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]

Small-town Girl in Hollywood

Even from the La Valencia Hotel in Del Mar, in a telephone interview last Wednesday, Adriana Trigiani presented the image of an unflappable, yet easy going Italian-American southerner who has worked hard and enjoys the confidence of knowing she is successful. Photo Courtesy of Anthony Parmelee And she should. Her eclectic resume is one that any writer/producer/director would be proud of. At the age of 16, she got a job as a reporter at WNVA radio in Norton, Va., and this began her diversified career through American media. As a student at Notre Dame/Saint Mary’s in the mid-eighties, Trigiani was founder of The Outcasts, “”a fringe, all-girl comedy troupe,”” which she recast when she moved to New York after graduating with a degree from the theater program. When she reached New York, she worked a number of odd jobs, including working as a temp, but soon found an audience for her work and got a television agent. At this time she began working as a writer for the television show, “”A Different World,”” starring Kadeem Hardison and Jasmine Guy. Before long, however, Trigiani was working as both a writer and producer for the hit television show “”The Cosby Show.”” Since then, she has written numerous award-winning plays that have been shown around the country. Additionally, her film documentary, “”Queens of the Bigtime,”” a full-length feature that focuses on her family in Roseto, Pa., won national and international acclaim. The list goes on. Her first book, “”Big Stone Gap,”” a fictional novel depicting a strong Southern woman that was published just last year, is a national bestseller. Now, in the afterglow of receiving recognition for the book that Whoopi Goldberg calls, “”one of my all time favorite novels … unforgettable,”” she is now directing and writing the script for the movie that is being made from “”Big Stone Gap.”” The book’s sequel, “”Big Cherry Holler,”” is due out in May. Like the main character of her book, Ave Maria Mulligan, Trigiani grew up in the Southern town of Big Stone Gap, Va., in the ’70s. Mulligan, like Trigiani, loved the mountains, books and the theater, but while Trigiani left to build her career in New York City, Mulligan stayed in Big Stone Gap. It is there that Mulligan examines the complexities of life and human interaction to discover how unexpected circumstances in life make things more interesting. But to leave it at that is too simple a description. “”Big Stone Gap”” is “”simply”” written the way that Ernest Hemmingway’s “”Old Man and the Sea”” was “”simply”” written — drawing out the complexities of human emotion with simple story telling. “”People Magazine”” called the book “”Delightfully quirky, chock full of engaging oddball characters and unexpected plot twists,”” and it is. However, this is a vast oversimplification of the remarkably complex plethora of human emotions that Trigiani brilliantly explores through her myriad of characters. The big ideas that are contained in that simple language, and in the small town, contain universal appeal for readers. According to Trigiani, her main character exemplifies the struggle women face who are trying to balance a desire for success and independence with the ability to love and be loved. Mulligan is a woman in her mid-thirties living in Big Stone Gap in 1978. An avid reader, her very favorite book is on Chinese face reading, a practice where facial characteristics reveal the contents of one’s soul. According to Mulligan’s facial characteristics, something important and life changing is to take place during her 35th year. It is the course of this year and the changes that take place that Trigiani depicts for her readers. Another more bitter character in Trigiani’s book is Fleeta Mullins, her assistant at the pharmacy. Mulligan is an optimist, despite her resolution toward a spinster lifestyle, and Mullins provides a perfect counter balance to Mulligan’s attitude. Mulligan is encouraging one of the younger citizens of the town to discard superficial beauty to locate beauty within. Mullins feels that this is a hopeless endeavor, and tells Mulligan so. “”Honey, there’s potential, and then there’s bullshit dreaming.”” says Mullins. “”I think you got a case of the bullshit dreams, if you know what I mean.”” According to Trigiani, Mullins is a character who is likable, but who is also a chain smoking, Diet Coke drinking, bitter old woman, whose thoughts should be discarded as pessimistic and discouraging. Mulligan is a self-proclaimed spinster in the small town of Big Stone Gap, serving as the town pharmacist and as a volunteer ambulence driver for the Rescue Squad. She is also the director of the town theater troupe. Her diverse interests and self-sufficiency disguise her fear of commitment to a relationship that would make her vulnerable to hurt, and reveal to the world that she does need to be loved. During the course of the year, the changes predicted by her Chinese face-reading philosophy do take place, and they help Mulligan to discover family secrets and the secrets within herself that have hindered her ability to be a part of a successful relationship. “”I wouldn’t know what to do with a man,”” says Mulligan. “”Hook him? Serve him? Then pray he never leaves? How do you do it without dying? How?”” Although she is happily married, Mulligan’s struggle may have been a reflection of Trigiani’s own life. In her interview, Trigiani said that women often have to figure out how they can balance success with personal happiness, and Mulligan exemplifies this internal emotional struggle. “”Women have to be independent, and we also have to be emotionally available,”” Trigiani said. As a strong and successful woman, Trigiani admits that gender has always played a factor in her life. However, she was lucky to receive the support from her family that she needed to succeed. She says that, although Italians are known for patriarchal attitudes toward women, she was fortunate enough to always have powerful female role models. “”I never had the sense that I couldn’t do something because I was a girl,”” Trigiani said. “”Both of my grandmothers owned their own businesses, and my mother always encouraged me.”” Another part of her success seems to come from her love for what she does. While growing up in Big Stone Gap, she was a prolific writer. She continued her love for writing in college, where she wrote numerous plays that were all well-received. “”I was always writing,”” Trigiani said. “”Even in a small coal-mining town, when I didn’t know there were jobs for what I did.”” Trigiani admits that success is sometimes difficult, but says that it is obtainable if you are able to manage it. “”If you have it and claim it, it is yours,”” she said. In the sequel, “”Big Cherry Holler,”” Mulligan, again the main character, will re-examine her life to try to figure out why, after truly discovering herself in the first book, she keeps making the same mistakes. Trigiani describes the new book as full of plot twists that the reader never could or would have expected in the first book. According to Trigiani, “”You’ll be blown away.”” Trigiani, we already are. ...

