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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]

The Editor's Soapbox

Two of my favorite people right now are the men who have insulted me the most in the past week. The first is George Lee Liddle, III, editor in chief of the illustrious Koala. The second is former Guardian editor in chief and current California Review pundit Ben Boychuk. In an Oct. 18 letter to the editor, Liddle said I have “”puerile opinions.”” In a piece in the California Review, UCSD’s conservative publication, Boychuk all but called me a “”half-wit.”” And while I bristle at the barbs, I’m also grateful for them. They piss me off. I like being pissed off. I also like criticism, and while I prefer that it be slightly more constructive and specific than, say, “”blow me,”” I’ll take what I can get. And I won’t let a few potshots distract me from the legitimate points being made. So I am now going to climb up on the soapbox and respond to my detractors. Dear George, (Can I call you George? I’ll assume I can skip some formalities with someone who likened me to a “”6-year-old”” calling him a “”poopy-head.”” I would never call you a “”poopy-head,”” by the way.) Thank you for your letter. It made me laugh at a time when I needed to be distracted from falling grades and new wrinkles in my love life. Don’t think I’m trivializing your letter by complimenting its humor. Your letter was surprisingly well-aimed. I should clear up a misunderstanding evident in your letter. The Guardian’s editorial criticizing The Koala’s publication of bigoted jokes never advocated censorship or the withdrawal of student funds from your publication. What it did do was say that you crossed a line from funny to shameful and suggested you consider some restraint in the future. The Guardian is not, as you claimed in your response, trying “”to stop The Koala from continuing to be heard.”” But what’s a little misrepresentation among friends? You hit on something intriguing in your letter. You wrote to the Guardian, “”When [student] organizations allow The Koala to print material that makes fun of white people, fat people, handicapped people, etc. and only take action when members of a particular ethnic group are made fun of in The Koala, I call that racism.”” I agree that it’s completely ridiculous that everyone is getting their panties in a bunch over The Koala only now, when you guys have been offending the hell out of UCSD for years. If “”cum-guzzling drag queen”” (see the “”Special Sungod Pornstar”” issue of last spring) isn’t hate speech, then what is? Do I think what you print is offensive? Sure. Am I breaking out my torch to set alight The Koala office and string up your senior staff in the eucalyptus grove? Hell no. Personally, I think when you come to a university like ours, you accept that your funds are going to be used to foster the free and open expression of people who don’t agree with you and, in fact, make your stomach turn. Obviously some disagree, as we saw last year during Anti-Zionism Week and are seeing again now. I don’t know what the solution to all this brouhaha is. I didn’t know when I sat on the editorial board that puzzled over what stance to take on the developing Koala controversy. I do know that I, for one, am occasionally uncomfortable with what I find funny. I’ve been known to laugh hysterically at a clever but unquestionably racist joke, and then go red and squirm. I know I’m supposed to thunder down from the heavens against such “”hate speech.”” But if it’s funny, and I know that I don’t actually think Mexican kids get “”my bike”” for Christmas, is it still wrong? Are we bigoted because we find bigotry amusing? Or is humor the best way to diffuse such tension and point out how ridiculous it is? These questions aren’t rhetorical: I want responses from anyone and everyone. I want debate. I want people to get pissed off. When people are pissed off, they act up and things get changed. I like change. Once again, George, thanks. You’ve got me thinking, which is something I never expected from The Koala. Sincerely yours. To Mr. Boychuck: You graduated seven years ago. Stop reading the Guardian. Stop picking on our writers. Your demand for a more balanced opinion section at the Guardian is justified. However, if you want an intelligent, conservative voice to be heard on a campus you’re not even affiliated with anymore, give the space you so pointlessly consumed in the California Review to someone with something more to do than hurl hollow insults at liberals. Or send your College Republican friends to the Guardian office. We’d love to hire them — if they write better than you do, that is. And if you’d care to stop belittling my intelligence long enough to give me some constructive criticism on my section, e-mail me at [email protected] Or you could just kiss my ass. Cordially yours. ...

