Sunday, March 26, 2017

Former UC president dies

Courtesy of www.berkeley.edu

The father of California's Master Plan for Higher Education and former UC President Clark Kerr, who oversaw the University of California's growth spurt in the 1960s and was eventually fired by the UC Regents, died on Dec. 1. He was 92.

Kerr, who served as UC Berkeley's first chancellor and later as the 12th president of the UC system from 1958 to 1967, died at his El Cerrito, Calif., home due to complications from a fall, according to a UC Berkeley press release.

During Kerr's presidency, the University of California saw unprecedented growth with the college years of the baby boom generation. Enrollment rose from 43,000 to 87,000 students. Three new campuses ‹ UCSD, UC Irvine and UC Santa Cruz ‹ were opened under his care.

""The same vision that shaped California's Master Plan for Higher Education, shaped this campus,"" Acting Chancellor Marsha A. Chandler said. ""Clark Kerr's imprint can be seen in the uniqueness of our undergraduate colleges, our tradition of recruiting the highest quality faculty, and the remarkable catalog of UCSD's achievement in only four decades ... UCSD is fortunate to be a part of his legacy.""

Kerr was the main architect and negotiator for the state's Master Plan, which shaped the university's commitment to accessibility as well as its relationship to the state university and community college systems.

Under the plan, and to this day, the top 12.5 percent of high school students are guaranteed a place at a UC campus, the top one-third a spot at a California State University campus and all high school graduates access to community college.

""It is an extraordinary document because it is a commitment by the people of California to provide students with a quality education,"" UCSD history professor Michael Parrish said.

With increasing budget cuts to the university, however, the Master Plan could soon be curtailed through enrollment caps for the first time since its inception in 1960.

""Kerr's greatest achievement ... is now in jeopardy of being destroyed,"" Parrish said. ""It is in the greatest of jeopardy because of the legislature and because of the governor, who are apparently unwilling to honor that commitment.""

Kerr distinguished himself during his early days working at UC Berkeley by defending Berkeley faculty who would not sign a loyalty oath denouncing communist values, an action for which these dissenting faculty members were threatened to be fired.

Kerr himself had signed the oath, but supported their right not to.

Kerr made the history books for his role at the height of the Free Speech Movement, during which he came under criticism both from protesting students at UC Berkeley and conservative state leaders.

Student protesters were angered that he would not meet their demands, while conservative leaders were mad that Kerr would not use force to control the protests.

This put him at odds with then-Gov. Ronald Reagan, who pushed for ousting Kerr.

This difference of opinion led to a 14-8 vote by the UC Board of Regents to fire Kerr ""effective immediately"" in January 1967. Some of the Regents during this period had been asking for expulsion of the protesters, while Kerr advocated following campus due process.

An award-winning San Francisco Chronicle report published in 2002 revealed that members of the FBI also conspired with CIA leaders who did not like Kerr's politics to have him fired by harassing UC Berkeley students and faculty members.

Following his dismissal, Kerr became the chair of the Carnegie Foundation on Higher Education.

In 2001, Kerr published his two-volume memoir, ""The Gold and the Blue: A Personal Memoir of the University of California, 1949-1967.""

He had also written ""The Uses of the University"" in 1964, which has now been translated into six languages.

""Clark Kerr was a giant in American higher education, and the entire University of California community joins in mourning his loss,"" UC President Robert C. Dynes said in a statement. ""He was the dean of the higher education community not only in California, but in America, and we will be forever in his debt for the extraordinary contributions he made to educational excellence and opportunity.""

Kerr is survived by his wife and three children.

Men's basketball keeps struggling

After losing three games in a row at home, the Triton men's basketball woes continued on the road over the weekend as they dropped two games on Jan. 23 and Jan. 24 to their California Collegiate Athletic Association rivals Cal State Stanislaus and Cal State Bakersfield.

Anna MacMurdo
Guardian file

On Jan. 23, UCSD traveled to Turlock to play the Cal State Stanislaus Warriors, who were on a five-game losing streak of their own. UCSD, however, could not find a way to pull out a victory, losing 55-52.

Cal State Stanislaus caught fire early on, up by as many as 12 points in the first half. The Tritons did not quit, however, and they battled back and only trailed by one at the end of half at 29-28.

The game was close throughout the second half. The Tritons had the ball with a chance to take the lead, when junior guard K.J. Rosales of the Warriors stole the ball and was fouled with just 16 seconds remaining. With a one-and-one free throw situation, Rosales lost his chance to extend the lead by missing on the first attempt. Rosales then was called for a blocking foul on Triton guard senior Cameron Jackson, giving him a chance to tie or take the lead for the Tritons. Like Rosales, Jackson missed his opportunity to cash in and bricked the front end of a one-and-one situation. The Warriors rebounded the ball and junior center Dave Shultz was fouled. Shultz made the most of the opportunity and hit both free throws to give the Warriors a 55-52 lead with just nine seconds remaining.

UCSD had a shot to tie and send the game to overtime, but redshirt freshman guard Adam Reinking's three-pointer was off the mark, preserving a 55-52 victory for Cal State Stanislaus.

Senior forward Jamal O'Quinn of the Warriors led all players with 16 points for the night. For UCSD, Reinking was the lone Triton in double figures with 11 points, to go along with five rebounds. Junior forward Jesse Boyd added nine points and six boards.

