News

MEChA Crosses Not Stolen

The recovery of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/la de Aztlan organization’s missing display of crosses has stirred controversy and spurred MEChA to continue its awareness campaign to dispel the hate and ignorance expressed by some toward immigrants. The UCSD police have been investigating the defacement of the MEChA display that was located on the Price Center’s grassy area as a hate incident. The disappearance of the defaced crosses display occurred on Admit Day and has also been under investigation. UCSD police Detective Nate Floyd said that the crosses from the display were found and that they had not been stolen. “”The crosses display was removed by the grounds crew in order to cut the grass,”” Floyd said. “”It wasn’t a theft.”” Floyd also said that the identification of the perpetrator who defaced the poster display is still under investigation. University Centers Director Gary Ratcliff affirmed that the display was unintentionally removed by the grounds crew so that the grass could be mowed. “”The grounds crew were unaware that the crosses display was an exhibit when they cleared the grounds,”” Ratcliff said. Ratcliff said that he e-mailed an apology to the MEChA organization. “”I said that I was very sorry about the removal of the crosses display. I told them that it was an honest mistake,”” Ratcliff said. “”And I also informed them that we revised our space reservations procedures so that our grounds crew is fully informed about exhibits on the green space,”” he said. Muir junior Jessica Lopez, chair of MEChA, said that she replied via e-mail to thank him for the apology and to also raise some of her organization’s concerns. “”After discussing this incident with the MEChA board, it is clear that we have not ruled out the possibility that our exhibit was taken down for Admit Day to eliminate anything ‘controversial’ from campus,”” Lopez said in her e-mail. Ratcliff was adamant in his explanation that the removal of the crosses display was not an attempt at censorship before Admit Day began. “”The reservations department doesn’t make judgments on content of exhibits; we just schedule,”” Ratcliff said. “”It is an absolute myth that the removal of the crosses display has any connection with Admit Day or has any intent to squelch their message. “”It is important that student organizations, such as MEChA, have access to this space to build awareness of social issues. The staff here will be fully supportive of such efforts.”” Lopez said that once the display was returned to her organization nearly a week after it went missing, there were three separate comments on their poster that had been covered by either black paint or permanent black pen: “”That’s what they get,”” “”Why commemorate criminals?”” and “”These people are criminals.”” Lopez said that the comments were obviously referring to the statistics provided by MEChA on the poster memorializing the hundreds of immigrants who have died trying to cross the border into the United States. Yet Lopez said the real issue is not illegal immigration, as implied by the person or persons who defaced the poster. “”The real issue is that people are dying and that some people think these deaths are justified,”” Lopez said. Lopez said that in the aftermath of the hate incident and removal of their crosses display, the MEChA organization has responded by putting its display back up in the Price Center grass area, but with one significant change. Lopez said that MEChA added a separate poster board so that there would be a place for students to make comments. “”We added a separate poster board so that students could respond,”” Lopez said. “”We’ve gotten a lot of positive comments.”” However, Marshall junior Candace Katungi, who is not a member of MEChA, said she witnessed a student write a negative comment on the response board. “”The student wrote: ‘Why are you making a memorial for criminals? If you want to prevent deaths, build higher walls,'”” Katungi said. Katungi said she then engaged the student in a thoughtful and calm dialogue for the next 20 minutes. “”I asked him what he meant by criminals,”” Katungi said. “”He replied that the emphasis should be on the fact that when the immigrants illegally crossed, they knew the risks. “”I told him that no death is justifiable. I pointed out that we only use the death penalty for severe crimes. I then asked him if what the immigrants did was severe enough to warrant their deaths. He didn’t say anything after that,”” Katungi said. Lopez said that the hateful and ignorant reactions by some students to the organization’s attempt to bring awareness to the campus through the crosses display has made it clear that there is still a lot of ignorance that needs to be deconstructed. “”People at UCSD need to analyze and challenge notions that ‘immigrants are criminals,’ or that ‘immigrants deserve what they get,'”” Lopez said. “”These misconceptions about immigrants are made to seem natural to hide the fact that they are constructed strategically to justify the exploitation of these groups for the benefit of others.”” ...

