Opinion

President

After interviewing all of the A.S. presidential candidates, the Guardian editorial board awards its endorsement to Unity candidate Jeff Dodge, based on his extensive experience and practical ideas. Dodge, the current vice president internal, has served on the A.S. Council since his freshman year. While A.S. experience does not automatically qualify a candidate to become president, Dodge has distinguished himself as a councilmember that gets involved and gets things done. His experience on council is wide-ranging. He has served as a senator for two years and an executive member for one year. When he was a sophomore senator, the senate elected him as its chair. Dodge has sat on both the A.S. internal and finance committees, the Chancellor’s Budget Committee, the University Centers Advisory Board and the Student Initiated Outreach and Retention Committee. Dodge said that if he is elected, he would do his best to promote a nimble and effective executive cabinet, which consists of the president and three vice presidents. He stressed that it is absolutely necessary that the executive cabinet set the pace of the entire A.S. Council, and for that reason, he sees it as crucial that the executive cabinet be able to work together despite any personal or ideological differences. He said the key to keeping unity in a cabinet that could consist of more than one slate is to identify and work toward common goals. Dodge noted that the A.S. Council under last year’s President Tesh Khullar was very effective in this respect. It was a divided council, but since it was so determined to fight for compromise, it was able to get things done, Dodge said. One of Dodge’s main selling points is his strong advocacy for increasing support for student organizations. He proposes more than the typical increase in funding for student organizations championed by virtually every candidate who wishes to have the slightest chance of victory. Dodge emphasizes the need for a physical presence in student organizations to help better understand their needs and to offer the assistance of the A.S. Council whenever it is needed. Dodge maintains that it is not enough for A.S. Council members to help fund a student organization’s event, with the council’s only presence being a little icon in the bottom corner of some flyers. He would insist that members of the council physically show up to the events that they sponsor, noting that it would contribute to the event’s success as well as project a positive and pro-active image of the A.S. Council. Of course, Dodge also publicly supports expansion and increased funding for student organizations. His goals are to help facilitate the expansion of the Cross Cultural Center, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center, and the Women’s Center. He also wishes to create a commuter and transfer student center. Obviously, doing these things will cost money. Well, Dodge even has an idea of where he’ll get it. According to Dodge, tens of thousands of dollars go unused by clubs and student organizations every year. This money comes back to the A.S. Council at the beginning of the next year and goes into a large unallocated monies fund that is not included in the annual budget. Dodge said that he is in favor of using all of that money to increase funding of student organizations. On the issue of increasing racial and cultural diversity at UCSD, Dodge has a plan that takes into account the fact that he will not be able to do everything himself. For this reason, he says he would create a commissioner of cultural affairs position with the specific purpose of promoting cultural diversity on campus. At a school known for its academics more than anything else, Dodge has some ideas to help students to learn more and to have more flexibility. Specifically, Dodge is advocating a 24-hour library during finals week. He also said that he strongly supports the efforts of O.A.S.I.S. and the Academic Success Program. Candidates who are new to the A.S. Council often make the point that spending too much time on the council can lead a person to become too much of a politician. While Dodge has been on council since fifth week of his freshman year and has always run with a slate, we have seen firsthand that he is not bound by slate loyalties. As Vice President Internal, he has run council meetings in a fair and unbiased manner. Last year, when two members of his former slate, Students First, were caught in a scandal, he was not afraid to publically criticize them. Finally, when asked during an interview which A.S. president was most effective in the past three years, he named Joe Leventhal, a president who was often at odds with members of the slate Dodge was on at the time. He gave less credit to current president Doc Khaleghi, with whom Dodge ran on a slate last year. In terms of experience, Dodge has the obvious upperhand. He has participated in such a broad spectrum of UCSD activities that he knows this campus and its students as well as anyone. He also knows the A.S. Council. He is easily the most veteran member of the council running for a position. His platform is well-polished and it shows maturity, experience and forthought. With so much experience and such a solid and realistic platform, the Guardian cannot help but throw its weight behind Jeff Dodge for A.S. Council president. Ali Yazdi One candidate Ali Yazdi is well-qualified for the office of president, but falls short of being as qualified as his opponent, Jeff Dodge. Yazdi, who unsuccessfully ran for president last year, has sat on the A.S. Council for two years, most recently as Revelle senior senator. Yazdi’s ideas are unique and we agree with most of them. For example, Yazdi has proposed eliminating Club Ritmo and WinterFest in order to have a better FallFest and Sun God Festival, and to possibly bring back the MTV Campus Invasion, which would bring another big name to campus. While we don’t necessarily