Monday, February 20, 2017

San Diego Women's League of Voters Visits UCSD

A League of Women Voters representative came to the Women's Center Wednesday to educate voters on upcoming ballot propositions.

Nancy Loevinger, director of the Women's Center, said she was impressed by the dozens of people that came, and said she hopes that many students went away from the talk more educated and less intimidated by the ballot propositions.

Loevinger, an East Coast native, said she was intimidated by the number of propositions that appear on California ballots. She said she organized this information session because she feels many students voting for the first time may feel the same way she did.

Alice McCauley, a member of the League of Women Voters, went through eight state propositions and three local ones, telling attendees about the pros and cons of each proposition.

McCauley said educating voters is part of the League's mission.

""The League of Women Voters goes out and talks to various groups,"" she said. ""We've given about 65 talks so far this year.""

After her talk, McCauley briefly went through the League's position on certain propositions. She said, however, that the League only takes stands on issues it has thoroughly researched. The League opposes propositions 34, 37 and 38, and supports proposition 39.

Because the League is a nonpartisan group, McCauley said it does not endorse candidates, only issues. It does, however, print pamphlets consisting of candidates' answers to questions posed to them by the League.

McCauley said she likes the fact that the League does not endorse candidates.

""I think it frees us to take action on the issues without consideration to the candidates,"" she said. ""You're not considered a special interest.""

Loevinger said she liked the League's presentation because it did not push a certain ideology.

""We want people to feel comfortable coming in here regardless of who they're voting for,"" she said.

She added that the information provided by the League will be available at the Women's Center until the election.

The Women's Center will co-sponsor a roundtable discussion on Nov. 3 to discuss the privatization of education, an issue that will appear on the November ballot.

Sound Found to Be Linked with Sight

Researchers at the UCSD School of Medicine have completed a study supporting the theory that drawing attention to a sound enhances the ability to see objects that appear at the same location.

John McDonald, post-doctoral researcher, collaborated with UCSD professor of neurosciences Steven Hillyard and UCSD assistant project scientist Wolfgang A. Teder-Salejarvi. Together they examined two senses rather than just one, as previous studies had done, to discover that the sense of sound influences that of sight.

""We used new techniques in relating cross modal interactions with attention processing,"" McDonald said. ""We're basically trying to figure out how the brain works and how sensory information in one modality affects information of other modalities.""

The study consisted of two separate experiments using 33 volunteers who were asked to indicate whether a dim light in their peripheral vision appeared following a sound. The light and sound either appeared on the same side or on opposite sides.

""These studies show a stronger linkage between sight and hearing than previously demonstrated,"" Hillyard said. ""Our results suggest that you will see an object or event more clearly if it makes a sound before you see it.""

Hillyard said he considers the findings a first step to helping researchers better understand mental disorders, such as attention deficit disorder and schizophrenia. Industrially, the study opens possibilities of safer warning systems and man-machine interfaces where attention is crucial, such as air-traffic control systems.

""Audio/visual and brain electricity studies such as this give us a clearer picture of how the brain works and can greatly contribute to the world of neuroscience in the field of human selective attention as well as having real world applications,"" McDonald said. ""My interest is in looking at interactions between sensory modalities and ultimately see how people perceive objects in the real world.""

Not only did the researchers observe behavioral reactions to sound and sight, but they also recorded brain waves and electrical patterns that are associated with people's sensory experience as an attempt to see where the brain analyzes sensory information.

""No one study can show how the brain puts together both auditory and visual inputs,"" Hillyard said. ""But this study is a first step to understanding this.""

The next phase for research includes more studies of normal brain function involving different senses and comparisons to individuals with abnormal brain function.

UCSD is a leader in cognitive neuroscience and is one of the world's most advanced centers for this type of research, according to Hillyard.

Lights & Sirens

Lights & Sirens is a selection of entries compiled from the log book of the UCSD Police Department. UCSD crime statistics can be attained by all persons from the Police Department or at

Monday, Oct. 16

7:05 a.m.: A staff member reported vandalism to a newspaper vending stand near the south side of the Basic Science Building. Loss: $500.

