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A Look Back at Dance Marathon

This weekend marked UCLA’s 14th annual Dance Marathon. This event, put on by the Pediatric AIDS Coalition, is a 26-hour-long dance marathon where students take a literal stand against pediatric HIV/AIDS. Let’s take a look back at the original story published by the Daily Bruin on April 12, 2002.

First of all, this story was barely on the front page, and mostly carried on to page three. This is in stark contrast to the current Daily Bruin focus on Dance Marathon and really shows how the event has grown so much bigger over the years. The story opens with, “On your mark, get set, DANCE!” – nothing’s really changed there. The enthusiasm for Dance Marathon that you see on campus today is definitely seen in this first story and the first Dance Marathon.

This first Dance Marathon began with 190 students, and “members of the Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils collaborated with the Undergraduate Students Association Council, Student Alumni Association and On Campus Housing Council.” There was not a Pediatric AIDS Coalition way back in 2002. It also began as a way for the Greeks to become more involved. 

Dance Marathon co-chair at the time, Emily Whichard, anticipated that this “could be a huge tradition on campus – a unifying thing for a campus that needs that.”

Dance Marathon originally began as a way to unify UCLA as a campus and to get people involved in the community working towards a common goal.

In 2014, Dance Marathon had to be moved to Pauley Pavilion to account for the increase in participating students and the enormity of the event. During the past 13 Dance Marathons, an overall $3,917,480 has been raised for the cause. It truly has become a campus tradition.

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Arts & Entertainment

VSU Modern As Told Through Social Media

At UCLA’s 35th Annual Vietnamese Culture Night, VSU Modern took to the stage in Royce Hall to dance in front of a sold-out crowd of 1,800 people. The hip-hop dance team, formed by the Vietnamese Student Union, performs every year at this event as a part of the major production.

After the show I tried to find out more about what makes this dance team unique with a little help from social media, of course. The team isn’t active on all social platforms, unfortunately, so I had to imagine how its profiles might be on Twitter, Tinder and Vine. But be sure to follow VSU Modern on its Instagram, @vsumodern.





Name: VSU Modern

Age: 9 years

Location: Parking Structure 7

About VSU Modern:

VSU MODERN! IT MAKES ME WANNA DANCE! Our name is VSU Modern and we love drinking boba, singing, eating, staying up late, turning crowds into mosh pits and using toilets. If we could be any animal, we would be a red panda, because, why not? Just a heads up, if we were to drop a mixtape, it would be called “When.” You can find us chilling out in Lot 4, but we also spend a lot of our time at what we like to call “the holy trinity of Sawtelle Boulevard.” In other words, catch us at MJ Café Express sippin’ on that boba.

Hey, do you salsa? Because you’re spicy.





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Campus news

Amnesty International calls for action against Guantanamo detentions

The student group Amnesty International UCLA organized a performance in Bruin Plaza this afternoon in recognition of the National Day of Action Against Guantanamo.

This month marks the tenth anniversary of counter-terrorism detentions at Guantanamo. Similar demonstrations took place across the country on Wednesday.

The group members initially planned to stage a flash mob, but quickly changed the event to a small dance performance once they realized there were not enough volunteers, said the Amnesty International UCLA Chief of Staff Amy Chen, a fourth-year sociology student.

Currently, 171 people are still imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay. Chen said the group wanted to highlight President Barack Obama’s recent signing of the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows U.S. citizens to be charged or detained without bail in Guantanamo.

“It basically means Guantanamo Bay is open for business,” Chen said.

A small crowd formed in front of the Bruin Plaza stage while the group’s members performed a five-minute dance routine to the song “Where is the love?”, by the Black Eyed Peas.

The group is encouraging the UCLA community to continue the conversation through social media, specifically through the use of Twitter hashtags #closegitmo and #NDAA. Amnesty International UCLA also plans to post a video of the performance and various interviews with students on YouTube.

Check out the video above for a rough cut of the performance. What do you think of the event? Was it an effective way to mobilize action against Guantanamo? Leave a comment below or tweet us @dbmojo.

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