Fee Referendum Fails

Despite receiving the highest voter turnout in UCSD’s history, the Campus Life Fee Referendum failed to pass by over 750 votes, thereby eliminating the possibility of an annual student fee increase of about $210. Friday afternoon, the A.S. Election Committee released the results showing that 2,739 students voted in favor of the fee increase, and 3,492 voted against it. Of the school’s 18,600 students, 6,231 undergraduate, graduate and medical students voted last week contributing to a record 33 percent voter turnout. “”There were too many issues being tacked onto it,”” said A.S. Services and Enterprises Commissioner-elect Colin Parent. “”It ended up making the whole thing controversial.”” The A.S. Council sponsored 12 voting booths across campus from April 23 through April 28 in an attempt to raise voter turnout to over 20 percent, which is the minimum percentage that would have enabled the fee referendum to pass. Assistant Elections Manager Cristina Villegas said that a number of factors led to the record-breaking turnout. “”It affected so many aspects of campus life so people wanted to vote,”” she said. “”The polling places across campus certainly helped as well. People were definitely voting with their wallets.”” Villegas said that while sitting at the polls she noticed most of the votes were in favor of the fee on Monday and Tuesday, but that the numbers drastically changed by the week’s end. “”People who planned not to vote realized we had the turnout we needed so they went and voted themselves,”” she said. “”After everything that went down on Friday, I was not surprised [with the result of the election] at all.”” According to Joshua Cooper, the results are in part because of some A.S. Elections Committee members’ resentment toward the administration. “”The failure of the Campus Life Fee referendum is a clear indication that students want direct control over student fees,”” said Joshua Cooper, one of the two Graduate Student Association representatives on the election committee. “”They do not want to pay for administrative office space, they do not want to pay for the construction of more fast food chains, they do not want to make this university even less affordable for those who already can barely pay for it and they do not approve of the administration’s disregard for the democratic process at any stage of the referendum’s development.”” To make the election fair for both parties, the administration funded lobby groups for and against the referendum. However, Villegas said that those against the fee referendum were able to present their views to the student body in a better fashion than their opposition. “”The ‘no’ campaign was very well-mobilized and the ‘yes’ side wasn’t as well-organized,”” she said. “”There were also a lot of messages being spread by the ‘no’ side and things really got embellished by people.”” Villegas said one such rumor was that the administration would not increase financial aid accordingly so that the students would have to pay for the increase on their own. A.S. President Doc Khaleghi said this, in fact, was false. “”It is certified in writing from the office of financial aid that this fee would be covered by financial aid for those who qualify for it,”” he said in a campuswide e-mail. In addition, many students wanted a line-item vote for the election, as they felt they would be able to vote for specific things they wanted as opposed to turning down the entire referendum. “”It is a shame that it had to be done that way,”” said Marshall senior Scott Dalva. “”I really wanted the Price Center expansion, but I really didn’t want the sports to get that kind of money. I wasn’t about to vote ‘yes,’ considering I was completely against a lot of it.”” Villegas said that although the election committee thought about making this a line-item vote, they decided otherwise thinking that this way was the most likely way the fee referendum would get passed. “”People just have their own interests,”” she said. “”We were just afraid that the competing referendum would collectively fail.”” Regardless, the student body’s rejection of the referendum will affect other aspects of student life, which were previously unharmed. Villegas said that after the election results had been posted, Watson said that he was planning on cutting all departments under student affairs such as the college councils, Student Health and Psychological Services by 10 percent to allow for spending on items he feels are important. “”Everything under Student Affairs would be cut because the priority with Watson is with expanding Price Center,”” Villegas said. “”State funds can’t be used for the expansion because it is a nonacademic building.”” In addition, the school made a commitment three years ago to fund moving to Division II athletics and must abide by that promise. Without the fee referendum, the money for this needs to come from other places such as Student Affairs. Cooper is opposed to this decision by the administration. “”In order to find funding for campus improvement projects, it is the administration’s responsibility and clear ability to tap into the university’s enormous discretionary funds, solicit outside donations, seek funding at the state level and search for money sources other than students’ pockets,”” Cooper said. The recent vote shows that a majority of the student body does not agree with the expansion as well, citing that the students have failed to pass a referendum two years in a row that would expand the Price Center. For now, the opinion of the students has been heard. “”This vote carries with it a message from the students: If you want to use our money, we are going to say exactly how it will be used,”” Cooper said. ...

