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.
Midterm season is quickly approaching, and keeping up to date with campus news can be difficult. From Shareef O’Neal leaving to the postponed tuition hike vote, this installment of This Week in the News gives students a lot to discuss over study breaks.
From Feb. 22 to March 3, UCLA’s Bruin Reception Room in Ackerman Union will act as a voter center for the 2020 primary and general elections.
Voter centers are different from polling places in that they permit mail-in ballot drop off, same-day voter registration and casting of ballots. In addition, provisional ballots will be offered to individuals unable to provide proper proof of residency and a form of photo identification.
Having a voter center on campus will eliminate a lot of barriers students face while voting, such as registration deadlines and lack of documentation, said Elisa Chang-Huh, California Public Interest Research Group Student’s New Voters Project campaign coordinator at UC Riverside.
In addition, the on-campus voter center will allow students to cast their votes days before the election.
Bryanna Ruiz, a policy fellow in the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative and political science and Chicana and Chicano and Central American studies student, said that by voting, students and many historically marginalized groups have the opportunity to play a role in the outcome of the upcoming election and the future of the country.
On Thursdays from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., Bruin Dine offers free uneaten food at De Neve Residential Restaurant in an effort to reduce food waste and combat food insecurity on campus.
The student-run program started up again for winter quarter Jan. 16. At the first event, Bruin Dine ran out of food nine minutes after opening.
The availability of food for the event can fluctuate from week to week, depending on the number of students attending and the amount of food provided by the dining halls, said Bruin Dine co-director and fourth-year geography and environmental studies student Rosemary Wallace.
The Jan. 16 event hosted 77 attendees and cut untouched food from De Neve dining hall and Bruin Plate by 98%.
The program has recovered about 1,000 pounds of food that year since its start in fall quarter 2018, said Bruin Dine co-director and fourth-year political science student Joshua DeAnda.
Bruin Dine is looking to expand and offer more events to students during the week.
The University of California Board of Regents was set to vote on a possible tuition increase at its meeting Wednesday.
On Tuesday, in response to a petition by the UC Student Association and the surprised sentiments of students, the Board of Regents decided to postpone the vote.
The possible tuition increase came as a response to California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget for 2020-2021, which granted the University with less funding than expected.
In addition, the regents were expected to vote between two proposed tuition models. One would increase tuition costs by $348 for current and incoming students for the 2020-2021 school year, with additional increases over the next four years. The second would only affect incoming freshmen and transfer students, raising their tuition by $606, followed by annual increases for incoming classes.
Aidan Arasasingham, government relations committee chair for UCSA, said he thinks the regents made the right decision in pushing the vote and commended students, parents and California residents for speaking out against the tuition hike.
On Wednesday, Shareef O’Neal announced via Twitter his plans to leave UCLA in addition to the university’s men’s basketball team halfway through the season.
O’Neal sat out his first year after receiving open-heart surgery in December 2018. In his statement, the redshirt freshman forward thanked his former coach Steve Alford, his current coach Mick Cronin and the Bruin fans.
Since O’Neal is no longer a Bruin, he will be restricted from playing for the rest of this season and possibly the next as he enters the transfer portal.