After the difficult loss against Cal State Stanislaus, UCSD could not end its slide against host Cal State Bakersfield on Jan. 24 and lost, 73-58.

Playing the first-place Roadrunners (13-2, 9-1), UCSD looked for the upset but eight minutes into the game, a Cal State Bakersfield jumper gave the Roadrunners an 18-16 lead and they never looked back. The lead ballooned to 16 points at one point and the score was 39-25 at the half.

The Roadrunners could not run away with it in the second half as UCSD dug in defensively and cut the lead to 53-48 with just under 12 minutes to play.

With UCSD surging, following a time-out, the Roadrunners responded by going on a 12-0 run. Cal State Bakersfield took a 19-point lead and went on to their victory.

The Roadrunners shot a blistering 54 percent from the floor (28 of 51), while the Tritons also shot well at 50 percent; however, the difference was that UCSD only made a total of 20 field goals. Jesse Boyd led all scorers with 17 points for the Tritons.

The loss drops UCSD to 4-11 overall and 4-6 in the CCAA.

The once-promising 4-1 start in league play has been marred and now UCSD must look to turn things around next week at home against Sonoma State on Jan. 30 and San Francisco State on Jan. 31.

No spark, no fight, no love in sight for blind daters

Matt Hart strolled into the Guardian office hiding his nervousness behind a smile, two different colored roses, and a bottle of moderately-priced champagne.

Lori Gebelin
Guardian

A blind date hand can be a tough one to play, but Hart seemed to have nailed it down with his selection of gifts. The two roses said, ""Since I have no idea about what you are like, you arenít worth a dozen. In case you are a goddess, I am not showing up empty-handed."" The roses were different colors ó one was some shade of orange which says ""friendship,"" the other was red, which says, ""how you doiní?"" The bottle of low- to mid-range champagne played right along the same line. Within seconds of meeting his date, it was clear that Matt wished that he had either thrown in a few extra bucks for the dozen or come empty-handed.

Hart was rocking the Regis Philbin look: silver shirt, silver tie, hair gelled to imperfection. It was a look that seemed to say ""Iím down to party"" and ""I love my mother,"" which pretty much seemed to sum up Hart nicely. He considers himself to be a family man, has 40 first cousins, and was pretty sure heíll be married within 10 years. Some of his favorite UCSD pastimes include drunken garbage can tackling during Sun God and hitting up the bar scene in Pacific Beach, where he resides. Hart never dated a fellow Triton before and recently ended a relationship with an older woman. With no expectations for the night, he really just wanted to meet someone new and have a good time. Hart had a que sera, sera attitude; he was going to play the night by ear.

That being said, Hart informed us that even if this girl had the perfect personality, she would have to be a seven or above (on a scale of 10) to get a second date.

Lisa Nguyen walked into the office with a confident smile and apprehensive eyes. She gave off a great first impression in her knee-high boots and sleek, pulled-back hair ó she hit the ""Iím trying to work my legs, but I swear Iím sophisticated"" look perfectly. It was obvious Nguyen was playing it safe on her first blind date, with lots of smiles, self-assuredness and zero expectations. She made it clear that her biggest turn-off is a clingy, passive guy. Nguyen would either love the guy within the first few minutes of meeting him or tear him apart mentally for the rest of the evening.

Nguyenís attitude for the evening can be summed up in a single mantra: Iím going to have fun, unless heís a leech. This mind-set has not dampened her dating experience; she dates frequently (she went out on a date just a couple weekends ago!), but has dated very few guys from UCSD. When asked why, she cites their clinginess and neediness as reasons. Nguyen is looking for someone to accept her for the independent person she is. Nguyen is also low-maintenance ó to prepare for a date, she simply showers and gets dressed. Her ideal man is self-assured and not afraid of her individuality. Most importantly, Nguyen needs a guy to have a great sense of humor. If heís not up to her expectations but makes her laugh, she might just forget that heís spineless. Her perfect date would be a picnic on a beach, so the evening ahead complete with a limousine ride and dinner at a restaurant overlooking the cove by moonlight should not be a terrible disappointment. Her blasÈ attitude slightly faltered, though, when she tried to inquire about Hart. The surprise was not to be ruined, and she was instead led to the Guardian lobby where the couple met for the first time.

Just seconds before Hart turned around to meet his date, the tension could be cut with a chainsaw.

The meeting was, to put it simply, awkward. With Guardian staff looking on (we couldnít help it), Matt handed her the roses and proudly showed off the bottle of champagne after politely inquiring if she drinks. The couple was whisked away to the limo, where they promptly opened the bottle of bubbly and started to try to make what Hart felt was forced conversation. After last-minute pictures and words of encouragement, they headed off to dinner.

The next day, Nguyen sounded indifferent. The verdict on the date was harsh. According to her, nothing Hart could have done would have helped. There was absolutely no chemistry. She was happy that they started drinking at the beginning of the date in the limousine. Nguyen claimed it was a definite plus, and made the date a lot better. The evening is described as being ""not spectacular,"" even ""ho-hum."" Perhaps they should just be friends, she said. When asked if they did anything after dinner, she replied that she went straight home and did some programming homework.

