oversight and an audit of UC staffing, management and financial practices before more taxpayer dollars are committed to the UC Health system. Although the UC has been in negotiation with AFSCME since June of 2012,

negotiations have reached a stalemate. As part of the negotiations, the UC offered a competitive four-year contract for patient care employees that includes up to 3.5 percent wage increases per year for four years, health care benefits now and upon retirement, better working conditions and a safe work environment. Nevertheless, AFSCME leaders refused to come to terms with UC’s negotiation proposal, insisting that the UC should accept their demands in full with no alternatives. “UC will continue to be open to compromise and do what it can on its side of the negotiating table to reach a fair and financially responsible contract for employees. But UC cannot do it alone. AFSCME leaders must engage in a substantive way,” reads a UC report entitled, “Facts about UC-AFSCME Patient Care Technical Negotiations.” “By encouraging a possible strike among our patient

TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013


C o u rt e s t o f T h e B e r k e l e y P o l i t i ca l R e v i e w AFSCME 3299 plans to hold a two-day strike form May 21-22.

care employees, AFSCME is attempting to use patient care as a tool in contract negotiations … Patients are not bargaining chips,” continued the report. UC Riverside is likely to escape the campus-wide worker strike, said Kris Lovekin, UCR’s Director of Media Relations. “The school

has made adequate provisions and pre-arrangements with the local clinics to help out at University’s Student Health Center during the two-days strike in case of worker shortage,” said Lovekin. “UC Riverside will be least affected by the strike among the 10 campuses, so UCR students ■H ought not to worry.”


TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013



Thirteen medical workers arrested during UC Regents meeting Dean Mayorga SENIOR STAFF WRITER

The UC Board of Regents meeting was held in conjunction with a two-day joint advocacy event that allowed UC students and regents to lobby Sacramento lawmakers. UC President Mark Yudof delivered a State of the University address after nearly 13 UC medical union workers were arrested by police for holding a sit-in protest at the onset of the meeting. Another topic of concern included rising professional degree supplemental tuition (PDST), which is not addressed by Governor Jerry Brown’s May Revision of the state budget. Assembled by multiple UC labor unions, systemwide medical workers demonstrated to condemn the stalled contract negotiations over pension reform. Unions, such as AFSCME 3299, plan to strike from May 2122. Yudof announced that while the university administration is open to dialogue with the workers, it is seeking a legal injunction to minimize the effects of the strike. “Let no one in this room be unaware that this is a threat to the safety of the patients,” said Yudof. “It would cost the university $10 million dollars a day, and of course it would cost the employees money—those who participated.” Yudof emphasized that all current employees retain all their benefits under the current pension plan. He reminded the audience members, many of whom were members of the strike, that pension reform was needed for maintaining UC fiscal stability. Riverside campus recognized through UC President’s Award After a final call for negotiaRECOMMENDATIONS FROM PAGE 1

Chief of Police Mike Lane, Assistant Police Chief John Freese and Lieutenant Andy Flores of the Riverside Police were involved in every task force meeting. “We collectively provided the group with details about the recent crime trends and the police-related efforts to detect and deter crimes in

tion on pension reform, Yudof then proceeded to announce the winners of the UC President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership. UC Student Association (UCSA) President Raquel Morales and Jonathan Lee, the University Affairs Committee Chair of UCSA, accepted the award on behalf of UC We Vote. UCR’s Healing Highlanders was the second recipient. The group’s founding president, Mariel Bello, along with president-elect Fabiola Escobedo, accepted the award on behalf of its efforts. “Our student organization is very proud to receive this award [for helping] students in recovery from addictive disorders [because] students feel that they can be a part of that home,” Bello said. Public comment period results in 13 arrests During the public comment period, six UC medical workers delivered heated speeches regarding pension reform. According to UC spokesperson Peter King, the UC Regents were temporarily forced to evacuate the premises after a brief protest broke out, which resulted in the arrest of 13 people. Kathryn Lybarger, President of AFSCME 3299 and one of the arrested protesters, condemned the misappropriation of resources from patient care to company executive benefits. “We’re about to see hundreds of thousands of new patients come in to UC medical centers as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) comes on line,” Lybarger stated. “Yet on the brink of this, we are seeing decisions being made by UC executives that are only bad for patients.” UCSF medical employee Brenda

Turner also referenced the ACA, saying that it will increase the number of eligible uninsured patients, but medical centers such as UCSF will be too understaffed. “[The UC wants] to cut 300 full-time career positions at UCSF medical center … That is going to adversely affect patient care [so] give us a fair offer and we will settle. Ninety-seven percent of our membership voted to strike because we haven’t gotten one yet.”

After the public comment period, audience members began to shout slogans and chants such as “patient care!” UC Board of Regents Chair Sherry Lansing asked the group to settle down, giving them three warnings before she stated that they would have police clear the room. The regents were forced to evacuate the room, and the protesters were apprehended. UCSA President communicates student concerns After returning from recess, UCSA President Raquel Morales delivered a presentation on campus climate, the UC’s proposed financial

aid policies and the possibility of increased PDST levels, which will be decided upon during the July regents meeting. Morales referred to the recent campus climate survey, which revealed tensions among ethnic groups and low tolerance levels on a systemwide level, and questioned how effectively the regents will use the results to enact system-wide changes. Switching topics to PDST, Morales expressed concerns about the shift from academic to professional programs. Additionally, students may be shut out of dialogue dealing with PDST since it is scheduled to be voted upon in July when most students will be out of school. Earlier on in the meeting, UC Student Regent Jonathan Stein shared similar sentiments about PDST. “In reality, we’ve been able to hold undergraduate and PhD tuition constant and professional school tuition has continued to rise,” he said. Governor Brown seeks faster graduation rates After returning from a lunch break, UC Provost Aimee Dorr delivered an academic performance indicators report which depicted UC freshman graduation rates, Pell grant recipients and undergraduate satisfaction on UC campuses. Based on the bi-annual UC Undergraduate Experience Survey (UCUE) in 2012, 82 percent of UC undergraduates reported having a positive overall academic experience. But the survey also revealed that only 60 percent of undergraduates believe that the value of a UC education equates to the price of tuition. UC Riverside was reported as having the second-highest percent-

age of Pell grant recipients behind UC Merced. “Eighty percent of our freshmen who entered in fall 2005 and received a Pell grant graduated in six years ... while students who entered without [them] graduated at 84 percent,” Dorr said. Pell grants are awarded to families that earn less than $50,000 a year. Governor Jerry Brown attempted to gain a better understanding about the solutions offered through the statistics on graduation rates. He hopes college campuses will achieve an 80 percent graduation rate within fouryears “I don’t get excited about six years. To me, four years is the norm,” Brown said. Regent Richard Blum responded that certain majors such as engineering may hold stricter and more numerous requirements compared to other majors. Regent Eddie Island emphasized that increasing graduation rates also requires increasing faculty and class sizes. Island reasoned that the survey results should not lay groundwork for stringent graduation requirements, which may end up limiting academic accessibility for underrepresented minorities. In UC President Yudof’s State of the University address, he presented his assessment of the UC system over his six-year term in office, which included the UC’s above-average acceptance of first generation and low-income students. “The numbers do underscore the university’s rare and defining ability to serve vast numbers of disadvantaged students, while still producing research of world-class quality,” Yudof said. “Many universities can achieve one of these two results. But it’s quite rare to achieve both.” ■H

the impacted area,” stated Lane. “This provided the larger group with some framework to build upon and develop the ideas in the overall list.” According to Lane, every member in the task force was involved in the development of the recommendations. As one of three undergraduates of the task force, ASUCR Vice President of Internal Affairs Kevin Jo went into some detail about some

of the proposed initiatives during last week’s senate meeting. Jo specifically discussed a vanpool transportation service that would be made available at night. “So [the van] is going to pick up students from Coffee Bean, and it’s going to do a two mile loop around the UC Riverside campus, so a total diameter of four miles,” Jo explained. “If the apartment is close, they’ll

just go. The great thing about this compared to a trolley is that they’ll literally take you from the Coffee Bean to your doorstep.” Jo states that the van only requires the driver to own a regular commercial license, unlike the trolley, which requires drivers to hold a special license. He says the van initiative is slated to start as early as summer or in the fall of this year at the latest.

Samantha McCamey, a fourthyear anthropology major, called the vanpool “extremely useful and productive.” Highlighting the utility of the vans that travel to and from University Towers, she said she would use the vanpool because “some nights, you feel a little bit eerie, and especially if there’s an increase in the amount of criminal activity going around.” Third-year biology major Lianna Damargi also expressed support, but indicated that re-instituting the trolley system would be more effective. “I like it too, it’s just that they used to have trolleys around here, maybe they should bring that back ... I feel like the trolley was a lot more convenient, it had a lot more stops,” she said. Also among the forty initiatives are a proposed website where all safety resources can be found, the improvement of lighting at the Falkirk and Oban apartments, the deployment of open-area cameras at places such as the University Extension Center and a campus database of electronic devices. Although the task force was not given a budget, Rowley states, “Almost 60 percent of the proposals are in the ‘low or medium’ cost categories, so the campus has a wide spectrum of potential projects to consider and adopt.” The recommendations range from no new cost to anywhere in between $1,000 to $5,000. The task force will discuss the recommendations through a public open house on May 23 from noon to 1 ■H p.m. in HUB 302.

“I don’t get excited about six years. To me, four years is the norm.” -Governor Jerry Brown



TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013


RUNNING ON EMPTY The TAPS budget crisis

W e s l e y N g /HIGHLANDER The costs of parking permits will gradually increase to compensate for the major budget deficits TAPS is expected to suffer within the next few years. TAPS expects to be profitable by the end of the 2014-15 school year.


Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS), a department that oversees the needs of a campus full of commuters, has recently found itself in a financial crisis. For the past two years, the service has operated at a net loss totaling over $200,000. As a result, TAPS was forced to reduce its spending, cut programs and eliminate positions, but still the department finds itself in dire financial straits. The Highlander spoke with Interim Director of TAPS Greg Artman to discuss these monetary struggles. During the interview, Artman revealed that TAPS has been operating at a loss since the 2011-12 school year when it saw a net loss of $31,431. The downward trend has since continued, with the department expected to lose an estimated $178,305 this year. By the end of the 2013-14 school year, TAPS projects it will lose another $260,382. Artman explained that the service is not earning enough revenue to make a profit. He claims the cause of the revenue drop is directly proportional to the rising gas prices. “It seems the demand drops whenever the gasoline prices go up,” he said. “People don’t seem to be driving as much.” According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, gas prices have indeed risen. From 2011 to 2012, gas prices rose from $3.86 per gallon to $4.08. During that time, the revenue of TAPS actually increased from $6,305,394 to $6,922,192. It was only until this past year that the revenue actually started to decline, falling sharply by about $900,000. The department has operated in the red because its expenses are still toppling its revenue. To combat the losses, TAPS will continue to reduce its expenses by about $700,000 this year in hopes of turning things around. According to Artman, five positions within TAPS were eliminated in order to make those reductions possible. This led to a drop in total payroll expenses. However, employee benefits are

projected to go up from $775,709 to $811,148 this year. Currently, the revenue the department makes goes to fund parking lot maintenance, parking lot construction and other services

“I think for the $99, they should let us park in more than three lots.” -UCR student Pegah Rashidi

such as the Vanpool and the RTA UPASS programs. Operating at a loss has meant that certain services had to be cut. The trolley system, for example, was one popular service that had to be axed due to cost. “They’re expensive,” Artman said. “The assessment would be made anywhere between $1.1 million to $1.9 million, depending on how many trolleys we want to run ... You would have to increase the fees by 21 percent.” According to some students, the current rates they have to pay are high enough. UCR students currently have the option of paying as low as $33 per month for parking permits, which accumulates to $99 per quarter. That option allows students to park in Lots 26, 30 and 50. Students feel that the parking options they have are very limited and that the money they pay does not reflect the services they get. “When I think about it, just for one quarter, [it’s] $99 ... I think it’s kind of expensive,” said Tanya Lieu, a global studies major who commutes to campus. Others have suggested further options for making the commuting experience easier on students. “There should be more student parking closer to campus,” added Bryant Rivas, a biology major and commuter. “I think for the $99, they should

let us park in more than three lots,” said microbiology major Pegah Rashidi. Artman cautioned that some of those suggestions may not come to fruition at the the current rate. “We do try to provide the best service we can for the amount of money that the students pay,” he said, adding, “At this point, we kind of have what we have.” Artman said that he understands why students feel the prices are too high, but he also pointed out that the rates of UCR’s parking services are generally lower than most UC campuses. “We are probably less than half of what UCLA or UC Irvine are charging,” he said. At $33 per month, UCR’s cheapest parking permit fee is indeed lower than those of of UCI and UCLA. Irvine’s cheapest option, for instance, charges students $62 a month. The cheapest option that UCLA offers students is $213 per quarter, which ends up being about $71 a month. “We want to make sure that whatever we’re doing, we’re not charging people an exorbitant amount, or at least relative to what other institutions are charging,”

he said. “Right now, we’re sort of in the bottom of the scale and we would like to keep it that way.” Despite the current financial dilemma that TAPS faces, Artman stated that TAPS plans to pick it-

“We do try to provide the best service we can for amount of money that the students pay.” -Interim Director of TAPS Greg Artman

self up within the next few years. The plan will likely hurt students’ pockets, however. “We’re asking … to go into a deficit for a couple of years and then gradually increase the rates so that we can cover all of our costs … We are going to have cost increases and permit and fee increases to make sure we’re at a break-even position,” he said. Artman went on to explain that TAPS still has sufficient reserve

funds to keep the service operating for the next few years. “We still have cash in the bank. So at the end of the school year of 2011-12, we had almost $1.3 million dollars,” said Artman, referring to the program’s reserved accumulated earnings. But even with those reserves, Artman also admitted that a great majority of that money was lost just this past year. The reserves are projected to fall to $570,000 this year—a drop of more than 50 percent. With the current plan to reduce expenses and generate revenue, TAPS is expected to begin making a profit again by the end of the 2014-15 school year. After that, the department is projected to thrive and make as much as $1 million in profit by the end of the 201718 school year. Artman hopes that those profits will make up for the money the department has lost, and also hopes that it will get them to a break-even point. “We try to serve the campus the best that we can,” Artman concluded. “We realize that there is no way to make everybody in the campus community happy … but we do try to H provide the best service we can.” ■

G r ap h i c TAPS is expected to lose $260,382 by the end of the 2013-14 school year.


B r and y C o at s /HIGHLANDER


TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013



ASUCR senators ref lect on success of Food Truck Festival Michelle Che CONTRIBUTING WRITER


The ASUCR meeting on Wednesday, May 15 focused on the success of the Food Truck Festival, the restructuring of subcommittee reports and the introduction of new legislation by the Legislative Review Committee (LRC). The Executive Cabinet (ECAB) delivered its reports for the week, with President Liam Dow announcing that freshman fellow Ravin Rathod would be succeeding Jane Kim as ASUCR’s web director as of Friday, May 17. With the attendance of 3,000 students, ASUCR also lauded the success of the Food Truck Festival, despite the problem of long lines. The senate eagerly anticipated next year’s event, with Senator Chris Salvador ambitiously announcing, “We expect to have over 20 food trucks next year.” The success of the event was credited to undergraduate student and Student United Way Ambassador Elliot

Thompson, who proposed the idea and helped direct the event, along with Jo, Salvador, Senator Spencer Castrellon, Senator Brian Leung, Vice Chief Justice Mark Orland and Circle K International. Senators attributed the success to high overall student turnout and involvement. Parliamentarian Christopher Sanchez next reported that the executive branch (ECAB) subcommittee reports have been incorrectly structured during ASUCR’s meetings. Instead of keeping action items and policy items distinct—action items are projects that the senate must vote to approve, while policy items do not require a vote—ASUCR merged both action and policy items into a single section, subcommittee reports. The merge violates a section of Robert’s Rules of Order, the guide for conducting parliamentary meetings. In addition, because the ECAB and senate rotate reports on a bi-weekly basis, executive officers and senators used the public forum period to present their views when they were barred

from delivering reports. In response, Sanchez announced that future meetings would delineate action items and policy items, with action items falling under subcommittee reports and policy items gaining a new section, special reports. The new section would also allow each branch the opportunity to provide greater input, even when it is not their week to report. Sanchez enforced the ruling during the meeting to demonstrate how the section would work in future meetings. President Pro Tempore Sai Patadia, chair of the Legislative Review Committee (LRC), brought up the most-debated topic of the night when he proposed changes to current bylaws that would give students additional notice when “controversial” legislation would be brought to the senate. An argument over the word “controversial” ensued, with some members raising questions over whether it was the purview of the LRC to decide what was considered controversial. Members also debated over whether to apply the rule change during the current academic year or at the start of the next academic year, with some senators arguing that it would prevent the senate from passing legislation for the remainder of the school year.

W e s l e y N g /HIGHLANDER Kevin Jo encourages everyone to get a free “solar smoothie” at an upcoming event he helped organize with CALPIRG.

Dow advocated for the senate to adopt the changes, saying, “We are fixing a transparency thing … I think it’s important to make a stand to be more transparent.” Academic Affairs Director Shadi Matar agreed that “the spirit behind this is good,” but expressed concerns over its implementation. It was later suggested by Dow to clarify deadlines and change the text in the bylaw from “potentially con-

troversial” to “necessary to outreach beyond normal procedures.” But his aims were frustrated when only two senators voted in favor of the proposal. Senator Aaron Johnson motioned to send the bylaw back to the LRC for further discussion and revision, saying “People obviously did not come to this meeting prepared” by having read the contents of the changes, as is required by the ASUCR Required Reading bylaw. ■H



TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013





Managing Editor

Chris LoCascio

Michael Rios

News Editor

Asst. News Editor

Sandy Van

Dean Mayorga



Opinions Editor

Colin Markovich

A&E Editor

Rebecca Paredes

Features Editor

Michael Rios

Sports Editor

Darren Bueno

Photography Editor

Asst. Photo Editor

Wesley Ng

Leena Butt

i l l u s t r at i o n b y

“The distinctive mission of the University is to serve society as a center of higher learning, providing long-term societal benefits through transmitting advanced knowledge, discovering new knowledge, and functioning as an active working repository of organized knowledge,” the mission statement of the University of California proclaims. These three core pillars—extensive commitment to the pursuit of public service, advancement of ground-breaking research and provision of a world-class higher education—distinguish the UC as a beacon above the rest of the world of higher academia. Each UC campus strives to follow these guiding lights that illuminate the path to a better university. When assistant professor of biochemistry Dr. Schoepf resigned in a less-than-amicable departmental scuffle, it became clear that at UC Riverside, one core light in particular has faded from view: the university’s duty to offer its students the best learning opportunities possible. Schoepf initially taught Biochemistry 100, an introductory upper-division course required for many natural science majors. But halfway through the quarter, she was dismissed in a controversial manner following an alleged conflict of interest. What followed was a rapid succession of two new professors in as many weeks. The course underwent a massive restructuring that, according to students from the class, distracted from the learning environment, created a sense of uncertainty and put students far behind schedule in a course vital for their degree. Not only was the dismissal an extremely problematic waste of precious time during a 10-week course, but the disruption occurred twice: once in the transition from Schoepf to Dr. Paul Larsen, and again when Dr. Larsen gave way to newly-promoted associate instructor Ashley Alvarez. Consider that students need to learn and process all of the material of an entire course in the span of just 10 weeks to create the bridge necessary for the next course. Knowing this, the biochemistry department thought it would be a brilliant idea to substitute Shoepf with a professor who had taken a sabbatical leave and

was already preoccupied with his own research. Just in case students did not have enough stress in a challenging science course, they decided to spice things up by parachuting in a totally new professor. Just two weeks later, Alvarez, up until that point a teaching assistant, was named associate instructor, and now has to adjust to her new position while she cleans up the mess the department has left. Both Larsen and Alvarez are undoubtedly intelligent and knowledgeable of the material; however, that does not make up for the learning challenges the students will have to ultimately overcome. Both have different teaching styles from Schoepf, and students must now adapt themselves to a completely new teaching format with a completely new professor. According to studies conducted in 2009 and 2011, the two-time substitution was by far the worst move that the university could have chosen, as students have been found to underperform academically when constantly exposed to substitute teachers. Schoepf was already expected to resign before the new academic year began— why not wait until then to begin the restructuring of the course? If UCR had planned to remove Schoepf earlier, why not plan accordingly to dismiss Schoepf at the beginning or end of the quarter? And why not have a single replacement ready? Students in BCH 100 were also subjected to the emotional turmoil of frustration, confusion and anger that came from Schoepf’s dismissal. The fact that over 500 students went out of their way to sign a petition to reinstate Schoepf reveals the disruption was not just a small mishap. Learning requires a positive environment, but the removal of Schoepf only served to make students unsure of the future of the course. Every time a new professor tagged in, review sessions of previous material were presented, setting the entire class back. On the positive side, students did receive extra review sessions, even if they did take up time that could have been used to present new material. But these review sessions would not have been necessary in the first place if the department had better organized its dismissal process. Between learning a new teaching style twice, suffering through redundant review

B r and y C o at s /HIGHLANDER

sessions and dealing with extensive uncertainty, students have faced the brunt of the fallout from the Schoepf dismissal. What’s more, students were forced to shoulder these stresses halfway through the quarter—just in time for the beginning of midterm season. Students do not need additional worries on top of alreadypressing academic struggles. But this is exactly what the biochemistry department did when Schoepf was forced to resign during the fourth week of spring quarter. The department may argue that the removal of Schoepf was in fact necessary to improve students’ academic experience, but if so, they could have made the transition smoother for students by limiting the number of review sessions and transitions from professor to professor. The first priority the biochemistry department should have considered was the learning situation of the students. But instead they toppled the UC’s core priority of educating students by forgetting the students. By replacing Schoepf with a professor on sabbatical leave and ultimately leaving the class to a newly-promoted associate instructor, students have suffered the ramifications of the department’s disregard for student learning. Hopefully mercy will be provided to students through a generous curve and grant them a waiver from the disrupted teaching of introductory biochemistry curriculum. But a grading curve will not hide the fact that due to the biochemistry’s mismanagement of the transition period, students will come out of the class without knowing as much as they could have. In the debate over whether Schoepf should stay or go, the voices of the ones impacted most by a decision—the students—were lost. It’s too late at this point to change the decision. But the ramifications will certainly live on. And next time, the biochemistry department should look for enlightenment in the UC’s mission statement that sets student learning so ■H high on its agenda. 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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TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013


Opinion Poll Do you feel safe on campus?