10 Questions

What has been the funniest thing you have seen happen at UCSD? I think it’s funny how the water polo team made a calendar of themselves. What do you do for fun on weekends? Smoke weed and go to the beach. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop? I usually suck on it for awhile. What illegal act have you committed lately? Smoking weed. Boxers, briefs, panties or thongs? Thongs. How would you spend a first date with someone? I’d go for a walk on the beach. What is the weirdest thing in your backpack right now? A little paper boy. His name is Flat Stanley. My cousin in second grade sent it to me and he is on “”vacation.”” What are you dressing as for Halloween? Possibly “”Gilligan’s Island.”” I would be Ginger. If you could be anyone right now, who would it be? I would be a photographer that gets paid to take pictures of islands. Are you a carnivore, herbivore or omnivore? Herbivore. ...

Carving a path

Wings are no longer the highways to the sky. Ground-zero flight is now possible. Armed with the shoes of Mercury, he skims swiftly over concrete like a jet hurtling over clouds. He sweeps past dreary masses of pedestrian students who are doomed to a life of sore feet and raw blisters. Buildings blend together and the students of UCSD blur into a diverse rainbow of yellow, white and brown. People and obstacles become cones in his slalom course as he weaves in and out like a skilled tapestry artist embroidering a quilt that says “”Walking Sucks.”” He is riding a longboard and he is free from the burly grasp of this earth. To many, the preferred means of transport around school is a longboard. The elongated wooden deck, extended wheelbase, wider stance and larger wheels meant for smoother riding differentiate a longboard from a skateboard. Often, longboards will have oddly shaped decks. Many are pointed for aerodynamics. Some pay homage to longboarding’s surfing roots and have flat decks. Others have curves and are molded to induce an eerie, floating feeling when riding. The length can range from a tiny two feet to a massive six feet. One constant for all longboards is their larger, softer wheels designed to soak up bumps, dips and cracks. Simply put, skateboards are designed for tricks while longboards are meant for cruising. Their capacity for higher speed and ability to handle cracks and pavement irregularities make longboards a hit among UCSD students who prefer a fast route around campus. Longboarders are everywhere at UCSD. Though not as prevalent as skateboarders, they are an undeniable presence between classes. The only quick mode of transport that does not require hands, longboarding frees the rider to eat, drink or chat on a cell phone while getting from point A to point B. However, longboarding has its dangers. There have been 11 reported longboarding injuries on campus in the last five years, and many more unreported. Forty-five percent of the accidents took place on Voigt Drive — that enormous hill coming down from RIMAC toward Warren College. This year, a novice rider received multiple stitches after his accident on that hill. The love of boarding is also seen in the organizations on campus. The Board Club gathers boarders of every genre through parties, trips and other social events. Skating, surfing, snowboarding, mountain boarding and longboarding are all united under the [email protected] banner. Board Club President Sean McPherson explained, “”Longboarding is soul. Carving the streets is like no other. When you get the power slide going, it’s so much like surfing, so much like snowboarding, but like neither one.”” Since longboarding holds its roots in surfing, the two sports tend to have many common participants. Freshman and skilled surfer Gavin McClintock owns many boards and has been hitting the swells for the past decade. But when the surf is weak, he longboards. “”Long skateboards are cool because you don’t get speed wobbles bombing big hills, and if you do the blood stains are cool,”” McClintock said. Another ardent surfer, freshman Justin Kleffman, is also an avid board rider. He has been skateboarding for the past eight years, so longboards are nothing new to him. A surfer since junior high, Kleffman said, “”There’s nothing like the feeling of hauling ass down the line — sitting right in the pocket. It’s like you are one with the wave and the ocean. With skating, it’s the same, whether you are carving down a huge hill, weaving through traffic, gliding down the sidewalk to class or busting huge tail-slides on a cement bank. It’s all that same feeling.”” The longboarding craze here at UCSD is a reflection of its popularity far and wide. The San Diego region was instrumental in the growth of longboarding, and Mission Beach and other local spots are magnets for longboarders. Even though the sport tends to be male- dominated, women, such as old-school boarder Stacey Peralta, have shown up generations of men with their incredible longboarding skills. Women everywhere are riding and keeping up with their male counterparts. Senior Kathleen Hentz started longboarding when she came to UCSD. She uses it as transportation around campus because it is “”way easier”” than other modes of locomotion. Sector 9, a local skate company, was founded in 1993 with a few regular guys looking for a good time. While messing around, they began making cheap boards for cruising and carving. Someone offered to buy a board, and eight years later Sector 9 exploded into a multimillion-dollar worldwide enterprise. Sector 9 President and co-founder Steve Lake said, “”It’s all about fun — just doing something different. It’s about the carving, like we were surfing or snowboarding.”” Longboarding is a joy for those who do it. Every mile, foot and inch traveled is a pleasure — at least downhill. Next time you see someone swoosh by on a longboard, know that they are enjoying their commute more than they would be if they were walking. Breaking into the world of longboarding is not beyond your reach. “”I just started, and if there’s any one thing I’ve realized in my short time riding, it’s that you all need to get out of our way,”” said freshman Austin Reid. “”Damn it, I have places to be.”” Visit your local surf or skate store and take a look at their selection. The Internet has many good resources. Web sites such as http://www.gearheadalley.com and http://www.eBay.com offer deals worth your time. A good board will cost between $100 and $150 depending on where you buy it. Though expensive and not easy to learn initially, longboarders feel it is well worth the investment of time and money. Expect to eat it (slang for “”hurt yourself””) many times, but bear the scars with pride. If you ever dreamed of flight, now is your chance. Like they say, “”ride or die.”” ...

