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(5,>/64, )UHVKPHQH[SHULHQFHGPL[HG IHHOLQJVDERXWOHDYLQJEHKLQGWKH FRPIRUWVRIKRPHDQGHPEUDFHGWKH QHZIRXQGIUHHGRPRIOLYLQJRQWKHLU RZQIRUWKHÂżUVWWLPH High school students swore they were ready to leave home, get out of their old, boring town, and experience something new. However, moving away from home for the ďŹ rst time meant a diďŹ&#x20AC;erent thing for everyone. Some, like ďŹ rst-year anthropology student Anna Riley, were anxious to get away from home and begin a new life. Riley said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I lived in a small town, and I was sick of knowing who everyone was. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so fun being here and meeting new people all the time.â&#x20AC;? Others felt that being away from home made them more appreciative of where they came from. First-year sociology student Nicole Young said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Now that I live in a small room and eat the same food every day, I really appreciate home a lot more. Adjusting to my life here has made me closer to my family, because we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ďŹ ght about little things: we just enjoy each other.â&#x20AC;? It seemed that students were more outgoing, and more willing to extend a hand of friendship, in the dorms than they were in high school hallways. Coming to a new school in a new city with new people had its overwhelming aspects, but students learned that by making friends with fellow ďŹ&#x201A;oormates, the new experience became not only manageable but also unforgettable. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I love how friendly everyone is during the ďŹ rst few weeks. You meet people that you wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have talked to in high school, and you ďŹ nd that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re super compatible as friends. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great time to expand your horizons,â&#x20AC;? said second-year linguistics student Shannon Doner. î ˘is friendliness did not wear out aî&#x201A;?er Zero Week, however, as the OďŹ&#x192;ce of Residential Life planned events and programs for students to continually meet friends in the building and experience the personal growth that many found in making an eďŹ&#x20AC;ort to ďŹ nd friends. LEFT | Female students study and hang out in a De N eve suite. U C LA freshmen had the option of choosing between singles, doubles, or triples either in residential halls, suites, or plazas.

96644(;,: *65:;9<*;0655,> 9664:(5+9(: :,9=,;64(2,;/, +69430-,,?7,90,5*, <5-69.,;;()3, >90;;,5)@,403@.3(5;65c7/6;6:)@90*2@@<





+694:<5+,9 *65:;9<*;065 ;OLSHZ[+`RZ[YHYLZPKLU[Z TV]LKV\[VM[OL`LHYVSK I\PSKPUNHUKPU[V[OLUL^S`I\PS[+L 5L]L7SHaHYLZPKLU[PHSOHSSZ^OPSL JVUZ[Y\J[PVUVU[OLUL^:WYV\S I\PSKPUNZJVU[PU\LK â&#x20AC;&#x153;Under Construction Like Alwaysâ&#x20AC;?-the informal acronym sometimes attributed to UCLA--meant that new

only tell those types of stories. Luckily, my roommates are just people who I live with and we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really hate each other or love each other, but we work together as roommates.â&#x20AC;? On the other hand, those who found friends in their room were

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I came here thinking I would either be best friends with my roommate or hate herâ&#x20AC;?

paired with those who shared similar interests and had complementary personalities. However, many students found that they became friends with their roommates. First-year physical sciences student Christine Cocheteux said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I opened my door for the first time, and my roommate had already moved in. I knew we would be friends when I saw that she had the same sheet set and comforter as me.â&#x20AC;?

pleasantly surprised especially since there was no detailed personalitymatching questionnaire to fill out. The five basic questions about lifestyle preferences didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t give much hope to incoming freshmen that they would be

dorms were being built to accommodate the ever-expanding student population. Over Presidentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day weekend, students moved out of Dykstra Hall and into the brand new De Neve buildings. Gardenia Way and Holly Ridge were De Neveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first hall-style residences. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I never realized how rundown and old Dykstra was until I moved to Gardenia. Honestly, Dykstra wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t that bad. It was fun and social, but obviously much different than Gardenia. And now we have study rooms, which is very helpful because Dykstra had nowhere to study,â&#x20AC;?

explained first-year molecular, cell, and developmental biology student Monique Arrabit. The new dorms were much larger than the Dykstra rooms--which were built in 1959--and everything from the furniture to the bathroom furnishings were perfectly new. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll probably tear Dykstra down. What else can they do with it? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s old, the rooms are tiny, and it would take tons of renovation to fix the mess it is,â&#x20AC;? speculated third-year gender studies student Stephanie Ramirez, who lived in Dykstra as a freshman. Other changes happening on â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Hillâ&#x20AC;? included the continued construction of two new Sproul buildings--Sproul Cove and Sproul Landing--which were being built with the ambitious goal of accommodating enough students to guarantee housing on-campus for four years. BOTTOM LEFT & BOTTOM RIGHT | De N eve Gardenia and H olley opened in January of 2012. Bruins from D ykstra residential hall were the first to experience living in the new residential halls as they were moved so that D ysktra could be renovated.


;/96<./;/, 7,9:7,*;0=,6- (9,:0+,5;0(3 (::0:;(5;9( Brent McCloud, a fourth-year sociology student, spent his third and fourth years at UCLA as a residential assistant on the hill. He wanted to serve the residents in the way that he felt was most beneďŹ cial to his community: by serving as an example and a role model to his ďŹ&#x201A;oor as an RA. His older brother worked as an RA when he was in college, so, following in his brotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s footsteps, he aspired to do the same. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I got my foot in the door by getting the Student Leader Facilities Director position, and my job was to set up the programs for all the RAs. I learned so much that I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know,â&#x20AC;? said McCloud, â&#x20AC;&#x153;î ˘en, when I got hired as an RA, I had

gotten where I wanted to be. Now I just had to do it.â&#x20AC;? During his ďŹ rst year as an RA, McCloud worked in Sproul Hall. In the halls, two RAs were assigned per ďŹ&#x201A;oor, and he and his co-RA needed to work together to unite the ďŹ&#x201A;oor and create an environment. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It taught me how to

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always felt that a great leader not only leads people, but also builds more leaders to come,â&#x20AC;?

really work with people. We had to strive together to work for the greater purpose, which was our ďŹ&#x201A;oor community.â&#x20AC;? On his ďŹ&#x201A;oor during that year, he began to appreciate the development of his fellow residents. Serving as an RA had been â&#x20AC;&#x153;nothing short of rewardingâ&#x20AC;? for McCloud, who encouraged all of his ďŹ&#x201A;oor members to

make a diďŹ&#x20AC;erence in their communities in their own unique ways. At the same time, he acknowledged that it was also a challenging position. It was diďŹ&#x192;cult to balance the responsibilities of a fulltime job with the personal life, and the dilemma posed the question of which to value more. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always felt that a great leader not only leads people, but also builds more leaders to come,â&#x20AC;? he said. He felt that RAs oî&#x201A;?en received more credit than they deserve--they simply served as the catalyst for creating the reaction among all the residents. He added, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s those one-on-one relationships that you have with residents. î ˘e random times when a resident may need your support and you can add that encouragement and oomph they need to push through, I think thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the most rewarding thing anyone can experience.â&#x20AC;? ABO VE | Fourth-year sociology student Brent Mc C loud recounts his experiences as a Residential Assistant (RA) for two years in a row. Working as an RA taught Mc C loud to put others before himself and work very well with others.


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Meals options for On-Campus housing residents came in three option; 19, 14, or 11 meals a week. For students with 19 swipes a week, food was no problem. They were guaranteed one or more swipes, the latter option with 19 Premier specifically, into each meal period at any one of the dining halls or quick service restaurants. The ability to use extra swipes in a given meal period allowed these students to swipe in family and friends and order several single-swipe items off a residential resident menu. Finally, students could attend Late Nite at DeNeve. At Late Night, students could order an extra-large pizza for four swipes and a pound of chicken wings for two swipes among other edibles like fries and burger. For students with fewer than 19 meals a week, other dining options

had to be made. The most convenient of these were campus eateries located throughout campus. Location-wise these eateries were walking distance from class and if students were not afforded the time to walk back to the Hill and eat during short hour long gaps between their classes; on campus eateries also provided easy access to yummy food. Other options included shopping at Westwood grocery stores and storing those groceries in their dorm roomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s micro fridge. Regardless of what meal plan students had, all students had a diverse array of options to chose from. These culinary experiences ranged from the bold and exotic flavors of Feast dining hall to the comfort food of Covel and Hedrick dining halls to the healthy comestibles at Bruin Cafe. In total, there were four dining halls and five quick service restaurants scattered across the Hill for students to dine at.


