Opinion

More 'S' Parking Needed for UCSD's Fed Up Students

There are not enough student parking spots at UCSD. This ceased to be news a long time ago. However, we at the Guardian have realized one thing with the opening of the two new on-campus parking structures this year: Absolutely nothing is being done to alleviate the aforementioned crisis. It’s the same old song and dance with the new structures: scores of empty green and red spaces; few or no yellow spaces. Students are being taken advantage of. We recently went to the new Gilman and Torrey Pines structures during their peak occupancy hours for all three types of spots — according to Director of Parking and Transportation Greg Snee, this is Tuesday and Thursday between 11 am and 1 pm. — to get an idea of how many of each type of space are vacant. Our count for the Gilman structure: 38 vacant “”A”” spots; one vacant “”B”” spot; zero vacant “”S”” spots and there were three cars waiting for S spots. Our count for the Torrey Pines structure: 112 vacant “”A”” spots; 240 vacant “”B”” spots; 13 vacant “”S”” spots. True, the structures are relatively new, and it may be that not all graduate students, staff and faculty know they are open. However, they must be parking somewhere. On the other hand, the same can be said about undergraduates — we must be parking somewhere. For us, “”somewhere”” means far off in the boondocks; people actually have to come pick us up in buses and take us back to campus. Why are there no red or green spots in the East or Regents lots? Red and green permits are more expensive than yellow permits, but why can’t students buy red and green permits? UCSD Parking and Transportation and the administration are either ignoring the lack of student parking, or they are acting ineffectively. We at the Guardian propose a simple and cheap solution: Get a few pails of yellow paint and go to town on some of those red and green spots. At least then, all of us will be in the same boat. At least then, it will be fair. At least then, the people to whom the university listens might actually cause something to happen. ...

Catholic Group's Proposal to Make Mary 'Divine' Creates Conflict

For centuries, the Roman Catholic Church has held the Virgin Mary at a higher level than other Christian churches. Now, however, over 6 million Catholics have petitioned the pope to elevate Mary’s status to a dangerously high level that would make her almost equal with Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity. The Christian religion, at its core, affirms that Jesus died so that all people may have eternal life. To declare at this point that the Virgin Mary’s cooperation with God and suffering at the cross also saved humanity from sin would overturn basic Christian beliefs and drive a huge wedge between Catholics and non-Catholic Christians. The special devotion that Catholics have for the Virgin Mary stems from the fact that she accepted God’s will and became the mother of Jesus. Catholics believe that she lived her life without sin and, upon her death, was taken into heaven, body and soul. She is now seen as an intercessor or mediator between people and God. Although some may misinterpret it as such, the devotion that Catholics have for the Virgin Mary is essentially different from the adoration that they have for God. The Catholic Catechism clearly articulates that difference. A group known as “”Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici,”” or “”Voice of the People for Mary Mediatrix,”” is calling on the pope to proclaim a new dogma bestowing upon Mary the titles coredemptrix, mediatrix of all graces and advocate for the people of God. These titles essentially imply that Mary uniquely participated in the redemption of all people from sin and that all graces that come from Jesus come through the intercession of Mary. Adopting such language and proclaiming it as infallible dogma, which is what Vox Populi is calling on the pope to do, would bring the church into uncharted and dangerous territory. If Catholics currently want to believe that Mary contributed to the salvation of people by acknowledging God’s will and giving birth to his son, that is fine. Many Catholics have a strong devotion to Mary. Many pray to her as an intercessor on a daily basis. Many credit her with bringing them closer to God. If Catholics want to give her that extra credit, they may, but to force all Catholics to accept that idea would be a mistake. If I help lead a person to God or to the church, I can say that I have participated in that person’s redemption. At the same time, however, I would acknowledge that the power came originally from God and that I was only an instrument of God. Similarly, Mary was an instrument of God. We praise her and honor her for her willingness to cooperate with God, but we do not worship her, nor should we elevate her to the point where she becomes divine. Father Rene Laurentin, a French monk and leading Mary scholar, was recently quoted in the San Diego Union-Tribune saying, “”Mary is the model of our faith, but she is not divine. There is no mediation or co-redemption except in Christ. He alone is God.”” Laurentin’s words sum up the opinions of the majority of Christians on the matter. Mary’s status within the Catholic Church is one of the main dividing lines between Catholics and non-Catholic Christians. Pope John Paul II, the current leader of the Catholic Church, has shown a special personal devotion to the Virgin Mary. He credits her with saving his life in an assassination attempt 20 years ago. At the same time, he has also shown a commitment to ecumenism and unity among all Christian churches. In his 1994 book, “”Crossing the Threshold of Hope,”” the Pope devotes three chapters to the topic of ecumenism titled “”Is Only Rome Right?”” “”In Search of Lost Unity”” and “”Why Divided?”” The pope noted then that in the first millennium, the church was undivided, while the second millennium was marked by division. He called for increased unity by the start of the third millennium. In light of these words, it would not make sense for him to start this millennium with a proclamation that would not only widen the divide between Catholics and other Christians, but also cause division within the Catholic Church among Catholics who disagree with such dogma. In his book, the pope stated, “”All of us, in fact, believe in the same Christ. … So there is basis for dialogue and for the growth of unity, a growth that should occur at the same rate at which we are able to overcome our divisions — divisions that to a great degree result from the idea that one can have a monopoly on truth.”” If the pope were to issue a statement that many Christians inside and outside the Catholic Church disagree with, and claim infallibility in doing so, he would be going against his own words and ideas regarding ecumenism. The pope is a very intelligent man and wise leader of the Catholic Church. He should not and will not make a statement that is unnecessary and will cause widespread division in the Christian world. Christians and non-Christians alike look up to him; he is a uniting figure. A religious crisis in the world is the last thing he needs to create. ...

