Features

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]

Our Current President Once Again Shows His Complete Incompetence

As with many of my fellow Democratic supporters, I have had to come to terms with the outcome of our recent presidential election. Finding an uncomfortable reassurance in the fabric of American political principles, I am resolved to ride out the Bush presidency without excessive bitterness. This will not, however, prevent me from gently venting my concerns over the current state of the Bush administration, and in particular, the competency of our commander in chief. Last week, many Americans turned on the evening news, or perhaps even opened up a newspaper, to discover the shocking announcement that the United States and Great Britain had conducted an air strike against the lowly nation of Iraq. For those viewers who managed to remain attentive after hearing the words “”air strike”” and “”Iraq”” in the same sentence, the startling headlines were followed by a vague outline of events and last, but not least, a statement by Bush himself. The president, speaking on behalf of his country and in the presence of foreign officials, offered only four sentences on the developing situation in Iraq: “”Since 1991, our country has been enforcing what’s called a no-fly zone. A routine mission was conducted to enforce the no-fly zone. And it is a mission about which I was informed, and I authorized. But I repeat: It’s a routine mission, and we will continue to enforce the no-fly zone until the world is told otherwise.”” I certainly cannot speak for the majority of Americans, but a statement about U.S. military actions that uses “”routine mission”” twice in the course of four brief sentences strikes me as either deceptive or uninformed. Though our dear commander in chief has been known to blunder a syllable on occasion, I believe that his statement demonstrates more a lack of information than a lack of oratory skills. Looking behind the game face that Bush has perfected for the public arena, the eyes of the man more often than not express a wondering panic — as if trying to formulate the correct combination of buzzwords to quell the inquiries of the press. The president’s brief, jumbled statements should not be seen as anything new. Throughout the campaign, even the mainstream media was attracted to Bush’s brief moments of oratory ineptitude (A complete record is kept at http://slate.msn.com/Features/bushisms/bushisms.asp), but these are merely the curtains that line the stage of what ought to concern us. What the public — and the media in particular — should have been concerned with were the moments when it became painfully obvious that Bush lacked substance. During the debates, for instance, the issue of affirmative action was raised. Former Vice President Al Gore repeatedly asked for former Gov. Bush’s position on the issue, refusing to accept Bush’s initial endorsement of a vague “”affirmative access”” program. The vice president pressed Bush on the issue, asking if he agreed with a nonquota-based affirmative action, as the Supreme Court had interpreted it. The silence on the stage was deafening as Bush looked at Gore without answering, and then to moderator Jim Lehrer. Lehrer never made Bush answer the question. The demeanor Bush carried when pressed for an answer by Gore revealed something to everyone paying attention at that moment. Bush’s silence and blank expression were not, as some deliberate, a matter of political prudence or strategy; they were candid proof that Bush simply did not understand what he was being asked. Continually referring to quota-based affirmative action, Bush clearly demonstrated that he was not aware that the Supreme Court has invalidated such practices after the Bakke case in 1978 — something that should be common knowledge for any presidential candidate. Following the debate, I eagerly waited for the media, our trumpeted fourth branch of government, to evaluate each candidate’s performance. Surely, I thought, such an obvious nonresponse on a salient issue would garner the criticism of news anchors and newspaper editors everywhere. Of course, it did not. Herein lies the reason that Bush was able to succeed in “”winning”” the election. The media saw the serious, substantive flaws that Bush presented in becoming the Republican candidate; instead of critically evaluating his qualifications, the debate and his substance, they balked when faced with their duty to report the truth. Lehrer, in acting as moderator for the debates, neglected his duty to make Bush answer a hard question, irrespective of whether it would have made Bush look bad. I believe that the media saw these unsettling occasions that demonstrated a shallow and wholly unqualified knowledge of the issues, but nonetheless chose not to point them out. Was it because it would look like the media were low-blowing a candidate? Did it think the public would criticize it for pointing out such personal flaws? I doubt it was that, either. In reality, I think that the media was hesitant to boldly challenge a major party candidate’s qualifications. In doing so, perhaps it thought it would excessively criticize the system as a whole. Whatever may be true of the media’s action, or lack thereof, the fact remains that Bush has been elected president and our concerns ought to focus on the present. As I gather from his fragmented explanation of the recent intervention in Iraq, the president’s knowledge of such issues appears to be scant. Some have suggested that such vague comments are for the purpose of being politically succinct, but I would lend more credence to the hypothesis that Bush is increasingly becoming the mouthpiece for political players behind the scenes. Experienced politicians and insiders in the Bush camp, such as Vice President Dick Cheney and adviser Karl Rove, have always retained a central position in making key decisions. I believe that given Bush’s actions and statements in his brief number of days in office, these advisors have assumed a tremendous amount of authority within the White House. Bush’s lack of substantive depth over the actions being carried out by his administration would support this idea. All presidents rely on their advisors to guide policy, but it seems quite plausible to suggest that Bush has taken a back seat to his. Most of the public will laugh with amusement in the years to come as Bush’s follies are reported by late-night comedy shows, but few will come to realize that such anecdotes reveal a more troubling picture. Through his charisma, charm and folksy qualities, the public has come to accept Bush’s facade, not caring to examine his ability or, more importantly, those he chooses to entrust with his authority. If we are citizens who value the integrity of representative government, then we must ask the question: Whom does Bush represent? ...