The Editor's Soapbox

If you’re one of those people who has ever said, “”I think I’m going to take the LSAT just to see how I would do,”” I have this to say in response: Don’t even toy with the idea of law school unless you have hundreds of dollars to throw around. Now, when I mention dollars, you probably think I’m referring to the astronomical tuition fees associated with most of the top-tier law schools. Harvard, Yale and Stanford all demand something around $25,000 per year. Even the lower-ranked, but still noteworthy schools — such as USC, Cornell and Columbia — will cost you a pretty penny. Still, the steep tuition is expected. What you might not expect from law school is just how much it could cost you to simply take the test and apply. Let me enlighten you, dear prospective LSAT-takers, with a few insightful bits of wisdom that constitute the sum of all I learned while studying for the Big Test over the last three months. It costs $96 to register for the LSAT. On top of that, most test-takers register for the “”Basic Law School Data Assembly Service 12-month subscription fee”” for $95. The $95 buys you one free score report and ensures that your letters of recommendation will be on file with the LSDAS. It already sounds like an expensive proposition. The average applicant applies to 10 law schools. You get to pay $9 for each additional score report that the LSDAS sends out. After registering to take the LSAT and deciding which 10 schools you’re applying to, you’ve got a bill of $281. Let’s be fair and imagine that you’re taking the test just to “”see how you would do,”” and that you thus have no need for 10 score reports or for the filing service. Being there on test day is still going to cost $96 and if you ever do apply, you’ll still have to register for the LSDAS for $95. Now, let’s imagine another scenario: You paid the $96 just to see how you would do, but now that the economy and the world seem a tad wobbly, you want to apply to your 10 schools and ensure your position on the student deferment list rather than your position on the front lines in Afghanistan. First, you’ll be hit by that $95 fee and then you’ve got to order those additional score reports at $9 each. Then, a month later, you’ll forget that you’re a communications or political science major and you’ll think, “”What the heck? I might as well apply to Harvard. I mean, I do have a 3.90.”” Now you will have gotten your little legalistic self into a quandary — you only ordered 10 score reports! Never fear, of course. The LSDAS loves to predict your blunders and make money off them, and they predicted this one perfectly. You can order additional score reports for Harvard at a later date, but the price goes up from $9 each to $11 each. Now that’s $95 for the test, $96 for the LSDAS subscription, $90 for score reports and $11 for the Harvard decision. That adds up to $292. And you haven’t even paid your application fees yet, which run between $50 and $70 each. Ten applications at an average of $60 per application is $600. The grand total has now risen to $892. Oh, and what about those preparatory courses you’ve heard such wonderful things about? They must be worth something — I mean, they’re the reason the LSAT is getting harder every year. Well, don’t even consider trying one unless you’ve got about $1,000 to drop. New grand total: $1,892. Before I go on, I’ll admit that the LSDAS does offer fee waivers for U.S. citizens. The general condition upon which such waivers are granted, however, is an “”absolute inability to pay for the LSAT and other essential applicant services.”” That seems sort of reasonable, but LSDAS also states that, “”Because the cost of these services is only a fraction of the cost of a legal education, the need criterion is considerably more stringent than for other financial aid processes.”” Here’s my reading of that very fishy statement: “”If you can’t afford to take the LSAT, you probably can’t afford law school. You should be intimidated by these looming costs and shouldn’t even bother applying.”” At first, it seems like I sound a lot like the LSDAS booklet. But here’s how my LSAT philosophy differs: Even if you’re empty-pocketed, you should save up and apply, you should still go if you get in, and, of course, you should apply for the fee waiver no matter what. Just be aware of the price tag attached to your decision and prepare for it. I wasn’t and now I’ve got a new $1,300 student loan. ...

