Lets Act! (LA), the far-left student political party at UCLA, was dramatically swept from power, in election results released Friday, May 1, 2015.

LA, a coalition of mostly identity-based groups (e.g. Afrikan Student Union, MEChA, Queer Alliance, etc.) was defeated 8 seats to 3 (with 3 independents) by their rival, Bruins United (BU), a coalition of most everyone else (led by the Jewish community, fraternities, and sororities).

LA and its constituent groups constituted the bulk of left-wing identity politics efforts at UCLA.

LA was responsible for slew of anti-Israel actions:  Two BDS resolutions at UCLA; objecting to the Judicial Board appointment to Rachel Beyda because she is Jewish; and attempts to disqualify candidates who took trips to Israel.

The election likely was influenced by the release by an anonymous Whistleblower of years of alleged internal documents posted online.  As reported by The Daily Bruin, LA allegedly funded their campaigns by dealing drugs and misappropriating student government funds.  (LA denies the charges.)

Other documents detailed LA’s radical goals; its identity-based organizational structures; an effort to covertly take control over a well-funded university institution; and an Opponents list targeting parts of the UCLA community.

LA’s leaders, of course, blamed racism for their defeat.

At a gathering to cope with their defeat, one of LA’s few elected council members said “they hate me because I’m a brown Muslim woman, They hate me because I have passed divestment on this campus.” and that “they will try their hardest to kill me”.  She added that will serve on an all-white council (A revealing statement of the true role that Asian-Americans, several of whom will in fact serve on council, play in the left-wing identity worldview).

Heather Rosen was elected President.  Rosen was the council member who mostly stood alone against the last BDS resolution last fall when the Jewish community chose not to show up, and who played a key role in defending Beyda.  She defeated Morris Sarafian in an unprecedented 60%-40% landslide.

Sarafian was one of the students who raised questions regarding the judicial appointment of Rachel Beyda because she was Jewish.  He now claims he was racially profiled in the election:


BU also – for only the second time in the 21st century – denied LA the office of external vice president, tasked with representing the interests of UCLA students to the larger community and state government.  BU promised to ensure the office not pursue any particular group’s political or ideological agenda.

This was a powerful blow to LA’s radical anti-Israel activism.  Former USAC president Devin Murphy was distraught, saying:  “That’s our home. That’s where the work that we do starts.”

These outcomes show the importance of going on the offensive, even after a BDS resolution has passed on campus.

Turning student government into a weapon to relentlessly attack Jews is a trauma for the entire campus community, and BDS a potentially-costly expenditure of political capital.  Even – or, especially – when BDS opponents are striking back hard, BDS supporters can be rightly blamed as the root cause of campus strife. A promise of campus peace combined with appeals to local issues can be highly effective in such an environment.

The election also showed the importance of turning radicals’ extreme actions into news in the larger community.

CampusClimatologist is someone very familiar with the situation at UCLA, but who, for reasons related to employment, has to use a pseudonym.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.