Hart chimed in right along the same lines. Slightly ticked that she went straight home to do homework on a Saturday night, Hart seemed reassured that his bread-andbutter meal of dating older women was the way to go all along. While he said his first thought of her was that she was ""cute and seemed cool,"" he didnít sound too disappointed that she blew him off for a night alone with a calculator. He found this move ironic in light of the fact that she told him a number of times throughout the night that she had a ""crazy"" personality. Hart never saw it.

During his the final interview, Matt lingered for a moment on the phone, hoping to eke something more than a free dinner out of the whole Guardian Blind Date experience. ""I am still single and looking,"" he said before hanging up, in hopes that some special Guardian reader might recognize him on campus and decide to approach him. We promised to let the world know. Only sevens and up need apply.

Bringing the concert a little closer

The cameraman is still grinning. He’s just spent 20 minutes dodging the lumpy yellow cones of uniformed security personnel, and sprinting back and forth across the foot of the stage trying to keep the abnormally large-lipped frontman’s face in his tiny viewfinder. Speakers the size of Cadillac Escalades shoot gentle breezes onto his face, breezes which would be soothing if they were not accompanied by ear-bleeding blasts of noise accompanying each bass note or kick of the bass drum.

There is no room for error. He has to keep the shot steady.

And he succeeds, until a 120-pound emo kid wearing one shoe and a t-shirt from the concession stand with the price tag still on it comes hurtling over the barrier and slams squarely into his back, making him drop the shot. The engineer speaks over her radio to a small army of camerapeople below: “Jared just got nailed by an emo kid — you’d better switch him out.”

A tinny reply comes back over the radio: Jared’s fine, despite having had a personal record of three crowd surfers hit in the last five minutes, and he wants to finish his shift. Bruised yet triumphant, adrenaline flaring, he walks backstage to swap war stories with the rest of the cameramen before heading back in.

Not that every moment on a WinterFest film crew is a “dangerous pit camera” moment. After the token punk band leaves the stage, the supply of emo kids usually dries up, leaving our army of camerapeople the opportunity to mingle with the crowd, shimmy onstage for that all-important backup singer ass-shot, or just watch the spectacle unfold.

In the middle of the operation, a smaller crew sneaks into the band’s dressing room for an interview. What usually unfolds is approximately six minutes of drunken hilarity rivaling the finest Sun God moments, as band members attempt to answer stock career questions while sozzled to perfection on the finest liquor UCSD Catering has to offer.

“So, Dishwalla ... how did your band choose such a name?”

There is, of course, an unintelligible rambling response, but far more entertainment lies in the unexpected arts-and-crafts talent of the bandmembers with their catering trays. Life-size vaginas crafted entirely out of ham or turkey seem to be the most popular choices.

But in a few minutes it’s all over and, armed with stories of drunken expression, the film crew heads back to the stage to face the crowd and keep the cameras steady so that every member of the audience has a fair chance to see the details of singing lips, thrashing guitar picks and thumping drumsticks. It’s not the easiest job, but the occasional emo kids and ham vaginas make it all worthwhile.

Briefly

A.S. general elections take place April 5 to April 7

Students will be able to vote in the A.S. general elections on April 5, April 6 and April 7, as well as in runoff elections on April 8 and April 9. The elections will decide all positions on the A.S. Council as well as on individual college councils. Twenty-four-hour voting on StudentLink for the general elections begins April 5 at 8 a.m. and ends at April 7 at 4 p.m. Campaigning will begin again 2 hours after the results of the general elections have been announced, with runoff voting (also on StudentLink) ending on April 9 at 4 p.m.

Laptop computers will be set up for voting on Library Walk each day of voting between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Vote at http://studentlink.ucsd.edu.

Princeton Review rates UCSD a ‘best value’

UCSD has been selected as one of 77 universities for inclusion in the first edition of “America’s Best Value Colleges.” The book profiles schools chosen for academics, low-to-moderate tuition and fees, and size of financial aid packages. The schools were also chosen by compiling data obtained from administrators and surveys completed by students at over 500 colleges.

In a separate ranking by U.S. News and World Report, UCSD was ranked high but nevertheless slipped from last year’s rankings for its medical and engineering graduate schools. UCSD School of Medicine fell one slot to 17th place, while UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering fell two slots to 13th place. The schools’ ranking had been climbing steadily for the past years, from 43rd in 1995.

The results will be published in the April 5 edition of U.S. News and World Report and are available online at www.usnews.com.

UCSD world historian passes away at age 91

Leften Stavros Stavrianos, a world historian and long-time adjunct professor in the history department, died of respiratory failure at Scripps Memorial Hospital on March 21. He was 91.

Stavrianos is renowned as one of the founders of the field of world history and an expert on the modern history of Greece and the Balkans.

He was born in Vancouver, Canada, and received degrees in history from the University of British Columbia and from Clark University. He went on to teach at Queens University, Smith College and Northwestern University. He spent 27 years at Northwestern, during which he taught George McGovern, becoming a life-long friend and supporter of the South Dakota democrat.

Stavrianos joined UCSD after his retirement from Northwestern, where he remained active until 1992. During his stay, he worked on developing the curriculum for Eleanor Roosevelt College.

Staff appreciation week to run from April 20 to April 23

Staff Appreciation Week events will be held around campus beginning April 20 and ending April 23. Acting Chancellor Marsha A. Chandler is encouraging students and faculty alike to pay tribute to UCSD’s staff, giving all employees one hour of administrative leave with pay to apply toward the events.