6:37 p.m.: A student reported the theft of a cellular phone from Lot 308. Loss: $60.

10:52 p.m.: A 21-year-old female nonaffiliate suffered a neck injury while playing soccer at RIMAC Field. Transported to Scripps Memorial Hospital by paramedics.

Tuesday, Oct. 17

9:55 a.m.: A staff member reported the theft of computer equipment from Center Hall. Loss: $4,500.

5:02 p.m.: A student reported a lost cellular phone near Solis Hall.

5:37 p.m.: A staff member reported vandalism to a backpack in Lot 206. Damage: $100.

7:00 p.m.: A staff member reported the theft of a wallet from the Revelle Provost's Office. Loss: $141.

9:40 p.m.: A student reported receiving terrorist threats at Stewart Hall.

10:31 p.m.: Officers arrested a 55-year-old male nonaffiliate in Lot 208 for an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for driving with a suspended license and speeding. Cited and released. Bail: $5,000.

Wednesday, Oct. 18

1:48 a.m.: A staff member reported vandalism at Marshall college building Q. Loss: $75.

2:30 p.m.: A nonaffiliate reported the theft of a dark green Trek Ultimate B21 bike from 8282 Regents Road. Loss: $500.

2:50 p.m.: A staff member reported vandalism to the La Jolla Project. Damage: $1,000.

6:15 p.m.: A student reported the theft of a wallet from RIMAC. Loss: $32.

Thursday, Oct. 19

9:40 a.m.: A staff member reported the theft of computer equipment from the Muir Biology Building. Loss: $849.

1:44 p.m.: A student reported attempted burglary to a silver '94 Mercury Cougar in Lot 506. Unknown loss.

3:30 p.m.: A student reported a lost cellular phone.

10:30 p.m.: Officers arrested an 18-year-old male nonaffiliate at 9300 La Jolla Farms Road for being a minor in possession of alcohol and possession of less than 28.5 grams of marijuana. Cited and released.

11:51 p.m.: Officers ordered a 49-year-old nonaffiliate off campus for seven days for creating a disturbance at Voigt Drive and Hopkins Lane.

Friday Oct. 20

3:50 a.m.: Officers detained a 20-year-old male student in Lot 406 for being drunk in public. Transported to detox.

11:24 a.m.: A student reported receiving threatening e-mails at Argo Hall.

12:30 p.m.: Officers towed a white '96 Subaru Legacy from Lot 703 for having registration expired over six months. Stored at Star Towing.

Saturday Oct. 21

3:06 a.m.: Officers detained a 19-year-old male nonaffiliate at the Main Gym for being drunk in public. Transported to detox.

3:06 a.m.: Officers arrested an 18-year-old nonaffiliate at the Main Gym for being drunk in public. Transported to Central Jail after being rejected from detox.

6:19 a.m.: An 18-year-old nonaffiliate suffered alcohol poisoning at the Muir Apartments. Sought private treatment.

Student Life Committee Faces Criticism

Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Joseph Watson commissioned a committee last May to discuss a proposed $75 per quarter fee referendum intended to improve student life at UCSD.

At last Monday's meeting of the Student Life Fee Referendum, dozens of students criticized the fact that there was no established procedure for voting, that the chairs of the committee were voting members and not selected by the committee members, and that the specifics of the fee referendum had already been planned out by the administration.

Even though the committee did not get to its agenda items at the meeting, Watson and students are confident the committee will go forward in a productive manner.

The proposed fee increase, which is scheduled to be put to a vote during winter quarter 2001, would increase graduate and undergraduate quarterly fees by $75 per student.

The fee increase would fund an expansion of the Price Center, a commuter center, offices for student organizations, support for Division II athletics, lounge furnishings and computers at each college, additional seating at the Grove Cafe, meeting rooms for student organizations and other campus improvements.

