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Campus news

‘Racist Bruin’ stickers used hashtags to bring light to oppression

On Monday, many editions of the Daily Bruin and their respective newsstands were emblazoned with a sticker titled “Racist Bruin” which was splashed across half the front page. The sticker contained visual and stylistic references to many of The Bruin’s normal sections, but instead of focusing on the paper, focused on what the authors argued were instances of inherent, normalized oppression at UCLA as a whole.

In the sticker’s manifesto, the authors said they stand in solidarity with a variety of movements, denoted by their hashtags. Below is an explanation of those hashtags.


The #UStired2 hashtag refers to a movement created last year in response to the disappearance of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Raul Isidro Burgos Rural Teacher’s College in Guerrero, a state of Mexico. The movement has taken particular interest in the perceived callousness of Mexican officials toward the disappeared – most poignantly represented by an incident in November, when Jesús Murillo Karam, the then-attorney general of the country, responded to a question about the students with “no más preguntas, ya me cansé” (Spanish for “No more questions, I am tired”).

The group has called on the U.S. government to cease international aid to Mexico, and to end the “Mérida Initiative,” a joint drug patrol and security agreement between the countries. The protesters – who dub this “Plan Mexico,” invoking a similar initiative undertaken in Colombia – claim that this agreement has done little to curb drug violence and smuggling, and instead props up a dishonest and corrupt Mexican government.

Activists have continued to coordinate acts of protest and demonstration throughout the U.S., including in Los Angeles. The search for the missing students is still ongoing.


Students at the University of Cape Town in South Africa have called for the removal of a Cecil Rhodes statue since the 1950s, but the #RhodesMustFall movement began when an activist threw human feces at the statue, and initiated a protest with about a dozen other people who performed a Southern African dance around the statue. Rhodes was a prime minister of the Cape Colony during the late 19th century whose effigy some say is a symbol of racism and colonialism.

Reactions to the protest indicated that several other students and faculty felt the university had failed to progress past institutional racism. One lecturer told the Cape Town Times in March that only five out of 200 senior professors at the university were black. Students said they wanted the university’s curricula to focus less heavily on Europe and the United States.

The university removed the statue and announced a new black studies program in April, but #RhodesMustFall initiated a string of other actions calling for the “decolonization of education” in other South African public universities, including the Open Stellenbosch movement at Stellenbosch University and the approval of a task force at Rhodes University to consider changing the university’s name and moving away from colonial traditions.


This hashtag evokes images of past protests against former UCLA chancellor Albert Carnesale, whose failure to speak out against Proposition 209, which prevents universities from considering race, sex or ethnicity in admissions, was interpreted by many as a failure to promote diversity. More than 300 students protested his inauguration as chancellor in 1998 and about 20 protested the naming of Carnesale Commons in 2013.

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Campus newsNews

Why are UCLA’s Sunken Gardens sunken?

UCLA is better known for its architecture than its greenery.

This comes as little surprise. An urban campus like ours – spanning a mere 420 acres and hemmed in by a cemetery to the west and the very much alive civilization to the east – has to worry more about housing students, faculty and administrators than offering lush, open spaces. For that, there’s always UC Davis, which sits on 5,300 acres of land. Or the entire Midwestern United States.

So why all the green space in North Campus, the contrast to the notoriously dreary southern counterpart? To be specific, why do the Sunken Gardens exist? And why are they sunken in the first place? As it turns out, there’s a lot of depth to the story of the Sunken Gardens, formally regarded as Dickson Court North and South – divided, just like the campus as a whole.

A little digging into Westwood history yields a surprising fact: The gardens were once a gulch – or an arroyo, for all you geography buffs. A nice-looking bridge, consistent with the rest of the fledgling campus’ Romanesque Revival style, connected the entirety of campus to whatever was across – at the time, not much.

Dickson Court as it appeared in 1929. (Los Angeles Public Library)

After World War II, the campus was expanding at a rapid clip, and having a miniature valley divide the campus dramatically is, to say the least, unhelpful in that regard. So, in 1947, they decided to fill in the arroyo – thus the Sunken Gardens were created. Perhaps they ran out of dirt to fill it in all the way?

