Best of Winter Quarter: Your Welcome Back Briefing

Welcome back, Aggies!

Already!? I hope you all had a relaxing spring break. Before we close the book on Winter Quarter, we want to take the time to look back and recognize some of the most memorable news stories — along with some of ‘dat new new(s)’ from the past week. Let’s dive in.

We’ll start with this week:

K. OLIVER [CC BY 2.0] / FLICKR

UC Berkeley parent, David Sidoo, has been accused of paying $100,000 to have someone take his son’s Canadian high school exams and SAT. Berkeley is the second UC to be involved in the national college admissions scandal, after UCLA’s soccer coach Jorge Salcedo was indicted on charges of racketeering and conspiracy. Sidoo flew out Mark Riddell, a Harvard graduate who resides in Florida, to Los Angeles to pose as his son to take his SAT in 2012. Sidoo has pleaded not guilty to charges of wire fraud and mail fraud and faces up to 20 years in prison. Sidoo graduated from UC Berkeley last spring. Read on.

Decisions were released on Mar. 8 to potential future Aggie freshman. UC Davis received a similar number of applications to years past, but the admission rate was lower. “It was just super competitive [this year],” said Brenda Fudge Jensen, the associate director of public advising and admissions advising. But the hard work isn’t over. The admissions office is working tirelessly, answering calls and talking with students who weren’t admitted. They also receive many calls from admitted students. “Joys come from working with the people,” Fudge Jensen said. “Especially the one that says, ‘Davis is my dream school’ and they got in. When a parent calls you on the phone and they’re crying tears of joy, that’s really exciting.” Read on.

Thursday marked the start of the 2019 baseball season. Sports writer Carson Parodi predicts division winners — “2019 MLB Season Preview

Listen: Welcome the new season with some sunshine-y, spring-y songs from the Art Desk’s Spring Playlist.

Watch: Movies to continue the celebration of Women’s History Month — “Spanglish,” “Hidden Figures,” “The Hunting Ground” and more.

And now for The Aggie’s Best of Winter Quarter:

This was from a spontaneous trip to the sunflower field in Dixon in the summer. The vastness of the flourishing yellow and green reminds me that beauty is all around you if you look for it. And it’s free. (JORDAN CHOW)

Best of Campus News:

WarnMe system fails: majority of students, employees uninformed of active shooter situation” — Jan. 17 by Priyanka Shreedar

“Due to a failure on the part of the outside security alert company responsible for sending out WarnMe alerts, the majority of UC Davis students and employees did not receive real-time updates from campus police during an active shooter situation in downtown Davis last week. The sequence of events unfolded on Thursday, Jan. 10, during which time a shooter killed 22-year-old police officer Natalie Corona and fired several other shots before taking off into the city.”

Economics major reclassified as STEM degree” — Feb. 21 by Claire Dodd

“UC Davis has reclassified its undergraduate economics major as a STEM degree, reflecting a trend that brings the university in line with top institutions such as MIT, Columbia and Yale. […] This new classification as a STEM degree is thought to better reflect the content of the major.”

Best of City News:

New pizza restaurant, Pizza & Pints, to open in Davis” — Mar. 4 by Sara Glickich

“The owner of Village Pizza & Grill, Aziz Fattahi, is opening another pizza restaurant at 236 B St., on the corner of Third and B streets. Fattahi, who opened Village Pizza & Grill in 2009 and also owns Village Bakery, hopes to open the restaurant near the end of March. The new restaurant, Pizza & Pints, will have a casual setting with counter service, in contrast to Fattahi’s other restaurant, Village Pizza & Grill.”

Former employee of Osteria Fasulo claims she was fired for speaking Spanish” — Feb. 8 by Tim Lalonde

“High-end Davis restaurant Osteria Fasulo made national headlines this month when a former employee filed an official complaint alleging that the owner subjected her to a racist tirade, before telling her she needed to leave the restaurant if she didn’t “learn English.” The restaurant owner, Leonardo Fasulo, is disputing the complaint through legal representation.”