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,?,*<;0=,*/,-4(92204;(32:()6<;/0: ,?7,90,5*,+>0;/>69205.(;;/,5,>3@ food was often and unjustly deemed 67,5,+90,),9-,(:; foreign uneatable. For students treading water in A greasy and parmesan cheese-topped pepperoni pizza. A warm bowl of marinara sauce and spaghetti. A juicy hamburger stuffed with beef, tomatoes, and crispy lettuce. A gingerly spiced Indian chicken tikka masala. One of these entrees is not like the other. Whereas the first three comestibles are the staples of American dining and were served at Hedrick, Covel, and De Neve dining halls, the last option was part of the Pan-Asian cuisine served at the Rieber dining hall. Also known as Feast at Rieber, Feat featured food from seven Asian regions: China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, India, and Hawaii. From these seven countries, sample menu offerings include: Thai Hom Mali jasmine rice, Japanese Kabocha Pumpkin Soup and Vietnamese Banh Xeo Pork. Just pronouncing these names was a mouthful for most people and unpronounceable

unfamiliar territory, Feast provided an anchored and authentic stepping stone to venture into the world of Asian cuisine. Pete Angelis, the Assistant Vice Chancellor of UCLA Housing and Hospitality Services echoed, â&#x20AC;&#x153;At UCLA, education takes place in many ways. The dining options we offer are one way to expand social and cultural awareness.â&#x20AC;? For most students however, Asian American food was no stranger. After all, UCLA was situated in one of the most diverse regions of the world---Southern California. And with that diversity came Asian restaurants. Take the ever popular Bibigo Korean restaurant, Yamato Japanese Sushi, Emporium Thai Cuisine, and First Szechuan Wok. These four restaurants were just a small sample of the Asian restaurants in Westwood. Consequently, Feast had appeal to the sophisticated student palettes. Executive

Chef Mark Kim said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;There was challenge of opening the restaurant with a theme of handling seven different countries and also abiding by the authenticities of each country. As a culinarian it was my responsibility to do thorough research and finding out the true nature of the recipes from the different regions from each country.â&#x20AC;? Research for the over 1,300 recipes was compiled through Kimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Sous chef Joachim Weritzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s extensive and previous travels to the countries. Kimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s journey to the cooking industry followed no cookie cutter pathway. He said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I originally worked in the finance industry. During the time my mother was diagnosed with cancer and as a matter of fact she was treated at the UCLA Medical Center. I took a leave of absence from work and was taking care of my mother.â&#x20AC;? Kim continued, â&#x20AC;&#x153;There was nothing I could really do because I do not have a medical license. But the one thing that I could do was cook for her. If you put enough love into food, you could cure.â&#x20AC;? Kimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s story exemplifies Feastâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s third goal. Besides broadening studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tastes and authentically reflecting its community, Feast planned to create home-cooked memories and shared cultural experiences. Besides the menu items, authenticity and cultural education also permeated the restaurant in ambience. LCD television screens displayed cultural programming from Bollywood soaps and talent shows to CCTV Chinese news. The background music highlighted Korean-Popular songs among other cultural albums and Feast workers were taught key words from each of the seven languages. Students were often greeted by â&#x20AC;&#x153;Namasteâ&#x20AC;?, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ni haoâ&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;Konâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;nichiwaâ&#x20AC;?. Referring to not only the Feast workersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; learning but also his, Chef Kim said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;My favorite part was working with people in food services. I came from a different background and the most people we would serve in my restaurant was 500 to 600 people on good days, but I know what that refinement was and the Feast workers were very receptive to that and they also applied their experiences of handling a large amount of food for 1000 students and upward and this created a synergetic energy.â&#x20AC;? As of now, Feast was open seven days a week for lunch and only three days a week for dinner. With the large demand for Feast, seen in the daily lengthy and windy line of students that wraps around Rieber Hall and ends at Rendezvous, Feast will certainly be open full-time sometime in the future. As for breakfast, plan on students eating sugary American cereals, cheesy omelets, and fluffy pancakes as opposed to luo bao gao turnip cakes, Japanese tamagoyaki rolled omelets, and Indian naan flatbread and hseiksoup. T OP | Executive C hef Mark Kim poses for the camera briefl y before starting the stir fry. Rieber Feast opened with widely positive reviews from students for the asian cuisine diversity. PH O T O | AMY H O.


)9<05*(-,PH O T O | ALICE LIU. Situated between Sproul Hall and Covel Commons, Bruin CafĂŠ was another of UCLAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fast service restaurants. Collectively named for the Bruin alumni, whose portraits grace the cafĂŠâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wall, Bruin CafĂŠ honored the notable and influential contributions of professors, innovators, Nobel laureates, and athletes on a changing basis. Names included Vinton Cerf, the father of the Internet, John Wooden, and Anna Lee Fisher. For current UCLA students, Bruin

*(-,  PH O T O | ALICE LIU. As homage to the year UCLA was founded, CafĂŠ 1919 was named. Right across from the Hilltop Shop, CafĂŠ 1919â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lines often stretched around Delta Terrace. The restaurantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s specialty of Italian food permeated its selection of entrees, dolce, pastries, and coffee. Entrees included personal sized pizzas such as the carciofo (artichoke) and tre pomodori (three tomato) pizettes, lasagna bolognese, tacchino (turkey) and campania (vegetable) paninis, in addition

*6=,3+0505.PH O T O | ALICE LIU. The hub of dining options was certainly not the quick service restaurants. With a self-service salad and dessert bar and all you can eat hot-and-ready pizza, pasta, burgers, wraps, sandwiches, and you name it, students went to one of four residential dining halls. Covel Commons was one of these buffet-style restaurants. With a view that overlooked Wilson Plaza and followed Janss steps up to UCLA flagship Royce Hall and Powell Library, many students preferred to eat at Covel Commons. It was also the most convenient

9,5+,A=6<:PH O T O | ALICE LIU. Located in Rieber Court and bordered by palm trees, quick-service restaurant Rendezvous doubled as a Mexican grill and Asian-inspired casual dining. Whether students wanted burritos and quesadillas or chow mein and orange chicken dictated which end of the restaurant students lined up in front of. For one meal plan swipe, students were guaranteed one entrĂŠe, two sides, one fountain drink and an open self-serve salsa and condiment bar from the Mexican

CafĂŠ provided the most options out of the residential restaurants. From a menu divided into three serving stations, students could either order from a diverse selection of coffee, tea and pastries, assorted sandwiches, wraps, and salads, and finally smoothies, ice blended drinks, and ice-cream. Most importantly, Bruin CafĂŠ was opened till the wee hours of the night and on weekend unlike the other casual dining options. Students who either stayed up late hanging out with friends or studying found Bruin CafĂŠ to be the perfect place for a late night bite. to insalates or salads. If students did not care for savory food and insisted on fulfilling their sweet toothâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s desires, CafĂŠ 1919 serves dolces or sweets that included the densely rich, smooth and diversely flavored gelatos, monte bianco (brownie sundae) and tiramisu. CafĂŠ 1919 also had a wide assortment of pasteries that included pignolis and cherry marzipan crumble coffee cake that could be paired with coffee that ranged from brewed Italian roast coffee to macchiato to mocha latte. Students looking for the comfort of home cooked Italian meals knew that CafĂŠ 1919 would be sure to deliver. spot for students coming from De Neve, Rieber, Sproul, and Hendrick Halls to meet up. Menus changed daily and new foods found their way onto the rotations. Sample menu items included French fries, cheese ravioli, lentil soup, barbeque chicken, and key lime pie. With so much food and dishes and plates to clean, Covel championed Hedrick Dining Hallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pilot of tray-free dining to eliminate food waste and reduce water and energy consumption in cleaning trays and utensils. Covel symbolized the universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s responsibility to sustainable dining.

menu. On the other side of the restaurant, one meal plan swipe guaranteed students a combo meal in which students could mix and match entrees such as kung pao chicken with sides like steamed brown rice. Besides these staples, Rendezvousâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; daily specials included chicken enchiladas and bulgogi bowl. Theoretically and typically, students entered from the two different entrances and met up at a table. Making no distinction between Asian and Mexican food, these casual dining tables were the meeting point or rendezvous for students ordering different tastes of the world.