Horoscopes

Aries (March 21-April 19) Romance is now prepared to move rapidly forward: Before mid-week expect both lovers and long-term friends to openly declare their intentions. Passionate expression is positive, Aries: Over the next few weeks expect key relationships to deepen or become highly demanding. Unattached Aries natives can expect several new attractions: Watch for a previously shy lover to soon present ultimatums. Late this week authority figures will challenge your ideas or daily habits: Don’t overreact to small criticisms. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Home relationships now begin a phase of cozy appreciation, Taurus. Over the next few days watch for close friends or relatives to release past stresses and financial worries. A relaxed social atmosphere will now arrive in family matters: Enjoy quiet, meaningful moments with loved ones. After Thursday expect to resolve a recently bothersome ownership disagreement. Areas of concern are property matters, leases or short-term written agreements. Stay alert, Taurus. Gemini (May 21-June 21) Written documents and long-term contracts are now a prime focus. Before mid-week watch for authority figures to recognize your full potential: Use this time to solidify agreements and put group proposals into action. Some Geminis may also develop a secondary income source: Residual payments or new contracts are accented. Later this week romantic discussions will be delicate: Expect loved ones to be moody and unresponsive. Remain patient, Gem: Much is changing. Cancer (June 22-July 22) Late Wednesday watch for a key official or reliable colleague to alter their daily strategy or research methods. Many Cancerians will now encounter new work priorities or a last-minute shift of assignments: Watch for group politics or an unusual power play between officials. Remain balanced, Cancer: Ego battles will fade by early next week. After mid-week also watch for a quick disagreement between friends. Complex romantic issues and willful personalities are involved: Don’t confront. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) Early this week, key officials may question your time schedule or professional habits: Expect unusual communications or messages from authority figures. Thoroughly explain your intentions, Leo: Even though tensions may be high, this is the right time to publicly restate your needs, ideals and plans. After Thursday social relations and new friendships will be particularly rewarding: Expect new acquaintances to be quickly drawn to your charm, wit and humor. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Over the next few days expect loved ones to request more of your time and emotional dedication: Key issues involve minor jealousies over new friendships or long withheld feelings of isolation. Old and new relationships may require delicate attention this week, Virgo: Let others know that you are socially or emotionally available. After Friday an absent relative or forgotten friend may reappear. Remain alert to unusual business proposals or vague property agreements: Avoid financial risk, if at all possible. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) Long-awaited friendships or business contacts will be the theme over the next few days, Libra. Late Tuesday morning watch for both friends and key officials to propose new schedules or increased activities. Some Librans will leave behind past social regrets and outdated career ideals this week: Expect a compelling wave of confidence and life direction to arrive soon. After Thursday watch for a sharp increase in romantic attraction and social flirtation. An exciting few days, Libra: Enjoy! Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 21) Past resentments will be difficult to avoid this week: Watch for both relatives and authority figures to be moody, self absorbed or overly critical. Some Scorpios will now witness the underlying jealousies of a manager or key official. Areas of concern may involve favored colleagues, career disappointments or highly demanding schedules. Avoid serious discussions, if at all possible: Over the next 16 days private tensions will be deeply felt. An oddly emotional week, Scorp: Stay focused. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Over the next few days, Sage, a close friend or relative may be particularly nostalgic or sentimental. Key issues are past romantic regrets or family disappointments: Expect loved ones to now be highly focused on past mistakes in important relationships. Be supportive, Sage, but refuse to be emotionally drained. At present, your philosophic outlook or compassion may derail your judgment: Let others work through their own problems. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Powerful romantic feelings may arrive early this week, Cap: Before Thursday watch for both long-term friends and potential lovers to be strongly focused on bringing greater intimacy into present relationships. For many Capricorns, this period of romantic attraction represents a key turning point in stalled relationships: Expect loved ones and new attractions to demand a more permanent place in your life. Expect a highly charged few days, Cap: Remain open to passionate changes. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Romantic promises and home agreements will now be clarified: Before mid-week expect loved ones to express a powerful need for solid agreements, daily commitments and shared career ambition. Confidence and strong feelings of ownership are now on the rise, Aquarius: Expect romantic partners to make obvious their values, intentions and motivations soon. Remain cautious and take extra time for key decisions: Loved ones are now closely studying your actions and reactions. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) Financial agreements or new contracts may soon require quick revisions: Late Wednesday watch for authority figures to introduce new procedures or unexpected time restraints. Working relationships may be unclear or confused over the next few days, Pisces: Expect messages, ideas or instructions to be misleading. After mid-week, new friends or social events may compete for your undivided attention. Choose relaxation over hype, Pisces: Energy may be low. If Your Birthday is this Week Opt for romantic security over exciting, seductive affairs. For the next four to five months many Pisceans will experience a test of emotional values or unique social challenge to key relationships. Don’t be derailed, Pisces: Astrologically, this is actually an indication that powerful romantic intimacy and positive life choices will arrive by mid to late July. Later next month watch for a surprising business alliance or career opportunity: Communications, new technologies or unusual forms of marketing, advertising or publicity will soon be an ongoing theme. This year will bring many new challenges, Pisces: Don’t rely on the past for direction. ...

