UCLA

Public records act request reveals cost of public university’s ‘Porn Panel’

Several branches of the UCLA student government used a portion of their coffers to finance a “Porn Panel” event at UCLA recently, The College Fix has learned.

The March 4 workshop featured popular pornographic performers James Deen and Tasha Reign, with the tagline: “Get an inside look into the adult film industry from the stars themselves.”

In documents obtained recently through a California Public Records Act request, The College Fix determined $2,250 in honorariums were shelled out to two panelists.

Deen, currently one of the most popular pornographic performers in the industry, was paid $1,500 for his appearance. Reign, who launched her career as a UCLA undergrad and in 2014 earned a bachelor’s degree in gender studies, was paid $750 for her time, records show.

The use of student government money means the honorariums were paid for using a combination of student fees and taxpayer dollars. UCLAPornPanel-Image

In an emailed statement to The College Fix, Campus Event Commissioner Greg Kalfayan and Student Wellness Commissioner Savannah Baldich stated the event held academic value.

“We had an open conversation on the adult film industry, sex work, intimacy, and safer sex practices, including communication and consent,” stated the two, whose respective groups co-hosted the event.

They added the “Porn Panel” offered “a candid opportunity for students to inquire about these taboo topics in a safe space planned and implemented by their student government – both the entertainment office and health office.”

“Numerous times during the conversation, panelists spoke on the importance of not viewing adult films as ‘education,’ because it can perpetuate unhealthy relationship and sexual habits,” the two stated. “This event is not only appropriate, it is our right as students and responsibility as elected officials to put on educational and entertaining events that reach students from diverse backgrounds on topics that (in the case of Student Wellness Commission) affect their health.”

The two commissioners initially refused to disclose the cost of the event to The College Fix. The amount was only revealed this month through a California Public Records Act request.

Two other members of the panel were Dr. Chauntelle Tibbals, author of “Exposure: A Sociologist Explores Sex, Society, and Adult Entertainment,” and Colby Keller, described by organizers as a gay porn performer currently working on his latest project, “#ColbyDoesAmerica.”

The event, which was posted on EventBrite, appears to have sold out. The panel was hosted in Moore Hall 100, the largest lecture hall on campus with a capacity of 419, according to the UCLA website.

The event page also mentions the panel was co-sponsored by James Deen. The event page has two links to Deen’s adult film website, which features explicit content.

Pardes Seleh, a student at UCLA, told The College Fix that she believes “using college tuition to pay for pornography is both corrupt and irresponsible on the school’s part, especially under the false advertisement of ‘combating sexual violence.’”

Numeya Rodgers, a senior administrative analyst at UCLA, told The College Fix the “Porn Panel” was entirely student-organized. “In other words, the UCLA administration did not organize or endorse this event,” Rodgers stated.

Rodgers added there are “1,100 student organizations on campus that host thousands of events with a wide variety of topics every year.”

College Fix reporter Jacob Kohlhepp is a student at UCLA.

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IMAGES: Main, Wiki Commons; Inside – Facebook screenshot

Here’s a weird one: UCLA police are looking for an Asian student who chalked up a public wall with a message about keeping Europe white and stopping migrant boats from Africa.

The Daily Bruin reports the incident took place April 23. The police called it a hate crime, saying the suspect had torn down flyers from the building before chalking it up with “racially biased” messages. The flyers were about “the migration of Africans to Europe,” the Daily said.

Be on the lookout for this terrifying preppy.

asianhatespeech.UCLApolicedept

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IMAGE: UCLA Police Department

Campus paper rebukes the candidates it endorsed after Facebook leak

UCLA’s progressive political party had a bad week.

Not only did LET’S ACT get crushed in last week’s student government election, but it’s under investigation for leaked documents suggesting that it sold alcohol and marijuana to raise money for its past two campaigns.

Days before the vote, UCLA’s student government voted unanimously to look into the allegations against the party, which also include impermissibly using student fees for campaigns.

Bruins United, which ran on a platform of “fiscal responsibility, leadership, and equal access” to student government funds, will dominate the next student government.

