New Counter Cultured Article: UCSD Professor Makes Students Strip for Final Exam

I’ve penned a new article at Counter Cultured today about the latest controversy transpiring at my alma mater involving a leftist professor. Here’s more about it:

UC-San Diego professor Ricardo Dominguez is coming under fire for requiring his students to strip for a final exam.

Dominguez, an associate professor of visual arts at our alma mater, is being rightfully criticized for subjecting his students to partaking in erotic behavior. Dominguez has taught a course called Visual Arts 104A: Performing the Self for nearly 11 years. Additionally, he was hired by UCSD in 2005 and awarded tenure in 2009. According to the class syllabus, students are required to perform eight gestures including  “a gesture that traces, outlines or speaks about your ‘erotic self(s).’ ” One student’s mother – who wishes to remain anonymous – helped bring this class to light according to 10News:

Continue reading at Counter Cultured.

New Counter Cultured Article: Glad UCSD is Evicting Ché Cafe From Campus

This is one of the rare times I offer some praise to my alma mater, UCSD. Kudos to the administration for following through with the Che Cafe’s eviction from campus. You can read about it at Counter Cultured today. Below is an excerpt:

On Tuesday, the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) allowed the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department to seize the Ché Cafe. The co-op was handed an eviction notice on March 17, 2015, after more than a decade of back-and-forth over the building’s decrepit state.

The controversial cafe- which pays homage to communist Ché Guevara and is a backronym for “Cheap Healthy Eats” – first opened in 1980 and is considered a “hip” concert venue among UCSD students. However, not all of us who attended UCSD hold that same view.

When I attended UCSD from 2009 to 2012, I viewed that place as a worn-out, shabby communist compound. Many campus leftists had congregated there. Admittedly, it was a scary place to stumble upon (especially at night). More importantly, few of my classmates questioned its very name and corresponding tribute to communist thug Ché Guevara.

The proposed eviction, which was tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, has generated a lot of attention. Though outrage has been placed on the eviction, it’s greatly misplaced. Students and community members should be outraged by what the Ché Cafe stands for.

Continue reading at Counter Cultured.

University of California Further Embarrasses Itself By Divesting From America

It was recently brought to my attention that my alma mater, the University of California (UC) system, voted to divest from America.

The University of California Student Association Board (UCSAB), which represents over 233K students in the respective university system, approved the “Resolution Toward Socially Responsible Investment at the University of California.” It calls on leaders of UC to financially divest from the United States, citing our nation as an “evil” and “racist” country. The UCSAB voted in favor of this resolution by 11-1-3. The same board also voted to divest from Israel. (Not surprised.)

The University of California comprises 10 campuses and is considered the top public university system in the country. I’m proud to have graduated from the University of California at San Diego. Apart from some political correctness and a few questionable professors, I had a decent college experience and thoroughly enjoyed my time in La Jolla. I, like so many other California residents (though I call Virginia home now), chose to go to a UC school because of its prestige and name recognition. The political science department I graduated from is said to have the third highest return on investment (ROI). Sounds great on paper, right? In reality, UC’s good name is being tarnished by those who have tainted higher education with their leftist agenda. UC is no exception; it’s sadly leading the charge.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement – which targets Israel and equally castigates Jews – has plagued UC since before my freshman year at UCSD. (I entered college in September 2009 and graduated in June 2012.) BDS wants to impose sanctions on companies that deal with Israel; now its advocates want to push the same ludicrous campaign against U.S. companies. Below are some of my writings on BDS at UC, specifically at UC-San Diego.

I hope UC administrators, bureaucrats, and students relinquish their pensions, tenure, financial aid/scholarships, respectively, if our magnificent country is too barbaric and hateful for them. Why bite the hand that feeds you? To the students comprising UCSAB: if America is so evil and oppressive, why are you attending the University of California and receiving taxpayer-funded education? Why not be consistent and reject all American resources provided to you? Oh right, milking the system is perfectly acceptable in your view.

