Campus Publication Reviewed After Use of Knives and Penises
The spoof issue of UC Davis’ student-run California Aggie has provoked an outcry that may send the incoming editor in chief searching for a new job.
Following complaints about sexual and racial references in the year-end parody section that appeared June 7, the university’s Campus Media Board agreed June 18 to review the matter and consider removing the new editor. Junior math and communication major Fitz Vo, who assumed the position June 1, acknowledged insensitivity in the publication.
The more controversial items were in a six-page insert titled “The Ivory Basement,” including an image of a phallic symbol that was superimposed into a photograph featuring two children playing on the campus’ two “egghead” structures. The California Aggie received a call from an attorney representing the parents of the children, ages 7 and 4, within hours of the paper’s release.
Vo said the staff failed to consider the implications of running an identifiable child’s image next to an image of a 20-foot-tall penis.
Another photograph superimposed a knife into the hand of a white student who was staring at last year’s African-American student government president.
Vo urged the Campus Media Board not to remove him but to consider measures such as hiring a faculty adviser. Vo was listed in the spoof issue as “editor in chink.”
UC to Make Final Decision on SATs
In an effort to enhance the accessibility and affordability of the UC for students of underrepresented backgrounds, the UC is close to a resolution that will significantly change standardized testing and admissions policies for future classes.
In February 2001 UC President Richard Atkinson recommended that the UC, whose applicants form the largest pool of SAT-takers in the country, abandon the standardized test as grounds for admission to UC’s eight undergraduate campuses. If the proposed changes are approved, they will take effect for students entering the University in Fall 2006.
UC studies show that few students report significantly different scores on the SAT I and SAT II examinations, suggesting that the SAT I is redundant. Data also indicates that students who do poorly in their classes but well on the SAT I tend to struggle in their university classes as well.
UC will also begin admitting students who are within the top 4 percent of their high school’s graduating class, regardless of statewide standing or examination scores, provided they have taken the required coursework.
The University of California has used the SAT I since 1958, although several modifications have been made to it over the years. If approved, the proposed modifications will be the first significant change to the SAT since 1994.
Campus Publication Fights Legal Fire with Blood
Charges against a student-led publication at UCSD were dismissed due to a lack of evidence, according to the university’s Judicial Board ruling on June 19.
The Koala became the subject of controversy after members of its staff attended a Movimiento Estudiantil de Chicanos de Aztl‡n meeting Nov. 19 and ridiculed the organization’s leader in a photograph MEChA says was explicitly prohibited.
Ernesto Martinez, president of MEChA, threatened violence against members of The Koala’s staff in an e-mail sent to the university administration and The Koala editor on Nov. 20. Nicholas Aguilar, director of student policy and judicial affairs at UCSD, responded by encouraging Martinez to contact his office for assistance in filing a complaint against The Koala staff members.
Aguilar brought The Koala before the campus Judicial Board, saying it had allegedly interfered with the meeting of another student organization. The Koala hired a professional lawyer for the proceedings with $2,500 raised through staff blood donations
MEChA is a student organization that calls for the “liberation” of Aztlan, which it defines as the seven states of the U.S. Southwest – California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. The meeting was advertised as open to the public, according to The Koala Editor in Chief George Liddle.
-Compiled by Cameron Balakhanpour and Cara Boroda