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Long-form investigative articles covering people, events and issues that affect the student body. If you have an idea for us to cover, contact us at [email protected]

Behind the UC Tuition Hikes

In light of the UC Board of Regents’ decision to raise tuition for five years, the UCSD Guardian breaks down what the tuition increases actually mean for the average student.  Just when it felt like...

E-Mail Mishap Raises Concerns Over I-House Admissions Process

An internal e-mail mistakenly leaked by the director of International House has received criticism from students who allege that the I-House administrators illegally use criteria such as race and citizenship in their admissions process.

On March 4, I-House Director Christi Gilhoi sent an e-mail to the entire I-House listserv with the subject line “Confidential — I-House Selection List.” The e-mail contained a spreadsheet with the personal information of 148 students who had applied to I-House in Fall Quarter 2009, including columns for factors such as “citizenship” and “cultural identity.”

A followup e-mail from Gilhoi asked recipients to permanently delete the e-mail without reading its contents, but the information was quickly circulated.

Elizabeth*, an Eleanor Roosevelt College junior who wished to remain anonymous, said the e-mail reveals a flawed admissions system in which citizenship and ethnicity are deciding factors.

“I definitely think people’s backgrounds have to do with whether or not [they] get in, because I know people who are one-eighth of some exotic race will write that because it will give them a better chance of getting in,” she said. “Students should not have to resort to white little lies to get in.”

She also said she found the scoring system to be arbitrary. When Elizabeth applied last year, she was placed on the wait list but eventually denied acceptance. Officials informed her she had not scored as high as other candidates, she said. However, according to the spreadsheet, students with much lower scores were accepted.

“There are people on that list who got in with average scores of 13 and13.5 when I got a 16.5 out of 18,” she said. “They lied to me.”

Elizabeth said admissions officials should take into account achievements on a global level, such as volunteer work and educational experiences abroad, instead of directly considering race.

John*, another student who declined to be named, created the e-mail account [email protected] to spread the word about the issue and the ways in which he believed the I-House Admittance Committee has violated both state and federal laws.

In an e-mail sent from the account to the I-House listserv, John claims the selection process violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964, specifically the Fair Housing Act provision.

According to the Fair Housing Act, it is illegal to base any housing-related transaction based on factors such as race, color, national origin, religion and sex.

Additionally, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin in programs receiving financial assistance from the federal government.

International Group Affairs intern Jeremy McGrew — a member of Gilhoi’s staff — said it is outrageous that individuals like John are claiming racial discrimination occurs within an organization with the opposite mission.

“The whole point of this place is to create diversity and make it a blend of everyone from all over the world,” McGrew said. “How are we supposed to create an International House if we don’t know where the heck you are from? That is the only reason that line exists on the application.”

According to McGrew, it is optional to fill in one’s national origin and cultural identity on the application. He defended the I-House Admittance Committee’s system as “fair and diplomatic.”

“Anyone who is trying to criticize the setup of this, or how they run it, is trying to throw a wrench in something that’s moving very smoothly,” McGrew said. “We have a good setup, and good people, and good intentions.”

Eleanor Roosevelt College junior Pejman Moghbeli, a current I-House resident, said he disagreed with the decision to accept applicants with lower scores than those rejected, but understood why the staff would take cultural identity into consideration when facilitating an international community.

Elizabeth said she remains convinced that the issue extends beyond attempting to create diversity and expects I-House officials to provide a legitimate explanation for the e-mail.

“Right now, I just want some answers,” she said. “You can’t have any point system based on race and ethnicity.”

I-House Director Christi Gilhoi was unavailable for comment.

*Names have been changed.

Readers can contact Kelly Kim at [email protected]

Finding a personal path

San Diego is a suburban jungle -- a maze of freeways that snake among tract-home ghettos and vibrant community centers. But punctuating the cityscape of new construction and older urban areas are patches of green.

Lyon Liew
Guardian

The land in San Diego County buckles and folds, and canyons are tucked away between suburbanized mesas. Mountains rise from the east. Many of these areas are parks: designated outposts of wilderness within the dense development.

