Opinion

Editorial

Affirmative action is one of the mt controversial topics facing colleges today, and one with which the UC system has had a lot of contact in the past few years. In 1995, the UC Board of Regents passed measures SP-1 and SP-2, banning the use of affirmative action in hiring and admissions practices throughout the UC system. In 1996, California Proposition 209 passed, banning affirmative action statewide, superceding any effects SP-1 and SP-2 may have had. The UC Regents are now considering a measure called RE-28 that would replace SP-1 and SP-2, affirming the regents¹ commitment to diversity in the student population, as well as the staff of various UC campuses. The measure will be addressed at a board meeting next Wednesday. We at the Guardian believe that the actions of the regents on this matter are both shady and deplorable, as they are using RE-28 as an empty gesture to boost their popularity and improve the image of the UC system. Knowing that RE-28 is only a statement and has no real effect, the regents are taking the popular stance. They would not be doing this is Proposition 209 had not passed, which might make this actually have a real effect on admission and hiring practices. It is also an attempt to bring an end to the issue that has plagued the regents lately. It has put them in the limelight of the nationwide debate on affirmative action and given them a lot of negative press. In addition, RE-28 is not a full repeal of SP-1 and SP-2. It is more of a statement of the importance of diversity in the UC system today, and it reaffirms that the UC system will still follow the statewide ban. Furthermore, the vagueness of RE-28 is a shield to hide behind if, in the future, Proposition 209 is overturned. Because RE-28 is vague and unclear in its stance on affirmative action, it shows that the regents do not actually believe what they say: They still do not support affirmative action. If they did support it, they would go all the way and fully repeal SP-1 and SP-2. This would be a stronger statement than enacting RE-28 and would require a more forthright and official stance on the regents¹ feelings regarding affirmative action. Although the Guardian has not yet taken an official stance on whether SP-1 and SP-2 should be repealed, we think that if the regents truly believed that these measures do away with negative effects on the UC system and do not reflect their current feelings on affirmative action, they would go all the way and repeal them. Instead, they are acting like cowards by merely throwing something at us to stop the debate on the issue. ...

Breaking Out the Paddle: Corporal Punishment Thrives in America

Every day, school children in Georgia, Texas, Louisiana and 20 other states across the South live with the threat of being physically assaulted, often with a wooden paddle, at the hands of school administrators and teachers. It completely shocks me that the government will not step in and stop corporal punishment in our schools. What also stuns me is that corporal punishment is legal in public schools in 23 states. It is committed with the full sanction of the law. Once the shock wore away, anger set in and I couldn’t stop myself from digging until I exposed the whole, ugly truth. The reality in which these children live is scary. Whether it is elbowing another child, passing a note, getting up without permission or ignoring directions, small infractions can earn corporal punishment for a child. Take the example of a fourth grader, Megan Cahanin, who was paddled by the schools principle for elbowing a friend in the cafeteria. She received the customary three whacks on her behind with a 3 inch by 15 inch wooden paddle. When her parents saw the purple, doughnut-shaped bruises on her behind, they filed suit against the Georgia school district in which the altercation took place. The Cahanin lawsuit argues that corporal punishment violates the guarantee of equal protection, since it is illegal to hit prisoners, nursing home residents or children in foster care. So far, the courts have not agreed with extending the guarantee of equal protection to school children. In fact, the Supreme Court ruled in 1977’s Ingraham v. Wright, that the eighth Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, applies to convicted criminals but not to students. Robert Fathman, president of the National Coalition to Abolish Corporal Punishment in Schools said that almost every democracy in the world has banned corporal punishment but that the United States is going in the opposite directions. “”You can’t whack a prisoner, but you can whack a kindergarten child,”” Fathman said. Children need equal protection under law. Just as a prisoner is at the mercy of the guards or law for his well-being, the children in those 23 states are at the mercy of those in charge of the school. At any point during the day, for the smallest infraction, these childrens” rights are smashed to bits with the blows from that wooden paddle. There is plenty of evidence to convince a reasonable person that school children are entitled protection from this primitive and unconscionable practice of corporal punishment. Yet the fact that the Supreme Court has turned a blind eye to children’s right to learn in an environment free of abuse makes the court a conspirator in the continued abuse of school children across our nation. The purpose of government is to protect those who are weak and defenseless from being abused. It is the government’s duty to protect the life and the rights of everyone in our nation. So why do those lofty principles of protecting the rights of all come to a full and complete stop when they are applied to children? Aren’t children the most exploitable group in our society? Why does our government continue to abuse our children under the guise of corporal punishment? How can the government justify their its use of abuse as an acceptable punishment on school children? According to a recent New York Times article, some school districts and states insist that corporal punishment is necessary to maintain order. As sickening as it seems, it was reported that corporal punishment is a treasured tradition in the South. Robert Surgenor, a detective from Berea, Ohio who investigates corporal punishment cases, claims that paddling works because, “”pain is the most effective form of punishment.”” Pain is the most effective tool? Give me a break. Pain scars, Mr. Surgenor. It doesn’t teach kids to be obedient; it just trains kids to temporarily outwit the pain or to shutdown so as to avoid it. Many experts argue that corporal punishment can cause depression or can worsen existing aggression. Corporal punishment is a dangerous lesson to teach in schools. Experts say that paddling perpetuates a cycle of violence, teaching children that violence is the appropriate tool for managing the behavior of others. Violence in the form of corporal punishment should not be promoted as the effective solution for student misbehavior, especially in the view of the recent school shootings. Corporal punishment’s devastating effects can be seen in Cahanin’s life. She has started biting her nails and tries every morning to avoid going to school. In an interview with the New York Times, Cahanin said, “”It’s so painful seeing [the principal] every day. Whenever I see a paddle, I just move away.”” Cahanin is only one example of a child forever scarred by corporal punishment. There are hundreds of thousands of kids who have also been abused at school because of corporal punishment. According to Department of Education research from the 1996-1997 school year 365,000 children faced corporal punishment. That should make 365,000 assault convictions against the school administrators, right? Nope ‹ in those 23 states, assault on children is legal. The number of children facing corporal punishment in these schools should be zero. We have no excuse for punishing children with violence in schools. If prisoners are afforded the right to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment, so should children. Corporal punishment must be outlawed. We must protect our children. I call upon those 23 wayward states: Let us break the chain of abuse. Let us break those wooden paddles. ...

