UCLA

100 Ways: Freedom & Human Rights

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Published May 13, 2019 12:54 PM


Stories on the internet, Arthur Ashe, and The Simpsons.


A Century of Protest

Freedom and Human Rights


Although he’s sometimes on the front lines at protest marches, immigrant rights activist Justino Mora ’15 doesn’t just carry signs. Working at the intersection of technology, social media and advocacy, Mora has played a role in FWD.us, UndocuMedia and other platforms that collectively engage millions of people in the fight for social justice.

The sight is familiar. Thousands of UCLA students gather outside Royce Hall. Some make speeches. Others clash with police. But this is no flashback to the 1960s. It’s October 31, 1934. Provost Ernest Carroll Moore has suspended five students, including the student body president, for “Communistic activities.”

All of the students suspended were reinstated. But Moore, one of UCLA’s founding fathers, told the press the campus was one of the “worst hotbeds of campus Communism in America.” Soon that phrase and “little red schoolhouse” were common labels for UCLA.

The 1934 demonstration may have been the first big protest recorded on campus, but it was by no means the last. Through the decades, Bruins have taken stands on local, national and international issues. Here are some of the causes that sparked passions and protests.


George Takei ’60, M.A. ’64 at a 1971 protest about nuclear testing in the Aleutian Islands.

’40s and ’50s: War, Internment and Communism Again

World War II united the campus. But the ban against Japanese-American students did not go unremarked. In recapping the 1941-42 school year, Bruin editors proclaimed their Nisei classmates “Gone . . . But Not Forgotten.”

After the war, the preoccupation with Communists on campus resumed. The UC Regents required faculty to declare in writing “I am not a member of the Communist Party.” A Daily Bruin editorial objected: “It is a slap in the face of those who have devoted their lives to scholarship, and then have to submit to such a farce as signing a ‘loyalty oath’ to continue teaching.” The courts ruled against the oath.

’60s and ’70s: Vietnam War and Civil Rights

The Vietnam War brought draft protests, antiwar sit-ins and demonstrations against the ROTC and Dow Chemical recruiters. Students turned out to hear Martin Luther King Jr. (1965) and César Chávez (1972). Two African-American students were shot and killed on campus. Angela Davis, hired to teach philosophy, was fired by the Regents over the objection of Chancellor Charles E. Young.

A violent protest followed the May 1970 Kent State shootings. With the campus shut down, the Daily Bruin did not publish. A Los Angeles Times headline trumpeted: “UCLA Emergency.” More protests followed in May 1972.


Bill Walton protesting.

’80s and ’90s: Anti-Apartheid, Baby Formula Boycott, Props. 187 and 209, Chicana/o Studies

UCLA students urged the Regents to divest from apartheid South Africa. Public health students and faculty championed the Nestle boycott protesting baby formula marketing in developing countries. Students rallied against two California propositions: 187, establishing citizenship screening, and 209, ending affirmative action. Prop. 187 was approved but then ruled unconstitutional four years later. Prop. 209 is still in force.

Shortly after César Chávez died in 1993, UCLA announced plans to end Chicana/o studies. Weeks of protest culminated in students declaring a hunger strike that ended with the creation of the César E. Chávez Center for Interdisciplinary Instruction in Chicana and Chicano Studies.

’00s and ’10s: Taser, Tuition, Racial Slurs and DACA

In the first decade of the new century, campus police tasered a student in Powell Library and the Regents raised tuition by almost a third. Student protests followed both. 2011 brought the “Asians in the Library” video. Most recently, students and alumni have rallied in support of DACA.

The issues change, the alliances change. But the passion and the protests persist.


A Volleyball Legacy

Al Scates

The late Jim Murray, Pulitzer Prize–winning sportswriter for the Los Angeles Times, once wrote: “Al Scates?! Precisely. The one and only. The man who is to volleyball what [John] Wooden was to basketball, [Red] Sanders was to football, Napoleon to artillery ... ”

Who could argue? In addition to being the most successful and longest-serving collegiate volleyball coach in the history of the game, Al Scates ’61, M.S. ’62 is widely recognized as one of the country’s foremost volleyball authorities. When he retired on June 30, 2012 — after 50 unparalleled years of service — his nation-leading Division I record of more than 1,200 victories had culminated in 19 NCAA national championships, two USVBA national championships and 24 conference titles.


A six-time National Coach of the Year, Scates coached 54 NCAA All-Americans, 44 U.S. National Team members, 27 Olympians and seven collegiate Players of the Year. Some of the greatest names in U.S. volleyball flourished under his tutelage, including Karch Kiraly ’83, Sinjin Smith ’87, Denny Cline ’77 and Kirk Kilgour ’72.

Strangely enough, Scates hadn’t planned on a career in volleyball. His first competitive foray into the sport occurred when he was attending Santa Monica College, where his football coach (who was also the volleyball coach) required all his players to try out for the volleyball team. Scates tried out — and was cut after five minutes.

Undeterred, he started going to Santa Monica State Beach, where he watched, learned and played as much as possible, and soon was one of the best players on the beach. Scates transferred to UCLA and joined the volleyball team in 1959, serving as captain in 1960 and 1961.

In 1963, Scates received a yearly budget of $100 to serve as the part-time men’s volleyball coach at UCLA, where he won his first USVBA national championship two years later. By the time Scates was named UCLA’s full-time coach in 1978, the dynasty was well under way — and collegiate volleyball would never be the same again.

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