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NEWS BRIEFS : Chicano Studies Get Boost, Funds at UCLA

July 26, 1990

Plans to halt admission into the Chicano Studies major at UCLA were dropped after Latino students, instructors and university administrators met to discuss the issue, said Raymond L. Orbach, provost of the College of Letters and Science.

While interdisciplinary Chicano studies courses have been popular on the campus over the last 20 years, only 12 students were majoring in the field during the last school year.

Students and Chicano faculty members said basic problems involve lack of adequate funding and administrative structure for Chicano Studies. The major has been handled by a committee operating on a meager budget of $1,500, not a formal academic department.

After a university senate committee first recommended suspending admission to the major, Latino students rallied to keep the Chicano Studies program intact. They later called for strengthening of the program.

After a review of the program, Orbach said, "We felt that there was not a strong faculty oversight and that many of the courses were not offered on a regular basis. The program did not have the intensity that such a program should have.

"The students were very influential," Orbach said. "They were helpful to bring the situation to our attention."

This summer, after a series of meetings, the Committee to Administer the Chicano Studies Major was granted $150,000 to $200,000 in resources, including one staff member, one researcher, office space and supplies, Orbach said. The funds will help to increase faculty, reorganize the major and develop more introductory courses, which have been taught by instructors in various departments, including history, sociology, Spanish and Portuguese.

Vilma Ortiz, professor of sociology and a Chicano Studies instructor, was appointed to head the committee. Ortiz said the added funding and importance will help "create a successful program. It's the first time the administration has promised that step."

UCLA sophomore Mark Aguilar, who helped plan the student demonstrations, said "the program needs a fully funded department, which can hire full-time staff . . . and can have autonomy."

Latinos Targeted on Hazards of Tobacco

A new Spanish-language advertising campaign is under way to inform California's Latino population about the hazardous effects of smoking and other tobacco use.

The television, radio and print ads focusing on family values of Latinos were developed by The Hispanic Group Advertising, based in Los Angeles.

"Even though the serious dangers of smoking have been public knowledge for almost three decades, this information has not been effectively taken to the Hispanic community, resulting in disproportionately increased rates of tobacco use," said Dr. Kenneth W. Kizer, state health director. "Communicating our message to this segment of our population is crucial."

The campaign is funded by a portion of revenues from Proposition 99, the 25-cents-per-pack tax increase approved by California voters in 1988. The Latino effort is one component in the state Health Department's Tobacco Education Campaign.

Medical Magnet to Bear Bravo's Name

The Medical Magnet Senior High School in Lincoln Heights is being named in honor of Dr. Francisco Bravo, a physician who provided more than three decades of service to East Los Angeles area residents.

The recommendation, supported by students, parents and community leaders and aided by Los Angeles Board of Education member Leticia Quezada, was passed by the seven-member board last month.

Bravo, who died in May at age 80, was graduated from USC and opened the East Los Angeles-based Bravo Medical Clinic in 1964, after he specialized in family practice and surgery. Among his other activities, he was president of the Los Angeles Police Commission.

Applications to enroll in Medical Magnet High School will be accepted through September. For information and applications call (213) 625-6532.


This is the last chance for you and members of your household to be counted in the 1990 Census. You may provide the information by calling toll-free 1-800-999-1990 (English) or 1-800-283-6826 (Spanish) between 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. until July 27. . . . Jaime Escalante, the famed Garfield High School math teacher, received an honorary degree--doctor of humane letters--from his alma mater, Cal State Los Angeles.

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