Horoscopes

Aries (March 21-April 19) Before midweek, Aries, watch for a key official to introduce unexpected financial information: Canceled loans and temporary restrictions are accented. Although news may be negative, Aries, past employment or money mistakes can now be easily transformed into sound business decisions. Pay special attention to new property options, government contracts or lucrative, short-term projects. After Thursday, social relations will be delicate: Expect increased gossip and fast romantic speculation. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Private love affairs or hidden loyalties between friends may now be subtly revealed, Taurus. Over the next few days, romantic flirtations will be unmistakable: Watch co-workers and officials for small indications of emotional change. Some Taureans will also enter into a highly passionate relationship. Remain open, Taurus: New relationships will be temporary but seductive and rewarding. Early next week financial restrictions are lifted, Taurus: Expect slow, steady changes. Gemini (May 21-June 21) Financial speculations and new contracts will work in your favor this week, Gem. Early Wednesday, watch for a key official or government agency to offer unique opportunities in promotions, media, advertising or management. Thoroughly research all major proposals, however, before mid-May: Employment facts, money promises or public records may be temporarily misleading. After Friday, expect a sudden burst of physical energy: Health, fitness and social optimism are now on the rise. Cancer (June 22-July 22) Love relationships will be satisfying this week, Cancer: Early Tuesday, expect loved ones to leave behind past social anxieties or romantic doubts. Family differences and minor disagreements will no longer create a wall of silence, Cancer: Openly express your ideas, opinions or needs and watch for important emotional breakthroughs. After Thursday, small financial decisions may be required. Key issues involve short term investments, property management, repairs or renovations: Stay focused. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) Family and close social relationships will now enter a brief but intense period of past reflection or confrontation. No serious or long-lasting influences can be expected here, Leo, but do watch for loved ones to openly discuss recent events, past social loyalties or yesterday’s decisions. Be attentive, Leo: Others may now need your dedication and support. After Thursday, news from a distant relative will be pleasing: Travel plans, home renovations or large purchases are indicated. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Late Tuesday, Virgo, a work announcement or business proposal may initiate a lengthy period of expansion and revised career ambitions. Key areas of concern are corporate permissions, shared contracts and changed job titles. Tuesday through Friday, watch financial records and business tactics closely for valuable clues. Some Virgos, especially those born in August, may find that the complex workplace politics of the last four months now create unexpected opportunities: Stay alert. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) Quick messages and new instructions may soon cause subtle but important changes in working relationships, Libra: Early Wednesday, expect key officials or work partners to openly discuss short-term plans or revised policies. Your role may be more influential than is apparent, Libra: At present, group success depends heavily on your public confidence and leadership abilities. Later this week, social dynamics are also difficult: Expect close friends to be temporarily moody or unresponsive. Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 21) Close friends and potential lovers will now respond warmly to new proposals, Scorp. Provide obvious invitations over the next few days and expect honest, decisive answers. Before next week, loved ones will be receptive to your social ideas, group suggestions and romantic style. After Friday, expect friends or relatives to openly speculate about recent romantic triangles or ongoing social mistakes. Remain detached, Scorp: The loyalties of others may now be complicated by outdated social beliefs. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Early this week, Sage, a loved one may require extra support or encouragement: Before Thursday, expect family conflicts or romantic disagreements to be highly distracting. Remain cautious, Sage: Over the next 12 days, friends and lovers will be mildly dramatic and sensitive to new social or romantic information. After Friday, dreams, insights and glimpses into the future will be a strong theme: Listen carefully to sudden hunches and quick social impressions. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Social misunderstandings and romantic ethics may soon become an intense topic of conversation, Cap. For the next three days, loved ones will be introspective, socially withdrawn and doubtful. Respond quickly to all questions or statements, Sage: Before Wednesday, loved ones will need your guidance and support. After Thursday, family invitations and home proposals will be rewarding: Plan for unexpected social gatherings and unique family events. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Clearly state your feelings and needs in social or family relationships this week, Aquarius. Complex changes or recent time schedule adjustments may soon cause unnecessary confusion. Loved ones will be unable to resolve group disagreements without your input, Aquarius: Be supportive. After Wednesday, review recently strained workplace relations. New job roles or subtle emotional changes between co-workers may soon require attention: Gather reliable information before taking action. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) Rekindled friendships and love affairs will bring positive rewards early this week, Pisces. After a brief period of miscommunications, mutual respect and affection can now be re-established. Contact distant friends or lovers, Pisces, and make new social arrangements: All is well. After Tuesday, avoid excess spending: Before next week, money records and paperwork may require special attention. Stay focused on long-term purchases, Pisces: Saving and family goals should now be a top priority. If Your Birthday is this Week: Older relatives or long-term family friends may soon request more of your time, attention and dedication. Over the next three months watch for a steady increase in family discussions, property decisions and creative home solutions. Living arrangements and shared responsibilities will be an ongoing theme before mid-August: Find positive ways to bring greater comfort and security to loved ones. Later this year romantic relations will become serious, dedicated and powerfully rewarding: Before early November watch for important romantic proposals and shared daily or social commitments. ...

