Monday, February 20, 2017

12/2 A.S. Council

Disclaimer: The weekly A.S. Council column is not meant to be a news story but rather an individualized account of what occurs at Council meetings. If the most interesting part of a three hour...

UC Campuses to Establish Nonbinary Restrooms

UC facilities offices will convert all single-stall restrooms in UC-owned buildings into gender-inclusive spaces by March 1. UC President Janet Napolitano adopted this measure, along with other efforts, in order to provide a more...

UCSD’s Executive Vice Chancellor to Resign This Summer

UCSD Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Suresh Subramani announced plans to step down from his position after more than five years of service. The announcement was made via an April 20 email from...

Adult Film Actresses Advocate Against Prop 60 on Library Walk

Several adult film performers, including Tasha Reign, visited campus on Monday afternoon to hand out pamphlets and advocate against Proposition 60 to students, staff and faculty. Prop 60, which will appear on the ballot...

Expert Says Literature Building Not a Cancer Cluster

In response to fears among faculty that the Literature Building causes cancer, Dr. Thomas Mack, a professor of preventative medicine and pathology considered an expert on the causation of cancers, gave a public lecture...

Rob Zombie lurches his way back to SDSU's Cox Arena

Rob Zombie will bring his B-horror-movie-inspired stage show to San Diego State's Cox Arena this Friday. Zombie is known for his expensive and lavishly produced tours, and his theatrics have been praised as a return to the golden age of arena rock that Zombie's influence, Alice Cooper, reigned. With his hectic schedule -- he just finished making a horror movie -- it's a little surprising that Zombie found time to write a new album and plan another tour.

Zombie's spin with Korn in 1999's ""Rock Is Dead"" tour featured extensive pyrotechnics, scantily clad go-go dancers and a 15-foot robot that chased Zombie around stage. That tour brought him to a welcoming Cox Arena audience. His energetic performance and music took the crowd to the heights of enjoyment.

This year's opening act, Sinisstar, is coming along for their first trip to San Diego; they missed an opportunity to come with the Anger Management tour last year. They are an unexpectedly focused band. With all their attention centered on their music, they break away from the rock 'n' roll ethos of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.

""We don't drink or do any drugs,"" said singer Edgy during a phone interview. ""We're completely focused on the music. It's just really bad seeing someone drunk or f---ed up and not able to perform.""

It is commendable and surprising that a band in the presence of extensive musical hedonism remains straight-laced, but their philosophy is especially ironic in light of Sinisstar's leather-clad, Hot Topic, heroin sheik appearance.

In every press photo I've managed to get my grubby hands on, Sinisstar look like four disciples of Trent Reznor or Marilyn Manson. Rather than going all the way with this over-the-top look, they tend to keep the stage show a little more grounded. For full distance from Zombie's massively budgeted production, on-stage Sinisstar have only their music and a banner with their name on it.

""It's just us and the music up there,"" Edgy commented. ""We just don't have the budget for anything else.""

Fans of Zombie's current radio hits -- or even just live performance buffs -- will find something to please them with the Undead One's return to San Diego. Nothing less then a mind-blowing and hair-splitting performance is expected of Zombie and the upstart, almost homeless youngsters of Sinisstar. The combination should make for a night of music, merriment and really loud guitars.

Rob Zombie and Sinisstar will be at the Cox Arena at 7 p.m. Look to the hiatus calendar on this page for more information.

Letters to the Editor


In the article ""Across the campus, across the world,"" (Monday, April 15) Sarah Hassaine addressed the issue of Jewish-Palestinian relations on campus. For the last year, I have been working to improve these relations as co-chair of the Unified Campus Coalition along with Nema Milaninia, a Warren senior and Muslim.

However, I regret to inform you that our efforts thus far have failed. Now we see the conflict entering a new stage reminiscent of Anti-Zionism Week last year. On April 15, a campaign to disgrace the Jews and spread anti-Jewish sentiment began. The method was a typical one: quoting forgeries of supposedly Jewish sources that indicate, in no uncertain terms, the hateful and malicious nature of the Jews and Judaism.

After the uproar about a bad joke in The Koala earlier this year, I have to wonder: Will this instance of hate speech receive equal attention? Indeed, a better question is, how do we prevent this from happening again?

I have been asking myself that ever since last year. One method we as the UCC tried was to bring together the heads of the Union of Jewish Students and the Muslim Students Association, David Weisberg and Ahmed Salem, respectively. We discussed what to do in the event of hateful postings such as last Monday's, as well as what we can do to improve relations between Jews and Muslims on campus.

Weisberg proposed, as he was quoted in your article, that the communities come together outside the scope of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He suggested, among other things, a joint community service project to promote the goal of improving the world around us, which is intrinsic in Islam as Zakah as well as in Judaism in Tzedakah.