Abortion Insert Had No Place in Paper

Editor: Congratulations! The anti-abortion “”advertising”” insert from the Human Life Alliance that was run with the Thursday, Jan. 18 issue was an unqualified triumph. I am an admitted media junkie, and I have seen more movies and read more books and newspapers and magazines than anyone I have yet to come into contact with, and Thursday’s insert was absolutely the most atrocious and bigoted collection of mis-information I have ever seen. It was astounding in its breadth and scope! After a little research, I discerned that it had used every single logical fallacy and form of sophistry known to man. Look at it again: They’re all there! Circular reasoning, false dichotomies, straw man, slippery slope, false cause, non sequitur, faulty analogy, equivocation, hasty generalization, half-truths, over-reliance on authorities, appeals to tradition, appeals to the masses, ad hominem attacks, genetic fallacies, appeals to ignorance, appeals to fear, special pleading, oxymoronic language, strange loops and every possible form of pseudoscience and misuse of statistics on record! Staggering! I find the reasoning of your editorial board rather faulty, as well. To run something simply because it is or is not “”an issue that is discussed or debated in society”” seems like an extremely pale and tepid excuse to accept advertising funds from a fundamentalist religious group with no real interest in either objective news reporting or academia (save the opportunity to shove dogma in front of unsuspecting college students). Holocaust revisionism most certainly gets discussed in society. So does my personal favorite oxymoron, “”creation science.”” But I suspect that your board would deny an offer to publish an insert from our own Institute for Creation Research in Santee, were it to arise. And I’m surprised I even need to say it, but the function of the newspaper is to recognize the discussion and objectively report the opinions of both sides, not to kowtow to whoever greases their palms sufficiently. Perhaps you and the editorial board were under outside, clandestine, nonmonetary pressure to publish such a laughable thing, and if that is indeed the case, it is a big problem, and you have my apologies. But if that is not the case, it is a much worse problem. To hold these views is one thing. To try to foist them on people is another. And to pay to have them published in the form of “”advertising”” (where, as you admit, students usually see special offers from computer companies or travel agencies of textbook wholesalers or electronics/media retailers) in a university publication, and have the newspaper consent to such a thing, is a vastly different situation. A frightfully shameful situation. Perhaps you should have run the Holocaust deniers’ ad. The propaganda in their insert couldn’t possibly have been worse than that of the anti-abortion one. I suspect that the Human Life Alliance (the name itself is a fallacy!) pays to publish these inserts in the spirit of the classic “”if only one woman decides against an abortion, it will have been worth it”” attitude/conceit. The only possible benefit I can see from the irresponsible inclusion of this insert in an otherwise respectable college newspaper is that if only one rabid pro-life woman reads it and changes her stance, simply because she’s embarrassed to be associated with any group that would so callously and recklessly abuse rationality and insult the common sense of womankind, it will have been worth it. — James Beacham Staff, Media Center Letter was Wrong with its Accusations Editor: In the Jan. 8 issue of the UCSD Guardian, College Democrats President Terry Schanz almost single-handedly manages to capture what it is to be a modern liberal Savior. He has worked his butt off, and by golly, you and all who write for the Guardian better not only recognize it, but also support it with all you’ve got. But I — I mean we — did all of the things he said: We yelled at people until they finally broke down and voted; and, if we weren’t imposing our political ideologies on others by dancing around them in a yellow frenzy, we simply threw yellow shirts at them. And you didn’t even bother writing about it More unfortunately, Schanz mistakes the spirit of the Bacchanalia for something productive, claiming that at least for their part, the College Democrats strove to promote political awareness. About the only thing that may be construed as politically edifying would be a strong dose of liberal bombast. Instead, the listener would get an education in liberal rhetoric, and would be ready in a flash to lecture others on the good life. For my part, I would rather become politically astute by simply distinguishing between what is said and what is done. If Schanz wants people to be politically informed on Democratic policies and strategies, permit me to discuss the matter of ex-Secretary of Labor designate, Linda Chavez. Liberals have long been perceived as the protectors of human rights, and in spite of their faulty economic policies, one is compelled to refrain from openly admonishing them for fear of being named as the opposition of all that is humane. After all, how could one dare to stand against these champions of those who suffer from domestic abuse, or those who starve for a decent meal, or those who are, simply put, minorities? But suppose the champions are actually the people whom the liberals are trying to destroy. In 1993, Marta Mercado, sought the help of Linda Chavez. Chavez, as Mercado testifies, fed and clothed her, and helped her find a job. For Mercado, the United States was, at least for a short time, what she thought it would be: a place in which even domestically abused alien immigrants could find safety and work, thanks to genuinely charitable Americans. Several years have passed, and Mercado has since applied for citizenship. But what should be an account of the American dream has now become yet another account of shady politics. The liberal media and the FBI have hounded Mercado with questions concerning Chavez’s care, with the apparent hope of finding something that would save our nation. They forced Chavez to withdraw her name as the Secretary of Labor designate. Not surprisingly, Chavez didn’t exploit a trial as an opportunity to increase her prestige among great humanitarians; she didn’t raid the airwaves; and she didn’t even write The UCSD Guardian, in an angry wreck, and beg for more publicity. She simply withdrew her name, while keeping her class and honor. “”Linda Chavez tripped over the gun and shot herself,”” Nancy Skinner said, a liberal radio talk show host. On the contrary, it is clear that if anyone is accused of “”shooting”” Chavez, the person would be a Democrat. The message should be made plain: If you are a minority or at a disadvantage or trying to make it in this horrible world, we’ll help you as long as you do it under our program — and thereby, empower us. Unfortunately for Linda, she was not so easily sold. But, to her relief, a remnant still perceives the subtleties of the modern liberal agenda. As for Terry, he said he and his crew “”sacrificed countless hours toward an issue they were passionate about.”” And it is indeed a sad thing to have been passionate about something, and to have sacrificed for something, and yet to appear to have never reached the desired outcome of political awareness. — Edward J. Loya Jr. Revelle Senior ...

