Since the 1950s, suicide rates among college students have almost doubled; in 2012, that was actually the most common way for kids that age to die according to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Now a newly released study from the Higher Research Institute of UCLA claims that incoming freshmen are more depressed than they’ve been in 30 years. Only 3.1 percent of American adults are clinically depressed while 9.5 percent of freshman say they feel like they are. Why aren’t the kids all right?

I was remembering this time I went to In-N-Out in Westwood, the drive-thru was always long because this In-N-Out is right across from UCLA so a bunch of students were always there. I remember getting to the window to pay and realizing I forgot my wallet back at the apartment, which was only 5 minutes away. I was embarrassed, but told the guy at the window I’d have to come back for the food. The manager over heard what was going on and he said, “Just take the food and come back to pay after you eat it so it doesn’t cold!” 

I was so amazed by the trustworthiness of this guy, I mean this is Los Angeles, a big city where people are usually stressed, in a hurry, and too busy to care… I could have left and decided he’d never see me again and just go to the In-N-Out on Sunset instead. I remember eating and telling everyone back at the apartment what had happened, being college kids they were like,”Cool! You got free food!”

After I ate I went back to In-N-Out, went inside and paid, even the cashier looked weirded out that I was there. This happened over 5 years ago and I don’t know what made me think of it, but it really makes me happy to know that there are kind people out there. 


Why Carrots Taste Sweeter In Winter

UCLA’s Liz Roth-Johnson explains why carrots have more sugar when it’s cold outside.

Because plants are immobile, they must develop defense techniques against predators and the severe cold in winter. For example, carrots have developed the physiological response of increasing their sugar content when it’s cold outside. This helps stop ice crystal formations and prevents damage to the carrot’s cells.

Frost can do a lot of damage to a plant cell. It can squeeze and rupture the cells until they are completely demolished. But in some cases, the plant’s defense mechanism means a tastier vegetable for us to eat. When a carrot defends itself from frost, we get the benefit of enjoying sweeter carrots all winter long.  


Peng Peng Lee’s return to gymnastics is all I’ve ever wanted and more

On the Evaluation of Rachel Beyda, Candidate for Judicial Board Justice

Given that you’re a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community […] how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view in your position?

– Fabienne Roth, Undergraduate Students Association Council (USAC) General Representative

Aside from the things you do have listed in your application and your resume, I was just wondering do you see yourself as having any certain specific political affiliations that might in anyway constitute that sort of conflict of interest?

– Morris Sarafian, Director of the Bruin Lobby Corps, UCSA Legislative Director

So my issue is, I’m going to be up front about it, I think she’s clearly great, she’s smart, she knows her stuff, she’s probably going to be a really great lawyer, but I’m not going to pretend and sit here that this isn’t about certain conflict of interest cases, when it think it is every time. I look at these appointments and I feel like we should be working on a way to make sure that we make things better at USAC, and leave a legacy that is not constantly being more divisive towards things, and like I just think this is a super political move, and that really bugs me, and that’s how I see it. I can’t separate that, I’m sorry. It’s not her fault, she’s [inaudible], but she’s got a community that’s very invested in USAC and in very specific outcomes that Judicial boards make decisions on every year, and I can’t separate those two from being, like, not together, and even though she is talented, even though she would be the right person for the job, i just don’t see it as a feasible thing to appoint someone who might take sides, that would, like, be mixed.

– Fabienne Roth

For some reason, I’m not 100% comfortable. I don’t know why. I’ll go through her application again — I’ve been going through it constantly, but I can see that she’s qualified for sure… but I just worry about her political affiliations obviously.

– Negeen Sadeghi-Movahed, USAC Transfer Student Representative

The issue isn’t that she’s Jewish, [inaudible], obviously that’s terrible, I would never deny someone something because they’re Jewish or because of antisemitism, but with this specific case, and these are cases we see every year, and this appointment is going to go for years, and I understand the significance of this [Judicial] Board position. I don’t want it to become like, “oh this is because she’s Jewish and you’re antisemitic!” that’s not what it is, at all. 

