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The Highlander


VOL. 66, ISSUE 23

For the week of Tuesday, April 17, 2018

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Chancellor Kim Wilcox’s voice has been absent from discussions of sexual violence in the wake of #MeToo, the sexual assault scandal at MSU (where Wilcox was formerly provost) and Sexual Assault Awareness Month, despite the need for the campus to have an advocate and engage in these discussions. In other words: Where’s Wilcox?









UCR Highlander Chefs: Spring Workshop Series 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Market at Glen Mor

Are We Alone? Cassini’s Legacy: Saturn’s Secrets Revealed 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Palm Desert Center, Auditorium 75080 Frank Sinatra Dr, Palm Desert, CA 92211

Part-Time Summer Job Search & Resume Writing 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. HUB (Highlander Union Building), 268

State of Immigrants in the Inland Empire 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. CHASS Interdisciplinary South, 1113

GIS Brown Bag Lunch 12:10pm to 1:00 p.m. Rivera Library, 140

Connecting Sustainability: Sustainable Agriculture 1:00pm to 2:00 p.m. HUB (Highlander Union Building), 379


A Session with the Honorable Marc Steinorth 5:00 p.m. Barn

Film: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ARTSblock, Culver Center of the Arts


Citrus Hack 9:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Winston Chung Hall

Highlander Day of Service: Sycamore Canyon Cleanup and Hike 9:00 a.m. Student Recreation Center (SRC)


Yosemite Camping and Exploring 10:00 a.m. Yosemite National Park







“Be fearless. Falling is basically a part of skateboarding. If you accept that, you won’t be as hesitant to pick up that skateboard. You can apply that to everything. Don’t be stupid about it and be too reckless. There has to be a sort of fearlessness whenever you go a step forward or try something new.”

20 Saturday




Quinn Minten

Myles Andrews-Duve editorinchief




Evan Ismail




Marcelo Garcia A&E EDITOR

Julian Medranda

Jonathan Fermandez

Aida Yeung


Brandi Huynh, Stephanie Ma, Alfonso Deza, Kerry Mulia, Nicole Francis PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR

Asst. Photo Editor

Jimmy Lai

Martin Lopez


Bri Chew, Adrian Dizon, Thomas Holguin VIDEO EDITOR




Kevin Ciampaglia


Taylor Kim

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“Too much, too far and too soon?” Riverside mayor sues city over “unprofessional” contract

VIVIAN LEE Staff Writer

Mayor of Riverside Rusty Bailey has issued a veto against City Manager John Russo and his renegotiated contract for his now-extended seven-year term instead of the initial five-year term. The renegotiated plan, which according to Bailey is “unprofessional,” includes a guaranteed 3 percent raise to his $415,988.40 salary with benefits and a $675,000 home loan included. Bailey comments further with the Highlander that Russo’s plan to create this new lucrative contract in the middle of his term is “too much, too far and too soon.” Bailey shared that he was coerced by the city attorney of Riverside Gary Geuss to go to court in order to proceed with his actions against the city council and their decision with the city manager’s contract, instead of being allowed to exercise his veto power in regards to Russo’s renegotiation. During a phone interview, Bailey shared with the Highlander that his efforts are intended to “keep a democratic process in place, by having checks and balances in place.” Bailey’s final veto message explained to the River-

side community that his persistence to pursue this matter is due to his belief that the government system must be held in place with checks and balances and “wishes the city council would respect those (principles).” Bailey used the city’s constitution to justify his actions and rights as a mayor to veto this formal action; however the city council dismissed his decision. He explained to The Highlander that he has resorted instead to proceeding with this matter in court by the city attorney. Bailey insists on reminding the public of how the government is fixed on the crux of using checks and balances in place through the public. Through this principle, it keeps members of the city council accountable for their actions. “Because we’re a charter city, we have a set of rules that are voted on by the public … The language was put in because the people wanted to have more power,” shared Bailey. “... When you look at any law, there is intent to give the mayor more leverage to provide checks and balances. That’s the basic, fundamental principle of government that’s needed in this situation.” Bailey disclosed with the Highlander how there was vehement opposi-

tion for the renegotiation, with “about 500 text messages, public messages and Facebook comments all opposed” and only five people in support of it. In spite of the public opinion, the city council voted 5-2 on the renegotiation. Citizens and community members

are encouraged by Mayor Bailey to attend Tuesday public meetings at 3 p.m. at the city hall to voice their concerns during their public comments section and express their opinions in regards to this controversy to the city council members. ■H



ASUCR announces the implementation of a commuter meal plan EVAN ISMAIL Senior Staff Writer

One day before the R’Gear reveal, ASUCR senators voted to allocate $2,900 to purchasing 300 lab coats. 250 of these lab coats will be given to the coordinators of the CNAS Research Expo, being hosted by ASUCR this May, and 50 are designated for either a giveaway or included with scholarships. These allocations were approved unanimously, 11-0-0. During ex-officio reports, Tamara Mustafa, a representative for the Middle Eastern Student Center (MESC), informed the senate of the upcoming Middle Eastern (ME) Week, a week of events hosted by the MESC to educate students on and promote Middle Eastern culture. “We have music, food, performances, workshops and it’s all cultural, it’s all fun and everyone is encouraged to come,” said Mustafa. ME Week is happening this week from Monday, April 16 to Thursday, April 19. Shortly thereafter, CNAS Senator Matt Shashaty used senate reports to express his

desire to work with Assistant Vice Chancellor of Auxiliary Services Andy Plumley to advertise the commuter meal plan expected to begin this fall 2018. CHASS Senator Roy Tongilava elaborated on this program which is currently still being finalized at the administrative level. UCR currently only offers meal plans to students living on campus, but according to Tongilava, would provide commuters an option of purchasing a meal plan similar to the existing ones through the new program. “Essentially, the commuter meal plan would offer a number of swipes that could be used in our residential restaurants, and I am hoping different dining dollar package options as well,” wrote Tongilava in an email sent to The Highlander on Saturday. Those eligible would be able to log on to their Banner account to purchase the meal plan. Tongilava said that this idea was conceived during a meeting with directors of UCR Dining, Hospitality and Retail Services back in October where he and a few students

pitched the idea of a commuter meal plan. According to Tongilava, he was told that it was not possible because of overcrowding and other financial reasons. “That’s when I decided to take it to the next level and reach out to work with the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Auxiliary Services, Andy Plumley,” since Plumley oversees the campus’ planning and development. Tongilava said that Plumley has been a receptive advocate for students struggling with food insecurity. “Over the last couple of months, I have met with him regarding various projects with the commuter meal plan being the main one and without his help I do not think this initiative would have come to light,” wrote Tongilava in the email. Tongilava shared that he shared that he struggled with expenses during his second year at UCR, during which he lived off campus. UCR has a 62 percent food insecurity rate and Tongilava stated that he had to decide between buying food and textbooks. He believes many students struggle with the same tough decisions.


“I know a lot of students share a similar experience, and this meal plan is for them ... (the meal plan) is a convenience all students should posses, and I hope students take advantage of it.” Additionally at the meeting, Executive Vice President Carisha Moore announced her plans to overhaul the senate internship program. She cited current interns feeling a lack of connection to the senators they were assigned to and not getting enough work to do.

“The biggest issue they saw is not getting a rewarding experience with their senator,” stated Moore at the meeting, “I find that to be an extremely huge issue when it comes to you (the senate) as leaders.” Moore did not provide comment to The Highlander before time of print regarding the overhaul. The meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m. The next meeting will be held in the senate chambers, HUB 221, this Wednesday, April 18. ■H

ASUCR hosts town hall on 2018 referenda

ANDREAS RAUCH Senior Staff Writer

Potential voters in the 2018 ASUCR elections were given an opportunity to learn more about the various referenda on the ballot in a town hall held Thursday, April 12. The event was hosted by ASUCR Elections Director Taylor Brown and CHASS Senator Grant Nakaoka, and took place from 5-7 p.m. in the senate chambers (HUB 221).

Representatives from the Highlander Newspaper, Costo Hall’s Referendum Student Advisory Committee (RSAC) Chairman Joaquin Malta and Green Campus Action Plan (GCAP) Director Austin Mok presented the key points of their three referenda and were available to answer questions from students in the audience. Sitting alongside the referendum representatives on the horseshoe were a few of the candidates running for office in the 2018 ASUCR elections. The conversation focused on the

plans, logistics and necessities of the three referenda. The Highlander Newspaper referendum, which is designed to sustain the future operations of the newspaper, would install a one-dollar increase in the quarterly Highlander Newspaper fee for undergraduate students — the fee is currently $2.00 per quarter. The Highlander Empowerment Student Services Referendum (HESSR) seeks to increase the $14 HESSR fee currently paid by students by $2.00

starting in Fall 2020. This is intended to support the existence of the ethnic and gender-oriented programs of Costo Hall and fund Undocumented Student Programs, currently sustained by Chicano Student Programs. The GCAP referendum is intended to continue funding the activities of the GCAP program but redistribute funds for internal projects. Voting for referenda and candidates will take place during the fourth week of spring quarter, April 23-27. ■H