On April 20, a Club Med Staff Appreciation barbecue will be held on the North Lawn of UCSD School of Medicine from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. On April 21, UCSD Catering and University Centers will present the 8th Annual Staff Appreciation luncheon, called “The House of BL-UCSD,” at Price Center’s Ballrooms A and B from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration is required for this event. On April 23, the Faculty Club will present a staff appreciation breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Also on April 23, Café Ventanas will present “A South American Barbecue” at the cafe’s North Patio from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Local columnist donates work to Mandeville collection

San Diego columnist, author and editor Neil Morgan has donated his collection of writings to the Mandeville Special Collections Library. His collection of manuscripts, notes, newspaper columns and letters span 54 years, in which he was a columnist and editor for the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Evening Tribune and the San Diego Daily Journal. He is known for his commentary on issues affecting San Diego and Southern California.

Morgan has recently announced that his career with Copley Newspapers, who publishes the Union-Tribune, has come to an end. UCSD started collecting Morgan’s writings several years ago and already has several book manuscripts and bundles of notes in its collections.

‘Punisher’ reveals his secrets

With his handsome, rugged, everyman features, Tom Jane looks like a movie star. Yet beyond the appearance lies a pleasant demeanor that seems always to be lost in a profound train of thought. He even appears pensive while he slowly drags on his cigarette. Jane has starred in such eclectic films as “The Sweetest Thing,” “61*,” “Magnolia,” “The Thin Red Line,” and most recently “The Punisher.” His latest action-packed release is about a man’s redemption as he strives to avenge the murder of his family and his ultimate discovery that his strength and agility can be used for honorable means. Jane contemplated a few questions about the film and related matters.

Guardian: How do you usually choose your roles?

Tom Jane: I look for two things. I look for two diametrically opposed, yet equal, forces that exist within the character, and then how they consolidate themselves, or work themselves out, and what happens to the person as these two forces are rubbing up inside them. That is key for me as an actor. With Mantle [from “61*”], it’s this amazing self-destructive streak coupled with this incredible ability to perform athletically. Neal Cassady [from “The Last Time I Committed Suicide”] is living on the absolute outer boundaries of society, and yet, all Cassady ever wanted [was] a wife and two kids, a picket fence and a house — that’s his ultimate dream. Frank Castle [from “The Punisher”] — the lawman, the special forces operative, the believer in America, the upholder of the law, the believer of justice — had the ultimate injustice done to him and had all of those things stripped away, and how does he reconcile those two diametrically opposed forces, wanting to do the right thing and yet wanting also to kill them all?

G: You did 90 percent of the stunts [in “The Punisher”]. How long did it take you to learn how to do all of that?

TJ: I had six months to prep for the film and in that way I trained with the [Navy] Seals. That allowed me the skills and the confidence to be able to do that, and it was important for me to do that going in. As much as I was influenced by Lee Marvin, [Charles] Bronson and hardnosed 70s’ characters, I was also influenced by Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, who brought a great sense of humor to their work and a real human three-dimensional, emotional sense of pathos and just a fantastic versatility in terms of the physicality of their roles. [It] was very strong, I mean, their roles were purely physical because they were operating in the silent medium, so I wanted to do “The Punisher” and turn him into a purely physical presence and speak as little as possible and try to tell the story with my actions. That’s challenging and it’s something I really am very fascinated by. It’s just something that I’ve always loved.

G: Were there any unforeseen problems that occurred during the shooting?

TJ: Well, yeah, there were some troubles. It’s inevitable in this kind of film. I kind of prepared for it like a professional sport. I fortunately came through it relatively unscathed. I stabbed my co-star Kevin Nash. I forgot to change out the real knife for the prop knife and when I went to stab him [during the shoot], it was a real knife. But he took it like a gentleman. It’s not a good day when you stab your co-star, and it was not my proudest moment. But [the injury] wasn’t bad, it was just a flesh wound and we went on with our day, but it didn’t feel good. It felt terrible.

G: Speaking of [professional wrestler] Kevin Nash, what was it like going up against him in that one scene?

TJ: We knew that we were making an impression with our size difference and we use it to our advantage. That fight scene is very much influenced by the James Bond fight scenes. There’s a great scene with Robert Shaw and Sean Connery. Those are the influences. Those fight scenes where they could be hardnosed and they could be bare-knuckle, knockdown, drag-out fights, but have a sense of humor to them. We just had fun, and I think it’s a memorable scene. I think it’s a scene that, well already it’s a scene that everybody’s talking about, and I hope they continue to talk about it for a long time because we had a lot of fun making that happen. And it’s due to Kevin’s [professionalism] and his abilities and his athleticism that we were able to do a lot of what we did, so it really worked out well.

G: Do you have any more roles coming out as cool as “The Punisher?”

TJ: I played a pretty cool part last summer. I played a guy, a South African policeman during the 1976 apartheid. He’s living under the regime where he is asked by his government to kill people during these riots and he deals with that by robbing banks during his lunch hour. It was a true story about a real guy who lived named Andre Stander. The film is called “Stander.” It comes out June 11. Bob Berney [president of distribution] at Newmarket who did “The Passion of the Christ” and “Monster” picked up the film and I’m really proud to be a part of [it]. It’s a terrific story, it’s an action drama, it’s an anti-hero, [and] it subverts the genre in a way. It’s another guy who has diametrically opposed forces operating inside of him.

