Week five: Measles quarantine, Michelle Obama, Noam Chomsky and other new faces on campus
(Courtesy of UCLA Athletics, Kristie-Valerie Hoang/Daily Bruin senior staff, Mia Kayser/Daily Bruin staff)
May 3, 2019 5:47 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.
Sure, midterms can be a bummer, but at least we’re halfway to summer?
Week five saw a quarantine of students in the wake of the measles outbreak, former first lady Michelle Obama visiting campus, and the hiring of a new soccer coach. Here are the top stories from Week five.
In case you haven’t heard – and if you haven’t, I don’t know where you’ve been – UCLA had a bit of a measles outbreak.
UCLA took precautions to prevent the possible spreading of measles by quarantining students who did not have proper vaccination documentation on file. Many students were pulled out of dorm rooms or class and taken to Bradley Hall until they could prove they had received the booster shots for measles immunity or blood tests showed they did not have the virus.
While students say they were treated well during their time in isolation, Jade McVay, a third-year bioengineering student quarantined last week, described the experience as initially overwhelming due to her uncertainty around possibly having contracted the virus.
The measles outbreak at UCLA came amid the highest number of measles cases across the country in more than two decades. While some blame the rise on those who choose not to vaccinate, others point to the fact that some people are allergic to the measles vaccination and cannot protect themselves from the disease.
Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck wrote in a letter to the UCLA community Thursday that all students and faculty quarantined last week have been released with no additional cases of measles.
On Wednesday, former first lady Michelle Obama, alongside numerous celebrities, spoke to roughly 9,000 incoming college students inside Pauley Pavilion for the sixth annual College Signing Day.
Obama’s Better Make Room and Reach Higher initiatives aim to encourage students to pursue higher education. During her speech Wednesday, Obama emphasized that while students face many challenges in attending and graduating from college, they are not alone on their journey.
Celebrities in attendance included John Legend, Usher, Conan O’Brien, and various NBA and NFL athletes.
Students in attendance said they were inspired by Obama and the celebrities taking the time to come to College Signing Day and show their support for higher education.
Noam Chomsky, widely considered the father of modern linguistics, began a weeklong lecture series at UCLA on Monday.
Chomsky’s first lecture focused on the history of linguistics as well as several prominent linguistic theories he has developed throughout his career.
The lectures were hosted by UCLA’s department of linguistics, and roughly 250 people, including UCLA undergraduate and graduate students, USC students, as well as visitors from around the world who flew in to hear Chomsky speak, were in attendance Monday.
Some students without a background in linguistics told The Bruin they found parts of the lecture to be too technical to fully grasp. Others, like fourth-year applied linguistics student Emily Melik Aslanian, were ecstatic to hear such a prominent figure in their field speak.
Since 1998, 72 appeals were made against Westwood businesses and properties, according to a document compiled by the Los Angeles Department of City Planning. Out of those 72 appeals, 61% were filed by just three different community members.
Steve Sann, chair of the Westwood Community Council, has filed 23 appeals since 1998. Sann has been blamed by many in the Westwood community as the person most responsible for inhibiting the amount of nightlife in the Village as well as for helping to shutter some long-time businesses like beloved sports bar Sepi’s – which closed down just last month.
Andrew Thomas, executive director of the Westwood Village Improvement Association, said he believes Sann and the two other community members responsible for filing numerous appeals over the years have created a perception that opening a business in Westwood is challenging.
The appeals process is often a costly and drawn-out affair, which raises concerns that new businesses would avoid Westwood in favor of more business-friendly neighborhoods.
Of the 23 appeals filled by Sann, seven concerned businesses’ ability to serve alcohol.
A little over a month after the nationwide athletics admissions scandal resulted in the resignation of UCLA soccer coach Jorge Salcedo, the athletic department has finally found his replacement.
On Monday, Pacific coach Ryan Jorden was hired as the next head coach of the men’s soccer team. Jorden’s had a good run at Pacific – he led the team to the NCAA tournament in each of the past three seasons.
Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said Jorden’s high level of sports science knowledge, combined with his success at Pacific, made him an attractive candidate for the job.
There’s a new vice chancellor in town.
The current dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton University, Emily A. Carter, was appointed as the new executive vice chancellor and provost at UCLA on Monday.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from UC Berkeley and earning a doctorate in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology, Carter served as a faculty member for chemistry and material science and engineering at UCLA between 1988 and 2004.
At Princeton, Carter’s research focused on quantum mechanics-based computer simulations in the study of sustainable energy. She has nearly 400 publications to her name and was the recipient of the 2017 Irving Langmuir Prize in Chemical Physics from the American Physical Society and the 2018 Award in Theoretical Chemistry from the American Chemical Society.
Carter will replace current Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh, who is returning to the faculty to continue his study of medieval history.