– Fabienne Roth

The only thing for me is that this particular position, [inaudible] contentiousness around it, is just because of the fact that you are supposed to vote with [inaudible]. I think that, exactly, it has nothing to do with the fact that she’s Jewish, it’s just the fact that you have to somehow maintain a neutral stance. And naturally when you describe yourself as neutral [inaudible], especially if you don’t question this ever, [inaudible] I dunno.

– Manjot Singh, USAC General Representative

This is supposed to be an unbiased position making decisions on keeping us accountable, and us in check, and we are not good at keeping in check because clearly we keep being brought up for [Justice] Board cases for conflicts of interest, and I’d like to know that the people who are keeping the future councilors in check are gonna make sure we try and steer, get right bound, on the correct path of making [inaudible] try and leave a legacy that’s actually about trying to make UCLA better, and move away from constant state puppets. I can’t say that in a delicate way, I can’t.

– Fabienne Roth

[The Judicial] Board uses the USAC definition of conflict of interest, and in the bylaws, it has literally “divided loyalty” or “the appearance of divided loyalty.” Apparently there is an appearance of divided loyalty, people feel that a conflict of interest has been constituted. And I feel like also the fact that she kept giving vague answers when a simple legal analysis [inaudible] kinda shows me that maybe she hasn’t done the right homework. I feel like an “invested interest” [Beyda’s description] is not what USAC bylaw is. I would have just liked if she, I feel like it would have been much better if when asked these conflict of interest questions she gave us the definition that’s the honest truth, I’m not implying that she’s lying, I’m not implying anything i’m just saying she could have given a better answer to the conflict of interest questions.

– Morris Sarafian

The above quotes are all taken from a meeting of the UCLA USAC which occurred on 2/10/15. A full recording of the proceedings may be viewed here, with additional commentary from Ha’Am, UCLA’s Jewish news magazine.

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Girls of color face harsher school discipline than white peers

Girls of color are disproportionately impacted by school discipline policies and excluded from current efforts to address the school-to-prison pipeline, according to a new report authored by UCLA School of Law professors Kimberlé Crenshaw and Jyoti Nanda, along with UCLA Law alumna Priscilla Ocen, a professor at Loyola Law School.

Here’s one powerful example, based on data from schools in Boston and New York City, and published in the report, "Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected": researchers found that suspension rates for black girls when compared to white girls were even higher than those of black boys versus white boys. While black boys are suspended three times more than white boys — a pretty shocking disparity — black girls are suspended a staggering six times more than white girls.

The researchers conclude that the way race, gender, and class issues work to push black girls out of school is tragically under-explored in conversations about racial educational disparities, which tend to focus disproportionately on the experiences of black boys.

"The particular disparities facing Black girls are largely unrecognized in the mainstream discourse about punitive policies in public education," the report’s authors wrote. "Consequently, efforts to confront the challenge of ensuring equitable and fair opportunities for Black girls in school remain underdeveloped."

Read the full Black Girls Matter: Pushed out, Overpoliced, and Underprotected report (which includes proposals  interventions and policies to combat the challenges facing girls of color)here.

via Vox

My high school transcripts. I failed miserably through high school. I’m not embarrassed by it because it signifies the adversity I went through. My parents weren’t around, no one cared if I did well. But I’m now in my last year at UCLA, I’ve worked in a breast cancer research lab in the med school, I have two scientific co-authored publications… I’ve been supporting myself since 17 working a bunch of different jobs and had to take out private loans for school. I also had to share a room with a 4 year old for two years, and I used to bus to work and community college, but it was all worth it.

After getting tired of my shitty life, I decided to become remarkable instead.
Grades will never define you, failure is necessary to know success. Take all your negatives and fuel it into a positive future. Moving forward is all you can do.

Hope this inspires someone. It’s all a mental game.

Making the HyperLoop a reality

You may have read recently about the Hyperloop — a high-speed transportation system that may rival flying in an airplane. Construction will start on a test track this year. A group of engineers along with 25 students at UCLA’s School of Architecture will work on a wide array of issues, including route planning, capsule design, and cost analysis.

Craig Hodgetts, a professor at UCLA, while co-lead the team. He says the biggest issue for the Hyperloop is actually being able to weave it into existing urban environments. 

Listen to him discuss the project