UCLA

ANALYSIS

At UCLA, student fees and taxpayer money is used by the student government to push a progressive political agenda on the campus community during election time, an outright violation of university policy regarding political ethics.

So how do they get away with it? The undergraduate student government uses a technicality to all but endorse controversial liberal ballot measures. They also email students, encouraging them to vote on certain measures, stopping just short of saying: “Vote Yes!”

This situation is playing out now with Proposition 47, which proposes a major overhaul of the California criminal code that would reduce penalties for a wide variety of crimes. It’s supported by many left-leaning activists.

Under university policy, the Undergraduate Student Association Council cannot tell students how to vote on ballot measures such as this, as the student government is funded by taxpayer dollars and student fees.

To get around this restriction, some student council members wrote up a resolution stating the student government “supports Proposition 47 on the November ballot,” and the student government as a whole voted to pass the resolution Tuesday by a vote of 11 to 1. The one dissenter was Heather Rosen.

Because no one who opposes the measure would ever support the proposition on the November ballot, the resolution is mostly a euphemism designed to disguise endorsement as encouraging people to vote.

They essentially use semantics as a loophole to get around university policy regarding political ethics.

In addition to the resolution, student council President Devin Murphy sent out an email to the campus community with a small note at the end specifically encouraging students to vote on Proposition 47.

Although the email does not explicitly encourage students to support the measure, the resolution and the continual highlighting of Proposition 47 all but makes that message clear.

This is not the first time that the UCLA student government has used methods to circumvent the intended purpose of university policy.

In 2012, the council fully endorsed Proposition 30, a controversial tax increase used in part to fund the university. In that instance, the council again claimed that the endorsement was allowed, as long as they never outright told students to vote for the measure. That year, similar wording in resolutions and emails were employed by student politicians.

The email back then proclaimed, in bright red text, that “if Prop 30 fails, the Regents will likely consider a $2,400 tuition increase this year.”

The statement, which is similar to the method Governor Brown used to ransom higher education to pass a tax increase, is a false choice that paints the entire situation as having only two solutions. Again, the council used student fee resources to send an email that presented slanted facts and a subtle push in the liberal direction.

Proposition 47, like 30, promises money toward higher education in exchange for certain tradeoffs. There is a strong coalition in support and in opposition to the resolution.

Yet, in both cases, UCLA’s student government has downplayed the consequences of the proposition and used questionable methods to skirt university policy.

As a result, student fees are being used to push a progressive political agenda. UCLAprop

In response, the Bruin Republicans at UCLA launched a counter-campaign to educate students on the negative consequences Proposition 47, if passed, will have on California’s criminal justice system.

(At right, William Chakar, former Bruin Republican president, speaks out against the USAC resolution during Tuesday’s council meeting.)

The group aimed to educate peers on how the law will affect sentencing for stolen handgun possession, date rape drug possession and repeat offenders at a rally on Tuesday afternoon that also decried the misuse of their student fees.

They also sent representatives to voice opposition at the student government meeting Tuesday evening.

Political advocacy should be restrained within any public university’s student government, because of the use of student fees and taxpayer dollars.

UCLA’s Undergraduate Student Association Council has gone beyond its duties and chosen to misrepresent legitimate political arguments in efforts to encourage student voters to support controversial legislation. And the consequences for California’s intellectual diversity are terrible.

College Fix contributor Jacob Kohlhepp is a student at UCLA and vice president of the Bruin Republicans.

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Psychologists at UCLA have discovered something truly remarkable: Caucasians actually act like human beings when confronted with certain situations!

In this case, they found that when white people were informed they were soon to be a minority in the United States, their support for diversity and multiculturalism … declined.

The UCLA Newsroom reports:

As part of their study, the researchers divided 98 white Americans from all regions of the country — half male, half female, with an average age of 37 — randomly into two groups. One group was told that whites will no longer be the majority in the U.S. by 2050; in fact, this is likely to be true as soon as 2043, according to some projections. The second group was told that whites would retain their majority status in the U.S. through at least 2050. All participants were then asked a series of questions about their views on diversity.

“Whites feel lukewarm about diversity when they are told that they are about to lose their majority status in the United States for the first time,” said Yuen Huo, UCLA professor of psychology and the study’s senior author.