One of the three elected LET’S ACT candidates implied in a speech on election night that the party wouldn’t recognize Bruins United’s Heather Rosen – elected with 60 percent of the vote – as president, the Daily Bruin reported.

LET’S ACT also accused a Bruins United candidate, Ruhi Patil, of “homophobia” for making a video that parodied her self-identified queer opponent, as The College Fix previously reported. Patil won her campaign.

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LET’S ‘overthrow’ the Community Programs Office

The progressive party has bigger problems to worry about than its poor showing at the polls.

The allegations about its alcohol and marijuana sales and improper use of student fees emerged from “dozens of documents leaked on Facebook” just “hours after campaigning began” last week, the Daily reported.

The newspaper said documents suggest the party “solicited money from students groups in return for representation in the slate” – essentially selling off spots to different ethnic and sexual orientation caucuses – though that’s not clear from the document cache.

One particularly explosive and expletive-laden document marked “privileged info” appears to show LET’S ACT! planning a coup against the student leader of the university’s Community Programs Office, Tony Sandoval.

It uses words such as “overthrow” and “infiltrate” to describe what must be done to change the office, referring to Sandoval as a “puppeteer” and “dictator” who undermines “underrepresented communities” at UCLA.

“At the end of the day, fuck Tony Sandoval and this fuck shit CPO he has created,” it concludes.

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Campaign manager Kristine de los Santos told the Daily Bruin she believed someone obtained authentic LET’S ACT documents and then edited them with false information.

But de los Santos couldn’t produce an original version of one allegedly doctored document, which said the slate used student fees for the campaign, a direct violation of election rules.

External Vice President Conrad Contreras confirmed the authenticity of some leaked documents while telling the Daily that “it seems like there are some that are added.”

The party chairs said in a Facebook post after the Daily report that the documents were not an “accurate depiction” of the slate’s “campaign finances, core values, or goals,” but didn’t explicitly claim they had been altered, as officials earlier suggested.

The slate released what it said were its actual “campaign expenditures.”

Get your ‘blunts’ here and ‘Love Always!’

The plot thickened when the Daily reported the following day that Facebook posts appeared to show LET’S ACT members were selling “jungle juice,” “shots” and “blunts” at a January party hosted by candidate Jaimeson Cortez.

On the party event page, Cortez himself made more than one reference to drugs and alcohol for sale, saying in one post: “$1 jungle juice $1 shots $5 40oz $20 blunts.”

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After the article was published, Cortez posted on Facebook: “Shoutout to Daily Bruin for at least using a nice picture of me. It’s time to #‎DecriminalizeIt‬ y’all*”

Shortly afterward, the publicly viewable event page disappeared.

Though LET’S ACT officials said the party had no connection to the pending campaign, the event page included several unambiguous references to the slate.

One student affiliated with the slate posted: “Had fun tonight. Expect more … coming soon. Never forget to Act on your thirst.” The page description also mentions “coalition-building” as a purpose of the party, and included the slogan “Love Always!” – a phrase also used throughout the leaked documents.

‘If one allegation is true’

The Daily Bruin editorial board, which officially endorsed several LET’S ACT candidates, scolded the party in an editorial Monday for a host of sins throughout the year.

The student body president, a LET’S ACT member, resigned halfway through his term, while the slate’s presidential candidate this cycle was “one of the most vocal questioners” in the “anti-Semitic line of questioning” against Jewish student Rachel Beyda at a confirmation hearing, the editorial said.

Cortez’s Facebook post about the party “gives the student body and this board enough reason to believe this allegation [about alcohol and marijuana sales] is true,” the editorial said. “And if one allegation found in the documents is true, what’s to stop students from believing the slate used student fees to fund its campaigns?”

Columnist Aram Ghoogasian said the leaked documents were responsible for “causing members to lose races they seemed almost guaranteed to win.”

Cortez’s post “was enough proof for us to assume those allegations were real – it’s not a stretch to assume that the student fee allegations were true too,” the columnist wrote.

The alleged shenanigans are enough reason for Bruins United, the majority party, to reform election procedures and audit spending for future races, Ghoogasian said.

