Monday, August 19

Top four reasons you chose the right school

UCLA offers successful sports teams, top-ranking professors, and unique students

Each year, incoming freshman and transfer students come to UCLA hoping they’ve submitted their Statement of Intent to Register to the right school. As student body president and in hopes of convincing those on the fence, I’m sharing the top four reasons (in no particular order) why UCLA is so amazing to me.

4. With 121 national championships, UCLA is a sports empire, and each year, our teams compete at the highest level. We’ve also sent competitors to almost every Olympic games and earned more gold medals than Canada.

It is an honor to be in the classroom with incredible student athletes, who continue the legacy of some of our most famous alumni. Athletes like Jackie Robinson, Troy Aikman, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and the great Coach John Wooden have all contributed so much to the life and spirit of this campus.

As evident with the devastating passing of Wooden, sports figures give UCLA much more than just championships ““ they give us inspiring memories that last a lifetime.

3. UCLA’s research and overall academic excellence are partly why we consistently rank among the top five public institutions in the country. With a Nobel prize-winning professor on campus, students can engage with some of the most preeminent scholars in their respective fields.

With programs like the Student Research Program, students can be a part of the incredible research happening all over this campus.

We are not bound to only learning in the classroom but can partner with professors and research anything from classical film to a cure for cancer. These opportunities prepare Bruins to obtain whatever our professional goals may be.

2. Everyone knows that the college experience can be a time of heightened political awareness and activity. This past November, when student fees increased by 32 percent, student protests at the UCs gained national attention. Afterward, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger committed to increasing funding for the UC system in the next budget cycle, offsetting future increases. Without a student voice these kinds of results may have been out of our reach.

Still, UCLA students traditionally don’t just demand what they want. They create it. When the number of underrepresented students at UCLA dramatically declined because of new state legislation, students protested the law but also created the Student Initiated Access Center. Now the center tutors, mentors and peer advises a large number of students in the L.A. area ““ under the total supervision of students.

Other examples, such as the ethnic studies center, the Green Initiative Fund and the Academic Advancement Program show that students at UCLA have created the change they wish to see in the world. While UCLA is large and sometimes overwhelming, these programs represent the magnitude of opportunities students can utilize.

1. The number one reason UCLA is unique is because of the students themselves.

We’ve all heard of schools where students are unreasonably competitive, and we’ve heard of the “party schools.” However, what UCLA students offer is a unique balance ““ you will meet students who are incredibly intelligent and who participate in innovative research.

These scholars are also engaged in campus life, rooting on our sports teams in the Den and participating in many campus organizations. Finally, these same people are incredibly committed to their community.

Whether participating in community service or advocating for change at the state, local, or national level, UCLA students are some of the most active, dedicated and intelligent individuals in the country.

So to the incoming class of 2014, with your Bruin experience just beginning, the great city of Los Angeles to experience, and a load of UCLA memories to create, I say congratulations: You made the right choice.

Jasmine Hill was elected Undergraduate Students Association Council president for the 2010-2011 school year.

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