10 Questions

What exactly were you thinking before I stopped you? I was thinking about what I’m going to eat for lunch today. If you could go to another university, where would you go and why? I would go to UCSB because it’s almost as beautiful as San Diego. Has there been any improvement in student events since you started UCSD? I don’t know — I’m not much of a participant. How many times have you been to Tijuana? About four. What do you think the biggest slacker major is? Why? Undeclared, because you don’t have to make any commitments. In any major there will be slackers, though. Who would win in a street fight between Peter Jennings and Dan Rather? Dan Rather. Actually, I don’t know who either one of them are. Are they football players? If you could go anywhere for spring break, where would you go? Mallorca — it’s an island off Spain. Although Jamaica would be cool too; I can’t decide. What radio station is your radio tuned to right now? Z90. If you had a hot cousin, would you hook up with him or her? No. If I didn’t know they were my cousin, it would be OK, but I just wouldn’t do that. If your partner wanted to give you an olive oil massage, would you be down for it? Yes ...

A contagious fear

A panic seems to have spread through the United States in the past few weeks. Americans are wondering if they are at a high risk of biological or chemical warfare and if such an attack could effectively be conducted against the United States. Pat Leung Guardian Fears of an attack intensified last week after Robert Stevens died from inhaling anthrax in Florida. While the circumstances surrounding his death are still unclear, many fear it is a harbinger of biological warfare as a new form of combat. The scare is reminiscent of other attacks in which chemicals were used as weapons. In 1995, terrorist group Aum Shinrikyo spread aerosols of anthrax and botulism through Tokyo on eight occasions. Most of these attempts were only marginally successful, killing a total of 12 people. In 1979, 64 people died of an accidental release of weaponized anthrax in Sverdlovsk, Russia. Other possible biological agents include smallpox, cholera and plague. An outbreak of smallpox would be “”devastating,”” according to Gerard Spahm, director of occupational health at the Salk Institute. “”It would be horrendous. But we have every indication that there is no other smallpox.”” While small amounts of smallpox still exist in laboratories in the United States and Russia, it was declared eradicated in 1977. Of the biological and chemical agents that could be used in an attack, anthrax seems to be on most people’s minds. There are three types of anthrax infection: inhalation anthrax, cutaneous anthrax and gastrointestinal anthrax. Cutaneous anthrax is the most common form, with about 2,000 cases reported annually and a 20 percent death rate, according to the Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies. FBI officials and Rudy Giuliani, mayor of New York, spoke Oct. 12 in a press conference about the NBC employee who has been diagnosed with cutaneous anthrax. “”There is nothing that ties it firm and hard to the Sept. 11 events,”” Barry Mawn of the FBI said. However, Dr. Brian J. Murray, director of Student Health Services at UCSD, is skeptical. “”Cutaneous anthrax is fairly uncommon,”” Murray said. “”I would say the relation between the NBC woman and terrorist activities is highly suspect.”” The cutaneous form of anthrax is usually transmitted by infected animals, which places wool sorters at industrial mills at the highest risk. Gastrointestinal anthrax is less common, since it is spread by eating undercooked, contaminated meat. The strain of most concern is inhalation anthrax. When distributed as an aerosol, it is an odorless and invisible enemy, and can travel many miles before spreading. Inhaling airborne spores causes infection, but it is not contagious. Once the spores grow, the disease follows two steps. The first stage shows symptoms of fever, cough, headache, vomiting, chest