The entrance to Isla Vista on Los Carneros Road

The last two weeks of winter quarter – the sun is shining, most of the time, the library is abuzz with last-minute study sessions and the gym is finally empty enough to use without waiting. Green beer abounds, St. Paddy’s celebrations persist for the procrastinators, and everyone else enjoys the sunshine from the comfort of their couch, desk or other studying station.

For those of us who work at the Daily Nexus, dead week also means a much-needed break from the daily grind of newspaper publication. It’s a chance to catch up on studying, finally see our non-newspaper-related friends and enjoy an evening or two off for a change. But, it also means that, except for a few infrequent online updates, the only source of Isla Vista-specific news is out of commission until spring quarter starts. That’s why this week’s column is all about catching up, as I round up all the recent news relevant to I.V.

On-campus, the University faculty named UCSB Physics and Engineering Professor David Awschalom as this year’s Faculty Research Lecturer – the university’s “highest honor,” according to a press release issued by the administration. On March 13, the administration announced that UCSB is one of a group of American and Canadian schools chosen to be a part of the new Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS). According to another press release from the university, “The STARS system, which will be tested this year by the group, will provide guidelines for advancing sustainability in all sectors of higher education, from governance and operations to academics, student life, and community engagement.”

In athletic news, the men’s basketball team lost in a 55-50 game against UC Irvine on March 14. The loss allowed Irvine to advance to the Big West Conference Championship game, while the Gauchos went on to play in the National Invitation Tournament on Sunday. Meanwhile, the women’s basketball team beat UC Davis in a 74-59 victory that will propel them to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005. Both baseball and softball are starting to pick up, the women’s swim team is heading to the NCAA Championships this week and both men’s and women’s track have meets in the next few days. Check it all out at the UCSB Gauchos Athletics official site.

In off-campus news, Eric Frimpong received six years in state prison, courtesy of a decision made in Judge Brian Hill’s courtroom on March 10. Last week, local residents held a memorial service to mourn UCSB student Ramona Shapiro, who committed suicide via helium poisoning in late February. Shapiro was a 22-year-old sociology major and committed vegan, who was an active member of on-campus group Vegan Interest, Vegan Outreach, and is survived by husband Ben Sturrock.

In sweeter news, I.V. Bakery is still undergoing an extreme makeover, courtesy of the University of California’s Institute for Research in the Arts’ (UCIRA) Open Container Project. The project, which is being spearheaded by Professor Kim Yasuda, allowed students in the university’s winter quarter spatial studies course redesign the bakery’s interior and exterior, with help from co-professors Yasuda and adjunct faculty artist David Jurist. More information about this innovative, interactive project is available at the Open Container Project’s website, and there is plenty of progress to be seen beyond the big white sheets currently covering the cafe’s windows. Meanwhile, The Santa Barbara Restaurant Guide recently reported that a local cafe and karaoke joint just closed its doors for good. But, on the plus side, this Friday marks the return of sake to local sushi eatery CaliRoll Express, which suffered a temporary suspension of its liquor license last month as a result of allegedly selling alcohol to minors during the mayhem of Halloween. I know where I’ll be celebrating the end of finals week.

And, on that happy note, this is Mollie Vandor signing off for this week’s pre-finals edition of Eye on Isla Vista. Stay classy I.V.


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