News In Brief
English Professor’s Nobel Prize: Close, but no Cigar
On Oct. 7, Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa – author of such titles as “The Green House” and “Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter” – was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature, beating out N’gugi wa Thiongo, Distinguished Professor of English and comparative literature and director of the International Center of Writing and Translation here at UC Irvine.
Professor N’gugi was the favorite to win the coveted prize this year with odds as high as 3-1, according to British-based gambling company Ladbrokes.
N’gugi’s work deals primarily with the critique of social, cultural and political issues present in post-colonial Africa. While his writing has, in the past, caused threats against his safety in his home country, Kenya, it has also garnered him international recognition and admiration. Though he has been nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in the past, N’gugi has not yet won.
October 7th’s Protest Leads to Conduct Charges
Three students are being charged by the university’s student conduct office. The three students – sociology graduate student John Bruning, physics graduate student Jordan Brocious and fourth-year anthropology major Alice Kleinhuizen – were cited this past March at CSU Fullerton during a sit-in at a humanities building on the campus.
Bruning, Brocious and Kleinhuizen were detained and their information was taken, but the three were released and ordered to stay away from the CSUF campus for seven days.
“The cops gave us the impression that there wouldn’t be any charges because they weren’t citing us on the spot. We weren’t being arrested,” Bruning told the New University back in May. But he, Brocious and Kleinhuizen are now being charged by the university for their off-campus protesting, despite being cleared of all charges in court on Aug. 12.
Bruning is also being charged with multiple violations from other protests, including the November protest at UCI where he was arrested outside Aldrich Hall.
The conduct cases are still in progress, but Brocious says he’s still unclear of the charges. “I asked them what kind of trespassing we were being charged for,” he said. “They said they just needed to find something to charge us with.”
National Research Council Gives Various Universities the Once-Over
UC Irvine’s physical sciences graduate programs are on a stellar trajectory. Information on the graduate programs of 200 universities was collected by the National Research Council in 2006.
The NRC last conducted their survey in 1995.
UCI collected data on 65 graduate programs and found that the subjective ratings of many programs were higher than their national reputations.
These findings indicate that although many of UCI’s graduate programs have not established themselves on a national level, the quality of their performance indicates that they will continue to grow in stature and prestige as the years pass.
The graduate program in earth system science proved to be one of UCI’s most promising. In 1995, it was too new and was not included in the NRC’s survey. Now the program is ranked among the top ten—along with Harvard, Princeton, Caltech and Berkeley.
UCI’s doctoral program in mathematics also scored in the top ten percent of the universities surveyed. The programs in chemistry and physics & astronomy were in the top twenty-five percent, and the graduate program in anthropology, neuroscience and ecology & evolutionary biology also scored highly in the survey.
Shocktoberfest Presents Less Than Shocking Lineup and Schedule
On Friday, Oct. 15, ASUCI will host its fifth annual Shocktoberfest in the Bren Events Center.
The event will feature free tacos for the first 500 attendees, along with free ice cream, music, a photo station, games and face paint.
The performing lineup includes Kevin Rudolf (featuring DJ E-Rock) with their hit “Let it Rock,” Cali Swag District, DJ Miles and DJ Geo.
The outdoor festival on Mesa Road begins at 5:30 p.m. Wristbands for entry can be obtained starting Oct. 14 at 6:00 a.m. with a valid student ID at the Student Government Office in the Student Center. Tickets are limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Attendees are encouraged to dress up in costume. Prizes, which include free In-n-Out for a year and free Disneyland tickets, will be awarded during a Halloween costume contest.
Claire Trevor School of Arts Closes “Abraham and Isaac” After Successful Four Day Streak
UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts staged the world premiere of the play “Abraham and Isaac in Jerusalem,” written and directed by UCI professor of drama, Robert Cohen.
Taking place in modern day, the play follows an all-male American college troupe traveling to Jerusalem to perform an English-Bible play.
Accompanying music is sung in Hebrew, Farsi and English, performed by UCI choral group Men in Blaque and directed by Music department faculty member Joseph Huszti.
The play opened Sept. 29 and closed on Oct. 2.
Budget Legislation Finally Put In Place
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger finally signed the 2010-2011 budget on October 8th. The budget includes three billion dollars for UC academic programs student financial aid and health education and research.
Schwarzenegger cut $962 million from the $85.7 billion general fund spending plan legislators had previously approved. The budget does not include new taxes and will use $7.5 billion in spending cuts, deferred funding payments to K-12 schools and community colleges and $5.5 billion in federal funding to close the state’s nearly $19 billion deficit.
The state funding to the UC will restore the $199 million that was cut from the 2009-2010 budget when California lawmakers cut $637 million from the UC fund. The budget includes $51.3 million for 5,121 current UC students that the state had not funded.