“We see a significant reduction in the endorsement of diversity when white Americans are exposed to current projections of future demographics,” said Felix Danbold, a UCLA psychology doctoral student and the paper’s lead author. “Most Americans view diversity in positive terms, but many white Americans who see the actual demographic projections, and the loss of their majority status, end up being less enthusiastic about it.”

The researchers concluded “that the demographic changes are threatening whites’ sense that they best represent the American identity.”

The results were published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Read more here.

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There’s been an outpouring of “solidarity” on college campuses across the nation for Michael Brown, even as new data and reports reveal that the initial narrative — that an innocent black teenager was murdered by an angry white cop — is a far cry from reality.

At recent observances at the University of Georgia, UCLA and Yale, for example, students marched in protest or posed for pictures en masse with their hands up and “don’t shoot” signs. Some students suggested the recent incident is by no means isolated, and is more indicative of a pattern of violence by white cops against black victims.

The gathering in Georgia, for example, aimed to express “solidarity” with Brown, and discussed other matters such as “issues of inequality,” and “unrest over acts of violence committed toward minority groups,” The Red and Black student newspaper reports.

At UCLA on Thursday, the call to students declared “Come out with your fellow Bruins and take a stand as a community against police brutality and the extra-judicial killings of young men and women throughout this country. We’re tired of turning on the news and scrolling through our Facebook feeds and hearing of another Black or Brown individual being senselessly executed.” (Emphasis added.)

On Tuesday, students at Yale held a Michael Brown-themed rally in New Haven, Connecticut. The image under the headline shows signs with the slogans “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and the more head-scratching “Murder Is Illegal.” Aside from the “no, really?” aspect of the latter, it clearly pre-determines the outcome of what happened in Ferguson: Officer Darren Wilson murdered Michael Brown.

Art student Henry Chapman came right out and said as much (emphasis added):

… the violent outbursts of some protesters in Ferguson and the looting didn’t make a difference to him – murder is still murder, he said.

“The real issue here is structural racism,” he said. “And the real looting is the structural looting of minorities.”

Another student, Dolores Colon, believed Wilson would be found innocent — not because he acted justifiably, but because “If you are of color, you get the hammer.” She added, “It’s a double standard. (People of color) suffer at the hands of people who are there to protect them.”

The rallies come even as news reports now indicate Brown was shot from the front, and not killed execution-style from behind as initial reports suggested. What’s more, the incident — which has prompted more than a week of riots and unrest in Missouri — has brought renewed scrutiny on crime statistics.

USA Today notes that out of an average of 400 police shootings per year across the US, ninety-six of the victims are black.

Despite the paper’s attempt at a gasp-inducing first sentence (“Nearly two times a week in the United States, a white police officer killed a black person during a seven-year period ending in 2012 …”) note that this is twenty-four percent of the total. While that’s almost double the percentage of the African-American population in the US (13%), it fails to take into account the large disproportionate (violent) crime rate of that population. As such, is that 24 percent actually “out of balance?”

Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute has written extensively on race and crime, and many of her articles debunk the left-wing conventional wisdom about race “disproportionality” with regards to policing and incarceration.

On Wednesday, in a segment about the media coverage of the Brown shooting and Ferguson protests, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly pointed out that the 400 shootings per year figure is out of an average of approximately 12 million police arrests per year.

Left-wing MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who had taken on O’Reilly a year ago about race and crime stats and gotten some basic facts wrong, made an interesting comment after his correction:

But never fear, white America, because we also overestimated the number of white murder victims killed by black assailants in total. According to data from the FBI, as far as we know, there were only 447 white victims killed by black offenders in 2010. That is in a country of over 200 million white people.

It should be noted that if Hayes’ figure is correct, that actually would be roughly half of the yearly average for the previous ten years of 2000-2009. Nevertheless, it would be refreshing if liberals and the media looked at the actual statistics and applied Hayes’ “never fear” attitude to situations like that of Michael Brown.

(College Fix editor Jennifer Kabbany contributed to this article.)

Dave Huber is an assistant editor of  The College Fix. You can follow him on Twitter @ColossusRhodey.

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IMAGE: Light Brigading/Flickr

Nonprofit expert: ‘You would have to take her at her word’

Hillary Clinton says she donated her estimated $2 million dollars earned from campuses speeches over the last 18 months to her family’s nonprofit Clinton Foundation – but that assertion cannot be independently verified, according to a nonprofit foundation expert.

Rick Cohen, national correspondent for Nonprofit Quarterly, said the only way to confirm Hillary Clinton donated her campus speaking fees to her foundation would be for her to release her personal income tax returns to the public, or for her to direct her foundation to release its IRS tax filings to the public with specific identification of the names of its major donors and the amounts they donated.

Those two disclosures are not required by law.

Cohen said he isn’t confident that the foundation would make such detailed disclosures, based on the minimal amount of donor information it currently lists on its 990s.

As for Clinton, after she becomes a formal candidate for president, she will have to file financial disclosure forms with the Federal Election Commission, which do not require her to itemize charitable contributions.

“The financial disclosure statement is going to leave you maybe wondering,” Cohen said in an interview with The College Fix. “Basically it will identify the sources of her income, identify the organizations she associated with, but it may not say: ‘Here is where I gave my donations to.’ And in fact, I’m pretty sure it won’t.”

Traditionally, presidential candidates release their actual personal income tax filings, but it isn’t mandatory. Candidates also often offer abridged versions of their tax returns.

That leaves the public with no option to independently verify her statement until and unless she releases her complete income tax returns.HillaryClinton.PennState.Flickr

“All of the fees have been donated to the Clinton Foundation for it to continue its life-changing and life-saving work. So it goes from a foundation at a university to another foundation,” Clinton told ABC News in early July, after outrage ensued regarding the high-dollar amount she commands for campus appearances.

‘You would have to take her at her word’

Disclosing her finances on paper has never been her strong suit, Cohen said.

“She has never been good on transparency and disclosure,” he said. “Whatever you think of her, good or bad, she has never been good at voluntary disclosure. … You would have to take her at her word.”

For example, when the Clintons raised money for their library foundation, the William J. Clinton Presidential Library, she chose not to divulge donations to the foundation during her 2008 presidential campaign, he said.

The contract between Hillary Clinton and UCLA for her March 5 appearance, for which she was paid $300,000, directs the university to cut the check to the Harry Walker Agency, which will then remit the honorarium to the foundation, according to a copy of the contract obtained by The College Fix.

An interview request to the Clinton Foundation on the subject by The College Fix was referred to her personal office, which did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Tax Filings: Dead End

Cohen, who has covered nonprofit foundation operations for more than a decade, said that annual tax documents filed by the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, called 990s, do not list Hillary Clinton as drawing a salary from the organization. (Nor Bill Clinton, for that matter).

“The real question on the 990s is if she says she is donating the money to the foundation, how would you know,” Cohen said. “The foundation, as a 501(c)(3) public charity, does not have to disclose who gives it money, and how much.”

What’s more, up until about four or five years ago, the Clinton foundation had “a very odd process, its 990s would list major donations without an address or name of the donors,” Cohen said.

“A few years ago, they stopped even doing that,” he added. “They’re under no obligation to do so by law, because they are an operating public charity.”

Making matters worse, the lagtime in when 990s are filed – and when they are made available to the public – makes tracking such matters difficult. Even with the information that could be culled from the foundation’s 990s for 2013-14, those reports might not be published for public review until 2016, Cohen said.

Meanwhile, Clinton won’t be filing a candidate’s financial disclosure statement until she is an official candidate, which is still some time off.  If as a candidate she releases her income tax filings, that won’t be soon either.

In her 2008 presidential primary campaign, she didn’t release her income tax filings until April 2008, a month after Barack Obama did.

Campus Speeches: Potential Political Influence Peddling

Cohen said one of his biggest concerns with the fact that Hillary Clinton can collect $300,000 for the UCLA campus speech is that it’s sort of a work-around of campaign finance laws, not from Clinton’s end – but from a donor perspective.

Clinton’s visit was funded by the Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership, a UCLA endowment created by wealthy businessman Gene Luskin, who has a history of supporting Democrats, such as President Obama, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Launched in 2011, to date the series has funded three guest lectures: one from former President Bill Clinton in 2012, which cost $250,000; another by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2013 at a cost of $180,000; and most recently by Hillary Clinton.

