Week eight: Title IX policy panel, telescope controversy, YouTube pranksters interrupt class
(Illustration by Courtney Fortier/Daily Bruin. Photos by Mia Kayser/Daily Bruin staff, Joe Akira/Daily Bruin staff and Ashley Kenney/Daily Bruin)
By Alexa Greco
March 1, 2019 3:43 pm
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.
Classes might be slowing down as the quarter draws near an end, but one thing’s certain: The news cycle is still moving as fast as ever. From a panel discussing the Title IX policy to YouTubers interrupting a chemistry class for a keg stand, here are some of the top stories of the week.
The Bruin Consent Coalition and the Undergraduate Students Association Council Office of the President held a panel this week to discuss the Title IX policy and its relation to student life.
Representatives from administration, legal services, Campus Assault Resources & Education and the Title IX office discussed the implications of Title IX policy on student life.
Federal changes in Title IX policies prompted the discussion – the new changes will not be followed at UCLA, as they would decrease the need for university involvement in Title IX proceedings. At the panel, people discussed concerns regarding the past conduct of UCLA employees and administration in response to sexual assault or sexual harassment issues on campus, though all employees are required to report such incidents.
Ultimately, organizers of the panel intended to start an open dialogue on the issues of sexual violence on campus. Students agreed that they hoped that the panel would provide a platform to talk about these issues.
Students and activists alike are calling for the University of California to divest from the construction of a 30-meter telescope in Hawaii.
The telescope is set to be built at the summit of Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain in the world and a sacred Native Hawaiian site. The project is spearheaded by TMT International Observatory LLC, founded in part by the UC.
The Supreme Court of Hawaii has approved the construction permit for the telescope, but Native Hawaiians and activists are protesting in an effort to preserve the culture of Mauna Kea. Activists Liko Martin and Laulani Teale have visited several universities to encourage them to divest.
An alternative site for the telescope has been proposed in La Palma, Spain. While activists support the progress of science, they are concerned about the destruction of culture and what it could mean for Native Hawaiians.
The Pacific Islands’ Student Association plans to bring their concerns to the UC Board of Regents in March, discussing the implications of the telescope and encouraging them to divest from the project.
A number of YouTube pranksters disrupted a chemistry lecture at UCLA on Feb. 20 to do a keg stand in front of the class. The Chemistry 30C lecture was interrupted by five men, including Kristen Hanby and Evan Eckenrode, both YouTubers with more than 1 million subscribers.
The men entered Young Hall CS 76, proposing a “study break” and spent less than two minutes in front of the class performing the keg stand and filming the incident.
Ohyun Kwon, the professor, did not have time to protest and was upset that the brief interruption disrupted the focus of her class. Students also expressed their discontent as they were preparing for an upcoming midterm.
Kwon suggested that the UCPD work to prevent such incidents, though the event went unreported as it was unclear to those involved if such a thing actually qualifies as a crime. This is not the first time that something of the sort has happened at UCLA, with YouTuber Vitaly Zdorovetskiy having pulled several stunts on campus in January 2018.
Tocaya Organica, a restaurant that serves modern organic Mexican cuisine, recently opened a new location in Westwood, after already having eight other locations in Los Angeles.
Tosh Berman, CEO of The Madera Group, which owns Tocaya Organica, said that Mexican cuisine is a very important part of the California culture. The Westwood location was intended to provide healthy food options to UCLA students, as well as the entirety of the Westwood community.
Students are excited to have healthy options in the Village, and Tocaya Organica has already been catering to the UCLA basketball team for several months.
Earlier this week, The Bruin published a feature on associate head coach of the women’s tennis team Rance Brown. Brown’s colleagues and players said he has helped to nurture a strong sense of diversity on the team.
Brown originally worked as a volunteer assistant coach for the team, commuting 66 miles from Laguna Beach to work with the players.
In 1996, Stella Sampras Webster elected Brown as her assistant coach, from which he was then given recruiting responsibilities. Since then, the Bruins have had a top-10 recruiting class in nine of the last 14 years.
Growing up, Brown told The Bruin he was inspired to take up tennis by Arthur Ashe, the first African-American to be ranked No. 1 in the world. Brown said he faced adversity as one of the first African-American students in his school district.
In last year’s season, four African-American Bruins played consistently in the lineup. Brown added that the he appreciates the increasing diversity in tennis, and that he may be able to help these players. He was vital in recruiting UCLA’s current top singles player, Jada Hart.