Briefly

UCSD biologist Julian I. Schroeder won this year’s $250,000 Blasker Award for Environmental Science and Engineering for his discovery of the molecular mechanisms that allow plants to remove toxic metals from contaminated soil. Schroeder will receive the award at the June 13 San Diego Foundation ceremony. The Blasker Award is traditionally given to individuals or groups who have enhanced the living conditions of San Diego residents and other communities by creating solutions to an environmental problem that has already been selected by the Blasker Award’s committee of experts. Schroeder fulfilled this requirement by identifying the genes responsible for the transport and detoxification of such toxic metals as cadmium, arsenic and lead. May to Mark Mental Health Awareness Month Community Advocates for Disability Rights and Education will hold its annual Inner/Outer Limits Conference at UCSD May 1 and May 2. The conference is a part of Mental Health Awareness Month and will feature many discussions and workshops, including “”Good News About Depression and Bipolar Disorders: Recent Advances in Diagnosis and Treatment,”” on May 1 in the Santa Barbara room of the Price Center. John Klescoe, associate professor of psychiatry, and Constance Nagi, of the UCSD Department of Medicine, will lead the discussion. Most of the programs are open to the public and refreshments will be served. Inner/Outer Limits is sponsored by CADRE and the Women’s Center. For more information call (858) 534-3958. Two UCSD Students to Attend NASA Academy This Summer David Galvan, a physics major, was one of 11 students selected from around the country to attend the NASA Ames Astrobiology Academy at Moffett Field, Calif. Cari Goulard, a mechanical engineering major, was one of 16 students nationwide to be selected to attend the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Students from space grant-affiliated campuses, which in addition to UCSD include UC Berkeley, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara, were eligible to apply to the programs. The California Space Grant Consortium, which is housed at UCSD, contributes to the nation’s science enterprise by funding research, education and public service projects. The ten-week NASA academy’s goal is to guide future leaders of the space program. Each student will be teamed with a NASA scientist mentor to develop and carry out a research project. Students were selected on the basis of academic record, demonstrated motivation and qualification to pursue multi-disciplinary research. UC Vice President for Educational Reseacrh Resigns Alex M. Saragoza announced Tuesday that he will resign from his post as UC Vice President for Educational Outreach, effective June 30. In his statement of resignation delivered to UC president Richard C. Atkinson, Saragoza claimed that he felt his work in the position had been compromised by “”outside events.”” Saragoza also expressed gratitude to Atkinson for his investment in academic outreach. ...