The trails that wind through the parks of San Diego can provide tranquillity and a sense of solitude in the midst of the crowded city; others are overrun with hikers and bikers and traffic that rivals La Jolla Village Drive's at rush hour. Some are paved and easy to navigate; others send their visitors crashing through underbrush or straining uphill. The county's outdoor hot spots vary, and many are within easy reach of UCSD.

Lyon Liew
Guardian

Torrey Pines State Reserve

Just a few miles north of RIMAC on North Torrey Pines Road, where the gated communities and wooded bluffs give way to the windy coastline, the entrance to the Torrey Pines State Reserve sits unassumingly at sea level. Once past the fee station and the first parking lot, the park road winds upward.

About 8 miles of trails branch from this road. A handy map guides the always-numerous hikers, who range from youthful parents with toddlers in tow -- some of the trails are that low-impact -- to Spandexed, Walkman-toting power-walkers, to students out for fresh air and dramatic views.

Torrey Pines' trails feature a surprising variety of terrain. The trees that give the reserve its name frame sandstone formations and all is underscored by the beach below.

The park's phone number is (858) 755-2063. There is a $2 parking fee, and the park is open daily from 8:00 a.m. until sunset.

Marian Bear Memorial Park (San Clemente Canyon)

A dramatic contrast of man-made urbanization with the beauty of rare riparian landscape is visible in San Clemente Canyon, where the 52 freeway links Interstates 5 and 805.

It shares the canyon with Marian Bear Memorial Park. A stream rushes parallel to the freeway. Paths cross and re-cross the stream, and forks slide under hangings of poison oak and low-slung branches of oaks and sycamores.

The bulk of the trail -- especially the section between Genesee Avenue and I-805 -- is flat and relaxing. However, the densest shade and greatest sense of isolation can be found west of Regents Road because the trail winds through a light-dappled grove of trees. Of course, the trickling of the stream is nearly always eclipsed by the roar of cars on the 52.

You can park off Regents Road or Genesee Avenue, just below the 52. Also, a particularly pretty path from behind Standley Park in University City will lead you into the park. Information is available through the Tri-Canyon Open Space Park Ranger at (858) 581-9961.

Tecolote Canyon Natural Park

Nearly 7 miles of trails spread through Tecolote Canyon, which is one of the largest canyons in the county. The park within this canyon stretches its many fingers from Mission Bay to Clairemont.

Along the rims of the canyon are houses the values of which are largely due to their peering view of the park below, and the nearby Tecolote Canyon Golf Course, which is within park limits.

The best place to enter the park's system of trails is at the Visitors and Nature Center at the east end of Tecolote Road. From there, the trail is easygoing, and the vegetation is calming. In the last mile of the trail, it climbs steeper and runs along a creek.

Like Marian Bear Park, Tecolote Canyon Natural Park is also administered by the Tri-Canyon Open Space Park Ranger, whose phone number is (858) 581-9961.

Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve

Mira Mesa may seem like the last place in San Diego where one would expect to find a bit of woodland preservation. The development that has occurred there in the last decade has turned most of the area into a monotonous landscape of planned communities. But off Black Mountain Road and Mercy Road is an oasis of trees and coolly shaded hiking.

Los Penasquitos Canyon's 3 miles of trails wind through 3,000 acres of lush preserve. The hikers there are those in search of a hidden spot in suburbia and the rush of the Los Penasquitos Creek ""falls"" -- really little more than a charming area of constriction in the creek's flat route.

The preserve lies between Interstates 5 and 15. Information is available from the park ranger at (858) 538-8066.

Bayside Trail, Cabrillo National Monument

At the tip of Point Loma, one can look west to the Pacific, south toward Mexico or east to the San Diego Bay, Coronado and downtown beyond. Bayside Trail hugs the southeastern coast of the point, and offers dramatic views of the boats slipping in and out of the bay.

Along the gravel-covered trail, wildlife struggles for a niche among the rocky coastline terrain. The trail is educational, as well, as sporadic plaques have much to say about the character of the vegetation.