Human Touch Is Still Needed in This World

There is an alarming trend in this country of interpreting electronic means of communication as being nearly as good as face-to-face contact. This only grows stronger with the advent of new technology such as video conferencing and the prevalence of personal computers and Web cams. The trend began with e-mail, and everybody started getting up in arms about how e-mail was going to destroy the art of letter writing. The whole idea behind that concern is ridiculous. Most e-mails sent to others are concise and to the point, like notes left on someone’s door or messages on an answering machine: “”Sorry I couldn’t meet you today, how about tomorrow at 1:30? Call me.”” However, e-mails to people whom you are keeping in touch with and whom you are some distance away from tend to be longer and more explanatory, and often take more time to prepare than these short notes. In this way, e-mail does not destroy the art of letter writing, made nearly obsolete by the advent of long-distance telephone service, but actually preserves it to some extent. What e-mail does threaten are phone conversations. I’m not talking about the conversations people are having with their clients as they hurtle down Interstate 5, but the conversations between friends separated by distance. E-mail is cheaper, quicker, less involved and more reliable in reaching someone than a phone call. I am as guilty of this shortcut communication method as anyone, preferring to hand out my e-mail address rather than my phone number because I am often out of the house but able to access a computer. However, no amount of smileys will convey the subtle nuances of a mere phone call, and there are many times I goad myself about not picking up the handset next to my computer and giving my best friend in Davis, Calif. a ring. I have not seen her since winter break, and to hear her voice when I actually do call is a wonderful feeling. Yes, occasionally we ICQ each other; but on ICQ, can you laugh with each another? Of course not, especially when you’re not alone in the room. And I know I’m not the only one who types “”lol”” when I’m not really laughing. That doesn’t even count. There is a terrific sense of “”withness”” that you only get when you’re actually with someone. Even on the phone, the purity of the withness is fairly low: You talk to someone on the phone; you talk with someone in person. It’s almost like attending a lecture, where the lecturer is distant from you. You can talk to the professor and you’ll get an answer, but you are not talking with your professor. Even in the rare occasion that you are invited to the front of the room by a professor, you are only a guest, hovering in a kind of limbo where the professor is forced to pay attention to you, but must still acknowledge the rest of the audience. Go with a professor to lunch, and you’ll experience this weird sensation of being recognized as almost an equal, which is very disconcerting given the previous experience of being the one taught to, taught at, in an audience situation. This indescribable thing, this preconception-shattering feeling, is what I am referring to as “”withness.”” And it is this feeling that people need to really bond with one another. It is for lack of this that the many Internet romances cropping up around the world fail so often, despite honesty and yearning for companionship. It is for lack of withness that long-distance relationships so commonly fall apart; that husbands overseas tryst with foreign women when they are so, so faithful at home … they crave the withness they once had with their counterparts. And now I see this sickening trend entering the courts — many judges are allowing divorced parents with custody of their children to move states away from their ex-spouses, regardless of the other parent’s relationship with the child. They give the noncustodial parent their minimum entitlement of visitation days and justify their decisions with the fact that the parent can set up video conferencing with their child for the rest of the time. Video conferencing, with its tantalizing illusion of “”withness,”” cannot and must not be a substitute for actual physical proximity or physical contact. I cannot be the only one who has heard of the study in which infants who received physical, loving contact with another human being had many positive attributes compared to babies who did not. This is not a coincidence. Those poor untouched babies suffered from a lack of withness. ...