In addition, the fee increase would provide additional funding for the A.S. Council, the Graduate Student Association, the Women's Center, sports clubs, university events, the programming council, individual colleges, the Cross Cultural Center, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Office.

According to the committee's mission statement, its purpose is to solicit input, evaluate options and advise Watson on a referendum to improve campus life; to review, endorse and recommend to Watson the election logistics, finances and conditions of the referendum; and to communicate with students, answer questions and serve as advocates for the approval of the referendum.

At last Monday's meeting, when students called into question the logistics of the committee structure, Watson said he would remove Tom Tucker, assistant vice chancellor of student affairs, as one of the three co-chairs of the committee, because some members of the committee felt an administrator should not be co-chairing a student committee.

Students also expressed concern over how the student co-chairs were chosen.

""Are we going to address the issue that the chairs were not elected?"" Marshall Student Council Chair Emiko Burchill. ""I don't devalue that they're doing an excellent job except that I feel uncomfortable having the chair of the committee not be elected.""

""No,"" Watson responded. ""This is my committee. I'm trying to be responsive.

""I'm also deeply concerned because the main objective here is to meet the needs of the students,"" Watson added. ""How we get to a conclusion here, I think is critical. I tried to set up a setting in which students would play a major role. I think this is that setting.""

At the end of the meeting, the committee appointed a student consultant, since all of the consultants initially on the committee were administrators. The committee also appointed a historian to take minutes at the meetings, because many students said the minutes of the first meeting were not comprehensive enough.

A.S. Senate Chair Shana Takur, who attended the meeting, said she was pleased with what the students accomplished.

""The students got back some power,"" she said. ""This is the first time I've seen student empowerment since I've been here.""

Takur said she was still concerned with some aspects of the committee makeup, including the fact that there is only one representative from a cultural organization, while the committee has three sports-related representatives and two representatives from Greek organizations.

Takur also said, however, that she remained optimistic that the committee could move forward and be productive.

Watson agreed.

""I'm very optimistic,"" he said. ""I think this is one thing that is very critical to the campus.

""I think we're both after the same thing, what is best for our current and future students ... I don't see how as a campus we can anticipate a growth of 40 percent in the student body and not start planning for it now.""

The committee, which has met twice so far, will hold its next meeting Oct. 30 at 5 p.m. in the University Centers, room 111A.


UCSD Uses Stimulator to Treat Depression

UCSD Healthcare physicians are looking at a new treatment for depression that uses a device that functions like a pacemaker and is usually used to treat epilepsy.

The device is called the Vagus Nerve Stimulator and will be implanted in 10 to 15 San Diegans who are considered extremely depressed and who have not responded to traditional drug therapy.

According to national mental health organizations, 17 million to 19 million Americans suffer from depression, and an estimated one million to three million are considered treatment resistant.

More than 7,000 patients have used the device since it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1997.

When used in treatment, the stimulator is inserted in the patient's upper chest during outpatient surgery. Wires run from the device into the parts of the brain that control mood and emotion.

The current study using the device to treat depression will take place at 20 sites throughout the United States.

UCSD will be the only test site in Southern California.

Professors Receive National Science Foundation Award

Physics professors Terence Hwa, Herbert Levine, William Loomis, Jose Onuchic and assistant project scientist Wouter-Jan Rappel received a $2,999,982 National Science Foundation Award for their work, entitled ""Biocomplexity: From Gene Expression to Morphology and Multicellular Organization in Dictyostelium.""

The grant will be in effect from Oct. 1, 2000 to Sept. 30, 2005.

Meeting Will Debate Resurrection of NASA Group

A meeting to discuss re-establishing the Native-American Student Alliance as an active student organization at UCSD will be held Nov. 1 from noon until 2 p.m. at the Cross Cultural Center.

NASA has been dormant on campus since 1996, when its membership dwindled to fewer than four people. UCSD's Student Organizations and Leadership Office requires that student groups have at least four members to be considered active.

There are currently 120 Native American undergraduates enrolled at UCSD, approximately 1 percent of the undergraduate student body, according to UCSD Admissions and Outreach.