No Love Affair Between Bush, Gays

It makes me cringe to know that such an ignorant little man will be leading our country for the next four years. I don’t see how President George W. Bush can call himself a compassionate conservative when he aims to hurt 10 percent of the population. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, GLAAD, and other gay organizations have been fueling the anti-Bush fire since the beginning of his campaign. Their most successful anti-Bush advertising has been the publicizing of his shackling, hurtful policies toward gays and lesbians. He opposes same-sex marriage. He does not even want to allow same-sex couples to adopt children. The Dallas Morning News quoted him saying, “”I believe children ought to be adopted in families with a woman and man who are married.”” He supports the military’s “”Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”” policy, as shown by his cabinet nomination of Gen. Colin Powell, who was the creator of that policy. He opposes hate-crime legislation, which would be used for such cases as Matthew Shepard’s. Dubya’s most eloquent statement is the following as collected by The Dallas Morning News: “”The next president must fight against discrimination, but I think we can do so without special treatment of people.”” It’s interesting because the context in which he says this regards employment nondiscrimination. With that statement, he decided to solve the problem of discrimination against gay and lesbian employees by ignoring it. His policy is repulsive when it comes to AIDS and health care. Bush is an opponent of funding for AIDS health care. During his term, the Texas Department of Health began a name-reporting program for people with HIV (see http://www.planetout.com for information). That it is possibile to find out if someone has a disease is a complete invasion of privacy. With that information, one would think that all openly gay people would have voted for Al Gore in the past election. However, according to www.Planetout.com, 25 percent of openly gay voters voted for Bush. Planetout columnist Michelangelo Signorele stated that this is a ceiling not a floor, because no one knows how many gays were unwilling to declare their sexuality at the polls. Considering that so much of America consists of little backwater towns in the middle of nowhere, that is a low, low ceiling. Obviously, if you lived in one of those towns, you might not be comfortable with your homosexuality. One might ask, why would anyone who is gay vote Republican to begin with? Some have suggested that the absence of a positive progression of gay rights legislation by the Democratic president in the last eight years has caused many frustrated gay Democrats to vote Bush. The same-sex marriage bill was not passed and the “”Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”” military bill was. This caused a lot of frustration. Currently, there is even a small contingent of gay Republicans called the “”Log Cabin Republicans.”” A lot of older gays and lesbians could have voted Republican for economic reasons. Many gay and lesbians couples are known as DINKs, or “”Double Income, No Kids.”” They do not have the tax advantages that come with marriage, so they would want to be taxed as little as possible. Because these couples don’t have kids, they have a larger amount of disposable income and therefore want less of it taken away. Republican emphasis on low taxes for those in higher tax brackets would benefit most DINKs. Many say that blatant discrimination and the predicted sinking economy will contribute to a quick four-and-out for Bush. This would possibly cause the next president to be Democrat. Supposedly, Dubya will leave such a bad taste in voters’ mouths that they will be eager to elect a Democrat, preferably Hillary Clinton, for the following eight years. Bush will hurt gays in ways that have yet to be discussed. The obvious way he will affect gay rights is with his appointments to the Supreme Court. The less obvious way he will affect gay rights is his thousands of appointments in the executive branch. Those thousands of appointments will be little personal additions to the federal government, and each one will have its own effect on the workings of the government. The most representational gauge of how things will go between Bush and gays for the next four years may be seen in how the Bush administration handles Linda Cheney, the out-lesbian daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney. Or rather, how it does not handle her. Whenever the media asks a member of the Bush administration about Linda, the reply is “”no comment.”” I can assure you that will be the reply for the next four years concerning gay and lesbian issues. No comment. ...

