Letters to the editor
An open letter to USC and UCLA
The crosstown rivalry between our two campuses, particularly in the weeks leading up to the UCLA-USC football game, is a great tradition in college sports. But even as we root against each other on the field, UCLA and USC stand united in our common belief that this weekend’s game should be a safe, respectful and fun experience for everyone.
UCLA and USC are both world-renowned research universities, equally proud to call Los Angeles home. We ask that Bruins and Trojans alike make a commitment to displaying the very best of the UCLA and USC spirit. Please remember that while you alone are responsible for your actions, you can set a positive example for others. Sportsmanship is every bit as important on the field as off. Respecting those around you demonstrates respect for yourself and for your university.
People all across Los Angeles and the nation will be watching the big game. We trust all of you to demonstrate the best of what it means to be a Bruin or a Trojan.
So have a great time Saturday. Go Bruins! And fight on, Trojans!
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, UCLA
Vice President for Student Affairs, USC
USC should ban the sale of soda on campus
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, half of you who are reading this article right now have already consumed, or will consume today, two sugary drinks or sodas.
But don’t take comfort in the fact that you are not alone in your sugary drink consumption. With weight gain, Type 2 diabetes and other health risks on the rise, we should fear that so many of us consume so much soda on a daily basis. It is because of this that I am arguing that it is time for USC to take action on behalf of the health of its students, faculty and staff and ban the sale of soda on its campuses.
According to a September 2012 report by the Organization for Healthy Americans, nearly one quarter of the adult population in California is considered obese today and projections suggest that by 2030, obesity rates will nearly double, to 46.6 percent. The CDC has linked these rising obesity rates — along with rising rates of Type 2 diabetes and heart attacks — to soda.
USC should ban the sale of soda on its campuses because of soda’s link to numerous preventable health risks. Not only should USC be a leader in health awareness and disease prevention, but it should also be invested in helping guide its students, faculty and staff to make healthy decisions that will benefit their health now and in the future.
However, some might argue that such a ban will result in a loss of revenue from soda sales on USC’s campuses and also in some unhappy students, faculty and staff who might view the university administration as an overprotective nanny. But in the end, the benefits of this policy ultimately outweigh the costs. If USC is providing health coverage for its 20,000-plus employees and providing the option of health care to its 38,000-plus students, it clearly has a vested interest in also looking out for their health. According to the CDC, in 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion, $1,429 higher on a per person basis. This is a burden that organizations such as USC should work to prevent.
Many others have already recognized these overwhelming benefits of a ban on soda: from Boston’s government buildings to New York City. As a premier university and the largest private employer in the city of Los Angeles, USC has the potential to join these locations with a ban on soda and “fight on” at the forefront of developing a healthier city, state, nation and world.