.66+)@,+694: <*3()9<05:,516@;/, 796:(5+*65:6- (7(9;4,5;30-, >90;;,5)@79(5(=16:/0c7/6;6033<:;9(;065)@16:,-9,+0/,95(5+,A




^HSRPUZOV^LYZYLWSHJLK [OLJVTT\UHSSH]H[VYPLZ PU[OLYLZPKLUJLOHSSZ -\Y[OLYTVYLNLULYV\Z ZX\HYLMVV[LKILKYVVTZ HUKHSP]PUNYVVTWYV]PKLK HTWSLZWHJLMVYZ[\KLU[Z [VZ[\K`ZSLLWHUK ZVJPHSPaL While apartments were not as near to campus as the dorms were, fourth-year architecture student Michie Cao reasoned, “It is better living [in apartments] because you don’t

have to go through the hill, it’s also a little farther but its flat.” She said, adding, “Apartment life is definitely a lot more laid back than dorm life. There is a lot more freedom to cook, invite people to hang out. Best of all, I can play music out loud later in the night and have parties.” Life in an apartment had its drawbacks, however. For one, students found it inconvenient to travel back and forth between university facilities and their house, whether it

is a gap between classes, an afternoon club meeting, or a nightly workout at the John Wooden Center. Consequently, students were forced to plan their schedule and make sure they did not have to make any unnecessary round trips. Another drawback would be the lack of ready-made buffet-style food provided in dining halls. On the bright side, dining hall food could be repetitious, boring, and bland. Fourth-year, international development studies student

Emnet Hababo noted the convenience of dorm form. He added, “The only con is that [off-campus students] have to go to the grocery store and it takes some time to cook food. However, you have more choices for what to eat, because you cook the food. You have more healthy choices. Also, while students might not get homecooked food in dining halls, in the apartment kitchen, students can cook their traditional or cultural food.” With kitchens to cook, living rooms to hold parties, and bedrooms to study in, apartments were more of a home than the deskfilled dormitory, whose sole purpose was for sleep and studying. A third-year mechanical engineering and foreign exchange student from Egypt, Kareem Nada reiterated, “Apartments were not an academic setting like dormitories. In apartments, I met people outside my regular comfort zone. [These people] were not UCLA affiliated, older and doing things besides schoolwork. For example, some of [my roommates] are Kaplan students or UCLA extension students and so we all do separate things. I have heard other students live with graduate students or rent a room with an older couple. In contrast, dorms grouped students from similar grades and so students on campus could not experience different viewpoints.” Students realized apartment life was a part of their maturation into adults. Students were no longer babied by campus housing, but rather had to take care of themselves. Apartments doubled as an academic setting or dormitory and a home away from home. Students transitioned into becoming adults through an independent way of life while still maintain academic and social responsibilities to the university. T OP | Third-year psychobiology student C hristina H uynh portrays the various phases of being a Bruin in the apartments. Bruins who chose to live in the apartments enjoyed the benefi ts of being more independent.. PH O T O | JO NATHAN NGUY.



*644<;05. *644<;,9:;<+,5;::,,2( ;@70*(3*633,.,30-,:;@3, >90;;,5)@1(4,:;:(6c7/6;6)@2(9,5*/<

;OLZL[[PUNZ\UPSS\TPUH[LK [OLJP[`VM:HU[H4VUPJHPUP[Z VYHUNLNSV^;OL[YLLZHSVUN :\UZL[)V\SL]HYKZ^H`LKNLU[S` PU[OLHM[LYUVVUIYLLaL(UK`L[ [OL[YHUX\PSP[`VM[OL3VZ(UNLSLZ ZR`SPULZ[VVKPUZ[HYRJVU[YHZ[ [V[OLWHSWHISLMY\Z[YH[PVUHSVUN >PSZOPYL)V\SL]HYK3(Y\ZOOV\Y! JHYZHSPNULKI\TWLY[VI\TWLY KYP]LYZZ\JJ\TIPUN[VYVHKYHNL HWWVPU[TLU[ZTPZZLKHUNLY IVPSPUN(UK`L[HZTHSSU\TILYVM )Y\PUZMV\UK[OLTZLS]LZPUZ\JO ZP[\H[PVUZLHJOHUKL]LY`ZPUNSL KH` The life of a commuter student was much different than that of a typical student. Rather than enjoying the benefits of the Hill – from the living communities to the convenience to Rieber Feast – these students braved throngs of Los Angeles traffic day in and day out just to make it to class on time. The university seemingly placed some effort into helping these students through their commuter services. The BruinGo! Program offered students discounts on the Big Blue Bus and Culver City bus lines. Go Metro provided a discounted pass for transportation on the Metro Bus and Metro Rail. For those who didn’t prefer buses, UCLA also helped commuters find carpools through the Zimride service, though drivers generally were forced to purchase a parking permit. While the school and the city offered such services for such students, commuters generally settled for a mere sliver of the experiences that other students have at UCLA. Yet, though some were content with just their education, other commuter students strove to make the most of their time here at UCLA despite their

disadvantages. “I leave my house about 45 minutes before class because I have to factor in driving time and traffic and then the actual walking time from the Broad parking lot to the class room itself,” said second-year biochemistry student William Ueng. Ueng, a native of Santa Monica, faced the daunting task of driving to campus, yet he endeavored to emulate the experiences of other students. He admitted that, at times, being a commuter student was undoubtedly difficult. When asked about the disadvantages of being a commuter, Ueng instantly replied, “The commute, the scheduling, and the social life.” First and foremost, time and distance. “I have to be extra careful about planning my class schedules. Two-to-three hour gaps between classes are very bad because they’re too much time to just spend in a library…at least for me. But they’re not long enough to go home and rest.” And even then, “it usually takes somewhere around 25 minutes to get to and from school. But if I leave [campus] around 5 or 6 p.m., then I will get caught in traffic and will take up to an hour to get home.” The disadvantages don’t stop there. “As a commuter, I’m disconnected from the going-ons on campus,” Ueng admitted, “[Especially] during freshmen year, it was definitely harder to make friends. I had to be more proactive than most to meet new people.” And while new residents on The Hill were instantly placed in a community of students, with a variety of welcome events during zero week and throughout fall quarter, Ueng was afforded no such luxury. “For me, I had to be the initiator, talking to people in class and joining clubs and stuff. And even when I did meet people, it would be hard to hang out simply because of

the fact that I commuted. [For example] I usually won’t be invited even to little things, like a midnight run to Diddy Riese, because my friends make the assumption that I’m not on campus.” Nevertheless, his efforts yielded results, as Ueng was an active member of clubs and organizations on campus. He admitted, though, that it was just not the same. “Without a doubt, I would prefer to live on campus. I feel like I’m missing a large chunk of the social experience because I commute…the experience of living in the dorms, in close proximity with friends. My UCLA experience isn’t complete.” And while there were undoubtedly difficulties associated with being a commuter student, Ueng was able to see the positives. As the initial thrill of living in the dorms wore off, most residents


of The Hill were often limited to the simple life: dining hall food, walking to Westwood, and the occasional outing whenever a friend was able to drive. A common issue that arose among dorm residents were roommate conflicts ranging from the mundane to the insane. “I don’t have any roommates, so that definitely gives me more space,” Ueng said, “I can do whatever I want without bothering anybody.” Furthermore, though UCLA was known to have among the best dorm food in the country, most students eventually grew tired of Bruin burgers, pasta and “brownie goo.” Not a problem for commuters. “I understand how people get tired of the dining hall food. There have been times when I’ve eaten on campus for an entire week, and even I got tired of the food,” Ueng admitted, “But at home, I

get my mother’s home cooking, which is absolutely delicious every night.” Other commuter student’s seemed to differ slightly in their opinions. Steven Pham, a fourth year biochemistry student who commutes from south of Wilshire, echoed similar sentiments; however, he was able to name an advantage right away: “I take the bus half the time. Sometimes, I’ll walk back from class as a form of exercise. It’s about a mile walk, so I just take that time to relax.” He further elaborated on the benefits of living away from campus, commenting on the atmosphere and vibe, “The environment is more ‘controlled’. There is a good balance of a social environment and study environment.” Nevertheless, he admitted that there were still disadvantages, such as arranging one’s schedule in a certain

way and waiting for the bus. However, Pham claimed, “It’s still better than walking.” To him, the advantages of being a commuter far outweigh the drawbacks. Above all, he said, “I really do prefer to live south of Wilshire, simply because it’s less crowded.” While commuting, without a doubt, had its drawbacks, such students were able to make the most of their experiences in spite of the disadvantages. From joining clubs and organizations to being more proactive with their time, commuter students were still able to make up for some of the liabilities. If anything, commuting had one distinct benefit. Ueng said with a laugh, “It costs a lot less to live at home.” ABO VE | Second-year biochemistry student W illiam U eng poses within his car. Eung commutes from home as to avoid having to pay the high rent associated with living on campus or in the apartments near campus.