These proposals, however, were met with the accusation by Salem that we were all being ""fake."" Everything, he said, comes down to Palestine. He claimed to have no problem with Jews, but he made it clear that he could only join in an activity with Jews if they would denounce Israel as a Nazi state and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as a modern-day Hitler. Even the most liberal Jew would have a big problem with that loaded comparison.

Indeed, nothing was accomplished. Milaninia, Weisberg and I left feeling hurt, but we nonetheless sought another meeting with Salem. He has not yet replied to the e-mails I sent months ago. Instead, the last time we spoke, he asked, ""Do you think that just because you are the Chosen People, you have the right to kill me?""

In the course of my attempts to bring these communities together, there have been far too many disheartening instances such as these. I have even dealt with personal attacks from one individual. I was slandered, called anti-Muslim, and unfounded claims were made that I had supposedly insulted this person. Thus, it did not surprise me when I learned that this individual last week was on Library Walk telling people stories about Israel injecting poison into the eggs of Palestinians to prevent them from reproducing.

My point here is not to attack a couple of extremist students, but to say that I hope that the majority of Jewish and Muslim students -- and indeed all rational students at UCSD -- will stand with me and denounce these kinds of attitudes. We may disagree on a lot of very important things, but there are also important things that we can agree on.

I think a lot of us can agree on even more than we think. However, all too often the people that supposedly represent us do not present a view that we really agree with. For example, Jewish supporters of Israel, such as me, often wholeheartedly disagree with actions that the leaders of Israel take that cause suffering for innocent Palestinians. There is a middle path; it just needs to be beaten down by brave souls.

Despite all the setbacks, I still have hope. We will always find individuals who will try to stand in the way of what is good and what is right. But we must transcend these few and try to reach the many. If you, reading this, are such a person, and you want to join with others like you, please contact me and the Unified Campus Coalition. We need each other now, more than ever before.

I want to see if we, the underspoken majority, cannot shut the closed-minded minority up and forge for ourselves a path to trust and peace.

-- Brian Brook

Co-chair, Unified Campus Coalition

Students should not pick up the tab for state budget


As many are aware, California is facing a serious budget crisis. This has led many to suggest raising student fees by 10 percent. Such an increase would cost students a little over $400 a year, without any increase in the services provided to students or the quality of their education.

Essentially, the state would be acting like a landlord, making students pay for 13 months of rent when we only live there for a year. Students are already loaded with debt and barely making it through.

In 1987, the California State Legislature published ""The Master Plan Renewed,"" which reads, ""An accessible and excellent education system is essential to the cultural, political and economic health of a nation or state."" This statement is as true today as it was in 1987.

It is critical to have an educated workforce for the future researchers, artists, economists, CEOs, legislators, lawyers, doctors and teachers that will strengthen California's economy and lead us back to prosperity over the next decade.

California's future was compromised in the early 1990s, when the last budget crisis took place. Fees for the University of California, California State University and community colleges skyrocketed, and many students were forced to delay or cancel their plans to attend a postsecondary institution.

Enrollment at the state's colleges and universities declined, and Wall Street began to warn California that state jobs were being lost due to the reduced workforce preparedness that resulted from declining college attendance.

The state is facing another budget crisis in 2002, and there will be many difficult decisions for the leaders of the state to make. It is imperative that the leaders of California make higher education a priority and keep in mind the future of our state. In the early 1990s, students were forced to unfairly carry the weight of the budget shortfall, and the state is still trying to right that wrong.

Students across the state should ask that the legislature and the governor learn from the past mistakes by not raising students fees, protecting financial aid, and fully funding the UC, CSU and community college budgets.

-- Kenneth Burch

Chair, UC Student Association

Sun God without headliner

With the yearly Sun God Festival looming barely a week away, the A.S. programming office has yet to finalize the lineup of artists to perform May 17 on RIMAC field.

The festival has typically announced its music lineup anywhere from three weeks before the concert to during the week of the concert itself.

The A.S. programming office said it has contracts out for negotiation, but it cannot release names until those contracts are confirmed. So far, the only confirmed artist is underground punk-rock band No Use For A Name, who are currently slated to play on the Vans Warped Tour this summer.

UCSD alternative rock band Five Crown won yesterday's Battle of the Bands and also will be playing at the festival

""Delays always happen. I am not worried because we have had worse situations in the previous years,"" said Eisha Christian, A.S. programmer for 2001-2002. ""I don't think we need any contingency plans because I am still very confident that we can have an awesome lineup. As with every year's Sun God lineup, it might not be our first choice -- it rarely is.""

Christian said she plans to release finalized line-up on Monday, May 13.