The walk is gently graded and steep in places, but the gravel makes it far from challenging. From the lighthouse, the mile-long trail descends 300 feet in elevation, and ends 90 feet above the water. Trail-end views of the ships, birds and city are dramatic.

The phone number for visitor information about the Cabrillo National Monument is (619) 557-5450.

On Campus: Close to Home

Four-year on-campus housing guarantee could change student life at UCSD.

A New Frontier

Dr. Steffanie Strathdee and Daniel Yee speak about Health Frontiers in Tijuana, a free student-run health clinic in Tijuana, Mexico that began offering a new undergraduate internship this year. One in every 125 people aged...

Fox Artfully Dodges Gliders, Football Team at Council Visit

This week’s A.S. Council meeting was dominated by a guest
appearance from Chancellor Marye Anne Fox, who addressed the council in a way
reminiscent of Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Penny Rue’s recent visit.

Fox presented an overview of the progress that’s been made
in improving the undergraduate experience — a laundry list that stretched from
more on-campus housing to late-night bus routes and extended library hours.
According to Fox, UCSD will have added more than 4,000 beds by 2011, growth
which she described as “the most aggressive in the nation.”

Fox explained her goal to eventually house 50 percent of the
student population on campus. In her view, the philosophy takes into account
the desires of community residents who both dislike the traffic congestion from
student commuters as well as the construction of new on-campus housing.

However, no discourse about student housing would be
complete without raising the contentious issue of the proposed North Campus
transfer housing and its impact on the nearby gliderport.

Associate Vice President of Local Affairs Aida Kuzucan,
who’s been working with the La Jolla Town Council to ameliorate UCSD’s strained
relationship with the community, commented on the transfer housing at the Oct.
10 A.S. Council meeting, saying “We should not, not, not, not let this happen …
We are not the only people living in La Jolla. We have to make compromises.”

Kuzucan raised the issue to Fox at last night’s meeting with
some delicate phrasing, describing the controversy as creating “discomfort” in
the La Jolla community. Fox brushed ambiguity
aside and said, “Are you talking about the gliderport people?”

“People in the La Jolla
community are getting behind them,” Kuzucan said. “[The] community feels like
they’re being invaded.”

Fox seemed less than inclined to make changes to the plan
because the future high-rise buildings will only impact fixed-wing gliders.

“I think we’ve done our best,” Fox said. “It’s a prudent use
of state lands to house students at reasonable prices.”

All Campus Senator Meghan Clair, citing growing support in a
Facebook.com group, asked Fox about the prospect of a UCSD football team.
According to Clair, former Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Joseph W. Watson
estimated that it would cost $1 million to start a football team.

The ever-nimble Fox had some her own statistics waiting at
the wings, namely the $72-million and $100-million Division-I football programs
at Pennsylvania State University and Ohio State University, respectively.

“If you’re interested, keep the cards and letters coming,
but for now we don’t have the money,” Fox said.

She also lauded the performance of UCSD’s emergency
operations center during last week’s wildfires and emphasized the multiple
evacuation scenarios that the university was ready to execute.

“Or we could bring you all down to the beach,” she said. “It
probably would have been the world’s biggest beach party.”

SpotLight

Car Show: Sgt. Lorimor shows Shora Mobin everything she wanted to know about a Light Armored Vehicle (LAV-AD) at Thursday's Revelle Car Show in Revelle Plaza.

Tritons Go Six Straight

[caption id="attachment_17274" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Erik Jepsen/Guardian"][/caption]

With less than a month left in their regular season, the Tritons held tight against Cal State San Bernardino and Brown University on April 4. And the No. 17 UCSD women’s water-polo team could not have picked a better juncture of the season to hit their stride.

Senior utility Stephanie Heinrich scored five goals and sophomore two-meter Kirsten Bates added two more, earning the team its sixth consecutive victory: a 11-7 win over No. 20 Brown University. Heinrich had also put in the go-ahead goal earlier in the day against San Bernardino, helping the Tritons to a 6-3 victory.

Heinrich scored four goals in the first four minutes of the game, and Brown was never able to recover.