You can see Tom Jane in action as the Punisher on April 16. Also, look for his other film, “Stander,” in theaters on June 11. Shooting for the sequel to the “The Punisher” could begin as early as November 2004.

Students participate in service activities

In an effort to promote volunteering and the spirit of goodwill, UCSD students gathered early on the morning of May 1 to participate in 11 community service tasks throughout the San Diego area. Sponsored by the A.S. Volunteer Connection, the 13th annual Hands on San Diego project attracted more than 300 students seeking to assist in various community projects.

Shortly before participants were sent to their assigned locations, Thurgood Marshall College Provost Cecil Lytle spoke about the importance of public service.

“Why should we demand that you develop your computational skills but not your citizenship skills?” Lytle said. “Join with the colleges in the challenges of institutionalizing citizenship endeavors.”

Lytle also urged that the volunteers’ involvement not end with the conclusion of the day.

“Don’t [volunteer] just to meet a cute girl or guy,” Lytle said. “I hope your [community service involvement] doesn’t end in your mind at 5 p.m. today. This is a day of reflection and thought in what it means to be a member of this community.”

Activities ranged from administrative tasks to physical labor, on campus and in the greater San Diego area.

Marshall senior Margaret Chan led a trash cleanup at Rose Creek near Pacific Beach. According to Chan, approximately 20 people participated in ridding the creek area of litter.

“We stayed until about noon because we did as much as possible,” Chan said. “Eventually there was no more trash to pick up.”

Approximately 50 members of the Sigma Chi fraternity participated in the Special Olympics at Point Loma Nazarene University. With athletes as young as eight years old, the Olympics featured track and field events, such as standing and long jumps, as well as other less traditional events like a softball throw.

“Some of us were paired off with athletes to hang out, while there were some groups of four or five who stayed and ran the event,” Sigma Chi member Mike Simmons said. “It was an amazing event and run very well. The athletes were so passionate — it was fun to see how much fun they were having.”

Another event in which students participated involved the San Diego Audubon Society, whose purpose is to foster the protection of birds and other wildlife through education and study.

“There was a house of 15 acres donated to the Audubon Society, and we were in charge of cleaning it up, getting rid of the weeds,” Thurgood Marshall College sophomore Melissa Higgins said. “It was tiring, but I had fun. The people running the place were very nice and bought us lunch — they even expressed their surprise when they learned we weren’t doing this for credit.”

One event that was confined to the UCSD campus was a scavenger hunt run by Friends Understanding Needs, in which UCSD students served as mentors to sixth-grade students. In addition to the two-and-a-half- hour scavenger hunt, UCSD students talked to the sixth-grade students about college, focusing on why they decided to attend a university.

“It was a really good turnout,” Marshall junior Atousa Hojatpanah said. “It was a little bit more laid back than the other labor, but the kids really seemed to enjoy it.”

The day also included can collecting in the Coronado neighborhood. One week prior to the event, students distributed flyers to notify businesses and residences that donations would be collected for the Western Service Workers’ Association, an organization that works with veterans and battles homelessness and hunger. According to Revelle College freshman Ellen Almirol, approximately 200 to 300 cans were collected.

“Everyone was very nice and helpful,” Almirol said. “It’s good to know there’s always people out there to lend a helping hand.”

Special Projects Director Shaza Hanafy was pleased with how the day went.

“The logistics went really smoothly,” Hanafy said. “We have never had that many people sign or show up. We usually get a 30- to 50-percent show out of whoever signed up,” Hanafy said.

She also credited Student Organizations and Leadership Opportunities adviser Emily Marx for the event’s success.

Hanafy believes that community service should be much more than a resume enhancer.

“Many students see community service as something just to put on an application,” Hanafy said. “As humans, we need to contribute, not just consume and leave without making an imprint on the world. San Diego is a great community, but it doesn’t mean it can’t get better.”

It is also important, Hanafy said, that participants understand that although they can’t change the entire world in one day, small acts help to make a difference.

“Volunteers always have high expectations of making great changes,” Hanafy said. “They don’t realize that the little things they do can really make a difference, like helping an organization paint its parking lot because it doesn’t have the funds to do it professionally. One thing a lot of volunteers don’t realize is that these activities are strongly tied to civics and those nonprofit organizations who have to bear the budget cuts.”

Students interested in volunteering can visit the A.S. Volunteer Connection office, located on the second floor of Price Center.

Online housing glitch disrupts selection

Technical glitches vexed a new online service used by more than 2,700 students to select on-campus housing during the first three days of the room selection process.

At John Muir College, which felt the brunt of the problems, the glitches kept residence hall spaces inaccessible for more than two hours after the start of residential registration on May 18. The hitch led angered students to petition and ask the college’s Residential Life officials to address the concerns of students dissatisfied with the process.

“We’re not placing blame, but we’re taking responsibility [for some of the problems]. For a first-time system, we learned something, that’s for sure,” Muir Resident Dean Pat Danylyshyn-Adams said.

The college’s staff first learned of the error when a student, attempting to secure a room in a residence hall, came into the office at approximately 10 a.m., two hours after the room selection process began, Danylyshyn-Adams said. Afterward, the staff contacted technical personnel at Housing and Dining Services, who fixed the problem within 30 minutes.