Brandon Freeman, festivals coordinator for the A.S. programming office, remains confident that a roster will be in place soon.

""We hope to have the lineup by [Wednesday] or Thursday,"" Freeman said.

The programming office said it had rapper Ludacris confirmed in mid-March, but he had pulled out in mid-April because he had to serve a court-mandated community service sentence the weekend of Sun God.

The office had also aimed to enlist the Foo Fighters to play, but ""they are not thrilled at the idea of playing a college,"" Christian said.

Christian attributes the delay to the difficulty involved in booking any artist for any show. The programming office must contact the artist through an agency or locate an artist that it wants, then research his or her performance history to see if there have been any problems in the past such as riots at concerts.

The office must also determine whether it can meet the technical requirements for the artist's performance, as well as negotiate a contract with the artist while still staying within the bounds of university policy.

""This year we've been lucky to book our previous shows way in advance; I think we set a record with our WinterFest confirmations,"" said Christian, referring to the yearly February concert the programming office organizes.

This year, WinterFest featured bands City High and Fenix TX, as well as local artist Jason Mraz.

Christian attributes much of the scheduling problem to funding issues.

""However, I think it's interesting to note that, contrary to popular belief, most artists -- no matter how cool they seem -- are all about the money,"" she said.

The A.S. Council budget has about $80,000 allocated for artists' fees for Sun God this year.

Christian remains optimistic about the event.

""I have no worries that everyone's going to have a great time once again this year,"" she said.

Letters to the Editor


I am writing in response to your editorial, ""Team mascots should not stir offense,"" from the May 6 issue of The UCSD Guardian.

For a non-native to tell me that I should not be offended by a cartoonish depiction of an American Indian ""warrior"" mascot who runs around threatening the opposing teams is like a man telling me (as a woman) what it feels like to be pregnant.

How in the world could you know how it feels? If people of European descent were offended, I would not support mascots based on European cultures any more than I would mascots depicting native cultures. However, I don't think they are entirely comparable due to issues such as power, societal representation, history of colonization and oppression and education.

One of the ugliest things about American Indian mascots is that they seem to bring to the surface many negative stereotypes and misinformed ideas about American Indian people and their cultures. Most schools claim to use their mascot as a token of respect, to honor American Indian people and their cultures. Few do.

If I were to parade down a football field dressed as a muscular, sequined version of the Pope, would that be honoring Catholics?

If you want to value and show respect for American Indians, you do it according to their definitions of value and respect and following their cultural protocols. Otherwise, you are not showing respect or ""honoring"" American Indians at all.

I am not opposed to mascots if they are done in a positive way. For example, the Irish Catholic founders of the University of Notre Dame chose the ""Fighting Irish"" as their mascot. However, the people who decide whether it is positive has to be the group that is depicted -- not someone else. If the Irish are not offended by their mascots, then you don't have a problem. But if American Indian people are offended by their mascots -- and yes, we are -- then you have a problem.

I can drive through a city where the average citizen thinks that there aren't any American Indians in Southern California (outside of the Sycuan and Viejas casinos), where the only things ""Indian"" are Jeep Cherokees.

Native people are largely invisible to people outside of our communities, yet our images, words and cultures are taken by the dominant society and used for profit and entertainment. When we voice our opposition, we are almost unilaterally dismissed. American Indian mascots don't ""seem"" wrong to most people because it has been socially acceptable for so long to use our names and images that most people don't think twice about it.

Caricatures of ""Little Sambo"" and the ""Frito Bandito"" have not been socially acceptable for some time now. How many people need to say mascots are offensive before people listen to us?

Freedom of speech and statement are tempered only by civil rights protections. Racial mascots are a civil rights issue, and just as with slavery, the ""majority"" is not always in agreement about what is morally and legally right.

-- Cori Roberts

Native American Student Alliance

Looking back at the International Comic-Con

The famous International Comic Convention has once again come and gone, and the Guardian was there to document an inevitable freak-fest.

Possibly the largest collection of art, comics, artists of all kinds, costumed fans, games, animation and movies on the west coast; the four-day event entertains people and vendors from all over the country. Whatever aspect of pop culture you're into, be it adult film starts or online comic strips, this is the event to satisfy them all and get those rare collectable items that you crave.

Longevity is proof of the Comic-Con's popularity; this year marked the 33rd Comic-Con in San Diego. The expanding event has taken over the entirety of the huge San Diego Convention center. Massive and sprawling, the main floor of the convention center is taken over by the many vendors, large and small comic publishing houses and endless signings. Most infamous of all is the attendees who arrive sporting complex and intricate costumes, or those who just dress stranger then they would if it were any other day or any other place.

Photos by Anna MacMurdo


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