Society's Stereotyping of Asian-American Men Can Lead to Self-Loathing

The opening lines of San Diego’s latest revival of David Henry Hwang’s play “”FOB”” begin with a man’s mean-spirited lecture on all that he hates about FOBs, referring to people who are “”Fresh Off the Boat,”” calling them “”clumsy, stupid, greasy and horny.”” As the lights brighten, the identity of the speaker becomes apparent. The speaker is an Asian male. In truth, this self-loathing among Asian-American males is common enough for me to write a commentary on it. Granted, not all Asian-American males hate themselves, but I would venture to say that most have at one point in their lives. More accurately though, they probably have hated society’s image of them, or the prevailing stereotypes that have plagued Asian-American males for years. Let’s face it: minorities usually get shortchanged by society as far as how they’re represented. Stereotypes and misconceptions thrive in our collective conscience. Asian-American males have been no exception. Most recently, they have been deemed effeminate, nerdy and unattractive. The popular flash-animation “”comic”” character of Mr. Wong remains as one of the saddest examples of how stereotypes of Asian men prevail in our society, with his “”slant-eyed yellow face”” and “”buckteeth”” still persisting even in the 21st century. Not all forms of racism are as obvious. Most are much more subtle, like the media’s constant misrepresentation of Asian-Americans. Growing up Asian-American has not been easy. Along with all the self-doubt and questions of identity that characterize any adolescence, there was the added element of being an Asian-American male in a society that appeared to ignore us. It’s something that most Asian-American males understand but never talk about: a feeling of invisibility. In short, we don’t fit any of the typical definitions of masculinity or maleness. Physically smaller and less threatening than most other males, it was easy to feel less than a man. I, and any of my Asian-American peers no matter how good looking we are to ourselves, know we can never look like the non-Asian romantic leads of your typical Hollywood flick or weekday sitcom. So where did this leave me? Where does it leave most Asian-American males who never see themselves on television or in the movies as anything more than a fleeting extra or the nerd who knows the answer to some ridiculously complex physics problem? It leaves us wondering how society really looks at us and why no one seems to understand why we feel alienated. Over the past 30 years, it has become more socially acceptable for an Asian woman to marry a white male, but the opposite has not been the case. Historically, the role of wives to their husbands has been a submissive one. In other words, it didn’t matter if a white man and a minority woman married, because she would already be deemed subordinate. As long as he was white, he fulfilled the role of the dominant male husband. This also seems to be the same logic behind most television news formats. It is rare to see a minority male, especially an Asian male, opposite a white female anchor. The reason is that our society has always sent the message that Asian males are not the masculine ideal. Obviously, the issue is not black and white or as simple as I present it. I exaggerate. But, ask almost anyone, Asian or not, and they’ll probably know what I’m talking about. Now, before I get some people too riled up, allow me to clarify my point. I’m not trying to call upon some sort of revolution in how people choose their mates, nor am I saying that interracial dating should be the goal of every male and female. To marry or choose a mate based on specific criteria like race would be a terrible mistake. The goal ultimately should be to remain as open as possible and follow what your heart tells you. Trite words, I know, but true just the same. The current trend of interracial marriage simply seems to be an interesting indication of how far our society has come in terms of its perceptions of Asian-American males as a whole. All right, so it’s true that Asian males are featured in countless martial arts films, and yes, they are portrayed as being the strong, Superman type. But how often do you see Bruce Lee getting the girl at the end of the movie? A friend of mine has an interesting view on the situation. According to him, feeling undesirable to white girls was not the only case, but he felt undesirable to all girls of all races in general. In essence, he believes that “”Asian guys are the crap left over,”” at least in the opinion of most girls. In a recent “”Newsweek”” article, a Filipino from San Francisco, Marlon Villa, whose wife happens to be white, elaborated on this common sentiment. “”Black guys are studs, white guys have all the power and Asian guys are the nerdy little wimps that women wouldn’t glance at,”” Villa said. As odd as this may sound, I feel there is truth in these statements. One need not go any further than the local Abercrombie & Fitch to see society’s popular ideal of masculinity — a white male model, complete with chiseled jaw and raging pects, staring you straight in the face. Big surprise, there isn’t a single Asian male among them. It’s as if society keeps reminding us that we, as Asian-American males, do not fit the masculine ideal — so stop trying. All this talk of prevailing stereotypes that surround Asian guys reminds me of a particularly eye-opening experience that happened to me not long ago. At this point, I’ve told it to friends so many times that it’s already become cliche, yet it still never fails to leave my listener speechless, not knowing whether to laugh hysterically or to frown in disgust. Suffice to say, I’ll call this story my “”date from hell.”” For the sake of embarrassment, I prefer to use fake names of people instead of real ones. And yes, this really happened. About a year ago, I frequented a popular eatery in San Diego. Every now and then, I would chat with the servers and waiters. Someone who always seemed to make an effort to talk with me was a server by the name of “”Lisa.”” A friendly girl of 19, Lisa was not terribly bright but sweet just the same. She was blond and aggressive and towered nearly a foot taller than me. Lisa was a force to reckoned with, one that I never in my wildest nightmares thought I would have to encounter. As I was waiting in line one day to buy my food, she asked me for my number. I, being a little more naive back then, was happy to oblige. I thought that all that would come of this casual exchange of personal information was a new friendship. Little did I know, she wanted me. Alas, I was not attracted to her and did not want her. After our “”first date,”” my indifference toward her made the quantum leap to fear and disgust. When she asked to hang out one Friday night, I was under the assumption that it would be a casual affair, one in which at most I would gain a new platonic friend. From the minute I got into her car, however, I knew better. Imagine my horror when I opened the door of her car, only to be knocked out by the stench of cheap perfume and the glaring eyes of her flirtatious face. The moment was truly a poignant one as I could see she was making a real effort to win me over with her overly made-up face and revealing clothes that seemed to show off more of her unsightly flesh than I could ever possibly want to see in one sitting. I felt like I was kidnapped, with no place to go. From that moment on, I knew she considered this a date. To hell with the fact that I was underdressed in shorts, a T-shirt and flip flops; she was determined to give me a “”first date”” I would never forget. That’s when she dropped the bomb and confessed her true feelings for me. “”Man, I’ve seen you every time you’ve walked by to get food and I just think you’re so hot,”” she said with the giddiness of a schoolgirl about her first crush. So far, no problem, I thought. No big problem at least. Sure, I didn’t like her back, but I would soon clarify that. And then she dropped the bomb. I took offense immediately. “”You see,”” she explained. “”All my white girlfriends tell me all the time, ‘Oh, don’t dig those Asian guys, they’re small, slant-eyed and smelly.’ But not me, that’s exactly why I like you so much. I so dig the fact that you’re hairless and foreign. You see, I’m American and you’re foreign and you can teach me all about your country.”” Words do little justice to how sick I felt. Her ignorance was truly frightening and after a long and painful night, I was free from her wrath. But the damage was done, at least to my self-esteem. Is that what people really think when they see my Asian face? I wondered. It’s a question that I think most Asian-Americans ask many times during their lives. The rise of the marriage rate of Asian men to white women, however, can be seen as a sign of how society is changing its views of Asian males. According to demographer Larry Hajime Shinagawa’s book on marriage license data in California, “”Asian Americans: Intermarriage and the Social Construction of Love,”” Asian-American men born in the United States are far more likely to marry women who are white (18.9 percent), of other Asian ethnicity (22.7 percent) or another racial minority (6 percent) than more recent immigrants. Shinagawa expects the trend to continue and sees an even greater speedup in the near future. While many may see interracial marriage as a positive thing, as a clear indication that Asian males are finally being accepted and embraced by the mainstream, others are not as enthusiastic. As my own experience illustrates, Asian males continue to run the risk of becoming the focus of a new form of fetishism with which Asian women have become all too familiar. Nevertheless, things are changing for the better. Slowly but surely, the media is redefining its image of Asian-American men from geeky, unattractive and sexless, to strong, romantic and masculine. A new wave of Asian actors like Chow Yun Fat, Rick Yune and Jet Li are helping to reshape old perceptions and create new ones. The battle is still an uphill one, yet I remain optimistic. I have come to the conclusion, just as many of my peers have, that being an Asian-American male is a very exciting thing. Because we do not fit popular definitions of masculinity, we can forge ahead and create new ones that show Asian-American males as what they truly are: unique and dynamic individuals who like to shake things up a little, in hopes of making a difference. ...

Students Should Give in to Sweet Temptation This Valentine's Day

Chocolate is one of the most luxurious and craved foods in the world. A true chocaholic knows that just the mention of chocolate will evoke pleasurable thoughts. The average American consumes 11.5 pounds of chocolate per year, whereas the Swiss consume twice this amount. According to www.onhealth.com, 40 percent of women and 15 percent of men admit to regular chocolate cravings. Who says that something that tastes so good is bad for your health? In fact, studies have shown that chocolate can actually have positive effects. So grab a bar of chocolate, read this article and realize you’re doing something good for your body. Chocolate is derived from the cocoa tree threobroma cacao, which is native to Central and South America. Today, these beans are cultivated around the equator and can be found in the Caribbean, Africa, Southeast Asia and even in the Pacific islands of Samoa and New Guinea. At the time, cocoa beans were used as the local currency and they were recognized as among the many treasures stolen from the Aztecs. When the Spaniards took the chocolate back to Europe, they used it as a drink. This drink was a luxury not many could afford. Afterward, when the Spaniards monopolized chocolate, the French, English and Dutch began to cultivate chocolate as well. Increased production reduced the prices of cocoa and soon the masses in Europe and America were enjoying what once was considered a delicacy. In 1828, chocolate maker Conrad J. van Houten patented an inexpensive way of pulverizing the beans into powder, which later facilitated making chocolate drinks and solids as well. Let’s now dispel some myths about chocolate. Here’s a list of the ingredients in chocolate: minerals, caffeine, saturated fat, threobromine, phenylethlamine, anandamide, sugar and flavonols. Explaining these components individually will further our understanding of chocolate. Minerals such as copper and magnesium are present in chocolate. Of course, people need these every day. The amount of caffeine in chocolate is insignificant comparable to the amount in a cup of decaffeinated coffee. There are about 10 milligrams of caffeine per average 1.65-ounce bar, compared with about 80 milligrams in a cup of coffee. One would have to be extremely sensitive to caffeine to fear eating a feeble chocolate bar. People often worry about saturated fat because it clogs arteries, restricts blood flow to the heart and causes heart attacks. About one-third of dark chocolate is naturally-produced cocoa butter, which is a form of saturated fat. However, medical researchers have found that not all saturated fats are the same and that cocoa butter does not raise cholesterol levels in the body. As a matter of fact, one report even points out that “”exaggerated consumption”” will actually lower cholesterol. That is to say, much of the cocoa butter consumed is not absorbed as it passes through our bodies. According to a report by www.onhealth.com, chocolate may actually raise the good form of cholesterol, HDL, and reduce a bad form of fat, triglycerides, due to the high content of stearic acid in the cocoa butter. Now consider threobromine, defined as a bitter, volatile alkaloid resembling caffeine in its chemical structure, but with a mild effect on humans. Horses and dogs are very sensitive to threobromine, and that is why chocolate can be harmful to them. Phenylethylamine is an amphetamine-like psychoactive drug with an effect that is said to resemble that of ecstasy, the feeling of being in love. There is phenylethylamine in chocolate, but there is a far richer source of it in salami. There are no reports of the feeling of falling in love after salami, so chocolate cannot be blamed for mimicking false amorous feelings. Another drug present in chocolate is anandamide, which is a naturally-occurring chemical in our brains that mimics the effects of eating or smoking marijuana. However, to fully have that effect, one must consume at least 20-30 pounds of chocolate in one sitting. That’s twice as much chocolate as the average American eats in a year. The sugar in chocolate is usually table sugar, which isn’t as bad as the high fructose corn syrup that sweetens almost everything else in our grocery stores. Besides that, cocoa is packed full of a surprising number of antioxidants, compounds that can protect living tissue from chemical damage. Chocolate contains the same level of the antioxidant, flavonol, found in a glass of red wine. There are other antioxidants that are vital to the body. Catechin helps to fight cardiovascular disease and cancer. There are four times the levels of catechins in chocolate than in black tea. In addition, procyanidins have the ability to relax blood vessels, possibly decreasing internal arterial wall damage. There are many myths that associate chocolate with acne, migraine headaches and tooth decay. Two studies done by the Pennsylvania School of Medicine and U.S. Naval Academy show that eating chocolate does not produce any significant changes in acne conditions. These results are further backed by research that shows that acne is not primarily linked to diet. Though it does contain some tyramine, a common migraine trigger, a well-controlled 1997 study from the University of Pittsburgh did not link chocolate consumption with headaches. As for studies that say chocolate causes cavities or tooth decay, there are indications that the cocoa butter in the chocolate coats the teeth and may help protect them by preventing plaque from forming. The sugar in chocolate is the only thing that contributes to cavities. Before stocking up on chocolate, realize that there are downsides. Chocolate can increase stomach acid reflux and irritable bowel symptoms, as well as cause allergic reactions, weight gain and dental cavities. However, that’s only when eaten in excess. This Valentine’s Day, don’t stash away all that chocolate. Realize that chocolate can be good for you, too! ...