The meeting is intended as a forum for Native Americans on campus to discuss their interest in restarting the group and what NASA's role and mission as a student group should be.

UC Scientists to Discuss Weeds at Monterey Conference

Prominent University of California, industry and government scientists will address new weed management research on orchards, vineyards, field crops, rangeland, forests, golf courses and urban landscaping at the 53rd annual California Weed Science Society conference to be held in Monterey from Jan. 8-10.

In addition, the conference, titled ""Water, Weeds and You!,"" takes a special look at weeds that invade California lakes, streams, natural and man-made ponds and other waterways.

Troublesome plants found in the water, such as parrotfeather, water hyacinth, Brazilian elodea and giant salvinia, will be covered by speakers representing private industry, California Department of boating and Waterways, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, CalTrans and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.

BreastFest 2000 Begins Weeklong Celebration Monday

Monday marks the beginning of BreastFest 2000, a weeklong celebration featuring events related to women's issues as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Monday is ""Estrogen Day."" Information tables will be set up in the Price Center Plaza from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Outreach for breast cancer education and awareness for the Asian community is on Tuesday, when seven outreach leaders from the UCSD Breast Cancer Center will go to seven different grocery stores.

""Let's Talk,"" an open forum for college men and women to talk about the disease, will be held on Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

""Girl Talk,"" an open forum for junior high and high school girls and their mothers to talk about the disease, will be held on Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Participating organizations include the UCSD Women's Center, the UCSD Breast Cancer Center, UCSD Health Advocates, San Diego's Women's Health Advocate, the Susan G. Komen Foundation: San Diego Chapter, Y-ME San Diego and aKDPhi sisters.

Three Professors Inducted into Prestigious Institute

Continuing as one of the leading institutes in modern science, UCSD saw three of its top scientists recognized for their respective work in the field of medicine by being inducted into the prestigious Institute of Medicine.

Professors Jerrold M. Olefsky, professor Larry R. Squire and Wylie W. Vale were among the 60 elected to the Institute.

Olefsky said he was deeply honored by his induction.

""I was extremely pleased and complimented on the election to such a highly prestigious organization,"" Olefsky said.

Olefsky has been at UCSD for 18 years working, mostly with insulin action in the body and its resistance as the primary cause for Type II diabetes. Olefsky's work has been crucial in the development of insulin-sensitizing drugs now used as standard therapy to patients with Type II diabetes.

""This is a major election for [Olefsky] and for the school as well,"" said Betsy Hansen, secretary to Olefsky for the past 27 years.

Currently, Olefsky is working on the design of array gene chips, which provide a method of measuring gene expression. The ribonucleic acid of normal patients can be compared to that of patients holding the gene leading to Type II diabetes. Areas where certain genes are over- or underexpressed can pinpoint the area of disorder.

Olefsky is also presently working with genetically altered mice for a greater understanding of the role of certain genes in insulin.

Induction into the Institute of Medicine will enhance the mantlepiece in the Olefsky home. Olefsky has been previously awarded with the Banting Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievements from the American Diabetes Association, the C.H. Best Award from the Toronto Diabetes Association of the ADA, and the Mayo Soley Award.

Squire's work deals mainly with cognitive science and neuroscience and specifically relates to long-term memory.

Much of Squire's findings came from his observations of postmortem studies of amnesia patients.

Among his findings are the exact location of the hippocampus and other areas of long-term memory.

Past awards won by Squire include the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, the William Middleton Award from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the McGovern Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Karl Lashley Prize from the American Philosophical Society.

Vale works for the Salk Institute and is an adjunct professor of biology.

Vale is a leader in the field of peptide hormones, hormones of the brain, which can affect various psychological functions such as mood, appetite, heart rate, growth and response to stress. A particular hormone, CRF, has been examined in the stress factor of humans.

CRF has been seen to be a factor in depression, addiction and anorexia nervosa.

At this time, an agent that can block CRF from reaching its target in the brain is being developed and is in clinical trials.