“Stephanie Heinrich set the tone immediately as the senior team captain,” head coach Brad Kreutzkamp said. “Four goals on four shots to start the game let everyone know that she meant business — and that attitude carries over to the rest of the team.”

UCSD led by as many as six goals in the third period, but Brown netted three straight goals in the fourth to cut the Triton lead to 10-7 with six minutes remaining. However, the Triton defenders would not allow anything past them for the rest of the game, and Bates added her second goal with 36 seconds remaining as the Tritons held on for the win.

Seniors Sarah Glick and Lauren Presant led Brown with two goals apeice.

The Bears’ defeat leaves them at 18-7 overall for the season.

Against San Bernardino, the Tritons fell behind 3-2 after the first period, but scored the final four goals of the match to seal the win.

“Our theory all year long has been that any team can beat anybody on any day,” Kreutzkamp said. “That game was an example of how we can end on the wrong end of that. But, thankfully, our defense kept us in the game until our offense woke up in the fourth quarter.”

The Tritons were unable to score for nearly 20 minutes before junior utility TC Coles scored her first goal at UCSD to tie the game with 1:20 remaining in the third period. Heinrich then scored with 6:58 remaining, and Bates and junior attacker Hanalei Crowell added late insurance goals to finish off San Bernardino.

Redshirt freshman Misty Vu scored two goals for the Coyotes, who dropped to 13-16 on the season.

The Tritons have a busy weekend ahead of them in Northern California. The team will play Cal State East Bay on April 9, then compete in the Santa Clara Invitational on April 10 and April 11.

Readers can contact Liam Rose at [email protected]

Organizing the Organic Revolution

For students who enjoy meals comprised of mass-produced
ground beef or greasy Chinese food, Price Center offers a smorgasbord of quick
and tasty options that may not provide nourishment but definitely leave
students feeling full. But where can those students find something more
nutritious, healthy and even fresh? Fortunately, UCSD has an expanding amount
of options for students searching for organic foods; it just takes a little
invested interest to find them.

Fresh fruit sold at the Food Co-op comes from local farmers who practice eco-friendly farming methods and avoid using chemicals for growing or weeding purposes. (Photos by Eric Rounds/Guardian)

Students who shop at Groundwork Books or find themselves
lost between John Muir and Revelle Colleges might have found the student-run
Food Co-op in Student Center, which provides vegan and vegetarian snacks, along
with fresh produce and an organic salad bar. Though it is tucked away in a part
of campus that is home to more construction than students, the co-op promotes
making educated choices about food, not only for personal health, but also for
the world.

“The main thing
[about organics] is connecting yourself with the communities that provide you food,
not having it appear in a Styrofoam box,” Muir College senior and Co-op member
Adam Calo said. “People don’t understand how their individual choice is
important.”

By cutting out the use of pesticides, distributing locally
and using manual labor in place of machinery, organic growers greatly decrease
the environmental impact of their food production. Choices as simple as picking
up an organic apple or salad influence the way farmlands and farm workers are
treated; the effect goes beyond a singular choice.

“I can use my ability as a consumer to choose products,
choose practices I support morally and ethically, and not have food be
separate,” Calo said. “The world is so dependent on agriculture and how it’s
done, so to separate your meals from what it’s actually doing in the world is a
big error.”

If Student Center is too remote for students only familiar
with the campus’ main paths, organic options can also be found in Price
Center’s Sunshine Store. Bonnie Harmon, the store’s manager and developer,
surveyed eco-friendly chains such as Whole Foods and Sprouts this summer, and
has contacted other major organic vendors to give the campus convenience store
a healthier variety of foods in preparation for the Price Center expansion
project.

“The [UCSD] community has a responsibility to the students
on campus to provide them with an environment where they are able to make
choices that are healthy for themselves,” Harmon said. “… I feel responsible
for making sure [healthy] options are there.”

Though the current selection of organic products is limited,
the Sunshine Store will be expanding in February 2008 to become the Sunshine
Market, which will not only include not only an organic section, but an
international section also. Though the store is growing and will be providing
more options, Harmon wants to remain appealing to budget-minded students.