It Doesn't Take a Rocket Scientist

I always hear pieces of the ongoing argument regarding the hard sciences vs. the social sciences. Based on personal experience, I can say it is far more difficult and time-consuming to be an engineer. I am a computer engineering major with a minor in political science. I feel I can make this argument because I’ve been in both types of classes. Social scientists often complain about the difficulty of their majors. For instance, there are a large number of people who think it is hard to be an economics or a psychology major. They think that courses such as the ECON 120 sequence are so hard and time-consuming. What bothers me most is that they think these classes are comparable to engineering classes. These complaints sound petty to me. I don’t think that the classes are really comparable. Engineers have the really hard courses and, in general, the harder curriculum. I agree that certain social science classes may be competitive, in that it is hard to earn an A, but it is in no way as challenging or time consuming as a serious engineering course. I want to make it clear: At UCSD, the engineers prevail. The academic difficulty level for engineers far exceeds the difficulty level of any social science major. Engineers spend more time on their classes than most social scientists. A social scientist just reads and writes. A social scientist rarely has to retain knowledge from an earlier course to do well in a course that follows. Most social science majors are just extensions of history with a touch of criticism and argument. As long as you know how to write and you keep up with the material, you can pass a social science class. For an engineer, the material from prerequisite courses really determines the outcome of your future classes. For instance, how can you do well in Physics 2D without having ever taken Physics 2A? How can you do well in Math 21D without having ever take Math 20A? How can you code a compiler without knowing what a data structure is? If I had to rank academic difficulty, engineers have the hardest curriculum at UCSD. The hard science majors, such as bio and chemistry, have a curriculum with medium difficulty. Last, the social scientists, such as economics and political science majors, have the easiest time. I consider the curriculum of other majors such as economics or political science to be trivially difficult compared with science or engineering majors. Let’s compare some department curriculum requirements in terms of numbers. Let’s not consider general education requirements. Economics majors are required to take roughly 17 courses. Political science majors are required to take 16 courses. Biology majors have to take between 22 and 27 courses for their major. Computer engineers are required to take more than 35 courses. Bioengineers are required to take more than 40 courses to graduate. Do the math. Do you social scientists see the difference? Why do you complain? It takes 180 units (45 classes) to graduate. Social scientists have enough time left over for things called electives. Most of the social scientists actually have to take electives in order to hit 180 units. Social scientists have time to pursue minors or double majors. It is even possible for a social science major to graduate in three years. Most of the engineers do not take electives, unless it is for fun. It is highly unlikely for an engineer to graduate in three years due to the curriculum requirements. As a result of the easier curriculum, social science majors get to have more time and a more relaxed schedules. If social science majors were required to take more than 30 classes for their majors, I suppose I wouldn’t be ranting about this issue. In my opinion, the difficulty level of a social science major and that of an engineering major are not even comparable. The curriculum alone highlights why it is harder to be an engineer and easier to be a social scientist. I know a lot of you social scientists think differently and might be a little outraged. Let me know your opinion so we can print it. Send a comment to the editor. ...

