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UC Regents Approve New UCLA Building

Nandini Ruparel |
September 11, 2012 | 8:25 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

The UCLA campus (Creative Commons).
The UCLA campus (Creative Commons).
The Regents of the University of California approved plans for UCLA's new conference center Tuesday, the Luskin Hotel and Conference Center, which had recently come under fire from local businesses for including a hotel that does not pay state taxes.

The hotel in question is an addition to others on the UCLA campus, which are reportedly too small to host many of the events on-campus.

During the open public comment session, which lasted approximately 10 minutes, the Committee of the Whole heard from a man who spoke about the fact that the hotels on campus are exempt from tax, unlike other local hotels, and do not deserve this status. The Hotel Association of Los Angeles has also opposed the building, saying its tax-exemption will give it an unfair advantage over other hotels in Westwood.

Construction is intended to start the summer of 2013.

The regents, which met at the San Francisco campus for the first of three meetings, also discussed current issues facing the UC system and their solutions. 

The meeting, which started with a regents-only event, featured an open session where both students from various UC campuses and business owners with grievances were addressed.  

A member of the UC Students Association spoke as well, urging the board to make a decision that considered the "affordability, accessibility and quality" of students' education. Two other students, one from UC Santa Cruz and the other from UC Irvine, had the same message to the board, especially regarding Proposition 30. The bill, which will be on the ballot this year, would increase income taxes on high-income earners and set a sales tax. The revenue from this bill would go toward education costs in California.

The Committee on Compliance and Audit then spoke at another open meeting - without input, however - regarding a multitude of issues, the first of which addressed the recent child abuse scandal at Penn State. The presenters outlined a plan in which it would be easier for such incidents to both be avoided and, in further circumstances, be reported easily and without bureaucratic hassle. The officials went on to discuss information technology with regards to security and administrative services, and improvements to laboratory safety (an issue that came up after an accident at the UCLA campus). 

More specific information regarding the entire meeting can be found here, including all documents submitted to the board for presentation.

The regents will meet again Wednesday to discuss further financial arrangements, including tuition costs, enrollment and the UC balance sheet. 


Reach Staff Reporter Nandini Ruparel here



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