This Week in the News 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 to keep readers up to speed.
Days may blur into weeks with UCLA’s fast-paced quarter system, but one thing remains clear: The news doesn’t stop. From measles outbreaks to the boycott of a number of hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei, The Quad’s got you covered on the hottest news of the week.
Measles is making a comeback, and this time, it’s on UCLA’s territory.
A student infected with measles attended class in Franz Hall and Boelter Hall between April 2 and 9. The locations pose no imminent threat to the public, but UCLA officials are working to notify all students, staff and faculty.
No other students have been infected thus far, but health workers have identified approximately 500 people who have been exposed to the virus at UCLA. Symptoms to look out for include high fevers, coughing, runny nose and rashes.
Officials are recommending students who have not yet gotten their second dose of the measles vaccination to do so immediately. Those who do not provide proof of immunization will be quarantined, as issued in an email statement released by Chancellor Gene Block.
In the wake of the Sultan of Brunei’s new penal code, which subjects those engaging in either homosexual or adulterous acts to stoning or whipping, many UCLA students have turned to boycott American hotels owned by the Sultan. Two such hotels – The Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air – are in close proximity to UCLA.
Buddy Al-Aydi, a first-year biochemistry student who was disowned by his family after coming out as gay, is positive the boycotts against American hotels owned by the Sultan will be instrumental in progressing LGBTQ rights. He adds that on top of boycotting, staging protests outside the hotels would garner even more attention to the issue.
Some students are more doubtful of the effectiveness of the boycott. Fourth-year neuroscience student Ellen Hsieh felt LGBTQ rights often go unnoticed by the Trump administration, so directly supporting LGBTQ organizations may instead leave a greater impact.
Regardless, many political officials such as Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz have voiced their support in the boycott. In a resolution introduced by Koretz, he stated Westwood and its surrounding areas will not be conducting business with any hotels affiliated with the Sultan until the penal code is lifted.
In response to fraternity Phi Kappa Psi’s inadequate response to one of its member’s sexual assault allegations, second-year anthropology and geography student Daphne Sinclaire has started a letter-writing campaign. These letters are written by students who have experienced sexual assault and will be delivered to the house.
Although the member who was accused of sexual assault was removed from the fraternity, he still resides in the house due to lease obligations. The member is required to leave the property in the case of in-house events.
Interfraternity Council President Joshua Kaplan told The Bruin the fraternity has taken reform measures, but Sinclaire feels more steps can be taken to educate its members on sexual assault. Through the letter campaign, Sinclaire hopes to shed light on an issue that Phi Kappa Psi has failed to address.
After a 50-year run as Westwood’s sandwich shop-turned-sports bar, Sepi’s is closing its doors April 30.
After the statement released by owner Kifishia Kawachi, which cites permit and alcohol license issues as the reason for the closure, many former regulars and newcomers alike have since flocked to Sepi’s.
In response to the closure, community members such as second-year political science student and North Westwood Neighborhood Council member Grayson Peters have created a petition to keep the establishment open.
Despite these efforts, the bar will not be relocating for the time being. Having once served as a spot for catching up with friends and watching games, Sepi’s will nonetheless leave students with nothing but good memories.
Jordyn Wieber, UCLA gymnastics volunteer assistant coach, has accepted Arkansas’ offer to be head coach.
Wieber previously served as a team manager for UCLA from 2013 to 2016, before transitioning to the position of volunteer assistant coach.
During her time with UCLA gymnastics, the former Bruin helped bring the team to No. 1 national rankings on floor for the past two seasons. Wieber also brought home gold as a member of the “Fierce Five” at the 2012 Olympics, on top of being named the two-time U.S. all-around champion in 2011 and 2012.