Below are several major events that happened at UCLA and in the University of California in 2017.
Regent Norman Pattiz resignation
- Norman Pattiz, a member of the University of California Board of Regents, resigned from his position on Dec. 28. Pattiz, who is the chairman of radio company PodcastOne, is leaving on Feb. 16. Pattiz apologized in 2016 after a recording emerged of him asking if he could hold an employee’s breasts while she taped a commercial for bras. Pattiz was also sued by a former employee of PodcastOne in September for allegedly pointing a gun at him and compelling him to falsify advertising data.
- A fire that started in the Bel Air area early morning on Dec. 6 led to classes being canceled on Dec. 6 and Dec. 7 due to poor air quality and closures on the 405 Freeway. Several students also had their finals rescheduled or cancelled. Student leaders criticized the UCLA administration’s response to the fire as inefficient and said they thought several of the BruinAlerts were vague and confusing.
- Student leaders announced on Nov. 8 they are pushing to create a new neighborhood council for Westwood to better represent students’ interests. Several student leaders said they think the current Westwood Neighborhood Council marginalizes students by not being supportive of affordable housing projects and new businesses.
- Westwood Forward, the coalition that is leading this campaign, submitted a petition to the Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment on Dec. 15 to begin the process of creating a new council. If the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment approves the coalition’s application, residents will be able to vote for a new council during an election sometime in the spring.
End of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
- President Donald Trump ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program enacted by former President Barack Obama in 2013 that deferred deportations for undocumented individuals brought to the United States as children. The UC, which has about 4,000 undocumented students, sued the Trump administration in September, claiming that ending the program violated DACA recipients’ constitutional rights.
Danny Siegel gang symbol
- Several students criticized former USAC President Danny Siegel in May for being insensitive to individuals affected by gang violence, after a photo of him posing with the hand sign of a primarily African-American street gang called the Bloods was leaked on social media. Students said they thought Siegel’s gesture was offensive to African-Americans and called on him to apologize and resign. Siegel eventually apologized but declined to resign.
Management issues at UCLA Early and Education centers
- Jayanti Tambe, the executive director of UCLA Early Care and Education, a child care program for children of faculty and graduate students, resigned in January following complaints from parents. Several parents claimed Tambe created a hostile environment for teachers and families and was unprofessional. A task force commissioned by to investigate the centers released a report in February recommending the university hire a new executive director with better leadership skills, clarify hiring and firing policies, and improve communication between parents, teachers and administrators.
- UCLA students affected by the Trump administration’s January travel ban on citizens and refugees from several Muslim-majority countries said they felt targeted and unwelcome in the United States. Some students from the banned countries said they were afraid to remain in the United States and may continue their education in another country.
UC regents raise tuition
- The UC Board of Regents raised tuition by $282 at its bimonthly meeting in January 2017. UC officials said the tuition increase would help accommodate increased undergraduate enrollment, hire additional faculty and expand mental health services. Financial aid covered the increase for about two-thirds of students.