New Persectives on Volunteerism

With the media’s recent portrayal of young people in the news, our generation seems marked with random and needless violence, with little to offer in the way of making positive changes in our world. I feel that we have been deemed Generation X undeservingly, though. I would argue that there are many among us who make a valiant effort every day to make a difference. Unfortunately, those who lead the crusade to positively impact their communities, on any level, are not usually the ones to make the nightly news. I was proud to represent UCSD on a recent service project where I felt our campus exemplified the good our generation is capable of. Last weekend, over 200 UCSD students from all five colleges devoted their Saturday to their surrounding community’s need. From cleaning up graffiti to helping to build the foundation for a home for the poor, Hands on San Diego organized 18 service programs for the students to choose from. It was an all-day event, and breakfast was offered to all the students before they departed for their programs, followed by a barbecue and music afterward. The project was initiated 10 years ago by the Volunteer Connection under the guidance of Ellen Caprio and has grown progressively over the years. “”Hands on San Diego was an effort created to give students a taste of volunteering,”” explained Chad Hicks-Beach of the Volunteer Connection.””It was also made to bring students together.”” The project seemed to attract students with varying backgrounds in volunteering, from the experienced to novices such as myself. That is truly what makes it such a worthwhile project, because by allowing students to “”test the waters”” if you will, they often become hooked, leading them to seek out other ways to get involved. Participating in the project certainly sparked my desire to seek out similar opportunities. The spirit of volunteerism at UCSD is strong, though it may take a little effort to get involved. Often, projects like Hands on San Diego go unnoticed simply because publicity is difficult and expensive, or the administration fails to take notice of the projects. A perfect example was the service trip to the Dominican Republic organized by C.O.R.E., Eleanor Roosevelt College’s community outreach program over spring break. A commendable project that took nine students and one administrator to the Hogar Escuela Armando Rosenburg orphanage of poverty-stricken Santo Domingo, it regrettably received very little universitywide attention. In a small presentation for the Eleanor Roosevelt administration, the students were heralded as pioneers by the project’s coordinator Lorna Hirae-Reese. Indeed, this was the very first of this type of organized service trip to a foreign country with any UCSD students. Such a monumental achievement should have received recognition from the entire university. This would have encouraged other students to participate in the next trip or even initiate and plan their own. Personally, hearing of this and other service projects is what led me to find other outlets to volunteer, as I am sure is the same for others. While taking part in Hands on San Diego, I met many incredible people who strengthened my faith in my generation. They shared with me the good they see on a daily basis from the young people they encounter. I was fortunate enough to help out on the Habitat for Humanity project, where I worked alongside the future owners of the houses we were building. Rudy Saldivar, one of the owners was a most deserving candidate, and could not have been more appreciative of our help. He shared with us the struggle it has been for him to support his six children while commuting every week from Fresno, Calif.,seeing his family only on weekends for the last four years. Through meeting him and the others, our purpose became much more real to me and I felt like even my small contribution was valuable. Throughout the day, Saldivar and the other workers continually stopped to thank us for coming, remind us of how little it takes to make a difference, and that we are that difference. So much of society today is unable to see what these workers and other volunteers at Habitat for Humanity see every day as a new group of young people appear on the construction site, ready and willing to do all they can. Instead, society is only assaulted with the negative influence Generation X is shown to have through the media. Despite these inaccurate and damaging portrayals, I do see evidence of our generation fighting for change on this campus. UCSD has so many opportunities available for its students to get involved. One merely needs to make an effort to find where they are needed. ...

