If you’re a new student arriving at UCSC this week, first of all, welcome! A glance at our cover this week may inspire a lot of questions, like “Oh no, I just got here, why does everyone in Santa Cruz hate me?” and “How did things get so bad between the city and the university?”
On the first one, don’t worry. Nobody here hates you personally, and chances are, like thousands of us before you, you will end up loving Santa Cruz, deciding to stay here, and eventually complaining about how the students are ruining the housing market—just like a native!
The second question is more complicated. Considering the long history of locals resenting UCSC’s impact on the city, it might be just as valid to ask “How did things get so good between the city and the university?” As Georgia Johnson’s cover story explains, they’ve actually rebounded from an all-time low in the mid-2000s, and at least they are communicating with each other over the all-too-real issues that we all have to find a way to navigate together. Read the story and you’ll understand the history, and also why this is a critical moment in the future of those relations.
After that, find our Dilated Pupil student guide around town for a comprehensive look at your new ecosystem and to feel a lot better about your choice of schools.
One more plug: I interviewed directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton about their new movie Battle of the Sexes this week, and on Thursday I’m going to be leading the Q&A with them after the 7 p.m. screening of the film at the Del Mar. They have a lot of great insights into Billie Jean King, Bobby Riggs, the making of the film, the breakout success of their first movie, Little Miss Sunshine, and more that I didn’t have room to include, so I hope you’ll come out and hear them talk about it.
STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Letters to the Editor
Defined By Hatred?
I was greatly saddened to learn of the hatred being promoted by KSCO’s correspondent Georgia Beardslee (GT, 9/13, 9/20). I performed with a live music act on KSCO only a few weeks before this issue was brought to light. I (perhaps naively) assumed that a performance on a local radio show would not lead to me participating in an organization that promoted beliefs harmful to myself, my family and my loved ones. I am racially mixed, but white-passing. In several instances prior to this one, people have shared with me shockingly racist and bigoted sentiments, not knowing that they are including myself and my family in the groups that they so despise. Though Beardslee’s rhetoric toes right behind the line that is legally “hate speech,” it is important to realize that holding and publicly sharing such opinions is not harmless; it creates an echo chamber which validates hateful behavior. I hope that anyone who is of the belief that some persons ought to be denied humanity, based solely on the color of their skin or their country of origin, also considers that everyone who they condemn is someone’s mother, someone’s child, someone’s brother or sister. Some of you probably have a friend of mixed heritage, whether you realize it or not. Do you really want hatred to define the America that your children grow up in?
Listen Without Criticism
While I cringed reading T. Legan’s letter (GT, 9/20) denying climate change is caused by humans, I also cringed reading the editorial response to the letter. I believe dismissing the author’s letter as neither “nuanced” nor “interesting” shows an intolerance of a point of view that some people hold. While I find Legan’s views alarming because I staunchly believe that global warming is directly caused by humans, I also value hearing his perspective, one I rarely hear in Santa Cruz. Listening without criticism can be the start of understanding and is often a more effective approach to launching a persuasive counter argument. (I make an exception for hate speech.) As a country, we’ve witnessed a backlash against free speech, the loss of the art of debate, governmental gridlock and the rage that results from demeaning labels (think “deplorables”). I’d rather not see this behavior reflected in Good Times. Thank you for printing the letter.
The United States may be the only place on Earth where an elected official can publicly deny the existence of man-made climate change, or where a climate change denier can write a completely ludicrous letter to his local weekly paper. Luckily for Planet Earth, the rest of the world has already moved on to addressing climate change. Examples abound from countries phasing out fossil fuel powered vehicles (Britain, India, France), to China leading the world in renewable energy production, to a carbon tax in British Columbia. If America is going to at least make an attempt at being great again, then the obvious course of action is to start implementing climate change solutions. It is only fair to add that there is some good news in this country, too—the bi-partisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives is adding new members every month.