Events

Thursday, April 26 Special Event: Race Unity Workshop The Baha’i Club will sponsor the event, which will feature spoken word artist “”Jihmye.”” The event will take place at 7 p.m. in Price Center Gallery B. The workshop is free and open to the public. For more information call (619) 993-3855 or e-mail San Shooshtary at [email protected] Performing Arts: ‘Cabaret’ Muir college will sponsor the performance of “”Cabaret,”” which will be performed by the Muir Musical Ensemble. The event will take place at 8 p.m. in tha Mandeville Center Auditorium. General admission is $8 and student admission is $6. For more information call (858) 534-3587. Special Event: Take Our Daughters to Work Day The Women’s Center, the Chancellor’s Office, all vice chancellors’ offices, the Human Resources office and the Housing offices will sponsor Take Our Daughters to Work Day. The event allows UCSD employees to bring their daughters and sons to work with them to give young people a sense of what the work force is like. The event is free and open to the public. For more information call (858) 822-0074. Film: ‘Driven’ The University Events Office and Students for Cultural Awareness will sponsor a free screening of the movie “”Driven,”” starring Sylvester Stallone and Burt Reynolds. The event is free and open to the public. For more information call (858) 534-4090. Friday, April 27 Special Event: Revelle Program Board Dance The Revelle Dean’s Office will sponsor the event, which will take place at 9 p.m. at Revelle college. The event is free and open to the public. For more information call (858) 534-1580. Monday, April 30 Special Event: UCSD Blood Drive UCSD Human Resources will sponsor the UCSD Blood Drive, which will take place in Price Center Ballroom A at 10 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. For more information call (858) 534-0286. Performing Arts: Moshay Band The Union of Jewish students will sponsor the concert by the Los Angeles-based Moshay Band, which will take place at 7 p.m. in the Price Center. The event is free and open to the public. For more information call (858) 534-6244. ...

Quarterly Academic Senate Meeting Convenes

Summer school, gender equity, admissions, academic outreach and the development of UC Merced were discussed at Tuesday’s Representative Assembly meeting, held at the Garren Auditorium in the Basic Science Building. Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Marsha Chandler addressed the assembly concerning summer school and gender equity at UCSD. Chandler reported that the Bureau of State Audits has recommended that the UC Office of the President undertake an increase in the hiring of women at the assistant professor level. The audit found that there is a dearth of female faculty at all UC campuses. The bureau also found that more women applied for positions as assistant professors, rather than as associate or full professors. Chandler also addressed administrative responses to the need for the expansion of summer session. In anticipation of the new wave of students that will be coming to the university, officials have attempted to raise summer session offerings to the caliber that typifies the regular school year. Summer session at UCSD has always been entirely campus supported. Recently, UC Berkeley, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara have received funds from UCOP to improve the quality of education during the summer. UCSD, UC Irvine and UC Davis also expect to receive funds by summer 2002 to increase summer school offerings. Chandler joked about the meager funds given to the other campuses. “”We are next on the list for not receiving the money,”” she said. Chandler appeared hopeful about the proposed summer program. She also felt that the work done at UC Berkeley, UCLA and UCSB will help set a precedent so that UCSD can achieve a strong summer program. Chandler also requested the creation of a new position, associate vice chancellor of undergraduate education. “”We want to make sure we take care of the undergraduates with all the new students coming,”” she said. Chemistry professor Barbara Sawrey spoke about the controversy regarding UC admissions procedures. Sawrey discussed the new Dual Admissions Program and the proposed abandonment of the SAT I. The DAP, set to take effect in 2003, will require that the top 12.5 percent of California high school seniors be accepted automatically to the University of California. As of now, only the top 4 percent of every graduating high school class in California is guaranteed admission to a UC campus. Under the DAP, students would complete their general education at a community college. The DAP diverges from the already functioning transfer program in that the DAP will accept students directly from a junior college to a specific UC campus. Sawrey reported that high schools and colleges are currently working on implementing this plan. Sawrey also informed those in attendance about recent talks of forsaking the SAT I as a criterion for admission to the University of California. Sawrey mentioned UC President Richard Atkinson’s speech in February to the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C., in which he suggested that standardized tests are not an accurate method of testing academic ability at the collegiate level. “”We don’t intend to make a precipitous decision,”” Sawrey said. “”We have to re-examine the question: ‘How do we measure the success of UC students?'”” Chemistry professor Katja Lindenberg also updated the representative assembly on the status of UC Merced. The school is scheduled to open in the year 2004 with 1,000 students and 100 faculty members. Professor Hugh Mehan and Marshall College Provost Cecil Lytle each spoke about academic outreach at UCSD. Mehan discussed UCSD’s dedication to the recruitment of underrepresented minorities. The Academic Senate has posted the meeting’s minutes on its Web site, located at http://www-senate.ucsd.edu ...