Carolina Navarro, fifthyear English and sociology double major: “I don’t feel safe when I walk to my car alone or when I am on campus during the evening hours.”

Annie Chung, fourthyear anthropology / law and society major: “Most of the time I feel safe but certain areas where the apartments are located, I do not feel as safe.”


Khaykhouan Phetamphone, second-year media and cultural studies major: “Yes, I feel extremely safe on campus. UC Riverside is, I feel, one of the most safest campus around.”

Erika Cisneros, secondyear biological sciences major: “Yes, I feel that the campus has plenty of resources to make me safe; for example, the campus safety escort service helps in making me feel safe.”


Jinyoung Ko

Taher Bhaijee, fourthyear biology and history major:“I feel safe on campus. Generally, I think that certain areas around campus are more prone to crime which is the same as any other major city.”

Future of medical marijuana lies in the hands of local governments J o s h ua W a g o n b l a s t STAFF WRITER

The battle for the legality of marijuana has raged on for years in California. Since 1996, the sale and use of medical marijuana has been permitted under Proposition 215. But the substance has not technically been permissible due to federal law, which declares the drug illegal even for medical usage. The conflict between California and the federal government should slightly subside due to a unanimous decision by the California Supreme Court to allow municipalities throughout the Golden State to decide whether or not medical dispensaries can set up shop in their districts. The issue that arises from this progressive step is that it may cause a stir between state and local governments. The court’s ruling puts all the power in the hands of California’s cities and counties, which can then ultimately determine the fate of medical marijuana and its proprietors. The court’s decision is controversial, but one that is ultimately valid and beneficial for people. Although municipalities have been granted final say on the presence of medical marijuana in their jurisdiction, some will argue that the state, which made medical marijuana legal to begin with, should give the final word on whether or not cities actually have the right to ban the product. For the sake of convenience and to provide an easier way for the public to hash out the issue, I am all for putting the decision in the hands of the municipalities. State law does override municipal law and the Tenth

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Getty Images

Under the California Supreme Court’s ruling, local cities have the authority to close medical marijuana dispensaries in their borders.

Amendment does grant powers not controlled by the federal government to state governments under the Constitution. But a state’s supreme court decision beats out state law. So if California does decide to draft legislation instituting a law that medical dispensaries are permitted everywhere, it will be void. This is not to say that individual cities have the right to essentially nullify state laws that they disagree with. Rather, in this specific case, if the majority of people in a certain municipality want

to see the eviction of medical dispensaries, then they have the right to ban medical marijuana dispensaries despite medical marijuana still being legal. The choice to condense the power down to municipalities is a rational decision because it provides a better glimpse into where medical marijuana is wanted or needed, providing a better perspective into where the product can be profitable and medically beneficial. As a result, accessibility to medical marijuana may no longer guaranteed, and

traveling to dispensaries will now be a big issue for patients. The ruling also means that there is the possibility of seeing a complete disappearance of clinics in California, and would basically imply marijuana’s illegality even if establishing a dispensary is still legal under state law. On that note, if majority rules, it is hard to argue with the consensus. There are many options to keep medical dispensaries in certain municipalities; one possibility is to establish an opportunity for residents

to vote on the issue within their cities. A popular vote would provide for solid representation and allow for the appropriate action to be taken. A second option would be to petition the prohibition, if one were to be instated. Some municipalities have already instituted a ban, including Riverside. There have been complaints, but if medical dispensaries truly are wanted, there are ways to reinstitute the policy. The third suggestion is to create legislation that would force the state government to determine which areas are most suitable for medical marijuana dispensaries. From that point, citizens can vote on whether or not the state should be able to regulate the clinics and determine their location. Letting the cities and counties of California have control over the regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries is not a poor decision. The ruling allows for a better way to provide medical marijuana to populations that are most in need of it. Some municipalities have higher rates of crime and could use the ban to lower criminal activity in their neighborhood. Others have residents in need of more medical attention. The Supreme Court’s ruling is an effective way to encompass the best interests of the people that are better represented by a condensed and organized plan. There will be a slight uproar from those who protest the ban, but medical marijuana is not illegal everywhere and there are opportunities for change. As simple as it may sound, the truth is that the cities who want their marijuana can have ■H their marijuana.



TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013


Increase flexibility for residence hall students’ dining plans B r a n dy C oa t s CONTRIBUTING WRITER

At the beginning of each year, we must determine the way we will live as UCR students. To live on campus or to commute is one of the most financially impactful decisions we face, due to the high price of UCR housing. Dining plans, overseen by UCR Housing, are currently required for residents without the option to change plans. Research shows that students can benefit from living on campus, yet the mandatory and strict nature of dining plans may discourage students from doing so. In order to benefit UCR and its students, Housing and Dining Services should make meal plans cheaper and more convenient. UCR currently requires each resident living in Lothian, Pentland, Aberdeen-Inverness and Glen Mor to have a meal plan. Meal plans are broken down into five options, each with a different amount of dining dollars. Listed prices do not differentiate housing and dining expenses, but one can see that living in a residence hall with a meal plan costs anywhere from $13,480 to $16,180 for one year. UCR’s Housing FAQ states, “All Residence Hall residents must have a Dining Plan as part of their living package.” However, no explanation is given for this rule. Perhaps the price is justified by UCR Policies and Procedures, which says, “Auxiliary or self supporting enterprises should attempt to charge their customers the full cost of providing the good and/ or service while delivering high quality services in a cost effective manner.” If this is the case, Dining Services simply requires meal plans for students for living on campus to address the need to make “full cost of providing the good.” The responsibility of Dining Services to ensure profit is then passed down as a burden to students who must pay for large amounts of food that are costly and not necessarily desired. Another possible reason for forced dining plans is

V i nc e n t T a /HIGHLANDER Lothian’s Dining hall often features hearty modern cuisine for students. Though the food isn’t terrible, there leaves much to be desired.

the notion of convenience for first-year students. According to the UCR Housing website, benefits of living on campus include no cooking, cleaning, or shopping. But whether mandatory meal plans intend to benefit Dining Services or students, they still burden students.

Residents with the HighlanderUnlimited plan also yearn to change their plan after discovering its ironically limited setup. Many students may agree that having food readily available between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. almost every day is a good deal. However, the cost of these plans can also create hardships for students. Second-year business major Janice Aceituno states, “After financial aid covered all expenses, I got a refund check that was not enough to buy even one book that I needed for class. To pay for the books, I had to take out another loan.” When students cannot afford to purchase academic items because of inflated

living expenses, the “firstyear experience” becomes problematic. If students in this situation were able to live on campus without a dining plan, they could use that money to purchase food more effectively, allowing them to use the remainder of their finances for other essential products. Meal plans also create inconveniences for residents who wish to lower their meal plan. Currently, students may not lower their meal plan after signing a Housing contract. Last year, sociology major Ana Martinez purchased the Highlander-180 plan, a middle ground option for students, allowing 180 swipes and 125 dining dollars quarterly. She soon realized that it was not the best choice for her. “I wasn’t able to go to the [dining hall] all [180] times,” Martinez related. She regretted choosing that plan, which was covered by student loans. When Martinez attempted to change her meal plan at the beginning of the second quarter, she was told she could purchase a more expensive plan, but not a cheaper one. In order to avoid expensive meal plans altogether, Martinez has since moved into an

apartment off campus. Residents with the Highlander-Unlimited plan also yearn to change their plan after discovering its ironically limited setup. These students may swipe at A&I or Lothian Dining Hall as many times as they wish throughout the year, but are restricted from swiping at the Culinary Chameleon and Lo’Go! Cafe.

...the unappealing system implemented by Dining Services discourages students from wanting to live on campus... Prior to this year, students had unlimited swipes at these campus restaurants. According to second-year Dining Services employee Christine Muñoz, this privilege was rescinded due to students “abusing the power” by providing meals for multiple people. Though that may be true, students paying the most for their dining plans deserve to have the most options. Dining Services could prevent exploitation of

these high-cost services by allowing one swipe per meal time—the current setup for the Highlander-120 and Highlander-180 plans. UCR Dining Services should consider the current inconveniences of its meal plans if it wants to increase on-campus residency. According to the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, oncampus residents perform better academically than offcampus residents. Strategic Academic Research and Analysis reports that 69% of UCR undergraduates lived off-campus in 2012. UCR is dissatisfied with this statistic, evident in last year’s “You’re not really going to UCR unless you’re staying at UCR” marketing strategy. But the unappealing system implemented by Dining Services discourages students from wanting to live on campus past their first year. Students already pay dining fees at the beginning of each quarter. Allowing a student to change their meal plan at this time should not dramatically affect the processing of these payments. Making dining plans optional and flexible would increase students willingness’ to stay on campus, benefiting students and UCR Housing ■H and Dining Services.


TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013



Guns on college campuses: what can go right? Courtney Parker CONTRIBUTING WRITER

With the multiple recent shootings that have occurred around the United States, the controversial lack of restrictions on gun ownership needs to be addressed. The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. begs the question: Should it be so easy to obtain a gun, even after travesties like Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech? The “campus carry” bill passed May 6 by the Texas House of Representatives would allow citizens with a concealed handgun license to bring their weapon to college campuses. The “campus carry” bill will also allow students to carry their concealed firearms in classrooms, as long as they are 21 years old and have a permit. Despite an unfortunate January shooting at a Texas community college, in which three people were shot by a 22-year-old man, the Texas House of Representatives managed to pass this particular bill and send it to the state Senate. President Obama is trying to take action in enforcing and enhancing the gun control laws throughout the United States. One of these changes is reforming the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act so states can share information regarding mental health issues among potential gun purchasers, strengthening the background check system. Like many other states, Texas requires its citizens to have a clean criminal and mental health record, as well as pass a gun ownership course to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon. It was reported in 2011 that Texas had a firearm assault rate of 58.28 per 100,000 people, compared to California’s 45.39. According to the New York Times, states that implement fewer regulations on gun usage are also the states that have the highest death rates by guns. Texas is number 23 on that list; California is the 40th.