An Avid Guardian Reader Gets Noticed

Ever been to the UCSD Guardian Web site (http://www.ucsdguardian.org)? Well, if you have, then you know the name of Ben Boychuk. Coincidentally, Ben isn’t actually a member of the Guardian staff. He’s what I would like to call a Contributing Opinion Writer. He contributes his opinion by writing comments about each and every article we write. By deductive reasoning, we can thus assume that he reads each and every article we write. I didn’t know anybody did that, besides Tom Vu, the opinion editor. Like Tom, he makes suggestions and comments about what we should, and shouldn’t write on. So this brings the obvious question: What the hell are we paying Tom for? This man, Ben Boychuk, will read and edit all of our opinion articles for free! He even spell checks letters to the editor. There are other reasons I like Ben better than Tom. Tom calls me Bertrand or Bert, whereas Ben refers to me as Senior Staff Writer Mr. Fan. Senior Staff Writer Mr. Fan sounds a lot classier than Bert — that and I don’t think Tom is really giving me the whole nine yards. Sometimes, Tom will call me up or write to me and say that such and such sentence is “”risque”” or “”inappropriate.”” Ben will just straight up call me a damn idiot. It’s that sort of constructive criticism that really gets the point across. Tom usually tries to keep his comments cordial regarding the article, but Ben really looks out for my well-being. For example, Ben advised in his May 3 post, “”Get good grades. Get your degree. Get out. And shut the hell up. You aren’t half as clever as you think.”” Ben isn’t just an editor to me, he’s a counselor and a psychologist for my personal life as well — a journalistic messiah, if you will. One good thing about Ben is that he is the end-all opinion on everything. I now find it unnecessary to have an opinion about anything because if I ever need the absolute divine truth, I just turn to Ben. I don’t subscribe to the theory that Ben is a pedophile who sits at home in his underwear refreshing the Guardian Web page until new articles appear, I think it is simply wonderful that he takes the time out of his busy day to write comments longer than the articles themselves and lecture an entire staff on the “”basic tenets of journalism.”” The fact that he has chosen the Web format of the Guardian over the actual printed newspaper demonstrates his tender embrace of what some would consider an anti-social haven for losers. Such gestures bring a tear to my eye. Another humble bow should go to Ben, because I don’t believe he is even a student at UCSD, from his references to Thurgood Marshall college as Third College. I had no idea that our publication was so popular. I had originally assumed that the only set of people who would read the Guardian outside of students and faculty would be stalkers and crackheads, but it can be clearly seen from Ben’s enticing writing skills, this is not the case. We can now extend that set to pseudo-intellectual elitists, who are always needed. I have always felt that the Guardian was a mere college newspaper to amuse the students during boring college lectures but Ben has taught me that what we write in it is more important than any written work on the planet. What we write affects an entire nation. In the past, when I wrote columns, I followed a simply strategy. The very first thing I did was determine which groups I would want to offend. I would have a bit of a checklist (e.g. Jews, midgets, feminists, Nazis, feminazis, etc). And then I would check them off. Then, rather subtly, or in some cases not so subtly, I made offensive remarks to those specific groups and inject them into various parts of my column. But my editors aren’t stupid; they would catch most of them. So I was forced to throw as many things as possible at them and hope one or two would go through. Sometimes I would throw in so many that they would just throw out the entire column altogether. But no more, Ben has shown me the way. From now on, only important issues shall be covered in my column, and I will have no opinion on anything. Some may consider that a news piece, but I direct those ignorant fools to the general direction of Ben Boychuk. It’s OK. I used to be ignorant as well; I used to think it was acceptable to express my opinion on opinion pages. My vote for next year’s editor in chief goes not to Jeffrey White or Alison Norris, but to Ben Boychuk, the man who knows everything. ...

Protecting Whose Rights?

