News in Brief: Jan. 11 to Jan. 18



After hordes of protesters swarmed UC Davis Friday evening in solidarity against a scheduled appearance by Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, the UC Davis College Republicans were forced to cancel the scheduled event after consulting with student affairs representatives and the university’s police department officials. Protesters blocked all access to the venue several hours prior to the event’s intended start time chanting “racists are not welcome here”. Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak alongside former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli, who garnered a social media following after he unapologetically raised the price of a drug used by HIV patients.  

In a long time partnership between the university and the local non-profit United Way of Santa Barbara, the University launched its annual campaign last Wednesday to support K-12 education efforts both inside and outside the classroom. With its $125,000 goal, the large majority of proceeds made by UCSB employees will stay in Santa Barbara County. By emphasizing literacy, health, and financial stability, United Way of Santa Barbara helps young students every year stay on the path to becoming UC eligible.

Benjamin Halpern, a professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, is one of 10 recipients to be honored with this year’s Peter Benchley Ocean Award. His work in marine biology and ecology conservation has uncovered new ground for marine reserves to be used to improve current ocean conditions. Halpern was also the lead scientist for the Ocean Health Index Project.

University of California President Janet Napolitano was hospitalized Monday due to side effects from cancer treatment, according to a UC press release published Tuesday. Napolitano had been diagnosed with cancer last August, and has been performing her full range of duties as the head of the UC system while undergoing medical care. In 2000, doctors diagnosed and successfully treated her for breast cancer. The university stated that they “expect her to be discharged in the next day or so and back to her normal duties at full capacity very soon.”


UC Santa Barbara Police Officer Antonio “Tony” Magaña will soon be tried for two misdemeanor charges that include driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a blood high alcohol level higher than 0.08. Jury selection began on Monday at the Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Maria. The officer pleaded not guilty to both charges. Magaña is also the alleged victim of a 2014 Deltopia related case in which a Los Angeles man was accused of swinging a backpack full of liquor bottles into Magaña’s face.


In wake of Republican-led Congressional efforts to repeal Affordable Care Act, rallies have sprung up nationwide aimed to preserve healthcare. Political activist group Indivisible Santa Barbara organized an event attended by newly elected Representative Salud Carbajal, leaders in the healthcare industry, and approximately 150 community members. “I know that we need to get together. If we don’t stand up together as a group and express what we need, then we are not going to get it,” Santa Barbara resident Juanita Chatham told KEYT.


On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court discussed Endrew F. vs. Douglas County District, a case regarding a fifth grade student with autism who was placed in private school because his parents believed his public education was inadequate. According to the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), if free public school cannot meet the needs of a disabled students, the student’s parents may enroll their child in private education and seek reimbursement for tuition and other expenses. Most of the justices seemed to favor improving the standard for disabled student education. Chief Justice John Roberts, although in agreement of educational improvement, advocated a wary perspective, stating “it would not be sufficient for schools to provide an expert for five minutes a day and claim they were providing the child ‘some benefit.’”