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.
With summer break just around the corner, week seven has seen both highs and lows. From a controversial tuition hike for nonresident students and the withdrawal of Spring Sing’s annual lifetime achievement award to UCLA’s centennial celebration, here’s a breakdown of the latest happenings from the past week.
During the University of California Board of Regents meeting two months ago, the Finance and Capital Strategies Committee authorized to potentially enact a 2.6% increase in nonresident tuition, bringing up tuition to $29,754.
Opinions on whether to raise out-of-state tuition are divided. UC President Janet Napolitano explains that the tuition increase would produce an additional $28.9 million in revenue, prevent other cuts in the university budget, and align with the UC’s mission of prioritizing California resident students and advancing their access to education. According to the agenda, the financial gain would go toward covering costs such as housing and food, as well as wider access to mental health care.
Regents such as Hadi Makarechian and Lark Park disagree, stating that the tuition increase would not only have little to no impact on the UC’s $36.5 billion budget but also prevent low-income students outside of California from attending UC schools.
Going from celebrated to dropped in the span of three days, Don McLean, the singer of the 1971 song “American Pie” was awarded and then lost the 2019 George and Ira Gershwin Award given by the Student Alumni Association at UCLA after his domestic violence conviction was brought to their attention.
Presented annually at Spring Sing, the award is given to successful musicians who have greatly contributed to the music industry. In a statement, the SAA firmly condemned violence and stood by their decision.
McLean took to Twitter to express his anger at UCLA for taking away an award that was originally presented to him. He denied the charges and has requested a public apology.
Nevertheless, this experience has taught the Spring Sing Executive Committee to establish more thorough background research on their award recipients. With no plans to replace McLean yet, the committee hopes to dedicate the event to survivors of violence and voice their support.
Due to disorganized planning and miscommunication, a local neighborhood council failed to carry out an event to promote local businesses in Westwood, blowing $1,015 in expenses.
At the January meeting, the council initially introduced “Next Friday,” a monthly event to spotlight Westwood businesses. They eventually struggled to obtain the correct permits, submit a budget by the deadline and gain approval from the city. The council had not yet fulfilled the city requirements to host an event. Yet, without the board’s approval, council members already invested in payments for services such as the design of the banner, permits and insurance for the permits.
“This was an absolutely horrible, incorrect, inappropriate process and use of money,” said Amir Tarighat, treasurer of the council and owner of WV Investments.
Michael Skiles, president of the council, said that a recent change in management made it difficult to coordinate on the project. Moving forward, Skiles advises the council to not only learn from previous mistakes but also preapprove projects three months in advance to avoid wasting money.
UCLA celebrates its Centennial
With the launch of UCLA Alumni Day this weekend, UCLA celebrates 100 years of higher education and ground-breaking research.
UCLA’s centennial year launch kicks off with Alumni Day, a day-long series of events and performances ranging from TEDxUCLA talks to a light-and-sound projection show at Royce Hall to end the evening. The theme of the celebration is “lighting the way,” illuminating a century of opportunity, discovery and progress.
In celebration of its own centennial milestone, the Daily Bruin released the Centennial Magazine this past week, documenting 100 years of reporting stories and capturing moments at UCLA from a student perspective. The magazine can be found on Student Media stands across campus, and features stories on the history of Westwood Village and its relationship with the school, as well as profiles on the Getty Museum and gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field.