Best of Features:

ZACHARY LACSON / AGGIE

Skateboarders soar smoothly across campus” — Mar. 5 by Margo Rosenbaum

“Davis, widely recognized as the bicycle capital of the United States, is well-known for the bikes that whizz across streets and sidewalks. However, some students prefer a different mode of transportation — still on wheels, but with four instead of two. Skateboarders glide amongst the sea of bikers, choosing to use their boards to commute to class instead of using the traditional bikes.”

Free college tuition: the pros and cons” — Feb. 12 by Vincent Sanchez

“Perhaps the one thing unifying all college students is tuition. It affects all students one way or another. Some receive scholarships to help alleviate the pressure of tuition costs, but most students find themselves taking out loans or emptying bank accounts to pay the hefty price tag that comes with college. The idea of making college tuition free has seen its fair share of traction, but is it really a solution or would more problems emerge? Students across campus weighed in on this illustrious topic.”

Best of Arts:

ZOË REINHARDT / AGGIE

If Trees Could Talk” — Mar. 12 by Itzelth Gambo

“Third-year studio art and psychology major Maxine Aiello turns campus trees into pieces of art through a project titled “If Trees Could Talk.” Aiello placed mirrors in tree hollows around campus, as well as dog-tags directly underneath to demonstrate personal responsibility in environmental degradation. Aiello transformed 14 trees last year for her sculpture class, Art 150 2A: Studio Projects. The project took a total of five weeks to complete. To alter each tree it took four hours.”

Spotify vs. Apple Music” — Jan. 25 by Rosie Schwarz

“Both services have features that differentiate them from the other. Spotify offers a free ad-supported tier for users that do not want to pay monthly, while Apple’s free version is provided through the Beats 1 radio station. In addition, Apple Music offers 45 million songs while Spotify offers 35 million, which, depending on one’s musical preferences, could make a big difference in preferred streaming service.”

Best of Sports:

QUINN SPOONER / AGGIE

UC Davis Baseball Season Preview” — Feb. 22 by Omar Navarro

“With spring rapidly approaching, the UC Davis baseball team is ready to take a step toward its 2019 season led by Head Coach Matt Vaughn. After posting a 18-35 overall record last year, the Aggies hope to bounce back as they return some of their top hitters from 2018.”

A look into the growing fantasy sports industry” — Jan. 27 by Ryan Bugsch

“The fantasy sports industry has become an increasingly lucrative industry, estimated to be worth $7 billion according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. With 59 million players in the U.S. and Canada, players and sports enthusiasts alike continue to create fantasy sport leagues and play daily or weekly to try and win large amounts of money.”

Best of Science:

PAUL VAN DE VELDE [CC BY 2.0] / FLICKR

Soil may save our climate” — Feb. 25 by Peter Smith

“The current global warming crisis is caused by humans interrupting the natural balance between the carbon in the earth and in the atmosphere. Humans have rapidly released a large amount of earth-bound carbon by burning fossil fuels, the carbon remnants of living organisms that decomposed in soil long ago. The researchers at C4S want to use different methods to reverse the process and counter the rapid release of carbon dioxide by accelerating the earth’s ability to capture greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere.”

Team Gunrock Wins the 2018 Amazon Alexa Prize” — Feb. 5 by Kriti Varghese

“After nearly a year of hard work, the UC Davis student team that participated in the Amazon Alexa Prize 2018 competition won the $500,000 prize for their chatbot, Gunrock. Gunrock was assessed on its ability to hold a conversation on a variety of topics and managed an average of nine minutes and 59 seconds in the final rounds of the competition. The team improved the chatbot by having humans converse with it, developing its ability to handle language.”

Best of Opinion:

Nick Irvin’s “A UC Davis professor thinks cops “need to be killed”

Daniel Oropeza’s “The Green New Deal: The good, the bad and the ugly

Benjamin Porter’s “Why everyone both loves and hates Joe Rogan for all the wrong reasons

Best Laughs:

Madeline Kumagai’s “Humor: Trump appoints head of West Village to Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Conner Shaw’s “What your Smash main says about you

And now you’re caught up. Check out our website for more, and grab a paper this — and every —  Thursday. Happy Spring Quarter, Aggies. Bring on the sun, welcome back Wednesday evening FarMar and get amped for Picnic Day.

See you Friday!

— Grace Simmons