On April 27, the House of Representatives approved “”The Unborn Victims of Violence Act,”” which would make hurting or killing an unborn fetus a federal crime, though it explicitly excludes abortion. James Pascual Guardian Supporters of the bill argue that this is an important step in ensuring that anyone committing a violent crime against mothers and unborn children will be fully prosecuted. Opponents argue that giving unborn children federal protection is the first step in overturning Roe v. Wade, and that the bill is being used by anti-abortion groups to erode abortion rights. It is no secret that this law has serious political and cultural overtones. It would be ignorant to think otherwise; abortion is a subject that has proven to be one of the most divisive issues in our society. It pits women against men, liberals against conservatives and Christians against just about everyone else. What makes abortion such an intense issue is that any argument made with the intent to change minds is essentially futile. When it comes down to it, abortion is not an issue that is based on opinions, facts and other quantitative analyses. Instead, it strikes at fundamental feelings and ideologies that cannot be changed through debate. It is a question of beliefs, not one of opinion, and as a result no one side will ever change the mind of the other. Sadly, American politics dictates that the victor will not be the group that garners the most popular support. Instead, it will be the one that can muster the most political might. Thus arguing over this recent decision by the House on the basis of abortion will accomplish little. Anti-abortion activists and abortion-rights supporters will simply never come to a consensus on this validity and the intentions of this law. Instead, the bill should be examined as one strictly defining the penalties of violent acts against pregnant women. In Wisconsin, after beating his nine-months pregnant wife nearly to death and killing the unborn child, an abusive husband walked out of jail after serving time only for assaulting the mother. The fetus must be protected, just as must the rights of the women carrying them. The holes in our legal system make it too easy for criminals to get off without paying for their crimes. Murderers walk, rapists are let go for good behavior, and child molesters — over 90 percent of whom are repeat offenders — live freely in our neighborhoods. This law will send a stern message that law enforcement agencies are taking a stand on violence against women, namely pregnant ones. By adding another victim to such crimes, this law will necessarily punish those who break it more severely. Another reason this law is important is that improvements in medical science now make it possible for younger fetuses to survive outside the womb. Since a five- or six-month-old fetus would be viable if born prematurely, we must take action to protect it as a life. While this may give rise to a new debate in the abortion arena, we should not use that fact as an excuse to ignore the rights of a viable human being. We are moving into an age when medical advancements are redefining what we consider human life, and we must start enacting laws to protect all that can be considered as such. We cannot leave it up to Washington bureaucrats to pick and choose only some of us to be protected under the law. Fetal rights is a crucial first step, as advancements in cloning and genetic engineering will provide interesting developments in this field in the future. One popular argument against this bill is that it is narrow in scope and is thus not important enough to pass. Since it is a federal law, it does not cover instances of domestic abuse, though half of states have adopted equivalent laws to protect fetuses against domestic abuse. The law does, however, specifically target military bases, where domestic abuse and violence against women is certainly an important and — until now — unaddressed issue. Scope is not a valid measure in determining the merit of a law. Look at environmental protection regulations aimed at preserving the habitats of single endangered species — very narrow in scope but also incredibly important. In a majority rule form of governing, one must take great pains to protect the few, no matter how few. Until this point, the fetus has gone unprotected. Whether you consider life valid at conception, a few months into pregnancy or birth itself, few would argue that an unborn child is insignificant. Losing an unborn child can be a devastating loss to an expecting mother, and anyone who induces this should be punished as if an infant has been killed. This law will make sure this happens, and ensure the punishment is one that fits this heinous crime. ...

Scientists Unwisely Play Role of 'God'

The revolutionary new fertility procedure conceived by New Jersey scientists that spawned the birth of the world’s first 15 genetically modified babies is a frightening example of the lengths to which science will go to achieve the miracle of birth. The technique seems like something from an episode of the “”X-Files.”” Doctors take an egg from an infertile woman, an egg from a donor woman and sperm from the infertile woman’s mate. The doctors suck out the cytoplasm of the donor egg with a microscopic needle. The cytoplasm is then injected into the infertile woman’s egg, along with the sperm, to fertilize it. The doctors believe the procedure helps women who are unable to conceive because of defects in their eggs. These doctors now have 15 babies to put up on their pedestal of scientific marvels. But the controversy doesn’t end there. The new fertility treatment creates one child who has DNA from two biological mothers. How is this possible? According to Dr. Jacques Cohen, scientific director of assisted reproduction at the institute that produced the embryos, the method can introduce mitochondrial DNA from the female donor’s egg into the mix of genetic material from the mother and father. The institute took blood tests and confirmed that two of the 15 babies produced at the institute were carrying genetic material from the birth mother, the father and the woman who donated an egg. While this treatment is a blessing and a miracle for those infertile couples, it warrants a look at the proven and potential consequences. The most glaring concern expressed by many dissidents is that the procedure is unethical because it leaves a child with three biological parents. Cohen responded to these criticisms in an interview with Reuters, saying, “”I don’t think this is wrong at all. And I think we have to look at the positive part here. I think this did work. These babies wouldn’t have been born if we wouldn’t have done this.”” Cohen’s answer to the critics of the controversial procedure is quite telling and rather surprising. Like a seasoned politician, he deftly side-stepped addressing the critics’ concerns and steamrolled to his mantra: “”Look at the positive part here … this did work.”” The response that “”this did work”” as an excuse for the risky procedure is completely arrogant and reckless, for it reveals the doctor’s belief that achieving the end result is all that matters. It is obvious that the doctors had no concern for the fact that they were experimenting with real babies. Cohen’s choice to duck those valid concerns raised by critics begs the question: What are you trying to hide? The statement that “”these babies wouldn’t have been born if we wouldn’t have done this”” is shocking. Do the ends justify whatever the means may be? The big picture and ramifications for the future are more important than having those babies at any cost. Cohen is so shortsighted that he doesn’t see what he has created with these genetically modified babies. The tri-genetic code will be passed down to future generations. Though the consequences of playing with and modifying the genetic code of these babies and their future babies are not yet known, it is obvious that the doctors have derailed the course of nature. Who’s to say what the future consequences are for such genetic modification via this fertility procedure? While the world waits for the answer, other doctors in the United States continue to experiment and create genetically modified babies. However, the concerns about this procedure and the unknown costs are so strong that Britain has banned the fertility procedure. Britain’s Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority has not licensed researchers to use the technique, on the basis that it does not have a proven safety record and could let in germline genetic modification, which would allow for the introduction of deliberate genetic changes into human embryos — the changes that will be inherited by their offspring when they are conceived. Many people view germline engineering as a qualitative shift in the history of human intervention in natural processes that may take us an irrevocable step toward self-creation, or self-destruction. Others see such fears as exaggerated, based on scientific misunderstanding or irrational fears. Since there is no proof yet, any sort of definite conclusion drawn from these two extreme views will be merely guesswork. How far will science go in the realm of genetic modifications? How much will they tinker and toy with the future of our very humanity? If the doctors’ objectives are to get the baby born regardless of the consequences, I shudder to think what these scientists have in store for us. Once we allow this new fertility procedure, it will be down the medical ethical slippery slope for us all. Anything and everything will be fair game. Just watch. ...