UCSD Fights Hate With Week of Events

The second annual Hate Free Campus Week, themed “”Breaking Down Walls, Opening Minds,”” will conclude on Friday, April 27 after a one-week run. The event is coordinated by the Student Office for Human Relations and co-sponsored by Students for Justice and Equity and other organizations. According to SOHR Program Director Julia Adame, the event’s focus is “”to promote the UCSD principles of community and send a message to the perpetrators of hate crimes that these actions will not be tolerated at UCSD.”” Alejandra Sotelo, a peer educator at SOHR, commented on the purpose of the organization and its role in the weeklong event. “”We make the UCSD principles of community a living document by practicing it day in and day out,”” Sotelo said. The Hate Free Campus Week is designed to extend the principles of community to UCSD students, who may or may not be aware of them. Tuesday marked the Hate Free Campus main event, which included an art exhibition, student performances of poetry, dance and rap, and appearances by the SOHR Social Action Theatre. A.K. Black, a noted rap lyricist and self-proclaimed “”edutainer,”” was also present as the keynote speaker for the evening. Adame kicked off the event by reading a proclamation written by San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy, who declared San Diego to be a Hate Free Zone on Monday after being inspired by last year’s Hate Free Campus Week. The reading of the proclamation was followed by the first of four sketches performed by the Social Action Theatre throughout the evening. The sketch featured a mockery of a children’s educational television show, which depicted a cast trying to educate children about the importance of race relations in a less-than-inspirational manner. After more sketches and a poetry reading, the evening progressed to an open-mic session in which students were encouraged to come on stage and share their poetry, rap or other performances. For more information on the Student Office for Human Relations, visit its Web site at http://ugr8.ucsd.edu/sohr. ...

Talks, Car Show Mark Earth Day

The annual Earth Day Celebration took place on Library Walk and in the Price Center on Monday. UCSD’s Environmental Coalition sponsored the event, along with several other organizations geared toward the preservation of the environment, such as Muir Environmental Corps, CalPIRG, Ocean Awareness, Whale Day and Solar Electric. The celebration kicked off at 10 a.m. with a talk given by Native American speaker Happy Bear. As the day progressed, the celebration’s attendants were entertained guitarist Scott Huckabay and bands The Dave and Damaru. Jih Miesel from Whale Day also spoke to students about many issues surrounding the protection of the ocean and received much support from the crowd. The event finished off with a free showing of the Dr. Seuss film “”The Lorax”” at 9 p.m. in the Price Center Theatre. Christine Brochard, president of UCSD’s Environmental Coalition, was pleased with the outcome of the event. “”The main focus [of Earth Day] is to educate UCSD about the environment and create awareness,”” Brochard said. “”I think it was very successful in making people think a little bit more about issues that they weren’t aware of before.”” Students stopped to take a look at the many booths on Library Walk during the celebration. A popular attraction was the Electric Vehicle Fair set up in front of the Career Services Center. The fair featured five models of electric vehicles, including a two-person “”neighborhood”” car, a Chrysler minivan, and a Honda Insight, a gas-electric hybrid vehicle that reportedly gets 70 miles per gallon. Some UCSD organizations had booths set up to inform students about the benefits and importance of recycling. Brochard said that the importance of Earth Day is understanding that no one person can single-handedly save the environment, but that every little bit helps. “”The take-home message of Earth Day is that people aren’t going to change radically, but that there are small things that everyone can do,”” Brochard said. She enumerated five easy things everyone can do to help conserve the environment, including using reusable mugs For more information about recycling on campus, call the Recycling Center at (858) 534-0919. ...