agree with the elimination of Club Ritmo, we agree that the $40,000 WinterFest should be eliminated so that we have more money to spend on the other two festivals. Programming at UCSD needs a lot of help, and we believe that next year’s council needs to do something significant, possibly drastic, to improve the situation. Yazdi also proposes saving money by eliminating A.S. executive budgets, which provide council executives with extra money for miscellaneous business-related expenses. We applaud Yazdi for making such a proposal and we hope that if he is elected, he sticks to that plan, putting the good of the students in front of his own. Yazdi has a plan to link Triton Taxi to other local colleges and universities. While we feel that such a plan is impractical, we support a general expansion of Triton Taxi concurring with Yadzi’s intentions. The Guardian also has mixed thoughts on Yazdi’s campus safety plan. While we support more call boxes on campus and security in parking lots, we find his plan to implement weekend shuttle service a waste of money. One idea that Yazdi and many of his slate members proposed was making the A.S. Council autonomous. While the Guardian will not yet take a position on such an issue, we believe it at least deserves to be looked into. Yazdi realizes that this is not something he can do in one year, but if elected, he promises to get the ball rolling by studying such a proposal. Yazdi said in his interview that rather than taking on the popular issues of parking and housing, he is focusing on more realistic issues such as campus safety and programming. Yet in his candidate statement he promised increased student parking and solutions to housing problems. We question this anomoly, and hope that it is not an accurate representation of what otherwise seems to be an honest person. Yazdi has the ideas and the experience to effectively represent students, but in the end, we believe that Dodge will do a better job. If Yazdi is elected, however, and holds true to many of his promises, he will make a positive mark on this campus. Noah Levin Muir junior Noah Levin markets himself as a visible member of the campus community and one who has met over 1,000 UCSD students. He says he loves UCSD and wants to make the campus a university that students can be proud of. Levin has experience on Muir College Council and identifies two big problems at UCSD as being programming and parking. Levin believes that the lack of UCSD pride could be solved by stronger programming. He proposes that there should be at least one social event per weekend, and a spirit night once per quarter. He plans on funding these events by working with sports teams and student organizations, co-sponsoring the events with them. To alleviate parking problems, Levin said he will look into a student-funded shuttle program to take them from local apartment complexes to campus. The program would be similar to the Hillcrest Medical Center shuttle program and would be cheaper and more convenient than parking on campus. While we doubt that such a program is practical, Levin said he would be open to any suggestion that others might have. We believe that Levin is on the right track in terms of identifying student problems. We think that he would do a good job improving our school spirit, but his scope is too narrow and his experience does not match up to that of Jeff Dodge or Ali Yazdi. Jennifer Ganata Jennifer Christine Villanueva Ganata has good intentions but lacks the knowledge and experience to be an effective president. As a member of several Student Affirmative Action Coalition organizations, one of Ganata’s main goals would be to increase diversity on campus and on the A.S. Council. While this is a concept supported by the Guardian, as well as by many students, Ganata does not have a specific plan to accomplish this goal. Ganata worked with the A.S. Council in last year’s voter registration drive. She also worked with the United States Student Association and the Student Initiated Outreach and Retention Committee. Ganata believes that A.S. Council members should be more active on campus and should not see themselves as being above anyone. She wants to make sure that nonwhite male and non-Greek students are represented, rather than marginalized, on this campus. If elected president, Ganata said she would like to increase funding for student organizations. Yet when asked where she would find the additional funds, she said she would look to the chancellor’s and student affairs departments’ budgets. While it would be nice to have such a source for additional student funds, student organization money can come only from student activity fees, not from taxpayers or education fees. An A.S. Council president needs to have a better knowledge of how the council works. For this reason, we do not endorse Ganata. John Bwarie John Bwarie is a highly energetic and enthusiastic student but is limited to A.S. experience on the college level. While he may be a good motivational speaker, he has no new ideas and no goals to implement. As president, Bwarie said he would listen to his fellow council members and motivate them to implement their own ideas. He says that people currently view the office of president as something that it is not. We believe that the presidency is an office that should be filled by a strong and knowledgeable leader. While any A.S. president needs to be open to new ideas and willing to work with fellow councilmembers, he must also have ideas, goals and plans of his own. Bwarie, an individual studies major in his third year, currently coordinates Preuss School admissions and outreach. He designs and reviews applications, speaks at local schools and recruits UCSD students to serve as volunteers and tutors at the Preuss School. Bwarie has also served as an apprentice eighth-grade teacher in Mira Mesa. While his resume is impressive, we do not believe that it qualifies him to be A.S. president. ...