pain and weakness. The second stage is red-flagged by a sudden fever and shock. From the time that the first symptoms appear, most victims last from 24 hours to three days without medical treatment. However, many victims do not show symptoms for a long time. But if a victim is treated with antibiotics such as Cipro at the first signs of the disease, anthrax is not fatal. There is also a vaccine against anthrax, though it is almost exclusively used for the U.S. military and its reserves. The vaccine is not recommended by public use because of its harsh side effects, as well as the cost and logistics of a large-scale vaccination. Authorities are also trying to discourage people from creating a personal stockpile of antibiotics in case of an anthrax attack. Dr. Jeffery Kaplan, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Oct. 2 that the centers “”do not recommend that physicians prescribe antibiotics at this time. “”We currently have enough antibiotics to prevent the disease in two million persons exposed to anthrax,”” Kaplan said. “”We could rapidly get preventative medicine to those who may be affected by the disease, which cannot be transmitted between people.”” As nice as that sounds, this statement has done little to allay people’s fears. “”There is no doubt in my mind that they [terrorists] have the capacity to unleash a biological offensive,”” said Muir senior Elijah Zarlin. “”And if it happens, it would be devastating, no matter how many precautions you take.”” While terrorists may have the ability to unleash these agents, it could be difficult to effectively spread it. A successful attack would use a confined space to discourage dilution into open air. The effectiveness of a chemical attack would also depend on the location and weather conditions. Spahm said that San Diego residents would not be prime targets for a chemical attack. “”The prevailing winds from the ocean to the mountains would disperse the particles, therefore dramatically reducing its effectiveness,”” he said. Since the primary symptoms of inhalation anthrax resemble that of influenza, there is a growing concern that an increased public panic could lead to a psychosomatic reaction. That means that people could convince themselves that they have inhaled anthrax spores instead of simply acquiring influenza. Following the death in Florida, for example, over 60 people who had an affiliation with the man, or the company he worked for, convinced themselves that they had acquired the disease. “”We would encourage people with possible complications to come in first for the flu vaccination, which comes out in the end of October,”” said Sylvia Wallace, assistant director of public affairs for Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. “”Those without complications should wait until November and December, when supplies trickle in to get this year’s flu shot.”” Flu shots will also be available at the UCSD Student Health Office on Oct. 23 for $15. Officials have also reassured the public, which is unaccustomed to living in fear of terrorist activity. The CDC and the World Health Organization urge citizens to continue their normal daily routines. Wallace pointed out that the government has “”stockpiles”” of antibiotics to treat most of the possible diseases from biological or chemical pathogens. “”As a system, [hospitals] have emergency preparedness and [practice] simulated drills,”” Wallace said. “”We also work in cooperation with the fire department and other regional and federal systems. Many thought healthcare would fold in New York, but it didn’t fail.”” Most authorities interviewed said that there are few practical precautions for a biological or chemical attack. “”In order to be protected, you must wear [a gas mask or air-tight suit] 24 hours a day,”” Spahm said. Student and faculty seem to favor continuing a normal routine. “”I don’t take any precautions,”” UCSD employee Katy Pilikova said. “”I think we have to be worried. But still, I am going on vacation.”” ...