Music Brings Us All Together

Never has the Price Center served such an honorable and worthy purpose, and never have I seen so many students overflow out onto Library Walk, too intrigued to walk on. If you weren’t in the Price Center at noon last Tuesday, then you truly missed a show. Not only was Ozomatli amazing, but the purpose behind the gathering, to protest the low wages of janitors, was even more compelling. The student activism behind the event was incredible, and is hopefully a step that will lead to more events of such nature. The fliers passed out by the activists informed the crowd of what was being protested and the need to “”resist apathy by building our consciousness through social and political education.”” The event brought to light many truths that we as students take for granted, such as the people who keep the campus clean and comfortable for students who don’t give a second thought to how it got that way. It was refreshing to see such displays of protest carried out in a constructive yet festive manner. The incorporation of a band such as Ozomatli was awesome and ingenious. Music is an art form that brings people together; they drop their guards and sing in unison, forgetting their differences and prejudices. I once asked a group of international students what their definition of a “”World Culture”” is, and a Japanese student answered with the single word: music. There is an unexplainable element of music that can create unity among people. And the artists themselves have the ability to use the microphones to do more than just sing their songs and play their instruments — they can speak out to an audience that will listen. Though not everyone may agree with what is said, they will still listen. And to have the attention of such a captive audience will help to ensure that the message will be heard, and that people will act upon what they hear. Since the march with janitors was planned to be after the Ozomatli concert, there were more people willing to join in — they heard what it was all about. It was good to see such a successful protest carried out on a campus usually void of any collective student action. It is also necessary to realize that the group that organized the event was the Latino student community, a minority on this campus. Its efforts are more than admirable, and highly commended. If a relatively small group can create such a gathering of students and faculty, imagine what would happen if the majority of the student population put its efforts into something more than events for self-gratification. Last Tuesday showed me the part of the college experience that many people are missing. Just because this campus is designed to deter large student gatherings and protests, it doesn’t mean that they are wrong or impossible. The events of last Tuesday dispelled that myth, and with that barrier broken down, it will hopefully open the floodgates of events. There is so much more to education than books and exams. There are events around the world and right in our face that crave attention, and activism waiting to be embraced by those students who can easily shed the apathy for something more. ...