Referendums

Fee Referendum 1 — No Fee Referendum Question 1 seeks to increase the A.S. Activities Fee by $2 per quarter for each UCSD student to pay for membership in the United States Student Association and the University of California Student Association. The Guardian editorial board does not endorse this increase in fees and strongly urges students to vote against it. This referendum basically provides A.S. members and future candidates better resources in terms of money, meetings and conferences to help fund their campaigns and trips to statewide and national conferences. The disbursement of fees would break down as follows: 19 cents (approximately 10 percent) would stay on campus to help fund A.S. campaigns, 91 cents (approximately 45 percent) would go to membership fees to join the USSA and 90 cents (approximately 45 percent) would go to UCSD membership in UCSA. While this amount seems quite small, summing them together would would place the amount to over $30,000 that would be spent to gain membership into these two organization. While the Guardian does not see a problem with joining UCSA, which is, as its name implies, associated with the UC system, there are a couple of reasons why the Guardian does not support this fee referendum. The first is that it requires membership into the USSA, an outside organization and a lobbying group not affiliated with the UC system. UCLA had passed a referendum similar to this, and the chancellor also signed it, but was struck down by the UC Regents for exactly the same reason. The UCSA lobbies to state and local representatives on issues that directly affect the UC system. On the other hand, the USSA lobbies the federal government, and does not have the University of California’s interests specifically in mind. It is unfortunate and unwise that the sponsors of this referendum chose to include membership to both the USSA and UCSA in the same referendum. The Guardian would wholeheartedly endorse a small fee increase to pay for membership in the UCSA, but the fact that this membership was linked to the USSA membership prevents us from supporting Fee Referendum Question 1. Fee Referendum 2 — Yes Fee Referendum Question 2 concerns raising the Student Activity Fee by $1 per quarter, effective Fall 2001, for the establishment of the Academic Success Program as an A.S. service. The Guardian editorial board supports this small increase in fees, as it would tremendously help the student body at UCSD, especially in retaining financially disadvantaged students. The ASP provides many services to the general student body. The programs include a peer mentorship program, a peer tutoring program, an exam archive and a booklending program. The most significant service would be the booklending program, by which financially strapped students with financial aid — but still not enough to buy books — can borrow books at the beginning at the quarter. The students can then return the books at the end of the quarter, all free of charge. While the ASP is already providing some of these services, this referendum makes this program a service of the A.S. Council. This means that the council can directly fund the program rather than having to divert funds from other programs, such as club funding and sports. This referendum would keep the ASP program adequately funded while not depriving other programs of their own funds. Not all students would sympathize with the programs provided by the ASP because not everyone can partake in of its programs, such as the booklending program. However, the direct funding — which would result in more funds overall — would allow ASP to reach out to more students over time, making it more inclusive. The Guardian thinks the ASP is important to students as it provides many peer-to-peer services not offered elsewhere. We feel it is important these programs expand. By making the ASP a service of the A.S., the program can have more funding and be more effective in its goals. One dollar per quarter is a very small price to pay for these services that could prove to be very effective retention tools. ...