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;OLMV\YTVU[OZIL[^LLU Z\ITP[[PUNH:[H[LTLU[VM0U[LU[ [V9LNPZ[LYHUK[OLÃ&#x201E;YZ[KH`VM -HSS8\HY[LYHYLZVTLVM[OLTVZ[ LTV[PVUHSS`JVUÃ&#x2026;PJ[PUN[PTLZPUL]LY` UL^MYLZOTHU»ZSPML<USLZZZLUPVYP[PZ NYHZWLK[OLTHUK[OLPY.7(KYVWWLK ILSV^H[OLZLMYLZOTLURUL^ [OH[PUUV[PTL[OL`^V\SKÃ&#x201E;UHSS` LZJHWL[OL^YH[OVMOPNOZJOVVS HUKOLHKVMM[VJVSSLNL·[OLSHUK VMWHY[PLZMYPLUKZHUK\USPTP[LK MYLLKVT·HUKL_WLYPLUJL[OLILZ[ MV\Y`LHYZVM[OLPYSP]LZ)\[HZ ALYV>LLRKYL^JSVZLYHUKJSVZLY ^VYYPLZ^LSSLK\WPU[OLIHJRVM Z[\KLU[Z»TPUKZ-VY[OLÃ&#x201E;YZ[[PTLPU [OLPYSP]LZ[OL`^LYLMVYJLK[VSLH]L [OLJVTMVY[VM[OLPYOVTLZHUK YLLZ[HISPZOL]LY`[OPUN[OH[[OL`OHK ^VYRLKZVOHYK[VI\PSK[OLWHZ[ `LHYZVM[OLPYL_PZ[LUJL The majority of students came to UCLA with at least some notion of what direction they were heading in. But amidst the curious philosophers who aimed to be the Platos of our generation and the determined pre-meds who had already purchased their MCAT prep books, there was a smallâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;yet notableâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;pack of students that had absolutely no idea what they wanted to do with their lives: meet the undeclared students. Even these students, however, were swayed


by the prominent battle between North Campus and South Campus, and they found it easier to choose a side rather than end up as a causality of the conflict. Kaitlyn Caswell, a first-year undeclared engineering student said, “I loved math and science in high school, so I wasn’t going to venture to North Campus, but at the same time, I didn’t know what to choose and engineering sounded good, so I went with it. Contrary to what most people think, being undeclared actually limits the classes you can take because your counselor tells you to take classes that satisfy as many pre-requisites as possible.” The average Bruin changes his or her major 2.5 times, so there’s no disadvantage to coming in as undeclared. As for the pervasive stereotype that South Campus majors are more difficult than North Campus majors, first-year undeclared student Dylan Sarnowski, who was considering double- majoring in communications and English, had something to say: “I may be biased, but I honestly feel as if this comparison has no basis. It’s not fair to say that either of the sides is more difficult because they’re two completely different things and you can’t just compare them like that.” Students at UCLA were undoubtedly serious about their educations, but aside from their worries about the impersonality of large lectures, the unavailability of classes, or the extensive list of textbooks for the History of Modern Thought cluster, there was a more pressing issue that kept freshmen tossing and turning in bed the night before they moved in: their social life. Having abandoned their old friend circles, these freshmen had to find new ones in a completely different environment. Luckily, as this year had the largest incoming freshman class to date, these students had over 6,000 fellow peers to choose from to impress and befriend. “I love how everyone in college is so friendly. I literally shake a hundred different people’s hands a day and I can’t believe how close I’ve gotten to some people in just a quarter. I feel like I haven’t found my ‘BFF’ yet, but it’s way too soon for that!” said first-year business/economics student Maitree Mervana. Some freshmen were surprised to see their roommates becoming their best friends, especially after they had heard all of the ghastly tales about roommates maniacally laughing in their sleep or prancing around in their underwear all day. For the most part, these fears were quelled as roommates turns out to be just normal college students. “I had heard the horror stories about having a randomly assigned roommate and was freaked out that he was going to be a satanic worshipper or something. Thank goodness that wasn’t

true. But unlike other people my roommate isn’t my closest friend, but that’s probably because he’s a third-year. We don’t hate each other, so hey, it could be a lot worse!” commented Sarnowski. More imperative to dorm life than just adjusting to sharing a room and lugging toiletries to the hall bathroom every day was a new-found sense of independence; however, this independence was coupled with responsibility. “College has changed the way I live one hundred percent. My parents aren’t here anymore to nag and take care of me—it’s all on me now. If I have to wake up extra early I set extra alarms, but luckily for me I live close enough to home that I don’t have to do my laundry,” first-year biology student Jack Djabourian sheepishly remarked. Since UCLA’s dorm food was widely acclaimed as the second best in the country, the Freshman 15 was a nightmare waiting to become a reality. “If our food is so highly ranked, then the food at other schools must be downright terrible. I’m not worried about gaining weight though. They have all of the good dishes on one day so I feel like eating everything in sight, but on other days there’s nothing I really like,” said Mervana. Whether freshmen were North Campus students, South Campus students, or floating somewhere in between, by the fifth week of Fall Quarter, they realized that college wasn’t exactly what they thought it was going to be: it was fine to not select a major, possible to walk down Bruin Walk without acquiring a single flyer, and impossible to gracefully walk down the “Awkward Steps.” The primary concern that freshmen voiced was getting lost in the sea of some 46,000 fellow Bruins; Djabourian went as far as to say, “I know that they say you’re not just a number, but sadly, you are just a number.” However, by getting involved in clubs and developing their social circle, creating an intimate environment at UCLA was possible. “Yes, there are parties and yes, UCLA has the strangest collection of people that I have met, but college is not what I expected. There is so much less work that I was expecting, but hey, I’m not complaining. It has definitely surpassed my expectations,” Caswell said. Throughout the year, freshmen can be seen sitting in the archways of Royce Hall or on Janss Steps in awe, soaking in the environment of being in the best college in Los Angeles. These freshmen put their fears to rest and were ready to take on the best four years of their lives. OPPOSITE | As freshmen enter U C LA, they have a wide array of majors they can choose from like first-year student Maitree Mervana who came in as a business economics student or firstJack Djabourian who came in as a biology student. Yet others come in undeclared, some like Kaitlyn C aswell, a first-year undeclared engineering student come in as science undeclared while others like first-year undeclared student D ylan Sarnowski, come in as humanities undeclared.