The Recent Stock Market Roller Coaster is New to Unjaded College Investors

It is no epiphany that money is tight for college students. The high sales of Natural Ice at the Sav-On near campus can attest to that. I personally have a change stash in my desk that I delve into on Sundays in an attempt to purchase the most 39-cent cheeseburgers that I can afford. Because of this shortage of funds, students scramble to find money from any source possible. Some people subject themselves to scientific testing for a few extra dollars. Many of us have jobs to pay for extraneous items that financial aid and Mom and Dad don’t pay for. Another popular place to try and find a little cash, at least in the last couple of years, has been the stock market. These days are now over. I’ll admit it. Since I was a junior in high school, I have invested small to moderate amounts of money in the stock market, and I know that I am not alone. I figured, as I am sure that many of you did, that the market keeps going up and there is next to no risk to being in the market, especially the technology industries, where price per share ceilings didn’t seem to exist. We all made a stupid move, but it wasn’t entirely our fault. We were born in exactly the range of time that put us in our late teens and early twenties, when the market was flying to its highest levels. We were led to believe that the rules of economics didn’t apply to us; that prices of stock shares no longer had anything to do with earnings and that the values of Internet companies could continuously rise, even without a product or anything resembling a profit. It was a new economy with new rules, and we were sure that we were going to benefit from it. We were oh-so-wrong. What caused this misconception that sent buyers into a frenzy? Ironically enough, I would say that the blame can most correctly be placed in the laps of the buyers themselves. Cheap computer trading on Web sites such as E-Trade has made other brokerage houses lower their per-trade prices. All of this has made entering the stock market more accessible to many people over the last few years. For most of you, this is not new information. What most people don’t understand, however, is the new dynamic that this introduces into the realm of stock trading. With more novice investors in the market trying to make a quick buck, two things happen. First of all, variances of stock prices begin to go way up. This is simply because of the fact that more people in the market means more capital in the market, which in turn brings the possibility of bigger swings. Secondly, more novice investors means that the mob-like reactions to certain phenomena have an even greater effect on prices of stocks. This is my theory, and theories need to be tested with empirical evidence, so let’s take a look at the numbers. It is easy to see that the variances in the prices of the stock exchanges have gone up significantly over the past few years. As little as five years ago, a 20-point move on the NASDAQ would be considered a volatile day. Now we don’t even flinch unless it moves at least 100 points. For evidence of the mob-like activity I spoke of above, all you need to do is look at the dot-com craze that is just now coming to an end. By all the laws of economics, there was no reason that these companies had any business being priced so high. Stock shares are simply claims to the future earnings of companies, and most of these companies had never made a profit. How the craze probably began was with one investor willing to take a chance that he would eventually make a profit, then people began to follow him. From there, novice investors saw the prices of these stocks continue to rise, so they decided to buy for themselves. When professional investors realized that people were willing to pay almost any price for these stocks, they decided to buy and sell later when the price would inevitably be higher. Unfortunately, we all know how this story ends. As prices began to fall, novice investors got scared, mostly because they had never experienced that before, and prices fell more until they got to the depressed and depressing levels that they are at now. We bet on the laws of economics being suspended, and they were, but not for long enough. Is there any good news to this sad series of events? Fortunately, there is. First of all, there is a lesson to be learned. That lesson is that it is probably better to go get your brain hooked up to electrodes for spending money than to venture into the stock market. There is a reason that every investor who knows what he is doing suggests holding assets for the long term and not using any money in the market that you will need any time soon. I think over the past couple of months we have been taught a lesson as to why these investors have this strategy. The better news, for people that have disposable money right now, is that the large variances brought on by novice investors many times lead to a market where stocks are priced below where they should be. Are we in one of these times now? Possibly, and if we aren’t yet, I can almost guarantee that we will be soon. This sets up a great opportunity for people to make a killing in the market. So if you have extra cash, by all means go for it. As for me, I think I will stick to digging though my change drawer. ...

Looking For a Place to Call Home

The annual housing crunch is back and in full force as hoards of UCSD students find themselves in need of housing. Demand for off-campus housing is especially high this year with students no longer guaranteed housing for their sophomore year. Jennifer Myer Guardian What does that mean to students looking for housing? According to Justin Taylor, a leasing specialist at The Villas of Renaissance, it means that students need to start house hunting immediately. “”[The students] need to start looking now,”” Taylor said. “”We already have a waiting list for housing in September. It is only going to get busier.”” This can be a sobering realization for students who have yet to begin their quests for housing, but before huddling in a corner and crying about visions of whoring themselves on a street corner for shelter, they should take comfort in the fact that there is help available for the search. Beginning There are several different ways that one can go about finding available apartments. One means is the Off-Campus Housing office, located in the Eucalyptus Lounge in the Student Center. At the office, students can find a plethora of information regarding available housing off campus, including openings, roommates and other possibilities. Another popular method is to drive around town and look into complexes that seem appealing. While this may take more time than some other methods, it allows students to get acquainted with the areas surrounding their potential dwellings by driving around them for the day. For those students who prefer to find housing on their own, but want to have some direction, they can find a wealth of information on the Web or in the various free housing magazines that are available at the entrances of most area supermarkets. These allow students to decide which communities they would like to visit before they decide to drive aimlessly through the city. Choosing Ruben James, a leasing representative from Costa Verde Village, recommends looking at several different places until you find one that suits you. “”The best thing to do is to just shop around and take a look at what the different places have to offer,”” James said. “”You should probably choose three to five communities that you really like.”” Once you find those communities, both Taylor and James recommend getting on wait lists. “”Students should definitely take advantage of wait lists at properties that offer them,”” James said. “”They are a great way to secure some sort of availability for an apartment.”” As is the case with people, not all wait lists are created equal. Most complexes charge a completely refundable fee for getting on their wait list. This fee can range anywhere from $20 to $200. A few places, such as The Villas of Renaissance, even take credit cards for the deposit. Costa Verde Village is one of the few area properties that has no wait list. This is due to the fact that the complex is opening up a new building and is leasing those rooms out now. For the most part, people get on wait lists and specify a certain month that they would like to move in. Since most places remain at capacity throughout the year, or close to it, they do not know when they will have openings until tenants give their 30-day notice to move out. At that point, the people on wait lists are contacted and offered the opening. If they like it, then it is theirs. If they don’t, or if they have another apartment already, then the wait list deposit is refunded. Prices While there are places out there for just about any price range, students should be realistic about what they expect to pay in La Jolla. Unless you’re willing to live in a roach motel, you should expect to pay somewhere between $1,100 and $1,500 for a cozy two-bedroom apartment. Before making a decision purely on price, students should also consider what they are getting for their money. For example, while the cheapest two-bedroom apartment at The Villas of Renaissance costs $1,585, there are several benefits that come with living in that community. The Villas of Renaissance offers a fitness center with free weights, an aerobics room, a sauna, four pools, four Jacuzzis and several activities ranging from movies to dances, of which are all included in the rent. “”We are a very activities-based community,”” said Taylor. “”We really like to keep things interesting for the residents.”” Some complexes also include some, or all, utilities in the rental price, something that can be very valuable with the current high prices of water and electricity. In contrast to those high prices, Costa Verde Village offers a two-bedroom and two-bath model for a mere $1,350. Couple that price with a high success rate of people getting housing, and it is not surprising that Costa Verde Village has become one of the more popular communities for UCSD students. Of course, those are La Jolla prices for La Jolla apartments. If you want to save money, there is always the option of going to neighboring areas for cheaper housing. Pacific Beach, Clairemont, Mira Mesa and Del Mar are all communities that have benefited from college students seeking inexpensive housing. Signing the Lease There are several different leasing options available to students. Most places offer leases ranging from month-to-month to full-year leases. For students, there may be nine-month leases that run from September to June, perfect for the school year. Co-signers may be necessary to sign the lease at some apartments, as some leases can require the renter to put down two or even three times the monthly rental price. This is why many college students have their parents co-sign for their apartments. ...