The Making of an American President

Well folks, it looks like spring cleaning has come early this year. Just as many of us have been cleaning our rooms, the American people have tossed the rubbish out of the White House. Indeed, the air is much better today than it has been for the last eight years. Although the Democratic Party and Jesse “”Rent-a-Mob”” Jackson tried their hardest to steal the presidential election, Bush rightfully emerged victorious. I cannot say their behavior was unexpected: After all, these are the same people who murdered Vince Foster, who sold nuclear secrets to communist China and who, at every opportunity, have done their best to deceive the American people while pursuing their own corrupt agenda. What saddens me is that these people have been hurling mud at President George W. Bush for weeks, trying to sour his presidency before he was even sworn in. What is even worse is that many believe these lies. That’s why talk show host Michael Savage has dubbed most liberals as “”sheeple.”” They are like sheep, following a leader without questioning his motives. But this is UCSD. If you’re here, then you’re too smart to fall for their lies. Democrats want you to believe that Bush’s victory is illegitimate because it was by such a small margin. Newsflash, America: It doesn’t matter whether he won by two votes or 20 million votes; Bush still won. Democrats want you to believe that not all ballots were counted. That’s obviously not the case, because all votes were counted, some twice, and in some places, as many as four times. Remember how loudly the liberals yelled for a hand recount of the thousands of so-called undervotes in Miami-Dade County, while sensible Republicans said that those people simply didn’t vote for a presidential candidate? Well, the Palm Beach Post hand-counted the votes and largely confirmed its hunch by reporting that 75 percent of the ballots had no markings for any presidential candidates, 20 percent had markings for more than one candidate, and only 5 percent showed some marking for a candidate. And guess what? Bush actually gained six votes in this recount. Gore actually lost ground with this recount. I personally cannot wait until all the votes in Florida are recounted so we can see just how large Bush’s margin of victory really was. Not that the truth matters to the Democratic Party. It’s particularly funny to me that liberals claim Bush is dumb by poking fun at his Texan accent and heritage. They say he’s slow. Well, I’ve read about another president who was considered stupid by opponents. A very slow speaker, he was referred to by some as the “”Dumb Ox.”” History books refer to him as Abraham Lincoln. Others claim Bush’s inexperience will doom him. Clinton seemed to do all right for himself after being the governor of “”The Wal-Mart State.”” One “”inexperienced”” president stands out in my mind. He was sworn in during a terrible recession, yet he turned around the economy and also brought the Soviet Union down to its knees. His name is Ronald Reagan, and he is the finest president this country has ever had. Perhaps we should give Bush a chance before condemning his presidency. We are certainly better off with him in office than Al Gore. If the American people prosper, who should reap the benefits of this success, the people who earned this money or the federal government? It should be given back to the people, of course. We are a capitalist society. The rules are simple. Work as hard as you can to earn as much as you can. So if our hard work has resulted in a federal budget surplus, then why should the government claim the extra money it took from us? Bush’s plan is very simple: If you pay income taxes, then you will receive a tax cut. Low- and middle-income workers will receive the biggest tax cut. Everyone will benefit from this. More importantly, the sinking economy Clinton left us with will receive a vital boost because people will use this extra money to buy more products and invest directly into the market. Democrats will lead you to believe that Bush’s prior bouts with alcoholism make him unfit for the presidency. This could not be any further from the truth, as it shows his strength far more than his weakness. Bush admits that he is an alcoholic, but the main thing is that he has stopped drinking. Most people are simply not strong enough to stop, yet Bush managed to do so. It is a perpetual battle for him. He will always be tempted to take that one drink that will turn into many. Yet he obviously has the strength to fight this temptation, and that speaks volumes of his true character. Democrats certainly have no basis for condemning morals. Where should I start? The “”Reverend”” Jesse Jackson just admitted to fathering a child outside of his wife’s company. Witnesses have come forth alleging that Gore used to be an outrageous dope fiend. Clinton apparently smoked a few joints too, but “”didn’t inhale.”” Right, and Monica was just trying to perform CPR. One of the nastiest lies the Democrats will tell you is that Bush will take away a woman’s right to choose. Lies, lies, lies. While Bush feels that abortion is morally wrong, he has no intention of trying to outlaw it. People who claimed otherwise were merely trying to scare you into voting for Gore. But you were too smart to fall for their lies, right? ...