Muirstock Attracts Record Numbers to the Muir Quad

Muirstock, a campus festival of music, food and vendors, invaded the Muir quad on Friday afternoon and received mixed reviews from students. Although most students enjoyed the music and overall event, some were concerned with the April 20 event’s apparent relationship to “”420,”” a date often celebrated by marijuana users. Nonetheless, hundreds of students came to what some called the largest crowd ever to fill the Muir quad. Two stages, set up in front of Tenaya and Tioga halls, featured seven bands: N-Z Rough, Straight No Chaser, Munkafust, Thrice, Taken, 34 Below and headliner Common Sense. Prior to the show, Muir sophomore Missy Tierney expressed her sentiments about the show: “”I’m excited to see Common Sense.”” The band did not disappoint. “”All the guys from Common Sense were really cool,”” said Muir freshman Gabe Grossman. “”They were out afterward cleaning up and they still stopped to talk to their fans. They signed my hat.”” Other bands also thrilled the crowd. “”Thrice was awesome,”” said Muir sophomore Tomas Bogardus. Muir sophomore Nick Lieberknecht enjoyed 34 Below and supported the band’s inclusion at the upcoming Sun God festival on May 18. “”34 Below is the kind of class act that we would love to see at Sun God,”” Lieberknecht said. Despite the bands and free barbecue sponsored by Muir College Council, some students found the connection to “”420″” offensive. The concert, although running late, was scheduled to start at 4:20 p.m. with reggae band N-Z Rough. Muir freshman Josh Gray was among those who found the “”420″” implications hypocritical. “”I thought it was a pathetic attempt on the school’s part to accommodate the stoner crowd,”” Gray said. “”They are supposed to be throwing a concert on that day, but they kick people out for smoking pot in the dorms.”” Gray was expelled from his fifth-floor room at Tenaya Hall for smoking marijuana earlier this academic year. Sophomore Adam Swenson also viewed the perceived support as a double standard. “”I think it’s stupid that they give us rules to make our lives better and then encourage breaking their own rules to make our lives better,”” he said. Yet the coordinators of Muirstock defended the “”420″” implications as both coincidental and a mere publicity gimmick. Typically, Muir college plans a John Muir Week to coincide with the environmentalist’s birthday on April 21. Festival co-chair Jon Cole defended the plan to start the concert at 4:20 p.m. as a marketing strategy. “”It’s a publicity ploy,”” Cole said. “”As long as it was there, we used it. It is, by no means, the focus of the event.”” The master of ceremonies for the event, Muir student Matt Bechtel, poked fun at the day’s infamous drug reference. “”Attention Muir college: If you’re upstairs smoking, please report to the quad immediately, and if you are upstairs smoking, remember we have RSOs on duty,”” Bechtel announced early in the event. “”If anyone still has the munchies, the barbecue is still serving food.”” Bechtel and the Muirstock coordinators claimed that they were not promoting pot smoking but were having fun with the well-known concept. “”It would be stupid for us to ignore it,”” Bechtel said. “”This is probably one of the most recognized holidays on college campuses. Everyone sitting [at the concert] wasn’t in their right mind.”” Bechtel also said that the event was toned down from ideas that were originally proposed by the Muirstock think tank. A week prior to the event, the Muirstock committee planned to have a beer garden adjacent to Sierra Summit and the Muir Apartments. The beer garden, which was nixed due to funding problems, would have provided free beer to those of legal drinking age. Bechtel also mentioned that the advertisers decided to play down the importance of the “”420″” undercurrent. “”Originally, the flier was just going to read, ‘420: Fire it up,'”” Bechtel said. “”Patty Mahaffey [assistant dean of student affairs for Muir college] said we shouldn’t.”” Other students were concerned with the event’s cost, which came out to nearly $11,000. “”I know it costed over $10,000 to put on. I hope it pays off,”” said Muir sophomore Adam Klekowski prior to the event. Money came from a variety of organizations, including the Muir Organizing Board, which provided $875 from a parking permit fund-raiser. Stephanie Linn was the contest’s winner. ...

