Monday, July 27, 2009

New UC Student Regent-Designate Jesse Cheng on Students and the Future of UC Education

Jesse Cheng campaigning on campus. Photo © Daniel C. Tsang 2009
On our 27 July 2009 Subversity show, we talked with new University of California Student Regent-Designate Jesse Cheng, a highly visible and endearing UCI student advocate, about the future direction of the UC in these dire economic times, and what his plans to counter escalating student fees and the calls to expand foreign student enrollment. He said he supports the UC pay cut and furlough plan that has been imposed on non-unionized faculty and staff. (The current UC student regent actually voted for it.) Interviewer is show host Daniel C. Tsang. Both Jesse and Daniel both were pulled over in recent years (Jesse just a couple months before the show) by Irvine PD in what they consider to be separate cases of racial profiling.

Jesse Cheng is an Asian American Studies major with an Education minor at UC Irvine. He has a secret passion, he says, to write superhero comic books as a career. Jesse is not naturally politically inclined, a quality to which his co-workers regularly attest. Jesse was first introduced to politics and public policy through work with the Asian Pacific Islander community on issues of education, bilingual services, and immigration.

He is only the second UC student regent from UCI. Jenny Doh, who currently heads the UCI Alumni Association, and also an Asian American, was the first from UCI.

You can follow Jesse's exploits, thoughts, and first-hand facts and news about California higher education on twitter.

He is featured on the UCI web site: Voice of the People.

To listen to the 27 July 2009 show, click here: .

Monday, July 20, 2009

Unions Speak Out on UC Furloughs/Pay Cuts

Juan Castillo (AFSCME 3299) and Dianna Sahhar (CUE) on KUCI. Photo © Daniel C. Tsang 2009

University of California Regents the previous Thursday imposed a furlough/pay cut plan on thousands of UC employees, but for the UC's unionized workers, the University has to negotiate with them or the plan does not apply. On the 20 July 2009 edition of Subversity, we continue to bring you the union response.

We talked with Dianna Sahhar, a long-time Library Assistant at UCI, just back from negotiations as a CUE leader, and asked her what the University is proposing and her union's reaction. News flash: Because the plans call for monthly pay cuts, the furloughs when taken will not entail further cuts, and thus will be recorded as "paid" leave. The University had previously announced that furlough days will be banked like vacation days (for those who have them).

Sahhar is President of CUE Irvine, Local #9 from March 2008 to2010. She is a graduate of UCI with a BA in Social Ecology from 1983, and has worked at the Library for almost 20 yrs now.

We'll also talk with Juan Castillo, Lead Organizer for AFSCME 3299, who was at Friday's town hall meeting and his attempt to question the UCI Chancellor from the floor got Chancellor Michael Drake stymied for a second -- with Drake finally saying he was not "negotiating" with Castillo.

Castillo was born in El Salvador and worked with the labor movement as an organizer since he was a teenager. He arrived to the US in 1981 as a political refugee due to the human right viloations of the then-Salvadorian government and studied Biology and Chemistry at OCC and Cal State Long Beach.

Audio of the UCI Town Hall meeting as recorded by Subversity is posted here; the audio has Chancellor Drake already speaking: Twnhall090717.mp3.

For faculty reaction, see: Remaking the University:

and Emeritus Prof. Charles Schwartz's A Critical Forum on Research

Earlier Subversity interview with Bob Samuels, UC-AFT President (first half of show): (In part II, Jeffrey Schmidt, a UCI Ph.D graduate, and author of Disciplined Minds, talks about his days at UCI and how academia "disciplines" its graduate students etc.)

Cal State staff and faculty are also facing furloughs and its faculty are currently voting on it; on Cal State faculty, see: The California Faculty Association site: and its California at the Edge report:

To listen to the show, click here: .

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hai Vo on Sustainable Eating

Hai Vo at Mother's Market. Photo © Daniel C. Tsang 2009

On our 13 July 2009 edition of Subversity, a KUCI public affairs program, we talk with Hai Vo, who started the local UCI chapter of Real Food Challenge, a national initiative to shift college dining investments to more sustainable systems. We talk to Vo about what sustainable food means.

Hai Vo is a recent Social Ecology graduate from UC Irvine studying sustainable food systems. During his senior year, Hai was chosen to be a UC Sustainable Agrifood Systems (SAS) Fellow sponsored by UC Santa Cruz's Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS). As part of his fellowship, he co-conducted a food assessment of UC Irvine that sought to discover how ecologically-sound, community-based, humane, and fair the food served on campus was. Hai is a coordinator for the Real Food Challenge. Post-graduation plans include farm apprenticeships, advocating for real food, and reading books he never got a chance to the last four years of college. Vo was recently profiled by UCI here: "Sustanable Eater", with video clips linked. His "We are How We Eat" blog is also linked there.

To listen to the show, click here: .

Monday, July 6, 2009

Looking back at Vietnam War Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and his Mea Culpa

Irvine -- With the passing earlier Monday morning 6 July 2009 at age 93 of Robert McNamara, architect of the Vietnam War, we look back at his mea culpa ("In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam," 1995) and regret for waging war against the Vietnamese people.


NY Times (by Tim Wiener):

LA Times (by Stephen Braun):,0,4810762.story

We'll also air a 2006 program from National Radio Project's Making Contact on Daniel Ellsberg, who released with the late Tony Russo the Pentagon Papers, commissioned by McNamara to study the origins of the Vietnam War: " Truth-Telling in a Time of War."

The show aired 6 July 2009 from 9-10 a.m. on KUCI, 88.9 fm in Orange County, and is webcast via

To listen to the show minus the Making Contact Daniel Ellsberg segment, click here: .

For the 2006 Making Contact Ellsberg segment, go here.