Vale has isolated numerous molecules within the hormones that have led to the development of drugs to treat growth deficiencies and premature puberty. Squire and Vale were unavailable for comment.

UCSD has 18 members in the Institute of Medicine. Induction into the Institute is an honor, but there is also a responsibility to work on behalf of the organization; members are committed to aiding the Institute on projects of their particular expertise.

11,000 People Walk to Raise Money for Breast Cancer

Eleven thousand people participated early Sunday morning in the American Cancer Society's third annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer fund-raiser in Balboa Park.

David Pilz/

The annual walk exceeded organizers' expectations of 8,000 participants and $300,000, the final statistics read 11,000 walkers raising $600,000.

The money will be used for breast cancer research, public education and patient programs. Most of it will be used locally, according to the American Cancer Society.

UCSD and the UCSD Women's Center have participated in the walk for the past three years and have organized programs to get students involved.

The walk was sponsored by NBC Channel 7/39, SAIC, San Diego Gas and Electric, Metabolife, and Sempra Energy Company. It included teams from some of the county's other corporations, schools and health institutions, as well as private individuals who wanted to raise money for breast cancer research.

The walk, scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m., started with a welcome speech from NBC 7/39's Susan Taylor, who outlined the day's events.

Other speakers included local doctors, cancer survivors, sponsors, patients and politicians who were there in support of the American Cancer Society.

""This is our call to action and a reminder that there is hope in the progression of the cure,"" said California American Cancer Society Board of Directors President Maria Reyes-Mason. ""I know, as we all do, that everyone here cares about this and there are more out there that care too.""

According to Regional Chairwoman of the American Cancer Society and breast cancer survivor America Donatto, the event was not just about the money that was raised, but the people for whom it was raised.

""Judging by the number of breast cancer survivors who were here to celebrate life, it is apparent that we are making strides,"" Donatto said.

She explained that the walkers were ""people who want to demonstrate love for their mothers, wives, sisters, friends and co-workers who have been struck with breast cancer. Many of our participants walk to honor a lost loved one.""

According to Women's Center representative Emelyn de la Pena, learning about the disease is a key to unlocking a cure.

""The education is what is really important,"" de la Pena said. ""We need to get more people out here to get the word out about what is going on.""

Barbara Mendeas, also of the Women's Center, agrees.

""It is really overwhelming once you see all these people out here, and it is easy to see how this event can be very emotional for people,"" Mendeas said. ""Everyone is here for a reason, but we need to have more participants. We need more people.""

UCSD junior Erin Babcock received e-mails and memos from the Women's Center regarding the walk, and decided to get Muir college involved.

Babcock recruited participants by posting flyers and organizing a carpool to transport a group of students to Balboa Park.

""It would have been great to have a lot more people out here, but those that we did have are great,"" Babcock said. ""We have got quality if not quantity and we raised money for a great cause.""

Before the event began, 27th district Assemblyman Howard Wayne was introduced.

Wayne was instrumental in the three-year-long passing of Bill 2878, which allows low-income women to receive treatment for their illness through a $20 million addition to the budget. The bill was approved last year.

According to Wayne, he is currently working on a bill under which uninsured women will be able to receive medical help.

""We could not succeed without all the effort from all the people that you see out here today.,"" Wayne said. ""They are the ones who put in the effort so I can get the bill passed. ... and we will get this new bill passed as well, no matter how long it takes.""

During the walk, many people were grouped by teams in support of companies, friends and loved ones.

Walkers held signs proclaiming their affiliation and cheered at each other as they made their way to the finish line. Participants also donated food, took seats on the grass and listened to a congratulatory speech from Taylor.

Muir freshman Jacob Ellena was pleased that he participated in the Stride Against Breast Cancer.

""I had a good time for a good cause and I was surprised to see so many people out there ... so many showed up,"" he said.

Taylor triumphantly spoke to the participants as they crossed the finish line.

""You are the ones who show that they care. You are actually helping to save lives,"" Taylor said.


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