A Pointless Rant About Various Things Going on Both at Home and Abroad

Take a look around and you will notice that spring has finally graced us with its presence. The skies are clearing, the temperatures are rising, the rabbits are humping and, my personal favorite, girls are starting to wear less and less. This is truly my favorite season. I don’t know what it is, but there is something about spring quarter that puts me in a genuinely good mood. I think that it must have something to do with the fact that summer is rapidly approaching. The thought of a three-month break from school just gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Since I’m in such a good mood, I don’t really have one big issue to rant and rave about in this soapbox. I know that all of you are disappointed, since you love it when I get pissed off and write pages about random stuff. To you, I apologize. I do, however, have a few small things that have been bugging me for the past few days. So, here comes a series of mini-rants that will hopefully tide y’all over until I get really pissed off about something in the future. First off, I have to say a few words about our president, Dubya. Wow, has he done a bang-up job as pres-o-dent so far, or what? I am truly impressed. Not only has he made up enough words to comprise a new dictionary, but he has also bombed Iraq and managed to anger the Chinese, the one real threat to America. All of that aside, I have a suggestion for our new president. Dubya, for the love of all that is good and holy, please get some sleep! When Clinton displayed the luggage under his eyes, it was like, “”I stayed up all night working hard for you, the American people.”” The bags under Dubya’s eyes only tell me one thing: “”I was up all night snortin’ coke, drinkin’ a 40 of O.E. and makin’ words up!”” Along those lines, I wonder how Dubya feels about being the first president in history to have a Comedy Central sitcom dedicated to making fun of him. That must suck. I also have to say that my heart truly goes out to the American pilots in China right now. They are being used by the Chinese to test the waters with our new president. They were just doing their job when Chinese aircraft were stupid enough to get in their way and take them down. They did everything they were supposed to except for torching the plane. I only hope that Bush can rise above his third-grade reading level and negotiate the pilots’ return quickly and smoothly. On the home front, I am truly disturbed by the recent incidents of school violence. Maybe it’s just me, but I cannot even fathom what was going through the minds of these kids as they strolled through the halls and shot at people. I’ll grant them that kids can be cruel with the things that they say, but why shoot innocent people? What good does that do? Personally, I was glad to see the attitudes of some of the students from Granite Hills High School. Some who were interviewed did not say that they were sad and distraught over the incident. Instead they lamented feelings of anger that someone would do something like that at their school. I think that it is about time that the students realize that this shouldn’t be tolerated and keep each other in check. If they hear about the possibility of a shooting, they should react swiftly and harshly to discourage it, instead of egging the person on as was the case in the Santana shooting. The media should take the alarming incidents of school violence that have been springing up with a dangerous frequency as a wake-up call. If they continue to glamorize these events by stretching them out and reporting on every aspect of the shootings, then these kids will continue to get ideas to go on killing sprees. Do you really think that it’s necessary to interview one of the victim’s fourth cousins? This is an exaggeration, but it’s not far from the truth. I agree that the media has a responsibility to report these things, but at the same time, they shouldn’t glamorize it. Simply reporting the facts and moving on would suffice. If anything, they are just making things harder for the students who are trying to put the incidents behind them. ...