The Editor's Soapbox: Quest for 'hotness' misguided, insincere

It happened nearly a year ago, but I don’t forget things quickly. Late one night in October, my normally quiet, mild-mannered roommate stumbled into the house fresh from his company’s Halloween party. Drunk as a pig, he was full of brilliantly witty declarations regarding the disposition of the female gender, most of which boiled down to the statement, “”Women are bitches.”” Another of my roommates, ineffably amused, asked him, “”Just how drunk are you?”” at which he burst out, with a grin, “”Drunk enough to think that Jennifer is hot!”” He quickly guffawed and tried to reassure me with a slurred, “”Just kidding.”” I smirked back at him, but things were already working within my mind. I did not know which should have been more offensive: the first statement, or its retraction a moment later. What I did know was that whichever way his words were taken, he was speaking not just his own point of view but indeed even my own, and that he reflected, to a degree, what others around me are prone to think as well. The difference between the way I feel about my appearance and the way some others do, however, is that I don’t feel any obligation to change anything. “”Nine out of 10 UC girls are hot, and the tenth goes to UCSD.”” Doubtless many of you, especially the older ones, have heard this self-satisfied sneer at some point or another. I could easily counter it with the presentation of any of my female acquaintances, but I could not exhibit myself as a counter-example. So sorry, boys — I’m that 10th girl who’s ruining your statistics. However, most of you lads aren’t so hot yourselves, so you may want to think about that the next time you sit down for a laugh at the expense of your female classmates. After several years of contemplation, I have noticed a couple of things about “”hotness””: First, it’s a sin not to have it, but second, it’s an even greater sin not to want it. I am content with my lot, so don’t think this is a rant about how bitter I am that I look nothing like Catherine Zeta Jones. Like the mindless masses, I worship at the delicious altar of beauty and pledge my undying zeal without a second thought. However, I wish people would quit trying to make me want that distant, unattainable zenith for myself when I know I am demure enough not to try to be so. While a person can be perfectly comfortable for failing to meet the criteria that make for “”beauty,”” it makes others uncomfortable as hell when they have to deal with someone who willingly steps outside that fold. People seem to take a particular delight in trying to play dress-up with those who won’t subscribe to conventional standards of beauty. I can’t tell you how many slumber party friends have asked to do a makeover on me, and how many times I have squeamishly refused. Finally, though, something gave way during my first year here, and I consented to become a mannequin to my roommates for an evening. I found it uncomfortable but bearable, goaded on as I was by their compliments, and I decided to make small changes in my appearance for a while. I occasionally ditched glasses for contacts, dared to wear my hair down — I enjoy a famous reputation from Walnut Creek to San Diego for always keeping it pulled back — and started shopping for things other than sweatshirts and baggy jeans. People reacted positively to how I looked. They found it novel and impressive that I would have consented to appear more as a 1990s girl than a late-nineteenth century portrait. When I would revert back to what I considered my normal appearance, they would ask when I was next going to appear in my “”hot”” guise, as some called it. I used to laugh this off with embarrassment, but as the summer after freshman year wore on, I began to feel the first tinges of offense creep into me. I noticed that I was becoming less comfortable with the style that I had adopted; that I felt it did not encapsulate the side of me with which I was at ease. Dressing up in that manner was more like putting on a mask or a persona, and I felt untrue to myself. I am not one to do things that go against my instinct; I reverted more and more to my normal appearance, with which I was perfectly comfortable and content, though I did keep the wardrobe changes. And then it started. I had ceased to change my appearance any longer and stayed the same old comfortable me, the one I like the best. But some of my friends began to ask more insistently when I would next be playing dress-up, and would even urge me to come out to certain social functions only if I’d be “”properly attired.”” This had always made me uneasy, but after two years of this badgering, it had begun to make me downright angry. I would dismiss their beleaguering questions absent-mindedly, or laugh sardonically at the mention of my alter ego. Nobody was any the wiser. I realized that people had taken to the other appearance I created for myself; there was nothing wrong with that, in my book. What was infuriating was that I considered it a fake incarnation of myself, and many people seemed to prefer the fake persona to my real one, the one with which I was happy. This vexed me considerably. It doesn’t bother me to walk by the Bebe store and see an enormous poster of a model whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie. It is bothersome, however, to imagine the indignation of those who stand behind me, condemning me just because I don’t want to try in vain to make myself look like that same model. Before my sophomore year, I stopped scrambling for the unattainable and realized that I was most content with what I had been given. Some of those around me are not, however, and I’ll still get the occasional request to be my “”other self.”” I got over my perpetual irritation with others’ pointless pleading when I realized that I was comfortable with my appearance, no matter what others might have thought of it. Indeed, I came to realize that their nagging actually reflected more on their discomfort with my own desire not to conform than on any objective notion that I could actually be good-looking. Hotness is delicious — on the people for whom it was intended. But most can’t get it through their heads that not everybody can be hot or want to be. This comes as a shock to many people, since hotness is certainly one of the more lauded and thirsted-after values of our society. I’m not a mover and shaker, though; I stay within the comfortable boundaries of my locative realm. Not to want to be hot, and to be truly satisfied with that state, seems to be too much for some. Even if you come to accept yourself, it’s funny to realize that there are still going to be a lot of people who won’t accept you, particularly if you go against the grain. ...

