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News

What Did You #askUCLA?

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UCLA admissions were released at the start of this month and a record number of more than 112,000 students applied for the 2015-2016 academic year. That might explain why there has been an overwhelming amount of touring students and families on campus, making it impossible for me to squeeze in a quick lunch at Ackerman Student Union.

Earlier this month, UCLA’s official Twitter account hosted a live Twitter chat which allowed admitted freshmen to ask any questions about life and academics at UCLA with the hashtag #askUCLA. People made hundreds of tweets, but a certain few stuck out as quite memorable this year.

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I have been asking myself that same question every day since becoming a student here.

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Really funny @UCLA, really funny. Playing with our emotions like that.

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Tommy is still waiting for a reply.

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I thought some real shade was being thrown here, but it’s OK. All is good.

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I have a feeling she isn’t a new student.

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OK, he most definitely is not new here.

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And well, this guy.

With that, congratulations to all the baby Bruins that have been admitted this year! I’m sure they all will have many more questions once they start in the fall, so let’s welcome them with open arms.

 

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Campus newsNews

Overheard on Bruin Day

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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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How-to

Creative Ways to Fundraise for Dance Marathon

Source: Pediatric AIDS Coalition at UCLA
Source: Pediatric AIDS Coalition at UCLA

Dance Marathon is one of UCLA’s beloved annual traditions. Hundreds of students cram into Pauley Pavilion to dance for 26 hours to raise money for the Pediatric AIDS Coalition. Dancers must raise $260 in order to participate in the event, which can be a real struggle for some of us, especially if some of us waited until the last minute to start fundraising. After all, procrastination is truly a talent honed best by college students.

To any aspiring dancers out there who are still struggling to fundraise for DM 2015, here are some suggestions:

1. Utilize the art of self-humiliation

There is a reason that trashy reality television is so popular in today’s culture: We love watching people embarrass themselves. Why else would there be 15 million spinoffs of The Real Housewives? Many DMers volunteer to wear crazy embarrassing outfits, post mortifying #throwbackthursday pictures of themselves and even get a “swag” lip tattoo in order to reach their goals. Now that’s what I call dedication to the cause. If you’re not ready to go through any body-altering procedures just yet, I totally understand. Instead, offer an all-out embarrassing makeup session to donators, complete with a walk around Westwood to show of your fabulous new look.

2. Cater to the ‘turnt’ community

Bake sales are usually the go-to fundraising technique for events like this. They are universally appealing – who doesn’t love food? However, if there is one demographic that loves food more than the average person, it’s definitely drunk people. Setting up stations on the classic corner of Strathmore and Gayley for “drunchies” has proved profitable for many Dance Marathoners. If standing in the cold isn’t really your thing, the access control centers in the residence halls would be another prime location. Quick tip: the greasier the food, the better.

3. Flaunt your talents

All of us have a special skill or weird talent that could totally be used to raise some cash. For the artsy-creative types, a personalized song or poem can be the perfect unique gift. For the campus fashionista, wardrobe consultations can be a great way to encourage donations while making UCLA a better-dressed community. Those fluent in HTML could offer to spice up someone’s blog, while dancers could give lessons to the rhythmically challenged. If you really wanna go the extra mile, try advertising on Bruin Walk to spread the word about your new service.

4. Capitalize on laziness

As a self-proclaimed Postmates addict, I am doing no good to dissuade the stereotype that college students are lazy. Use your inside knowledge as real life college student to your advantage to determine what YOU would want to make your life easier. This is the kind of intel that advertisers and marketers spend tons of time and money to figure out. Hate walking to campus? Offer to pick your friends up and drive them to class as a mini-Uber service. Have no time to go grocery shopping? Pick up your friend’s groceries and deliver them right to their door in return for a donation. If someone started a laundry washing-and-folding service tomorrow, I would be first in line. Seriously.

As always, if you’re still struggling with coming up with the money, feel free to contact your Dancer Captains for help.

Good luck!

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Campus news

Talk with a Professional Dominatrix

Daily Bruin photo
Daily Bruin photo

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 // losangelesdominatrix.com

 

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

fetlife.com

thekinkyfactory.com/bdsm-for-beginners

 

Need someone to talk to?