Meet the Positions

With A.S. elections finally upon us, one can’t help but wonder if it is going to be another year of apathy, or if this is finally the year that UCSD students will come together and make their collective voice heard. Sky Frostenson Guardian Apathy has plagued UCSD from the trying times of the voting booth — ask any Dade County resident how hard that can be — to the current, convenient method of computer voting. One reason students might not be so eager to go out and vote is that they don’t know what they are actually voting for. Sure, they see the fancy titles on the ballots, but do the students really know what these people’s responsibilities are once they get elected? It is doubtful. With that in mind, here is a crash course in A.S. positions that should come in handy when considering whom to vote for in this year’s election. President The school’s top spot is not too different from our nation’s president, if you really think about it. True, the A.S. president doesn’t have a hoard of sexually frustrated interns to choose from, but there are many similarities. The A.S. president serves as the chief executive officer of the A.S. Council and is the official representative of the undergraduate body. He prepares and submits an annual operating budget. The president also has veto power over any item passed by the A.S. Council. Vice Presidents Unlike the federal government, A.S. Council breaks the job of the vice president into three separate jobs: the vice president internal, the vice president external and the vice president finance. The vice president internal is the second in command in A.S. Council. He is the acting A.S. president in the president’s absence. He runs the council meetings, appoints student representatives to campuswide committees and also oversees the internal affairs of the A.S. Council, such as policies, procedures and administrative council matters. The vice president external is in charge of lobbying for student issues on a state and national level. He is also in charge of organizing the campuswide voter registration campaign. In addition, the vice president external serves as UCSD’s representative to both the University of California Student Association and the United States Student Association. Finally, the vice president finance is the local guru of everything budgetary at the school. He advises the president and the council on all budgetary matters and is in charge of enforcing all A.S. policies on expenditures of the activity fee. The vice president finance also assists the development of all student organization budgets, organizes the quarterly Student Organization Funding Advisory Board and reviews expenditures of student activity funds. Commissioner of Student Advocacy The commissioner of student advocacy, while not one of the more publicized positions, is one of the most important in terms of direct involvement with the students. This person informs, advises and represents students when conflicts with the university arise. He also acts as the A.S. Council’s liaison to the Office of Student Policies and Judicial Affairs. Commissioner of Communications Whoever takes this spot in the election will be in charge of all the A.S.-funded student media on campus, including newspapers, magazines, television and radio. He is also in charge of all media funding, including budgeting and allocation. Programmer The programmer is the most important position on campus to students interested in campus events and concerts. Whoever fills this position will be in charge of all campus events, including concerts, speakers, comedians and activities. He also provides the entertainment for events such as Late Nite at RIMAC and all-campus dances. The programmer is in charge of coordinating popular events such as FallFest, WinterFest and the all-important Sun God Festival. In addition, the programmer is responsible for researching up-and-coming talent to bring to the campus and acts as the student liaison between A.S. Council and music industry professionals. Commissioner of Academic Affairs The commissioner of academic affairs is in charge of establishing and maintaining the lines of communication between the Academic Affairs office and all related undergraduate academic programs. He is also in charge of providing periodic polls and surveys that assess students’ concerns. Commissioner of Student Services and Enterprises This position is in charge of budgets and the operation of A.S. services and enterprises such as Soft Reserves, Lecture Notes, Grove Caffe, SRTV, KSDT, U.S. Grants, Volunteer Connection and the A.S. Internship office. The commissioner of student services and enterprises is also the A.S. representative to the Co-op Oversight Committee. College Senators These positions are elected from the individual colleges. A sophomore, junior and senior is elected from each college. These people serve as representatives of the interests and needs of students in their college and respective class. All information obtained from A.S. Web site, located at http://asucsd.-ucsd.edu ...

People Should be Aware of the Harsh Reality of the Death Penalty

By JEFFREY WHITE Copy Editor Currently up for review by the U.S. Supreme Court is the constitutionality of carrying out the death sentence on mentally retarded killers. Again at the forefront of this legal battle is convicted rapist and murderer John Paul Penry, who has an IQ somewhere between 51 and 63, and who has, according to his lawyer, the intellect of a 7-year-old. As you probably remember, back in 1989 the Supreme Court used Penry’s case to rule that the execution of mentally retarded murderers is not a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Well, it seems Penry is going to get another shot at it, as the nation’s highest court has agreed to reconsider his case. Personally, I don’t see why Penry or any mentally retarded convict on death row should be treated differently because of his lack of intelligence. If anything, that would make the punishment more humane, as mentally inferior convicts would not fully understand the process and would probably not be so anxious or afraid. Thus, in a sense, it could be argued that it would actually be slightly more morally palatable to execute someone who lacks the brainpower to really comprehend what is happening. Also, if the court upholds its prior decision to allow mentally retarded murderers to be executed, it sends out a message to all would-be felons that our justice system does not tolerate such heinous crimes as murder and rape, meaning capital punishment would remain intact as a deterrent to such activities. However, the death penalty is not a deterrent as it is currently administered. Study after study has shown this to be the case. One thing that certainly does not help the death penalty to be the deterrent that it could is the fact that very few actually know what goes on when a person is executed in an electric chair, gas chamber or by lethal injection. Even educated people have a difficult time actually grasping the concept of death. However, seeing it with one’s own eyes would certainly help a person understand the gravity of being put to death. This is why I think that executions should be televised. Like C-SPAN, which televises the proceedings taking place on Capitol Hill, I think there should be a channel that airs executions. This way, we get more bang for our buck when we kill one of our prisoners. Ideally, much like C-SPAN, this channel would be free, even if you forget to pay that cable bill. If you saw what actually happens when someone is electrocuted to death in the electric chair, or when a human dies of asphyxiation in the gas chamber, that would be a pretty powerful experience — possibly powerful enough to make you think twice before committing that violent crime. This may seem like a somewhat radical proposition, but really, it is not. Public executions were commonplace worldwide for centuries, even in this country, until relatively recently. We shouldn’t be ashamed of what our government has relegated to private, behind-closed-doors sessions, and instead make it as public as possible, which would be to televise all government-sanctioned executions. This way, the death penalty will finally be given the chance to be an effective deterrent to capital crimes. It is true; some parents may not want their children to see real death on television. Well, that’s what that box in the corner of the screen is for that says “”TV-MA.”” And frankly, parents should be in control of what programs their children watch, anyway. However, children are already exposed to so much death in the media and in television shows, it would be somewhat pointless not to allow them to watch the executions. The only difference between waching an execution and the countless other shows in which people are killed would be that parents would have to explain to their children that these are real people actually being killed for crimes they have committed. In fact, parents should make it very clear to their children exactly who is executing these people; that it is in fact mommy and daddy killing them. Or maybe mommy and daddy don’t even realize that fact. Fortunately, I have another proposition: execution duty. Execution duty would be the equivalent of jury duty, except that U.S. citizens would be chosen at random to “”throw the switch”” for all executions. It is true that this would create a huge amount of bureaucracy and probably some moral objections as well. But really, we are all “”throwing the switch”” already, as we more than tolerate — in fact, overwhelmingly support — the death penalty in this country. So really, it wouldn’t be any different if we physically killed the prisoners ourselves. People would just be more aware of what they have been doing all along. That can’t be a bad thing. I want to throw the switch myself. I want to see, with my own two eyes, that convicted felon die as his body is electrocuted or poisoned. I want the reality that I already kill on a regular basis to be real in my mind, for that fact to be concrete and tangible. This doesn’t make me crazy. It’s already what I’m doing. It’s already what you’re doing. Face it: You have blood on your hands — though unfortunately not literally, since the government we’ve elected is so good at keeping our murders out of sight, therefore out of mind. That’s why it should be on television. That’s why we should be forced to throw the switch ourselves. That’s why we should have to tell our little children that mommy and daddy kill people. Maybe then we will actually realize what we are doing. And once we do, maybe then we will actually be in a position to decide whether we approve of capital punishment. I agree with what former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall once said: “”The question with which we must deal is not whether a substantial proportion of American citizens would today, if polled, opine that capital punishment is barbarously cruel, but whether they would find it to be so in light of all information presently available.”” So get all the information presently available, so you can at the very least put yourself in a better position to make that decision. ...