A Guide to College Relationships

I have to be honest with you. I’m not a psychologist. I’m not a marriage counselor. So why am I giving advice on college relationships? Kenrick Leung Guardian It’s because I’ve had my share of experiences that have taught me a lot. In addition to my relationships, I have also seen many close friends go through the difficulties of college relationships. My hope is that others can learn from our mistakes, as well as our triumphs, by reading this article. That said, here are my humble offerings of advice about life and love in college. A Whole New World The first thing you must realize is that you aren’t in Kansas anymore, Dorothy. College relationships are on an entirely different plane of existence than high school relationships. While many college relationships fall short in magnitude when compared to post-college relationships, they are much more serious than your typical high school relationship. Gone are the weeks on end when all you see of your so-called significant other is the 15 minutes between math and science. Since not everyone has the same schedule in college, it takes some effort to actually see your boyfriend or girlfriend. This means that you two might actually have to go on a date, a foreign concept to many high school students. The dating world can be a lot different in college as well. Whereas trips to the movie theater with a large group of friends passed for dating in high school, the majority of college women expect dinner along with the movie. You can also forget about the mob of friends there for moral support. Most college dates, especially the first ones, are just the guy and the girl, or at least they should be. Dating An interesting feature of college relationships is that they can serve as a springboard into post-college relationships. Prior to college, if two people went out to a movie together, they were most likely “”together.”” The concept of a date in high school was virtually nonexistent, save a select few seniors at every high school. Dating can be a great thing if done right. On the other hand, it can also be the gateway to hell. Let me explain. The purpose of dating is to get to know another person. Ideally, two people who didn’t quite know each other could go out and have a good time talking about their lives and their dreams. They could share what kind of person they are with each other. By the end of a few dates, the two people have, ideally, learned enough about each other to make an educated decision as to whether or not they wanted to pursue a relationship. Unfortunately, things don’t always work like that. One of the drawbacks to dating is that the two people are usually too worried about making a good impression on the other person that they completely forget to be themselves. As a result, each person is left with a vague idea of who the other is. Often times, people take this information to heart and enter into a relationship, not knowing too much about the other. The inevitable conclusion is that the hidden quirks come to fruition once the person’s guard is down. These quirks can come as a shock to the other person and can get on their nerves. This can lead to ugly fights and even breakups. The one cure for this unsightly outcome is to be honest from the start. If the other person doesn’t like you for who you are, then that person probably isn’t the right person for you in the first place. This sounds like pure common sense, but you would be surprised how many people do not follow this advice. Presents Aplenty Once a relationship has been established, there is nothing like presents to make that special someone feel much more loved. Oftentimes, a bouquet of flowers when they are not expected can bring a big smile to a girl’s face. Even a single flower can do the trick. The thing that most guys don’t realize is that it is not how much you spend on the gift (unless the girl is a gold-digger, in which case the guy should cut anchor and set sail), but rather the thought that truly counts. Some might argue that such things look good on greeting cards but have no place in college relationships. However, my collective experience has taught me that this is not the case. All a girl really wants is to know that she is in her boyfriend’s thoughts. Sometimes a simple gift can do that better than anything. After all, actions really do speak louder than words. A common misconception among girls is that they shouldn’t buy their boyfriend a gift. Do you ladies actually think that guys don’t like getting confirmation that you’re thinking about us? Now, it doesn’t have to be flowers or a little teddy bear, but a small gift every now and then might be nice, even if that gift is a simple massage after a long week; just something to reassure your boyfriend that you still care. Those Three Little Words No combination of words has ever had such a dynamic effect on relationships as the famous trio, “”I love you.”” These words have made and broken millions of relationships. When the words are said and both people involved truly mean it, then it is a wonderful occurrence. However, if those words are uttered and only half of the pair is committed to their meaning, then nothing can be more frightening. I have found that the main problem behind those three words is their various meanings. “”I love you”” can mean anything from “”I like you a whole lot”” to “”I am in love with you.”” Depending on its use, these words can cause a lot of unnecessary friction within a couple. For example, two people can say “”I love you”” to each other, and one of them means that they are in love with the other, and the other only means that they like the other person. If this is not clarified, the one who is really in love can really be hurt. My advice: Don’t say it unless you mean it. Simply uttering the words can be more damaging than being honest about not feeling that strongly regarding the relationship. A side note to the whole issue of “”I love you”” is that those words should not be uttered in the heat of passion. Many have been scared away by someone screaming “”I love you”” during, or in close proximity to, sex. The fact is that hormones and emotions are raging while people do their thing, so it’s not a good idea to say “”I love you”” for the first time during sex. I would recommend not saying it for an hour after sex, kind of like eating and swimming. That way you get a chance to calm your emotions and figure out if you really mean it. Getting Physical Taking this step in the relationship is different for everybody, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time dwelling on the subject. My advice on getting physical is to simply wait until both people feel completely comfortable with it. Rushing into it before one of the partners is ready can lead to unnecessary tension in the relationship. The same goes for pressuring a partner to go further. If you truly care about the person, then you will wait until your partner is ready as well. A side note on purely physical relationships: It has been my experience that these never turn out well. When two people say that they are just in it for the physical aspect and they don’t want a relationship, things usually don’t turn out the way you would like. Inevitably, somebody starts to get feelings for the other. It’s just not worth it, at least in my experience. Problems No matter how close two people are, there are always going to be problems in a relationship. I have yet to encounter a couple that has gone out for longer than a couple of months that hasn’t had at least one argument. The key to getting through problems in a relationship is honesty. I am convinced that this is all that is needed. The real problems come when people bottle up their emotions and then unleash their fury in one epic argument, leading to more serious problems than if they had simply been honest in the first place. If you are completely honest with your partner, then things will turn out the way they should. If you two find that you are truly different people, then it is better to be honest about it than to drag out the relationship. It may hurt, but it is the right thing to do. The Breakup This is always the worst part of the relationship. Nobody likes breaking up. If they do, then they are sick bastards in need of therapy. There is nothing that I hate more than having to break up with a girl, but at the same time, I realize that it is something that needs to be done. For me, I can’t stay in a relationship if I know in my heart that it doesn’t work for me. If I find myself doing things that aren’t “”me”” just to stay in a relationship, then I have a decent idea that things aren’t working out. Relationships are two-way streets and one person shouldn’t be the one always making the compromises. What I hate more than anything about breaking up is when it is used as an ultimatum by someone who doesn’t mean it. That is something that can tear at the fiber of a relationship. The threat of a breakup can leave people very defensive, which can lead to escalated fights and a bigger problem than the one that started the argument. The breakup should be a last resort, used only when all other options have been exhausted. Getting Back in the Game While breaking up is tough, it is a part of life. After all, you’re going to break up with everyone that you go out with except the person that you marry. But even your spouse isn’t immune to the breakup, as recent figures on divorce will confirm. The important thing is that you don’t give up on relationships. If someone breaks up with you, then you should move on. I’m not saying you have to go out on a date the very next day, but you should get out there eventually. There will be an inevitable grieving period. The length of it will vary based on the length of the relationship, the kind of person you are, as well as the kind of person that your ex is. A good way to get through it is to surround yourself with friends, and realize that life goes on. ...

