ASUCR President seeks to develop UCR mobile app

ASUCR President Sai Patadia has proposed a project to condense information about campus resources and activities through a free UCR mobile application.

With a beta version scheduled for release in early December, the app will include information from various departments including the athletics department, Orbach and Rivera Libraries, Transportation and Parking Services, and Dining Services. The app is designed to stream information about recent developments within major campus departments.

“Progress is slow,” says Patadia. “As of right now I am still meeting with various administration within computing and communications, and also the Interim Vice Chancellor of Finance and Business Operations, Chuck Rowley. We have been discussing the layout of the application and what its primary functionality will be.”

The app may also greatly benefit commuters or non-dorming students, according to Patadia, who may not be “in the loop” of campus happenings. “I think commuters feel this sense of disconnect from (UCR) that students who live on campus don’t,” third-year commuter Erika Lerma noted about the need for greater campus connectivity for students living off-campus.

The app currently includes the aforementioned departments, but senators hope to expand the program to include about 20 departments by spring quarter.

Courtesy of UCR Today
Courtesy of UCR Today

‘Craigslist’ site can make undergraduate research easier to find

A new undergraduate research site will help connect graduate students conducting research to undergraduates who are looking to participate.

Spearheading the project, ASUCR Senators Kelly Tran and Tin Dinh hope to create a website that makes research more easily accessible to undergraduate students than the current UCR research website does. The project’s launch date is currently scheduled for the end of 2013.

“The site that is available is very difficult to navigate. Typing in ‘Undergraduate Research UCR’ in Google will direct the student to a site that will have multiple links that produce no end results,” says Senator Dinh. The new “Craiglist” site will correct this by creating a medium where researchers and participants can establish a direct correspondence via email.

Graduate research projects will be posted as links and listed on one page. Undergraduate students will be able to browse the projects and email the author of the posting they would like to assist in. Although the site’s main focus is to connect graduate students to the undergraduate students, it also intends to include professors and their project descriptions as well.

The senators plan to drive traffic to the site by promoting it through learning communities at UCR. They also aim for it to be placed as a main link on the existing research website.

Courtesy of UCR Today
Courtesy of UCR Today

TAPS allocates additional parking spaces at UCR

Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) has recently acquired approximately 80 parking spaces from the Grace United Methodist Church, located off Rustin Avenue, to offset the lack of available parking spots to UCR students.

The lot is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. It lies adjacent to Lot 26 and is accessible through the north entrance to the Methodist church. Students must still obtain a valid UCR parking permit to be allowed to occupy a space. TAPS asks that student drivers to “please pay attention to signs and only park in the area designated for UCR use.”

Due to the proximity to other student parking lots and housing, the Rustin-Blaine area experiences a naturally higher crime rate. From January to September of this year, crime statistics estimate 200 property crime reports with theft composing a bulk of that figure.

Police Officer Marlon Lynch of the UCPD Crime Prevention Unit says that the lot will undergo the same type of patrolling and scrutiny that the other parking lots receive to further diminish the crime rate.

In reaction to the additional parking spaces, third-year political science major Delaram Ahmadyveasi said, “I appreciate the additional parking spaces but I hope that UCR can find a longer-lasting solution to the impacted parking space problem.” She acknowledged the university’s efforts at alleviating the traffic congestion around campus, but she also held a reserved optimism about finding places to park in the future.

Courtesy of Flickr
Courtesy of Flickr

LAX gunman names UC President Napolitano in manifesto

UC President Janet Napolitano was named in a one-page manifesto written by the Los International Airport (LAX) gunman, who shot two unarmed Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents and fatally wounding one of them on Nov. 1

The gunman, identified as Paul Ciancia, 23 of Pennsville, New Jersey, was said to have held a grudge against Napolitano. Carrying a manifesto titled, “FU Napolitano,” he allegedly made a homophobic reference to her and revealed his motives behind the deadly shootings. According to federal authorities, Ciancia believed in anti-government sentiments and in a ‘New World Order’ conspiracy, which theorized the U.S. government was planning to take away guns and personal freedoms of Americans.

Prior to the shooting, Ciancia was dropped off at LAX and afterward made his way toward the area where TSA agents Gerardo Hernandez and Tony Grigsby worked at a checkpoint. the gunman opened fire and shot both Grisby and Hernandez, critically wounding them, returning minutes later to deliver Hernandez’s fatal shot at point-blank range. Ciancia was taken down by police gunfire and remains in critical condition at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.