Students across the University of California write to voice their strong opposition to the UC Regents appointment of Avi Oved as Student Regent Designate. At the outset, by disregarding the 10-0 vote by the University of California Student Association, the UC Regents are directly opposing the student voice and the process of student democracy. Students have a right to decide how our universities are run, and especially to decide who is to be our sole representative on the statewide Board of Regents.
Avi Oved’s actions as documented in the Daily Californian and by the UCSA demonstrate that he is unfit to serve as student regent:
First, Oved solicited and received funds from noted Islamophobe and bigot Adam Milstein as well as other unknown parties. This relationship, and the solicitation of funds from Milstein, has never been in question. Just as a student with ties to bigotry against any other group of people would not be fit to represent the University of California student body, so too is Oved unfit to represent students across the UC. The parties affected by this bigotry include not just the Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian students who are the targets of Milstein’s disgusting views, but all students who are offended by Milstein’s hateful views. Equally troubling is the personal attack made by Oved against another student running for campus elected office, revealed in the first email published by the Daily Californian.
Second, Oved’s solicitation of off-campus funding for student elections undermined the student democratic process at UCLA. These actions showed a willingness to create an unequal playing field in which outside funding helps candidates win elections while students without access to this funding remain at a disadvantage. Moreover, there is widespread concern that these actions also violated UCLA Elections Code, (Article 6, Section B, Subsection I) which mandates that donations and professional services must be disclosed to the public.
Third, Oved’s response to this issue has been an insult to the students he is supposed to serve. He was intentionally absent from a conference call designed for him to respond to questions and concerns, then issued a response that did not address any of those concerns. Roughly 100 students from across the state had called in to voice their concerns to him, and were disappointed by his unexplained absence. Later, in a conference call with the UCSA, Oved denied that his campaign received funds from Milstein, a statement which was directly contradicted hours later by new documents published by the Daily Californian. No explanation was given by Oved as to how his statement could match the facts asserted by the Daily Cal. Evading accountability and transparency processes of the student body, and apparently misleading the UCSA Board are serious violations of Oved’s responsibility to students and cause us to call for him to step down and be replaced by another candidate.
With this said, we the students demand that the UC Regents respect the vote taken by our representatives, the UCSA Board, and postpone the nomination until these matters can be cleared up to the satisfaction of the student body. We also demand that Avi Oved clearly distance himself from the toxic and bigoted views of his party’s donor, Adam Milstein.
Milstein tweets indicate shocking bigotry:
Funds to UCLA student political party came from outside sources, leaked emails show:
UCSA committee votes to request delay of student regent-designate nominee confirmation: