Week six: Anonymous Heaps accuser speaks out, USAC seats unfilled, debate pulled from UCLA
(Marilyn Chavez-Martinez/Daily Bruin senior staff, Ashley Kenney/Daily Bruin, Jintak Han/Daily Bruin senior staff and MacKenzie Coffman/Daily Bruin senior staff)
By Alexa Greco
November 9, 2019 1:15 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.
The first wave of midterms may be coming to a close, but the news cycle hasn’t slowed one bit. From the Democratic National Committee pulling its presidential primary debate from UCLA to the men’s basketball opener and the Undergraduate Students Association Council representative seats left vacant, there’s a lot to discuss this week at UCLA.
James Heaps, a former UCLA obstetrician-gynecologist, was publicly criticized Wednesday by one of the women who have filed sexual assault lawsuits against him. Heaps currently has at least 20 civil lawsuits against him after he was arrested in June for charges of sexual battery by two former patients.
Julie, who only revealed her first name, was diagnosed with human papillomavirus infection and a high risk for cervical cancer by Heaps in 2015, after being a patient of his since 2005.
Plaintiffs claim that Heaps made inappropriate comments and sexual advances during visits, with more and more claims being received by law firms on a daily basis. UCLA Health has come under criticism for failing to respond to the complaints.
The next preliminary hearing will be held Dec. 5 in Department W31 of the Airport Courthouse.
Two of the Undergraduate Students Association Council’s undergraduate government seats have been left unfilled after the undergraduate students council’s meeting Tuesday.
The USA Judicial Board’s chief justice decided not to swear in Orion Smedley and Brandon Broukhim at the meeting, amid allegations that Smedley violated the election code. Additionally, the election board chair, Kyana Shajari, resigned Tuesday during a discussion of her performance during the elections.
A special election was held in the fall after USAC was unable to fill three seats during the 2019 spring election. Despite the fall special election, two seats still remain vacant following Tuesday’s council meeting.
Smedley allegedly violated the election rules by campaigning on the Hill, though he feels the will of the student body is being ignored by USAC with his deferral. Broukhim was not sworn in because if Smedley is found to be in violation of the rules, Broukhim’s election status may change.
Shajari said she resigned because of the council’s unrealistic expectations of election board chairs, and she felt that the council was biased against her.
Quyen Di Chuc Bui, a professor of introductory and advanced Vietnamese classes at UCLA, shows his love for his students by giving them stuffed animals each week. He has been giving out stuffed animals in his introductory classes for the past five years to reward and motivate students.
He also brings food for students in his advanced classes. Amy Nguyen, a second-year pre-psychology student, posted a video of Chuc Bui with his stuffed animals to Twitter, where it soon went viral.
“I would like to give my students love before I teach (them) something,” Chuc Bui said. “I think the way to the heart is shorter than the way to the mind. So I get to my student’s heart first, then I get their mind.”
Nguyen and other students shared that the gesture showed them Chuc Bui is dedicated both to their learning and their well-being.
UCLA has agreed not to host the sixth Democratic presidential primary debate after the Democratic National Committee asked to have it moved following concerns raised by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299.
The debate was to be held in UCLA’s Royce Hall on Dec. 19, with some tickets to be distributed to students and alumni.
The change comes after AFSCME Local 3299 called for a boycott against speakers at any UC campuses while they disputed labor and wages with the University.
The UCLA men’s basketball team was victorious in its season opener against Long Beach State on Wednesday in Pauley Pavilion.
The Bruins had a late comeback after trailing behind until the 3 minutes, 34 seconds mark of the second half, taking the lead with only 2:14 remaining.
After giving up 33 points to Long Beach State in the first half, UCLA’s defense managed to hold back the Beach in the second half. Coach Mick Cronin is putting his efforts into the defensive end this season, said junior guard Chris Smith.
The offense, on the other hand, was dealing with the loss of its top-three scorers from last season: Kris Wilkes, Jaylen Hands and Moses Brown, all of whom went to the NBA.
Cronin said it will take some time for the offense to get back into a rhythm, particularly with the younger players.
UCLA will host UC Santa Barbara at 4 p.m. on Sunday.