Week one: A stipend diminished, cannabis class in session, Panhellenic controversy
(Courtney Fortier/Daily Bruin)
Oct. 5, 2018 4:14 p.m.
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.
Things are picking up quickly. It’s only week one and the quarter has already been steeped in big news and changes on campus. From medical students not receiving their promised stipend to the Panhellenic Association president criticizing a USAC resolution condemning sexual assault, here are the Quad’s top picks for this week’s Daily Bruin stories:
When residents at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine received their housing stipend back in August, they didn’t expect it to be hundreds of dollars less than they were promised. But that’s exactly what happened.
In February, UCLA Health announced in an email that it would be paying its medical residents a stipend that would total to $5,000 after taxes – the school’s first housing stipend. However, when the stipend finally came, Marguerite Thorp, a resident physician, told the Bruin that she and many other residents she spoke with only received $3,800 – almost 25 percent less than the stipend the email promised.
Unfortunately for the residents, they also may not be able to file official grievances with the university, due to the fact that their stipend was announced via email and their actual contract does not contain any provisions regarding their housing stipends.
Students can now attend a non-credit class on cannabis, thanks to the student-run UCLA Cannaclub, which is offering its first course on the drug.
Arazoo Shwany, the club’s educational director, told the Bruin that the course, Cannabis 101, aims to sort of de-stigmatize marijuana and facilitate important discussions around the drug beyond talking about its recreational uses. Lecture topics will focus on different aspects of the plant, from its biology to responsible usage, and the class will meet every other Wednesday in Kaplan Hall during fall quarter, with its first lecture taking place during week one.
UCLA Panhellenic Association president Emily Lewis is facing backlash from some students after criticizing a student government resolution which she believes unfairly targets Greek life for its involvement in cases of sexual assault.
In an email sent to 12 members of the Undergraduate Students Association Council, Lewis wrote that the council’s statement condemning sexual violence – which followed reports of former Zeta Beta Tau member Blake Lobato’s criminal charges of assault – added nothing of value to the campus-wide discussion of harassment. While Lewis did not consult all Panhellenic members prior to sending the email, Kappa Alpha Theta president Sawyer Lindsey told The Bruin she supported Lewis in every aspect.
USAC members, however, had some different thoughts. Campus events commissioner Alley Madison told the Bruin she believed Lewis’ statement seemed more concerned with protecting the reputation of Greek life, rather than actually making campus safer.
Federal prosecutors announced Tuesday that Michael Miselis, a former doctoral student in the aerospace engineering program who was involved with a major white supremacist and anti-Semitic organization, was arrested on federal conspiracy charges for his involvement in the 2017 Charlottesville riots.
Miselis was one of three other California men who were arrested and charged with conspiracy for traveling to Virginia “with the intent to encourage, promote, incite, participate in, and commit violent acts” as part of the Rise Above Movement.
In July, ProPublica and Frontline uncovered a video of Miselis beating an unidentified African-American man during the riot. Shortly thereafter, his former employer Northrop Grumman announced that he was no longer working for the company. He was a student at UCLA until last year.