D ylan Sarnowski, humanities undeclared

Maitree Mervana, business economics

Jack Djabourian, biology

Kaitlyn C aswell, undeclared engineering




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Social media was an integral part of every studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life, whether it was use of the social networking giant Facebook, video-calling Skype, YouTube, or many of the thousands of other websites in existence that served to connect the world through developing technologies. Wireless Internet connection on every spot on campus, smart phones, 24-hour computer labs, and laptops made sharing studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; lives with each other incredibly easy and convenient, and the shift from using the Internet to living on the Internet began. *65;05<,+657(.,




Close to home, Alex Capecelatro, who graduated from UCLA in 2010, and a group of friends created their own social networking site. Called, the site began as a resource for UCLA and UConn students to meet people in the area. Mentored by computer science Professor Kleinrock and engineering alumnus Aaron Cohen, this group of students wanted to

“Why are we on Facebook in the first place? We want to be entertained, but do we want any more?”

revolutionize the way social networking worked. Social media was an integral part of every student’s life, whether it was use of the social networking giant Facebook, video-calling Skype, YouTube, or many of the thousands of other websites in existence that served to connect the world through developing technologies. Wireless Internet connection on every spot on campus, smart


phones, 24-hour computer labs, and laptops made sharing students’ lives with each other incredibly easy and convenient, and the shift from using the Internet to living through the Internet began. Capecelatro, the CEO and founder of, explained, “You can connect with all your friends through social networks, but when it comes to finding someone new nearby there aren’t many’s always frustrating trying to find someone new to go running with or biking with. Hyphos got started with the goal of making it easy and fun to meet new people who happen to be nearby and share your interests.” With other social networking sites, users generally connected with people they already know in real life. With Hyphos, they turned social networking on its head and wanted to connect people who lived in the same area, had the same interests, and were looking to make friends. If a person attended UCLA, and was looking to find some great restaurants in the area, but didn’t know anyone personally yet, he/she could connect with people on Hyphos and learn about locals’ favorite spots. The innovative website was all about finding new places, exploring new ideas, and meeting new people--the solution to the frustration that so many face in moving to a new place with an overwhelming amount of opportunities at hand. In a school where the student body was much larger than many cities, this type of social networking was the perfect idea. “We like to say Hyphos is the closest group of friends you never knew you had. What that means is we’re a portal for making new friends and discovering the world around you. A student on Hyphos can expect to meet other students who share their interests and like what they like,” said Capecelatro. So far, 1,200 students--from UCLA and University of Connecticut--had signed up, and the feedback has been very positive. “The goal is to really enable social discovery and to get people offline,” said Capecelatro, explaining that Hyphos encourages making real friends, not just internet buddies. The founders of Hyphos felt that the social networking options available to people were not enough--there was a void that needed to be filled: “We’re stuck with the friends we have and the people we know. It’s a big world out there and I’d like to be part of opening the door and allowing for greater social discovery with new people you otherwise would never have met,” Capecelatro said. Spotted on Bruin Walk was another Bruin-bred site that sparked much interest. Created by a UCLA student who started reading the “missed connections” section of CraigsList, Spotted on Bruin Walk gave students the opportunity to share missed connections anonymously. Sightings posted ranged from noticing a people in class and letting them know they’re beautiful to just walking by a person and feeling the need to say something. The Spotted on Bruin Walk creator operated anonymously, but as a third-year communications major, said she loved hearing stories about how missed connections turned into romances or relationships, and the gratification that comes with knowing the website spurred

that connection was exciting. “In general,” the site founder said, “the good ones are shy and tentative and adorable, and the bad ones are graphic or stalker-ish or a little bit gross,” but out of the 5,000 plus submissions, most were simply entertaining and fun. She said, “Most people enjoy reading the site, but there is a barrier between reading the site and posting to the site...[But] what’s cool about having a missed connection website specifically for the UCLA community is that if a person hasn’t heard of the site, chances are they know someone who does.” By the degrees of separation, the site founder hoped that most people found the person who they were writing for. Not surprisingly, Spotted On Bruin Walk has made the creator realize that “a lot of people clearly have feelings for someone and have never told them. I’ve read a lot of posts like that, and seriously, people shouldn’t keep that in.” The use of Spotted on Bruin Walk has created a place where people can share those feelings and connect with others whom they couldn’t connect with before. ;/,-<;<9,6-:6*0(34,+0( It took 38 years for the radio to reach 50 million users, but only 14 years for the TV to get 50 million users; all it took was four years for the internet, and just three for the iPod. The adoption of many early forms of media were slow, but with each technological development, the use of the new technology became exponentially faster. The fastest of all, though, was social media. Facebook acquired 200 million users in under a year-and it didn’t stop there. The statistics in 2012 showed that there were more than 800 million active users, and 50% of those users logged into Facebook on any given day. In 2007-2008, only 61% of colleges reported using some form of social networking, whereas in 2010-2011, a full 100% of colleges said they used at least one form of social networking. “The Internet is where students are now, so the university had better be there, too,” said Dr. John Richardson, Professor of Information Studies. The use of social networks had infiltrated more than just friends and families, and in recent years had entirely taken over as the mainstream connection between people--the youth, especially--and companies, organizations, and schools. Dr. Richardson asked, “The question is, do we think for ourselves? That’s an interesting idea. Why are we on Facebook in the first place? We want to be entertained, but do we want any more?” LEFT T O RIG H T | Jason H sin, Spencer H ochberg, Alex C apecelatro, Daniel W ilhelm and Professor Leonard Kleinrock are part of a group of mostly U C LA students and alumni who started H yphos. W ith so many social media options, Bruins had so many ways to stay connected with each other and with others around the world. PH O T O | BLAINE O HIGASHI, DAILY BRUIN.


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“He was too good of a friend to lose so I said, ‘yes.’ I was basically blackmailed into dating him in June 2008.” >90;;,5)@790@(3-(+(+<

It could have happened anywhere and at anytime. It could have happened while walking to class on Bruin Walk, strolling through the Sculpture Garden, or working out at the Wooden Center. It could have even happened while “studying” in Powell. Though most students did not come to college with the initial goal of finding their Prince (or Princess) Charming, the theorized hook-up culture of college was not as pervasive as many believe. In fact, it was not surprising to see Bruins falling for other Bruins, especially considering the fact that every student who was desired by the UCLA Office of Admissions was among the highest ranked in term of intellect, athleticism, or involvement in the nation, creating an especially selective pool of topnotch students. True love is out there, it just has to be found These relationships amongst Bruins were not only short-term, but can and have lasted through the years. Although most people expected to find their one true love in some sort of dramatic fashion, such as after they have slain a menacing dragon or have woken them up from a deep and potion-enhanced slumber with true love’s first kiss, in almost every case, these couples met by mere coincidence and chance. For Yoni Alon, a second-year physics student, and Kylie Carrigan, a third-year

art and psychology student, it was a twist of fate that Yoni’s roommate was Kylie’s high school friend. She would often come to Yoni’s room to reminisce about high school, and that was the reason they met in the first place. Soon enough, they began to notice each other around campus. During fall quarter of 2010, it was by chance that Yoni had a class in Broad Art Center that ended at the same time as one of Kylie’s art classes. They began walking back together, sharing laughs, giggles, and little secrets along the way. They spent time together, particularly watching The Big Bang Theory. Kylie said, “I had been watching it since it started and I thought he would like it because—” “I am a dork,” Yoni jokingly interrupted, “We started spending even more time together and I guess we officially became a ‘thing’ in March.” Many, many Mr. Noodle dates, several concerts (with matching t-shirts ,of course), two Cirque du Soleil performances, and one bungee jumping trip later, Yoni and Kylie were as very much in love as they had been twelve months ago. “[Compared to high school, college relationships] are really not that different for me,” Kylie commented. “But I think the preferring to hook up or have a relationship kind of just depends on the person. Because on one hand, the likelihood that who you’re going to marry is the person you date in college is pretty small, so it’s almost like why should you

only be with one person, but some people, like me, don’t feel that way.” So the notion of the college hook up culture is not as prevalent as stereotypes depicted. Some Bruins even were serious enough to tie the knot and promise to spend the rest of their lives together. Cheetos ®: a delicious cheese-flavored puff snack by FritoLay—and the reason why former UCLA students Efrain Trujillo and Sonia Hingrajia just celebrated three years of marriage. Although they were both North Campus majors (Efrain graduated with a B.A. in political science and history, and Sonia with a B.A. in psychology), their paths may have never crossed if it had not been for this delectable snack. Rewind back to December of 2006. Efrain was munching on some Cheetos® at a social and offered them to a girl who politely refused—she was vegan. No, this girl wasn’t his future wife, but Efrain had been flirting with veganism for some time and agreed to attend a Bruins for Animals meeting where he became smitten with the beautiful social chair, Sonia. Sonia fondly reminisced, “A couple of weeks later he called me. He dragged me over to his house by offering cookies which I obviously couldn’t refuse.” They ate cookies together, OPPOSITE | Love is in the air as second-year physics student Yoni Alon and third year-year art student K ylie C arrigan share a kiss on top of College quad. Alon and C arrigan met through a twist of fate as Alon’s roommate was C arrigan’s high school friend. PH O T O | RIC K Y Y U. ABO VE | U C LA alumni Efrain Trujillo and Sonia H ingrajia share a kiss as they exit the church. Trujillo and H ingrajia met during their undergraduate careers at U C LA and got engaged in 2009. PH O T O C O URTESY O F S O NIA TRUJILL O .