“Luskin can basically pay for the speech, and he and a bunch of his friends get to spend time with Hillary,” Cohen said. “There is nothing more valuable in politics. Not only is it face time, it’s a charitable tax deduction.”

And that’s troublesome, he added. Charitable expenditures for politicians’ charities raise the potential of donors using charity for political influence.

“Even though it’s for ‘charity,’ it’s not really Luskin’s charity to the extent that it is a 501(c)(3)charity and a tax deduction,” Cohen said. “That money could have gone to other speakers of equal educational benefits. So when it’s tax deductible charitable money, as opposed to a private operation’s money, it’s partly your tax money.”

Both Sides Do It

Cohen said this set-up, which is legal, is not exclusive to Democrats.

“I have been raising this issue since 2004,” he said. “Right-wing groups do the same thing as left-wings groups. It’s the way the game is played.”

For example, he cited former House Majority Leader Tom Delay’s foundation for foster children, which came under fire in 2005 for its support from large corporations.

“I am sure there are people who gave to Tom Delay because they care about foster children,” Cohen said. “The problem is for a sitting politician to have a charity associated with that politician. Lobbyists and influence peddlers can use donations to the charity as a means of signaling support and getting access to powerful political leaders without those interactions being disclosed and scrutinized”

“I have been calling for mandatory disclosure of all giving to any charity or foundation that is established by a politician or run by a politician or run by a politician’s family members or staff.”

An effort several years ago to force charities associated with sitting politicians to detail more information about their donors did not pass Congress, he said. But with Hillary Clinton, it wouldn’t matter, anyway.

“She is not yet an official political candidate, she does not hold office,” he said. “This is where charity gets really mucky.”

Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix. ( @JenniferKabbany )

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IMAGES: Main, YouTube screenshot; Inside, Penn State/Flickr

Spending $300,000 to pay Hillary Clinton to speak on campus last spring was a waste of money, according to the results of a recent UCLA Daily Bruin online poll.

The poll’s question noted that: “Hillary Clinton’s recent $300,000 paycheck for speaking at the Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership has captured the attention of news outlets around the country. What do these large fees for notable speakers say about UCLA and the Luskin lecture series?”

Her 90-minute March 5 appearance – the itinerary of which was a half-hour photo line followed by a 60-minute speech and moderated Q&A – amounts to roughly $3,300 per minute that the former Secretary of State and possible 2016 Democratic presidential contender earned for her time.

Of the 271 people who participated in the multiple-choice poll on the student newspaper’s website, the top pick – 48 percent or 131 voters – agreed that “large sums are inappropriate and demonstrate poor prioritizing on the part of the university and the Luskin lecture series.”

Another large chunk of respondents – 27 percent or 73 votes – called the large sums “unfortunate, but without them UCLA might not obtain the same level of notable speakers for the lecture.”

A smaller margin – 21 percent or 58 votes – agreed it was worth the money, calling it an “inspiring and rare opportunity.” The final nine voters were undecided.

The Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership was launched in 2011 and is funded through the aid of wealthy businessman and UCLA donor Meyer Luskin, who is also a supporter of President Barack Obama, giving money to his campaigns in the past, according to online Federal Election Commission records.

UCLA’s Luskin lecture has paid for exactly three speeches to date: one from former President Bill Clinton in 2012, which cost $250,000; another by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2013, which the Daily Bruin reports earned the diplomat $180,000; and most recently by Hillary Clinton in March, who was given $300,000 for her time.

“Hillary Clinton has inspired a lot of students, but when you talk about funding, $300,000 could have gone somewhere else to create concrete changes,” Conrad Contreras, the Undergraduate Students Association Council external vice president, told the Daily Bruin in a July 7 article. “It’s difficult to see that UCLA is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to someone who is already wealthy when I have friends and families working countless hours to stay in higher education.”

In that same article, the Daily Bruin noted that Condoleezza Rice and Madeleine Albright have given speeches at UCLA in the past and charged no fee when they came to speak through the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations.

After the Bruin’s article was published, Joseph Rudnick, senior dean of UCLA College of Letters and Science, defended the Luskin series in a letter to the editor, saying “thanks to their gift, the UCLA College has built a signature lecture on campus without the need to use public funds. To date, three world leaders have come to campus to share their thoughts on the important issues shaping our world, and each time, students have attended these lectures free of charge.”

Except there was a near riot when those free tickets to Hillary Clinton’s appearance were doled out to students, the Bruin reported at the time. In fact, many students were shut out of the event due to a lack of space, prompting officials to agree to live-stream it to the overflow crowd.

The venue choice had even prompted students to petition to have the speech relocated.

“Live-streams are just like (glorified) videos, which we can watch on YouTube anytime,” one student who launched the petition told the Bruin. “The experience of witnessing someone speak in person is something that I can’t even put into words, and that is what I’m advocating for. … Students have the most to gain and usually most interest in such lectures, but it looks almost like a campaign event for Hillary where the only people who can afford to attend are those already donating to the campaign.”

The speech was a campus fundraiser that raised money for UCLA scholarships through the sale of tickets, which cost $100 to $500 dollars apiece. The Clintons have said that they transferred their campus speaking fees to their family’s nonprofit.

Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix ( @JenniferKabbany )

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IMAGE: U.S. Department of State

The University of California Los Angeles has had its cover blown wide open.

According to UCLA Professor Tim Groseclose in his new book, “Cheating: An Insider’s Report on the Use of Race in Admissions at UCLA,” the public university has conducted under the table affirmative action programs – despite the practice being illegal in California.

The public university did so in an effort to admit black students at a much higher rate than they would have been if the school had followed the letter of the law, his research found. Campus officials’ decisions had a detrimental effect on the acceptance rates of white and Asian students, according to the data he unearthed.

“I happened to be on the faculty oversight committee at UCLA and it was clear there was cheating going on,” Groseclose said in an interview with The College Fix. “I never would have written anything at all about admissions in college if I hadn’t been on this committee.”

The book details how UCLA admissions personnel used a “holistic” approach to their decisions. Groseclose said he believes that the holistic approach facilitated the ability of the admissions staff to grant under-the-table racial preferences.

UCLA spokesman Ricardo Vazquez told Fox News that the school “will not address specific assertions made by Prof. Groseclose,” but said “UCLA believes its admissions process to be fair, transparent and consistent with state law.”

When the state’s voters in 1996 passed Proposition 209, the California Civil Rights Initiative, it was the first successful ballot initiative to forbid the use of race, sex, and ethnicity in public employment decisions, including admission to state universities.

Several states have followed California’s lead, most notably Michigan, which banned the practice by a ballot initiative in 2006.

Groseclose said he believes that the affirmative action activity continued illegally at the urging and coercion of the state legislature and alumni groups.

“When UCLA had a drop in African-American admissions, there was a crisis on campus – there were protests at the chancellor’s office,” Groseclose said. “And the chancellor showed up at my committee – and this was remarkable, I never heard of this before – and he lobbied us to change the admissions system.”

“He said there were several constituencies of UCLA distressed at the low number of African-Americans,” Groseclose added. “He said at least two of those constituencies were black alumni groups and the other was the legislature in Sacramento. He certainly implied that our funding was going to be cut if we didn’t increase diversity.”

The legislature was urging and even strongarming the university into breaking the law.

Despite these obvious signs of illegal activity, Groseclose claimed he could never access admissions data for himself, even after requesting it.

“When I asked for a thousand random admissions files, which I thought was a legitimate duty and undertaking of my committee, UCLA refused,” he said.

The reluctance to release the files sounded alarms, Groseclose said, and it raised his suspicions that the university was engaging in clearly illegal activity. He received the data only after filing a Public Records Act in California.

Groseclose published these findings and more in April. He is also the author of “Left Turn: How Liberal Bias Distorts The American Mind.”

An amendment to the California constitution was proposed in 2012 which would have allowed for the consideration of race, color, ethnicity, and national origin in admissions decisions for public universities. It passed the state Senate but was ultimately withdrawn from consideration after public opposition to the bill made its future politically unviable.

As The College Fix reported last winter, at UCLA “white students are actually severely ‘underrepresented’ compared to black students: the white percentage at UCLA is only 37.7 percent of the total percentage of white residents in the state, whereas the black percentage at UCLA is 57.6 percent of the total statewide percentage of black residents – a 20 point difference.”

College Fix contributor Dominic Lynch is a student at Loyola University Chicago.

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