USC graduate students, from left, Mariel Bello, Nina Christie and Alyssa Morris pose for a selfie to post.
USC graduate students, from left, Mariel Bello, Nina Christie and Alyssa Morris pose for a selfie to post. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Hundreds of graduate students at USC, UCLA and Caltech joined national protests Wednesday against the House Republican tax bill passed this month, saying it contains changes that would significantly increase their taxes and make it difficult for many to continue their research.

At USC, more than 100 students and professors gathered at the Tommy Trojan statue to urge peers to call their lawmakers and fight the changes. Many held colorful signs describing how their research benefits society: “Graduate students study food safety,” “Graduate students design highways.” 

USC student Hannah Khoddam and a handful of classmates began organizing the walkout this month, then joined forces with students from a group of six East Coast colleges to sponsor a national “day of action” that drew thousands of participants at nearly 60 campuses in 33 states. 

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Janet Napolitano
Janet Napolitano (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

Are the state and local districts, including L.A., hiding their lowest-performing schools?

In California:

  • Higher Education
New Cal State Bakersfield president Lynnette Zelezny
New Cal State Bakersfield president Lynnette Zelezny (Fresno State University)

Cal State University trustees announced two new campus presidents Wednesday.

Lynnette Zelezny, 61, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Fresno State University, will be the first female president of Cal State Bakersfield. 

With her appointment, more than half of Cal State’s campuses now are led by women.

A proposal to help find spots for Cal State applicants who are shut out of the most popular campuses passed a key committee Tuesday at the trustees meeting in Long Beach.

The trustees are expected to vote Wednesday on the plan to chip away at a problem so serious that about 32,000 eligible applicants were turned away from the nation's largest public university system last fall because of oversubscribed programs and campuses.

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Students at Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana protest on March 14.
Students at Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana protest on March 14. (Alena Nguyen)

At the Los Angeles Times, we try to do our part to raise the next generation of storytellers. Our High School Insider program offers young journalists a helping hand, with classroom resources, special conferences, paid internships and a chance to get their work published on our website.

Some of our HS Insider reporters were on the job March 14, when students all over the nation organized walkouts and other activities to honor the 17 people killed a month earlier at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and to push for stricter gun control to try to prevent future mass shootings.  You can read their accounts here.

At 10:17 a.m., the students returned to class, but not without a profound new realization of the role their generation will play in changing the world for the better.

Find out more about what HS Insider has to offer and how to get involved here.


A 17-year-old student pulled out a handgun at a high school in southern Maryland on Tuesday morning and wounded two classmates before being killed in an exchange of gunfire with a school resource officer, authorities said.

The gunman, Austin Wyatt Rollins, was confirmed dead at 10:41 a.m., St. Mary's County Sheriff Timothy K. Cameron said at a news briefing.

University of California President Janet Napolitano said Monday that the public university system should open its doors more widely by guaranteeing admission to all qualified state community college students.

She said she also has asked campus chancellors to work toward raising the four-year graduation rate to 70% from the current 64%. Getting more students to graduate more quickly, she said, would make room to enroll an additional 32,000 undergraduates — the equivalent of another UC campus — by 2030.

California is raising and educating more and more qualified Cal State applicants — but the system can't put all of them on the campuses where they want to be.

Trustees of the public university system will focus on the problem during their two-day meeting in Long Beach.

Kristen Glasgow won a sexual misconduct claim against a UCLA professor.
Kristen Glasgow won a sexual misconduct claim against a UCLA professor. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

Los Angeles Unified could be making millions of dollars off its real estate holdings, a report found.

A UCLA student won a sexual misconduct claim against a professor — on her second try with the Title IX process.

UCLA graduate student Kristen Glasgow says she first met Gabriel Piterberg, a history professor, in 2008. They had coffee together and then, she alleged, he walked her to her car, pushed her against it and forced his tongue into her mouth.

Glasgow detailed this and other claims of Piterberg's sexual misconduct over a five-year period in a lawsuit she filed against the University of California in 2015.

The Los Angeles school system's vast real estate holdings cost millions of dollars a year to maintain, but they also present an opportunity, according to a task force studying the district.

Some properties could generate millions for the financially stretched district, concludes a report the task force released Monday. Many could be used better to serve students and their families.