Editorial

When UCSD students rejected the Campus Life Fee Referendum two weeks ago, they were making a statement to the administration: Students want to decide how their tuition dollars are to be spent, not the administration. The students voted down the option of increasing tuition by $210 to improve student life on campus, which included the expansion of the Price Center. Regardless, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Joseph Watson felt the expansion was still necessary and he advocated a 10 percent decrease in funding for student services in his budget. The Guardian feels implementing this plan would be disastrous for the administration, because students would erupt over the decrease in services available to them and the lack of control they had over their funds. We think the administration was correct in its decision to postpone a final decision on how to expand Price Center as the options currently debated fail to satisfactorily solve the problem. Implementing Watson’s idea of decreasing funding to student services comes at no worse time, because our school is in the process of expanding enrollment. The administration needs to give more money to fund these services and certainly should not take money away. We believe students should not have to suffer from a lack of services so students of the future can have more food options and shorter lines. In addition, the plan would cause staff members from some departments, such as the dean’s offices, to be laid off to free up money. That is not right either. Keeping the budgets of student services the same next year and spending extra time to come up with a solution for the expansion is in the best interest of both the students and the administration. Spending an extra year to decide will give students a chance to propose another fee referendum, if that is what they chose to do, and it will give the administration a chance to derive a better plan that makes all parties happy. Members of the new A.S. Council have already discussed having a new referendum for next year if they get the support of the student body. The referendum would most likely just include the expansion of the University Centers and therefore would cost considerably less money to students. The Guardian feels that an increase in tuition by $10 is a lot better than a decrease in student services like Student Health by 10 percent. Most services are underbudgeted to begin with, and implementing this plan would make problems dramatically worse. More importantly than the University Centers expansion itself, the Guardian believes that funding for all student services under Watson, such as Student Disabilities, Student Organizations and Leadership Opportunities, and Psychological Services should not decrease. ...

