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Print Editions Thursday September 28th, 2023

UCLA student council catches heat for questioning Jewish candidate

The Undergraduate Students Association Council at the University of California at Los Angeles has come under fire for inappropriately questioning a Jewish candidate for the Student Judicial Board and subsequently removing a video of the Feb. 10 meeting from its website, the Huffington Post reported.

The USAC asked student Rachel Beyda about whether she could be “unbiased” while being “a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community” and if she held “any political affiliations that could cause a conflict of interest” were she to be elected to the position. Beyda had been nominated by USAC President Avinoam Baral, who tells USAC members in the video that he does not “think that’s a question we’d feel comfortable asking other students,” according to the Huffington Post.

Video recordings of the meetings are typically published on the group’s website. After the video had been taken down, the university responded to requests for its republication, informing interested parties that the decision to take it down had been made by USAC’s internal vice president’s office. Minutes from the meeting show the vote on accepting Beyda changed from 4-4 to unanimous after USAC was presented with its conflict of interest policy, which reflected that Beyda’s religious identity was not, in fact, a possible conflict of interest, the Huffington Post reported.

“No student should feel threatened that they would be unable to participate in a university activity because of their religion,” wrote UCLA Chancellor Gene Block in a campus-wide email following the incident, the Huffington Post reported.



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