“Essentially, what had happened is that we didn’t realize that our residence hall space wasn’t up for selection,” she said. “My goal at that point was to get it working as quickly as we could.”

In the meantime, groups of students unable to find space in Muir’s apartments were forced to choose housing in other colleges, according to Muir Sophomore Senator Lulu Ge, the author of a petition asking Danylyshyn-Adams and other staff members to host a forum on the issue. With all apartments at Muir partially filled by 9:15 a.m., Ge’s party chose to select housing at the Pepper Canyon apartments in Sixth College.

“We would’ve liked to go into the residence halls, if it wasn’t for the glitch,” said Muir freshman Eric Donovan, whose group found itself in a similar position and ended up choosing spaces at Pepper Canyon as well.

On May 17, students at Sixth College also faced technical difficulties when the room-selection Web site displayed incorrect responses to a question on the students’ preference form used for selecting roommates. However, the error was fixed within the first hour of room selection, according to Residential Dean Marciano Perez.

Other residential staff did not return calls seeking comment and Stacy Travis, a Housing and Dining analyst, said she could not issue a statement on any other problems because selection is still going on. However, students at the other four colleges said they did not experience any major problems.

Danylyshyn-Adams attributed the technical mishaps to the untested nature of the system, which replaced in-person selection for the first time.

In the past, students signed up for housing with their roommates and met with residential staff at times assigned by lottery.

Under the new procedure, students applied for housing individually, receiving a personal access code and five-minute appointment time, shared with several other people. Individuals within groups who received the best time then registered for all of the other group members, inserting all of the access codes in a special page at the beginning of the process.

Students said they were upset that they could not change their rooms after confirming their selection, even though the residential glitch keeping them from their preferred housing was fixed.

Despite these problems, Sze’s current housemate, Muir sophomore John Perry, said he found the online selection method much easier in many respects.

In spring 2003, Perry said his group came close to losing its opportunity to choose a place of residence because classes and bad driving conditions kept several members of his group from attending their selection meeting with housing staff.

Danylyshyn-Adams, who has been fielding phone calls and letters from disgruntled students, said Muir would host two sessions during which those students would be given an opportunity to swap rooms.

“We’re going to be as flexible as we can with our room changes,” she said.

— Additional reporting by Bryan Tsao, Associate News Editor

2004 Graduation and Summer Issue

June 4

Love Me if You Dare- It’s a love story about two kids who grow up only to realize they were always meant to be together. Sounds old, but this French movie adds a twist by introducing a dynamic relationship between Julien (Guillaume Canet) and Sophie (Marion Cotillard), in which each is continually daring the other to undertake outrageous requests. This will most likely be an intense fairy tale that the majority of American moviegoers might have difficulty understanding, but for those who like dark comedies and French romances, this is a must-see.

June 11

Garfield: The Movie- The rotund, lasagna-loving feline gets a CGI remake in this feature-length comedy where Garfield finds himself trying to rescue the kidnapped dog Odie. With Bill Murray as the voice of Garfield, and the voice talents of others like Alan Cumming (“X2”, “Emma”), Debra Messing (“Will and Grace”) and Brad Garrett (“Everybody Loves Raymond”), this film could set the bar for other cartoon and comic-to-film adaptations. But then again, Jennifer Love Hewitt plays a veterinarian who woos the lovesick Jon Arbuckle (Breckin Meyer). This film dangerously hovers over the trash or treasure line.

The Chronicles of Riddick- Vin Diesel returns to the role of Richard P. Riddick in this sequel to “Pitch Black” (2000). Five years after the end of the first film, the sequel finds Riddick trying to escape his subterranean prison on the planet Helion. Riddick somehow becomes man’s only hope for survival against the super-evil Necromongers, who want to take over the universe. No one can play a no-nonsense musclehead like Vin Diesel, so if he doesn’t have to speak, then he may have a winner here. Judi Dench will add an air of gravity to a film that could otherwise be laughable, but the special effects and action sequences will have sci-fi addicts and action-flick junkies flooding theaters in droves.

Stepford Wives- Joanna Eberhart (Nicole Kidman) and her husband Walter Kresby (Matthew Broderick) move to the perfect little suburb of Stepford after she loses her high power job in television, only to find that everything is more perfect than it seems. This remake of the 1975 sci-fi thriller adds humor to the original story with an all-star cast that includes Christopher Walken, Bette Midler and Glenn Close. Kidman has failed to do wrong since her split up with Tom Cruise, and this doesn’t look like it will stray from her streak of winning films.

June 16

Around the World in 80 Days- Jackie Chan is billed as crackpot inventor Phileas Fogg’s (Steve Coogan) side-kick/assistant/butler, Passepartout, who is evading capture after stealing a valuable relic. In this remake of the 1956 film based on the Jules Verne novel, Chan is touted as the box-office draw for his martial arts/comedy skills, while Coogan (“24 Hour Party People,” “Coffee and Cigarettes”) is relegated to second billing with the rest of the first-rate ensemble cast, including Jim Broadbent, John Cleese, Kathy Bates and Owen Wilson among others. Expect lighthearted fun with lots of action and humor, but this will by no means be an award-winner.

