We’ve had a busy summer here in Westwood.
From another alcohol ban at some UCLA fraternities to record-high temperatures throughout the city, this summer has been almost as eventful as the school year that preceded it. Here’s a rundown of some of the biggest news stories you might have missed out on over the summer.
In-state tuition drops
Tuition went down this summer – kind of.
Tuition and fees for in-state students is now $12,570. For the first time in almost two decades the University of California system has lowered tuition for in-state students. In July, the UC Board of Regents voted to repeal a $60 fee which was originally implemented in 2007 to cover legal expenses. However, nonresidents aren’t quite as lucky – in addition to the $12,570, non-California residents have to pay a supplemental fee of $28,992, a 3.5 percent increase from last year’s nonresidential supplement fee.
CupcakKe, Buddy and Charli XCX are welcoming students back to UCLA
Earlier this month, the Campus Events Commission and the Cultural Affairs Commission announced the musicians performing at this year’s Bruin Bash. This year, the musicians were announced days prior to tickets becoming available as well, unlike last year when the lineup was not announced until five days after ticket website opened up.
The ticket lottery faced a few setbacks and took up to 50 minutes for some students to begin getting floor tickets as a result of heavy traffic to the site; however, the lottery did not face any sort of crash like it did last year. Students were eventually able to get floor tickets, which sold out in 90 minutes.
While this year’s ticket lottery stirred up less controversy than last year’s, the actual lineup was a bit more contentious. In a Facebook post, CAC commissioner Sarena Khasawneh wrote that some parents and students had complaints over CupcakKe’s sexual lyrics. Khasawneh defended the choice to have CupcakKe perform, noting that many songs performed by men and white women are just as sexual in nature and receive wide mainstream acclaim.
Rising neighborhood council makes progress
Although students and Westwood community members won the election to create the new North Westwood Neighborhood Council in May, which encompasses UCLA and parts of the immediate vicinity of the campus, things got a bit heated when it came to actually implementing that change.
Members of the Westwood Neighborhood Council argued that the boundaries of the new NWWNC were unfairly skewed toward Westwood Forward’s demands. Back in April, the council had petitioned to the Board of Neighborhood Councils to create a shared governance of Westwood Village by both councils. Then in August, the council also created a motion requesting Paul Koretz, City Councilmember of District 5, to veto any motion from the BONC to approve the bylaws of the NWWNC.
The BONC eventually did end up approving the bylaws and boundaries of the new neighborhood council. It also rejected all but three of the WWNC’s proposals for shared boundaries – Fire Station 37, UCLA Rehabilitation Services and Westwood Branch Libraries will be shared by the neighborhood councils due to their status as public spaces.
Fraternities face lawsuit and alcohol ban
UCLA Greek life has been at the center of even more controversy this summer, following last year’s brief ban on alcohol at in-house events and widespread discussion about its connections to on-campus rape culture and alcoholism.
In August, an unnamed UCLA student filed a sexual assault lawsuit against two UCLA fraternities – Zeta Beta Tau and Sigma Alpha Epsilon – as well as the UCLA Interfraternity Council and Blake Lobato, a former member of ZBT. The student alleged that Lobato encouraged her to continue drinking from a bottle of vodka despite her visible intoxication. Court documents obtained by the Daily Bruin also showed that the UCLA Title IX office conducted an investigation concluding that Lobato statutorily raped another student three years ago.
Though unrelated to the aforementioned lawsuit, some fraternities at UCLA are also facing a national ban on hard liquor. The ban only affects fraternities under the North-American Interfraternity Conference, a congregation mainly composed of social fraternities like Delta Tau Delta and Sigma Nu which has given fraternities one year to fully implement the rule, which prohibits beverages with more than 15 percent alcohol content – unless they’re served by a third-party vendor. The ban isn’t limited to UCLA either – it will affect all fraternities within the NIFC which spans more than 6,100 chapters at 800 schools.
UCLA tops college rankings lists
UCLA is finally the head honcho as far as public universities go, according to the U.S. News and World Report’s latest college rankings.
While UCLA tied with UC Berkeley for No. 1 public university last year in the USNWR’s rankings, this year UCLA is the sole recipient of the title, with UC Berkeley coming in at No. 2. Additionally, UCLA jumped up from last year’s overall ranking of No. 21 to No. 19, tying with Washington University in St. Louis, a private school located in Missouri.
Not all college ranking committees were as keen on UCLA as the USNWR’s. In August, the ShanghaiRanking Consultancy ranked UCLA as the No. 2 public university, with our northern neighbors in Berkeley beating us out for No. 1.
Summer heat wave strikes Los Angeles
It’s been pretty hot here in Los Angeles, with some record-setting temperatures blazing through the city in early July.
Los Angeles residents were well aware of that early this summer, when the city of LA issued a city-wide weather alert for excessive heat in July. Temperatures in Los Angeles went all the way up to 108 degrees Fahrenheit on July 6 – 26 degrees hotter than the historical average for that day. After skyrocketing temperatures led to increased electricity use, many residents faced power outages early the next morning, according to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. While only about 180 LADWP customers in Westwood experienced the power outages, about 34,500 total customers lost their power across the city.