25th State Senate District Candidates Outline Their Plans (Audio Included)

Voters and UCLA alumni attended a special candidate forum in Pasadena for the 25th State Senate District. (photos by Jonathan Van Dyke)

Dozens of voters and UCLA alumni gathered at Pasadena’s redwhite+bluezz for a special Pancakes and Politics Candidate Town Hall with both men running for the 25th State Senate District.

The crowd enjoyed a good breakfast as current Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich (R) and former 44th District State Assemblymember  Anthony Portantino (D) fielded questions from both the audience and moderator Bill Parent, UCLA public policy lecturer.

Click through to see more photos of the event and for the complete audio of the town hall


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Underrepresented Students to Benefit from New UCLA-Congregation Partnership

Community members and education officials came together for a new partnership between UCLA and FAME Church.

On Sept. 25, Rev. J. Edgar Boyd of First A.M.E. (FAME) Church announced a new Academic Preparation Partnership with the University of California and UCLA.

Assistant Vice Chancellor Keith Parker joined Los Angeles Unified School District Boardmember Dr. George McKenna to speak to the congregation that day about the benefits of the partnership and the desired outcome of more students entering the educational pipeline.



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Assemblymember Mike Gipson Works For His Community Through Civic Engagement

Assemblymember Mike Gipson addresses a lunch crowd during his visit to UCLA. (photos by Jonathan Van Dyke)

After touring campus and speaking with campus officials regarding the enrollment of underserved communities, 64th District Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson) visited with students, faculty and alumni — primarily from his district — for a special lunch on campus.

The legislator spoke of his upbringing and desire to improve his community.


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Service 101: Thousands of Bruins volunteer across Los Angeles

UCLA students volunteer at Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. (Daniel Low/UCLA)

From distributing school supplies to elementary school students in the MacArthur Park neighborhood to sorting donations at a food bank to gardening at a senior center in Watts to painting at a home for veterans, the annual UCLA Volunteer Day sent thousands of Bruins throughout Los Angeles to make a difference.

This year marked the eighth edition of the nation’s largest community participation event for new college students, as more than 7,000 UCLA volunteers provided almost $1 million worth of service at 50 locations.

“It’s to give our students a sense of public service,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “So it really reinforces the view that you’re at a public institution and part of your obligation is to help. Hopefully, this will really inculcate in a lot of our students a lifelong commitment to being involved in volunteer work.”

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UCLA’s Volunteer Day has enduring impact in lives of students, community partners

Participating in Volunteer Day 2015 led UCLA student Monica Martinez to embrace community service and take on more volunteer work during her freshman year. Her next volunteer activity: She will be a project manager at Volunteer Day 2016 on Monday.

A year ago, Monica Martinez, a UCLA freshman from South Los Angeles, watched organized chaos unfold around her at Drake Stadium as she lined up with thousands of other new students and shuffled toward dozens of buses destined for Volunteer Day sites across the greater Los Angeles region.

Martinez felt the anticipation build as she started on this new adventure, moving as one body toward a single mission: to help others. “You feel like you are a part of this bigger community,” she reminisced. That was the first time she really felt like a Bruin, she recalled with a big smile.

Her destination back then was the Veterans Home of California — West Los Angeles, where she worked in the garden and played Bingo with a group of veterans. “Even though it wasn’t the most glamorous thing we could be doing, I knew that it would be something that would be lasting for them,” she said.

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UCLA Advocate In Action: Xiutleth Santibanez Brings Message Of Optimism

UCLA advocate and alumnus Xiutleth Santibanez finds refuge in his favorite place on campus: the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden. (photo by Jonathan Van Dyke)

Tucked deep within the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden, Xiutleth Santibanez is home, wrapped in his UCLA oasis, a place that made him comfortable to reach achievements he dreamed about for years, and instill a confidence in life he wishes to pass forward to the next generation.

“It hasn’t changed,” he said as he walked the winding pathways within the garden. “You can still see all the etchings on the trees students made. If anything describes me, it’s the chaos of this garden, but with so much beauty. People will say, ‘There’s just leaves and dead trees.’ But those trees are dormant, and there is something alive here.”

Santibanez always wanted to go to this university. And since graduating from UCLA, he has become an active voice for the university and higher education, traveling as far as Washington D.C. to have his voice heard.

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