Amendments

Amendment 1 — No Constitutional Amendment 1 seeks to clarify the classification of A.S. senate candidates as freshman, sophomore, junior or senior. The logic behind this amendment is that with the increase of students entering with many AP units and an increase in transfer students, it is difficult to determine who can run for which senate positions This amendment would address the ambiguity by taking the decision out of the A.S. Council’s hands and leaving the decision up to the individual colleges to formulate their own election regulations. It also seeks to give the colleges more autonomy as to who it can allow to be a senator for each class level. The Guardian does not support this amendment. We believe it would subvert the interests of students and create more problems. With individual colleges able to create their own by-laws in choosing their senators, colleges with more lax requirements would be able to attract prospective student leaders to them, depriving the other colleges of this leadership. This may then force colleges to compete for student leaders, relaxing their by-laws too. This could, in turn, cause an imbalance in the quality of leadership at the five colleges, which would directly affect quality of student life. Secondly, and more generally, the student councils at the colleges are less experienced than the A.S. Council in writing these by-laws. For these reasons, the Guardian does not endorse this amendment and urges students to vote against it. Amendment 2 — Yes Due to widespread apathy on this campus, the Guardian endorses Constitutional Referendum Question 2. The referendum makes it easier for the A.S Council to amend its constitution, something councilmembers have unsuccessfully tried to do for the past several years. The question eliminates a requirement that the council produce a petition signed by 15 percent of the student body. While we support the system of democracy and feel the students should have a voice, student apathy has in the past made it difficult for the council to amend its constitution. Currently there are two ways to bring a referendum to vote. The first is a direct referendum in which 15 percent of the student body is required to place an issue onto the ballot for a vote or it can be voted on by the A.S. Council, requiring two-thirds majority for passage. Once it goes to the ballot, it then requires a majority vote of the students at UCSD. A second way bypasses the ballot but requires much more effort. This second way, which is affected by this amendment, requires three-fourths of the A.S. Council, three-fifths of the colleges and 15 percent of UCSD students to sign a petition. This amendment would discard the petition requirement. When councilmembers have solicited student signatures in the past, they have done so on Library Walk and have offered free blue books. They are present to answer questions, but most students do not take the time to understand what they are signing, they only sign and take their bluebook. This process is meaningless and should be bypassed. Another aspect this amendment touches on is the required three-fifths of the colleges to vote. Currently there is no requirement to approach all the colleges with a referendum. For example, Tesh Khullar, the A.S. President last year, approached only the required numbers of colleges, completely leaving the others out of the loop. This amendment, beyond merely removing the 15 percent requirement, would require that all colleges need to be approached with a referendum. The A.S. Council constitution only affects students indirectly, but it affects the council directly. Amendments are usually made to make the council run more efficiently. Therefore we believe the council should make those decisions. ...

Services and Enterprises Commissioner

For the position of commissioner of services and enterprises, the Guardian editorial board endorses Colin Parent. Parent distinguishes himself by his experiences and the ideas he wishes to institute if elected. He currently serves as assistant to the present commissioner, Matt Conroy. This experience will be invaluable to him next year. One idea that Parent would like to implement is to make Soft Reserves a free service that all students could participate in. To supplement the cost of this action, he would like to advertise more vigorously for the rental of miniature refrigerators, another service that is coordinated by this office. Parent says that it makes more sense to rent now because of the lack of a guarantee of on-campus housing for second-year students. Parent also hopes to increase the boundaries of Triton Taxi to the border. To help stimulate demand for such a service, he hopes to institute a sign-up process that would be done through resident advisors. One more action that Parent wishes to take is to increase funding to the Academic Success Program and O.A.S.I.S., a worthy goal but something that he may have trouble finding funding for. Parent distinguishes himself from his opponent, Joseph Sherman-Villafane, primarily because of his experience with the job. He simply has a better grasp of what it takes to run the office. Sherman-Villafane has similar ideas but less of an understanding of how to implement them, and for this reason the Guardian editorial board is endorsing Parent. ...