Unveiling the Feminine Mystique

The true concept of feminism is a foreign one to most people. For some, feminism is equated with hoards of bra burners hell-bent on fighting all that is phallic and male in our society. Others may have images of privileged white women going off on a first-wave feminist rant, failing to include the majority of the population of women who don’t consider the ability to work a luxury. It is this baseless cry of the ignorant that the members of the undergraduate academic group Women Inciting Social Change wish to dispel with their April 11 conference titled “”Exploring ‘Feminine’ Bodies.”” It is also one of the first conferences at UCSD to be organized exclusively by undergraduate students. Conception For many in the critical gender studies department, the extensive focus on theory can be frustrating, because it doesn’t necessarily lead to action or to solutions. WISC members felt that by organizing the conference, they would be creating a practical application of their knowledge. WISC is composed of four UCSD undergraduate women and two alumni CGS majors. The conference idea was originally conceptualized by Cindy Wu, a recent graduate of UCSD who attended a conference and wanted to bring the information that she had learned to UCSD. “”I wanted to accomplish two things with this conference,”” Wu said. “”First, I wanted to learn how to organize a conference, and second, I wanted to really explore the ideas and concepts that we have learned in this major and share them with UCSD students who may not have access to feminist theory classes.”” She organized her information and took it to professor Rosemary George, head of the CGS department, who felt that Wu’s idea was sound. Together with Nancy Hatch, the department coordinator, they organized a 198-person class that took place last fall quarter that was designed to facilitate the organization of the conference. In this way, students had a disciplined way to organize the structure of the conference and issues they wanted to discuss, and were able to receive academic credit for their endeavors. The group WISC, was developed in the class as a way to get financial support from the university. It was developed around the idea of the conference, but has turned into something more. According to its constitution, WISC is a student-run organization composed of UCSD students with a common mission to promote critical thinking and activism on issues of gender, race, class and sexuality. However, the members have found that they have learned more than just how to organize a conference. Together, by personally engaging the theories presented to them in class, they have learned a lot more in their classes. Additionally, the support that they provide to each other in study sessions for classes has made this year truly educational. According to Patricia Cordozo, who was the co-director of finance and fundraising for this event, George’s vision of the potential of the group was a key element to their success. “”We would have been lost without professor George,”” Cordozo said. “”She really gave us 100 percent support the whole time. Before this, we were complete novices. Her confidence in us is really what allowed us to pull this whole thing off.”” According to the university, the CGS department has fewer than 30 students in the major, but according to Landy Spencer, co-director of programming, the small size of the department is part of its appeal. In this case, it allowed for increased support from the faculty, which was instrumental for WISC members’ success. “”We were really excited about the support we received from the faculty,”” Spencer said. “”Those who are participating are really going out of their way, despite personal inconvenience. Their support has really made this a positive learning experience that I hope to translate into my future activities.”” Goals According to Heidi Saman, co-director of programming, several departments offer courses that encourage a deeper evaluation of established labels, however not all students have access to these classes. WISC members felt that women and men’s bodies are the site of most subjective identities, and that here would be the best place to start exploring social constructions of race, gender and sexuality. Here, the concept of “”Exploring ‘Feminine’ Bodies”” was designed. “”We see a void in students awareness of critical issues regarding gender, racial and sexual categories,”” Saman said. “”Some fail to prioritize these classes in their rigorous academic schedules, and therefore never take the opportunity to sample the incredible resources that UCSD offers in the academic study of these issues.”” Departments such as critical gender studies are interdisciplinary by design. This allows students to sample classes from a variety of different departments and to explore the important issue of gender from a variety of different perspectives. “”By taking gendered perspectives into account in a variety of different disciplines, we discover exactly how pervasive perceptions of gender are in influencing social behavior,”” Cardozo said. “”We wanted to create a conference that allowed students to explore the discipline of gender studies and develop a greater understanding of how the issues in the major affect everyone. This increased understanding and awareness will allow for greater sensitivity of UCSD students who are entering the world as prospective participants in institutionalized and socialized behavior.”” The founders of WISC envision a conference where the intersection of race, class and sexuality are explored through and against ideologies of gender. According to Wu, their hope for this conference is to enlighten participants to new conceptualizations of feminine bodies. They also hope that the diversity of the speakers will allow people to explore the issues on their own, and will also challenge the ideology that certain groups are not touched by race or gender, and encourage a deeper understanding of supposedly invisible categories. “”This conference would allow students easy access to information that they may not otherwise come into contact with,”” Spencer said. “”By giving students access to the incredible professors that UCSD has working in this department, we promote a greater understanding of social issues colored by a gendered lens, and the importance and significance of this area of study. The Speakers According to Saman, the group invited the professors whom they felt best embodied the ideas that the group wanted to share. She feels that the group has been very fortunate that the UCSD professors whom they asked to participate have all been enthusiastic supporters of the students. “”We were really lucky that the UCSD professors who we asked to participate were able to take time out of their busy schedules to participate,”” Saman said. “”I’ve been working with them for the last few months and everyone is so wonderful. The talks are going to be really exciting.”” The keynote speaker, professor Judith Halberstam of the literature department, is a universal favorite among critical gender studies majors and members of the literature department. Her talk will highlight new lesbian subcultures, including dyke punk bands, slam poets and drag kings. Her talk, entitled “”Female Masculinity: The Body in Question”” will include music and video clips and will focus on four basic ideas including the significance of the categories queer and female on this subgroup. The structure of the conference has Halberstam speaking first, followed by two concurrent sessions that will be in the San Francisco/Santa Cruz Room and the Santa Barbara/Los Angeles Room. One of the concurrent sessions will feature professor George Lipsitz, a prominent faculty member in the ethnic studies department of UCSD, and professor Kathleen Jones, a faculty member at SDSU. The topic of this session will be “”Working Bodies and the Economics of Gender.”” Lipsitz’s presentation will focus on the organizations of work and its influences on all aspects of our existence, including the sexual and gender identities that we inhabit and envision. Jones will concentrate on mapping women’s social locations in formal and informal economies. She will also explore contexts for understanding the political economy of gender and the impact of this political economy on the individual and collective strategies of survival and resistance. The other concurrent session will focus on racialized bodies and will feature professors Daphne Brooks and Lisa Yoneyama, who are members of the literature department. Brooks will focus on a paper titled “”‘It Needs A Bottom’: (Re) Covering the Black Female Body in the Works of Suzan-Lori Parks.”” She will engage the various topics brought up in the paper about the politics of black feminist representations. WISC members anticipate that Yoneyama will focus on issues surrounding Asian-American race and sexuality. A Fine Evening For anyone who has ever been remotely interested in finding out more about gender studies, this evening promises to be both entertaining and informative. The several speakers who have been secured for the conference bring a refreshing blend of knowledge and experience that are sure to bring provocative thoughts to the table throughout the evening. “”Exploring ‘Feminine’ Bodies”” on Wednesday, April 11 will be open to the general public and will be free of charge. Registration, which is not mandatory, will begin at 4:45 p.m. in Price Center Ballroom B. Introduction to the conference will be done by professor Rosemary George at 5:15 p.m. Halberstam’s talk will run from 5:30 p.m. until 6:45 p.m. in Ballroom B. The two concurrent sessions will run from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Professors Kathleen Jones and George Lipsitz will speak in the San Francisco/Santa Cruz Room, and professors Lisa Yoneyama and Daphne Brooks will speak in the Santa Barbara/Los Angeles Room. ...

