Recorded live in the offices of the Daily Nexus, UCSB’s student-run paper, “Hot Off The Pod” takes you behind the scenes of each week’s hottest headlines. Tune in every other Friday to hear Editor in Chief Harper Lambert and Opinion editor Melanie Ziment chat with experts, journalists and community leaders. Developed with support from the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement.
Spanning six states, eight years and 50+ indictments, “Operation Varsity Blues” was one of 2019’s most talked-about scandals. The FBI investigation exposed a scheme in which CEOs, Hollywood celebrities and wealthy parents conspired to bribe students’ ways into top universities, revealing an admissions system rife with corruption and inequality.
After UCLA and UC Berkeley were named in the indictment, the California State Auditor launched a review into the UC’s admissions practices. UC Santa Barbara was one of four campuses found to have inappropriately admitted students – including 22 applicants who posed as student athletes with the help of coaches and campus personnel.
For today’s episode, we’re joined by Jorge Mercado, a tech editor at the Pacific Coast Business Times who served as the editor in chief of the Daily Nexus from 2018-2019. The former sports editor helps us break down the audit, the relationship between donors and athletic programs, and how the UC can improve going forward.
Read more about the state audit at the links below:
In 2009, a cluster of academic institutions led by the University of California announced plans to go where no one had ever gone before: 13 billion years into the past. The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) was to be the most powerful visible light telescope ever built, opening up an unprecedented pathway to outer space. The project captured the imaginations – and wallets – of philanthropists, scientists and researchers around the world.
But not everyone was smitten with the TMT. When Mauna Kea, the most sacred mountain in Native Hawaiian culture was announced as its location, Native Hawaiians protested. Students joined them upon discovering the UC’s involvement – especially that of UCSB’s chancellor, Henry Yang.
Nearly 15 years later, where does the TMT stand? The Daily Nexus’ lead news editor, Max Abrams, joins us on the inaugural episode of “Hot Off The Pod” to discuss.
Read some of Max’s reporting on the TMT at the links below:
Students Condemn UC and Chancellor Yang’s Involvement in Thirty Meter Telescope, Express Support for Native Hawaiians
UC Student Governments Call for Divestment of Thirty Meter Telescope Project
Amid Backlash and Uncertainty, UC Regents Hold Heated Discussion on Future of TMT
Brought to you by the Daily Nexus, UC Santa Barbara’s independent, student-run newspaper, it’s Hot Off The Pod. Each episode, hosts Harper Lambert and Melanie Ziment read between the headlines, providing an in-depth look at the week’s most interesting issues — with the help of a special guest.