All-woman writing seminar at UCR seeks to diversify representation in the media

VASKEN NAJARIAN Contributing Writer

Last Friday, UCR University Communications collaborated with the Center for Ideas and Society and The OpEd Project to host a writing seminar called, “Write to Change the World.” According to the seminar brochure, the program was designed to focus on the participants’ abilities to establish sources of credibility in writing as well as presenting ideas in an argument. OpEd is a social project that aims to improve the diversity and quality of ideas shared in the media. It strives for a world where the pool from which voices are being heard is as large as possible. According to the project’s website, OpEd scouts demographically underrepresented experts from a variety of fields and offers them training sessions in leadership and a network of large scale media mentors. Georgia Warnke, political science professor and director at the Center for Ideas and Society, discussed the event in an interview with The Highlander. “The OpEd Project is an organization interested in increasing the number of voices and range of ideas aired in public media,” wrote Wamke in an email. She listed a variety of organizations that could benefit from the workshop, including universities, think tanks, non-profit foundations and corporations. It focuses on training these individuals to translate their expertise into prose. Furthermore, Warnke said that all of the participants were women, representing the UCR School of Business Administration, CHASS, CNAS and the Academic Resource Center. Warnke emphasized that the project’s leaders are less concerned with improving faculty writing than they are with helping faculty turn academic research into writing, which is a resource that is not always accessible through schools in their respective professions. She said she hopes the project will help UCR faculty become better known and contribute to an increase in UCR’s visibility. “The program is directed at faculty not students, but in this era of fake news and dubious claims, we all need to check the credibility of the news sources on which we rely,” said Warnke. The project’s first goal in diversifying voices heard in the media is by increasing engagement from women. In an interview with The Highlander, John Warren, UCR’s Director of Media Relations, described the workshop as one that mirrors the intent of the New York-based OpEd Project’s mission as a faculty training exercise. According to Warren, “The goal (is) to provide the tools to women faculty to publish opinion pieces related to their research and instruction.” Warren added that roughly 11 percent of all opinion articles are written by women, a figure he hopes will grow through programs like these. Friday’s session was led by awardwinning journalist Deborah Douglas, a senior leader with The OpEd Project and lecturer at The Medill School at Northwestern University. Douglas has also appeared on CNN, worked on the editorial board of the Chicago Sun-Times and contributes regularly to the Huffington Post. ■H





UCLA mechanical and aerospace engineer appointed as BCOE dean MARK BERTUMEN Contributing Writer

Two years have passed since BCOE was assigned an interim dean, but now, an engineering professor from UCLA has been named the new official dean of the college. On Wednesday, April 4, Christopher S. Lynch was announced as the new dean of BCOE. The current interim dean, Sharon Walker, took over in July of 2016 after the previous dean, Reza Abbashian, stepped down in January of the same year in order to be director of the Winston Chung Global Energy Center, a research center at UCR aimed at discovering and improving on sources of energy. Walker will step down from her interim position starting in September when Lynch is scheduled to be the new official dean. Lynch explained the path to his appointment as dean in a phone interview with The Highlander last Tuesday, starting in September of 1995 with his time as a faculty member at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He was involved with a dual degree program in Georgia Tech Lorraine, a campus of the institute located in Metz, France. “I worked with American and French students in a dual degree program, and at the same time developed collaborations with another group in Germany,” Lynch explained. Lynch found his time as a faculty member in France to be a very wholesome experience, one that seemed vital to graduate students. “That (experience) led me to really understand the importance of international experience,” Lynch noted, “both in graduate education and in preparing people to participate in an international economy as engineers.” In 2002, Lynch later became associate chair for the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, where he was responsible for coordinating long-distance teaching programs. At the time, it was the largest mechanical engineering program in the U.S. In September of 2007, he accepted a faculty position at UCLA, and was promptly called into a leadership position as the Master of Science of Engineering Online (MSOL) due to his past leadership experience. “I was mostly focused on research when I came to Los Angeles,” Lynch explained, “but with my experience, I was asked if i would take on leadership responsibilities with the MSOL program here at UCLA. I provided the leadership and growth for that program, and the year after I stepped down from it, we received the number 1 ranking from U.S. News and World Report.” Lynch stepped down from the position in 2014 to get more involved with the development of the Translational Applications of Nanoscale Multiferroic Systems (TANMS), a center dedicated to the research and application of, and education regarding, technology on a near-to-at-microscopic scale. “I was heavily involved in the development of the TANMS and it really captures our research in nanoscale applications, things like computer memory, and very small magnetic devices that can capture magnetically tagged cells or DNA,” Lynch elaborated. Lynch’s faculty years at UCLA were marked by an incident that ended in tragedy. In June of 2016, Lynch was involved in preventing further injury when a gunman at UCLA took the life of one of Lynch’s close colleagues, the late engineering professor William Klug. He and his colleagues alike continue

to recall the event as a painful memory. “That’s a very difficult topic to talk about and it’s also a very difficult topic for many of my colleagues here,” Lynch expressed. “I’m not going to go into details about what happened, other than to say William Klug was a very good friend and colleague for all of us here at UCLA. It was just a horrible situation that happened and our hearts are still very much with his family and his children.” When asked about his deanship, Lynch said he initially didn’t know much about BCOE, and devoted time to learning about UCR. “When I was contacted by recruiters, asking me to consider applying for the dean position, I started doing a lot of research on the college, the individual faculty, the overall organization at Riverside,” Lynch said. “I realized that, although a very young school, (UCR) is just an outstanding group of people who are both teaching and doing research in the BCOE. The more I learned, the more excited I got about the opportunity.” As dean of BCOE, Lynch has plans to grow the school significantly. “Faculty needs to be added, and we need to accommodate the many students applying to the engineering program, so I will be very focused first on hiring,” Lynch said. “But we’re going to reach a certain size where there are going to be limitations on the physical structure, so I’ll also focus on what it’s going to take to add another engineering building, if that’s possible, and I’m very much hoping that it is.” Lynch also hopes to increase the recognition of both present and future BCOE faculty. “There needs to be more highlighting of the accomplishments of the faculty, and both the national and international reputation of the Bourns College needs to built up based on accomplishments that have already been made and are being made now.” Increasing the reputation of BCOE could potentially lead to other benefits; if the college’s reputation increases, interested groups may notice the college’s achievements and provide funds for the college to use for their purposes. The possibilities of where the money could be allocated ranges from engineering research to Lynch’s proposal for construction to even scholarships for BCOE students. Lynch will officially be appointed as the new dean of BCOE on Saturday, Sept. 1. ■H


3,400 students get sweaters during fourth annual R’Gear reveal JOSE FLORES Contributing Writer

ASUCR held its fourth annual R’Gear giveaway at the SRC North on Thursday, April 13, where they distributed UCRthemed sweaters and organized a canned goods drive. The event, attended by approximately 3,500 students, also featured a guest DJ and collaboration with other student organizations. This year, the sweaters are black with a graphic displaying the iconic “C” atop Box Springs Mountain and read “uc riverside” below. ASUCR members and volunteers began to distribute sweaters at around 5 p.m., however, hundreds of students were already gathered before that time to receive one of 3,400 sweaters available that day. In total, 4,040 sweaters were ordered for the event, of which 740 were immediately transferred to the Student Disability Resource Center and Residential Life. Residential Life will distribute their share of sweaters to first-year students who did not have the opportunity to receive R’Gear that day, according to Jose Cortez-Hernandez, ASUCR vice president of finance. Meanwhile, the Student Disability Resource Center will use their share for students who utilize their center. The 740 sweaters were split evenly between both departments. Along with the distribution of R’Gear, ASUCR collected canned goods that went toward Feeding America, a nonprofit organization that feeds 46 million people through shelters and food pantries, including UCR’s R’Pantry. Although the canned goods collected that day weren’t exclusively for the R’Pantry, Andrea Cuevas, the logistics coordinator for the event and vice chair of the personnel committee for ASUCR, said that it was an

“indirect way of helping out the R’Pantry.” Cortez-Hernandez said that the R’Pantry made it aware that they weren’t “capable of taking a large amount of donations” such as the amount of canned goods collected that day. Cuevas further explained that “we (ASUCR) want this (event) to be a hangout place” to “rally people up” and become informed about all the “different clubs and resources … such as CARE.” CARE, short for Campus Advocacy, Resources and Education, is a program dedicated to ending sexual violence at UCR. Along with CARE, the UCR School of Medicine and other clubs such as the Oceana Dance Club, cheer team and Make-a-Wish Foundation were present at the event. Though the R’Gear launch was executed without major complications, the early organization of the event was mired in controversy. R’Gear faced much scrutiny prior to the program’s final approval. President Aram Ayra, Executive Vice President Carisha Moore and Vice President of External Affairs Jonathan Li vetoed the allocation of funding for R’Gear on March 7, claiming it wasn’t “in the best interest of students,” said Ayra. Cortez-Hernandez successfully challenged the veto the next day in the ASUCR Judicial Council, which voted to allow the allocations to go through. Addressing these issues, Cuevas said while there may be people against R’Gear, there are also “a lot of people who look forward to it.” Furthermore, when asked if she believed the money for the event could be used to fund other programs, Cuevas said R’Gear only accounts for “less than four percent of our remaining budget” and that there are “senators who should be making projects happen,” therefore R’Gear is “justifiable.” Cuevas also stated that the purpose of the event was to provide “jackets for students at

no additional cost from what they already pay.” R’Gear, however, only provides 4,040 sweaters, providing sweaters for less than 25 percent of the total undergraduate student population. Additionally, every student at UCR also pays fees for ASUCR which funds R’Gear. Cortez-Hernandez said although there is opposition, most of it comes from a certain “group of people” and that despite this opposition, the “vast majority likes it.” Cortez-Hernandez also attempted to prove the program’s popularity by alluding to the the fact that there were no more sweaters available by around 8:45 p.m., which was earlier than expected. CortezHernandez estimates that about “100 people,” including those on their way to the event, were left without sweaters. R’Gear, Cortez-Hernandez said, is an attempt to stimulate school pride, noting that in the past people would wear sweaters from other schools. When asked why he believes school spirit is important, Cortez-Hernandez said that when he got to UCR, there was a negative connotation as to what UCR was a “rejects school.” In regards to the future of R’Gear, Cortez-Hernandez said he hopes that next year the canned goods can be directly donated to the R’Pantry given the program’s success this year. Cortez-Hernandez also gave insight into ASUCR’s plan for addressing some of the lack of resources students face. One of their plans, originally proposed by CHASS Senator Mariam Alkhalili, involves providing around 200 lab coats for students during the CNAS Research Expo which is scheduled for May. ASUCR also plans to start a gown rental program for graduating students, which Cortez-Hernandez hopes will start near the end of this quarter but says will likely be in place next year. ■H





