High School Students Plead Not Guilty to Rape of UCLA Student

The Daily Trojan

Feb. 3 – Three high school students pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of raping a UCLA student in her dorm room in December.

The two 17-year-old suspects and one 16-year-old suspect will be tried as adults on counts of rape, rape in concert, oral copulation and oral copulation in concert with force. They are set to appear at the Airport Branch Courthouse on Feb. 11 for bail and preliminary hearings.

The three Carson High School students were on a fieldtrip to the UCLA campus, 25 miles north of their high school, with 56 classmates and one chaperone Dec. 5 when the woman was sexually assaulted. Police suspect the trio of slipping away from the group and taking a detour to a campus residence hall. A Carson High School college counselor told the Daily Bruin that most trips have one chaperone for every 25 students.

UCSF Study Finds Need for Mental Health Workers

UCSF Today

Feb. 3 – Researchers from UC San Francisco released a study predicting a 30 percent rise in demand for mental health care professionals in this decade and a possible shortage of workers to fill the need.

The study released by the UCSF Center for the Health Professions outlined the labor shortfall and many other problems facing the state’s mental health care system including poor coordination of patient care, a gradual decline in certain kinds of expertise and overlapping occupational roles.

California HealthCare Foundation and the California Endowment funded the study, titled “The Mental Health Workforce: Who’s Meeting California’s Needs?”

The study found a decline of one-third in the percentage of nurses working in mental health settings in the period between 1990 and 1997. It also found that more than half of psychiatrists are over the age of 55 and may already be in short supply. Psychologists, meanwhile, may be in oversupply as there are almost 40 per 100,000 California residents, by far the highest ratio of any mental health specialty.

A disproportionate number of mental health professionals work in urban areas, the study also found, with nearly 30 percent working in the Bay Area, home to only 22 percent of the state’s population.

Grant in Effort to Increase Sobriety at Cal State Chico

The Orion

Feb. 3 – The California Office of Traffic Safety has provided a $55,000 grant to California State University, Chico and seven other Cal State universities in a statewide effort to ebb the flow of alcohol in California college communities.

Chico State will use the money to expand existing programs such as Chico Safe Rides and Campus Alcohol and Drug Education Center. Cal State universities in Sacramento, Fresno, Hayward, Long Beach, Monterey Bay, San Bernardino and Sonoma will also receive the grants this year, with the other 15 Cal State campuses to get the grants in the future.

The campuses were chosen to receive the grants based on proposals each campus submitted detailing how they would use the money. Chico’s proposal had three main goals: to correct the misperceptions of alcohol abuse and impaired driving, reduce the number of students reporting drinking and driving by 5 percent by 2003-04, and to reduce incidents of excessive drinking and alcohol related problems.

The proposal suggests 12 activities to be implemented to achieve its goals, including hiring peer educators and expanding the Chico Safe Rides program to ensure that all students have a safe ride home after a night of drinking. The program will use the money to purchase an additional van to transport party-goers from public places to their homes on weekend nights.

“People take it to go from out in the avenues to a party downtown,” Eric Johnson, a Chico State junior, said. “I think it’s effective, though. I’ve used it many times to get home.”

The grant will bring added funding to Chico’s already strong alcohol abuse education programs. The Chico Police Dept. received a $100,000 grant from ABC in 2001 to combat alcohol abuse.

Chico Police Dept. Capt. Mike Maloney said the recent grant “is an enhancement of the program that has been on its way for two years.”

– Compiled By Stephanie Tavares and Travis Hunter