Students Are So Busy Getting Good Grades, They Forget to Learn

I go to school, I study and I sleep. This repetitious loop races on every day of my life. I say to myself that tomorrow is going to be a new day. Is it ever? Not since I’ve been at UCSD. I often hear complaints of the lack of time that we as students have to do something meaningful in our lives. “”I’m too busy studying”” or “”I have so much to do”” are some of the phrases we say to legitimize not having the extra time to go out and make a difference not only in our lives, but also in our society. There is no problem with working and studying constantly, but by doing so, we deprive ourselves of what is rightfully ours — our lives. I know this much from going to this beacon of “”higher learning”” that we call UCSD. As at many top universities, we are trained to study so that we can excel and succeed later in our professional lives. Mark Twain said, “”I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”” Today, we have confused our schooling with our education, in scholastic aptitude and in our daily existence. It’s too bad they don’t teach anything important about life. We are so wrapped up in our academic success that it takes a toll on our emotional well-being. It’s a sprint not only to graduate soon, but also to finish the race on top by a wide margin. In the process, we miss all the stuff that makes life grand. Nobody seems interested in the actual learning, but rather the grade at the end of the quarter. There is such an obsession with studying that all our emotions are blown away by the wind. Educating, tranquility and gratification are all replaced by schooling, necessity and competition. I’m not saying that organic chemistry or econometrics isn’t going to help us in the future, but I do see the fact that we are schooled not to become enlightened thinkers, but rather synonymous robots. We have become a society that values performance in class over actually learning what is being taught. When a student receives a graded midterm, there are only two things in his mind: The first is, “”what’s my grade?”” and the second is, “”what’s the average?”” We fight for every single point so that our grades can be a fraction higher. Grades are important, but knowledge is even more so. Does it really matter what another person gets? Performance should be measured by one standard. Who cares if the class did better or worse? It ultimately comes down to one person: you. Nevertheless, in a university where we are not taught to be our own thinkers, it is a necessity that we do better than the person sitting next to us. Your neighbor is your enemy; you must do better than him if you want to do well in a course. But does it really matter 20 years from now what you got on your second midterm in your bio class? We measure one’s intelligence based on how well he studies or crams. In my years at UCSD, I do not look back upon the great wonders of writing, reading, calculus, chemistry nor anything related to academia. All I remember is a constant feeling of having made certain that I was above the average and that my grade was good. We live in a competitive arena that makes learning no longer a passion, but rather, a blood sport, a sport in which only the strongest survive and everyone else must die. This competitiveness is not only evident in class, but everywhere in our daily lives. Once we graduate, grades are no longer the main objective in our lives. We aim for a higher and nobler purpose: money. This train of thought from college to work hard to be better than anyone else now appears in the workplace. We all think that money is the great equalizer, as if it was the single force in our lives that can fix all our problems and all our miseries. It is as if cash can burn away all our troubles the way it can burn so quickly from our accounts. Having that new luxury car may be nice, but is it justifiable to work night and day for the rest of your life without rest. We know money is a problem, yet we continue to find new ways to have more of it. Money is similar to grades as it defines how successful you are in your endeavors. In a way, it really has no mark on who you are as an individual. Society is not judged by its happiness, but rather its wealth, fame and fortune. Money and grades just state how well you work or study. They have no inherent value except for enabling the purchase of mass quantities of goods. Yet, we continue every day of our lives trying to be better than everyone else. We say that by sacrificing some of our time now, we will receive the benefits later in life. If we are not going to live our life now, when are we? Sixty-five sounds a little too old for me to party all night long. No amount of money can ever replace the years spent at college. College is more than just a time to study and learn, it is an opportunity for understanding, growth and freedom. A wise man by the name of Ferris Bueller once said, “”Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”” Our lives are becoming increasingly complicated and hurried without an end in sight. College, unfortunately, makes us race through every day of our existence. If you were to ask me where I’d be in such a race, you won’t see me sprinting along with everyone else. I’ll just be moseying along and enjoying the view. ...