CAPS/CARE

counseling.ucla.edu

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)

rainn.org

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Arts & Entertainment

UCLA Takes Las Vegas: Memorial Day Weekend Edition

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It’s spring quarter. The final stretch to summer is now underway and sadly this is the one quarter of the year when we don’t get a break from the insanity of a 10-week quarter system. But that will never stop UCLA from making the trek to Las Vegas during Memorial Day weekend to perform the 8-Clap in what has become a part of Bruin tradition. Last year, more than 1,000 Bruins gathered in front of the Bellagio Fountain to show off some Bruin pride with our famous fight chant, drawing the attention of police. The crowd was dispersed peacefully, but I have quite a hunch that UCLA will be back this year to continue the tradition. Memorial Day weekend is known for being one of the most exciting times in Las Vegas, as some of the biggest celebrities, DJs and musicians come to party it up in the “city that never sleeps.” Vegas Pool Season recently released a lineup of the weekend’s clubbing events, pool parties and celebrity performances, which feature big names such as Steve Aoki, Afrojack, Calvin Harris, Tiesto, Diddy, Avicii, Steve Angello, Diplo and Zedd. Watch out Coachella, it looks like Vegas is bringing just as stacked a lineup, without the hassle of sandstorms and a lack of showers. Imagine walking up to the club with your makeup all done and your eyelashes glued on, only to be hit with a gust of valley winds. It’s important to start looking for hotels right now because Memorial Day weekend is one of the top vacation destinations around this time. You can plan where you want to stay according to which clubs you plan on going to, but a word of advice: Find a place on The Las Vegas Strip, because taxis are outrageously expensive. Making a far, drunk walk back will be your demise. Now to the fun part: the parties. Because there are so many events going on in Las Vegas Memorial Day weekend, I’ve chosen to feature some of the most popular names on the lineup for each day, but visit Electronic.Vegas if you want to see the full event calendar for the weekend. So get your bathing suits and party dresses packed because you’re gonna be in for a crazy weekend!   Thursday, May 21 Zedd @ XS at Encore (10 p.m.) Cover charge: Ladies ($20), Gentlemen ($30) Steve Aoki @ Hakkasan at MGM Grand (10 p.m.) Cover charge: Ladies ($20), Gentlemen ($30) Dillon Francis @ Encore Beach Club at Night (10:30 p.m.) Cover charge: Ladies ($25), Gentlemen ($35) Brody Jenner @ Tao at the Venetian (10 p.m.) Cover charge: Ladies ($20), Gentlemen ($30) Friday, May 22 Kaskade @ XS at Encore (10 p.m.) Cover charge: Ladies ($20), Gentlemen ($50) Lil Jon @ Surrender at Encore (10 p.m.) Cover charge: Ladies ($30), Gentlemen ($40) Hardwell @ Hakkasan at MGM Grand (10 p.m.) Cover charge: Ladies ($30), Gentlemen ($50) Armin van Buuren @ Omnia at Caesars Palace (10 p.m.) Cover charge: Ladies ($30), Gentlemen ($50) Saturday, May 23 Benny Benassi @ Marquee Dayclub at Cosmopolitan (11 a.m.) Cover charge: Ladies ($20), Gentlemen ($50) Calvin Harris @ Wet Republic at MGM Grand (11 a.m.) Cover charge: Ladies ($30), Gentlemen ($50) Snoop Dogg @ Tao at the Venetian (10 p.m.) Cover charge: Ladies ($20), Gentlemen ($50) Dash Berlin @ Marquee at Cosmopolitan (10 p.m.) Cover charge: Ladies ($20), Gentlemen ($50)   Sunday, May 24 Avicii @ Encore Beach Club (11 a.m.) Cover charge: Ladies ($40), Gentlemen ($70) Fabolous @ Tao Beach at the Venetian (11 a.m.) Cover charge: Ladies ($20), Gentlemen ($50) David Guetta @ XS at Encore (10 p.m.) Cover charge: Ladies ($20), Gentlemen ($50) Afrojack & Apster @ Omnia at Caesars Palace (10 p.m.) Cover charge: Ladies ($20), Gentlemen ($30) Monday, May 25 Tiesto @ Wet Republic at MGM Grand (11 a.m.) Cover charge: Ladies ($20), Gentlemen ($30) Diplo & Skrillex @ XS at Encore (10 p.m.) Cover charge: Ladies ($20), Gentlemen ($30) Carnage @ Marquee at Cosmopolitan (10 p.m.) Cover charge: Ladies ($20), Gentlemen ($50) Showtek @ Omnia at Caesars Palace (10 p.m.) Cover charge: Ladies ($20), Gentlemen ($30) Some of the biggest names in EDM, electro house, dubstep, and hip-hop are all going to be performing Memorial Day weekend, so start saving your money now to treat yourself to an “It’s almost summer but I still have midterms and finals” vacation! Just a tip for when making a trip to Las Vegas: Check out Instagram or ask your friends for contacts to promoters for clubs. You’ll save lots of money! Whether you’re looking to spend the whole weekend drunk or just chilling by the poolside, one thing you can’t miss out on is seeing The Strip lit up beautifully at night. Turn up!   Lead image courtesy of William Lam. Pool party photo courtesy of Pantip Belle. Black and white club photo courtesy of Anthony Bushong.

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