Wilcox’s silence on sexual violence discussions is deafening


he #MeToo movement has brought the topics of sexual violence, assault and harassment to the forefront of public discussion in recent months. Yet, despite this movement’s prominence and the necessity for the campus community to engage in these broadening conversations, the voice of UCR Chancellor Kim Wilcox seems to have largely been absent. This silence is concerning, especially when considering how some universities have been plagued by sexual violence — notably, Michigan State University (MSU). It was at MSU where Wilcox held the title of provost between 2005 and 2013 and, in 2010, oversaw the five-year review of William Strampel, the former dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, who is now charged with, per the Detroit News, “harassing, propositioning, sexually assaulting and soliciting pornographic videos of female students.” The UCR administration’s lack of comment, not simply about #MeToo but the greater context of how discussions of sexual violence are now part of the public consciousness and conversation, comes across as tone-deaf in light of these larger issues. Though Wilcox has released a public statement to some media outlets clarifying his role at MSU, there are issues with this response and the way it was delivered. On one level, it’s unclear why more could not have been done to bring this statement to the attention of the campus community through UCR’s own


channels instead of relying on third parties. Furthermore, the acknowledgment of his presence at MSU and the charges against Strampel, though a step in the right direction, still falls short of both communicating an understanding of the broader climate and

RATHER THAN SIMPLY LIMITING THE SCOPE OF THE ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND STATEMENTS TO SPECIFIC CASES, UCR’S ADMINISTRATION SHOULD DEMONSTRATE THAT THEY ARE RECEPTIVE TO THESE LARGER ONGOING ISSUES THAT HAVE PERMEATED CULTURAL DISCUSSIONS. proactively reassuring the safety of every member of UCR’s campus community. Rather than simply limiting the scope of the acknowledgments and statements to specific cases, UCR’s administration should demonstrate that they are receptive to these larger ongoing issues that have permeated cultural discussions.

It seems that the UCR administration’s approach to engaging with this subject so far has been rather slow and leans more toward being reactive, rather than proactive. Even in the midst of the #MeToo movement’s growth, the administration has remained silent about it, even though bringing these conversations to the campus could complement the university’s existing resources relating to sexual violence and harassment. Even something like a campuswide email affirming the university’s commitment to protecting students and aiding survivors, or forwarding Wilcox’s statement to the community, could be a start. This could then serve as a launching point for more in-depth responses like workshops, conferences or discussions, such as the upcoming “Thinking With and Beyond #MeToo” event to be put on by UCR’s Campus Advocacy, Resources and Education (CARE) on April 17. Instead, the silence so far suggests that the administration isn’t considering the possibility that these larger conversations could be of importance for the safety and well-being of the campus community. If this is the case, then it in turn suggests that the administration’s priorities need to be better attuned to what the students are concerned about. The statements that have been released so far, in some respects, are missing the point. Although it is important to acknowledge these cases as they relate to Chancellor Wilcox and UCR, there is only so much that can legally be said about ongoing investi-

gations. With that in mind, the value of any statement that the administration can release to the students lies in how it meaningfully brings the campus into the broader conversations about sexual violence and addresses the campus community’s concerns about how the university plans to protect them. Rather than being or appearing unreceptive to the #MeToo movement and its relevance for students in a time of increased awareness of sexual violence, the administration ought to be more communicative and transparent with the students, staff and faculty on this subject, whether through emails, statements online or workshops, conferences and discussions. It is essential that students are able to trust the university to abide by its principle of zero tolerance for sexual violence, but it will be difficult to maintain that trust if the administration and Chancellor Wilcox continue to be silent. Instead of continuing to sit back and issuing very limited statements about specific cases to news outlets, the administration needs to be far more communicative and open with the campus community and demonstrate that it is not simply ignoring the broader climate surrounding sexual violence in the past few months and its implications for the campus. ■H 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.





OPINION POLL Compiled by Bri Chew, Staff Photographer

“How often do you listen to KUCR? What do you think of it?”

Alvaro Flores Anthropology Third-year

Jessica James Math Second-year

Daniel Penuelas Sociology First-year

Justin Lee Biology Fourth-year

Arlene Celis Business First-year

Jarred Eusebio Undeclared First-year

“I don’t listen to KUCR and I have no idea what it is. I’d be interested to know what it is and listen to what they have to provide.”

“I don’t listen to KUCR, but I have heard it before. I think if I had it on my stations, I would listen to it.”

“I don’t listen to KUCR.”

“I do not listen to it.”

“I don’t listen to KUCR, but I think it’s great that we have our own radio station. We can promote any news related to UCR on there.”

“Personally, I don’t listen to KUCR at all. I wish I knew a little bit more about it.”

The conservative counterpoint to climate change SHYAM RAJAN Contributing Writer

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has been the target of media attention as the ethicality of his decisions as pilot of the agency have come into question. This scrutiny conceals a much larger issue about climate change: The differing opinions between the Republican and Democratic parties on the matter. Their polarized opinions, staples of their platforms, have paved the way for environmental attitudes on both the national and global scale. Common knowledge produces a rather basic paradigm: Liberals are more environmentally conscious and active supporters of environmental regulations that will preserve the environment not only for them, but for their children. Conservative opponents are more doubtful, holding that climate change has not been caused by human activity nor is it important, for environmental regulations will hinder the operations of a free market. This, however, is not the entire tale. Rather, it is more accurate to comprehend the conservative opinion not as a rejection of climate change, but as a refusal to consider it on the political table. The environmental movement, or “going green,” was introduced popularly a decade ago by former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore in his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” of which a sequel was released last year. The liberal position on climate change has persisted in a progressive form, and has produced laws regulating emissions standards for

vehicles and factories and a promotion of alternative

RATHER, IT IS MORE ACCURATE TO COMPREHEND THE CONSERVATIVE OPINION NOT AS A REJECTION OF CLIMATE CHANGE, BUT AS A REFUSAL TO CONSIDER IT ON THE POLITICAL TABLE. energy sources to fossil fuels, including solar, wind and water power. Even as the environmental movement spread nationwide, some conservatives continued to resist it for a number of reasons, including a dismissal of the claim that it is caused by human activity. This, however, is not their only claim. In the face of substantial science on the subject, many Republicans do acknowledge the realities of pollution and its effects on the environment. Still, they reject climate change itself. It is partly an issue of framing that makes it so unacceptable to them. The intent of specific questions like those that ask if climate change will happen or if it poses a threat to society are questionable. Attitudes toward “global warming” are different than those toward “climate change.” However, the core Republican belief is not solely one of bias or scientific rejection. Even


as younger Republicans are becoming more supportive of the issue, this opinion is not shared by the party elite. Although educated individuals in both parties share opinions toward social issues like abortion and gay marriage, party opinions toward environmentalism diverge with education, indicating that it is not science that informs them, but the political opinions of their leaders. The issue of environmentalism is, then, a political one. Why exactly do the Democratic and Republican parties differ on their opinions toward climate change in the face of credible science? One opinion is religious — many Christian evangelicals feel that it is a force of nature greater than mankind. With a miracle, God will resolve the issue if it exists. Others view it as a “fake science;” as Trump removed himself from the Paris Accord, it seemed as if the United States was the only nation not taking climate change seriously. This dismissal of science is not a factual folly, but rather demonstrates the Republican belief that it has no place in political discourse — it is not important in the itinerary of conservative values. The Solyndra scandal was the perfect setup for modern Republican belief: Riding the alternative energy wave, government investment of taxpayer funds to Solyndra were lost as the company went bankrupt due to deceptive policies and overconfidence in what appeared to be a shining new industry. Not only was there a taxpayer burden, but it furthered the belief that the government should not be involved in promoting either alternative energy businesses

or environmentalism. Republicans have combated environmental regulations like emissions standards, tax programs and national park designations, congruent with a platform that espouses small government and free enterprise. Including climate change, however real, in the political process would be an impediment to the party’s success. Containing a majority of fossil fuel businessmen, the Republican Party continues to ignore climate change so as not to divert their party’s attentions away from its constituents’ platform. Congruently, it secures the U.S.’s ability to compete on an international level against the Organization of the Petroleum

Exporting Countries (OPEC), an organization which exerts extensive control on the worldwide supply of oil and its price. Even as some progressive nations continue to develop and implement alternative energy programs, the focus on profits remains primal. Progressive attitudes, however righteous, may only be outfitted in an environmental costume. Under its garments, the issue is purely economical and is understood by Republicans as such. They know that profit drives not only innovation, but progression. It is this that conservatives find salient, relegating environmentalism to the annals of liberal propaganda. ■H







Lawsuit raises questions regarding American Samoan citizenship MICHAEL BEELI Staff Writer

American Samoan John Fitisemanu filed a lawsuit against the United States Department of State on Tuesday, April 10, alleging that the department’s policy of not granting birthright citizenship to American Samoans violates the 14th Amendment. Fitisemanu is the lead plaintiff in the case along with a number of American Samoans, who are being led by attorney Neil Weare, who is president of the nonprofit group Equally American. Fitisemanu’s claim is one of serious legal and moral merit, however it is unlikely to succeed in court due to a conflicted political situation in the territory and a strange historical precedent. While it may not be easy for the plaintiffs to win citizenship for all American Samoans, the U.S. Congress must do more for American Samoans seeking citizenship. The text of the 14th Amendment states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” Given that American Samoa is a United States Territory, is more or less subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and that American Samoans hold no other national citizenship upon birth, it seems only fair that they would be granted birthright citizenship, or at least a fast-tracked path to

citizenship. According to the United States Department of Homeland Security, however, “persons born in American Samoa … are generally considered nationals but not citizens of the United States.” This categorization, denying citizenship to residents of U.S. territories may make some sense; however, the same document also recognizes that persons born in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and other territories “may be citizens at birth.” The nature of Fitisemanu and Weare’s claim, however, is at odds with the history of U.S. nationals gaining citizenship. Historically, U.S. “unincorporated territories,” or territories with no clear path to future statehood, such as Puerto Rico and Guam, were granted citizenship to their residents via legislation passed by Congress, such as the Jones-Shafroth Act of 1917 for Puerto Rico and the Organic Act of the Territorial Government of Guam of 1950, which Americanized their governments and granted residents citizenship under the purview of Congress. As a result of these precedents, regardless of the merit of the legal statute, the means by which nationals of territories such as American Samoa can gain citizenship is strictly through congressional authorization. Following this precedent, it is highly unlikely that Fitisemanu and Weare will be able to rely on judicial activism to secure citizenship for the plaintiffs. Instead, the traditional and

historically supported means of obtaining citizenship for American Samoans would have to come through a public campaign that likely involves a referendum and will require initiative by Congress to legislate their citizenship. University of Southern California law Professor Sam Erman said,