Just Exactly How Sweet is it to be Loved by You?

Dear Littles and Germinates, Who loves you? I mean who, really? Have you taken time this new year, this (let’s be honest) only now officially new millennium, to take stock of the people in your life? Do it now. As soon as you finish reading this sentence, close the paper, close your eyes, and review the names and faces of the joyful souls, the fast and firm friends, and the blessings in human guise that make your life worth living. Who did you come up with? Your family? Friends here? Friends at home? When were the last times you paused for a moment to tell them, “”Hey, did you know that I’m glad I’m alive at the same time you are?”” You need to do that more often, don’t you? I’m sure that I do. I am blessed with generous and brilliant parents, a hilarious and thoughtful brother, and many friends near and far who shower me with love, support and inspiration. I don’t thank them nearly enough. I want to take a moment to sing the praises of one particular friend of mine. I invite you to read along, and to reflect on how you might do the same for the people in your life. My friend’s birthday is coming up, which makes this the perfect time to go on record to say that my friend is the one who makes my spirit soar, who gives wings to my life. We’ve known each other almost eight years now. We met in high school and have kept in touch since. We’ve had our ups and downs; times we weren’t speaking with each other; times no one else could get a word in between us. My friend goes to Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., so we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like. But my friend is very happy there. My friend co-founded an environmental activist group that has made local and state headlines. My friend has played the college game well enough to thrive academically, while retaining a genuine love of learning. My friend has kept in touch with and grown closer to our companions from high school, while gathering a wide and wonderful group of new friends at college. When I came back to San Diego after a year away, I used my friend’s success as a model for what I could do here. This is only one among many ways I draw inspiration from my friend. My friend won a national scholarship last year. My friend brought me a four-leaf clover once. My friend is learning to play catch and to whistle. When the time came, after six years of hitch-hiking, for me to get my driver’s license, my friend was the one who gave me lessons, urged me on, and got up early in the morning to take me to the test. My friend also happens to be beautiful. My friend has a comfortable way that sets people at ease. My friend has a great body, and the right fashion sense to go with it. My friend has taught me to be comfortable with my own sexuality. My friend has taught me new ways of relating to my friends and my family. My friend draws giant chalk murals on the sidewalk. My friend works out three times a week or more. My friend loves olives and hates tomatoes. Who are you thinking of as you read all this? Do they know you think of them this way? Below, you’ll find a personal message from me to my friend. Again, I invite you to read it, and to consider the person, or people, you could say the same things to. Then I’d like you to go and do just that. My friend, There is a box in my heart where joy and wonder and love await the sound of your voice. It is not a box I built; it is a box you found and unlocked in the early days of our knowing each other. Thank you for opening me. Thank you for sharing with me the strength and wisdom of your life. Thank you for teaching me how to share joy and wonder and love with others. My friend, you embody so many of the qualities I seek. You know how to wield focus and effort to accomplish your goals. You study and struggle to understand the world and your place in it. You confront adversity continuously without becoming bitter. You think pragmatically without losing your sense of awe. From you I am learning respect, understanding, humility, discipline and so much more. My friend, when I was weak and tired, you laid me down to rest. When I was afraid and full of sorrow, you held my head while I cried. When I was trapped by fear and self-doubt, you spoke the words that set me free. Your spirit moves me as no other. What I know of the meaning of the word joy, I learned from watching your smile. What I know of the meaning of the word wonder, I learned from hearing your voice. What I know of the meaning of the word love, I learned from holding your hand. My friend, Michelle Sargent, is the love of my life, and I will never be able to express how thankful I am for that. ...