10 Questions

What is one thing you love about UCSD? The weather. The sun is out when you need it and it’s never too hot. And when you want it cool, it’s there. Better than Los Angeles. What is one thing you dislike about UCSD? It’s too quiet during the weekends. There is no nightlife. What is the best means of transportation around campus? The shuttles. What do you think of UCSD’s school spirit? What school spirit? How do you party like it’s UCSD? We don’t party at UCSD. We study. The only party here is Sun God! How do you think having on-campus fraternity houses would affect our school? I think it would generate more of a social life for some people. It might bring some life to the campus. Beer vs. Books: What do you think of alcohol and academics? Alcohol is a great excuse to use books as … wait. What books? How many hours a week do you study? Ten to 20 hours. What is the funniest or worst story about bad roommates you’ve been told? A friend of mine’s sister went home for Christmas break and her roommate stole her toilet paper from her closet. What is the worst thing you have seen or experienced while here? I got caught drinking by the resident security officer. Me, drinking? I was a goody two-shoes in high school, so getting caught was weird. ...

Keeping the Faith

Navigating Library Walk during Welcome Week can be overwhelming with so many organizations there trying to attract your attention. Among the political and social clubs are some that many students find just as important as debating or partying: organizations that cater to UCSD’s spiritual needs. Rebecca Drexler Guardian There are 42 religious organizations on campus, according to a Student Organizations and Leadership Opportunities pamphlet. The groups cover many world religions, and vary as much in their size and level of on-campus visibility as they do in their practices and values. Each contributes to campus life in its own way. At first, UCSD can be intimidating, so many students affiliate themselves with a religious group to find a comfortable atmosphere that allows them to socialize, but also to remember what they are living for. Roosevelt sophomore Rebecca Cohen joined the Union of Jewish Students because it gave her the feeling of being with a family while away from her own. Tyler Huff Guardian “”For me, Judaism is linked to my family, and without that part in my life, I would feel disconnected,”” Cohen said. Muir freshman Amber Martin feels that joining a religious group on campus is “”consistent, making it easier to adjust to campus life.”” She said that she thought of joining Campus Crusade for Christ because it would help her maintain a religious connection away from home. CCC’s purpose is to help students meet people and find satisfaction through their faith. According to its mission statement, the CCC is dedicated to giving “”every student the opportunity to know how they can have a personal relationship with God.”” The club’s president, Roosevelt senior Craig Shigyo, said the CCC’s priorities are “”to offer the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the campus, and also to build a community of love, grace and truth.”” The organization, which has about 200 members, does this through meetings at which a different guest speaks each week. “”That time is meant for Christians to come together and for others to come learn,”” Shigyo said. He said that each college has its own Bible study group to provide a more intimate environment and discussion. The CCC also fosters student connections by providing festive environments for its members. Each Bible group goes out together after sessions so people can get to know one another. Shigyo added that CCC is planning a camping trip and a conference in Los Angeles with other Campus Crusaders. Marshall senior Richard Chen described the group as a “”tight-knit community.”” He explained that many of the other Christian organizations on campus, such as the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, work with CCC on events. This cooperation, Shigyo said, offers different viewpoints and chances to meet people. CCC emphasizes communication among different religions. It plans to hold a comparative religion forum this quarter. Marshall junior Victor Ha, who is the CCC’s outreach chair, is organizing a “”nonthreatening, nondebated forum, to allow people to deduce for themselves, and get their questions answered.”” Ha, along with the Crusade committee, believes that many come to UCSD unsure of themselves and their religious beliefs. He thinks that this forum will be educational for many. Ha said his goal is to unite speakers from the Muslim Student Association, UJS, and other organizations to individually explain their beliefs. The MSA is an active organization of about 50 members. Despite being smaller than other clubs, the MSA is “”very active”” on campus, according to Margaret McKnight, a manager at the Office of Religious Affairs. According to MSA president Muir senior Ahmad Salem, the MSA is “”an area for Muslims to come together.”” It offers Koranic Studies