Educating America's Youth

Dance culture has seeped inescapably into mainstream culture over the last decade. Whether it’s a commercial trying to sell a Ford Focus by making allusions to Detroit techno, or “”60 Minutes”” covering drug use at raves, the national focus has turned toward the analysis — and sometimes the deprecation — of dance culture and everything remotely connected with it. As the media sounds a cacophony over all things rave, some work in the background to ensure that those in the middle of the tug-of-war get the information they need to make informed decisions. DanceSafe answers to that description. DanceSafe is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to harm reduction and education in the rave and club scene. Its members distribute potentially life-saving information at parties, giving partygoers an objective and nonjudgmental source to which they can turn for assistance. Headed by a national office in Oakland, Calif., DanceSafe chapters around the United States and Canada establish their presence in various cities, working to make the rave scene safer for people who choose to compliment their experience with substances. DanceSafe representatives go to parties and clubs, handing out free information and resources ranging from substance information and earplugs to candy bracelets and condoms. The emphasis is on peer support and education, and all work is done by volunteers. Though DanceSafe has been notorious in the recent media for its pill-testing services, members of the organization do much more than spend all night at raves telling 16-year-olds what their pills contain. However, DanceSafe has ridden to phenomenal success based upon the usefulness of this service, especially since MDMA, a psychotropic substance commonly known as ecstasy, has shot into popular use, and the fact that it is the first truly nationwide organization that effectively provides harm-reduction education to people. New chapters spring up all the time. According to the organization’s Web site, http://www.dancesafe.org, chapters have recently opened in New York City, Philadelphia and Calgary. Last summer, DanceSafe gave its name to a chapter in San Diego. The chapter began as an organization called San Diego RaveSmart, covering its first event in July. In October, the group received approval to carry the DanceSafe name. Since its inception, the San Diego chapter has met with success and positive reactions at every turn. Director Melissa Martin attributes this triumph to the chapter’s warm reception from the rave community and law enforcement. “”The rave community in San Diego has opened [its] arms and embraced us,”” Martin said. “”We have become an integral part of the rave scene in San Diego. Out of all the chapter directors that I’ve spoken with around the country, we have had the most welcoming and easiest time of it. We’re so grateful to the rave community in San Diego for that.”” Law enforcement, too, has been welcoming to the group, showing temperance in spite of the recent hyperbolic media frenzy over the rave scene, particularly concerning substance use at parties. “”Law enforcement has been nothing but supportive of DanceSafe, and we have not had any negative experiences with them [in San Diego],”” Martin said. “”They understand that we’re on their side. We’re there to help them do their job.”” The San Diego chapter covered its first event last July after approaching a rave promoter, who responded favorably to the idea of having a DanceSafe booth present at the event. Subsequent DanceSafe coverage has been prompted at the request of the promoters themselves. “”We have to be invited,”” said San Diego chapter Event Coordinator Lance Kett. “”We can’t just go to a party and say ‘Hi, we’re San Diego DanceSafe. We’re going to set up now.’ The promoter has to want us there.”” The chapter typically covers one or two events per week, but its activity level depends on the activity level of the San Diego rave scene at any given time. “”It really depends on how the rave scene is going,”” Kett said. “”Sometimes you’ll get a lot of raves going on, sometimes none for three weeks.”” In its busiest weekend to date, Kett said, the chapter covered four parties on four consecutive nights. The challenges in maintaining a successful DanceSafe chapter, both in San Diego and nationally, have come in trying to eradicate stereotypes and misconceptions associated with the work that DanceSafe does. In the last two weeks alone, “”The New York Times Magazine”” and “”U.S. News & World Report”” have run lengthy pieces dealing with ecstasy usage, and tangentially, the rave scene. In the last six months, “”60 Minutes,”” “”48 Hours”” and MTV have covered the rising trends of the use of ecstasy. The media has promoted awareness and misunderstanding alike. Due to heightened interest in the trends surrounding ecstasy use — U.S. Customs officials seized 2.1 million tablets in Los Angeles last summer in a highly publicized bust — more heads are turning and more fingers are being pointed. As an organization squarely in the middle of some of the most heated controversy, DanceSafe has had to clarify its position on more than one occasion, due to false impressions spread by the media. “”There are a lot of misconceptions about DanceSafe out there, like that we condone drug use, that we enable drug use, that we even promote drug use,”” Martin said. “”We don’t. We are a public health education organization. We are there because we’re the only ones around who are giving kids the information they need. Not only do we give them the information they need and want, we give it to them at the place where they need it the most — a party or a club — at a time when they’re most willing to listen.”” DanceSafe volunteers place emphasis on the fact that they educate the public, but they are not there to make decisions for people. Volunteers will test pills for substances, but they will not tell pill owners what they ought to do with that information. “”We’re not there to tell them, ‘Don’t take drugs, they’re bad,'”” Kett said. Martin addressed the common controversy that surrounds the organization. “”The controversy comes in the fact that we give the pills back prior to doing the test,”” Martin said. This action ultimately leaves the discretion with the pill owners, who can decide whether to take the pill — ecstasy-like or not — based on the results of the tests and their own judgment. In fact, testing methods are not specific enough to reveal many aspects of a pill’s composition. Testing will determine whether a pill has an ecstasy-like substance, but these also include MDMA’s cousins MDE, MDA and MDEA. Testing will not reveal how pure a pill is, nor whether it is safe to take. DanceSafe volunteers can tell people the facts about their pills, but they cannot decide for anyone whether to take the pill. Pill testing has put DanceSafe at the forefront of a media storm, especially due to recent deaths across the United States associated with people who took a pill they thought contained an ecstasy-like substance but which was, in fact, something else. Two common adulterants include DXM, a constituent of cough syrup, and PMA. Though some people enjoy the highs these drugs can provide, those who take them and expect an ecstasy-like reaction can run into difficulties taking care of themselves. The body’s reaction to these drugs is different than that of MDMA, and an unknowing user may face dangers such as heat stroke. Even more dangerous is the ingestion of MDMA and one of these substances simultaneously. Pill testing can help determine whether a pill contains a drug like PMA or DXM. For those who do not venture out into the rave scene but who stand to benefit from the information DanceSafe provides, its Web site is a wealth of nonjudgmental assistance. Sheets decorated to look like flyers, available on the site, give factual information about the effects and legality of many substances, legal and illicit. These include substances from the commonly available on upward, such as MDMA, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, GHB, ‘shrooms, LSD, nitrous oxide, speed and cocaine. Information is also available detailing the effects of drugs marketed as ecstasy, such as DXM and PMA. DanceSafe sponsors a nation-wide pill testing service. Users can mail in a pill anonymously and legally, and it will be tested by a Drug Enforcement Agency-approved laboratory. The results of these tests, which include a photograph, pill dimensions and substance content, are regularly posted to the Web site. For a donation of $25 or more, visitors can have a pill testing kit mailed to them. ...