My Wish for 2001: A Year of Political Unity

I actually have a very simple wish list for the 2001 year, for it involves only one request.Not that I expect to get what I ask for, but nonetheless I’m putting it out for the world to see. All I ask for is political unity. For I have become so sick of watching political divisiveness tear our country apart. All I have to do is flip on the TV or open a newspaper to see that politics as usual continues in Washington, full steam ahead without taking into account the terrible toll it is taking on the people. There is so much focus on Democrats or Republicans that a wide chasm has formed between the two parties, and it is almost impossible to breach. It is this hostile political climate that acts to suppress needed reform and keeps the current gridlock firmly in place. Politics as usual in Washington equals no change. Take a look. The past election is a perfect example. The Democrats’ bitterness over losing the election has put them on the warpath, which in turn has put the Republicans on the defensive. Mark my words, no real reform will take place over the next four years. If the past couple months have been any indicator, the Democrats and Republicans will not budge from their all-holy party line. Instead, controversy, attacks and chaos will rule the next four years. I don’t mean to be a cynic, really I don’t, but I’m just telling you what I know will happen based on what has already happened. Or better yet, based on the lack of anything happening. This unhealthy obsession with partisanship and conflict merely enforces the current status quo in which nothing is being done to fix our society’s problems. Picture this: Our country is drowning with so many unfixed problems, yet our political parties won’t stop their bickering and personal attacks long enough to throw out a life preserver. It’s a pathetic but true picture. The issues of reforming education, healthcare and social security, for example, can only be solved when a spirit of political unity is formed. A spirit of bipartisanship that transcends party lines must be created. So my solution: Political parties must go. And in their place we must bring back the ideals of civility, respect, compromise and decency that our country was originally founded upon. There was a time when there were no political parties to divide us and alienate one another. It was the time of Washington’s Presidency. When President Washington left office he warned against forming political parties as they would divide us and undermine the common good. Yet we did not heed his warning, instead we focused on our individual interests and steamrolled to where we are today. The current ”me-centered”” society in which individual rights are seen as foremost serves only to pit individuals and groups against one another, thereby undermining the rights of the collective good. If it’s all about ”me,” and what ”I” can get, then all hope to reform politics is indeed lost. Therefore this antagonistic individualistic trend must go and we must again focus on what is best for the overall public good. Because politics involves more than one person, it involves our entire society. Thus it makes sense to watch out for the good of everyone. All I ask for is political unity. Is it really too much to ask for? Out with the old divisive ways, and in with political unity is my motto. How else will we solve the pressing issues of the day without civility and compromise and political unity as our tools? I see the 21st century as a crucial turning point. It can either be a time for great political unity or political antagonism and division. Our tragic state of politics will never change as long as we don’t. For politics is merely a reflection of who we are, a mirror in which our worst attributes are magnified. So instead of being apprehensive about change, we must embrace it so we can better our society and ourselves. So how about it, are we up for a little political unity, some political change? Or do we like what we have become: ravenous vultures out for blood? Or do we all just not give a damn? Whatever your answer, it won’t cause me sleepless nights. This is after all just a wish list. I don’t expect anyone or anything to ever change. That’s why I’m a cynic. ...

