Today is the day. Around 11 pm PST we are going to hear about the results of a historic vote on UCLA's campus involving our athletic department's ill conceived decision to remove Bruin students from Pauley's sidelines. The voting officially started on Monday at 9 am.
The passionate online responses from both our alums have been inspiring:
- As I write this post the petition drive led by MexiBruin has generated well over 1,000 signatures, including endorsements of the two of the most prominent players from Coach John Wooden's programs.
- The Facebook event organized by UCLA14 now is edging close to 1000 attendees. The number of Bruins pledging to "vote to restore Den seating" is at 980 right now. We hope you can help push the number of attendees over 1,000 mark this morning. That campaign got a huge boost from current Bruin players such as Anthony Stover and reportedly Joshua Smith.
- Our Facebook ad campaign has generated thousands of page views. We went ahead and extended our ad buy yesterday stretching it all the way to 11 pm PST tonight. We also extended our reach beyond UCLA students by targeting every resident who have Facebook accounts in the city of Westwood
To those students who have shown leadership by taking the initiative to reach out to fellow students on this issue and appealing them to vote NO on Morgan Center's boondoggle, we thank you. It is very cool to read about how this issue has "unified" - a code word thrown around by Morgan Center apologists to justify banishing students behind the basket - the two prominent student groups against the plan. We cannot rest easy though.
We urge and plead to all students reading this post today to reach out to everyone you know to ensure they have voted and if they have not done yet, get them to do it before 11 pm today. If students need specific instructions on how to vote No on the seating plan, UCLA14 detailed the step-by-step instructions here.
It is really unfortunate that the story has not gotten any real and substantive coverage from the Daily Bruin, which has chosen to go with debunked talking points from Morgan Center. The usual UCLA beat reporters and writers have decided to completely ignore the issue, oblivious to the frustration that has been building up against Dan Guerrero and the athletic department for weeks. Most of other UCLA online communities have also generally taken the passive approach by not putting on any concerted pressure on the Morgan Center. So the odds have been stacked against the students and the efforts generated from this community for a while.
Despite the obstacles the passion and energy generated in this community has gotten us to this day. I will end this post with the following comment from Seth Chandler, who was instrumental in generating enormous heat via UCLA athletics' Facebook page. Seth wrote about the importance of having a "rocking student section" along Pauley's sidelines:
Traffic in LA sucks. Traffic (and parking) around Westwood sucks. More and more people have huge flat-screen TVs. So given the inconvenience of going to the games and the constantly improving home experience, how are you going to fill the arena?
I think it's by offering something people cannot get at home or in their sports bar. And what could that be? What is the one thing Pauley Pavilion can offer that no flat screen can, even in a raucous sports bar?
2,000 UCLA students stomping, clapping, cheering, shaking the arena from floor to ceiling, that's what. I think a lot of alumni would want to relive some of their college experience in the company of students who are really making their presence seen, heard and felt. Because THAT is an EVENT. An experience. A pulse-pounding, joyful, unforgettable couple of hours.
And putting the students behind the basket is not going to create that.
We can't agree more.There are of course so many other arguments including why it is important to treat students with priority today so they can become tomorrow's donors to UCLA. We have laid all them out in posts after posts which you can read through here.
Let's hope our students' can send a thunderous message to Morgan Center tonight.