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Campus Update: Students protest fee rise
News from April 21 to 25

Students lobby against fee hikes
More than 30 undergraduate and graduate students lobbied state assembly members in favor of upholding the Higher Education Compact. This unofficial agreement, which Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made in 2004, promises not to increase student fees by more than 7 to 10 percent until 2011.

Relief for relay for life walkers
Relay for Life, a 24-hour fundraiser during which students divided into teams and took turns walking around Drake Stadium, raised more than $120,000 for the American Cancer Society. Most of the funds were raised online during the months prior to the relay, but enterprising students raised additional money with kissing booths, cupcake sales, and stations for tie-dying t-shirts.

Unifying for Peace
OneVoice, an international grassroots movement aimed at finding a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, represented both countries last week as they spoke at UCLA. Malaka Samara spoke for OneVoice Palestine and Shani Gershon spoke for OneVoice Israel. Bruins for World Peace, a new group on campus, cosponsored the event. Each side spoke about the achievements of their chapters, upcoming projects, and personal experiences living in a war torn neighborhood. This program is a weeklong regional speaking tour of Southern California.

Turning away teachers bad for business
In an effort to mitigate California’s budget crisis, the governor and state legislators are implementing a $4 billion cut in education funding. Around 14,000 teachers and administrators have already received pink slips across the state. A number of teachers who have lost jobs are recipients of Teacher of the Year awards in their districts. They are likely to find employment in neighboring states that may offer bonuses and better benefits. But these circumstances are not going to help California’s quality of education and performance on standardized testing, which already ranks 47 out of the 50 states.

Promoting a greener campus
Tuesday, many student groups set up booths in Bruin Plaza to promote a greener campus at UCLA. Ecology, Economy, Equity – a statewide environmental student organization – has encouraged UCLA dining halls and restaurants to serve locally grown produce. Green for Greeks targeted the Greek life and is seeking to provide Greek houses with recycling bins and eliminate the use of Styrofoam kitchenware. The Student Welfare Commission’s Earth Committee also collected used batteries that are an environmental hazard.

UCLA math professor wins prestigious award
Mathematics Professor Terence Tao will be awarded the 2008 Alan T. Waterman Award, the National Science Foundation’s highest honor. He will be honored in May at the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C. The Waterman Award selects an outstanding science or engineering researcher every year to receive grants for three years totaling the amount of $500,000.

Fickle season comes to a finish
An inconsistent season for the men’s volleyball team ended Saturday night with a loss to No. 5 Pepperdine. They ended with a 17-14 overall record that included a record of winning four consecutive matches. Despite being able to hold the longest winning streak of UCLA’s history, they were unable to hold off lower ranked teams like UC San Diego and USC. Coaches and players alike noted an up and down season and are looking forward to fostering the talent they have for next year.

Students hold protest rally
Wednesday, the Vietnamese Student Union held a protest rally outside of Kerckhoff Hall to oppose the U.S. and Vietnam Repatriation Agreement enacted Jan. 22. Approximately 1,500 Vietnamese community members would be eventually deported under this enactment because of past criminal offenses and recent immigration to the U.S. UCLA students used spoken word, poetry and personal testimonials to protest the act that they deemed too harsh and believed would only tear families apart.

Readers, writers convene for love of books
This past weekend, UCLA welcomed approximately 130,000 booklovers to come experience the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. The festival celebrates reading and writing by bringing together authors, publishers, and book-lovers alike to join together in an otherwise solitary pursuit of imagination. Those who attended could buy books, communicate with authors and agents, and listen to speakers at panel readings.

Old mathematical concepts may provide new identity theft protection
Amit Sahai, an associate professor of computer science, and Brent Waters, a UCLA computer science alumnus, have recently collaborated on a new way to protect against identity theft via the Internet by using math based on elliptical curves. Though the technology would not be available for commercial production for five to 10 years, Sahai is confident that this system would even out the playing field when it comes to stopping hackers. This sort of protection would lessen the hassle of identity theft for students and companies if incorporated in the future.

Compiled by Carolina Chau, Megan Smith, Tiffany Hsia and Aleen Bedrosian.

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