This Week in the News series serves as the Quad’s space for reflection on current events at and around UCLA. Every week, Daily Bruin staffers will analyze some of the most significant stories of the week to keep readers up to speed.
Welcome back, Bruins.
Even though it’s only zero week, it’s already starting to get busy in Westwood. In between moving into apartments or dorms and getting acclimated to campus, it can be hard to keep up with the news that’s going on around us – so here are the Quad’s top picks for this week’s important stories around us.
Librarians across the University of California system have been protesting against the UC’s lack of academic freedom protections for them.
The University Council-American Federation of Teachers, a union for UC librarians and non-Senate faculty, held a demonstration Wedensday in which about 40 librarians and supporters marched on campus with their mouths taped shut during their lunch break in between contract negotiations with the UC Office of the President.
The union is currently negotiating with the UCOP for better policies regarding academic freedom policies, which, in their current state, only protect faculty, students, teaching assistants, graduate students and researchers from censorship of controversial ideas – not librarians or other nonfaculty academic personnel.
Bruins got a feisty welcome to campus from CupcakKe, Buddy and Charli XCX in Pauley Pavilion on Monday evening.
The lineup was Bruin Bash’s first in at least 10 years to feature a woman headliner, Charli XCX. The musicians were also noted for sex-positive lyrical content, in particular CupcakKe, who performed her hit songs “Deepthroat” and “Cumshot,” encouraging the crowd to moan sensually with her during the latter number.
While some students and parents complained about the overtly sexual content, many students expressed excitement about CupcakKe’s appearance. First-year neuroscience student Shivesh Shourya told the Bruin that he believes CupcakKe’s appearance at the concert was able to help UCLA students be more open-minded and accepting.
Alberto Medina, the former Fresno State University student who was found guilty for the 2015 killing of UCLA student Andrea DelVesco back in May, was sentenced to life without parole for the murder Sept. 21.
In addition to first-degree murder under special circumstance, Medina was also found guilty of two counts of burglary, one count of arson and one count of animal cruelty, resulting in an additional 10 years added on top of his life sentence.
DelVesco was found dead after a fire in her apartment on Roebling Avenue on the morning of Sept. 21, 2015. Medina was arrested shortly thereafter, along with Eric Marquez, a former UCLA student, in connection with the murder. While the two were previously tried together, the defense and prosecution eventually permitted Marquez’s separation from the trial and he plead guilty to first-degree residential burglary and accessory after the fact in December. Medina chose to plead not guilty to his charges.
A Los Angeles judge dismissed criminal charges against Patrick Harran, a chemistry professor who is thought to be the first American professor to face such charges for an academic lab accident.
In 2008, Sheharbano “Sheri” Sangji was working as an assistant in Harran’s lab when a chemical spill resulted in a fire. Sangji was not trained to handle the chemical, tert-Butyllithium, which ignites when exposed to air. She was also not wearing a lab coat and did not go under a chemical shower, resulting in second- and third-degree burns throughout her body, ultimately leading to her death.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Devon Modster announced on Twitter that he will be transferring out of UCLA. Modster wrote that he “would like to thank (his) teammates for grinding with (him) day in and day out, creating memories that (he) will cherish for a lifetime.” However he ultimately decided to leave UCLA to “pursue other opportunities.”
Modster, who was the No. 13 ranked quarterback in the nation when he was recruited by former coach Jim Mora, began the year behind two other players on the depth chart and had not seen game action as quarterback this season.