WHILE IT MAY NOT BE EASY FOR THE PLAINTIFFS TO WIN CITIZENSHIP FOR ALL AMERICAN SAMOANS, THE U.S. CONGRESS MUST DO MORE FOR AMERICAN SAMOANS SEEKING CITIZENSHIP. “In order to get citizenship, you need to have the sense among the U.S. Congress that the population on the island wants citizenship, and you have to have a U.S. Congress willing to give the citizenship. Those haven’t aligned yet for American Samoa.” While the lawsuit is certainly a very effective means of raising the profile of American Samoans seeking American citizenship — look, the school newspaper at UC Riverside is writing about it — there are still a number


of impediments that need to be cleared. First, American Samoa has never held a formal referendum on the topic of American citizenship, and secondly, the American Samoan government actually opposed a similar case filed by Weare in 2012, stating that a ruling granting citizenship to American Samoans could have “unintended and harmful effects” on American Samoan culture. Now, the American Samoan government opposing citizenship for Samoan nationals may seem backwards, but first let’s return to the text of the 14th Amendment. Remember, the 14th Amendment only grants citizenship to people born or naturalized in the United States, and “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” It turns out, a different clause of the 14th Amendment, which states “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States” is in legal conflict with the American Samoan Communal Land System, which prevents the transfer of land ownership to persons who are not of American Samoan heritage. Denying the ownership of land to non-American Samoans is a clear violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, and according to Sean Morrison, former president of the American Samoa Bar Association, “The communal land and matai systems are such pillars of the cultural system that there is a widespread fear that any change to the political

structure may affect their durability. A threat to the matai hierarchy would undermine the very social fabric of the nation.” Considering these factors, the prospect of American Samoan citizenship seems largely untenable for the foreseeable future — but isn’t there something that can be done for American Samoans who are willing to sacrifice their cultural attachment to the communal land system and other related legal statutes for a chance at American citizenship? Currently under U.S. Naturalization and Residency Law, the lawsuit alleges, noncitizen nationals, such as American Samoans, are less likely to be treated as favorably as full-fledged citizens when attempting to sponsor foreign relatives for immigration visas and “are treated the same as foreign nationals for most aspects of the naturalization process.” Given that American Samoans are American nationals, serve in the U.S. Military and hold no other citizenship, it’s only fair that we should allow them, as residents of United States Territories to become naturalized citizens if they give up their cultural customs that are at odds with citizenship and claim residency in a state or territory that has been granted to citizenship either by the United States Constitution or Congress. America is the only country they’ve ever known; those of them who fully commit to our ideals deserve citizenship as much as anybody. ■H





club spotlight

Highlander Chefs has a new look Marcelo Garcia, staff writer


Food security is a primary issue affecting UCR’s student population. A study conducted by the Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) in 2015 found that 62.5 percent of UCR students experienced some form of food insecurity. However, despite this concerningly high statistic not much has been done to combat the issue on campus. Highlander Chefs, a student organization devoted to providing students with healthy and easily accessible food alternatives, hopes to change that. The organization, which now receives funding in addition to advising from the UC Global Food Initiative (GFI) — an initiative whose main focus is to find a long term solution to the global issue of food security, health and sustainability — holds three quarterly events that serve to not only provide students with engaging cooking demonstrations, but to spread awareness of the club and its objectives. The group, which was founded in 2013, has recently come under new management, since all its previous board members are now graduating fourth-years. The new president, second-year cell, molecular and developmental biology (CMDB) major Rohan Kamath described

the transition as something that was initially difficult, but has become progressively easier. “At first it was a bit stressful, since I went from being advertising chair to president,” Kamath explained. “But now, with the board members I have, and how reliable they’ve been, the process has become a lot easier.” As acting president, Kamath is also working toward possibly branching out the organization to other colleges and universities; in hopes that Highlander Chefs can eventually be a statewide, or even nationwide club. Fellow second-year and CMDB major, as well as the event coordinator for the organization, Antonia Swift also expressed her satisfaction with the group dynamic outside of meetings and event planning. “It’s a good atmosphere,” Swift explained, with a chirpy and cheerful demeanor. “Not only are the demos we do fun, but we have our group chat which is always active; so we’re constantly communicating and staying in the loop with each other.” Swift also noted the studentmentor relationship between sophomore members and their upperclassman counterparts. “A lot of us are pre-med, including the seniors, so it’s been really helpful

to gain some insight in order to prepare for the future.” When asked what attracted them to cooking, members gave a variety of answers. President Kamath described cooking as a way of exchanging cultures. “Experiencing someone cooking food from their own unique culture, or maybe even someone from a mixed background mixing different cultures together in their cooking is like an artform,” Kamath described. “When someone cooks, they’re doing more than feeding themselves or others, they’re telling a story.” Another second-year, Co-Vice President Aidan Wong, sees cooking as a medium for socialization in addition to remedying mental health. “Food is something that brings people together,” Wong expressed. “Everyone likes to eat, everyone likes to try new foods; so eating and of course cooking is something that everyone has in common.” He went on to explain how cooking serves as an outlet for stress and his concern with the lack of access to it that many students have. “Whenever I cook and see people enjoy my food, I feel happy because it gives me a sense of accomplishment,” Wong stated. “If you look at the stereotypical college student, who’s

living off of ramen noodles and other microwaved food, they’re being denied of that experience and happiness that cooking can bring.” The members also had a few choice words for any students interested in joining the organization. “Come with a positive attitude,” Wong suggested. “Because while the club duties can be fun, they can also get tedious. You may enjoy cooking, but once it becomes a job, it’s not always as enjoyable.” President Kamath issued a word of caution to anyone interested in the club. “There are gonna be times where you’re gonna work. There’s no real way around that,” he explained. However, Kamath also reassured that while hard work is inevitable in the organization, the support is there to match it. “If you ever have any questions or need advice, our members will be there to help you.” He went on to express that the club is completely free to join and always welcome to new members. Those interested in finding out more about the organization are welcome to visit the club’s Instagram page @highlanderchefs as well as their email: highlanderchefsucr@ if they have any further questions or are interested in joining. ■H






Throughout the month of April, the Campus Advocacy, Resources and Education (CARE) office has sponsored programs to promote Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). One of those events included last Wednesday’s ASPB co-sponsored “It’s On Us” Nooner, where the CARE office, along with other campus departments and organizations, hosted activities based around the message of healing, resilience and empowerment. The event featured artist Rage Logic as part of ASPB’s Spring Nooner series, a weekly live concert series hosted Wednesdays at 12 p.m. at the Bell Tower. In partnership, the R’Garden held an activity next to the CARE table where people could decorate pots and then get a succulent, a plant that symbolizes empowerment. Originally, the activity was meant to be calm and relaxing, but people were so excited about the plants that the table was bustling with people throughout the event.

Evelyn Hurtado, a fifth-year sustainability and political science major and student intern at the R’Garden, explained the significance of succulents as representing resilience: “They can survive in harsh environments where a lot of different plants would die, so they have the ability to adapt and thrive. They thrive in harsh desert conditions. You really need to get to know them so you can take care of them. They’re very finicky. They don’t need a lot of water or too much attention. You need to give them their space and monitor their patterns.” Among the organizations tabling was Brothers and Sisters Against Violence (BASAV) which made its campus debut at the nooner. Supported by the CARE office, BASAV is a collective effort between fraternities and sororities to prevent sexual violence. In BASAV’s activity, members of fraternities and sororities could write a personal commitment on a heart-shaped paper to put on a poster. Sororities like Alpha Chi Omega, Delta Chi and Sigma Kappa among others filled the hearts with the phrases, “I pledge to be a better sister,” and “I pledge to listen

to my friends when they need help.” The two posters from the activity will be displayed in the CARE office to remind people to make the campus safe. “We just want people to feel a sort of commitment and that this is a moral obligation,” explained Nayaab Kazimi, a fourth-year business major and student coordinator for BASAV. “It’s not an option but a reminder of what we need to be doing everyday. It’s going to be nice for overall unity.” Departments on campus also created activities to advocate for SAAM. The department of athletics had a big white canvas poster with “It’s On Us” written in blue paint in the middle. People were allowed to write their names around the poster to pledge they wouldn’t be a bystander. Their goal is to encourage as many people to sign the poster. “Even Chancellor Kim Wilcox signed it,” explains student athlete and fourth-year economics major Trenton Toplikar as he excitedly points to Wilcox’s signature. The poster will be put up at most games and events. “It’s an effort to keep people accountable,” says Camille Deadwiler, fourth-year business major and

student athlete. The Student Life department also created a poster activity where people could write their answer to the question “How do Tartan Soul and It’s On Us campaign benefit the UCR community?” Answers, varied from short to long in length, included, “(Tartan Soul and It’s On Us campaign) gives students a unified common ground of understanding” and “(It) bonds us together.” As an activity, The Well hosted a serenity rock activity where students could paint a rock and write an inspirational saying on it. Rocks decorated with polka dots had “hope” written on them. Teal-painted rocks with the word “Peace” and other rocks with “Trust Yourself” were among the many examples of rocks that were created. The activity promoted healing and was calming for the many students who took a seat to paint a rock. The activity was a small microcosm for what the”It’s On Us” event had to offer, its quiet healing being a small step toward establishing collective resilience and empowerment behind survivors of sexual assault. ■H

Campus Cope Safe ways to ensure academic security By: Edward Dave, staff writer “Pain is temporary, but GPA is forever.” Generally when people look back on how their grades started to flop in the last stretch of the quarter, they rarely ask themselves what they could have done in the early weeks to help their grade. College can be excruciating at times and finding ways to dramatically boost your GPA in a relatively short time isn’t always viable either. So before you find yourself in a position where your grades are on life support, make an effort from the first week of the quarter to safeguard your grades so you aren’t scrambling to repair something that can’t be fixed. During the first week of the quarter you may find your professor intimidating based on their course workload and lecture style. But as I’ve learned throughout my college experience, judging someone’s overall disposition and personality from a few hours of academic lecture per week is reductive. Professors urge you to come to their office hours for a reason. When class sizes number in the hundreds it’s an impossible feat to ask a professor to be able to tailor their style to something that suits your academic wishlist. We all have our preferences for how we want our professors to teach, but college is not a “Build a Bear” factory. We are given the hand we’re dealt and we must play that hand and salvage whatever we get out of it.

