Via the College Fix
At the Feb. 10 hearing, several members did not want to confirm Rachel Beyda to the association’s judicial board, the committee that determines if the student government’s actions comply with its bylaws. Essentially council members argued Beyda’s Jewish heritage is not compatible with the interests of the UCLA student government...
Student government member Fabienne Roth commenced the question period by asking Beyda: “Given that you are a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community, given that recently…(inaudible)…has been surrounding cases of conflict of interest, how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view in…(inaudible)…?”
At this point the Undergraduate Students Association president, Jewish student Avinoam Baral, interjected that “questioning a candidate’s ability to remain unbiased simply on the basis of her being a member of a particular community is an inappropriate question that we would not feel comfortable asking student members of other communities.”
Rachel Frenklar, Rachel's " roommate, sorority sister and best friend" described the event in the Daily Bruin
All council members swiftly agreed Rachel was amply qualified for the position, but half of the council had strong reservations stemming from Rachel’s Jewish identity. “My issue is, I’m going to be upfront about it, I think she’s pretty great. She’s smart, she like knows her stuff, she’s like probably going to be a really great lawyer. But I’m like not going to pretend this isn’t about conflict of interest. … It’s not her fault … but she’s part of a community that’s very invested in USAC. … Even if she’s the right person for the job,” claimed Roth. Sadeghi-Movahed added, “For some reason, I’m not 100 percent comfortable. I don’t know why. I’ll go through her application again. I’ve been going through it constantly, but I definitely can see that she’s qualified for sure.” Throughout this discussion, Rachel anxiously paced outside, where, she later informed me, she could hear “conflict of interest” being yelled and concluded that it could only be about her being Jewish. Undoubtedly, the Israeli-Palestinan conflict is one of the most contentious issues on our campus. However, Israel was not mentioned during the discussion of Rachel’s appointment, only her affiliation with Jewish organizations, making the extensive deliberation a definitive act of discrimination.
The council eventually unanimously approved Rachel Beyda's appointment.
To Rachel Frenklar , that is not adequate. She writes:
I ask the four council members who initially questioned Rachel’s appointment on the basis of her Judaism to issue both public and personal apologies to the UCLA Jewish community and Rachel. Until they all admit wrongdoing and ask for forgiveness, it is difficult to trust their morality as decision-makers. Furthermore, I expect administrative condemnation of their words and actions as exactly what they were: undeniable anti-Semitism. I expect more of elected leaders and hope no one else will face being denied a deserved opportunity on the basis of identity. A recording of the meeting can be seen on the USAC Live! Youtube channel, and I encourage all students to watch some of it and become aware of who your representatives are. In a few months, we will hold elections for new USAC representatives. In light of this incident, I hope students take the time to learn about the issues and vote for representatives they believe will serve the student body with integrity.
For more information on this anti-Semitic incident at UCLA , see
Minutes from the proceedings are available here