Horoscopes

Aries (March 21-April 19) New friendships and business partnerships will now bring a noticeable rise in confidence, Aries. Before mid-week your mental focus, workplace determination and ability to attract new relationships will be particularly attractive to others. Many Aries natives will experience this in business relationships but some, especially those born early in April, may also find that friendships and romance are strongly affected. Express your ideas, Aries; potential friends are listening. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Early this week, Taurus, a work official may offer your services or time to others. Business triangles and quickly changing schedules may be a theme over the next few days. Remain diplomatic: This is not a good time to publicly doubt the expertise or decisions of authority figures. Later this week, a new romantic attraction may be surprisingly seductive. Watch for quick flirtations or unexpected invitations in the workplace. Trust your instincts, Taurus: complex social ethics may be at issue. Gemini (May 21-June 21) Pay close attention to old documents or past business agreements this week, Gem. Aspects indicate that a work official or financial authority figure may now demand detailed explanations of old debts, statements and records. After mid-week, some Gemini may also experience powerful memories or the return of yesterday’s romantic passions. Key issues involve outdated love affairs or forgotten friends. An oddly moody few days, Gem: Stay balanced and watch for returning emotions. Cancer (June 22-July 22) Work officials or long-term business partners may be particularly critical of your actions and decisions this week. Key issues involve recently broken contracts or failed financial proposals. Long-term effects will be minimal, Cancer, so not to worry. Do, however, expect fellow workers to be temporarily self absorbed and moody. Later this week, a friend or workmate may cancel recent plans. Be receptive to new ideas or schedules: Before mid-March, loved ones will find it difficult to choose social priorities. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) Daily routines will simplify early this week, Leo. Recent misunderstandings with authority figures or annoying changes to paperwork will no longer be an issue in working relationships. By mid-week, expect business officials or key colleagues to clearly focus on creative ideas, new procedures or future growth. Later this week, a close friend may be particularly sensitive to social criticism. Pay close attention to private issues of romantic disappointment, lost love or failed attractions. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Before mid-week, Virgo, a work official or key business figure may announce new or unusual workplace procedures. Watch records, calculations or inventory for unexpected errors. Respond quickly and pay close attention to small details: Bothersome mistakes will soon prove costly. Late Thursday romance and sensuality will be difficult to resist: expect lovers or close friends to openly express love or admit to private attractions. Go slow, Virgo: Long withheld desires are involved. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) Home-based business opportunities or short-term investments will be particularly rewarding over the next few days. After Tuesday, watch for new financial proposals or unique business openings to arrive. Some Librans will now rely strongly on past or forgotten ideas to fulfill their work ambitions. Later this week, avoid serious discussions with a close friend or lover: Social information or family news will be misleading. A delicate week, Libra: Pace yourself and watch for complex changes. Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 21) Business or financial communications may be subtle and complex this week. For the next few days, expect work officials and colleagues to be overly focused on small amounts, unusual errors or short term contractual limitations. Much of this may involve past power struggles, Scorp: Expect ongoing emotional politics and workplace intrigue. After mid-week creative ideas, fast suggestions and new sources of income will cause excitement: Remain open to late -arriving proposals. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Expect comments on your appearance or public reputation this week, Sage. Late Tuesday afternoon, both work co-workers and friends will openly express new ideas, minor criticisms and unique business suggestions. Many Sagittarians will soon adopt a more public role in working relationships and social gatherings. For the time being, however, loved ones and important business colleagues may feel isolated or misunderstood: Be supportive and wait for new information. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Unusual complications may now arise in key friendships, Cap. Early this week, watch for a long-term friend to object to recent plans or express disappointment concerning a mutual acquaintance. There may be more involved than is apparent, Cap: Avoid being drawn into subtle emotional battles. Late Thursday, your energy and optimism begin returning: plan new social gatherings or group events. By early next week all returns to normal: Remain patient and watch for emotional improvement. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Publicly state your needs to business officials and work partners this week, Aquarius. Over the next few days an unusual emotional triangle at work may cause a quick shuffle of assignments or schedules. Be assertive and refuse to be marginalized. Many Aquarius will now need to rely heavily on their own workplace skills to solve problems. After Wednesday, social energy returns: Before next week new interests or hobbies will again be pleasing. A demanding week, Aquarius: Stay sharp. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) This week is an excellent time to state your workplace ideas, intentions or ambitions. Over the next three to four days, both officials and colleagues will be receptive to your influence and financial wisdom. Ask for favors, Pisces: You may be surprised by how quickly a response is offered. Late this week watch also for minor social confusion over conflicting events or invitations. Friends will be competitive and mildly jealous: Avoid emotional politics or unnecessary triangles. Birthdays This Week If your birthday is this week … important romantic choices will arrive over the next 11 months. By early February, long-term relationships will begin a brief but intense phase of home decisions and new family planning. Romantic commitment, living arrangements and new home proposals are accented this year: Watch for intimacy and shared ambitions to soon be an ongoing theme. Single Aquarians can expect a sharp increase in flirtation, new attractions and private invitations for the next four months. Later this year a surprising financial proposal is also on the agenda: Expect greatly expanded business partnerships or revised workplace roles by mid- to late July. ...