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T h e U n i v e r s i t y D a i ly K an s an

California’s stricter gun regulations correlate with lower rates of gun assaults.

It is necessary to check one’s criminal and mental health history, as it is a risk factor for the horrid incidents of Sandy Hook and Columbine. However, a spotless record may not be enough to allow us all to sleep soundly at night. There can be just one person, who despite having a squeaky-clean background check, who may still have dangerous internal thoughts of committing mass murder. Jack Levin, professor of criminology and sociology, says, “Many gunmen have a clean criminal history— they are just having a really bad day.” While committing mass murder because of a bad day may seem ridiculous, Levin is correct. A potential shooter may have a clean psychological and criminal record at the time of the gun purchase, only to go on a shooting rampage after he or she has passed the background check and bought a gun. President Obama is correct to augment current gun laws, but this alone is not enough. Obama would essentially keep the process the same, except with stricter guidelines. Instead

of simply purchasing a gun and walking away, extra steps should be added onto the process of obtaining a firearm. Like numerous products that require a trial period, guns should also have the same requirement. Wisconsin and Connecticut, among other states, implement waiting periods before the gun owner can physically be in possession of his or her weapon. Such waiting periods should be the case for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Those who successfully obtain a firearm after passing both the background check and the gun courses should be required to adhere to a certain trial or probation period to which the gun owner proves that his or her intentions of owning the weapon are not destructive. The trial period must be universal for all states, and if the agreements are broken, the consequences must be more severe. These checks must be applied to those who wish to possess concealed weapons on college campuses in Texas. Though the gun carriers may feel safe and

secure while carrying their weapon, those who do not own a gun may feel uneasy and frightened. Look back on the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 and the horrible destruction caused by shooter Seung-Hui Cho. The very thought of a similar shooting can cause fear in students. Those who want to protect both themselves and others are admirable. However, we all must think about the dangers of possessing any kind of weapon on a college campus. Gun purchases are not always sold with a background check. In fact, up to 40 percent of gun purchases are sold without a background check because they are purchased from private sellers or gun shows. Not only can someone with ill intentions obtain a gun from an innocent individual, but they can often purchase them without a license. Imagine if the same bill were to be proposed in California. How would it affect UCR? Although student gun owners would be required to own a permit, that alone is not enough to keep students safe. The Riverside and the University of California

Police Departments would have to be on an exhausting, never-ending high alert for any suspicious activity or potentially dangerous situations. The frightening notion is this: If a student is permitted to possess a firearm, the fear of an incident immediately extends to the campus environment because the weapon is no longer relegated to a school in another state or country, but right next to you in a lecture hall. The campus cannot know the name of everyone who owns a firearm. All law-abiding citizens have the right to bear arms. However, because mass murders are prevalent within schools and university campuses, guns should not be present at all. Therefore, the “campus carry” bill should not have been passed in Texas, as it creates fear within institutions of higher learning, instead of determination to learn. The “campus carry” bill does not protect Texas citizens and students from harm, but increases the potential for another shooting that could render the same devastating consequences as Newtown ■H and Aurora.

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.


H ighlander Editorial Board moves on Editor-in-Chief Chris LoCascio Working for the Highlander has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I will forever owe a great deal to the newspaper and my wonderful coworkers for the skills I’ve developed and the memories we’ve shared.

Managing Editor Kevin Keckeisen Kevin Keckeisen will wander the Earth after he graduates. You can follow his adventures @ ihatesocialmedia.

A&E Editor Grace Kang

Photo Editor Wesley Ng


! E M

Sports Editor Kendall Peterson It was a great experience and I enjoyed the time that I was able to work with Highlander.

Asst. Photo Editor Leena Butt Joining the Highlander my sophomore year of college was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Co-workers quickly became friends and I can honestly say the Highlander is one of the few reasons I’ll miss UCR. Graduating and parting ways with people who have helped you grow as a student and individual is bittersweet to say the least. I’m defecately going to miss working with such kind, genuine people. I love you guys! LEAVE “defecately!” it’s my inside joke

I don’t know how many of you will survive this, but there’s not much time left, and I am not long for this world. My regrettably brief time at the Highlander was a wonderful, whirlwind experience, and the comrades I gained there are the only reason I made it this far. Thank you. I will miss braving the trenches of prod with you. But the printed word came at a terrible price. It began with a few letters and faces shifting out of alignment, and suddenly they were all around us. Neither living nor dead, reddened faces and Oxford commas that just weren’t there. How could they not be there? What’s next, the apostrophes? They’re closing in. They smell like coffee and Apple products. Be brave, comrades, and remember that, as a wise man once said, “There is always money in the banana stand.” This is a dark night of the soul, but summer and season four await us on the other side. I’ll see you there. Citizen Kang, out.

Features Editor Toni Louie Being part of The Highlander was one of the most rewarding experiences of my UCR career. I'm honored to have worked with such talented, sharp, and dedicated people avnd produced such beautiful and important material. Graduating in June, I hope to carry on the indispensable skills, knowledge, and friendships I have acquired here with me into the future. I am 100% confident that The Highlander will only improve and expand from this point on, and am so proud to be a part of that journey.

Asst. News Editor Dean Mayorga Dean is a hip-hop enthusiast and is part of a rap group called Avänt “Gärde. He was promoted to assistant news editor in the fall of 2012.



TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013



TRUCK Festival

By Maxine Arellano, Contributing Writer & Sean Frede, Senior Staff Writer // Photos by Cameron Yong and Karen Jerezano// Graphic by Travis Hong


ith the food truck trend taking the restaurant scene by storm, UCR had the privilege of hosting its first-ever Food Truck Festival last Wednesday, May 15. Unique culinary options were provided, from The Viking Truck, Garlic Scrapes, Goodwin’s Organics and UCR’s own Culinary Chameleon to name a few. Muffled hip-hop projected from the Wednesday Nooner as the lines grew long and the heat bore down. Rather than choosing what looked tastiest, it became a decision of which line was shortest. And it wasn’t just students enjoying the food; a girl’s dog made a leap for her burger and began devouring it on the hot concrete. Everyone was in a scramble for something to eat. Eager students were greeted by trucks that housed foods one would not usually find on campus. The Meat the Greek featured kebabs and salads that embodied the authentic ingredients that could take you to the shores of Greece. However, it was a bit expensive, as the food prices were high as $14.50 for a feta salad. The Garlic Scrapes truck served garlic feta fries for $5 that featured a gargantuan of a side order: mounds of French fries piled high with feta cheese, parsley and a garlic “scrape” sauce. All components worked well with the star of the dish: the garlic sauce. Rich and creamy, the buttermilk-based sauce had bits— or scrapes—of garlic that carried a hearty fla-

vor and a deathly stench. The quality, price and size was worth the measly $5. Food on a stick seemed to be a reoccurring trend throughout the trucks as students held wooden skewers heaping with spiral-cut potatoes. The line at the Viking Truck line ran from 30 minutes at the beginning of the festival to two hours at its peak. Their best seller was the Nemesis, a smoked bratwurst fried in a crunchy batter shell. A bite into that bratwurst provided a snap, letting any food truck foodie know of its freshness. The smokiness and spiciness of it mixed well with the creamy corn batter and filled up the hole in my stomach. People complained about the prices, but the food wasn’t low-quality orange chicken that was prepared using heat lamps; you were actually paying for high-quality ingredients cooked to perfection. The Viking Truck had virtually the same wait time as Space Mountain at Disneyland. In the line, first-year creative writing transfer Karla Lara enjoyed the Mighty Melt cheeseburger provided by the OC Burger Monster, which contained caramelized onions, barbe-

cue, cheddar cheese, onion rings, bacon and coleslaw all on a soft bun. She said it was “the best burger [she] has ever had.” The melt was $10, but it totalled $12 after her tip. Unfortunately some of the trucks weren’t quite prepared for the onslaught of starving students. One of the reliefs from the heat was the snow cone truck, but it broke down before the festival was halfway over. Waff-N-Roll, which specialized in pulled pork and fried chicken sandwiches held between crunchy waffles, somehow managed to run out of its waffles. This led to much longer lines for the other trucks and students standing shoulderto-shoulder with a glazed look over their eyes and sweat beading down their foreheads, wondering when it would be their turn to eat. Although the crowd became restless and many were disappointed with the wait, the festival was still an enjoyable afternoon for UCR. “It’s a really nice change of pace compared to what’s being offered at the HUB,” said thirdyear student Daniel Nickfardjana. “I just wish ■H it was offered more often.”

To p P h o t o : A G o o d w i n ’s e m p l o y e e t a k e s o rd e r s a t t h e f e s t i v a l . L e f t t o r i g h t : T h e M e a t T h e G re e k a t t r a c t s a l a rg e c ro w d ; B . L . A . T. , o n e o f B a c o n M A N i a ’s m a n y b a c o n - b a s e d d i s h e s i s s e r v e d a t t h e F o o d Tr u c k F e s t i v a l n e a r t h e H U B ; A h u n g r y UCR student exchanges money for a meal at the Garlic Scapes food truck.



TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013


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

By Alex Suffolk, Staff Writer A Weekend in Amsterdam May 9 - May 15

One of the greatest things about Germany would have to be its location. With its position smack-dab in the middle of Europe, you are only some hours away from a multitude of other cultures in every direction. As such, I found myself in Amsterdam for an extended weekend. My friend and I exited our night train from Berlin groggy, but excited. We were met with an astounding first sight of the Netherlands’ capital: great crowds of people splitting off into three wide streets, many of which were bearing neon signs promising Heineken beer or a plethora of souvenirs. Then, of course, there were the bicycles. Just outside the central station was an area which must have held thousands upon thousands of bikes, and each street had something like eight lanes which included a sidewalk, car lane, tramline and a bike lane for each direction. Our first bit of exploration was through a multitude of shops. The palpable vibes of counterculture and tourism were strongly reminiscent of Venice Beach and Las Vegas, with all the magnets, clothing and knick-knacks sporting imagery of either pornography or pot leaves and cartoonish characters with bloodshot eyes professing their love for the stuff. The word “cannabis” was printed on just about everything from vodka to energy drinks, nearly all of which admitted in fine print that there was no actual THC in them, proving that many of these shops were just out to profit from the city’s biggest stereotypes. However, the complete openness of the sale of certain items was definitely surprising. In every single one of these shops was a corner devoted entirely to cannabis candies and cookies, and next to that was almost always a fridge selling manufactured packets of magic mushrooms and startup kits to grow your own. I could have even been the proud owner of my own little peyote cactus for only 15 euro. Of course, across from the “soft drugs” there were bound to be genital-shaped candies, porn videos, human breast stress balls and sex toys. Afterward, we decided to have a look at a few of those notorious coffee shops that Amsterdam is known for. They all varied in decoration with some looking more or less like a standard café. Some had a look influenced by Hindu deities or East Asian aesthetics and one even looked as though it were a cave underground, with each seat and table being a mushroom. However, the procedure and vibe was pretty universal. You’d walk up to the counter, prove you are 18 or over, and are then given a menu of delicious coffees as well as a menu for different marijuana strains—a list usually two

to three times as long as the food and beverage list. Lounge music ranging from hip-hop to more energetic Punjabi tunes could be heard pumping before you even enter. The dank skunk scent would creep into your nostrils as soon as you got past the doorway and you could see groups of people, most of them men in their late 20s to early 30s, huddled together in clusters. They’d either be smoking out of bongs that the shop rented for free or some of the fattest joints I have ever seen. The smoke would snake upwards from each little cluster of customers, eventually pooling together into a narcotic smog layer that hugged the ceiling. After that, we found a stand with a considerably long line and a sign boasting that it had the best French fries in all of Holland. I got a cone of thick, fresh potato slices—crispy, straight from the fryer and only lightly salted and smothered in Fritessaus, a special kind of mayonnaise. I sat down with my little wooden fork and chowed down. Vince Vega in Pulp Fiction was entirely wrong—the mayo-fry combo was immensely satisfying. And after having enjoyed fresh French fries as a meal unto itself, I don’t think they’ll ever be the same to me as just a side dish. We began to wander some more and eventually walked around the Old Church, the oldest and one of the most impressive buildings in the city. After that, not a minute went by when we were met with the image of a young woman in nothing but her underwear standing outside in the cold wind. Before I could even process this pleasant “WTF” moment, it occurred to me that we had found ourselves in the legendary redlight district, De Wallen. I don’t think there is a greater symbol of the amalgamation of culture and tolerance of the city than the fact that the oldest and holiest building is smack-dab in the middle of its most sinful area. However, De Wallen is hardly what one expects. Instead of a network of seedy and run-down avenues that come to the mind when hearing “red-light district,” it is actually made up of three gorgeous canals with tightly-packed houses of old Dutch architecture along each side and thin alleyways connecting them. Most of the buildings had two floors

consisting entirely of closet-like rooms with glass doors, and behind each of these doors was a woman in a bikini, lingerie and the like. Such a neatly lined-up selection was eerily reminiscent of an aisle of Barbie dolls that you could find in any toy store. Each lady would either dance or alternate poses, frantically tapping the glass to get your attention as you pass. In all their eyes was a combination of a sad puppy wanting attention and a hungry tiger locked onto its prey. If one smiles at them, as I couldn’t help but do, they would crack open the glass door, stick out one hand and crook a single finger while saying “Come here! Come here!” As I was walking around, I would see the occasional middle-aged man peek his head through a glass door and then walk in. Then the lady would pull some curtains and you can imagine the rest. However, Amsterdam deserves to be known for much more than a den of open indulgence. Throughout my stay, I was blown away by how international it was, and how English was the most spoken language throughout the entire city. The Dutch are all perfectly fluent in English and use it as the default language in every shop. British schoolboys could be found ogling the ladies on display and sniggering, Americans could be found laughing their asses off in almost every coffee shop and in one bar I even found a Canadian branch of the Veterans, a biker gang. Yes, apparently Canada has biker gangs. The city is surprisingly small, with only an hour’s walk to get from the Central Station at the north end to the collection of museums and “I Amsterdam” sign at the south end. The sheer amount of museums (52 in one city), art galleries, music venues and options to navigate the canals were astounding. In the following days, I went to the Heineken brewery and learned how to properly pour and drink a beer. I also saw more Van Gogh paintings than I even knew existed. I watched a fantastic hip-hop artist live, learned about the history of cannabis at the marijuana museum and learned a tremendous amount of the city’s history at the Amsterdam Museum. Even after all that, I still feel like I barely scratched the surface of such a dense hub of culture. Four days later, I was sitting on the train back home to Germany with a camera full of pictures and a bag full of Heineken-labeled goods, a block of homemade Dutch cheese and a little bottle of absinthe. And though I was sad to leave such a wonderful place, I am now left with a deep lust to travel ■H and experience even more wonderful places.


TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013



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MISC Thursday Lunch with Bill Noon - 1 p.m. Discussion St. Andrews Newman Center 105 Big Springs Road, 92507 ---------------AA Information: 909-825-4700 ---------------Tuesday Big Book Study Noon-1 p.m. St. Andrews Newman Center 105 Big Springs Road, 92507

HOUSING Own room in house for $550 12 month lease - all utilities included - cable, internet, laundry, alarm system included. Call 562-274-5165 ---------------HOUSE FOR RENT 4 BLOCKS FROM UCR 4 BEDROOMS 20X20 FAMILY ROOM, DINING ROOM & LIVING ROOM FURNISHED. ALL APPLIANCES & GARDENER PROVIDED $2200 MONTH 951/242-0060



TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013


Events this week Wednesday | 5/22 Comedy Apocalypse @ The Barn, 7:30 p.m. Friday | 5/24

Saturation Fest @ Blood Orange Infoshop, 5:00 p.m.

Saturday | 5/25

Saturation Fest @ Pixels, 12:00 p.m.

Sunday | 5/26

Saturation Fest @ Back to the Grind, 2:00 p.m.

M at t C o s ta

s i n g s and p l ay s h i s g u i ta r at t h e ba r n .

J i n y o u n g K o /HIGHLANDER



TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013






or most of its nearly hour and 15 minute length, Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories,” sounds like a revolution. Despite the few moments the album doesn’t quite reach its soaring heights, Daft Punk’s record remains the most exciting and unique of the year. The duo, consisting of Frenchmen Guy-Manuel de HomemChristo and Thomas Bangalter, turned their backs on the EDM scene they helped popularize with their albums “Homework” and “Discovery” (as well as the recent “Tron: Legacy” soundtrack). By collaborating with live musicians, Daft Punk has created a modern disco/ dance record full of guitar grooves and synthesizers––all with an entirely new, yet somehow familiar, vibe. The album, which delves into themes of what it means to be human in a robotdominated age, includes a star-studded lineup of guests including Panda Bear, Julian Casablancas, Todd Edwards, DJ Falcon, Chilly Gonzales, Giorgio Moroder, Nile Rodgers, Paul Williams and Pharrell Williams. The first track, “Give Life Back to Music,” opens with a swirl of guitars before diving into continually slick guitar riffs by Rodgers. Daft Punk’s classic robot voice sings, “Let the music of your life / Give life back to music” as if the robot longs to be truly alive. “The Game of Love” continues the theme of robot and human emotions colliding as the robot sings, “This is a game of love / And it was you / And it was you the one that would be breaking my heart.” The next song, “Giorgio by Moroder,” is truly one of the highlights of the album.

Famed disco producer Giorgio Moroder speaks during the first few minutes of the track over a classic disco guitar and beat about how he became involved in music, until he reaches a point where he begins speaking about putting a “click” on a track, and that it was the “sound of the future.” From there, the nine-minute epic breaks into a repetitive synth riff while a guitar is faintly heard in the background. After a jazzy and orchestral break in the middle, the track ends on an electrifying note with furious guitar and laser-like synths fighting for sound supremacy in a seemingly human versus robot battle. The intensity at the end of the track is somewhat reminiscent of Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android.” On the slow piano ballad, “Within,” the robot pleads, “I’ve been, for some time, looking for someone / Fighting to know them / Please tell me who I am.” The appeal comes from a machine that seemingly cannot stand the thought of not being human. One song later, Paul Williams delivers one of the most elegant vocal performances of the record on “Touch.” Williams sings softly through a vocoder before a lively jazz piano and horns kick in. Robots singing harmoniously of love collapse and give way to Williams tenderly singing, “Sweet touch / You’ve almost convinced me I’m real / I need something more” as if he and the robots are discovering how little difference there is between them. The robots continue to try and distinguish if they are human through the remaining tracks until they discover in “Contact” that they and humans are nearly indistinguishable. With guitar sounds

Courtesy of Columbia Records

Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” is a welcome change into disco funk for the EDM duo.

reminiscent of the opening track, the instrumental piece opens with past NASA mission recordings before exploding into synthesized madness, backed by volatile live drums. While all this is happening, a machine processing noise ramps up at an astonishing speed until the circuit breaks under pressure and an audible fizzle can be heard. It seems the robot could not handle the speed at which humans operate.

With “Random Access Memories,” Daft Punk has truly deconstructed the very empire it helped build—and in the process, built a new one. The duo has proven that they are not afraid of any challenge. Fans of the group’s older work should stand and take notice of this funky masterpiece. In this case, change should be welcomed with open arms. Whether you’re a human or robot, just listen and groove. ■H




fter her career with Disney ended, Demi Lovato’s struggles and triumphs came to a head in 2011 with her heartbreaking single, “Skyscraper.” Although the Disney star had difficulties with eating disorders, self-harm and a painful breakup, “Skyscraper” was definitely an artistic and passionate song that reflected her growth as a person. Her new album, “Demi,” doesn’t quite live up to her single’s transformative depth. The album is probably nothing you will be dying to listen to again and again, but it definitely has a few pop tracks that could be included on your playlist for days at the pool or just hanging out with friends. The first single, “Heart Attack,” is a common pop song with a catchy beat and easy lyrics, which become comical as she sings about playing with boys like a “Ken doll.” The song is upbeat, fun and something you will hear on the radio way too many times in a day. As Lovato describes herself trying not to fall in love, she says, “Cause I don’t wanna fall in love / If I ever did that, I think I’d have a heart attack.” I’ve never heard of anyone comparing this stage of a relationship to a heart attack, so I thought it was an entirely unique approach to the feeling. However, her lyrics “Make me wanna act like a girl / Paint my nails and wear perfume” are super cliché and show that Lovato is actually trying to impress this guy. It’s also annoying to hear that she has to try and make herself look prettier in order to be good enough for him. “Made in the U.S.A.” has a promising intro as Lovato sings about her love interest,

with cutesy lyrics such as “You always reading my mind like a letter / When I’m cold, you’re there like a sweater.” The song is a bit more childish than I expected; it sounds like it would be sung by a girl in high school rather than a maturing adult. The chorus celebrates her budding romance by singing that their love was “made in the U.S.A.” which doesn’t seem very romantic in any significant way. On top of that, the chorus sounds bland and useless after the second time it is repeated. Lovato doesn’t mention anything significant about the USA that would relate to the importance of their love. Many of her other songs have the same kind of misplaced terminology that does not really fit in with the rest of the lyrics. Her album is definitely a mix between bittersweet melodies and pop dance tunes that are easily overlooked, but tend to have at least one or two meaningful lines of lyrics in them. “Neon Lights” and “Fire Starter” both follow the same kind of rhythm and have a fun dance beat––but again, they are forgettable because the beats to several of the songs are too similar and the lyrics are repetitive. “Warrior” is one of the more tragic and melancholy songs on the album. The song tells the typical story of a girl experiencing her first broken heart, and although it sounds like it tries to be as heartbreaking as Adele’s “Someone Like You,” it doesn’t quite make the cut. Much like Adele’s song, Lovato sings about someone who both changed and hurt her, but “Warrior” doesn’t give any real meaning to that person’s significance. Other melancholy songs include “Nightingale” and “Two Pieces,” which are sad in a whiny teenage girl