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

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IMAGES: LET’S ACT!, Facebook screenshots

When student government elections come down to the wire, last-minute allegations have a way of showing up.

In UCLA’s elections this week, the “gotcha” moment appears to be… a parody video.

The Daily Bruin reports that the LET’S ACT! slate of candidates is accusing a candidate on a competing slate – less than 24 hours before polls close – of making a “homophobic” video about one of them:

Ruhi Patil, a Bruins United candidate for Undergraduate Students Association Council Financial Supports commissioner, danced in the video, mimicking her opponents’ choreographed dance from a promotional recording encouraging students to vote for him and his slate.

LET’S ACT! candidate Erineo Garcia, who identifies as queer, is the only other candidate for the position.

Many slate supporters shared Garcia’s video on Facebook last week. The controversial parody shows Patil wearing feminine clothing and dancing to the same song used in Garcia’s campaign video.

This appears to be the video that Patil parodied. It’s not clear whether Patil’s own parody video is still online.

Here’s a Daily campaign video with Patil.

Patil denies her video was homophobic, but the Daily says she agreed she must “take responsibility for the negative interpretation of the video,” and she apologized.

The head of the Queer Alliance, a LET’S ACT member, said Patil was mocking Garcia’s “mannerisms” and “femininity,” which is reminiscent of what LGBT students “get bullied for in school constantly.”

Without having seen Patil’s video, I can’t say whether it was truly insulting to Garcia, but it would be hard not to use Garcia’s mannerisms and even clothing in a video parodying his own. That’s what parody is.

Even LET’S ACT! looks like it’s mocking Patil’s cultural heritage – its group shot looks like a Bollywood parody.

It sounds like one slate simply wants a last-minute trump card against its competitors.

You can see Bruins United candidates including Patil (at 2:16) reading “mean tweets” about them on its Facebook page. It appears to have been shot before she was accused of homophobia.

Running for USAC is not an easy thing to do and you are constantly facing a lot of criticism. So we sat down with the…

Posted by Bruins United on Thursday, April 30, 2015

 

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IMAGE: Bruins United

Student uproar over the decision at UCLA to screen “American Sniper” prompted campus officials to add a post-film discussion to the program as a compromise.

The decision was made after dozens of students plastered the Campus Events Commission’s Facebook page “with concerns that the film promotes Islamophobia and glorifies war,” The Daily Bruin reports, adding:

“CEC didn’t initially plan on having a discussion after the movie, but after receiving backlash for the event, [events commissioner Greg] Kalfayan added a roundtable discussion after the screening for students to express their opinions.”

Communication studies professor Keith Fink moderated the post-film discussion, held Tuesday. The screening attracted an estimated 450 students, according to its events page.

“Despite the added discussion, some students said they feel the movie perpetuates Islamophobia and that showing the movie is offensive to several communities on campus,” the Bruin reports.

One of the comments posted on the Facebook events page was by student Haley Kingbury, who argued: “So many people do NOT want this movie shown. Why not cancel it and respect those individuals who have genuine reasons for their objection? The people who will be upset by the cancellation will move on. Those who are excessively enraged by the cancellation are the reason it needs to be cancelled.”

And as Truth Revolt reported, some comments were more extreme, including those from a UCLA activist and former student, who called “for violent death of US troops, commenting, ‘how about eat the troops? i mean hopefully their flesh gets roasted by some i.e.d. if they’re out occupying,’ and ‘I’d rather a thousand US troops die horribly than one victim of their wars.'”

“American Sniper” continues to prompt controversy at other campus screenings across the country as well.

A protest of the movie is expected tonight during its debut at Northern Illinois University, where a Muslim Student Association leader has declared “I consider veterans and our military to be the real terrorists.”

Earlier the month, a group of students stormed a showing of the blockbuster on the Eastern Michigan University campus, disrupting the movie with signs and questions to the audience.

The University of Michigan actually canceled its screening of the film due to Muslim student protests, but eventually rescheduled it after a national uproar.

