Wednesday, May 22

Block meets with Daily Bruin editorial board, discusses campus issues

Chancellor Gene Block meets with the Daily Bruin editorial board every quarter to discuss issues affecting campus and to explain administrative policies. At their meeting Wednesday, Block and Monroe Gorden, Jr., interim vice chancellor of student affairs, spoke about the election, campus safety and mental health resources on campus, among other topics.

  • Block said he thinks the election surprised everyone and understands people feel vulnerable. He added he wants students to know UCLA should stick together as a community and realizes that it is a hard and trying time.

  • Block also said he was not sure how the election would affect UCLA directly, but does not think UCLA’s policies will be impacted by federal changes. Block said he was proud of the UCLA student protest that occurred early Wednesday morning in Westwood and called it impressive.

  • A campus safety task force made 21 campus safety recommendations in response to the campus murder-suicide last June. Block said he has reviewed each recommendation and found some easier than others to implement. He also said he thinks UCLA needs training for faculty and officials to have a better idea of how to exit a building during an emergency. He added he wants to improve communication with the campus by working to update BruinAlert and implementing better applications and programs.

  • UCLA is developing a five-year plan that aims to destigmatize use of mental health resources. Block said 20 percent more students said they use these services over the last five years. He also said while there has been an increase in temporary funds to provide mental health resources, he understands the ratio of students to resources is very uneven.

  • Donors to UCLA are giving money to a wider variety of programs. Block pointed to Geffen’s donation of $100 million to medical students and Geffen Academy as an example. Block added that many donors start by giving to the athletic department and subsequently provide resources to other areas.

  • Block admitted his office hours are very short and infrequent. Block said his commitments to maintaining relationships with international universities limit his time to interact with students.

  • Block said he thinks the Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center will attract high-quality conferences and decrease the number of conferences held on the Hill. For example, space in De Neve will be left for student use instead of non-UCLA visitors.

  • Gorden said UCLA is reviewing applications to appoint a new university police chief. Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck said he wants students to be able to interview applicants and push for a candidate who understands the diverse student body’s concerns.

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