Watson Refuses to Sign USSA Legislation

Vice Chancellor Joseph Watson said Friday that he will not sign legislation that would increase student tuition by six dollars per year to facilitate increased participation and membership in the United States Student Association and the University of California Student Association, despite a student vote in favor of the change two weeks ago in the A.S. Council election. “”This is a fee increase that students have mandated through a democratic process,”” said A.S. Vice President External Eugene Mahmoud. “”As a student body, we have the right to increase our own Associated Student activity fee for any purpose.”” Watson said that he would not approve the bill because the student body will not directly see the benefits of membership. “”Students have no control over this expenditure,”” he said. “”I have no problem of the [Associated Students] supporting this. In fact, they have been doing so.”” However, Watson said that students can choose what to fund with money allocated by the A.S. Council. They can request a refund if they choose not to support any event or idea. Conversely, once 20 percent of the student body votes, and when more students vote yes on a referendum than no, students have no choice but to give the extra money. In addition, Watson said he would not sign the legislation because he feels there was not adequate discussion of the issue. In contrast, if the money had been allocated by the A.S. Council as opposed to being allocated through elections, then all the senators and commissioners would have a chance to debate the allocation of money. In a letter to Mahmoud on this issue, Watson stated that the USSA referendum question in the election booklet was poorly written, misleading and not a UC-controlled student activity. Mahmoud said he questions the validity of these points. “”His interpretation of the language is of no real importance,”” Mahmoud said of Watson. “”What is important is that ASUCSD understands that the sole function of the referendum was to increase the student activity fees by $2. There is no UC policy that allows vice chancellors the ability to interpret A.S. student activity fee increases to provide a function they do not.”” UC campuses currently contribute to both UCSA and USSA. Increasing the money the organizations receive does not violate any UC policies. Regardless, Watson said the administration told the A.S. Council before the deadline that it would not sign the legislation, even if it passed. “”We can’t take things off the ballot,”” he said. “”But we made it clear that we didn’t support the issue.”” Mahmoud said that he was not notified of the administration’s stance. “”I did not know that he wouldn’t approve it, and I take offense to people suggesting I did,”” he said. “”Why would I waste my time initiating something like this if I thought it wouldn’t even reach the chancellor’s desk?”” Over the course of election week, 2,646 students voted on the issue; 1,478 voted yes and 1,268 students voted no. Although the numbers of students who voted in favor of the legislation will change nothing at this time, Mahmoud is still encouraging other students to lobby to get Watson to sign the bill. “”I think the biggest pressure [Watson] can get is from students,”” he said. “”I think students need to write him letters.”” A.S. Council President Doc Khaleghi believes that even if Watson does sign it, the bill will never be passed by the UC Regents, as they have rejected similar bills from UC Santa Barbara and UCLA. “”The regents have already set the precedent that they won’t sign these,”” he said. Mahmoud said the regents have always been cautious about signing legislation such as this. “”Basically, the UC Regents have had a history of narrowly and conservatively interpreting legislation and court cases regarding student fee autonomy,”” he said. “”Allocations to organizations are to be done in a manner that’s content-neutral, and [the UC Regents] don’t feel that referendums are content-neutral.”” Although the 1993 court case of Smith v. Regents established that students can use their fees to lobby, the UC Regents are against giving money to outside groups such as USSA for this purpose. “”If we are allowed to lobby, we should be able to have access to whatever resources and associations we as students see fit to do the job,”” Mahmoud said. “”We students should not be limited to face-to-face lobbying.”” USSA has been the only student lobbying group in Washington, D.C. for the last 53 years. However, because it is not directly affiliated with the UC campuses, the regents have not allowed money from referenda to go to it. “”To say that USSA is not controlled by UC students is true, but that makes sense because it works at a national level and seeks to involve all students,”” Mahmoud said. “”To say that because it works as national level, it doesn’t focus on issues pertinent to UCSD students is like saying you should only pay state tax, because federal tax goes to the government, and they won’t do anything for you as a California citizen.”” Mahmoud also said that the UC Regents do not feel that USSA has any educational value to the students, although USSA gave UCSD a grant last year to increase voter turnout, in addition to providing staff for the Students of Color Conference in February. “”The UC system only wants students to lobby through UCSA because [its] work is limited to working with them,”” Mahmoud said. “”If we only work within the UC system, we as UC students don’t realize that other school systems interpret national legislation more liberally than the UC system in some cases. Also, they don’t want to see our alliances being stronger than theirs.”” ...