UCLA Magazine notes that there were talks of filling in southern garden to build an amphitheater, but the plans were scrapped “because of financial considerations.” Given the lack of open space on this campus-in-a-metropolis, that consideration was for the better.

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Campus news

Mojo Asks Students: Racist Stickers on Campus

Editor’s note: Some of the images included in this post contain explicit language. We have decided to run these images because we felt it appropriate to thoroughly cover this campus incident.

Racist stickers referencing Freddie Gray appeared around campus and on the Afrikan Student Union’s bulletin board on Thursday, and students quickly denounced the stickers on Facebook and by marking the stickers themselves. Many students said that the situation was reflective of poor campus climate, and some added they felt it is an issue the Undergraduate Students Association Council should address. Here are some student thoughts:




“If they attack the black community at UCLA, they are attacking everyone at UCLA. We stand together as one whole family. If they attack on family, they attack all of us.” – first-year molecular, cell and developmental biology student Rubi Gomez


“I saw one of the stickers and my first reaction was being upset because I don’t think they understand the full institutionalized consequences. The problem is not ‘if you follow the law, you’d be alive’ but more of a targeted race issue. Also, being anonymous makes it a hate crime and it’s clearly an attack.” – fifth-year geography and English student Kristen Chan


“If only Freddie Gray had followed the damn law, he’d still be alive.” (Jessica Zhou/Daily Bruin)


“We go to a school that is not very politically active. Maybe at Berkeley people would be more motivated about this. … The only thing people got upset about was the tuition hikes, and then we went on break and then everyone forgot about it.” – first-year undeclared student Eleanor Hunts


“A lot of things with anti-Semitism have been going on around campus, and we’re known for our racially diverse campus so it’s disturbing to see that we have come to this level. I feel like it opens your eyes to certain things you didn’t truly understand the extent of.” – second-year sociology student Leah Falcon


“They are not peaceful protestors. They are uncivilized, violent criminals. #ShootAllLooters” (Jessica Zhou/Daily Bruin)


“It’s not shocking people feel that way because there are racist people everywhere. It’s the fact they go to the lengths to do that that shocks me. As a UCLA student it makes me rethink the whole ‘picture perfect public school with lots of diversity’ image we try so hard to attain.” – first-year psychology student Brian Green


“It’s disgusting, and in general this issue doesn’t just affect the group being targeted. It affects everyone. Seeing things like this makes me question humanity but also forces me to rethink about the ‘educated’ people we are surrounded by in a high profile university.” – first-year business economics student Devanshi Mehta

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Campus newsNews

Overheard on Bruin Day

With the beginning of spring quarter comes UCLA’s annual Bruin Day, a celebration where all newly admitted students and their families are invited to explore the campus and see what it has to offer. Walking through campus and seeing all of the eager students and parents left me with a feeling of déjà vu. It was only last year that I was perusing the same set of student organization tents while my mom tried to convince me to join every single one. What brought me back to my Bruin Day experience the most, however, were the little snippets of conversation I overheard throughout the morning. Whether you went to Bruin Day, or just visited for a tour, I think we can all relate to some of these.

1. “Look at how much walking we’ve already done. You’re going to get so fit here!”  – Mom

2. “This place is like Disneyland!” – Little brother

3. “This is where the Student Activities Center is … but I’m just looking for the pre-med booths.” – Admitted student

4. “First, let’s just find the Bear.” – Mom

5. “I was thinking you could go in as an econ major and then switch to poli-sci or even double major.” – Mom

6. “I really like the idea of this whole quarter system thing.” – Admitted student

7. ” OK, meet me back here when you’re done. I plan on filling this yellow bag with as much free stuff as I can.” – Sibling

8. “Get in that line, I want to take a picture of you ringing the bell!” – Mom

9. “If you like lettuce, you’ll love the sandwiches here.” – Student volunteer and tour guide

10. “How do we get to the *re-positions map* Ackerman Student Union?” – Mom

11. “Could you see yourself going here?” – All parents

12. “What time is the free lunch?” – Dad

Ah, the memories…

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Campus news

Talk with a Professional Dominatrix

In honor of April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, UCLA’s 7000 in Solidarity is hosting its own annual campaign in order to raise public awareness regarding sexual assault, as well as to educate the UCLA community on how to prevent sexual violence. One of the 28 events put on this month is BDSM 101: Sexy, Safe and Consensual.