Familiarizing yourself with a professor as early as week one will show agency on your behalf and establish you as a student who is serious about their performance in the class. Office hours permit a certain intimacy that is not possible to replicate in large classes. And in the professor’s case, they don’t have to adhere to a standardized teaching pace. You can control the ebb and flow of a scheduled meeting and hone in on what you truly need help in. Some professors end up being leagues apart from their in-class personas when you get to know them in a less stressful environment. Once they know you by name, they will begin to take a personal stake in your academic efficacy. Then you’ll be able to visit them as often as you need to throughout the quarter with questions regarding the material or issues about grades without feeling as though you’re talking to a stranger. Building rapport with your professors is the only way you’re going to feel comfortable with them challenging you in a private setting. There are a good percentage of professors who want to see their students succeed, but you’ll never know that unless you make the first step toward unearthing that truth. Another salient method to save your grade is to book a session at the Academic Resource Center (ARC). Many people groan about not understanding difficult material when there’s

a plethora of resources on campus readily available to invest in. Our tuition fees are paying for the center, so it seems counterproductive to stay in a powerless position knowing very well that there are easily accessible tutors. If your schedule constantly conflicts with your professor’s office hours or their personality in close proximity is still offputting, there are tutors who are happy to step into the fray to help you achieve academic salvation. Tutoring sessions can be solo or in groups, and not only can they explain the material to you in a more grounded fashion, they push you to contextualize the material so that it becomes a permanent occupant in your mind and not some fleeting footnote that will be forgotten once the quarter is over. A fully realized scholar is one who can weed through their inhibitions and identify their inability to grapple with tough concepts before the quarter gets too hectic. The last key method to help guard your grades is to form study groups. Study groups are a good way of breaking up the course load so the chances of becoming overwhelmed during the quarter are minimized. Once every school week has ended, make sure you compile and communicate the advancements on a Google doc or some other sharing mechanism. This allows you to keep up with the material at your own comfort. Make sure

whatever material you decide to be in charge of is something you can teach to other people in the group. A study group enables each member of the group to embody the role of a teacher as they cultivate knowledge that is accessible to them and then facilitate it to others. After all, you really don’t know the material unless you’re able to relay it to someone else in a sensible way. Once you have all of your bases covered, it’ll be a lot easier to approach heavier concepts knowing there’s a group to back you. Whoever said there’s a quick method of saving your grades is

a bold-faced liar. Instead of relying on extra credit that may or may not be provided at the end of quarter, or desperate gambits by choosing to pull an all-nighter on the eve of a test, do yourself a favor by establishing connections from the beginning of the quarter. Many of these connections are often finite and only last a quarter, but as long as they get you through a class then the effort is always well worth it. And who knows, you may bond well enough with a professor and one day reap the benefits of your relationship when it’s time to garner letters of recommendation. ■H






Campus Cope

Dropping CNAS isn’t the end of the world VIVIA N KIM , CONTRIBUTING WRITE R

Commonly, college is perceived as a place for young students to pursue their passions, an almost mystical land of opportunities where dreams become a reality. Many students, including myself, come into UCR with high hopes of becoming the next Steve Jobs or Meredith Grey (yes, that is the only doctor I know of, though she is fictional). However, reality soon hits, and we face roadblocks that lead to a completely different pathway we weren’t expecting or prepared for. Oftentimes students come into UCR as a CNAS major, but then move to CHASS due to the realization that they aren’t suited for CNAS. Maybe you want to stay in CNAS or BCOE to satisfy your parents, that is completely understandable. There is a common misconception amongst college students that being in a certain major or career path will fully satisfy your parents’ expectations. However as a college student, you are responsible for making your own decisions stripped of outside influence and bias, including your parents. You may feel tied to your parents’ expectations because they are directly supporting you, but it is of utmost importance to choose a major or career path that you can confidently stand by. Do not make a decision that will temporarily satisfy your parents if it is going to hurt you in the long term. Whether you have found your passion in another major or even failed out of CNAS, the first step is to tell your parents. Telling your parents shows that you are taking ownership of your own actions and that you respect them enough to inform them of your life decisions. When you do have the conversation with your parents, come prepared with a plan. This is mutually beneficial to you and your parents, because your parents will find comfort in knowing that you have thought through the process and are not going in blindly. It


will also give you more direction. Your parents’ initial reaction may be anger or disappointment, but remember that they may need time to process. Give them a few days to digest what you’ve told them. If you have no idea what you want to do, you still need to come up with a plan. The reality is you need to move with the wind, before the wind blows you away. If you have no idea what new major to choose, then it’s the time to expose yourself to new options by taking a few breadth courses. If you want to take a gap year, take it. There

is no shame in taking a year off to decide what you want to do. Everyone goes at life at their own pace, and each person’s journey to their career is individualized. If taking a gap year is out of the question due to financial constraints, utilize school resources such as the Career Center. These advisors are trained to deal with students in predicaments such as your own. The Career Center also provides you with two aptitude tests to suggest viable career options that align with your strengths and interests. Another possible avenue is to

volunteer within your local community or join clubs that spark your eye. This will allow you to be find people who have common interests, which will help you see the different career paths your peers are taking. There may have been a wide array of reasons why you were unable to stay as a CNAS major, but now you are only one step closer to finding a new major that is better suited for you. Everyone has their shortcomings, but it’s important we not harp on our failures but rather use them as a catalyst to discover what we enjoy. ■H





SINCE 1954







Maybe it’s a bit too niche for most audiences, but the idea of bringing Midway Games’ (R.I.P.) “Rampage” series to the big screen thrilled me when it was announced last year. At least in theory. Slapping Dwayne Johnson in the lead and adding a tone too serious for its own good slammed the breaks on the hype train because it’s kind of antithetical to the spirit of those games. “Rampage” games were dumb in a lovably mindless and self-indulgent way that spoke to its arcade roots. The heroes were goofily stylized kaiju who ate humans to replenish their health, toppled buildings and made scrap metal out of army vehicles — there was no room for a beefy human protagonist to eclipse the Wrecking Crew. Unsurprisingly,

the film adaptation throws this spirit out the window in a move that begs the question as to why Warner Brothers went out of the way to purchase the rights and shamelessly allow its writers to bastardize it, rather than simply making an original monster mash movie of their own. I mean, it’s still fun … but give original ideas a chance, lay off franchises people actually care about. Now, I’m not the type of person to give credence to criticism of film adaptations on the basis of diverging from source material. What works in other mediums doesn’t always translate to film, and railing a movie because it didn’t translate as a perfect one-to-one is invalid in film criticism. Because tonal and thematic translations (as opposed to content) and, to a greater extent, holistic transformations go a long way in


making something resonate with fans of the source, movies like those in the “Harry Potter” series and Stanley Kubrick’s’ numerous adaptations (“The Shining,” most notoriously) serve as excellent audio-visual reimaginings. While “Rampage” doesn’t get everything right about its series’ story, it’s an action-packed Hollywood thrill ride that occasionally hits the right explosive notes. “Rampage” stars Dwayne Johnson, the most infuriatingly charismatic man on the planet (seriously, let us dislike you, it’s not fair for everyone else lacking in charm) as Davis Okoye, a primatologist based in a San Diego animal sanctuary who holds more stock in his animal friendships than his human ones. His best friend is an albino silverback gorilla named George, whom he rescued in Rwanda from poachers who slaughtered his mother. The two communicate by signing to each other, and the film doesn’t take long to establish their accord. A capsule containing a powerful DNA-splicing growth serum, which fell out a careening space station escape pod, lands in the sanctuary’s gorilla enclosure one day and infects George. Rapidly growing in size, agility and aggression, George breaks from the sanctuary and is captured by government personnel, led by Harvey Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, adopting a fun, if not odd, southern drawl), but not before a woman claiming to know the source

of George’s transformation appears at his doorstep offering help. The capsule, she explains, contained an experimental agent that splices DNA and causes its subject to grow at an unprecedented rate —- and the only cure lies with the head of the company who created it, Energyne’s Claire (Malin Akerman) and Brett Wyden (Jake Lacy). As it turns out, George is only one of three giant animals scattered throughout the United States: Ralph, a wolf from Wyoming, and Lizzie, a crocodile from Florida, also got infected. The Wydens lure the trio to their building in Chicago with a radio frequency triggering their rage, and what remains of the film is Okoye and his new friend, Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris), following George’s tail in hopes of using the Wydens’ reversing agent on them before the military nukes him (his 50-ft companions and the city of Chicago along with them) to smithereens. “Rampage” is at its best when it’s centering on monstrous brawls, either between the Wrecking Crew themselves or between themselves and their human opposition. For what it’s worth, Ralph and Lizzie’s designs are eye-catching and refreshing compared to George’s simple King Kong appeal. Because the agent mixed their DNA with that of other harder, better, faster, stronger creatures, they gain new perks that help in their destruction: Ralph has webbed gliders like that of a

flying squirrel and can fire quills that spurt along his spine; and if the crocodile Lizzie couldn’t become any more intimidating, her armored skin becomes exceedingly spikier and elephant tusks grace her maw. It’s too bad we don’t get to spend too much time with either of them, however. This is especially true with Lizzie, who is in the film for possibly less than 10 minutes of total screen time despite being the largest of the three, and the most capable of making a mess out of Chicago. More monsters is really what this film needed on the whole, and less of the cheap attempts at emotional resonance from human characters. While The Rock offers a solid performance that adequately builds his connection as “The Good Human” in the eyes of our true, monstrous heroes, no amount of charisma can make him more interesting than a couple of big dumb animals.