An Interview With Former A.S. Council President, Doc Khaleghi

Last week was the final week that Doc Khaleghi served as president of the A.S. Council. Being a senior, I’ve been through several administrations now, and I must say that this administration, the one headed by Khaleghi, has accomplished much. Khaleghi has been perhaps the most prolific and involved of recent presidents. I recently sat down with Khaleghi and asked him a few questions about his administration and some campus issues, such as commencement and the future state of parking. After a frank and open discussion, I was convinced that Khaleghi has been a successful A.S. president, involved in many campus issues and able to bring about worthwhile changes to our campus. Here is an abridged transcript of our conversation: Tom Vu: So how would you rate your tenure here as A.S. president, compared to previous ones? Doc Khaleghi: Well, compared to previous A.S. presidents, I think I’ve been able to accomplish a lot more, and that’s just because I think my ideas have been new. I’ve tried new things, looking at things from different perspectives. I’ve learned that what students want and what the administration wants is not necessarily mutually exclusive. An example of that would be commencement. In previous years, it’s always been sort of a clash — the administration versus the students. The students want all-campus commencement, but the administration doesn’t. It was just an approach from a different perspective this year. It’s how commencement can benefit the campus as a whole, including administration. That’s why it wasn’t as much of a struggle and happened a lot easier. Next year, we’re going to start something completely new. It’s going to be like commencement in the beginning of the year: a new student welcoming, all-campus, probably at RIMAC Field. It wasn’t something that had to be fought for; it was just something that had to be initiated and shown it could benefit all parties involved. Another thing we’re working on that students really love is moving Plus Card off campus. Again, the administration has a benefit there because they get a certain portion of Plus Card money that’s spent. And students have a benefit because there are more places they can use Plus Card money. But in terms of the potential of the office, I know I could have done more. There was time I had to divert sometimes; I’m applying to med schools right now. Every couple of days I had to go to an interview or I had to fill out an application, so I didn’t devote 100 percent of my time to the office. I devoted as much time as I could, though. There could’ve been more done with the office than I did with it, but I think I accomplished a lot, especially comparing myself with my predecessors. TV: How did you guys settle on Patch Adams as commencement speaker? I mean, I’ve heard lots of criticism about how it’s only Patch Adams. [Some say] “”Look at what we’ve had before …”” DK: Well, we had Bill Clinton before, the president of the United States — we’re never going to match that [again], so you’re always going to hear criticism. And the students want a big name, someone they recognize. Well, people like the chancellor want to see someone that represents what UCSD is: intelligence, thinking outside the box. We came up with a list of names with some top choices and proceeded to contact those top choices, and we were fortunate that Patch Adams agreed. He represents more than just medicine. He is “”thinking outside of the box,”” taking knowledge and using that knowledge to serve your community. And that’s the message I want UCSD graduates to receive when they leave. They’ve gone to this great university, they’ve gotten all this experience, all this knowledge, and now they have this responsibility to serve, and hopefully Patch Adams will deliver that message. TV: What’s left for the incoming president to take care of? DK: I think they need to continue to pursue what I’ve been pursuing regarding housing. In terms of parking, I’ve been successful. I’ve been the first president that’s been able to get more yellow spaces, and I’ve used many arguments to get those spaces. I think we need to keep on continuing with the arguments, especially with the way parking’s been. They need to take the time to discover what students really want and see how they don’t necessarily need to vie to get these things accomplished. And once they’ve realized that, they’ll accomplish so much. But if they just pursue the idea that [fighting] politically looks good, in terms of “”I look good when I fight the administration,”” but don’t really get anywhere, then I don’t think they’ll be successful. TV: It was evident in previous A.S. elections that large amounts of students are apathetic toward elections. Many consider the Associated Students as inconsequential and pointless, more as a resume builder and a popularity contest than anything else. How do you respond? DK: They are right. The Associated Students, I think, does have a lot of people that are in it for resume building. I think Associated Students is a huge popularity contest. And I think for many people, Associated Students does not have a huge consequence on their life, but that’s just because we’re not doing our full potential. That’s not saying Associated Students does not have the ability; it’s just that we’re not doing it yet. And we need to, because we have a lot of people in it for the wrong reason. We need to have people who genuinely care and are willing to fight … or willing to just think and research and put the time in, and come up with the ideas that really help students, and not fight for ambiguous things that could indirectly help the student body, like revising our own constitution or things like that. But things that students can actually feel, like having Plus off campus — students will actually feel that; they’ll notice that. And when those kinds of things happen, people will recognize that Associated Students was consequential in their lives. TV: So what is going on with the parking situation right now? DK: I’m optimistic … and I really like some of the things that are going on. We’re talking about a lot of new ideas. For people that do fight for parking, they’re kind of focusing on “”more yellow spaces, more yellow spaces.”” There are more things that we can do than just having more yellow spaces. Some things are going to happen in the next few weeks — for example, there are safety issues in terms of “”What about people that get to campus late at night?”” What are they going to do? Right now I want to make it so that a person can park in any space on campus until at least 10 in the morning. No more of this “”7:45 a.m., they have to be gone or they’re going to get a ticket.”” I don’t think that’s safe; I don’t think it’s proper. We’re working on new permit systems. We’re trying to move to a UCLA system, where other factors are evaluated in terms of where you can park and how much your permit is, so that certain people — maybe they have off campus jobs, who have to deal with commuting a lot more — might have better parking privileges than maybe an on-campus resident who maybe moves his car once a month. And you can put that in, and it’ll get me blasted by a lot of residents, but it’s about doing what’s right. Commuters come to this campus every day. People that work off-campus daily, they need access to the heart of the campus more than a resident who doesn’t commute very much. TV: Was it difficult to come into the office after Tesh Khullar? Was it hard to clean up the mess he left behind? DK: The first two weeks, yeah. I would send campus-wide e-mails and people would reply “”I don’t trust Associated Students anymore, screw you,”” those kinds of things. And that’s tough. You have an image to clean up. I said, “”You know what, I just have to work as hard as I can. I’m not Tesh, and I’m going to have to show that to people.”” You’ve got to go the extra level. For example, I have a $500 operating account; I don’t think I’ve spent $50 of it. I want students to trust that I’m not going to waste their money. You’ve just got to show that you go to work hard and you’ve got to keep communicating with students. I don’t think anyone remembers any more. If they do, they don’t associate that with Associated Students in general. TV: What advice do you have for the incoming officials? DK: Don’t worry about your image. If you care too much about your image, you won’t get anything done. There’ll always be ideas, plans that you want to do that some people won’t like and if you try to please those people, you won’t get shit done. You’ve got to be able to look bad. I know I’ve looked bad many times this year `cause of different things, but it’s for what I thought was right. Do what you think is right; don’t necessarily consider yourself an adversary to anyone. Work with people, and that’s the way you’ll get the most done. But don’t go for popularity; go for accomplishment. TV: If there were one thing you could change about UCSD with a snap of your finger, what would it be? DK: It’s kind of vague. UCSD is a very beautiful campus, but sometimes that’s given priority over other things, and I would change that. Examples of that would [be] housing. We could build lots of cheap housing very quickly, but it wouldn’t be that pretty, and so certain groups on campus wouldn’t let that happen. We could build much cheaper, bigger parking structures so that it wouldn’t cause permit costs to go up so much. This isn’t the fault of the parking [office], this isn’t the fault of the housing [office]. There are so many layers of bureaucracy to the campus that it has to [get] through. And I would change that, because sometimes students’ needs and students’ happiness and students’ livability, in terms of costs, is a lot more important than how pretty your place is. TV: So what’s in store for the future of Doc? DK: I’m applying to med school. I don’t know where I’m going yet. Hoping to hear from some good schools that I got in, but I don’t know. I’ll just sit and wait for a few weeks. ...