Programming Commissioner

The A.S. programmer is a position in which each student should have a vested interest, as the impact of the A.S. programmer’s work is felt directly on campus. With that in mind, the Guardian feels confident that incumbent Assistant Co-Programmer Eisha Christian will be able to make the transition to the next level as programmer and end the bad feelings between her office and the student body. Christian, running of the Unity slate, has worked in the programming office for almost a full year and has experience working with bands, agents and the A.S. Council. She knows what is expected of her and how to accomplish what she needs to accomplish. Now it is only a matter of accomplishing the lofty goals she has set for herself. The Guardian likes Christian’s idea of bringing in corporate sponsors for shows, as it would increase the money that could be offered to the bands. At a school criticized for lack of entertainment on campus, this solution may be the best way to bring an end to this notion. Although the corporate sponsors would advertise their names on campus, the Guardian considers this is a small price to pay for the change in dynamics that more money could bring to any festival or show UCSD holds. In addition, the Guardian likes how Christian plans to bring bigger names to the UCSD campus. By forming a partnership with other schools in the area, and booking a series of shows so the band plays at each school on consecutive days, a band would be more likely to accept an offer to come play at UCSD at a cheaper fee, knowing that it is able to play many shows in a short time. By joining forces with area schools such as SDSU, we would be able to allure bigger acts that would not normally play at this school. Because UCSD’s programming budget is already small, we need to stretch our dollar as much as possible.This creative idea would allow for just that. The Guardian also thinks it is important to continue with “”nooners”” on Wednesday afternoons, due to the high turnout for each of the shows this year. Christian plans to continue having these shows and expects to expand them in the future. Finally, Christian plans to continue with Club Ritmo next year, which could provide the extra social atmosphere that the school is looking for. By working with corporate sponsors, the quality of acts would improve over next year as bigger bands and DJs would agree to play. However, the club lost money this year under Christian, so we will wait to see if it can be successful in its second full year of inception. Similar to the sentiments expressed by many students over Club Ritmo, the student body over the last few years has become increasingly frustrated over and angry with the quality of acts brought to campus. Though the problems may continue to persist in the short run, at least Christian has the knowledge and the ideas to rework the system so that UCSD’s social life can match its academic one. While her opponents, Matt Bechtel and Derek Baurmann, have good intentions, they lack the experience and practical ideas that Christian has. We therefore endorse Christian for programmer. ...

Student Advocacy Commissioner

The commissioner of student advocacy is responsible for informing students of their rights and advising and representing students when conflicts arise between students and the university. He also acts as the A.S Council’s liaison to the Office of Student Policies and Judicial Affiars. The two candidates for the postion are Kyle Biebesheimer and Omid Sabet. Becasue one of the candidates is a writer for the Guardian, we decided not to endorese either candidate because it would present a conflict of interest. Please refer to the sample ballot for more candidate information. ...