on Tuesdays and holds meetings Thursdays. “”One of MSA’s main goals, other than reaching out to Muslims on campus, is to reach out and educate other UCSD students,”” Salem said. The MSA accomplishes this through various high-profile campus events. It sponsors Islamic Awareness Week, in which nightly lectures aredesigned to explain Islamic doctrine to non-Muslims. Last year MSA held its first annual Culture Fest, where it displayed on Library Walk the worldwide reach of Islam. MSA plans to hold another Culture Fest this year. Like CCC, the MSA reaches beyond its membership to connect with students. Last week, MSA and 10 other student organizations together held a rally, “”United in Peace,”” which encouraged healing after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. MSA member Muir sophomore Iman Salem said the rally was to show solidarity. “”Muslims were shocked by the bombings, and we are hurting, too,”” Salem said in reference to the persistent fear and suspicion of Muslims among some Americans. “”We wanted to express our concern and pain to students.”” Marshall junior Nadia Aziz joined MSA three years ago unsure of what to expect. “”It is a whole different community,”” Aziz said. “”As Muslims, we are big on brotherhood and sisterhood, and the MSA is like my family. I can count on them for anything.”” She said that the organization is still growing and that it hopes to reach out to more students with each new event. Most organizations are experiencing an influx of members this year, especially UJS. Marshall senior David Weisberg, president of UJS, said a record number of people attended UJS’s Welcome Week barbecue, “”Shmooze with the Jews.”” The rising number of participants may be due to growing awareness about what UJS offers UCSD. Weisberg explained that UJS “”provides religious, educational, social, political and cultural facets in the community. If there is a need for it in the community, we do it.”” He listed examples such as political lectures, Israeli dancing and networking events with other UJS groups in San Diego. The most popular service that UJS provides, according to Weisberg, is the Friday night Shabbat service. Attendees gather for religious services, then divide into Reform, Conservative and Orthodox groups, based on the differing practices and traditions within Judaism. After services, all members socialize while eating dinner, which is, Cohen said, a “”nice Kosher meal.”” UJS plans to focus on a large community service activity this year. Weisberg has suggested visiting a children’s hospital or a nursing home. “”Our goal is to have one long-term project,”” Weisberg said. Weisberg said UJS does its best “”to reach out to all the Jewish students”” and that he is very pleased with the positive responses the organization is getting this year. The Baha’i Club blends the Christian, Jewish and Islamic faiths into one belief system. The Baha’i organization has about 100 members, and according to club president Warren senior Sam Shooshtary, 50 of them are active. Shooshtary said that the Baha’i embrace all scriptures. “”We believe in the common foundation of all the religions: the belief in one God and in one humanity,”” Shooshtary said. “”It is important to show that we are one, to express tolerance and to promote unity. Our goal is to educate.”” The club has educated UCSD for years through the Hate-Free Campus campaign. Shooshtary said other activities include their services, held every 19 days, in which “”the community gets together for a dinner and a discussion about what is facing our community.”” The officers and members of each organization feel they have much to offer UCSD’s students. They all focus on creating a welcoming environment. They share the common characteristic of becoming like a second family, a group with which students can have fun, relieve daily stress, and connect to their faith with people who share their vaues. For so many, it is the religious aspect of their lives that makes them feel like they are balanced individuals. Not only do they find long-lasting friendships, but become stronger individuals in the process. ...

10 Questions

1. If you could change one thing about the UCSD campus what would you change? More bike riding hours. 2. If you could invent a sport, what would it be a mix of or what would you call it? A mix of soccer and water … oh, wait. That would be waterpolo. You’d swim upside down and use your feet. 3. Who is your favorite celebrity at this time? Tom Cruise … short, dark and handsome. 4. What movie can’t you wait to see? “”Serendipity.”” 5. If you could be a fruit, what would you pick? A pear; I like the way they taste. 6. Have you ever been inspired by something or someone on campus? Not just yet. 7. What food do you miss the most on campus? Anything my dad cooks! 8. If any artist could perform at UCSD, who would you want it to be? Sum 41. 9. What on-campus activity do you want to get involved in this quarter? Innertube waterpolo. 10. What is the oddest class you have taken or have heard of? Empowering Female Studies. ...