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Tracking COVID-19 at UCLACampus SafetyRegistration Issue 2021: Next Stop, UCLA

Week one: Professor wins Nobel Prize, reports of Zoombombings, COVID-19 cases on the Hill

(Left to right: Courtesy of Christopher Dibble/UCLA Newsroom, Kanishka Mehra/Photo editor, Daily Bruin file photo)

By Kanishka Mehra

Oct. 9, 2020 3:29 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.

The first week of fall quarter is coming to an end, setting the stage for new and continuing students as they orient their lives around remote learning.

Today, The Quad is highlighting the top news stories of week one, from continued Zoombombings to a historic Nobel Prize win.


UCLA professor shares 2020 Nobel Prize in physics for black hole breakthroughs

Physics and astronomy professor Andrea Ghez became the fourth woman to win a Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday for her contributions toward the discovery of a supermassive black hole.

The supermassive black hole, discovered by Ghez in 1998, is thought to reside in the center of the Milky Way – specifically in the region Sagittarius A*. This area is being researched by the UCLA Galactic Center Group, which Ghez leads.

Ghez said she sees her receiving of this prize as an opportunity to encourage young women interested in scientific fields.

UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus Reinhard Genzel and University of Oxford Professor Emeritus Roger Penrose were awarded alongside Ghez. The three professors will collectively receive roughly $1 million in prize money.


Students, professors report multiple incidents of Zoombombing in one day

Zoombombers made a reappearance in virtual classrooms Monday, disrupting courses with racist and homophobic slurs, among other offensive statements.

At least two Zoom meetings were affected: Professor Eric Scerri’s Chemistry 14B: “Thermodynamics, Electrochemistry, Kinetics, and Organic Chemistry” class and Professor Koffi Enakoutsa’s Math 32A: “Calculus of Several Variables” class. Students attempted to help the professors, but were also verbally attacked by the Zoombombers.

Students expressed their concerns following the incidents, calling the lack of respect unacceptable and disappointing.

In an emailed statement, UCLA spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez said the university is investigating the incidents and working to create a safe and productive learning environment. The statement also asked students to report bias incidents to the dean of students office.


Black student leaders hope to empower future Bruins through representation

As organizations on campus recruit for fall quarter, Black student leaders emphasized the importance of representation within student leadership.

Musibau Francis Jimoh, the only Black graduate student officer in the Graduate Students Association, said hearing about prominent Black student leaders in UCLA’s history encouraged him to continue his advocacy.

Several Black undergraduate and graduate student leaders said Black representation helps Black Bruins succeed. Unfortunately, Black voices have been historically underrepresented in leadership roles at UCLA, according to Marilyn Raphael from the Center for Diverse Leadership in Science.

Nygel Lewis, president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council of UCLA, said prospective and incoming students of color look to these leaders for a sense of belonging when determining their place in predominantly white spaces.

Undergraduate Students Association Council President Naomi Riley said she plans on hosting a Future Student Leaders of Color Conference sometime this school year to help guide high school students of color on joining leadership positions in college.


Prince of Venice to bring royally delicious, authentic Italian food to Westwood

What started out as one of LA’s first fresh handmade pasta food trucks is now becoming a full-fledged restaurant in Westwood Village.

Prince of Venice is planning on opening its doors to customers Thursday at 1091 Broxton Ave., just in time for midterms season.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the establishment will take patrons’ temperatures and provide socially distanced outdoor seating in addition to takeout options.

The restaurant’s owner, Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia, said despite his concerns regarding the pandemic, he is happy to create more jobs by opening Prince of Venice, where customers can enjoy authentic Italian menu items for $10 to $20.



At least three cases of COVID-19 reported in students living on the Hill

After two rounds of mandatory COVID-19 testing, at least three students living in university housing have tested positive for COVID-19 as of this article’s publication.

These students and their close contacts are continuing to isolate in their single-occupancy rooms.

UCLA spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez said the university will keep the names of the buildings in which the cases occurred confidential from the public unless there are enough linked cases to be qualified as an outbreak.

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Kanishka Mehra | Senior Staff
Mehra is a senior staffer and was previously the 2020-21 Photo Editor for the Daily Bruin. Before that, she was an Assistant Photo editor on the Arts & Entertainment beat. She is pursuing a B.A. in psychology with minors in anthropology & labor and workplace studies, and she also contributes to News, Arts and The Quad.
Mehra is a senior staffer and was previously the 2020-21 Photo Editor for the Daily Bruin. Before that, she was an Assistant Photo editor on the Arts & Entertainment beat. She is pursuing a B.A. in psychology with minors in anthropology & labor and workplace studies, and she also contributes to News, Arts and The Quad.
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