News in Brief

Why Does Public Transportation in Orange County Suck So Much?

Transit Advocates UCI will hold Transit Week from April 4-8 to promote, discuss and evaluate public transportation in Orange County.

The events present the UCI campus with the opportunity to meet and interact with Orange County Transit Authority (OCTA) Director Peter Buffa and OCTA CEO Will Kempton in addition to other Orange County and Southern California decision makers.

At Transit Week, UCI students, staff and employees, as well as the Irvine community, will be able to learn about public transportation while offering their suggestions on how to improve its quality and efficiency.

Transit Advocates UCI has worked since last year to protect access to public transportation for members of the UCI community most dependent upon it. In the face of large service cuts to OCTA in 2010, the group worked to get a new shuttle route on Saturdays, connecting the campus with the Irvine Spectrum and the Irvine train station.

On Tuesday, April 5, an OCTA demo bus will be on Ring Road from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and an “Understanding Transit” seminar will be held in Emerald Bay B from 5-7 p.m. On Wednesday, April 6, Kempton and Buffa will attend a roundtable discussion in Emerald Bay C from 6-8 p.m., and on Friday, April 8, UCI has invited professors and students to present research on ways to improve public transportation in Social Ecology 1 room 112 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Greeks to Have Annual Songfest at the Bren Next Month

UC Irvine’s Greek Songfest will be held on May 20, 2011 at the Bren Events Center. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the show will start at 7 p.m. The event is the culmination of a yearlong philanthropic effort with Habitat for Humanity of Orange County. Songfest sponsors include Gina’s Pizza, UCI Athletics and DJK-dar.

The production will feature nine 12-minute versions of Broadway musicals: “Bye Bye Birdie” performed by Alpha Chi Omega and Sigma Phi Epsilon; “Guys and Dolls” performed by Alpha Phi and Sigma Chi; “South Pacific” performed by Gamma Phi Beta and Phi Kappa Psi; “West Side Story” performed by Delta Gamma and Sigma Alpha Epsilon; “Hairspray” performed by Delta Delta Delta and Kappa Sigma; “Next to Normal” performed by Kappa Alpha Theta and Alpha Epsilon Pi; “The Wild Party” performed by Kappa Kappa Gamma, Alpha Epsilon Phi and Pi Kappa Alpha; “Thoroughly Modern Millie” performed by Pi Beta Phi, FIJI and Sigma Pi; “American Idiot” performed by Sigma Kappa, Sigma Nu and Beta Theta Pi; and a UCI Greek Songfest alumni performance.

Slashes to Education Continue as California Fights Over the Budget

Next fall, California community colleges will enroll 400,000 fewer students, as they face a possible 10 percent budget cut.

The 112-campus system will likely be asked to absorb an $800 million cut in funds.

As of now, the budget plan would raise fees for community college students from $26 to $36 per unit.

Full article to come next week.

Police and Campus Assault Resources and Education Link Up for Event

UCIPD and CARE (Campus Assault Resources and Education) will continue their support program UCIPD CAREs, a monthly group meeting for people seeking information and support on issues of sexual assault and intimate partner violence.

At UCIPD CAREs meetings, students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to ask questions of representatives from both CARE and UCIPD. The partnership between CARE and UCIPD is organized to provide a confidential space for people who seek support and information, but may feel uncomfortable in contacting law enforcement directly or committing to a line of action.

Upcoming meetings will be held on April 11, May 9 and June 6 from noon to 1:00 p.m. in Aldrich Hall 117.

New Rides Coming to Orange County Amusement Parks in the Summer

Theme parks Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland are slated to open new rides this summer, with hopes of boosting summer sales.

Knott’s Berry Farm plans to open a Gondola ride called “Windseeker” by July 4.

Meanwhile, Disney’s California Adventure will open a “Little Mermaid”-themed ride sometime this summer at a yet to be released date.

As Libyan and Syrian Unrest Wears On, Los Angeles Reacts

This Saturday, April 2, the Libyan Emergency Task Fource and Syrian community members of Southern California demonstrated at the Los Angeles Federal Building on Wilshire Blvd.

The demonstration was held to promote solidarity with the people of Syria and Libya in their struggle for regime change in their respective countries, according to a press release. Full article to follow next week.