Verdict: Never fully realizing the campy potential of its source, “Rampage” takes a safer route that weighs it down where it matters. Some major tweaks to the tone of the movie and a shift from humans to monsters as the main characters could have done wonders for this big, dumb action-adventure sci-fi picture, but where it stands it’s another Hollywood cliche that takes itself too seriously. ■H


First of all, I apologize for the awful headline. But I mean well. “Truth or Dare” is bad. You know it, I know it, and if you’re taking time out of your life to read this, then you’re probably not foolish enough to waste your time and watch this movie. In the past two years, Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions provided us with the hope that their bottomfeeding streak of garbage-tier horror flicks might be broken with films like “Hush,” “Split,” “Get Out” and (to a far, far lesser degree) “Happy Death Day” shifting their interests toward higher quality genre films. There have been exceptions to this rule, with “Whiplash” and “The Gift” suggesting their specialization in horror could lean toward more character-driven dramas, but they, like Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes, have rarely promised to be anything more than low-budget, highbox office returning schlock factories. Old habits die hard, however, and Blum’s latest PG-13 shitshow turns the scandalous, teen-pleasing game of truth or dare on its rotten head — I would say “Exorcist” style but that would stain the legacy of a quality horror film. I have been supernaturally obligated to summarize the

plot of “Truth or Dare” lest I fail my obligations as a yearning film critic; I will do this to the best of my ability, but you don’t really care, do you? If Blumhouse is allowed to be as cynical as to push out a movie of this caliber, grant me the space to be a curmudgeonous snob, will ya? Olivia (Lucy Hale of “Pretty Little Liars” fame, bless her heart for she will only look back with regret at her involvement) is a philanthropic college student who lives in a house with her best friend Markie (Violett Beane) and a few other buddies. When Markie, the bestie that she is, sabotages her plans of spending spring break building homes for the less fortunate and forces her to spend the week with their group of friends in Mexico, things take a turn for the worst when they play a deadly game of truth or dare with a stranger. The game is simple: Pick truth or pick dare, but pick neither and you die; two truths in a row forces the next player to pick dare. Think “It Follows” meets “Final Destination” but much, much more stupid and principally defined. In the hands of a seasoned B-movie maven, the simplistic conceit could have gone a variety of ways but, in the multiverse of film scripts, we were cursed with the worst one. Maybe for, like, 7-year olds, “Truth or Dare’”s obnoxious evilgrin that paints possessed

character’s faces could come across as scary. Really though, it’s comically flaccid as character design — if it can even be called such. Characters are one-note excuses for a body count, which this film’s PG-13 rating bars from realizing to its blood-soaked potential. The powers that be — which this film explains in painstakingly boring detail for far longer than it has any right to be — exploit these characters’ dimensionless traits to put our characters in sinister predicaments. Olivia is kind — a pushover, as one character notes — and has a crush on Markie’s boyfriend, Lucas (Tyler Posey). Lucas also has a crush on Olivia but is in love with Markie. Markie cheats on Lucas. Like, a lot. Like, literally behind his back as he’s sitting in front of her. Her father’s suicide also haunts her, and the film beats you down to a pulp in awful, hamfisted scenes of reminders. Then there’s the supporting characters. Brad (Hayden Szeto) is gay, and his police officer father doesn’t know. Penelope (Sophie Ali) is an alcoholic. Penelope’s boyfriend, Tyson (Nolan Gerard Funk) slangs prescription meds to freshmen and is applying to med school. That’s all, folks. It doesn’t help that these 20-somethings (portrayed by 30-somethings) are despicably unempathetic and infuriatingly unlikeable.


When it comes around to their turn to pick truth or dare, the game preys on their vulnerabilities in ways that become increasingly more high-stake. As the film winds down, more of the main character’s personalities are revealed. By some stroke of miracle, it’s here that the predictability of the script is shaken and it beelines toward an ending that’s suspect at best. Shocking as it may be, it’s still formulaically trite and will leave little more than a raise of the eyebrows. The film could have ended with

a CGI demon confrontation and it would change nothing to salvage this confusing implosion of cliches.

Verdict: “Truth or Dare” sucks. There was a time where “The Emoji Movie” was the acme of cynical, pandering Hollywood schlock, but “Truth or Dare” suggests we’re mere moments away from “Hokie Pokie (Gone Spooky)” flooring us in damning ideas. ■H





Soft, seductive vocals, an abundance of soul and a dreamy atmosphere are just a few of the characteristics of Kali Uchis’ debut album “Isolation.” The ColombianAmerican singer has been making waves ever since her introduction to the world on the Tyler, the Creator single “FUCKING YOUNG / PERFECT,” where her trancelike vocals and seductive persona were the highlight of the track. This performance, along with a 2015 EP “Por Vida” and feature contributions on some scattered singles, have amassed a following for Uchis and led to high anticipation for her debut full-length. Now, almost a full year after the release of the album’s leading single “Tyrant,” “Isolation” has arrived to deliver a diverse anthology of genre-bending tracks that invite listeners into the world of Kali Uchis. While the album relies heavily on its neo-soul and poppy R&B influences, we also see glimpses of reggaeton and jazz on tracks like “Nuestro Planeta” and “Your Teeth in My Neck,” which add more variety and character to the album’s repertoire.

And while “Isolation” is significantly better at executing style and presentation than “Por Vida” was, a clear shift in styles is definitely noticeable. The over the top, glitzy, lofi production and some of the more pillowy lyrics and vocal performances that were prominent throughout “Por Vida” definitely take a back seat on “Isolation” in favor of a more organic and sensual atmosphere. While this is not a detriment to the album, listeners seeking out a direct successor to “Por Vida” might be disappointed. However, this is by no means a step in the wrong direction for Kali’s career; in fact it’s quite the opposite. Despite the attachment that fans may have to her earlier work, Uchis is showing that she is willing to experiment and grow as an artist on this new album. Most of the songs in the tracklist are very enjoyable listens, which are carried by a solid creative direction throughout the album. No track ever feels unnecessary, even “Nuestro Planeta,” one of the weaker tracks, which finds itself in between two of the album’s strongest, “Dead to Me” and “In My Dreams.” The tighter and more rhythmic

reggaeton and dancehall infused beat serves as a nice change up from the more echoey “Dead to Me” and sets up nicely for next lighter and softer track, “In My Dreams.” One concerning aspect of “Isolation” is Kali’s vocals, which haven’t grown much in the years since “Por Vida.” Despite years of experience refining her vocals, there are a few times on this album where she comes across as flat and emotionless. The track “Tyrant,” which is highlighted by its excellent production and vintage sound, is a perfect example of her vocals being drowned out by the instrumental set before her. On “Tyrant,” Uchis seems to lack either the confidence or vocal register to fully perform. This is accentuated by Jorja Smith’s stellar vocal contribution, which is much more expressive than Uchis’. However, the gripes with this track could be due to a lack of chemistry between Uchis and the instrumental than her own shortcomings as a vocalist — thankfully, this lack of expression is not exemplified on the entire album, and is isolated to just a few tracks. On tracks like “After the Storm,” with its skillful contributions from the likes of Tyler, the Creator and Bootsy

Collins, Kali sounds like she’s in her element: These slower, melodic grooves really compliment Uchis’ lower pitch and allow her vocals to shine through. On “In My Dreams,” we get a dreamy, pop beat that enables Kali to give the most standout and beautiful vocal performance of the entire album. The high notes and harmonizing preceding Damon Albarn’s bridge are near flawless and serves as an excellent showcase of Uchis’ vocal talents. “Isolation” reminds of Adele’s “19” in that they are both studio debuts of a young, inexperienced voice that show some clear flaws, while still showcasing a plethora of raw potential and willingness to experiment. As we saw in Adele’s case, her debut album “19” showed aspects of jazz, pop and of course soul. However, with its breakout tracks being the symphonic “Chasing Pavements” and the somber piano ballad “Hometown Glory,” the decision was made to double down and improve upon these styles in her next project, which was the phenomenal “21.” With time, experience and a more refined focus, Kali has the potential to build upon the foundation of this debut and master her craft. If

“Isolation” is any indication of what’s to come, the future is bright.