Horoscopes

Aries (March 21-April 19) Romantic passions will now steadily increase, Aries. Early Tuesday, expect lovers and close family members to openly reveal their feelings. For the next three weeks, a desire to further enter into intimate relationships will be difficult to resist. Late Friday, watch for unexpected financial or workplace information. Carefully clarify all new instructions. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Fast career inroads and new social contacts will bring valuable opportunities in the coming weeks, Taurus. After Wednesday, expect key officials to search out your expertise or offer unique partnership proposals. Thursday through Sunday, loved ones will present new romantic ideas or rare flirtations. Private romantic encounters are now rewarding, Taurus: Stay open to cosy, seductive invitations. Gemini (May 21-June 21) Someone close may now offer unclear communications. For many Geminis, especially those born late in May, emotional confusion will mostly be experienced in family relationships. After Wednesday, however, close friends or new lovers will also avoid difficult subjects and firm promises. Revitalized passion will slowly return after mid-April. A demanding week, Gem: Stay sharp. Cancer (June 22-July 22) Key officials may be scattered or emotionally distant this week, Cancer. Before Thursday, expect important policy issues to distract colleagues and authority figures. Don’t push for quick decisions. Late Friday, watch also for co-workers, lovers or close friends to make obvious public mistakes or rely on incomplete information. Stay balanced, Cancer: Facts, dates and figures are temporarily unreliable. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) Short-term agreements and temporary work assignments will be finalized this week. Some Leos, especially those born between 1976 and 1983, will now experience increasingly demanding daily schedules. After Thursday, a rare invitation from a previously distant friend may arrive. Past social promises are now accented: Expect long withheld passions to soon resurface. A complex week, Leo: Stay alert. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Past family obligations or ongoing social stress between loved ones will fade early this week, Virgo. After Tuesday, yesterday’s power struggles will no longer play a key role in close relationships. Expect emotions to slowly but permanently shift, Virgo: Loved ones will soon begin a new phase of positive thinking and fresh social optimism. Wednesday through Saturday, listen to friends for subtle messages: Relocation, travel plans or unique job changes may be on the agenda. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) Long trusted lovers or close relatives will now demand obvious and steady commitments, Libra. Even though your attention has been squarely focused on relationships, others may still wish for emotional or romantic promises to proceed more rapidly. Much of this looks happy and enjoyable, Libra: so not to worry. Do, however, avoid dismissing your own needs and goals. At present, many Librans may too easily give away valuable time, energy and emotional resources. Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 21) Family duties and emotional home discussions are accented early this week, Scorp. Over the next few days, watch for a close relative or long-term friend to ask for added emotional support. Stand your ground, Scorp: This is not a good time to let others dictate your schedule, daily habits or commitments. After Friday, romantic passions are compelling: Expect a previously subtle attraction to soon demand action. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Early this week, Sage, past financial or educational records may become briefly problematic. For many Sagittarians, outstanding paperwork from the past will need to be finalized before progress is available. Don’t hesitate to actively probe for answers: Hidden information or newly reveal facts are also accented. Late Saturday, a social gathering may provide disappointment: Watch for unexpected cancellations. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Rest, relaxation and inner contemplation will be rewarding this week, Cap. Before Thursday, delayed work duties will allow extra time for subtle romantic decisions and social breakthroughs. Some Capricorns may experience this period of calm reflection as a precursor to intense romantic development. After Friday, check financial records for obvious mistakes: Changed deadlines may soon be bothersome. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Before midweek, Aquarius, a close friend or work mate may reveal unexpected romantic information. New attractions or private office passions may soon trigger fast emotional changes in your social circle. After Friday, group involvement, increased social gossip or suddenly passionate proposals are accented. Go slow, Aquarius: Serious intentions are involved. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) Business and social events may now lead to positive workplace gains, Pisces. Over the next few weeks, watch closely for unusual opportunities in the areas of property management, financial counseling, corporate advancement or accounting. After Thursday, a rare romantic flirtation may be both unexpected and delightfully seductive, Pisces: Enjoy! If Your Birthday is this Week: Group relationships and social demands will be complex over the next nine weeks. Many Aries natives will now experience a brief but intense period of conflicted social information and personality struggles in business relationships. Aries: Planetary alignments suggest that your words, actions and suggestions will do little to improve the opinions of the bold, willful types. By mid-June, a 14-month period of home progress, family decisions and new romantic commitments arrives. ...

