A letter to our readers

To the Associated Students UCLA Communications Board, Jacob Preal, Abigail Goldman, Doria Deen and the readers of the Daily Bruin,

We, the undersigned, are writing to express dissent and disappointment with the ASUCLA Communications Board's vote to appoint an editor in chief against the staff's recommendation.

At the start of the spring quarter, the Daily Bruin staff conducts a hearing of all applicants to be editor-in-chief for the upcoming academic year. Each applicant makes a 20-minute speech followed by a 40-minute questioning session from the staff. The staff then enters into deliberation and finally takes a vote. The Communications Board, which oversees UCLA Student Media and the Daily Bruin, has the final say on the next editor-in-chief, but takes the staff vote into strong consideration. Over the past thirty years, the Communications Board has generally confirmed the staff's choice. This year, however, was a rare exception.

This decision sets a dangerous precedent for the independence of the students' newspaper. The Communications Board is in part appointed by students who sit on the Undergraduate Students Association Council, and this decision raises serious questions regarding the judgment of the board.

As editors of the Daily Bruin, we feel that we must defend the staff and their decision. The editors and reporters of The Bruin work incredibly hard day in and day out and should have the right to choose their future leader.

We do not believe that a 58% vote to endorse one candidate is marginal, nor an insignificant percentage. The endorsement was made after a long and difficult deliberation, by staffers who have spent the past weeks considering this decision.

Our advisor and current editor in chief both asked us to respect the larger institution at work and remember that the Daily Bruin is larger than any one person. But the Daily Bruin is not just a student organization - it is a body of journalistic work that holds incredible historical value. It has gained this value through its reliance on independent student journalists and we stand by that principle.

We ask that the Communications Board not ignore The Bruin's student journalists now.

To be clear, we have faith in the ability of the Communication Board's chosen applicant to lead the paper. Rather, what we disagree with is the Communications Board's move to ignore the staff endorsement, its refusal to disclose their reasons for doing so and its denial of any avenue to appeal their decision.

We refuse to work for an organization that disrespects our decisions and thus undermines our work. To expect our continued contribution while revoking our agency in this organization's most important decision of the year without explanation is disrespectful, not only to current staffers but also to the century of staffers who precede us.

Those signed below are holding a strike, effective immediately, until the staff endorsement is honored or reasonable justification for the decision is provided.

Amelia Baumgartner
Managing editor

Michael Zshornack
Digital managing editor

Hedy Wang
News editor

Melissa Morris
Assistant News editor

David Gray
Assistant News editor

Linda Xu
A&E senior staff

Nate Nickolai
A&E senior staff

Christi Carras
A&E senior staff

Edward Qiao
Design director

Callista Wu
Assistant Design director

Elysia Ouyang
Assistant Design director

Pauline Ordonez
Graphics editor

Mavis Zeng
Assistant Graphics editor

Nicole Anisgard Parra
Illustrations director

Amy Dixon
Photo editor

Axel Lopez
Assistant Photo editor

MacKenzie Coffman
Assistant Photo editor

Anush Khatri
Copy chief

Rachel Wong
Assistant Copy chief

Nidhi Upadhyay
Slot editor

Dustin Newman
Online editor

Grace Yu
Bruinwalk director

Michael Zhang
Main Site director

Andrew Warner
Blogging editor

Sandra Carbonell-Kiamtia
Video producer

Kitty Hu
News and Opinion video producer

Juliette Le Saint
PRIME director

Megan Le
PRIME art director

Henna Dialani
Stack editor

Simran Vatsa
Copy and Stack senior staff

Joy Harjanto
News and Stack staff

Lena Nguyen
Opinion columnist

Anna Whittle
News contributor

Niveda Tennety

Audrey Pham
Blogging contributor

Joe Akira
Staff Photographer

Michael Hull
Sports senior staff

Lauren Ho

Angela Song
Design senior staff

Joey Wong
Video contributor

Aileen Nguyen
Design staff

Brian Yung
Design staff

Minh Tran
Video contributor