“One thing I want the students to know they can count on at
the Sunshine Store is good value,” Harmon said.

Harmon also spearheads the farmer’s market, another
convenient organic option located on Library Walk and Lyman Lane near the
Chancellor’s Complex, every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“I have seen a
revolution brewing … students are very knowledgeable about what they want to
eat, what they want to put into their bodies and what they expect that food to
provide for their bodies,” Harmon said. “That’s why we brought the farmer’s
market on campus.”

The market is currently in its fourth season of operation
and has a wide variety of healthy, fresh and organic foods. Vendors
representing certified organic growers such as Budwood Farms and Smit Orchards
frequent the campus market and also participate in other markets throughout San
Diego County.

“[UCSD] is a great place to be selling organic food because
fruit isn’t something that needs to be prepared,” Smit Orchards vendor and UCSD
alumnus Matthew Smit said. “You can eat it right away or put it in your fridge
… so [for] students, it’s a fantastic thing.”

Like most certified organic vendors, the price of Smit
produce tends to be more expensive than their nonorganic counterparts. However,
the increase in price not only accounts for the food quality, but also
environmental benefits and labor consciousness.

“[Organic farmers] are growing the products and taking the
extra steps to make a really healthy and tasty product; we’re not trying to
just make as much as possible, grow as much as possible and sell as much as
possible,” Smit said. “So, because of that, organic farmers tend to be a little
more conscious about [their workers.] … [Organic food] is coming straight from
the farm to the customer.”

Along with Smit, returning vendor Larry Nedeu of Budwood
Farms can be found among the vegetable and fruit-laden tables at the farmer’s
market, selling organic produce to UCSD students. Both Smit and Nedeu are
certified organic vendors and have dealt with copious amounts of paperwork and
high expenses to continue sustainable farming. Nedeu has been farming
organically for 12 years, working manually without the assistance of tractors
or any heavy machinery. Weeding proves to be especially tough for organic
farmers that either deal with the problem themselves or have to hire
assistants. However, the extra work goes a long way on a grander scale: The
food is more nutritious and the land isn’t left ravaged by pesticides or heavy
machinery.

“It’s all about
improving the land, not just taking from it like conventional farming,” Nedeu
said.

These environmentally friendly techniques are evident in the
food’s appearance.

“We have some really great-looking produce and that just
comes from putting in the effort to do it right,” Smit said.

For students dedicated to the standard meal-point system,
Housing and Dining Services has also introduced organic food to its cuisine.
With dining halls such as Foodworx, Sierra Summit and Cafe Ventanas offering
organic teas, coffees, yogurts and soups, students can also make healthier
choices while still being able to rely on the money allotted to their
meal-point plans.

Steve Casad, the director of Dining, Retail and Conference
Services, has made a conscious effort to provide organic options, especially
for students who live in apartments.

“There is an increasing organic line at Earl’s Place,” Casad
said. “We want to make sure there is an array of organic choices for students
to take back to their rooms to prepare.”

At on-campus dining halls, organic foods have become
ingredients in many of the entrees that dining halls produce, due to the recent
addition of a culinary director and dietitian to the staff. The culinary
director and dietitian work together to formulate recipes that appear in all of
the campus dining halls, and focus on attaining a uniform standard of high
quality taste and nutrition.

“It is our responsibility to take care of the students and
offer healthy and nutritious meals,” Casad said.

While the staff at Housing and Dining Services and other
on-campus eateries is looking to expand the selection of organic food, at the
end of the day, the choices and students’ desires will determine whether
organic options are expanded.

“[What we serve] is
based on the masses,” Casad said. “The organic, health conscious,
environmentally and labor friendly options are out there, and have the potential
to expand — the choice is up to you.”

Living Abroad: Exchange Students at UCSD

Emilia Obarzanska: Tokyo, Japan Interviewer: Dominic Spencer We all know the shock of having new surroundings; this UCSD student experiences it on a grand scale. Emilia Obarzanska, a junior exchange student from Edogawa in Tokyo, Japan,...

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Week 10 , Spring 2017 (Print Screen)

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