“American Sniper” also drew heavy fire at the University of Missouri for offending Muslim members of the community. One of its leaders had stated: “This film is blatant racist, colonialist propaganda that should not be shown under any circumstances and especially not endorsed by a branch of student government that purports to represent me and have my best interests in mind.”

And the Muslim Student Association also had a hand this month in getting the film’s screening at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute postponed.

“American Sniper” – the highest grossing film of 2014 – tells the story of the emotional journey our service men and women who go to war face, and it isn’t pretty, and it leaves them at best scarred and at worst dead.

In particular it follows U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who served four combat tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom and was awarded two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps commendation, according to his official Facebook page.

But the protestors see him differently, and it’s unclear if many of the Muslim students who complain about the movie have even seen it.

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

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ANALYSIS: With wit, wisdom and bold one-liners, conservative scholar takes down leftist tenets

Well-known author and scholar Heather Mac Donald recently visited UCLA to talk about the idea of “microaggressions” on college campuses, but before she even went there, she had a few words to say about the people running the place.

The launch of her talk Thursday began with outlining the proliferation of the “massive diversity bureaucracy” at universities in general and UCLA in particular. She called out UCLA’s brand new Vice Chancellor for Equity and Diversity position by mentioning his salary alone could “pay…for 12 under privileged college students” to attend UCLA. She also chided UCLA Chancellor Gene Block for “selling out his faculty” and believing “that faculty need constant monitoring by a phalanx of chancellorettes and deanlettes.”

She went on to say university administrators have cast the diversity issue as an “epidemiological miasma,” because they never mention the exact perpetrators but allege that it is everywhere.

And she was just getting warmed up.

Mac Donald, a self-proclaimed “secular conservative” who is well known for her articulation of conservative views on crime, proceeded to describe a litany of academic horrors at the public campus.

First, she recalled an incident in the UCLA Education school where professor emeritus Val Dean Rust was subject to protests because of alleged microaggressions in his editing of student papers a few years ago.

Among the 81-year old professor emeritus’s alleged transgressions were repeatedly requiring students to write “Indigenous” in lowercase form instead of uppercase, requiring students to capitalize “white” if they also chose to capitalize “black,” and requiring students to use the Chicago Manual of Style instead of the style standards of the American Psychological Association.

Mac Donald called the result of the situation – in which Rust was forced to stay away from UCLA for six months and the student protester who led the cause was praised – as a “travesty of justice typical of this reign of terror.”

She mentioned that she herself interviewed many of Rust’s former students, and all of them had nothing but praise for the retired professor, who was well known for only wanting the best for his students. Her final verdict on the situation was that “UCLA grovels to protesters.”

She also cited a viral video that attacked UCLA for grievances against black students. Mac Donald said the way the university responded to the video, which was public praise, defies the true narrative of the situation.

The video implies that current black students are as equally oppressed as black students on campus in 1969. But Mac Donald highlighted that although only 3.8 percent of the university is black, only “5 percent of UCLA applicants are black” and only 7 percent of California is black. She said interviews with Professor Richard Sanders and Professor Tim Groseclose, UCLA whistleblowers on affirmative action, have revealed to her that “UCLA twists itself into knots to admit blacks.” She went even further by claiming that the “UCLA Law school admits blacks at 400 times what their proficiency would predict.”

In the closing moments of her lecture, Mac Donald implored students to reject what she calls a “cult of victimhood.” She encouraged students instead “get revenge by acing your chemistry exam.”

During the question and answers portion, Mac Donald fielded questions on a variety of topics, including the “campus rape epidemic.”

She questioned the validity of the rape epidemic, postulating that if such an epidemic existed at elite universities, then there would be a strong movement for single sex schools, but instead there is a push for coed bathrooms. In an additional remark, she said that the idea that women are only victims at universities “makes her want to throw up.” She cited the larger number of women at universities and the “frenzy to find qualified women and minorities” for professorships as evidence against such an idea.

The event drew attendance from both students and outside community members, and was organized by Bruin Republicans as part of their “Lectures on Conservative Thought” series. There were no protests of the talk.

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

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IMAGE: YouTube screenshot