Saved!- Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin and Eva Amurri are getting rave reviews for this dark comedy set in an ultra-conservative Christian school. Hilary Faye (Moore) is the head of an all-girl clique that ostracizes Mary (Jena Malone) after she gets pregnant. Mary then befriends other outcasts (Culkin, Amurri) when her friends turn on her. Produced by Michael Stipe and showcasing the talents of today’s most promising young actors, “Saved!” is more than just another teen drama. Expect biting humor and social criticism that will have you begging for more.

June 18

The Terminal- Tom Hanks is an immigrant in the United States on his way home when his tiny Eastern European country breaks out in war and gets erased off the map, forcing him to remain in the airport. Hanks has proven that no one can play downtrodden like he can with films like “Philadelphia” and “Joe Versus the Volcano,” and with Steven Speilberg at the helm and with a cast that includes Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chi McBride, Diego Luna and Stanley Tucci, it looks like we have a winner on our hands.

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story- Peter La Fleur (Vince Vaughn) calls on the help of a misfit, rag-tag group of friends to save his local gym from the clutches of a monster chain of gyms by entering a dodgeball competition. This is a Ben Stiller movie, so what more needs to be said? Goofy, physical humor with plot coming in secondary to the action are par for the course. See this if you’re a fan of the Farrelly Brothers or National Lampoon’s movies.

June 23

White Chicks- The Wayans brothers dress up and try to pass themselves as white heiresses in order to protect the real heiresses from being kidnapped. The plot is preposterous, the humor is lame and the makeup is even worse. Who came up with this idea and who let them turn this into a movie? They need to be shot.

June 25

The Notebook- Another Nicholas Sparks period romance drama. There’s a promising, good-looking young cast and a script that will provoke lots of sighs and lots of crying. The ladies will love it.

June 30

Spider-Man 2- Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) encounters a deluge of personal problems while his arch-enemy and best friend (James Franco) employs the tentacled Dr. Octopus (Alfred Molina) to destroy his alter ego, Spider-Man. Impressive special effects, heart-tugging sentiment, rippling bodies and a badass Molina will make this film a summer winner.

July 7

King Arthur- In this updated retelling of the King Arthur tales, the legend of King Arthur is (supposedly) more historically accurate, placing the story within its historical context amid feudal wars and the collapse of the Roman Empire. Clive Owen is the manly Arthur and Kiera Knightly is the clever, warrior-princess Guinevere, who remakes the image of the frilly damsel in distress. Heart-stopping action, smart writing and attention to historical detail should make this film awesome. July 9

Anchorman- Will Ferrell is at it again. This time he’s the pompous news anchor Ron Burgundy, who comes face-to-face with a feminist journalist (Christina Applegate) who gives him a run for his money. His roles may seem repetitive, but Ferrell has a knack for offbeat humor. Having co-written and starred in the film, he falls into a role that is a perfect fit for him yet again. Expect another comedic winner from Ferrell with “Anchorman.”

July 16

I, Robot- Robots threaten to take over humanity, but don’t worry, Will Smith (Detective Del Spooner) will save the world. The film contains lots of CGI animation and special effects, but the futuristic, sci-fi plot looks entirely predictable and ridiculous. It is just another brainless summer blockbuster with fancy graphics that will sadly garner masses at the box office.

July 23

Catwoman- Directed by visual effects wizard Pitof, “Catwoman” will be more than just another excuse to have Halle Berry parade around in a skintight, barely there leather costume. Patience Phillips (Berry) becomes part hero, part animalistic criminal when she is killed and reborn as a woman with cat-like powers. Berry is a talented actress who sometimes has questionable taste in films (like “Die Another Day”), so let’s hope this one is one of her good ones.

Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman- Takeshi Kitano (aka Beat Takeshi) has become a household name in Japan for such hits as “Battle Royale” and “Sonatine,” and also as a comic actor. Kitano revives the “Zatouchi” samurai film series with a good deal of gusto and offbeat humor. Transgendered geisha, half-naked idiots and dance numbers are defining elements of this one-of-a-kind film. And don’t miss the stellar performance of the Japanese Johnny Depp, Tadanobu Asano.

July 30

The Village- M. Night Shyamalan has got that magical, golden touch, which he’s proven with films like “The Sixth Sense” and “Signs.” “The Village” looks like it will be blessed with the same degree of assiduous detail and intensity as Shyamalan’s other films. Shyamalan has employed some of the most talented in the business (Joaquin Phoenix, Bryce Howard, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, Adrien Brody) to make a film that will be spine-tingling in all the ways that made Shyamalan’s other films such successes and had you clinging onto the person next to you.

August 6

Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement- Disney returns with the second in its “Princess Diaries” series with another film sure to delight. The adorable Anne Hathaway reprises the lead role as Princess Mia of Genovia, who needs a husband before she can take the crown. The film is not based on the second “Princess Diaries” book, but director Gary Marshall (“Pretty Woman”) is relying on a story brought to life with good-looking teens, and if anything, this alone will sell the movie.

Hero- When ancient China was divided into seven different kingdoms, one king feared assassination and promised riches to any man who could kill his three main enemies. Miraculously, Nameless, (Jet Li) a minor official, brings the weapons of these warriors and recounts the histories of his battles. Cool martial arts and an enthralling story from one of China’s most respected directors, Zhang Yimou, “Hero” presents a welcome break from conventional action.

