Monday, May 25

Week seven: UC budget transparency incomplete, USAC votes to support The Agora, Oscars

(Courtney Fortier/Daily Bruin)

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.

The weather is finally clearing after a long couple weeks of consistent rainstorms as week seven comes to a close. Several stories have come to the forefront of our attention this week, including the upcoming Academy Awards and the unanimous Undergraduate Students Association Council vote for The Agora – here are The Quad’s picks for stories this week.

Broxton Brewery begins brewing in-house beer with support from Westwood councils

(Tanmay Shankar/Daily Bruin)

Broxton Brewery in Westwood Village began brewing its own beer Feb. 9, pioneering one of the many changes that have followed the installation of a new neighborhood council last year.

However, this process was both strenuous and multifaceted in its legal and infrastructural implications.

In addition to obtaining a liquor license, Conditional Use Permit and negotiating the license’s terms with several neighborhood councils and groups, Broxton worked with civil engineers to ensure the seven-barrel brewing system could be safely installed within the building’s infrastructural foundations.

In the past, the Westwood Neighborhood Council did not allow for pitchers, happy hour, live entertainment, dancing or pool tables. Due to this, Westwood businesses like Rocco’s Tavern and Broxton were initially met with high scrutiny and stifled potential.

However, the brewery’s recent success highlights tangible progress toward some of the goals the new North Westwood Neighborhood Council had advocated for, including boosting economic activity and nightlife in the Village.

State auditor finds financial transparency recommendations for UC remain incomplete

(Kristie-Valerie Hoang/Daily Bruin senior staff)

According to a new state audit report in January, the University of California has not applied the appropriate changes in response to the 2017 state audit request for increased budget transparency.

The California State Auditor’s office has stated only 12 of the 33 recommendations that CSA Elaine Howle detailed were fully implemented, in disagreement with the 16 implementations the UC Office of the President’s report claimed to have been fulfilled.

These recommendations address issues such as budgetary transparency and reserve policies pertaining to money reallocation toward campuses.

While one side of the debate argues financial transparency is important because it supports a system for holding the UC accountable, it is also being noted by Ozan Jaquette, an assistant professor of higher education, that the UC may not be disclosing reserves in an attempt to raise state funding, which is decreasing.

According to a report from the CSA’s office, fulfilling the presented recommendations would help UCOP to receive increased state funding. Conversely, Jaquette believes the state should raise UC funding to be able to exercise this control over UC policies.

USAC votes in support of The Agora, citing potential to bring down housing costs

On Tuesday, the Undergraduate Students Association Council unanimously voted, with four abstentions, in support of a 16-story high-rise housing project planned to be on Hilgard Avenue called The Agora.

This project was the subject of a contentious debate among different neighborhood groups and councils.

Esther Chung and Esther Magna, who are both advocates of the Save Hilgard Avenue group, stood against The Agora due to its estimated staggering cost and noise and pollution disruption of the project. They also presented the current availability of alternative affordable housing options, such as the Westwood PodShare, which is a hostel-style living community.

Aaron Green, a spokesperson for The Agora, and Eraj Basseri, co-principal developer of The Agora, supported the increased student accessibility to affordable housing, the project would bring.

The project offers 462 beds at $1,000 to $1,200 per month and includes 52 beds, which are less than $500 a month, which is more affordable than the standard Westwood rent.

In addition, the external vice president of USAC, Jamie Kennerk, agreed with the commitment the developers have to intermixing more affordable housing units with regularly price units.

Silver Screen Wonders: The 91st Academy Awards

The Oscars ceremony is approaching its 91st year, honoring this year’s most highly acclaimed and achieved films. The Daily Bruin looked into the role of UCLA alumni in the making of some of these 2019 Oscar-nominated films. From visual effects technology to costume design, Bruins are making waves in the film industry.

While alumnus Kelly Port demonstrated expertise in using motion capture technology to bring Thanos to life on the big screen in “Avengers: Infinity War,” other alumni like Melissa Berton focused their attention on short documentaries about issues they are passionate about.

Berton founded The Pad Project, a nonprofit dedicated to raising money to install a sanitary pad machine in Kathikera, India. It soon became the inspiration for her Academy Award-nominated short documentary, “Period. End of Sentence,” which depicts the process of providing women with the proper resources to take care of themselves as well as the gradual progress in the destigmatization of menstruation and female empowerment in the village.

In her “Second Take: List of best director nominees indicate gender inequity remaining in Hollywood,” columnist Alissa Evans reveals the still-existing prejudice the film industry holds against female directors, apparent in the all-male 2019 Oscar nominee list for best director.

With the nearing of the 91st Academy Awards, Evans curated her own predictions on who will take home the Oscar gold in six highly contentious categories, taking into consideration factors such as critic reviews, public response, past Oscar nominations and performance on screen.

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