These hypocrites need to be excoriated, so I feel obligated as an alumna of the University of California to call them out.

As a 2012 graduate of UCSD, I feel incredibly embarrassed for my alma mater and its nine sister campuses comprising the University of California. The buffoonery that continues to emanate from UC undermines the institution and makes it less credible. Historically speaking, UC is one of the top institutions of higher learning in existence. Now it takes the cake for being a great perpetrator of stupidity and hypocrisy. Truly sad…

To my fellow UC graduates: I implore you to withhold any donations to our respective alumni associations. Until UC returns to its mission statement of being a light on truth (fiat lux), your donations will be directed to causes that undermine this country.

ucsd thumbnail

Golden State No Longer: A Disaffected Californian’s Thoughts on Escaping from America’s Greece

I recently trekked back to California to visit my family and enjoy some downtime after two months in the District.  I certainly needed some R&R to recharge and relax. (The political arena is a hectic albeit wonderful sphere to be immersed in. I’ve learned that any getaway you get shouldn’t be taken for granted.)  I had the chance to see some friends, visit my extended family, and finally went to  the Ronald Reagan President Library in Simi Valley, CA. It was a much-needed trip!

Now, I’m back in Northern Virginia and ready to resume my job.  I’ve got wonderful Field Representatives working with me, and have connected with many eager and bright students excited to shake things up on their campuses. I’ll be traveling up North soon and will be sure to chronicle each trip I make (when time permitted).

With this recent trip back home, it dawned upon me that I will not be back to CA for a very long time. While I’ll miss my home state, I have no regrets moving to the DC-metro area. Yes, it’s muddled with corruption – but it’s full of life and culture unseen on the West Coast. I will always be a proud yet disaffected Californian, and certainly one for the right reasons. Some will accuse me of betraying my roots for fleeing the state. (Mind you, there are no jobs for young people – or any Californian – given the dismal economic and moral state it is in.) I seized an opportunity to work for a conservative nonprofit – Leadership Institute – and took it.

As a California refugee taking shelter in the Commonwealth, I have some interesting observations about my home state now that I no longer live there. Here are the reasons why I’m happy I left:

Outstanding, high state government debt: As of August 28, 2012, California’s debt rests at $617 billion – the highest total state debt in the entire country according to State Budget Solutions. Need I say more?

Democrat-controlled state legislature: Both the State Senate and Assembly are controlled by Democrats who  have ushered in radical and arguably anti-American legislation. For example, legislation includes the multiple parents bill, gay history in K-12, abortion carried out by mid-wives/nurses,  DREAM Act, bans on open carry of handguns, and more.

Endless call for more taxes: Since the return of Moonbeam (Jerry Brown) as Governor, there are more calls for taxing wealthy individuals in the Golden State. Brown and his allies are pushing Prop. 30 on the November ballot, which would “increase California’s sales tax by one-quarter of a cent for four years. It calls for an increase in state income tax on taxpayers who earn more than $250,000 a year for the next seven years,” according to CBS L.A. AEI president Arthur C. Brooks writes in “The Road to Freedom” that when presenting the moral case for free enterprise, it is important reduce spending, not add more taxes, when solving budget problems.

Welfare state: Yahoo!  reported in December 2011 that California, the largest welfare state in the U.S., “has one-eighth of the nation’s population but one-third of all welfare recipients.”

Too much spent on education coupled with corrupt teachers unions: Total expenditures (plus state bonds) for education in Fiscal Year 2012-2013, including K-12 and higher education, totaled 35.7 percent of California’s state budget,  or $39,575,109 for K-12 and $10,050,905 for higher education as of May 2012. Tuition hikes plague the University of California and California State University systems, and administrators continue to receive high salaries. (As someone who recently graduated from a UC school, I see the problem beset in education, much like the state budget, in refusal to gut waste and deny tenure/pensions to professors undeserving of it.) Another problem plaguing education in California is corruption in the California Teachers Association and similar teachers unions, whose bosses and members are too concerned about their salaries and benefits – not the welfare of their students. (California is in great need of school choice legislation. It would diminish teachers unions and dramatically improve education there.) When a sex scandal hit LAUSD last year (think worst school district in the nation), the teachers unions – in true fashion –  refused to address the issue and supported the defeat of a bill that would have tackled it, according to CNN:

While senators overwhelmingly voted in support of Senate Bill 1530, it was met with strong opposition from the powerful California Teachers Association.