Society Must Combat Vicious Hate Crimes

Every day, someone, somewhere, is targeted because of a difference of skin color, race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin or ethnicity. This hostility or violence directed against minorities is termed under our law as a hate crime, for these crimes are committed with the weapon of hate. Hate fuels the cruel words, smashing fists, battering head bashes, savage kicks and exploding bullets. Hate hurts, maims and kills. This rapidly spreading epidemic of hate crimes is continuing unchecked. Half a dozen hate crimes are reported every day in California, according to the Civil Rights Commission on Hate Crimes. The Commission believes the number would be far higher if every incident were reported. That makes at least 42 hate crimes a week, at least 180 hate crimes every month and at least 2,160 hate crimes every year that occur in California. These crimes of hate can take the form of vandalism, arson, assault and even murder. Look around — read the newspaper. I guarantee you will find that a hate crime has occurred in your neighborhood, for no one is exempt from attack. And hate crimes can occur anywhere, as I discovered Friday night when I witnessed a brutal, racially provoked hate crime at the mall in my hometown of Concord, Calif. At about 8 p.m., my grandmother, two younger sisters and I were trying to get out of the Sears parking lot when our car became boxed in by a tow truck, giving us front-row seats to the savage beating of an African American tow truck driver. Two white Nazi-looking thugs stopped the tow truck driver as he was walking over to move his truck so they could pass. The two thugs said, “”You’re not moving fast enough, N-word,”” as they started pummeling his body with their fists. The tow truck driver tried fighting back at first, but he was no match for those fine-tuned killing machines, who then threw him to the ground and took turns slamming his head on the cement street and kicking him in the stomach and groin. Horrified, I could only think about getting out there to stop the beating. In a panicked frenzy I tried repeatedly to open the passenger door, not realizing until after quite a few unsuccessful attempts that the child safety locks would not let me out. I shouted for my sister, who was driving, to unlock the doors. But still I couldn’t open the door, and I realized too late that I was sitting on the side with a crushed door — I couldn’t get out. Completely helpless to stop the attack on the tow truck driver, I watched horrified as the two white thugs continued to batter away at the curled-up tow truck driver, their intense and deliberate movements transfixing me. So much hate. So much pain for the poor man. We did not have a phone to call the police. We sat there in the car watching the life being beaten out of this completely innocent man. Frustration mounted. We had to do something. So we honked the horn continuously as we moved the car forward, for we were going to force those two thugs to stop even if we had to run them over. It worked. With very deliberate motions, the two thugs got off the tow truck driver and moved with precise steps to their two-door, green Ford truck. I do not know how the tow truck driver is now, but even after being so severely beaten he could barely walk, he still managed to get out his tools and attempt to help the lady with the car trouble. I will never forget that tow truck man’s courage and strength for not allowing those thugs to make him their victim. He fought back the only way he could, and that was to fight the pain. He would not allow his attackers to claim his dignity. The question that plagued me after witnessing this horrific attack was: How was it possible to hate so much that it could drive someone to beat a complete stranger to within an inch of his life? And the only answer that I came up with, is that I don’t have the answer. Witnessing that brutal beating was a harsh wake-up call, making me realize what a real and dangerous threat hate is to us all. Hate does not bring our community together; instead, it destroys us, one bond of trust at a time. According to the 1997 statistics provided by the FBI, 8,049 hate crimes were reported by various police agencies across the country. Even without taking into account the substantial number of hate crimes that are never reported, the sheer strength of the reported statistics alone is evidence enough that hate continues to thrive and poison our society. Yet pure numbers cannot tell the story of the terror of being made a victim of a hate crime. The actual terror and pain caused by the beatings, vandalism, stalking, murders and racial slurs are things that cannot accurately be measured. Hate crimes are not confined neatly to urban cities or neighborhoods; the FBI has identified schools and college campuses as the third most common place for hate crimes to occur. According to the Student Office for Human Relations, a hate/bias prevention and education program at UCSD, there were seven hate incidents reported for the year of 2000. The SOHR reported that less than a year ago on Oct. 12, 2000, graffiti was written on the men’s bathroom, which read, “”Fuck all gooks. Asians get off our white campus.”” According to the SOHR, five hate incidents occurred on our campus in 1999. The SOHR reports in 1999 that on Feb.8, feces was smeared on the door of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Association. So it is clear that even our campus is not immune from the insidious disease of hate that is rampantly spreading throughout our society. But how do we as a society combat hate? I offer this solution: We as a society must declare a war on hate. We must be diligent to speak up and speak out when witnessing a hate crime or when we hear racial epithets. We can no longer remain silent, for silence is what hate feeds upon. If we don’t make the offenders fear any repercussions for their actions, hate will continue to spread and lead to further hate crimes. And remember, if hate can hurt, maim and kill, so too does our silent lack of action. Thus if hate is the weapon of choice for racists, so then our weapon of choice in the war against hate must be the spoken word. Thus I am sending out a call to my fellow students: We need solidarity in order to break down the walls of hate that divide and hurt one another. United we will triumph over hate, divided we will fail. So who will speak up against hate? Any volunteers? ...

Slackers are Under-Rated and Disrespected in a World of Over-Achievers

I have always been an average student. Sure, once in a while I get an A minus or two, but mostly I settle for B’s and C’s at a university in which a B can sentence a prospective medical student to a certain death. Nothing motivates me. I have no Oprah or Montel to push me to that next level. Even the fact that my parents pay a staggering amount of money to send me here fails to send shivers down my spine. Yet, this spring quarter, I have resolved to take important steps to get my life under control. I will show you, dear reader (yes Mom, that means you), that I can become the next A.S. Council president, the next editor in chief of the Guardian or the next chancellor of UCSD. Of course, I’ll have to kidnap and brainwash a couple of people to do it, but nonetheless, I will become a leader, a bona-fide psuedo Jesse Jackson, albeit without any of his scandals, I hope. I realize that my plan may fail horrendously because, if I want to earn an award from Chancellor Dynes, I have one major obstacle: I have to work. Not only do I have to go to office hours and try to understand a professor’s obscure explanation of the theory of life, but I also have to spend hours cooped up in dimly lit rooms with my face pressed up against my books, my eyes bleeding endlessly as I scan a steady stream of boring text. Unfortunately for me, spending hours on the telephone while I write e-mails to my friends and simultaneously paint my toenails does not constitute work (although it does by my definition). Even worse is the fact that I have been lectured, chastised, yelled at, begged and screamed at to get my life together. Everyone from my neighbor up the street to my brother (who, mind you, should take my side instead of that of my parents) never fail to mention that I am wasting my time and my life by doing nothing. Yet I feel that I am doing something. I’m taking upper-division classes, and while I miss a few classes (last quarter I missed six lectures for one class) I’m still learning even if I am struggling to understand why I signed up for such a ridiculous class in the first place. And do not forget that I write thought-provoking columns that invoke widespread critical acclaim; by the way my mom is my personal publicity manager, so please contact her if you’d like me to offer a life management course, for the low price of $25,000. More importantly, I am a good soul, to put it humbly. I never fail to flash my dimples, offer a hearty laugh in response to a really bad joke or smile at even the grumpiest people (even if I have licorice and other appealing foods stuck between my teeth). And perhaps most importantly, I’m a martyr. Oh, sure, I may not be of the same caliber as Joan of Arc, but I put myself through hell, waxing my hairy body constantly, so that I will not blind innocent UCSD students sitting next to me in class. And if that ‘s not hard work, I honestly don’t know what is. Now, many of you struggling to balance work and school at the same time, may not think that what I do merits a Nobel Prize. In fact, you may complain that I’m a spoiled, pretentious brat who should leave UCSD and settle for kindergarten — and by the way, if anyone knows a kindergarten that would take me, please notify me immediately. You may not realize that being a slacker is difficult and treacherous work. Not only are the repercussions high — my parents could cut my ATM card in two — but it also subjects one to harsh criticism (someone once told me I was a “”waste of space””). And even worse, no one understands you. I’ve told numerous people that there’s no point in working anyway, because most of us will end up as slaves working for evil corporations. Those people looked at me as though I were crazy. That’s what I get for telling the truth: societal isolation. Anyway, I’m hoping I’ll still manage to graduate in the next 10 years. I want to go down in history as the first UCSD student who took a decade to graduate. Maybe then I’ll finally get my award. ...