Verdict: “Isolation” is by no means Kali Uchis at her fullest potential, but it shows sparks of brilliance that fans and newcomers alike will enjoy as she experiments with diverse sounds and vocals. The potential displayed here should draw attention, as it shows the components of an artist on the verge of huge mainstream success. ■H



Cardi B live-streamed the completion of her debut album, “Invasion of Privacy,” on Instagram in a moment which signaled a fulfillment of the endless possibilities going viral can manifest. Cardi, a Bronx native born Belcalis Almanzar, preached hoe gospels in 2013 and translated those gospels into two mixtapes, Gangsta B***h Vol. I and II before surfacing to the mainstream with the colossal “Bodak Yellow” and a flurry of chart-topping hits to follow. It’s understandable, then, why she looked exhausted yet relieved when completing her debut. Bare-faced and heavyeyed, Cardi spoke to her fans on IG Live, expressing a combination of gratitude and relief. A star who has molded traditionalist hip hop’s rules to her own liking, Cardi’s debut feels more like a victory lap than a conquest for super stardom. The 13-song album is a glamorously barbed missive against all opposition. In a lean 45 minutes, “Invasion” jets through a mix of bad b***h anthems alongside more melody-driven pop songs. It features a heavy list of collaborators that maximize her new mainstream zeal; an expansion on trap beats like “Bartier Cardi,” featuring 21 Savage and “Drip,” featuring Migos, has proven she can effortlessly run laps on her tracks. It’s the melodic poprap songs like “Best Life,” featuring choir boy Chance the Rapper, that come off more as TED Talk than ragsto-riches motivational uplift. Chance’s optimistic gospel rubs Cardi awkwardly but converges Cardi’s rags-tobags story in lighter tones. The collaborations never eclipse or ventriloquize Cardi into

poses of what Cardi should be. Cardi remains in situ. Her collaborators are natural fits that offer an assist for Cardi to be “Cardi,” like on “I Like It,” featuring Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny and superstar reggaetonero J Balvin. “I Like It” winds up Pete Rodriguez’s boogaloo classic, “I Like It Like That” and unwinds it with an explosive pop-trap beat equivalent to a strong tequila sunrise. It’s harmless Latin pastiche that steers away from the dull and frothy pastel synths of tropical-house, veering into the bombastic hues of Latin-trap. “Invasion’”s slower, more self-reflective moments garner Cardi’s greatest strength of authenticity. The confessional “Be Careful” samples Lauryn Hill’s “ExFactor,” which takes Hill’s “cult of seriousness” and fashions it into a jumpy midtempo pop song that reads like one long text message. She sounds defeated yet refuses to bow down, “Be careful with me/ You gon’ gain the whole world, but is it worth the girl that you’re losin’?” The Hill sample itself is far removed from the original song’s despair, and on “Be Careful,” it becomes bouncy and daunting, pensive in its rage. It isn’t until the secondto-last song, “Through Your Phone,” that another guard drops, revealing Cardi singing in a sweet and remarkable surprise. Her voice, dulcet and wounded, carries a simple melody that’s backdropped by the voice of another woman in anguish: “Beyonce on my stereo, ‘Resentment’ on repeat.” Her verses etch volatile scenarios, “Smash your TV from Best Buy/You gon’ turn me into Left Eye.” Like a melodramatic novela, “Invasion” zooms into the crevices of Cardi’s Binderella story, ultimately focused on

triumph. In an interview for Beats 1 with Ebro, she described locking herself up in the studio to rewrite and perfect her flows and verses. It’s a transparency of mastering the craft of rapping that is rare in a genre that propagates the myth of the naturally gifted rapper. Cardi demonstrates that it’s a talent that can be honed and sharpened. Accusations of ghostwriting immediately stuck with her because of how micro-documented her pivot to rapping was, making it easy to trace any enhancement in her rapping. Cardi bites the bullet and persists. “I waited my whole life just to shit on n****s/ Climbed to the top floor so I can spit on n****s,” she spits on album opener “Get Up 10.” The line’s abrasiveness is juicy and Cardi shreds doubts of her capabilities and authenticity so satisfyingly. The ghost writer being the death of authenticity hasn’t plagued Cardi. Instead it has emphasized her keen honesty to talk about things that are deemed to be shameful. Now when she spits the delivery it is smooth, barbed with a confidence and bravado coming from the school of “cash over men” with alumni like Lil’ Kim, Kelis and Rihanna who follow that flight. In “Bickenhead,” a feminist reimagining of Project Pat’s “Chickenhead,” Cardi rides and bounces to the tune of p***y poppin’ arithmetic. You can pop that p***y: At work, at church, on the pole and on the stove — p***y poppin’ can unlock channels of cash flows. Lil’ Kim and Rihanna, like Cardi, want the cold, hard cash. Cyber cash like Venmo or Bitcoin won’t do. They want it on them in racks, cash to be worn and for cash to wear their faces. In her essay, “The Prosperity Gospel of Rihanna,” Doreen


St. Felix writes about cash in relation to black women as “an expression of a bad b***h’s increasing girth against social enclosure.” The torrent of cash is never debilitating even at its most disorienting, (“I been broke my whole life, I have no clue what to do with these racks,” Cardi honestly states in “Money Bag”), its the appearance of a man that proves to be nuisance. In the SZA-winged “I Do,” Cardi B lays bare her thesis: “Here’s a word to my ladies, don’t you give these n****s none/ If they can’t make you richer, they can’t make you c*m”. Money is not a phallic replacement or envy, but a way for a bad b***h to fortify one’s own gravity and maintain balance in a world that seeks to leech off women like Cardi. Cardi B is now expecting her first child with boyfriend Offset from Migos and another series of public doubt clouds her. “Will her young career remain at its heights and continue to succeed as a mom?” is the popular

chorus. Her response: “I’m a schmillionare.” Cardi does what she wants because she wants. Cardi, like Beyonce, smashes the limp conception of pregnancy and children as career death. And “Invasion of Privacy” exemplifies a merciless grip against every single doubt. A taloned nails on 7th grip that ceases to budge.

Verdict: “Invasion of Privacy” is music to dance to. From bad b***h anthems to preachy motivational speeches to sentimental movements, they all make you move. Its less of a anchored statement piece of a debut that shows or tells you who Cardi B is — because you probably already know her. The album doesn’t distort or meme Cardi, instead it’s Cardi instrumenting everything herself molding a debut that lets Cardi — Cardi. Best Tracks: “I Do,” “Money Bag,” “Through Your Phone” ■H





Busted Bracket?

Big West coaches explain the conference’s unorthodox women’s basketball bracket JONATHAN FERNANDEZ

Senior Staff Writer

The women’s basketball Big West Conference Tournament (BWT) bracket is unlike most traditional brackets. As it goes, the teams that earn the first and second seeds during the regular season receive byes (meaning, they get to skip the first two rounds) until the semifinals. This means that the top two seeds are well-rested and only have to win two games in order to win the whole tournament as opposed to lower seeded teams that have to win four games. In order to understand why and how this bracket came to be The Highlander reached out to the women’s basketball coaches from the University of Hawaii and Cal State Northridge (CSUN). Hawaii’s women’s basketball Head Coach Laura Beeman explained the thinking behind the non-traditional structuring of the bracket saying, “As coaches we sat down, we looked at other conferences and what they did and as a body that’s what we chose to do. Which was to protect our one and two.” Beeman did admit that this format could potentially have disadvantages for the very teams they were trying to protect: “If you’re a team that does really well without a break and you have a two-game bye, it could really be detrimental to your style of play.” The six-year head coach added to that saying it could go either way depending on what kind of team you have, “If that format benefits your team then you’re happy about it. If it doesn’t benefit you then I think you’re

like uh-oh. I’m gonna have these two or three days my team is gonna have all this rest, but they’re going to come out rusty.” Beeman also feels that the winner of the tournament isn’t always going to be the team that dominated the regular season, but instead the team playing the best basketball at the right time, “I think that’s really what tournament basketball is about. You don’t necessarily have to be the best team in your conference or the best team in the country. You have to be playing the best basketball in the tournament.” Beeman cited this years BWT as an example of a team getting hot and knocking off a top seed because fifthseeded Northridge was able to knock out a first-seeded UC Davis team that went 12-1 during the regular season. Over the past five years it has been rare for the team with the best regular season record to go on to win the conference tournament. The last time this happened was in the 2013-14 season when CSUN finished first in the regular season and won the tournament. CSUN women’s basketball Head Coach Jason Flowers, who holds the record for most coaching wins in program history, is very happy with the current format. “I think it’s a good setup for us,” the eighth-year head coach said. “It gives meaning to the regular season. It’s difficult to win a regular season championship, and it’s difficult to be consistent over that stretch of time so the way our conference tournament is set up, it rewards the regular season champion and the team that comes in second.”

The ultimate goal of this bracket, according to Flowers, is to send the best team in the conference to the NCAA tournament, “Ultimately you want to send your best team into the NCAA tournament and hopefully win some games there.” Flowers went on

to explain that if a team that wins both the regular season and the BWT they would be a higher seed in the NCAA tournament and would have a better chance to win a game in that tournament, which would be great for the Big West conference as a whole. ■H

COURTESY OF YOUTUBE Head Coach Laura Beeman (above) believes the bracket could have both advantages and disadvantages.

Highlander World Cup Halftime Group D, Part I

The 2018 World Cup in Russia is still months away, and some teams are still being put together. However, that’s not stopping the Highlander from breaking down every group to give you a comprehensive overview leading up to the first kickoff.

Argentina FIFA Ranking: 9

Croatia FIFA Ranking: 17

Coach: Jorge Sampaoli, Argentinian (2017-present). Previously coached for Sevilla FC in Spain (2016-2017).