took Politics of Philosophy together, cooked vegan food together, attended the Hermanos Unidos annual banquet together—in fact, they started doing everything together; however, Sonia wasn’t interested in a relationship. “Dang,” Efrain recalled. “She was my girl, and she didn’t even know it yet. My friends told me that it would never work between us because she was a nerd.” Efrain didn’t let that small setback hinder his pursuit, but after a year of fruitless efforts, Efrain offered Sonia an ultimatum: to date or to end their friendship. Sonia said, “He was too good of a friend to lose so I said, ‘yes.’ I was basically blackmailed into dating him in June 2008.” Fast forward a year of late-night strolls through the Sculpture Garden, romantic dinners in Santa Monica, and countless Bruins for Animals meetings, graduation— as well as their one-year anniversary—was upon them. Before heading on their road trip through California, Sonia insisted on blindfolding Efrain and sneakily leading him to the UCLA School of Law courtyard, where she said: “It was here that we met two years ago. We went through the traditional phases of acquaintances, friendship, and romance and in this courtyard today, will you marry me?” The answer was obviously “yes,” but

“Normally, I dated the ‘football kind of guys’—basically all of the bad-boy type guys, and he was more of a studious, straight-laced smart guy. He was a total UCLA nerd!” he reflected, “I didn’t realize she was talking about getting married at this moment. I was engaged for a whole three minutes before we got married right here in the law school building. Two years later, they had Catholic and Hindu marriage ceremonies with their loved ones. Now, they reside in Rhode Island, where Sonia is a teacher at a local elementary school and Efrain is practicing political advocacy for various organizations while applying to UCLA’s School of Law, among others. This fairy-tale love story had its complications, however. “There was a lot of struggle because Sonia is Indian and I’m Mexican, because I’m poor and I’m short… It was all bad,” Efrain joked. Although they are just a young couple and life has much more in store for them, Efrain is glad to have married Sonia and wants to thank UCLA for helping him his wife. “I knew some Indian people but I don’t think I would have married Sonia or someone in the Indian community if I didn’t go to UCLA. These are some of the opportunities you have thanks

to the diversity of college,” he said gratefully. Sonia and Efrain were happily married, and it was possible that in a few years there may be some baby Bruins coming to UCLA; they would not be the first second-generation Bruins here, however. Meet Alexis Campbell: she was a friendly second-year undeclared student here at UCLA. Like a few other students here, some of her family had also carried the Bruin name; however, unlike most of those students, both of her parents actually went to UCLA, and it was here where an initial introduction led to this long Bruin Legacy. Jeannine Singleterry was two short weeks away from graduating with a B.A. in political science in her last quarter here in June of 1988 when she saw him: a slightly familiar (she had caught him staring at her walk up the stairs of Kerckhoff earlier that day), but nonetheless handsome face who she thought she would not mind knowing. She recollected that she was sitting near the Bruin Bear statue with her friends when they came. “My friend Troy was like do you know Daron Campbell?” she said her friend


OPPOSITE | The C ampbell family pose outside of the Anderson School of Management (Ashley C ampbell, Daron C ampbell, Alexis C ampbell, Jeannine C ampbell and Aaron C ampbell). Daron and Jeannine C ampbell have been happily married for the past 20 years. PH O T O | RIC K Y Y U. LEFT | Yoni Alon and K ylie C arrigan spend the afternoon on the grasses surround Janss steps. Alon and C arrigan have been dating since fall 2010. PH O T O | RIC K Y Y U . ABO VE | Efrain Trujillo and Sonia H ingrajia celebrate their legal court marriage right outside Royce H all. Trujillo and H ingrajia married in 2009. PH O T O C O URTESY O F S O NIA TRUJILL O .

asked her. “He wanted to introduce me to Daron Campbell. And so we all said ‘hello’ to Daron and then he says ‘Hi, ladies’ (in a deep manly voice)—that was the first thing that came out of his mouth. At the time I thought he was so corny because he was trying so hard to impress us.” But what Jeannine did not know was that after seeing her for the first time, Daron was very much interested in getting to know her. Unfortunately, they did not have much contact until a week later where they were both present at the same graduation ceremony. Daron cunningly asked Jeannine if she was going to the graduation party that night, in a clever rouse to get her phone number. He succeeded. Unfortunately, they did not meet that night, but rather a week later at Jeannine’s graduation party, where she was sure Daron showed up uninvited. They talked, they danced—still nothing. Summer crept up on them, but Jeannine never was too enthusiastic about Daron’s periodic phone calls. She sheepishly confided, “I had a boyfriend at that time and I really didn’t need another one. I wasn’t really interested, and he just kept calling and calling and I kept making excuses why I didn’t want to go out with him.” In his defense, Daron wanted to add, “She never really made it clear that she had a boyfriend. We would have deep conversations on the phone all of the time, but she would never accept my invitations to go hang out. By the end of the summer, I gave up, but here is where our story differs. She says that she changed her phone number. It’s just something we argue about during parties all the time.”

After a year of no contact whatsoever, they were fated to meet near Stan’s Doughnuts in Westwood Village. Working for a law firm in Brentwood, Jeannine was taking a lunch break with a friend when she thought she saw him. Daron was also taking a lunch break from his job at the UCLA Corporate and Foundations Relations Department which he received right after graduating with a B.A. in economics in 1989. After catching a glance of him, something inside of Jeannine made her stop and turn around to say hello; however, this time around, Jeannine was doing all of the talking. After realizing that he was not interested, she cut the conversation short and left. Daron retorted, “I was very interested, but I couldn’t remember how I knew her or what her name was. When I went back to the office, I remember saying to my coworkers, ‘I just ran into the girl I was going to marry, but I don’t even know who she is.’” Luckily, a mutual friend jogged his memory, and gave him her phone number. Once again, Jeannine received one of Daron’s infamous phone calls, but this one was different from the rest: it led to an actual date. Although her friends teased her, she saw something special in Daron. “Normally, I dated the ‘football kind of guys’—basically all of the bad-boy type guys, and he was more of a studious, straight-laced smart guy. He was a total UCLA nerd!” she admitted. “My friends were shocked that we had developed such a close bond because it seemed like such an unlikely match.” But it turned out they were less of an

unlikely match than her friends thought, as within a year and a half, Jeannine became Mrs. Jeannine Campbell. Two years later, Alexis Campbell was born. The couple had been happily married for twenty years and was very proud of Alexis for attending their alma mater. “We knew how competitive it was so we weren’t really putting pressure on her to attend,” Jeannine said. “UCLA has been a part of our life for the past 25 years, and hopefully our other two kids, Ashley and Aaron will want to go there too. And I look forward for our grandkids being Bruins too.” All it took for this initial creation of generation after generation of baby Bruins was a short, awkward little introduction. Ultimately, whether it was the sheer luck of having a particular roommate as it was for Yoni and Kylie or the chance of offering a snack to someone like it was for Efrain and Sonia or the luck of creating a memorable introduction like it was for Daren and Jeannine, it is apparent that the smallest instances are the twist of fate that can lead to beautiful relationships. These relationships were evidence that college students are beyond just hooking up. In fact, students could end up marrying their fellow schoolmates, so remember that cute girl who borrowed your pen in Chemistry 14A or the hunky guy whose hands brushed against yours when reaching for last box of sweet potato fries at Feast? Introduce yourself to that girl and get that guy’s phone number because you never know—they could just end up being “the one.”