Violence Victims Take Back the Night

Over 200 women and men gathered in the Price Center Plaza Thursday night for the 2001 Take Back the Night Rally. The rally, sponsored by the A.S. Women’s Commission and the Women’s Center, was followed by a candlelit march around campus. Leo Der Stepanians Guardian The night began with a performance by singer Tara MacClean. Her performance included an a cappella version of her song “”Silence.”” Speaker Steve Allen from the Men’s Leadership Forum and the Center for Community Solutions took the stage next. He discussed men’s roles in assault prevention and mentioned that he was the first male speaker at a Take Back the Night rally at UCSD. Poet Kim Cook was the keynote speaker for the evening. She opened her speech by reading a few of her poems on different topics, including family, assault and recovery. Cook went on to discuss the hardship she has encountered in her life and how she has overcome it. She rallied women about their roles in society and told the audience that women should not have to be afraid of the night. “”We’re women!”” she said. “”I want to be sexy and cute and all that shit, and yeah, we’re gonna take back the night!”” Cook closed her talk with a reading of a poem she wrote for the occasion, titled “”Take Back the Night.”” “”I beg you, brothers and sisters, wake up to the moment of knowing,”” she said. She read the poem twice, once slowly for the audience to comprehend the words, then quickly to establish the meter and power she intended. “”We live in fear no more, but open the door to the future, when we are seeing a dream we had,”” she read. Cook was acknowledged with a standing ovation after the reading. Following Cook’s performance, Catherine Algeri, chair of the A.S. Women’s Commission, introduced an open microphone for audience members to share testimonials. Twenty women and two men took the stage to share their and others’ stories. Many began their stories by expressing that they had not expected to step up to the microphone. First-year cognitive science graduate student Jelena Jovanovic was one of those who did not expect to share her story. The first testimonial was a poem prepared for the event by a student, then a few of the event’s organizers spoke. “”Then there was this big silence,”” Jovanovic said. “”I thought that a regular person should just go up and let [the audience] know that it wasn’t just the organizers who had these experiences.”” Jovanovic took this task upon herself. “”I was already shaken by the things that had gone on,”” she said. “”I was shaking and on the verge of crying, and I went up there completely unrehearsed. I felt really vulnerable and on the spot as I talked.”” In the end, though, she was glad she had spoken. “”I was glad I had gone up and I was worried about how I came across,”” Jovanovic said. “”The thing that made it worth it was that afterward, other people from the audience started going up.”” The audience found the testimonials to be an extremely moving part of the evening. “”I liked the testimonials,”” Newby said. “”I thought they were really powerful, and really needed, because a lot of people don’t realize what happens, even at UCSD.”” A group of women and men from the rally carried candles and signs on a march around campus following the rally. The path went from the Price Center through the Marshall Upper Apartments, down through Warren Apartments, Pepper Canyon Apartments and the Eleanor Roosevelt College residence halls, and back to the Women’s Center in ERC. Algeri felt the event was a success. “”This has been just an amazing experience,”” she said. “”To open up to that dialogue, to get people hearing and understanding, that’s priceless.”” ...