The teachers’ union says that Padilla’s bill would have eliminated essential legal protections for teachers and that it believes the current system is an appropriate process.

Additionally, the CTA protects bad teachers thanks to tenure. It is also a big political player in Sacramento.

(There’s a lot to discuss regarding education in California, so I’ll detail it in a future post.)

Illegal immigration: Illegal immigration has proven to be burdensome to the Golden State. Earlier this year, the state legislature passed the California DREAM Act – AB 130 (private scholarships)and AB 131 (public scholarships). This gave children of illegal immigrants and young illegal immigrants access to tuition regardless of their citizenship. Another crippling move that has emboldened illegal immigration is the DMV’s plan to issue drivers licenses to approximately 400,000 young illegals. Talk about oy vey…

There are many problems facing California – too many to list in a single blog post. It pains me to see my home state falter and become like Greece. I’ll even go so far as to call it a state riddled by Marxist and La Raza interests. Unfortunately, the Golden State must collapse and build anew. Otherwise, I’ll maintain that it is a lost cause.

Although I rag on California often, I will admit this: I’m glad I spent my formative years living there. I learned right from wrong, learned who to trust/who not to trust, enjoyed the beaches and nice weather, got my political start, was surrounded by family, and got to see leftist abuses at work.

“You can take the girl out of California, but you can never take the California out of the girl.”

UCSD Students: Sign AMCHA Initiative Petition Condemning Campus Anti-Semitism, Anti-Israelism

The AMCHA Initiative has a new petition out condemning UCSD’s administration for ignoring the concerns of Jewish students on campus. If you’re Jewish and go to UCSD, I highly suggest you sign it.

Here’s the letter:

Dear Chancellor Fox, Vice Chancellor Rue, and President Yudof:

We are Jewish students at UCSD who are deeply dismayed and offended that the following UCSD academic departments and administrative offices were listed as Endorsers and Sponsors of the Muslim Students Association’s “Justice in Palestine Week: 21st Century Apartheid” (See posters here), which took place 5/14 – 5/17:

African American Studies Minor
Critical Gender Studies
Chican@/Latin@ Arts and Humanities Minor
Ethnic Studies Department
Cross Cultural Center

As in previous years, the MSA’s week of events included numerous speakers and exhibits that demonized Israel through rhetoric and imagery deemed anti-Semitic by the U.S. State Department and promoted efforts to harm the Jewish state through boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaigns.

We feel that these annual events foment hatred and hostility not only towards Israel, but towards Jewish students like ourselves who identify with Israel, causing us to feel uncomfortable and unsafe on our own campus. Moreover, we believe these events violate UCSD’s Principles of Community, which “reject acts of discrimination,” “promote open expression.. within the bounds of courtesy, sensitivity…and respect,” and support a community “where all people can work and learn together in an atmosphere free of abusive or demeaning treatment.”

While we acknowledge the MSA students’ right to freedom of speech, we are outraged and distressed that university departments and administrative offices condone and support such hateful and divisive behavior, which so blatantly violates UCSD’s Principles of Community.

As you may remember, two years ago a delegation of Jewish students met with you and Vice Chancellor Penny Rue to express their distress that so many university departments and administrative offices had endorsed or sponsored the MSA’s “Justice in Palestine Week 2010: End the Apartheid.” Unfortunately, the serious and legitimate concerns which the students raised were not addressed at that meeting, and consequently Jewish students like ourselves continue to feel that faculty and administrative endorsement and sponsorship of anti-Semitic events contribute to a hostile environment for many on our campus.