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In many ways, fifth-year psychology student Nancy Smith was a typical Bruin: she attended a multitude of classes, crammed tirelessly for finals, and took an occasional lunch break in Ackerman Student Union. However, in one essential way, Nancy Smith stood apart from the crowd of typical UCLA studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;she was 40 years old. Although the stereotypical portrayal of a college student depicted belligerent twentysomething party animals, or late-teenaged workaholics studying over endless books in

a library, the so-called â&#x20AC;&#x153;conventionalâ&#x20AC;? college student in the United States was swiftly becoming more unconventional. While Smith was significantly older than many of her peers, she was far from alone. According to the U.S. Department of Education, as much as 15% of all incoming undergraduate students in American universities were over the age of 25, and this percentage was expected to more than double by 2017. Many attributed these changes in the demographic structure of education to a shifting economy, or different educational or vocational standards. However, for Smith, the decision to go back to college came from an entirely personal place: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The reason I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go to college right out of high school was because I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ready. I started at Santa Monica Community College at thirty-six, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be


thinking about going back to school, but it really was my fiancé and family telling me this is a really good time for you to get your degree, and I decided to go for it. It was great—the college was a great place to build yourself back up again academically,” she said. Of course, changing her path in life so dramatically—coming from the corporate world to go back to school and eventually apply to UCLA—wasn’t always the easiest path. She explained, “When you go back to college, you have to take all of these

not a lot of us, and there’s times when you’re more aware of your age. If I’m not looking in a mirror, I’m not thinking about it. I’m just in class. But then you look at everybody, and you’re like, oh, that’s right!” Additionally, Smith challenged herself to quickly adjust to the fast-paced UCLA quarter system, readopting study habits and preparing to read lengthy papers and complete assignments. Above all, Smith said she knew she was doing what was inherently right for her and her future aspirations to be a clinical psychologist, despite critiques from her peers

“I wasn’t ready. I started at Santa Monica Community College at thirty-six, and I’d be thinking about going back to school, but it really was my fiancé and family telling me this is a really good time for you to get your degree, and I decided to go for it.” assessments, like language and math. I’m not embarrassed to say this: in English I was in the 98% percentile, but in math I was in, like, the 20% percentile. So I had to take five math classes, and then coming here I took two additional statistics classes. It’s so funny because the first test I took literally had addition and subtraction on it, and now I just finished an upper division statistics class.” Completing a challenging and preparatory honors program at Santa Monica Community College proved highly beneficial, and soon Smith found herself in the intensive and challenging UCLA psychology courses. Furthermore, Smith cited the difficulty of attending a school with a student body twenty years younger than you, and at times feeling quite different. She shared, “There’s

in her age group. “When you go back to school later in life, people say, ‘Oh gosh, how can you do that, you’ll be so much older.’ My response always is that I’m going to be forty-six, regardless of whether or not I have my Ph.D. If someone is on the fence about whether or not to get their degree, I always tell them to get it.” Similarly unconventional and yet worlds apart in terms of the circumstances that led him to college, third-year geography student and 28-year-old Aldo Biery likely understood Smith’s experiences better than most. In fact, his path to UCLA had been even more tumultuous than Smith’s own. Out of high school, Biery had decided against the traditional collegiate path, opting instead to jump right into a career as a computer networks administrator.

He continued on with his day job until a nationally and globally traumatic event shook the very structure of the United States. “The attacks on the towers and trade center on September 11th happened four months after I graduated high school. I joined the military five months later and was in the Air Force for six months. I went to Turkey, then back to California, then to Iraq, back to California, and then finally Belgium,” Biery said. Considering the extent of his travel at such an early age, Biery had many interesting and unique experiences, particularly in Turkey, a country Biery and his cousin called “the land of the not-quite right” because of the many unsafe traffic conditions and comical sights on the road. Along with being involved with the military, Biery also set himself apart from many older students in that he didn’t transfer to UCLA but actually applied as a freshman with no transfer credits and seemingly no high school Advanced Placement credit. “I applied the same way as every other freshman, after working through UCLA’s veterans’ office, which every university in the United States has to have,” Biery explained. However, although he came in as a freshman like so many others, Biery found the reintegration into what he called “High School 2.0” to be a significant challenge. He shared, “Every veteran I’ve ever met has had to make a big adjustment to the civilian world. I personally took a year off out of the military, sat on a couch and did basically nothing, and then decided I needed to do something with my life.” Although the adjustment to the collegiate lifestyle was difficult, Biery drew strength from his military training which strengthened his ability to be disciplined, task-focused, and “getting the job done even when I had no idea what the hell I was doing.” Like any other geography student, Biery battled upper and lower division classes and was challenged to understand new and innovative geography concepts. However, Biery attested that his particular experience came with its own set of challenges. “I have had to support myself and my roommate and have to deal with taxes and bills. I’ve had to move apartments. I went through a divorce right before college—I almost can’t describe it all. But at the end of the day, it’s just life, different for everybody. In many ways, I’ve been exceptionally lucky.” OPPOSITE | Fifth-year psychology major N ancy Smith goes over her textbook as she waits for class to begin. Smith’s decision not to go to college right out of high school was her belief that she wasn’t ready. W ith hard work at community college Smith transferred to U C LA were she graduated with a degree in psychology. T OP | Third-year geography student Aldo Biery shares a laugh with classmates during a weekly class discussion. Biery returned to U C LA after finishing his commitments with the military.



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As a Highland Park, California high school senior in 2007, Sofia Campos led a life that was very similar to her peers; she scouted out colleges, filled out endless application forms, and was involved in her school’s clubs and programs. When she received her UCLA acceptance, she was ecstatic, and her supportive parents pushed her to accept the honor of being admitted. However, one critical issue stood between Campos and a bright future with a college education, and up until one turning point of a day in her 17th year, she wasn’t even aware it existed. Campos had attempted to fill out the Federal Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA), but hit a stalling point when the application asked for her social security number. She tried to glean the information from her parents, and after some resistance, they confronted her with a frightening fact: she didn’t have a number, because she wasn’t a legal United States citizen. According to Campos, the news took her completely by surprise. “Before that we always asked, oh why don’t we go back to Peru for the summer to visit our grandmas, but [my parents] always said we don’t have enough

money, which made sense because we weren’t really well off,” she explained, adding that she had also accepted a lack of money as the reason why she wasn’t allowed to get her license, stating “It just made sense, I never pushed it more.” The Campos family had made their way from a life of relative affluence in Peru to America via tourist visas and an airplane ride, pushed from their home town by a crippled economy, threats by the terrorist Maoist group The Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso), and a poor public education system. Campos explained, “My dad lost his business, and it wasn’t a good situation for our family. My parents knew that our educational future was at stake. So because they didn’t have the money to put us in private schools and because my mom’s sister was here in Los Angeles, we came here.” Unfortunately for Campos, her undocumented status meant no access to the scholarships she would need to afford school; although she was up against fairytale-like odds, Campos’ parents encouraged her to accept the challenge, and she came to study at the university. Like fourth-year International Development Studies student Campos, many Bruins face the challenges uniquely associated with being undocumented

students, including a lack of access to financial aid or scholarships, an inability to obtain a license, and the fear of not being able to legally work in their field of choice after graduation. Nonetheless, many undocumented students and their supporters in the community utilized the campus and its resources to advocate for more rights. One such student group, IDEAS (Improving Dreams, Equality, Access, and Success), focused itself not only on advocating for undocumented student rights, but on offering a support system for the students whose educational path was marred by challenges. By the last quarter of her first year, Campos had found IDEAS, and as for many undocumented students, it was a match made in heaven. She shared, “IDEAS taught me what [being undocumented] meant not just on paper but what it could mean in terms of empowerment. Your undocumented status does not define you, and you can be so much more than that. You can accomplish so much more than the world says. Ever since then I’ve done my best to raise awareness.” In many ways, Campos’ story and her experiences as an undocumented student embodied the greater issues associated with the struggles of lacking citizenship and attempting to get a college education; like Campos, many undocumented students could not receive the aid needed to pay for their housing expenses and spent many long hours each day on buses. Campos recalled the difficulty of commuting long distances while trying to keep up with schoolwork, saying, “I started taking the bus two hours each day and that was really tough, because I had never done that long of a commute before and it was a whole new campus and a whole new experience. I remember coming home and crying a lot on a nightly basis. I think it was the introduction for me into what being undocumented would be.” Notably, Campos’ efforts and the efforts of her fellow undocumented student advocates paid off. She graduated on June 15th, poised to begin graduate school, and California passed the DREAM Act early in the fall quarter, allowing qualifying undocumented students access to student financial benefits and aid. With the support of the university, IDEAS has achieved one of its primary aims with momentum to propel them even further. Campos stated, “It’s been beautiful to see the chancellor and administration embrace IDEAS, embrace the DREAM Act, embrace the potential that we really do have, and not only see it and let it grow but encourage its growth.” OPPOSITE | Fourth-year international development studies student Sofi a C ampos poses in the BruinLife studio as she shares her story of being an undocumented student. PH O T O | J O SE FREDI H ERN A N DE Z . LEFT | Posing with the Bruin Bear, Sofi a C ampos refl ects on her long journey leading to graduating from U C LA. C ampos took several quarters off to work and save money for school. Like many undocumented students, C ampos was ineligible for financial aid. PH O T O | YIN F U , D AILY BRUIN .