The Evolution of Alcohol

The Romans had Dionysus, the god of wine. College students have John, the porcelain god. Both are mythical figures that people have prayed to while intoxicated. Alice Lin Guardian By most accounts, alcohol consumption has been around since nearly the beginning of the human race. While it may have begun with some primitive people eating rotten fruit and getting a slight high, it has evolved into a raging social phenomenon that has many people spending their lives in an alcoholic haze. While alcohol has become widely popular, its origins and distinguished history have remained widely unknown to many of those who partake in its many wonders. What is Alcohol? Alcohol is a depressant drug that affects the brain and causes reduced social inhibitions and relaxes the body, according to an Area 51 alcohol information Web site located at http://area51.upsu.plym.ac.uk/ ~harl/graphical/grphalc.html Alcohol is produced when sugars come into contact with airborne yeast and ferment. This process most commonly occurs in fruits, vegetables and grain; however, alcohol can be produced from just about any fermentable material, including flowers, honey, the sap of trees, milk and almost any plant or animal substance that contains carbohydrates or sugar, according to an article called “”The History of Alcohol, Part I”” at http://get.theinfo.org/alcohol1 While there are several different types of alcohol, the types most commonly used in alcoholic drinks are ethynol and ethyl alcohol. History Alcohol consumption is thought to date back to prehistoric man. Some modern-day animals have been observed to consume fermented fruits and enjoy the slight high that it brings, so it is thought that early man also experimented with the intoxicating effects of fermented fruits. One of the earliest mentions of wine making comes from an Egyptian papyrus that dates back to 3500 B.C., according to the British alcohol information site mentioned above. Paintings on ancient walls revealed that the Egyptians were also accomplished beer makers as well, according to “”A History of Beer and Alcohol,”” located at http://wy.essortment.com/beeralcoholhis_rueh.htm These wall paintings showed models of breweries and descriptions of the types of beer that were made. According to the Web site, the Egyptians made three different types of beer. Red beer was the most common, made by mixing undercooked loaves of barley or wheat bread with water and crushed wheat and allowing it to ferment in the sun. The liquid was then drained and stored. This beer is still made in Sudan and parts of Egypt. Sweet beer and black beer were also made by the Egyptians. Once people discovered that alcohol could be produced by fermenting sugar, it was being “”manufactured”” around the world. In tropical areas, it was common to use the sap of palm trees and cactus. In the far East and Europe, honey and milk were used to produce alcohol. In the early days of the United States, it was common to use corn, barley, wheat, sugar cane, potatoes and other plants to make alcohol, according to “”The History of Alcohol, Part I.”” According to the article, alcohol soon became a large part of many tribal and religious ceremonies. Two Dutch colonists were the first to establish a private brewery in America in 1612, according to “”A History of Beer and Alcohol.”” The brewery was located on the tip of Manhattan Island, where the first Dutch-American child was born, a site thought to be good luck by many of the settlers. According to the same Web site, the first public brewery was opened in the United States in 1622 in New Amsterdam. Beer making was a struggle for early settlers due to a lack of grains and hops, necessary to make the beer. Even today, there are only three states that grow hops: Idaho, Washington and Oregon. Its Affects The main attraction of alcoholic drinks is their ability to produce a state of intoxication. According to the Area 51 Web site, alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream anywhere from five to 10 minutes from its ingestion. It then travels through the blood stream and delivers the alcohol throughout the body. The result is a relaxation of the muscles, which can lead to poor coordination. Increased amounts of alcohol in the system can lead to slurred speech, double vision, loss of balance and nausea. If enough alcohol is ingested, the results can be deadly. Since alcohol is a toxic agent, the body will respond to it by trying to get rid of it. Initially, the body will attempt to do so through urination. If there is still an excess amount of alcohol in the system, the body may induce vomiting in an attempt to expel the toxin. If there is still a lot of alcohol in the system, the body will shut down and the person will lose consciousness. If not treated properly, this can lead to death. This is called alcohol poisoning. The Laws Throughout American history, alcohol has been the target of the law. While some may think that life before Prohibition was one big alcoholic haze, even the early colonists had strict laws against alcohol consumption. In 1633, Plymouth Plantation prohibited the sale of spirits “”more than two pence worth to anyone except strangers just arrived,”” according to a paper prepared by Jane Lang McGrew, an attorney from Washington, D.C. In 1637, Massachusetts ordered that no person should remain in a tavern “”longer than necessary occasions.”” While such laws were common in the colonies, there was no attempt to prohibit the sale of alcohol prior to the 18th century. Even then, there was no widespread prohibition, at least not until the 20th century. In 1920, the United States ratified the 18th amendment to the Constitution of the United States. This amendment prohibited the sale of alcohol in the United States. As it turns out, the amendment did not eradicate the use of alcohol in the United States. In fact, it opened the door for mobsters and criminals to brew their own alcohol and become rich off its illegal sales. With the realization that the amendment was doing more harm than good, the amendment was repealed on Dec. 5, 1933, legalizing the sale of alcohol in the United States once again. The current law in the United States is that nobody under the age of 21 is allowed to purchase alcohol. Additionally, there are laws against drinking and driving. While the blood alcohol content necessary for conviction on this offense vary from state to state, California’s legal limit is 0.08. ...