News Briefs – Wed. Feb 10- Tues. Feb 16



Daniel Chen, former University of California, Santa Barbara student and current suspect in a high-profile 2014 campus gang rape case, plead not guilty on Tues., Feb. 16. Chen was arrested last week for his alleged involvement in the rape. He faces life in prison and is not eligible for bail, according to the Santa Barbara Independent.

Senators proposed A Resolution to Institutionalize a Mental Health Series and Coordination Committee and A Resolution in Support of the Formation of a Formal Office of Sustainability at the Wed., Feb. 10, Associated Students Senate meeting. The resolutions outline streamlined processes for researching the feasibility of both, which were deemed necessary for student stability and maintaining UCSB’s status as the most environmentally-friendly public university campus in the nation.

Congresswoman Lois Capps served as a guest lecturer on Tues., Feb. 16, leading a discussion of female veterans for the nationally-recognized class “The Impact of the Vietnam War on American Religion and Culture.” The class (RG ST 155) was developed by Capps’ late husband and former UCSB Religious Studies Professor Walter Capps. Walter Capps first taught the course in 1979, and it grew to be regularly attended by up to 900 UCSB undergraduates.

University of California, Santa Barbara professors Chris Van de Walle, of materials research, and Michael Doherty, of chemical engineering, have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.  Van de Walle was elected for his revolutionary work with semiconductors, and Doherty was nominated for his research in distillation and crystallization processes. They share the honor with 102 other new members elected in 2016.


An unspecified shooting threat was brought to the attention of local law enforcement on Tues., Feb. 16 after it was “posted in an unmoderated chat room from another state, [and] did not identify a specific school or Santa Barbara organization,” according to Dustin Olson, Chief of Police for UCPD. Law enforcement is calling the threat unsubstantiated.


Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead at the age of 79 on Sat., Feb. 13, at a resort in West Texas. Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara pronounced Scalia dead due to natural causes, though the official statement from Scalia’s doctor will be available later this week. Scalia was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. He was the longest serving member of the current court.