Typhoons wash over Yakuza

As a UCSD freshman, I was upset with La Jolla. From what I’d been told by my San Diego friends and relatives, I would be spending the next four years in a sunny paradise where temperatures rarely dipped below 75. It didn’t quite turn out that way, as I saw layers of thick fog roll across campus more often than not. When it wasn’t fogged up, it was raining.

But compared to the Japanese city of Yokohama, San Diego, even at its foggiest, is indeed the land of eternal sunshine.

Twenty-three typhoons have swept through Japan this season. Ten of them — a postwar record — have rocked the main island. Trees have uprooted, huge waves have hit the shores and dozens of people have died. School was canceled last Monday because of the weather, something unheard of in San Diego, unless wildfires raging through East County are considered “weather.”

When typhoons hit, they flood the subways and train lines, bringing urbanized Japanese life to an abrupt halt. Most people depend on the normally efficient public transportation to get around the country; the city streets are narrower than Berkeley’s and the tolls higher than New Jersey’s, so cars, especially big ones, are luxuries few care to indulge in. The last typhoon to shut down the trains around the Tokyo metropolis stranded almost 100,000 commuters. Thousands were forced to disembark at unfamiliar train stations, lining up for taxis to ferry them to hotels and bars to wait out the storm.

The day of the first huge typhoon in our area was also the day of our mandatory field trip to Kotobuki-cho, a low-income area of Japan’s second-largest city characterized by its population of day laborers, homeless and the Japanese mafia known as Yakuza. The mafia operates openly there. They run homeless shelters (swindling the homeless out of their welfare checks), gambling parlors and other scams in Kotobuki.

Betting on sporting events is illegal in Japan, but the police usually look the other way when it comes to these shady establishments. Horse racing, dog racing, motorcar and boat racing are all fair game for the men sitting at the tables inside. On sunnier days, the room will overflow with people, spilling out onto the adjacent narrow street, where the crowd can watch the action on four wall-mounted TVs, which are shuttered in black boxes during the inclement weather.

The police don’t usually bother shutting these places down. But when an officer is up for promotion, he might earn some points by busting up a gambling den or two. If someone is caught with a betting slip during a raid, he is guilty of a crime. The first rule of Yakuza gambling is to drop your betting slip as soon as the raid begins: no betting slip, no crime.

Successful raids are rare, though, since the Yakuza have guards looking out for police officers.

As we listened to our professor explain all this, he glanced over our shoulders.

“In fact, um, I believe there is one looking at us right now, actually, to make sure everything is all right.”

Stupidly, we all whirled around to see a grungy little man with a cigarette watching us intently.

Yakuza!

The next Yakuza run-in happened after our professor led us down another narrow alley.

“Here, at the end of this alleyway, is the main Yakuza office in Kotobuki,” the professor explained.

Yes, the mafia has its own office.

We did not approach the Yakuza, instead turning left down another alley and onto the open road.

“We are going to pass by the front of the office now,” the professor said. “We will walk by slowly, but please do not stare.”

Naturally, we stared.

The Yakuza seemed amused by our presence in their town. Rather than hiding from the large group of Americans, they leaned against the door frame and watched us. One young-looking mobster, probably about 25, actually waved. I waved back. I wondered at the time if they would have reacted differently if we had started snapping photographs. Thinking back, I bet they would have smiled and thrown up the peace sign. After all, the police already knew who and where they were; the nearest station was less than 300 feet away.

Before the parliament passed an anti-Yakuza law a few years ago, their presence was even more prominent. A black wooden panel hanging over the door was all that was left of the flashy sign with gold lettering that used to announce the name of that particular Yakuza branch.

The nearby police station was vacant when we walked past. Our professor suspected that the officers might have been in the upstairs quarters, asleep.

I’d give the address of the Yakuza building so that other visitors can someday have the pleasure of waving at a mobster, except that the street did not have a name. Most streets in Japan do not have names, making navigating a bit stressful.

Out of the 2,000-plus streets in Tokyo, only 100 have names. Some parts of Tokyo are even more confusing: There are nameless streets full of nameless restaurants, all with the same menu and prices. Post office employees who have to deal with this system are either psychic, really lucky, or know the area like the back of their collective hands.

When typhoons trap us inside, UC and Japanese students alike turn to the one thing whose unifying presence can calm even the strongest storm: Nintendo.

A few weeks ago I bought “Super Mario Bros. 3” and a Nintendo Famicom, colloquially known as “regular Nintendo” in America. This was later supplemented by someone else’s Super Famicom (“Super Nintendo”), which preceded a video-game shopping spree that ended with a library of games from “Super Mario Kart” to “Megaman X2.” Rainy weather keeps the Famicoms running.

As long as there is a Nintendo controller and a can of beer within arm’s reach, these imported California students can tolerate any storm.

LATEST NEWS

Students Protest Updated Muslim Ban

Students and faculty collected outside Geisel Library to demonstrate against the executive order President Trump issued on March 6 revising restrictions that he placed...

Students Determined Addresses Candidate Filing Inconsistencies

The Students Determined slate released a statement this afternoon explaining two inconsistencies between the filing of their candidates on the official A.S. elections page...

The Professor Who Fought Border Patrol with Poetry

As a professor his passion for art is evident through his lectures, delivered with a loud booming voice which resonates throughout the lecture hall....