Monday, May 27

Letter to the Editor:

Editorial’s criticism overly harsh

I would like to first thank the Daily Bruin Editorial Board for reporting on the recent USAC surplus allocations that passed unanimously on March 2 in “USAC surplus fund must serve majority” (April 1).

I recognize the importance of transparency in all of our decisions, and welcome future coverage that disseminates information about similar issues to the student body.

However, as one of the councilmembers that voted to approve the surplus allocations, I cannot help but challenge the editorial board for questioning “USAC’s priorities and its commitment to the student body as a whole.”

Earlier this year, during our USAC retreat, we drafted a list of priorities centering around providing financial assistance to students and protecting student services from budget cuts. USAC has been both deliberative and strategic in practicing our fiduciary responsibilities by allocating funding to where it is needed most.

It is for this reason that we gave students scholarships to buy textbooks when many cannot afford them, raised awareness about the struggle of the homeless with BruINTENT, saved the critical 24-hour study space Night Powell and recently had a huge victory in sustaining Covel tutorials.

It is also more than appropriate for UCLA to host the United States Student Association Congress this summer, giving UCLA students without the financial means to travel the ability to participate on our very own campus by planning USSA’s legislative agenda for the upcoming year with student leaders from campuses nationwide.

UCLA has been at the forefront in helping lead the national agenda this year with college affordability and student aid reform, as evidenced by UCLA receiving USSA “Campus of the Year.”

All of these programs are more than just “the councilmembers’ own favored programs.” They were selected, prioritized and voted upon unanimously by USAC because they served the interests and needs of the greater student body.

With these programs and services now in place, given the priorities we drafted at the start of our term, I applaud the work of my fellow councilmembers in serving far more than just a majority. And I would like to think we have been pretty good at delivering results to all students.

Jason Tengco

USAC general representative

Columnist’s umbrage unfair, unclear, unkind

I respect Jordan Manalastas and his freedom of opinion, but I think he is completely wrong in his latest column, “Sex scandals call for change” (March 31).

My guess is that ““ as many others who write aggressively against Christianity or Catholicism are ““ he is so bitter and has accumulated so much regret that he is blinded: It distorts, bends and twists whatever he writes about religion or moral values. Also ““ or maybe as a consequence ““ he sounds very disrespectful of what other people think. Maybe he does this on purpose.

If he does not, I encourage him to change to a more welcoming style. If he does, I encourage him to show part of the respect he is asking for. He seems to be very proud about holding some decisions that are contrary to his family’s or to traditional values. Show some of that tolerance and acceptance for other peoples’ beliefs.

The column does not state clearly what specific things he is accusing the pope and the church of. Nor does it refer to any objective event with enough clarity. I assume he is echoing other media in trying to involve the pope in two sexual abuse scandals, one in 1980 in Munich while he was the archbishop, and a second one in Wisconsin during the 1990s, while he was the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Regarding his next column, I have some advice. If he is going to stick to pure opinion, then he should refer to my first paragraph and the part on being tolerant and respectful.

If, on top of that, he is going to touch upon some facts, he should not eat up all he reads in the media at face value. Do a little bit of research and try to be critical with both sides of the story.

Like him, I was also raised a Catholic. As opposed to his case though, my parents, teachers and mentors did not impose anything on me or threw at me things to simply believe. They accompanied faith with reason, and a great deal of affection toward me and everybody, including apostates.

Iñigo Gallo

Second-year doctorate student Anderson School of Management

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