Shuttle Service Could Save Lives

The possibility of going to Tijuana on Wednesday and Saturday nights has always been alluring for many UCSD students craving a night of dancing and entertainment that is not easily attainable at this campus. However what is synonymous with a night in Mexico is drinking. Typically, one designated driver will stay sober while the rest of the group consumes alcohol. However, in many cases, the designated driver for the evening ends up drinking. Rather than leaving the car at the border, the person drives it back home while under the influence of alcohol, thereby endangering the lives of everyone in the car. Although many believe that if UCSD provided shuttle service to the border promotes underage drinking, the extra safety that it would provide is far more beneficial than any other negative side effect. It is true that with this new shuttle, only one more person per car could drink without having to fear drunken driving. With shuttles to and from the border, fewer students’ lives would be threatened by drunk driving. To minimize these problems, the Guardian feels that the A.S. Council should work to offer a charter service to the border on Wednesday and Saturday nights. The transportation could be provided on large charter buses rented from an outside company from roughly 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. on each of these two nights. Though similar to Triton Taxi, this program would not allow students to call at their own convenience to get a ride back from Mexico. This would obviously make the cost prohibitive. However, if there could be distinct pick-up times when students would have to meet for their rides, the costs could be kept lower. We understand that this program would cost money, but corporate sponsors, such as the Mexican clubs themselves, could pay for their names to be placed on all advertisements for the program, perhaps on the buses themselves. The buses would increase clubs’ business and therefore they would have a vested interest in participating. And if they chose not to sponsor these buses, there are many companies in San Diego that would be willing to donate to this cause in exchange for some positive publicity. However, even if other outside sponsors could not be found, students would almost certainly pay the $5 cost per person to fund the bus if necessary, as doing so would curtail the problem of drinking and driving and having to find rides to Mexico. In a school criticized for a lack of social activities, providing this service for the students would make things better to a small degree, not to mention safer. ...