Finding a Middle Ground

By now, every UCSD student is aware of the complaints. Upon arrival, most students are almost immediately disappointed to find that our campus is a little different than others. The whole college-town feel that characterizes colleges of myth just does not seem relevant within our cozy locale of La Jolla. Mike Coggins Guardian Meaning “”the jewel”” in Spanish, La Jolla continues to dazzle newcomers and students alike with its natural beauty. It is not uncommon to hear it described as “”the most beautiful place in the world.”” UCSD is lucky to have such a delightful place as its backyard. Unfortunately, while many students are very content with the academic climate of UCSD, they still manage to be considerably discontent with our college’s social environment. The complaints about nothing to do on campus are rampant and indeed, unjustifiable. However, the community surrounding UCSD is another issue altogether. Ask almost any student what they know about the “”city”” they attend school in nine months out of the year, and nearly everyone would give you limited information, at best. Or even worse, many students simply subscribe to the most popular stereotypes about La Jollans. A group of rich, snobby, uncooperative people is probably what your average UCSD student would have to say about them. But exactly how true is this statement? What are the residents really like and how has it affected the social dynamics of UCSD? Read further to find out … A Community of San Diegans Officially, La Jolla is not even a city, although most students are probably unaware of this. According to Barry Benintende, an editor of The La Jolla Light and unofficial expert on all things La Jollan, La Jolla is actually a township. “”It’s a community of San Diegans; very rich San Diegans,”” Benintende said. Benintende added that La Jolla has representation in the San Diego city council and carries out its civic functions in the form of multiple councils and committees. The history of UCSD is a good place to start when trying to understand why the campus is set up the way it is. As for the complaints that there are not enough things that cater to college students, the origins of the university are an appropriate avenue to explore, also. La Jolla was a very well-established community before Roger Revelle first presented to UC regents in 1959, the idea for a university on land that previously belonged to the U.S. military. Residents initially feared the great change that the then proposed UC La Jolla could possibly inflict on their small community. Although over the decades, La Jollans have adapted to the change, and indeed in some cases, residents have embraced the university, some things have never changed. “”There is a comfort level in [La Jollans] lives that they don’t want a lot of change,”” Benintende said. “”It’s not that the people here are snobbish it’s just that they may not reach out to UCSD students as a whole as much as they could.”” For him, however, it could be a two-way street. Students should be just as involved with the community if they have complaints, he said. If the students want to be more involved, he added, they should do more volunteer work and get in touch with the community. According to him, most students might be surprised to find how responsive the La Jolla community would be if they made an effort to reach out. “”Most residents, I would figure, are very receptive to students because most of them have children,”” Benintende said. “”The supposition that La Jolla is anti-college may be true in some cases, but I think most of the residents are reasonable to know that there’s something to be gained from embracing the students. I’d say it’s a 50-50 mix as far as people that really look at UCSD students as assets and who realize that the university is here to stay.”” The dot-com boom in recent years has caused a surge in the number of young millionaires moving into the area, according to Benintende. The Residents “”I would venture to say that [newcomers] want to provide for their families,”” Benintende said. “”A lot of La Jollans are family people, while a huge chunk is the senior citizen population. If you factor in the senior citizens and students, that’s the high and low end of the age bracket. The more sympathetic crowd toward college students tend to be the small bracket of young adults who might be just out of college.”” La Jolla is no stranger to “”new money”” and newcomers from all over the country continually move into the area because of the allure La Jolla offers, particularly for new families raising children. The Scarbroughs, who just arrived from Utah less than a year ago with their infant son, described how warm and friendly La Jollans have been to them. “”I think they’re pretty friendly, actually; quite outgoing and very laid back,”” said Nicole Scarbrough. “”[They are] very helpful, usually quite thoughtful which is nice.”” Most students have the idea that a typical La Jollan would be almost impossible to approach. The wealth many of these residents possess is almost enough of an intimidation factor to stop even the bravest students from striking up a spontaneous conversation with an average resident. Out-of-towners like Jared Scarbrough think the situation is not as black and white, however, especially in comparison to other parts of the country. “”I think in Utah it’s easier to get to know people and make a connection,”” he said. “”But I think here once you make the connection it’s a stronger connection [because] they’re more friendly, helpful and more genuine. Once you break down that initial barrier they’re very open and kind people but I think on the outside, there’s that barrier that you need to break through.”” Ralph Nedelkoff, a resident of La Jolla for only 6 months, originally from New Jersey, has found the community very welcoming. “”It’s a wonderful community,”” he said. “”Everybody I’ve met, whether they’re students or not students.”” Newcomers from around the world are also common within the community of La Jolla. Fresh from St. Andrews, Scotland, is young couple Tom and Sharon Henley. According to the two, the social climate of La Jolla is not entirely unique. “”Probably Scotland would be a wee bit more warm and people who moved in next door would have you come around or say hello,”” Tom Henley said. “”I guess it’s like any big city really; London would be the same — you wouldn’t know your next-door neighbors.”” Why No College Town? An all-too-familiar complaint is that we lack a college town or any semblance of a college-town community. The most popular comparisons would have to be universities such as UCLA, UC Berkeley and SDSU. True as it may be that each of those colleges might have an edge over ours in terms of more college-friendly establishments surrounding their campuses, some would argue that UCSD and La Jolla needn’t change at all. For instance, Naureen Nayyar, an ex-SDSU student who is now in her second year at Mesa College, is quick to point out the benefits of UCSD being situated in an area like La Jolla. For instance, she points out how she prefers the quiet and peacefulness only La Jolla can provide. In addition, she is more optimistic about UCSD’s social milieu. “”I have a lot of friends who go to UCSD, and they have a lot of fun just partying in their dorms and stuff, too,”” she said. “”I mean, you can make any place happen if you want it. College life is what you make of it. It’s not just about partying — there are people who like to just chill.”” Nayyar went on to express how she feels UCSD students should take more time to appreciate what they already have. “”I think a lot of times when people go, ‘Oh I want it more like a college town,’ they’re not thinking, ‘Oh I want more places for kids to just hang out after 10,'”” she said. “”They’re talking about places to party and stuff, like PB. [In PB], everybody’s just drinking everywhere and it’s so loud, I mean I live in PB right now and sometimes it’s kind of annoying how every day is a party.”” Mandeville Special Collections Library Director Lynda Corey Claassen believes the reason to be mostly circumstantial. The area surrounding UCSD is predominantly residential instead of commercial. It is important to note that UCSD is situated on a hill, conveniently tucked away from the rest of La Jolla. Unlike places like Westwood for UCLA or Berkeley for Cal, UCSD never developed in a student-friendly area that was contiguous to the campus. On top of that, our university is a far younger school and has not had as much time to develop and mature into a thriving college community, in the traditional sense. The culture of La Jolla has managed to remain intact, however. According to Claassen, it is a dynamic mix of art, culture, social events and social interaction. Distance From the Community Perhaps the biggest culprit, as far as UCSD’s distance from the community, is the geography itself. The relationship between UCSD and La Jolla was and is tentative. As a university, it is primarily concerned with the education of students and maintaining a certain standard of excellence. On the other hand, because of their perpetual concern for geography and land, most La Jollans find little in common with the university. Exceptions most definitely exist, but generally speaking, each entity has its own specific interests, and tends to not understand each other. Nancy Groves, director of academic advising at Revelle and a resident of the area for 37 years, mentioned that La Jolla has tried to respond to the location difficulties UCSD students may come across. For instance, La Jolla Village Square only became as student friendly as it is today in recent years because the local businesses realized that providing more services to the massive student population was the only way to survive economically. UCSD Student Perspectives and Making the Most of It UCSD student Shiloh Talley believes La Jolla’s natural splendor to be one of its greatest assets. “”La Jolla is one of the most beautiful places in the United States with the most beautiful people around,”” Talley said. She, like many others, endorses a more proactive approach to alleviate the common complaint that there is nothing to do on campus. “”I think you have to make your own fun, but as UCSD students we’re all capable of doing that. Otherwise we wouldn’t have come here,”” she said. “”We came here for the beauty of it and there’s so many beautiful things to do that we should be satisfied.”” Some students like Revelle sophomore Ben Mayes are hardly concerned with connecting with La Jollans outside the university . Being a student is of utmost priority for students like him. “”Our problem isn’t all that unique, really,”” Mayes said. “”You can’t expect the community to be involved with us. I mean there are variations, some colleges will interact more with the community than others but all in all you kind of don’t expect it because [students and La Jollans] live such different lifestyles.”” UCSD senior Bobby Potruch works at one of the many booths at UTC. Dealing with all sorts of people every day, Potruch attests to the claim that La Jollans are a very diverse group, despite most stereotypical perceptions of them. Like many other students who deal with La Jollans on a regular basis, he remarked how labeling the entire community as one thing would be inaccurate. Potruch maintains that La Jolla, like any community near a big city, is a mix of all ages and types of people who surprisingly are a varied mix even from an economic standpoint. In other words, not everyone is filthy rich, although most are. In response to claims that UCSD or La Jolla lacks a college-town feel, Potruch recites a familiar sentiment shared by many students. According to him, for anyone who’s ever been to a college-town, UCSD is “”definitely no college town.”” As examples, Potruch cited how the conservative nature of UCSD neighbors prevents there from being action such as parties on campus which are not almost immediately broken up. Much like students before him, Potruch remains far more optimistic about the opportunities UCSD has to offer socially. He poses the challenge that all students look within themselves to change their attitudes before whining about how UCSD lacks yet another thing. “”If you’ve ever spoken to mostly anyone, they’re always looking for something outside their town,”” Potruch said. “”Their town is boring, their school is boring, there’s never anything to do; it’s always trying to get out of your local environment. And it seems like the popular thing to say is that there’s nothing to do.”” Instead of blaming the lack of parties, Potruch thinks in many cases, it is the students themselves who never really learned how to have fun because of the academic nature of UCSD. “”It’s a very competitive school where people spent a great deal of time in their high schools worrying about their grades to get into a prestigious school,”” Potruch said. “”Now that they’re in college, they’re looking to party and they don’t know how to do it. They don’t know what it is. They’re partying and they still don’t know they’re partying. They think you have to be at some rager with five kegs where you can’t move and that’s a party; that’s technically a party but also partying is going out with a few of your buddies and hanging out. You don’t have to stay out till 3 a.m. to be classified as a cool person who had a good time.”” Potruch agrees. “”You can bring fun to almost any town,”” Potruch said. “”It’s not that much to search for, you’ll go your whole entire college life searching for it and it was sitting right in front of you the whole time and you never knew it was there.”” ...