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`LHYWZ`JOVSVN`Z[\KLU[^V\SK NYHK\H[LMYVT<*3(^P[OOPZ^PML 9L`UH4VYSHVM[OYLL`LHYZHUK OPZ[OYLL`LHYVSKOPZIHI`IV` ;LKK`4VYSHYVV[PUNOPTVU Blake Morla recounted the day he was going to come to UCLA, but instead postponed school after finding out that his wife of more than a year was pregnant. “I was about to transfer, but I had to postpone some classes because

she was pregnant and I transferred a year later… when my baby was one.” His wife, Reyna, also added that when she found out about her pregnancy, “He [the baby] wasn’t expected, but he was definitely welcomed.” Having a child seemed to have humbled Morla; when asked how other students in class treated him when he disclosed the fact he was a parent, he said, “they don’t really treat me different, it’s just weird being around kids who are younger than me... I show them pictures and they think it’s cute.” Instead of staying on campus and participating events, Morla spent his time with his wife and child who live in housing near campus provided by UCLA Residential Housing for students with families. Speaking about his UCLA peers, Morla commented, “Most of the [students]


around me think I’m the same or close to their age. But when they started talking about what they did during the weekend and they talking about the parties they went to its funny… because when they ask me [what I did], I just tell them that I was at home hanging out with my son.” UCLA was very accommodating to students who were accepted but wanted to bring their nuclear family with them. “I think it was easier [to get campus housing] when we applied. Anyways, it would’ve been weird to live in dorms with a bunch of eighteen year olds,” Morla’s wife interjected. Even with the expansion of the housing development on campus, students with families are better accommodated as they are provided housing away from loud students who might have woken Morla’s son during the

late hours. However, as students with single status faced difficulties getting housing on campus, UCLA Housing Services still had a long way to go to accommodate appropriate housing for everyone Aside from the drawbacks of limited interaction with other students, Morla also had to keep up with academics while raising a child. “Oh it’s hard. In high school I had a 4.0 GPA and all throughout my later years in community college I had somewhere between 3.6 and 3.8, but it’s different now. When you’re studying, you’re thinking more about them [your family] than your studies,” Morla shared. As a loving father, Morla brought up the fact that sometimes, instead of going to review sessions and studying for his exams, he preferred to be with his family. However, one of his biggest struggles was making it through finals week. While most UCLA students were cramming to write that paper or study for an upcoming test, Morla has an additional task to achieve – he had to find a babysitter. Morla related, “During finals, my wife has a hard time requesting for time off,” due to the fact that she worked at Home Depot and had a set schedule,

“so it’s up to me to find someone to take care of him while I write that paper or study for my tests and just block everything out to get it done.” Therefore, the couple had to work out Morla’s schedule every quarter to accommodate the baby, determining when they had to hire a babysitter during finals. However, in response to the notion that having a family will stop Morla from furthering his education, Morla commented, “It took me almost eight years to get my Associates Degree, but that’s because I was working more than anything and going to school on and off. But having my son and having a family just motivated me to get a career to provide for my family.” This was a student who was completely determined to achieve higher education to help his family. While many students were going to school for their own benefit, others like Blake Morla were going to school not only for themselves, but for their families as well. OPPOSITE | Fourth-year psychology student Blake Morla, Teddy and Reyna Morla pose as they recount their experiences of being a family while Morla attends school. Morla has been married with his wife for three years. LEFT | Blake Morla and son share a moment as Morla recounts how having a son impacted his studies. Despite the diffi culties of being a student, Morla also manages to be good father to his son.


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:(9(/:0:2)(;;3,:*(5*,9-69/,930-, (5+;/,30=,:6-;/6<:(5+: >90;;,5)@79(5(*16:/0c7/6;6:)@16:,-9,+0/,95(5+,A

-VYHÄM[ONYHKLYHUPTWLUL[YHISL MVY[YLZZJVUZ[Y\J[LKVMISHURL[ZHUK ZVMHJ\ZOPVUZOV\ZLKWSLU[`VMZWHJL [VJYHZO3LNVZWHJLZOPWZHUKSL]LS \W7VRtTVUVUHWVY[HISLNHTPUN KL]PJL-PM[ONYHKLYZ^LYLNLULYHSS` ^VYY`MYLL(M[LYHSS[OL`VUS`OHK ÄM[LLUTPU\[LZVMOVTL^VYRHUK LUKSLZZOV\YZVMWSH`-VY:HYHO :PZROV^L]LY[PTL^HZHSPTP[LK YLZV\YJL:OL^HZKPHNUVZLK^P[O 5VU/VKNRPU»Z3`TWOVTHHJHUJLY H[HNL Now a second-year nursing student, Sarah Sisk reflected, “I was very sick before I was diagnosed. I started having symptoms in May of fifth grade and I was diagnosed the August before sixth grade. So when I heard the diagnosis it was ironically more of a relief than sadness, only because [my family and I] finally had an answer.” The relief was short-lived. “Everything was so new, it was hard for me to understand why I couldn’t go to school, hang out with friends, or go to the movies. While my friends were into clothes and makeup and hair, I was searching for a wig and could not wear clothes [in lieu of patient gowns],” Sisk said. Weekly if not daily visits for chemotherapy and surgery made the hospital or second home for Sisk. She explained the need for this intensive treatment, “I had a large tumor outside of my brain that had broken the outer layer of my brain and cracked my skull. [Doctors] did not know if it penetrated my brain so they originally wanted to do radiation, but if they had it would have deformed my face and I would have had speech problems and motor problems.” Sisk continued, “But my nurse really stood up and fought against that. It was a risk that we had to take, so we did not do radiation and I ended up being fine.” Fresh out of the hospital, Sisk soon realized she might be “kicked out” of fifth grade due to an extended leave of absence. “They were talking about holding me back

and that was something I did not want to do, especially after a year of chemotherapy. I had been with my class since I was five. I think [my teachers] realized that emotionally and physically it was important for me to continue class and my life,” Sisk explained. Months after Sisk’s diagnosis, Sisk attended Relay for Life, a race sponsored by the American Cancer Society. According to Sisk, “Relay for Life was a turning point. When I first saw the survivors give a speech and take the first lap, I saw how many people were dedicated to this cause. These people were complete strangers to me but they were like very supportive.” At UCLA, Sisk joined Colleges Against Cancer because the club was associated with Relay for Life. In CAC, the student organizations acronym, Sisk is the cosurvivorship counselor. She listed the numerous responsibilities: “My co-chair and I, plan monthly hospital visits to the adult oncology hematology ward in the hospital. There we make patients cards and crafts, talk to them and bring them smiles because it is rough for them. [My co-chair and I] were also the planning community for the Celebration of Life at Ronald Reagan for past and present patients and family and I was able to give a speech there.” Sisk added, “On campus, we organized two blood marrow drives for three different patients. Right now, we are planning a barbecue for survivors who are coming to Relay. Lastly, we are in charge of the opening ceremony, making sure everything is going smoothly, for our largest event Relay.” Upon her graduation from UCLA, she planned to work as a nurse. In her words, “The main reason I went into nursing was because of my experience with cancer. I was diagnosed when I was 11 and I had the most amazing nurse.” Sisk hopes to save the lives of many exactly as her nurse did for her. ALL PH O T OS | The many faces of second-year nursing student Sarah Sisk as she shares her story with fighting cancer. Sisk’s choice to pursue nursing was all due to what she mentioned as “the most amazing nurse” she had as she went through chemotherapy.


2012 SL Part 2  
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