The Results Are In: A.S. Council Members Receive Their Grades

Dear Littles and Germinates, Maybe you’re blind and haven’t noticed the omnipresent adverts for the A.S. elections. Maybe you’re brilliant and can actually tell the difference between the Unity and the One slates. Or maybe you’re in some typically collegiate state of inbetween confusion. In that case, this article is for you. What follows is a tip-of-the-iceberg examination of some of our departing A.S. officers. Last quarter I gave you the 1,000-word lowdown on soon-to-be ex-President Doc Khaleghi. Since I only have about 250 words each for the vice president external, the commissioner of communications, the commissioner of student advocacy and the commissioner of services and enterprises, I’m gonna go a lot easier on them. Sorry, Doc. Try to take it in stride. What follows is both a guide for how these folks did and a lesson in how to think about the new folks trying to get their jobs. Vice President External Eugene Mahmoud graded himself down for his work with fellow A.S. Council members. Mahmoud gave himself an unfairly low D-, thereby demonstrating exactly the kind of self-criticism and humility that marks a good official. The sad truth is that good candidates, with their flashy smiles and “”ain’t I great”” credentials, rarely have what it takes to do the job they so easily get. Mahmoud actually did look like a good candidate, despite being a last-minute entry when his good friend was disqualified, and he turned out to be a great official. The vice president external is charged to do exactly the kind of macro-advocacy that A.S. President Doc Khaleghi excelled at. Mahmoud focused on his own strengths, including an immense reserve of respect and affinity for traditionally marginalized groups. He set out to make his office a place of safety and accessibility in the labyrinthine third floor. He has accomplished this marvelously. Mahmoud has also had his share of striking accomplishments. He ran the best Students of Color Conference in years, with a record attendance and television coverage. He contributed to the 3,500 voters registered on campus for last November’s elections. His office, as he astutely pointed out, gives the A.S. Council credibility beyond simple funds distribution and student advocacy. Mahmoud graded himself as a B- average, taking credit for getting more people involved with the A.S. Council but noting his poor balance of time and energy with regards to his schoolwork. But his office has a history of borderline academic probation, and in context of this year’s council, he deserves an easy A. The grade earned by Rami Shaarawy, our commissioner of communications, was not so easy to determine. Like many of his predecessors, Shaarawy was drafted almost off the street to fill a slate and came into the job after a vote of no confidence in the Guardian, and with little grasp of the position’s responsibilities. For overcoming these challenges to the point that he (and we) can take his job seriously, Shaarawy gets an A for effort. For his actual fulfillment of the job, he does not deserve so high a grade. The commissioner of communications oversees alternative media publications such as The Koala, The Muir Quarterly, and Voz Fronteriza, to name the few that have actually published an issue or three in a noticeable way this year. Shaarawy approved a slew of new publications, few of which have actually gone to the presses. Shaarawy holds a job that has been waiting a long time for a brilliant and effective leader to transform it. It is still waiting. Shaarawy gets a B+ for outstripping his own potential, and a C for living up to the job. Call it a B-, and let’s move on. Of course, if a professor did that kind of fuzzy math with your grades, it wouldn’t fly. If you got into a fight over it, you might have to fly over to Commissioner of Judicial Affairs Amy Kuo. Mostly working behind closed doors, Kuo is hard to grade without having found a client of hers who wanted to breach confidentiality. We’ll let her represent herself. “”I deserve an A-/B+ grade,”” she said. “”I would have liked to have accomplished more, and I would have loved to make my office even more widely known.”” “”Seeing that I am a freshman to A.S., I think I did a pretty darn good job,”” she said. “”Between getting acquainted with the system and understanding my position without the aid of the previous student advocate, I learned the ropes on my own. I fought for students on various issues and had the opportunity to see them to victory in some of their cases. I am also one of the first in a long time to even produce some publicity and information to students.”” Finally, we examine Matt Conroy, commissioner of services and enterprises. Overseeing the co-ops, Volunteer Connection, A.S. Internship Office, Triton Taxi, U.S. grants, Student Cable Works, A.S. Lecture Notes, Soft Reserves, refrigerator rentals and our own dear, sweet Grove Caffe, Conroy would have had an overflowing plate if the internal leadership of all these groups hadn’t been so strong. It’s not tough to oversee people who know what they’re doing, but Conroy made it hard for himself. He took on the revamping of Triton Taxi, the re-negotiatiation of CalPIRG’s contract, the raising of lecture note takers’ pay and various improvements to the refrigerator rental service. Conroy gets an A for his all-around step-up-to-the-plate-and-try enthusiasm. He secures this A with a good sense of when to spend his time advocating a group and when to stay out of the way. You will be under a lot of pressure in the next few weeks to pick and choose according to nice words and nice clothes and pretty posters. Some of you will stay away from the polls because of those things, and some will just vote according to what that guy said who was talking to that girl two tables over. If you have any self-respect, get yourself out of both these categories. Meet the candidates and listen to what they have to say about their potential jobs. Are they informed hard workers, or slate-filling slackers? Ask them what they think about the people to whom I’ve just introduced you. And if they try to charm you, kick `em in the shins. ...