Advertising Insert Controversial, Not a Public Disservice

This issue of the Guardian contains an advertising insert that many on campus will see as controversial. In the past, the Guardian has refused to run similar inserts from Human Life Alliance because they had the potential to give the Guardian a negative image on this campus. We expect, however, that our readers are intelligent enough to realize that the Guardian editorial staff does not produce these inserts, nor do we necessarily agree with them. The Guardian on a regular basis receives money to have advertisements and small magazines inserted into our paper. When the Guardian runs inserts from Yahoo! or Council Travel, it does not mean that the Guardian supports these companies or organizations. Similarly, being paid to run an insert from Human Life Alliance does not mean we endorse its opinions. Even though this insert is a booklet, it looks nothing like our publication, and should not be confused with anything we would produce. The insert is not printed on newsprint like our publication is; each page of the advertisement, including the cover, is clearly labeled “”Advertising Supplement.”” There are no gruesome photos, and the name of the organization is printed on the cover. In addition, we realize that whether we agree or disagree with its opinions, this insert includes opinions that are part of a legitimate debate in society. Last year the Guardian staff voted against running an ad claiming the Holocaust never happened. We feel that an ad such as that does not represent an issue that is discussed or debated in society. On the other hand, the issue of abortion has divided this country for decades. To turn down this insert simply because we might disagree with it would set a precedent that would prevent us from running advertisements from groups on the other side of this issue. In the past, the Guardian has run advertisements from Planned Parenthood without causing any controversy on this campus. This insert is not a public disservice; it is simply one that provides opinions from the other side of this contentious issue. The Guardian believes it is important to be fair, and we will not accept or decline advertisements based upon our own personal or political views. ...

Administration's Failure to Guarantee Housing Worries Apartment-Hunter

As if entering a large university for the first time were not nerve-racking and torturous enough, the freshman class of 2000 also faces the difficulty of finding housing next fall. The class is guaranteed housing on campus for only one year, as opposed to the traditional two years. With 2001 already in swing, there is only so much time for freshmen such as myself to find out where we are supposed to live next year. Whether it be on campus, in an apartment 30 miles away from campus or — dare I say it — in a cardboard box, no freshman is sure of next year’s living arrangement. According to the housing administration, the reason for this unfortunate restriction is due to the fact that admission and enrollment at UCSD have increased, while available housing for this large number of students has decreased. Without space in the dormitories and apartments for all students, the administration has been forced to subtract a guaranteed year of housing. In fact, space has been so limited in the past year that three people are routinely put into two-person rooms, which was the case with my apartment at Marshall college. Another reason for the loss of a two-year housing guarantee is that there would be no room to house the incoming freshman class of 2001, which is also going to be guaranteed housing for just one year. The question all the freshman are probably asking is, “”How will it be determined who gets to live on campus and who doesn’t?”” The answer is through the use of a lottery — luck of the draw — the specifics of which are yet to be mapped out. According to the housing administration, those who have housing this year will most likely have a place to live on campus next year, but the possibility of being denied a space remains. In other words, where some freshmen live next year is pretty much up in the air. With all due respect, it seems that this housing fiasco is more of a problem than anyone wants to acknowledge or believe. While it may be true that most of the currently housed students would get a chance to live on campus again, there are also those poor souls who are going to have to find somewhere else to live. And in case anyone has forgotten, this is the community of La Jolla, where apartments don’t exactly come as cheaply as what a starving college student can afford. Frankly, if UCSD admissions is planning to take an excess of students into the university, then it should also provide them with a place to live on campus for a minimum of two years. It is the responsibility of admissions and housing to collaborate and guarantee housing to students for their freshman and sophomore years. If space is limited, then it is time to consider solutions other than a random lottery. For instance, why not just limit the number of freshmen admitted every year, or build new dorms and apartments as fast as the parking structures are being built? I don’t know about anyone else, but I still have trouble finding my way around campus, and I live here. One more year on campus would help me familiarize myself with the campus completely. It would also be a way for me to save the money I would otherwise spend on an off-campus apartment and its necessities, such as furniture and gas and electric bills. As a freshman, I would want the security and satisfaction of knowing that I would have a place on campus next year. There remains the issue of picking people for housing spaces through this so-called lottery drawing. It would be completely unfair for some to get lucky and receive housing, and for the misfortunate others to get screwed over and be kicked out of the chance for on-campus housing. Because most of us pay the same amount in tuition, excepting those with financial aid or scholarships, shouldn’t we all be entitled to the same chance for housing? Freshmen will really worry about where they are going to live next year. With such limited space, it is impossible for all current freshmen to be housed for another year, but a lottery is not exactly a fair and negotiatable way to decide who should live on campus. While the housing administration may seem to have everything under control, it won’t be long before the complaints and worries kick in. I know I am already starting to stress out about my possible living situation as a sophomore. With space so limited and admissions so high, who knows if even first-year housing will be guaranteed in the future? With the complex and mind-boggling situation at hand, and with all our futures at stake, there is only one more thing to say to the freshman class: Let the apartment hunting begin! ...