Coach: Zlatko Dalic (Croatia), Croatia’s coach since 2017. Previously coached Al-Ain from the UAE Pro League (United Arab Emirates)

World Cup Appearances: 14 First Appearance: 1930 Last Appearance: 2014 Best result: Champions-1998

Players to watch: Lautaro Martinez Argentina’s up-and-coming sensation Lautaro Martinez is the third leading scorer in Argentina’s top flight. Not impressed yet? Martinez is just 20 years old and has demonstrated the maturity of a world-class striker. Martinez has also already earned his first cap for Argentina in 2018 but has yet to play in a World Cup. Martinez has aroused interest from Inter Milan where fellow Argentine Mauro Icardi also plays. With Argentina’s top strikers Sergio Aguero at 29 and Gonzalo Higuain at 30 years of age respectively, Argentina needs to find a new world-class striker and so far Martinez is placing himself as next in line. The World Cup will therefore be Martinez’s opportunity to demonstrate Argentina’s future will remain in safe hands. Lionel Messi Whenever Argentina has no one to to rely on, Messi steps up. As seen throughout the whole World Cup in Brazil and in the qualifiers against Ecuador, Messi has appeared in some of the most crucial moments (except finals) for his national team. In what may be one of his last opportunities to win a world championship, Messi must not let desperation get to him and play freely as he does for Barcelona. While his talent is undeniable, Messi’s leadership qualities have been questioned, especially after his brief retirement from international play following a heartbreaking loss in the Copa America 2016. On an Argentina team that needs plenty of healing, Messi must continue to persist if he wants to one day lift the world’s most prized trophy. Potential lineup: Romero - Tagliafico , Funes Mori, Otamendi, Mercado - Mascherano, Biglia, di Maria, Dybala, Messi - Aguero Formation: 4-2-3-1 Prediction: Semi Final elimination , Fourth Place Matches: Vs. Iceland, 6/16 Vs. Croatia, 6/21 Vs. Nigeria, 6/26

World Cup Appearances: 6 First Appearance: 1998 Last Appearance: 2014 Best result: 3rd place, 1998

Players to watch: Mateo Kovacic When thinking of Croatia’s best midfielders, the players that most name are Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic. Both, however, are over 30 and will be playing in one of their last World Cup tournaments. Mateo Kovacic on the other hand, is only 23 and has yet to play in the tournament. Kovacic has grown into a key player for Zidane at Real Madrid by always responding when the French manager needs him. Kovacic is known for his great passing ability, defensive contributions and technique. Under the guidance of Modric and Kroos at Real Madrid, Kovacic is certain to become world class within the next four years. Russia will allow for Kovacic to demonstrate what he has learned so far from his superiors at Real Madrid. Ivan Perisic At 29, Perisic will possibly be playing his last World Cup tournament. The 6’2 left winger plays for Inter Milan where he often displays a great ability for placing crosses inside the box and outstanding pace. Although he is not considered an excellent player, Perisic is consistent for Croatia. Having played two EURO tournaments and a FIFA World Cup, Perisic always steps up on the national stage. Should the Croatians display a good exhibition of soccer, Perisic is certain to be one of their key players this summer. Potential lineup: Subasic - Strinic, Vida, Corluka, Vrsaljko Rakitic, Kovacic, Perisic, Modric, Mandzukic - Kramaric Formation: 4-2-3-1 Prediction: 2nd in group , Round of 16 elimination. Matches: Vs. Nigeria, 6/16 Vs. Argentina, 6/21 Vs. Iceland, 6/26






HOT TAKES Versatile pitchers are here to stay

DOMINIC PETRIC Contributing Writer

Historically, pitchers in the MLB have been some of the most dismal hitters the game has ever seen. Some of the best pitchers in baseball history back this up, including Justin Verlander with a .149 batting average in 2017, and Greg Maddux’s career .191 batting average. Traditionally, pitchers haven’t so much as thought about being much of a hitting power, due to the fact that being a dominant pitcher requires hours upon hours of practice in order to compete against some powerhouse hitters like Jose Bautista or Barry Bonds. Recently, however, this has changed. Pitchers are training themselves as hitters now in hopes of gaining a leg up on the competition as well as allowing their teams to effectively use all nine spots in the lineup to their full potential. The latest pitcher to hit the stage with this versatility is Los Angeles Angels phenom Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani, a recent draft pick by the Angels, has appeared in all-star fashion. Not only does he have an impressive resume, including the fastest pitch ever thrown by a Japanese pitcher (102.5 mph), but he also earned several awards as both a hitter and pitcher in Japan, and is able to run from the batter’s box to first base in as little as 3.8 seconds. Once he hit the MLB this season, Ohtani wasted no time, hitting home runs in three consecutive games in the first week of April, and then retiring 19 batters on the mound only two days after that. National League star Madison Bumgarner was perhaps one of the first to start this trend. Bumgarner, who was recently moved to the 60-day disabled list, is one of the most dominant pitchers in the MLB, with a career .233 opposing batting average, and finishing most seasons with a sub 3.0 ERA. Bumgarner has almost maintained an impressive hitting career as well, with 17 home runs and 90 hits throughout his eight-season major league career. While this isn’t an entirely a new phenomenon, pitchers have never been this productive on both ends. Carlos Zambrano finished his 11-season career with 24 home runs, but was a mediocre backup pitcher who didn’t focus enough on pitching. The new part of this phenomenon is that today’s pitcher-hitters are dominant on both sides of the ball instead of just one. With pitchers like Ohtani and Bumgarner hitting the stage, the ninth spot in the lineup has become much more dynamic than those who do not have pitchers with such versatility. The modern day pitcher is no longer an easy out. ■H

“There’s no better place”: New men’s basketball Head Coach David Patrick hits ground running

The first-time head coach is looking to utilize NBA and overseas connections to bolster roster

JARYD BONGCARAS Contributing Writer

UC Riverside officially introduced David Patrick as the new head men’s basketball coach to the public at a press conference held last Wednesday afternoon. A former Division I assistant coach at LSU and Texas Christian University, two big-name schools from Power 5 conferences, Patrick is no stranger to what it takes to win at the highest level of college basketball. With that said, Patrick’s hiring isn’t the last piece to the puzzle that UC Riverside has been waiting to complete. Upon landing in Riverside, he wasted no time looking to better his new team. “I think we do have the pieces to win right now,” Patrick stated, “We just signed a talented kid from Australia yesterday, and we’ll obviously look to add some more pieces given the opportunity. You’d be surprised about how many phone calls and texts I’ve gotten from kids that were looking at ‘bigger programs’ that want to come here. ” Patrick was referring to the signing of Dragan Elkaz, a 6’5 shooting guard from Sydney, Australia. Elkaz is a starting guard on the Australian Under-17 National Team, and is a highly-touted prospect. He has performed well during World Championship games, scoring 22 points against Canada and RJ Barrett — the #1 prospect in the 2018 class — as well as putting up 25 points against Bosnia. This isn’t the first time that UCR’s new coach has used his connection to the Australian national team. In fact, Patrick played a pivotal role in recruiting future No. 1 NBA draft pick Ben Simmons, his god-son, to LSU during his tenure there. He has also coached current NBA

players like Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova, both as former Australian national players, as well as Dellavedova at St. Mary’s. “Simmons lives in LA during the offseason, so the hope is to get him down here and train around our guys just so they could see what it is to be a pro,” he said. Although he’s been exposed to NBAlevel talent, Patrick emphasized the importance of these student-athletes excelling both on and off the court. “Whenever Dellavedova is on this side of the country I want him around too. I want our guys to know that you can still be a basketball player and get a degree at the same time. Not everyone is one-anddone.” And while having the Aussie team connection is a plus, Patrick was clear that he wanted to focus on winning the recruiting battle of top Inland Empire prospects. The likes of Reggie Miller and Kawhi Leonard all hail from the IE, Riverside specifically, and most likely didn’t even consider attending UC Riverside for basketball — they went to UCLA and SDSU programs, respectively. Though these are extreme cases and it does make sense to go to a better program, it definitely says a lot about how the local community views UCR, especially from a basketball point. However, if you were to ask Patrick about the school, he wouldn’t understand what’s not to like. “I come from a diverse background. I was born in Bermuda, my mom is part Sri Lankan, I grew up in Australia — there’s no better place for me to raise a family, especially in such a diverse community,” he said. Though winning the recruiting battle

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with bigger-named schools may be harder to achieve right now, perhaps doing so amongst other Big West teams is more likely. Coach Patrick has no doubt that his pedigree will begin to attract more top prospects in the local area. “My main objective is to keep the kids in the Inland Empire home” he said, “We were at Etiwanda High last Thursday, and this area is where we want to start first and then build out from there.” Patrick inherits a UCR program that finished last season better than what was expected thanks to barring injuries. The players showed him that they weren’t the type to give up so easily, as their last 8 conference games seemingly went down to the final possession. Combine the players’ grit along with Patrick’s positive outlook and experience, and the team can make some noise in conference this upcoming year. The Highlanders haven’t had a winning season since its Division II days. But, like the school making the jump from Division II to Division I, perhaps Patrick is the answer H to the team ascending within Division I. ■


Around Athletics JONATHAN FERNANDEZ Senior Staff Writer

Freshman Hailey Dolcini throws no-hitter Freshman pitcher Hailey Dolcini pitched a no-hitter in a 6-0 victory to kick off a doubleheader against Cal State Northridge. The no-hitter was the first of the season and the 12th shutout of the year.

vs. Grand Canyon 4/18/2018 2:00 PM Phoenix, AZ

vs. Mt. SAC Relays 4/19-21/2018 10:00 AM Walnut, CA



Track and field impresses in Highlander Twilight UCR hosted the Highlander Twilight on Friday, April 13 and put on an impressive showing. Riverside earned first place in ten events with the women taking seven and the men three. The men’s relay squad composed of Erik Cisneros, Michael Kojin, Nathan Noble, and Carlos Wedlow finished with a 40.97s time in the 4x100 relay which is the fourth fastest time in school history. On the women’s side Taylor Fleming took the conference lead and qualified for NCAA Regionals with 6.21m, 20-04.50 jump.

Baseball goes 1-2 in week

vs. Azusa Pacific Bryan Clay Invitational 4/19-20/2018 10:00 AM Azusa, CA

UCR’s baseball team fell to the University of San Diego 11-2 in a non conference matchup on Tuesday, April 10. On Friday, April 13 The Highlanders began a three- game series with the University of Hawaii. UCR lost a close one in the series opener, 5-4 before bouncing back and beating the Rainbow Warriors 9-2.

vs. Hawaii 4/19/2018 10:00 AM Student Recreation Center

Men’s and women’s tennis go .500 Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams finished the week with 1-1 records. The men’s team defeated Hope International University 7-0 before losing a conference match against UC Irvine, 6-1. The women’s team took down the Chaminade University of Honolulu 9-0 before losing to the University of Hawaii 1-5 in one of their last conference games before the Big West Tournament.


Volume 66 Issue 23  
Volume 66 Issue 23