Courtesy of Hollywood Records

“Demi” is unimpressive backgroud music.

kind of way. Her lyrics, “These dark clouds over me / rain down and roll away,” don’t possess anything remarkable, and Lovato simply uses them to repeat the fact that she’s been hurt repeatedly . Lovato does have a soft, feminine voice, and parts of “Demi” allows the listener to hear

her compassion in her changing tones. Her creativity and originality, though, isn’t quite there yet. Parts of “Demi” allow the listener to hear Lovato’s compassion in her changing tones and soft, feminine voice. Her creativity and originality, though, isn’t quite there yet. ■H



TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013










My first thought after leaving the theatre is that “Star Trek Into Darkness” is not as good as J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot. Although Abrams has an obvious appreciation for the series, “Into Darkness” is simply not as well-crafted as its predecessor. With that said, the newest installment in the series is still a wild ride and I had fun all the way through. Both Trekkies and critics alike have complained that the modernized take lacks the deep insight of original Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry. On the contrary, “Into Darkness” does promote its thematic elements, incorporating a clear commentary on the risks of uninhibited militarism––a theme that leads to interworld conflict and acts of terrorism, a threat widely discussed today. It is true that there is a comparative lack of social commentary sewn into the new film, but I did not pay admission to see an art house flick with philosophical undertones. I paid my six dollars to see the captivating Chris Pine barely make it out alive of heart-stopping sticky situations. When the movie begins, audiences are immediately thrown into a foreign planet where a nearby volcano grows angry as Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) attempts to outrun primitive extraterrestrial life forms. Kirk has no problem tossing a few of Starfleet’s guidelines in the trash in order to save himself and his crew, but he does suffer a temporary demotion from captain to first officer. Pine is fantastic all the way through, from fistfight to fistfight, moments of sentimentality and even a threeway with two aliens. As the great Captain Kirk should, Pine radiates charm and is always waiting for a moment to reveal a slight smirk. Of course, Captain Kirk would be nothing without his trusted First Officer Spock, the restrained Vulcan gearing up for a chance to preach the need for logic in all dire circumstances. Zachary Quinto does great work as Spock, whose sharp glares invoke nothing but the utmost seriousness. The relationship between Spock and Kirk is one of the most notable points of the film. Kirk, being the spontaneous adrenaline junkie he is, engages in many arguments with his Vulcan pal. But even though there is friction, there is a clear yin and yang aspect to the two, who maintain balance in a strange, but effective, fashion. Their bromance and mutual respect ultimately forces them to take drastic steps in order to save each other’s lives. Without Kirk, Spock would have

Bad Robot Productions

Big action, special effects and a strong cast make “Star Trek Into Darkness” a blockbuster hit.

been engulfed by the lava in the volcano. Without Spock, Kirk’s life would be in the hands of Khan, a familiar villain who catches the USS Enterprise off guard.

“Into Darkness” does promote its thematic elements, incorporating a clear commentary on the risks of uninhibited militarism... Khan, also known as John Harrison, is a name known by dedicated Trekkies or those who saw “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” Powerfully played by British star Benedict Cumberbatch, Khan is a conniving character and masterful combatant who possesses superhuman intellect and strength. The crew goes to hell and back on the planet of Kronos in the Klingon territory in order to hunt him down. His agenda is perfectly played out due to some unfortunate sabotage upon the crew of the Enterprise. Although he knows how to easily take out members of the Klingon race, Khan surrenders himself to Starfleet. The reason for Khan’s willingness to raise the white flag becomes

clear later on when the brilliant villain’s plan comes into fruition. Until then, Cumberbatch gets to voice Khan’s seemingly sympathetic, but scheming monologues from the safety of a cell. His diatribes from inside the cell are well-crafted and conniving, making him out to be one chilling villain. In no time, controversies erupt and a battle emerges in space and back on Earth. The exhilarating action scenes and phenomenal special effects alone are worth the ticket price, especially as the Enterprise dazzles in all its glory. Not only are the fights in space exhilarating, but watching the Enterprise and its foe’s spacecraft tumble through Earth’s atmosphere will blow you away. Khan’s destructive plan should not be missed, especially since they take place in familiar locales like London and San Francisco.

The exhilarating action scenes and phenomenal special effects alone are worth the ticket price, especially as the Enterprise dazzles in all its glory. “Star Trek into Darkness” is pure blockbuster entertain-

ment, all while being supported by a wonderful cast. The comical Scotty (Simon Pegg), Zoe Saldana’s rough and tumble Uhura, John Cho’s Sulu and the sexy new addition to the Enterprise family, Carol (Alice Eve), all have some good moments here. Zoe Saldana is particularly good as the badass communications officer who is brave enough to approach a gang of Klingons, even in the midst of a love feud with Spock. Eve is nice on screen, but audiences really don’t get to see enough of her until her role becomes

absolutely necessary to shove the plot forward. Trekkies may think that “Into Darkness” hardly lives up to what the franchise should be, but Kirk driving a 1966 Corvette off a cliff in the first film was no subtle metaphor. We see the version meant for today’s audience, which does not completely abandon Roddenberry’s centermost thematic perspective on uninhibited militarism. Either way, “Star Trek Into Darkness” is a thrill ride and two compelling hours of worth■H while entertainment.


TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013



Good Times Are Coming with


In the middle of the song, Costa disappeared offstage and burst onto the ground floor, dancing playfully around the Barn. By Jade Williams, Contributing Writer // Photos by Jinyoung Ko and Cameron Yong When I arrived to Wednesday night’s show at the Barn, I immediately saw a long line of people anxiously waiting to enter the venue. The topic on everyone’s lips was trying to meet the night’s talented headliner: indie artist Matt Costa. Inside the Barn, the stage was lit up with a mixture of red, blue and yellow lights as the opening act, Hindu Pirates, made their way to their instruments. As the band began to play, lead vocalist and keyboard player Austin Ferreria sang “Nothing At All” while the other members bobbed their long hair back and forth to the steady rhythm of the guitar chords. After playing a few songs, guitarist Giuseppe LoBasso made the first interaction with the crowd. He announced, “This one is going to be a banger,” as they began to perform “Sweet Tooth.” Hindu Pirates emerged into the surf rock genre as a talented quintet with a vintage feel to their music. The band used typical instruments, such as the guitar and drums, but the synthesizing keyboard contributed a unique sound that gave their songs an electric, spaceage tone. The atmosphere of the Barn drastically switched gears to a soft and mellow tone as Matt Costa took the stage and opened up with one of his most recognizable songs, “Mr. Pitiful.” The track has been used in multiple films, such as “I Love You, Man” and was also featured

in the trailer of “Youth In Revolt.” Costa is known to be a talented multiinstrumentalist and vocalist. During his song “Ofilia,” he managed to strum the chords on his guitar, sing vocals and play his harmonica simultaneously. Throughout the night, Costa would switch his elaborate instruments around and go from playing the keyboard, to the tambourine, to the guitar. The highlight of the night occurred during Costa’s popular tune, “Miss Magnolia.” In the middle of the song, Costa disappeared offstage and burst onto the ground floor, dancing playfully around the Barn. He made his way to the very center of the crowd where he got up close and personal with the audience. The crowd was definitely enthusiastic about Costa’s spontaneous actions as we all gazed upon the musician with starstruck eyes and big smiles. Costa finished up his song surrounded by his many fans and returned back to the stage. Costa successfully got the crowd involved by teaching us the chorus to his enjoyable song “Good Times Are Coming.” After the audience learned the lyrics, everyone was able to loudly sing, “Good times are coming, those good times are coming / Good times are coming to an end” right along with him. Afterwards, Costa played another one of his notable songs, “Sunshine,” which has more of a whimsical and elegant

tone. Costa’s quiet voice consumed the Barn as the entire audience listened in awe to his soft, whispering vocals. The crowd sang along softly, but when the song came to an end, everyone erupted in applause. In between songs, the audience shouted out their song requests for his beloved hits. Costa took into consideration what the audience was begging for and even played one of the requested songs, “Sweet Rose.” The crowd was excited to know that he was listening to them and showed their appreciation by clapping to the steady rhythm of the drums and the flowing chords of the guitar. Costa interacted with the audience and would tell us his inspirations hidden behind his song lyrics. According to Costa, one of his closing songs, “Laura Lee,” was intended to feel like a fairytale. As he began to play his song, I became lost in the short yet fanciful story about this mysterious Laura Lee character. During his last song, “Clipped Wings,” Costa’s quiet and mystic vocals filled the Barn and created an environment that gave me chills after his performance. As the concert came to an end, I was left wanting to hear more after witnessing Costa’s amazing live performance. His interaction with the audience and cool demeanor made the concert a memorable experience, and I left the Barn a much bigger fan of Matt ■H Costa than when I first arrived.

Clockwise from top left: Matt Costa converses with the audience, with Dave McGowan smiling in the back; Matt Costa plays the harmonica while playing the guitar during one of his famous songs, “Sunshine”; Austin Ferreira, lead vocals for Hindu Pirates, sings passionately.



TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013


MCS Student Film Festival

Out of

by Oscar Ho, Contributing Writer // Photos by Vincent Ta & Oscar Ho The first annual Media and Cultural Studies Student Film Festival and Competition proves that UCR is making strides in its attempt to fill the crippling need for a true film major. But while the evening seemed successful because HUB 302 overflowed with prideful and excited attendees, there was confusion on what the event should have been. The film festival had a formal dress code, and many attendees showed up in gowns and suits. However, the staff broke the theme of formal wear with the inclusion of popcorn and hip hop performances by their sponsor, Hip Hop Congress. The popcorn was a nice touch since it is the cliché movie snack that most everyone loves, but the hip hop performances felt completely out of place. Although Hip Hop Congress’ sponsorship justified the organization’s presence, that does not mean that hip hop should take up almost half of the event’s time, during which the MCS department could have screened other student film submissions. Lasting around 20 minutes each, the three performances were not the best that I have seen and often had too much happening at once. The highlight of the night was Amber, a member of Hip Hop Congress, who sang Lauren Hill’s “DooWop (That Thing).” However, the two songs she sang were ruined by the deafening volume of inconsistent speakers. The event was structured professionally with a big emphasis on awards, but is this the best way to structure a student film festival? The night did not feel very student-centric and was not fair to all submissions by only screening a select few. The seating arrangement was typical of any awards show, with circular tables and food that consisted of sandwiches and popcorn––of which they ran out immediately. For a film festival, circular seating was a terrible choice. Certain people’s views were blocked and others had to twist their bodies or chairs in order to get a half decent view of the screen. A better arrangement would have been to organize rows of seating, similar to stadium seating that is typical of any movie theater. With all the distractions, the event coordinators seemed to lose sight of the film aspect of a film festival. Not all submissions were shown and the audience was left with no knowledge whatsoever of how the MCS department made their choices for awards, or what the winners’ competition was even like. The event was far from perfect, which is expected of a first-time event, but it could have been better. The festival was a mess of things thrown together that caused much confusion and disappointment for filmophiles.

“First Person Polluter” Directed by Kris Parker RATING: ★★★☆☆

Directed by Kris Parker, the first film of the night was a documentary that discussed the significance of the first-person shooter video game genre. The visuals were an infusion of interviews with former and current military personnel, real-life war videos and video game screen capture. The documentary proved to be extremely informative and taught me quite a lot about the genre, but other than that, it did not impress me. The way everything was cut together was unprofessional and amateurish. Some parts of the documentary were reminiscent of picture slideshows, leaving the audience uncertain how to feel; the information was great, but the presentation lacked flair. Parker’s work with the microphone was inconsistent in its varying volumes of the interviews and missed the crispness that was expected in parts of the narrative. Overall, the documentary was okay, but failed to keep me interested because the visuals felt too juvenile to come from a college MCS major.


Directed by Adam Antoun RATING: ★★☆☆☆ The second award went to Adam Antoun for his film, “Liewec,” which was honored with the Best Cinematography award. This short film was a confusing mess with subpar cinematography. The story was confusing and did not make much sense; it seemed to be about a man who is confused with life and tries to reinvent himself. For a film chosen for best cinematography, it was decent but not color-corrected, ruining the look of the film and leaving me wondering why it even won in that category. “Liewec” had no real story to it, even though it was nominated for the Best Narrative award; it flowed illogically from one shot to another with a mixture of semi-nude scenes that were not remotely necessary. The film set a serious tone, but then added hints of comedy that distracted from the main point and ruined its overall tone and message. The music effectively set the mood for peace and tranquility, but oftentimes the songs jumped from one to the other, creating a choppy, unappealing musical flow that was not easy on the ears.

continued, page 25

Clockwise from top: Academic Advisor Mike Atienza, Professor Setsu Shigematsu and MCS Chair Keith Harris pose for a photo before starting the awards; Snacks and refreshments were served before the main events started; A total of five awards were given out to talented filmmakers;


A Column

Fashion Instinct Closet Essentials: Trend Alert: Prints

by Thelma Annan, Staff Writer

Growing up, we were told to adhere to the phrase, “less is more.” Well, in the case of the latest prints trend, the more the merrier. The latest take on predictable springtime designs can now be found in vibrant and attention-grabbing tribal, tie-dye, geometric, checkered and tropical prints. Drawing inspiration from African and Asian cultures, bold prints are anything but subtle. From Proenza Schouler to Derek Lam and Bottega Veneta, these formerly unconventional prints are this season’s must-haves.

Print Me:

An all-print, head-to-toe ensemble is the fiercest way to go. Ladies, take the plunge in an all-print dress. Gents, a tailored print suit jacket-and-pants combination is perfect for you. To maintain a flawless look, stick with the same all-over print. Neutral-col-

ored prints are perfect for those who want to experiment, but may be too intimidated to fully take the plunge. Use a statement accessory such as a solid-colored belt to divide up the chaos, but make sure to minimize other accessories. Your outfit is surely loud enough. TIP: Wear solid-colored shoes to avoid a clashing overload––preferably in a color already presented in your ensemble.

One Print at a Time:

If you’re hesitant about the all-over print approach, remember the importance of baby steps. Guys, a printed bomber jacket or lightweight sweater––paired with a monochrome outfit in the same color scheme––is key to helping you look stylish without seeming like you’re trying too hard. Ladies, start off with some printed


trousers or flare skirt and pair it with a colorful tank for a bit more edge. TIP: Printed accessories such as snapbacks or satchels are also subtle, yet equally fashionable alternatives to tackle this trend. Try out funky, calfhigh socks with your loafers or booties for a stylish surprise.

Prints on Prints:

If you’re more on the daredevil side, try combining unlikely prints into one outfit. By mixing and matching different patterns, you utilize more closet pieces, giving yourself more fashion options. Choose one piece that is the main attraction; you don’t want your prints competing with each other. Try out stripes in a neutral or muted tone with a floral or polka dot print for a quirky combination. You can also never go wrong with prints in black and white. These colors prove harmonious together, giving you one less thing to worry about when conquering this fashion challenge. TIP: Limit your print mixing to two pieces––any more and you could ■H end up look like a hot mess.

T o p C o u rt e s y

o f P and o r a s r ac k . c o m , B o t t o m L e f t C o u rt e s y o f H u f f i n g t o n P o s t . c o m , B o t t o m R i g h t C o u rt e s y o f S t y l e . c o m


TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013










TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013

by Jake Rich, Senior Staff Writer

Sometimes the simple things in life are nice to revisit in the technologically dominated era we live in. Branches, an indie folk group consisting of Tyler Madsen, Natalie Nicoles, Jacob Montague, Tyler Goerzen, Mitchell Dong and Michael Springs does just that. Though they may sound like they’re from the Midwest, these self-described “best friends turned bandmates” hail from the suburbs of Los Angeles. Formed in 2010, the group first started promoting themselves using YouTube. Posting under the channel name “soundslikebranches,” they began publishing covers, starting with “For the Widows in Paradise” by Sufjan Stevens and “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel. They gained more

YouTube popularity after they started making these covers into a “cover of the month” feature, and covered songs outside their genre while putting their own folk spin on them. Some of their most interesting covers include “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by The Darkness, “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes, “Halo” by Beyoncé and “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley. The band’s homey, old-timey sound also succeeds in their original work. One of the best songs from their first full-length album is “Helicopter.” It begins with a slow but steady drum and soft voices before a banjo slowly builds up, coming to a rush with the drum as lead singer Madsen and Nicoles harmonize and howl, “If thou art the laughter / then thou

art the dream.” Other original highlights include the d r e a m y “Wishing Well” and the rollicking “Sun and Moon.” M o r e recently, the C o u rt e s y o f h g m u s i c m e d i a . c o m band mounted a Branches adds a personal side to their music through fan interaction. limited time. makes the band seem like some campaign through Though there are many folk friends you might want to hang their YouTube and Facebook pages in which they tried to win groups popping up in the midst out with—except they play good an online contest in order to open of the genre’s revived popularity, music, too. As of May 17, they for Mutemath, Devo, Family of one may be hard pressed to find had 6,872 likes on their Facebook the Year and Shiny Toy Guns one more earnest than Branches. page, but with more significant in San Francisco. The outreach From the 4,257 fan votes for gigs (as well as more good music) worked, and Branches secured the contest, to a T-shirt design planned for the future, look for the opening spot. The band competition, to suggestions for that number to increase soon. thanked their fans by making more covers on their YouTube And they’ll be sure to thank you ■H their EPs free for download for a channel, their fan interaction for it.

“Used Books”

from page 23

Directed by Alexander Gardels

RATING: ★★★★

The highlight of the evening was the short film, “Used Books,” which presented a surprisingly pleasant experience. “Used Books” was directed by Alexander Gardels and was about a down-onhis-luck man suffering from unemployment and a recently-ended relationship. He finds a book that tells him what he should do to improve his life and find happiness. The story was a little cliché, but the twist of events was interesting, and the actors really portrayed their characters well. The shots, editing and settings all worked together to make the film look great and intriguing with a high level of skill in filmmaking. The comedy in this film was spot on––it was cheesy, but not overtly so, setting an overall humorous tone that worked just right. However, there was some bad microphone work at certain parts; during a conversation with the main character’s sister, she slams her hand on the table and the sound was way too loud to be acceptable. But overall, the film was very successful in proving that it was worthy of the Best Narrative award.

The crowd was filled students from MCS.


Directed by Blind Republic

“The : 951”

Directed by Sarkis Ter-Minasyan

RATING: ★★★★☆

RATING: ★★★★

The next award was given to “Homeless” for Best Music Video, directed by Blind Republic. The song and most of the video seemed to be about homelessness in America, but then went on to show images of violence and war, which detracted from the main point of the video; was it about homelessness, or feeling homeless in America because of corruption and war? The music video was extremely well-composed, but confused the audience with images of police brutality, war footage and homeless people. Do they really all directly relate to each other? Other than the directionless mesh of different topics in one video, the cinematography was great and welledited, and touched upon many important topics in current American society.

The last student film of the evening was Sarkis Ter-Minasyan’s “The : 951,” a docudrama about the life of Faze Lucciano, a man who lives in Moreno Valley and has seen the effects of gang culture. The film discusses the prevalence of gangs and gang violence in the Riverside and Moreno Valley area. The docudrama strongly blends Lucciano’s life experiences with real interviews with former gang members. The unseen world outside of the UCR campus and the dangers that lie just a mile away shocked audiences. The docudrama was informative and adequately conveyed the dangers of gang involvement in Riverside County.

Overall, the event was standard, but fell short as a student film festival because of the unequal attention given to all submissions and the amount of inconsistencies in the quality of the event. The food ran out before everyone arrived and there was not enough seating. The films were shown off a student-controlled laptop, which led to many mistakes in volume control. The mouse was seen several times wandering about the video while films were screening, eliciting laughter from the audience and setting an unprofessional mood. Some of the films were good, some were bad, but the biggest mistake that the MCS department made was its decision to not show or even really acknowledge all the other films in each category. I had high hopes that this film festival would be a safe place and a starting point for student filmmakers at UCR, but it lacked way too much. As an amateur filmmaker, I am actually reluctant to even attempt to submit a film for the next year’s film festival. Better luck next time, MCS department. I hope you appreciate more student ■H films next year.


TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013



UC Riverside Highlander Softball: A Year in Review The 2013 softball season saw the Highlanders face many hurdles within the Big West Conference as the team finished the season with a 20-35 record. Despite stringing together a six-game winning streak, the program went on several losing streaks, which included a season-high 11 games during the back end of the year. UC Riverside played decently at home, posting a 1514 record at the Amy S. Harrison softball field, but went an abysmal 1-14 in road games as well as 4-7 at a neutral location. This season featured a new coach behind the reigns in Linda Garza. As the head coach at Wright State during the 2010 season, she led the university to a third-place regular season position and earned a berth in the NCAA tournament. Stops as a top assistant coach at Purdue and Big West rival Cal Poly further established Garza as the right choice for the Highlanders. The softball season was kickstarted by a solid outing at the opening tournament in Fresno, Calif. They competed against the number one softball team in the nation, Oklahoma, at the Campbell/Cartier Classic before having one of their best tournaments at the Amy S. Harrison Classic in Riverside. In their “home” event, the Highlanders won three of the five games they competed in. After a successful Mizuno Invitational, the team struggled to put together wins against a strong Big West field,

losing their first nine conference games. Following a five-game losing streak, the Highlanders ended their 2013 campaign with a win against UC Santa Barbara. “Going [into the season] I was hoping to have better numbers within all levels of the game. We ran bases well and led the conference in stolen bases as we had planned but fell short in other categories,” Garza told the Highlander. “As a collective group we had lots to learn and implement. The players really had to trust the process and focus on small areas that don’t always equal success in numbers on the field.” Despite the struggles the team endured throughout the season, there was one undeniable bright spot for the softball program. Outfielder Kayla White finished her senior year as one of the top players in the conference, hitting an astonishing .382 (up from her already impressive .329 last season), which led the Big West Conference. “Kayla no doubt led our team offensively. She was in my mind the best player in the Big West offensively,” said Garza. “Kayla learned how to become a disciplined hitter. She worked on things with our hitting coach Chez Sievers and it showed. It was impressive to see her development over the last 6 months.” White was in the top five in the conference in slugging percentage, hits, total bases, home runs, triples and stolen bases. For the third straight year, White

B ryan T u t t l e /HIGHLANDER S e n i o r K a y l a W h i t e s l i d e s i n t o s e c o n d b a s e f o r a s u c e s s f u l s t e a l b u t i s n o t a b l e t o s c o re i n t h e f i r s t i n n i n g .

was named to the All-Big West Conference First team, becoming only the second player in Highlanders Division I history to receive three first team honors. Garza looks forward to next season as the university adds new athletes to her team: “We anticipate 10 new additions to our roster, half from successful JC careers and the others are

freshmen. Our focus recruiting was to identify the talent and attitude it takes to help cultivate success. We will never replace Kayla, Alexis or Ariel, we will just work hard to develop players to fill in the gaps,” she stated. “Our returners along with our newcomers all know my expectations. When you know program expectations from day one it can make the grind easier to

commit to.” With seniors Kayla White and Ariel Shore leaving and the Big West Conference only getting deeper, the next season could look like more of the same for UC Riverside. However, with continued development and the addition of new Highlanders, things could be curving into Riverside’s favor come the 2014 ■H season.


Steven Cahill


Meetings on Mondays at 5:15 pm at HUB 101


for the Highlander



TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013


Baseball snaps losing streak with win over San Diego C o dy N g u y e n STAFF WRITER

May 15, 2013 Highlanders 12 - Toreros 11

In the midst of a seven-game losing streak, the UC Riverside baseball team was able to pull out one of the best wins in the team’s history against the visiting University of San Diego Toreros. After a scoreless first inning, the Toreros found themselves on the board first with a run in the top of the second. San Diego continued piling onto its lead with two more runs in the top of the third. UCR finally got on the board at the bottom of the third when David Andriese’s single allowed Devyn Bolasky to score, 1-3. UC Riverside tallied another run in the fourth to cut the Torero lead to 3-2, but San Diego’s offense opened the floodgates in the top of the fifth, scoring six straight runs to take control of the match with a 9-3 lead. The Toreros then proceeded to score two more in the top of the sixth to take an impressive 11-3 lead. The Highlanders did not let up, scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth and three in the seventh to cut the lead to 11-9. Pitchers Trevor Frank and Antonio Gonzales performed masterfully in the final four innings of the game, shutting out the Toreros while the Highlanders scored two runs in the eighth and ninth to even the score at 11-11. In a decisive 10th inning, Trevor Frank once again retired three Torero batters setting the stage for the Highlanders’ comeback. With a batter on base, Clayton Prestridge smacked a grounder to right field, which scored a runner and brought the entire team to the field to celebrate their monumental win. May 17, 2013 Dirtbags 5 - Highlanders 0



Coming off a thrilling 12-11 victory over San Diego, the UC Riverside baseball team laid a 5-0 goose egg against the Long Beach State Dirtbags. Long Beach State got on the board first with a Zach Miller single that led to a sacrifice bunt by Jonathan Serven, which subsequently scored an RBI for the Dirtbags. Though UCR found itself with many scoring opportunities, the team squandered all of them and the Dirtbags’ lead remained 1-0 through five innings. In the bottom of the sixth, a wild pitch by pitcher Dylan Stuart allowed Zack Rivera and Ino Patron to cross home

C a m e r o n Y o n g /HIGHLANDER S o p h o m o re J o e C h a v e z m a k e s a d i v e f o r t h i rd b a s e a s t h e o p p o s i n g t e a m p re p a re s t o t a g h i m o u t .

plate, increasing Long Beach’s lead to 3-0. The dynamic duo of Rivera and Patron would strike again in the bottom of the eighth as they added two more insurance runs for the Dirtbags. May 18, 2013

Dirtbags 5 - Highlanders 4

Three runs in the top of the ninth were not enough for the UC Riverside baseball team as they nearly erased a four-run advantage by the Long Beach State Dirtbags in a heartbreaking 5-4 loss. Long Beach State jumped out to an early lead with two runs at the bottom of the first, followed by two additional runs plated in the bottom of the third inning. After a Jeff McNeil run, the Dirtbags increased the margin to a commanding 5-0 lead over the UC Riverside Highlanders. The Highlanders ensured that they would not be shut out again with a Matthew Ellis run that came off a Joe Chavez single to left field.

Not much action came in the sixth through eighth innings, as both teams were able to hold each other scoreless. UCR proved its resilience in the top of the ninth, as they scored three straight runs from Phil Holinsworth, Alex Rubanowitz and Robby Witt. Long Beach State, however, was able to retire Cody Hough at shortstop as he made his way to third base, subsequently securing the 5-4 victory and halting a miraculous comeback that the Highlanders seemed poised to make. May 19, 2013 Dirtbags 5 - Highlanders 4

The Riverside baseball team lost another close contest to the Long Beach State Dirtbags on Sunday afternoon, squandering a two-run lead in the ninth inning. The Highlanders started the game strong thanks in large part to pitcher Zach Varela, who allowed just five hits and one run in six innings of work. With Varela dominating on

the mound, UCR got on the board first when Devyn Bolasky crossed the plate on a single to right field. After both teams scored in the sixth inning, pitcher Trevor Frank entered the game for Varela with the Highlanders leading 3-1. In the seventh inning, Frank gave up a triple to Zack Belanger, which resulted in the Dirtbags cutting the lead to one, 3-2. Highlander Nick Vilter got the run back in the top of the eighth as his double to right field scored Phil Holinsworth. Frank then retired the Dirtbags in the bottom of the eighth with Riverside leading 4-2 and the win seemingly in hand. UC Riverside then collapsed in the bottom of the ninth as Long Beach State orchestrated a two-running inning that tied the score at four runs apiece. Three consecutive singles in the 10th inning saw the Highlanders give up another run, which resulted in a 5-4 heartbreaking loss for the visiting team. The baseball team will conclude its regular season with a three-game series against ■H Hawai’i beginning on May 23.


TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013



UC Riverside welcomes the WNBA in preseason game

C a n d a c e P a r k e r ( # 3 ) o f t h e L o s A n g e l e s S p a r k s s h o o t s o v e r Tu l s a S h o c k d e f e n d e r G l o r y J o h n s o n ( # 2 5 ) .


On a sunny, bright day in Riverside, the sidewalks of UCR were filled with jovial children and adults alike all filing into the Student Recreation Center Arena. With the arena near capacity, the occasion was monumental for the university as it played host to a WNBA preseason game between the Los Angeles Sparks and Tulsa Shock. The Sparks, who begin their season on May 26, were defeated by the newly revamped Shock 82-67 in a game that featured amazing basketball moves on the court. The Sparks opened the game on fire offensively as the team’s two star players, Candace Parker and Kristi Toliver, scored eight of the team’s first 10 points to give the Sparks a 10-7 advantage. Tulsa,

who was playing without its third overall draft pick Skylar Diggins, received an 11-point quarter from Candice Wiggins as the Shock finished the first period ahead, 22-18. The Shock exploded to start the second quarter, outscoring the Sparks 14-4 in the opening minutes to push the lead to 36-23. Sandwiched in between the Tulsa run, Toliver pulled off a tough betweenthe-legs, behind-the-back pass to a cutting Nneka Ogwumike that sent the crowd into a frenzy. A Parker coast-to-coast layup and Ogwumike jumper brought the Sparks to within eight points, 39-31, before a pair of Shock free throws closed the first half with Tulsa leading by ten, 41-31. Following intermission, the Shock continued to build upon their lead with timely shooting

and huge scoring bursts from the duo of Glory Johnson and Wiggins. Johnson, who finished the game with 22 points, capped off a 10-3 Tulsa run with a three-point play before a Roneeka Hodges 3-pointer moments later pushed the lead to nearly twenty, 66-47. With the crowd singing along to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” Los Angeles pulled within 17 points following a Briana Gilbreath jumper, 7154, but Wiggins immediately made a 3-pointer to sink any chance of a Sparks comeback as they eventually fell, 82-67. While the game was one-sided, the entertainment presented to the audience was nearly flawless. During halftime, the crowd was treated to the dance moves of a 40-yearold plus cheerleading team called the “Ole Skool Crew.” Women of a

R o n e e k a H o d g e s ( # 1 5 ) o f t h e Tu l s a S h o c k g o e s f o r a l a y u p a g a i n s t L o s A n g e l e s S p a r k s d e f e n d e r A l y s s i a B re w e r ( # 3 2 ) .

W e s l e y N g /HIGHLANDER

certain age hyped up the audience as they shimmied around the court drenched in purple and gold, the official colors of the Sparks. UCR women’s basketball guard Brittany Crain even joined in on the fun as she squared off against one of the spectators in a dance-off. From T-shirt giveaways to friendly half-court competitions, the game produced a warm and inviting atmosphere that filled the arena. The UC Riverside Athletics Department’s hosting of the game built a solid base that introduced new sports fans to the university and advertised UCR on a broader scale. Events such as the SparksShock game and soccer ’s Chivas de Guadalajara Legends have fueled interest in UCR while adding another dimension to the university’s ■H athletic program.

T s u n g S u /HIGHLANDER

Volume 61 Issue 29  

Volume 61 Issue 29

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