In the last couple months, BDSM has become a popular discussion topic because of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey. Rather than keeping it a taboo subject matter, 7000 in Solidarity has teamed up with a professional dominatrix to discuss the BDSM culture, consent and how to engage in consensual bondage and submission play with your partner in a safe way.

Mistress Justine Cross has been a lifestyle and professional dominatrix in L.A. for seven years. She is the owner of two private dungeons: Dungeon West and LA Douleur Exquise, and she is a hostess of kink and fetish events and also a media personality. She came in to have an open discussion on the ins and outs of BDSM and how learning about it can help us eradicate rape culture – and here’s what we learned from her talk.

1. Weirdly enough, most people don’t know what BDSM stands for. So what exactly does BDSM mean?

BDSM is an overlapping abbreviation of Bondage and Discipline (BD), Dominance and Submission (DS), Sadism and Masochism (SM). Bondage is consensually tying, binding or restraining a partner for erotic simulation. All types of material can be used from ropes to saran wrap. Dominance is psychological restraining with the use of rules and discipline. Sadism is the tendency to gain sexual pleasure from the act of inflicting pain. Masochism is the tendency to gain sexual pleasure from one’s own pain.

2. How can you start getting into BDSM in a safe way?

In the words of Mistress Justine Cross herself, “throw glitter, not shade, and don’t yuck someone’s yum.” In other words, be open-minded and do some research into what you and your partner may or may not like. You can try going to lifestyle events, such as one’s at Mistress Justine’s very own Dungeon West and get an inside look at to what BDSM is about. But make sure to go with your partner or friend, if you’re just starting out. There are many ways to slowly ask your partner to engage in BDSM, but just doing it without his or her prior knowledge or consent is not okay. If you want to find out more information on your own, there are plenty of forums and social media networking sites that can also show some insight into different fetishes or “scenes.”

3. That leads me to question number three. What is a “scene”? And how do you prepare for one?

A scene is the time period of the BDSM activity. Before you begin, there should be an ongoing open discussion sharing one another’s limits, medical conditions, level of impact, etc. Like most people know, there should definitely be a designated safe word involved, whether it’s “popcorn” like in Family Guy or simply “red, green, yellow” like the stoplights. This prevents any nonconsensual acts and prevents sexual violence.

Surprisingly enough, both parties should make sure the other has eaten before so the chance of passing out is lowered. After a scene, there is a sense of disorientation as if coming out of a trance-like space, a feeling known as “subspace.” Mistress Justine suggests that the dominant partner needs to take care of the submissive in this state and cater to his or her needs, whether it’s getting ice cream or having sex, or maybe, nothing.

4. As a dominatrix, is BDSM all about sex?

BDSM certainly can be part of foreplay, the context for an entire sexual scene and indeed a sexual lifestyle. But contrary to popular belief, the act of intercourse is not a necessity and many “scenes” involve no sex at all. Mistress Justine does not have sex with any of her clients and BDSM does not always mean sex.

5. So what does this have to do with Sexual Assault Awareness Month?

BDSM emphasizes the importance of negotiation and consent. Those who engage in it properly are constantly discussing each other’s limits and checking in on each other throughout. People can engage and fulfill their sexual desires and fetishes in a safe way where both partners are on the same page. When participating in BDSM, the partners should be safe and make attempts to identify and prevent risks to health. Additionally, they should participate in the activities in a sane and sensible state of mind. And most importantly, they should have full consent of all parties.


Mistress Justine Cross is always available to talk if you have any more questions regarding BDSM culture, safety, or if you need some recommendations for places to buy toys!

@justineplays //


Or you can check out some other resources to learn more information.


Need someone to talk to?


RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)

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