We are aware that as a result of an investigation by the Department of Justice and the Department of Education into incidents of racist bigotry occurring at UCSD in 2010, the University recently agreed to adopt a comprehensive set of remedial programs and activities directed specifically at addressing racial discrimination and harassment. We believe that nothing less is required for Jewish students, who feel harassed and intimidated not only by the lies, defamation, and anti-Jewish bigotry promoted during the annual “Justice in Palestine” events, but especially by their endorsement and sponsorship by UCSD academic and administrative units.

Therefore, we urge you to do the following:

1) ensure that no University money or endorsement is given to events that are hateful and discriminatory towards a particular group of students or that violate UCSD’s Principles of Community;

2) broaden the scope of the remedial programs and activities outlined in the Resolution Agreement between UCSD, the DOJ, and the DOE to include anti-Semitic discrimination and harassment.

We look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely, The Undersigned

Sign the petition here.

Prager U Post on Why Israel Isn’t an Apartheid State

Good news: I will be guest blogging for Prager University.

In my first post, I debunked the claim that Israel is an “apartheid” state.

Below is the entire post, as found on the Prager University Facebook page:

By: Gabriella Hoffman, Contributor and College Senior

———————

This past week, my university – UC-San Diego – played host to “Israel Apartheid Week.” The Muslim Students Association (MSA) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) clubs unveiled an “apartheid” wall that displayed alleged human rights abuses in Israel. The wall—which can be found on college campuses—claims Israel oppresses non-Jews, commits genocide, and behaves like Nazi Germany. Moreover, the organizers of this week-long event invite notorious anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist speakers to advance their cause. Without a doubt, it’s the most hostile week on campus each school year.

Supporters of the Palestinian cause are keen to undermine the Jewish state by painting it as an “apartheid” state. While this comparison is illusory and illogical at best, it’s imperative to counter it with the truth.

The MSA’s and SJP’s use of the word “apartheid” is misleading and offensive, says the Vanguard Leadership Group – a coalition of black students that supports Israel’s right to exist and defend itself. In an article in IsraelNationalNews.com, the group said: “We request that you immediately stop referring to Israel as an apartheid society and to acknowledge that the Arab minority in Israel enjoys full citizenship with voting rights and representation in the government.” (http://bit.ly/KzS52w)

Additionally, if Israel were an apartheid state, Arabs wouldn’t hold the same rights as Jews and Christians. Arabs vote, practice their religion, hold office, and live peacefully in Israel much to the chagrin of the MSA and SJP.

Dennis Prager’s video about the subject further illustrates why Israel is not an apartheid state: http://bit.ly/n5c7YE

(Note: you can follow Ms. Hoffman on Twitter at @gabby_hoffman)

Follow Prager University @prageru and “Like” the Facebook page.

 

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, Presidential Candidate Ron Paul to Address UCSD This Week

Week 5 promises to be an exciting time here at UC-San Diego. Two prominent figures – Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and presidential candidate Ron Paul – are coming to campus this week.

 Danny Ayalon Lecture – May 3, 2012 – 6-8pm – Price Center Theater

Danny Ayalon‘s lecture is sponsored by Tritons for Israel. It will be held in Price Center Theater from 6pm to 8pm. Doors open at 5pm. More details can be found on the Facebook event page. Tickets are free from the UCSD Box Office. Will-call tickets available.

Ron Paul Speech – May 4, 2012 – 7-8:30pm – Warren Mall

Students for Ron Paul of UCSD is sponsoring this event. According to the Facebook event, over 1,000 people are “Attending.” Tickets are free, but you must reserve them ahead of time. Go here to reserve your ticket before they run out.

Whether or not you agree with these speakers (I certainly don’t agree with many of Ron Paul’s policy positions), go hear them speak on campus. Why not take advantage of this opportunity?

I will be blogging about both events this week. Stay tuned!